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Jaltus
July 21st, 2002, 09:50 PM
In this thread, I plan on working my way through Romans 8 with a specific focus on how the OV can handle the chapter. I will look at grammatical and exegetical concepts, and finally integrate it into a theological whole. Once that is done, we shall see if one can hold to the OV and scripture at the same time.

I will start sometime tomorrow.

Jaltus
July 22nd, 2002, 12:45 PM
Romans 8
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

This section is obviously about how the law relates to the believer. We are set free from the law because Jesus set us free from the law of sin and death, meaning we no longer suffer under the constraints of trying to fulfill the law, nor do we need to worry about what will come in the hereafter.

The sinful nature is not part of the believer any more, at least not the governing part.

The law itself is righteous, but our inability to live up to the requirements of it are what make it a law of sin and death. Sin and death is our own fault, not the fault of the law itself.

The true believer, however, lives according to the Spirit, as will be picked up in the next section.

Jaltus
July 22nd, 2002, 12:51 PM
Romans 8
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so.
8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Here is the dichotomy between the sinful and the believer set in contrast. Those who follow Christ have their mind set on the things of the Spirit, for it is the Spirit which drives us. The Spirit gives us life and peace, and a mind set on life and peace.

The sinful are unable to please God in any way, but those filled by the Spirit are able to please God. Without the Spirit, you are not a Christian, plain and simple. The body is still dead, for it is corrupted by our sin, but the spirit within us is renewed, it is what is filled with the new life. It is not our own righteousness which gives us life in our spirits, but rather His righteousness given to us.

Life is a gift from God through the Spirit, not mortal life but life immortal, the life yet to come.

Jaltus
July 22nd, 2002, 12:55 PM
Romans 8
12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs-- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

The entire point of the argument so far is summed up in this, we have an obligation as people saved by Christ, but our obligation is to live by the Spirit and to put to death our sinful nature, nailing it to the cross.

It is by living in the Spirit, that mystical union with God, that we can be called "sons of God," those adopted by Him, bought by His blood. It is through His sacrifice that we are able to call God, "daddy," and it is through Him that we receive the gift of the Spirit indwelling.

We are co-heirs with Christ, we also inherit life eternal at the end, but we inherit suffering in the now.

Jaltus
July 22nd, 2002, 01:01 PM
Romans 8
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

It is through the suffering of Christians that our inheritance can be made plain, though not necessarily the only way.

The final hope is not just the reconciliation of man, but the reconciliation of creation as well. For though man sinned, all of creation was cursed, and eagerly awaits the day the curse will be lifted.

We have but the firstfruits of the spirit now, but our blessed hope is to have the full Spirit then. What kind of hope do we have? one that is a future hope, a hope that is not yet (contrary to many preterists). What kind of hope is one that is already fulfilled? It is called history, not hope.

We are to wait for the time of ultimate fulfillment, and wait patiently, even eagerly.

Jaltus
July 22nd, 2002, 01:02 PM
I will finish the chapter tomorrow, Lord willing.

Jaltus
July 23rd, 2002, 11:55 AM
Romans 8
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

"In the same way" refers to the hope. So, just as our hope aids us, so does the Spirit. For our weakness is sin, and it is through our hope of future salvation (see I Peter) and through the work of the Spirit (see above) that we are able to overcome our sin nature. The Spirit intercedes before the very throne of God, making clear that which we feel in our hearts but are unable to articulate. God knows what the Spirit is communicating, for it is by God's will that the Spirit intercedes.

Verse 28 is the crux of the matter, in many respects. It is obviously referring to how God Himself works for us to get past our sin nature, but is that the limit of this? Doug Moo rightly notes in his commentary (Romans, NICNT, pg. 527) that there are numerous Jewish parallels to this phrase, most notably Rabbi Aqiba, "All the Almighty does, he does for good." This is something that shows an unlimited scope for this verse, meaning that it really does mean all things and not just all salvific things.

Verse 28 is also limited with respect to who gets the good from God's acts. It is specifically limited to those who are His servants, who are His children (see above, specifically 12-17). The calling language at the end of the verse it what draws us into 29-30.

The string of words in 29-30 present a situation that is specific to salvation, as it draws on the end of 28 which is limited to those who are saved. Thus, only single predestination in any form could be understood in this text. Next, it is a logical step from each word in the series to the next. He foreknew, then predestined, then called, then justified, then glorified. This makes sense because of the last three:

A person is first called, hit hard in the heart by God. Next, they become saved, which means they are justified. Finally, justification leads to glorification, which does mean an eschatological hope. If these three are in order, why wouldn't the other two be?

We shall return to this passage later.

Jaltus
July 23rd, 2002, 12:00 PM
Romans 8
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nobody can stand against us if God is on our side, for God already knows what will happen (28-30). God will give us all things, including salvation and glory. We have no right to bring charges against God, for it is He who makes us innocent in the first place. In fact, Christ Himself is the one who condemns those who reject the truth, the only perfect one to ever live, but who intercedes for Christians.

Thus, nothing outside of us can keep us from His love. Though we face persecution, we overcome through His love, the love of the one who overcame before us. In no way can anyone keep us from Him, or bar the way to Him.

Jaltus
July 23rd, 2002, 12:04 PM
The Open View of God is a system that acknowledges God's total knowledge of the past and present, but denies Him having exhaustive knowledge of the future (EDF, Exhaustive Divine/Definite Foreknowledge). God is only able to know in advance that which He Himself will cause. He cannot know the actions of a free moral agent, for the free moral agent does not know what it will do next.

Because the future is determined by free moral agents making choices, it is not possible for God to know most of the future. He can make plans, but He can be thwarted in those plans as well. Free agents can do other than God wishes them to, but He leaves them free because that is the greater good.

Jaltus
July 23rd, 2002, 12:13 PM
Here is the problem, then: how can one hold to the Open View, denying EDF, and yet still hold to Romans 8 as being authoritative, especially 8:28?

As has been explained, verse 28 clearly shows that God is working such that all believers have the good worked out for them.

29-30 also show how God knew beforehand who would be a believer and who would not, even before the choice itself was made.

The question is, then, does God know the future, namely these free choices, or not?

If one is going to hold to this passage as authoritative, one is not able to hold to the Open View. Let me explain it this way:

In the Open View, God's plans can be defeated. Romans 8:28 clearly says that all things that happen work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That means that, according to the OV, God's plans which would benefit the believer can be thwarted by the believer themself. At the same time, this would negate 28.

Greg Boyd agrees implicitly with this statement, as he says in his book God of the Possible, pg. 153:

It is true that according to the open view things can happen in our lives that God didn’t plan or foreknow with certainty (though he always foreknew they were possible). This means that in the open view things can happen to us that have no overarching divine purpose. In this view, ‘trusting in God’ provides no assurance that everything that happens to us will reflect his divine purposes, for there are other agents who also have the power to affect us, just as we have the power to affect others. This, it must be admitted, can for some be a scary thought.How then does this square with Romans 8:28? It simply does not, and therefore I believe it is impossible to hold a high view of scripture and still hold to the Open View of God.

Yxboom
July 23rd, 2002, 03:10 PM
Since there are no takers I'll indulge in a response :)

How then does this square with Romans 8:28? It simply does not, and therefore I believe it is impossible to hold a high view of scripture and still hold to the Open View of God.
Are we arguing against God's EDF or omnipotence? It seems you are arguing against both although the OV denies only the former. It is throwing the baby out with the bath water for the OV has never argued that God is impotent. Although their are many factors involved in God achieving that which Paul writes in Romans 8:28 God is not a crippled, one-legged dog that can do nothing about it. God is ever-wise and ever-resourceful in bringing about His will and pleasure. If you ask, can God's will be thwarted than echoing Boyd, I agree yes it can. Now if you ask, does God do anything about it? Than again I echo Boyd, emphatically yes. Rather than stand on traditional Christianity that God is but a spectator to events that can not unfold according to His exhaustive foreknowledge. OV contends that God is intimate, involved and extremely pro-active in His dealings with mankind as this passage of Scripture will show:

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Peace. :)

SteveT
July 23rd, 2002, 05:39 PM
Jaltus:

A quick alternative suggestion, I came across in a commentary (I think is was Barclays) a translation of v29 "Those he knew before..." instead of "foreknew". When I combine that with the consistent use of past tense verbs in verses 29-30, I would hypothesize that what Paul is talking about here is the OT saints (those God "knew before"). The whole section, from verse 17 - 39, is a discussion of how God uses suffering to conform us to the image of His son. Consistent with a sub-theme of the entire epistle (what happens to us is the same as what happened under the OT, i.e., the extensive discussion of Abraham in chapter 4), I think it would be surprising if Paul asserted that we "are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings", and DIDN'T assert that the same process applied to the OT saints, those God "knew before", also. Understood this way, Paul is saying:

For the OT saints he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son ... And those he predestined, he also called; those he called he also justified, those he justified he also glorified".

Predestination then refers to the what - conformed to the likeness of his son through suffering - not the who.

See also Rom 5:3-4, Phil 3:10, 1 Pt 4:12ff, and especially Heb 11:35b-40 for similar ideas.

This interpretation is my own, so I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Jaltus
July 23rd, 2002, 06:16 PM
Yxboom,

I am not making the argument against omnipotence, just against a lack of EDF and the presentist understanding. The problem with the OV is that someone could make a bad choice and die immediately, leaving God NO TIME (since He cannot see the future) in which to make it work out for the good.

He may be the omni-competent responder, but that does no good if there is nothing to respond to.

Jaltus
July 23rd, 2002, 06:20 PM
SteveT,

The problem with your take is that it denies the connection with at least verse 31, which specifically refers to "us." The verses in question MUST refer to the readers (/hearers, since it was read aloud) as well, meaning that they, at the least, would be included in the discussion, along with Paul. However, all commentators take verse 28 to refer to all Christians, so the sudden limitation in verse 29 would be out of the blue, and also lacking in textual proof (no change in subject, etc.).

Also, the word is actually "foreknew," and any other rendering is just trying to avoid the implications of this word taken in connection with other passages (e.g. I Peter 1:2, 20; etc).

Arminian
July 23rd, 2002, 08:59 PM
Jaltus,

In the Open View, God's plans can be defeated. Romans 8:28 clearly says that all things that happen work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Considering the context (my understaning of it), I think that Paul is still talking about suffering here. Of course, it's easy for Christians to say and feel that God is working for us when the world is for us, but in this situation Paul's opponents believe they are God's chosen people and are against "us" and are making charges that malign "our" corporate solidarity in right standing with God. So Paul argues that even suffering works to our good. Our suffering will end with our glorification (8:17). It is in this particular way that all things (meaning, "even suffering") work to the good of those who love him.

Who are those who love him? Those in Messiah.

Among other things, I think Paul's use of "those" suggests that he is concerned with arguing for the covenant standing of God's people, rather than the salvation involved in idividualism. Paul here is concered with delineating two peoples: those who live according to the sinful nature, and those who love God; those who are the flesh of Abraham, and those who are the children of Abraham; those who cause trouble, and those who suffer. Paul's oppositon argues that God's calling is theirs and people should become Jews to become covenant members, but Paul argues that the calling is theirs, but the covenant is entered through faith.

The children of Abraham (not the "descendants" of Abraham) are God's predestined people (a people with a particular identity centered on Messiah -- which includes Gentiles through faith) "...confirm the promises made to the patriarchs that the Gentiles may glorify God..."

Jefferson
July 24th, 2002, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by Jaltus
Here is the problem, then: how can one hold to the Open View, denying EDF, and yet still hold to Romans 8 as being authoritative, especially 8:28?
Here is Bob Hill's commentary on that verse:

"Consider Romans 8:28. [NKJ] “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” [I disagree. My translation follows.] We know that He works with those loving God, all things, sunergei, unto good, with those who are called according to [His] purpose. God works with us. We have to work with God. When we love Him, He can produce His life in us. He is always working in the believer, but we do not always let Him work in us. Look up the word sunergei, Strong’s 4903, sunergeo. You’ll see it means “work together with, work with”."

Jaltus
July 24th, 2002, 08:10 AM
Jefferson,

Your argument from "sunergeo" actually just strengthens my case. BAGD, pg. 787, mentions Romans 8:28 explicitly, and says this:

the goal (is) indicated by eis...in tois agaposin ton theon panta sunergei eis agathon Rom 8:28, s. means help...

In other words, it means, literally, "all things help towards the good of those who love God..." at least according to BAGD, the best lexicon in the world.

Jerry Shugart
July 25th, 2002, 11:12 AM
Is the Christian dealing with a LIVING GOD,or they only dealing with the iron decree of fate?

If everything in the future of the Christian were already written in stone,why would he tell us to make our requests be known to Him in prayer?

There is a prayer that we might consider.The Lord Himself came down to earth to be crucified on Calvary,but listen to His prayer to the Father on the very eve of Calvary:

"O My Father,if it be possible,let this cup pass from Me"(Mt.16:39).

With the Lord Jesus the necessity to drink it arose from no stern and irrevocable edict of the past,but from the sovereign will of a present living God.And the Father,even then,would answer His prayer if redemption could be won at any price less terrible and costly.

Yet there are those who would rebuke a Christian mother for praying that the Lord would save the children He has given her.

They would say,Why are you praying.Don´t you know that all things are already fated to occur just as it has already been determined by God?

If the doctrine that all things are already predetermined to happen become a limitiation on His power to bless and save,then that doctrine denegrates into a denial of the very truth on which it rests--the sovereignty of the Almighty God.

In His grace,--Jerry

1013
July 25th, 2002, 11:51 AM
In the Open View, God's plans can be defeated. Romans 8:28 clearly says that all things that happen work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That means that, according to the OV, God's plans which would benefit the believer can be thwarted by the believer themself.

and how is this different from arminianism? the view of providence is exactly the same and in arminianism, God's plans can be thwarted.


Here is the problem, then: how can one hold to the Open View, denying EDF

it takes more than edf, and if you insist that edf solves your problem, we openness folks can provide just as good of a solution.

Does God have anything to do with this fact that he can work all things out with free creatures or is he just lucky and romans 8 is just a statement of the fact of God's good luck that no free creature would ever thwart his plans in the way that he could not bring any good out of? well, pretending I'm a classical arminian, God sees all of the future and anything that might happen (making this a molinism) that would not work with him will be prevented. whether God has to do it explicitley miraculously or working under the table away from human eyes, he works it out so that such unusable evil will not happen to the believer.

and does the open view have to be any different? not at all. we have the same exact view of freedom as arminians except we take it more consistently. we believe that many more possibilities actually have a chance to come true. all God has to do isremove the possibilities that won't lend themselves to being woven into his plan for those who love him.



The problem with the OV is that someone could make a bad choice and die immediately, leaving God NO TIME (since He cannot see the future) in which to make it work out for the good.

If they die they are ushered into the presence of God. Didn't Paul say to live is Christ and to die is gain?

now perhaps you're thinking that they have one last lecherous thought and then they die. Well supposing they are in that state, all God has to do is prevent them from dieing at that moment so that they might repent.

what if in that last moment they reject God and fall away. then 8:28 would no longer apply to them.

Now this is all just one possible solution.

I like what arminian put forth and I would like to see what you do with it. With the corporate groups in mind and not individuals, we are looking at what happens to the church in general. this is much easier. pretty much we have all the bases covered because if the church is persecuted, God can use that for the growth and strength of the character of the church. if they prosper, obviously that can be used for the church.

one more theing to consider is why we should take this as an absolute where every individual thing is to be viewed as something that must be used by God. consider the following:


3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.
4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer

so if we accept cocaine and pot with gratitude, it will be sanctified? clearly not.

but lets look closer to the context at hand.


32 He who (71) did not spare His own Son, but (72) delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

so is God really going to give us all things? will he give us the throne of heaven? will he give us the keys to death and hell?

"all things" is a vague statement which is almost never used literally. perhaps in metaphysics its used literally. Jobeth likes to take verses such as those and argue that God created evan evil.

but you did offer evidence to take it so broadly.


there are numerous Jewish parallels to this phrase, most notably Rabbi Aqiba, "All the Almighty does, he does for good." This is something that shows an unlimited scope for this verse, meaning that it really does mean all things and not just all salvific things.

I don't see why this is evidence as to why romans 8:28 should be taken as absolutely exhaustively inclusive. but I'll grant that it is evidence. but is it proof? no way. so for this, you may have good evidence, but as we have theological problems with this (a theology which is built upon other scriptures) we'll take the less likely interpretation (if it is indeed less likely). that an interpretation is less likely is a far cry from saying that it is wrong. it's a myth of hermeneutics and of the more fundamentalistic strain of evangelicalism to insist otherwise.


How then does this square with Romans 8:28? It simply does not, and therefore I believe it is impossible to hold a high view of scripture and still hold to the Open View of God.

to say that something does not reflect God's plan and may not reflect it is not to say that God can't use that event. many children were murdered in the holocaust. I don't see any reason to say that this was apart of God's plan, but for some people, God may have used this to come closer to them in their grief. certainly for those who did not love God, this may have only driven them further away. so here we have the same event for which believers could benefit and yet it had no divine purpose to begin with.

Arminian
July 26th, 2002, 03:13 AM
1030


I like what arminian put forth and ... With the corporate groups in mind and not individuals, we are looking at what happens to the church in general.

I want to make one modification, because it appears I was not clear enough. "Those who love him" involves identity, so the individaul appies it to himself or herself. We might replace the phrase with "Christains." All things work together with Christians for good because it is through suffering that we are glorified. In other words, we apply the words to ourselves because whe share in that identity.

My point was that "all things" is not a refrence to every detail of every event in life. Rather, Paul means that not just GOOD things, but EVEN suffering results in our salvation, we should look upon suffering with Christ as something good.

My comment against individual salvation was in refrence to verses 29-30. These verses are directed at one of the main topics of the book: WHO God's people are. God's elect are not people who have yet to believe. Paul argues that they are those of faith. They are ALREADY believers or they are not yet numbered among the elect. God had chosen a people before time began (this is the promise to the patriarchs of which he speaks). We join this foreknown people through faith.

The repetition of "those" makes the concept emphatic.

1013
July 26th, 2002, 08:12 AM
alright, it still sounds good. sometimes the corporate election deal is a little hard to wrap my mind around. not the concept itself but more how it arises from scripture particualarly in certain parts romans 9. I have yet to really dive into the subject. but o well.

but what you've written concerning verse 28 still seems pretty helpful toward the open view if we could exclude say one last sinful thought on the part of the christian (the one thing where I see that Jaltus may have a point) and that paul means not what the christian does to himself but what is done to him, be it suffering or blessings.

Jaltus
July 26th, 2002, 09:40 AM
1013,

I was hoping you would post here. You are one of the few OVers it is worth debating, IMNSHO.

You said:
and how is this different from arminianism? the view of providence is exactly the same and in arminianism, God's plans can be thwarted.
The major difference in Arminianism is that, though God's plans can be thwarted, He knows it ahead of time. There is a world of difference between expecting things to go your way and then being surprised by the outcome (OV) and knowing your plans will not work out as you had wished but having a plan ready to spring into action because you foresaw it coming (A).


and does the open view have to be any different? not at all. we have the same exact view of freedom as arminians except we take it more consistently. we believe that many more possibilities actually have a chance to come true. all God has to do isremove the possibilities that won't lend themselves to being woven into his plan for those who love him. Actually, that is still a problem because God cannot know which choices made by men could possibly screw Him up (at least He would not exhaustively know since God can and is wrong in the OV). How can He "remove the possibilities that won't lend themselves to being woven into his plan for those who love him" when He cannot even know which possibilities those would be? The only way your system at this point works is if it actually is Molinism, but then you are an Arminian and not an OVer.

(let me know if I should explain my points more thoroughly, as that last point my not have been developed as well as it could have)


If they die they are ushered into the presence of God. Didn't Paul say to live is Christ and to die is gain?

now perhaps you're thinking that they have one last lecherous thought and then they die. Well supposing they are in that state, all God has to do is prevent them from dieing at that moment so that they might repent.

what if in that last moment they reject God and fall away. then 8:28 would no longer apply to them.

Now this is all just one possible solution.
I was thinking more about how it was not God's intention for them to die, for He had more good works in store for them to do (Ephesians 2:10). How can it be a good thing to die before you accomplished with your life what God wanted?

I was not really thinking of losing salvation immediately before death, since that would preclude them from the "coverage" of the Romans 8:28 "insurance plan for believers," as it were, as you rightly point out.

I'll respond to the rest of your post at a later time.

Good objections! Keep them coming!

SteveT
July 26th, 2002, 03:02 PM
Jaltus:

"The problem with your take is that it denies the connection with at least verse 31, which specifically refers to "us." The verses in question MUST refer to the readers (/hearers, since it was read aloud) as well, meaning that they, at the least, would be included in the discussion, along with Paul."

I don't see how taking the "foreknown" in v.29 to be a reference to the OT saints in any way denies a connection to the "us" of v. 31:

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us..."

This is not unlike the comparison of us to Abraham in 4:23, "The words 'it was credited to him' were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness..." Paul frequently draws such "responses for us" from his considerations of OT persons and events.

"However, all commentators take verse 28 to refer to all Christians, so the sudden limitation in verse 29 would be out of the blue, and also lacking in textual proof (no change in subject, etc.)."

Again, Paul regularly refers to OT persons and events as supports for his assertions about how God deals with us today. As I read the section, the discussion about the role of suffering in the life of the Christian is obviously the topic at hand, then here he says those God foreknew He "also" predestined .... The word "also" seems to indicate to me that this is a group of persons other than those he had been talking about before (the "all Christians" of v. 28). Paul uses "also" to indicate a change in the persons he's talking about in Eph 1:13, "and you also were included in Christ..." I think this interpretation fits very well with the consistent use of past tense verbs in v29-30 - predestined, called, justified, glorified. Is there any place else in the entire NT where Paul says we have been glorified, using the past tense? On the contrary, in v.17 he clearly states it as something awaiting us in the future, if we share in his sufferings. He cannot now, a few verses on, be saying that we are already glorified.

"Also, the word is actually "foreknew," and any other rendering is just trying to avoid the implications of this word taken in connection with other passages (e.g. I Peter 1:2, 20; etc)."

Not necessarily. There are other passages where an understanding of "foreknew" as referring to people God knew in ages past makes perfect sense, e.g.

"God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew." (Rom 11:2a)

the only other time in Paul's writing where the word is used.

Arminian
July 26th, 2002, 09:55 PM
Steve,


"God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew." (Rom 11:2a)

the only other time in Paul's writing where the word is used.

"His call" is theirs (11:29) and he foreknew them. Hhmmm. Paul isn't a Western philosopher, is he?

He must be Jewish.

Arminian
July 27th, 2002, 12:54 AM
1030,


alright, it still sounds good. sometimes the corporate election deal is a little hard to wrap my mind around. not the concept itself but more how it arises from scripture particualarly in certain parts romans 9. I have yet to really dive into the subject. but o well.

Corporate election isn't a doctrine or a systematic theology. It's easier and more natural to understand it in the context of who Paul's opposition were and what they were claiming.

The Western tradidition has it that Paul was opposed by Jews who also had philosophical questions, such as issues concerning individaulism and salvation. But a closer inspection (in my opinion) shows that he is discussing who God's covenant people are and how the promises to the fathers was made complete. So by knowing and identifying with God and his people, what is true of them applies to me in Christ.

Paul's oppositon actually argues that if Paul is correct, God's word has FAILED! That's not an argument concerning individual election -- it's an argument concerning the identity of God's covenant people. The Jew, btw, had no issues with people joining or leaving the elect (God's chosen people). The Jew had a bone to pick with Paul, however, concerning the identity of God's people.

.
not the concept itself but more how it arises from scripture particualarly in certain parts romans 9.

I've posted below something that I've posted before. The fonts are lost in this forum, however. I may clean it up later. There's a lot more to say concerning Romans 9, but this is a start.

The notion of "vessels" is often used to support the indiviual election theory. I think a parallel is quite probable with Rom 9 and Sirach, whether it be a direct allusion or a commonly understood tradition. And so we should take a close look at Sirach and Romans.

The Book of Sirach (The Wisdom of Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus in many Latin Vulgate mss) was written by Ben Sira (Prologue by his grandson) during a time of turmoil in the Jewish community, early in the second century B.C.

At the time the Jews in Palestine were not a free people, but were subject to "other nations" who continually fought to gain control of this strategically important territory. Palestine had been under the control of Persia for two centuries. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered the Persian empire and gained control. Upon his death his vast empire was divided among his four generals. Two of those generals, Ptolemy (Egyptian) and Seleucus
(Syrian), became rivals for control. Their dynasties contended for the land for years to come.

In 301 the Ptolemaic (Egyptian) dynasty finally prevailed and controlled Palestine. Under their control the Jews were able to maintain their religious and social independence generally, the high priest remained the spiritual leader of the covenant community, though they did continue to pay taxes to Egypt.

Meanwhile the Seleucid (Syrian) kings sought to wrest control from Egypt. Finally Antiochus III, a Seleucid, conquered the armies of Ptolemy V. The land holy to the covenant people, the Jews, became subject to Seleucid control.

Significant to Jewish identity as God's chosen people, chosen out from among the "other peoples" of the world, was the impact this foreign rule was having on the nation. This was a period of intense Hellenization, policies cultivated from the time of Alexander the Great. Issues of Greek philosophy, religion and culture was impacting considerably the religious faith and practice of the Jewish community, a people was presumably to be "set apart"
from these nations.

Ben Sira's purpose in writing his book was to demonstrate to his fellow Jews where true wisdom resided: in Jerusalem and not Athens. That is, the Jews were God's covenant people to whom had been given His Wisdom. To reinforce Jewish social and religious integrity the author gloried in the Jewish covenantal distinctiveness and separated way of life. He combined the Jewish wisdom tradition and the traditions in the Book of Moses.

The central point of Ben Sira is that Israel is God's chosen, His portion, whereas the other nations have rulers of their own.

He appointed a ruler for every nation, but Israel is the Lord's
own portion. (ch. 17)

The book is divided into three major divisions with a Prologue and Conclusion:

Grandson's Prologue
Division I (1:1-23:28)
Division II (24:1-43:33)
Division III (44:1-50:24)
Conclusion (50:25-51:30)

As I posted before, Sirach 24:1-22 is "The Praise of Wisdom," a poem which praises personified wisdom, bringing to a climax the "wisdom" poems in Sirach and transitioning into the second division. In these poems hidden wisdom is found in the Lord and is available to those who are in solidarity with His people, Israel; for it is through Israel that the Lord demonstrates and manifests His wisdom, in the covenant and Mosaic law.

This Wisdom poem has 35 lines, as it is patterned after Proverbs 8 which has 35 lines. Personified Wisdom delivers a 22-line speech. Though Wisdom holds sway over all peoples and nations she dwells in Jerusalem, having Israel, "the portion of the Lord," as her inheritance. Ben Sira then identifies Wisdom with the law. The place of God's Wisdom as established at Sinai is Jerusalem, the nation of Israel.

Stanza 1 (24:3-7) tells of Wisdom's origin and part in the creation of the world. The stanza concludes with Wisdom's quest for rest and residence. Human seeking and finding wisdom is portrayed in an inverted form, Wisdom's seeking and finding an abode:

Among all these I sought a resting place;
in whose territory should I abide? (v. 7)

Stanza 2 (24:8-12) tells of the answer to that quest. Where does Wisdom find her abode, in whom does Wisdom dwell?

Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and My
Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, "Make your
dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel make your inheritance" ... and
so I was established in Zion. Thus in the beloved city He gave
me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain. I took
root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, His
heritage. (vv. 8, 10b-12)

For Ben Sira Israel was the Lord's elect, His portion, His heritage. This is the language of collective solidarity. Israel, the corporate whole, is the Lord's portion, the abiding place of His wisdom. Therein alone is to be found His wisdom. In wisdom is found deliverance.

Stanza 3 (24:13-17) tells of Wisdom taking root in Jerusalem and flourishing like a tree. And the conclusion of the poem is Wisdom's invitation to her feast.

Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill of my fruits.
For the memory of me is sweeter than honey, and the possession
of me sweeter than the honeycomb ... Whoever obeys me will not
be put to shame, and those who work with me will not sin. (vv.
19-20, 22)

The call is to join the Lord's elect, Israel. To find wisdom is to find deliverance and rest. Wisdom, deliverance and rest is found only in solidarity with God's elect. The call of Wisdom is to join the elect body, to dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem His chosen city, the city of His inheritance.

Though Israel, Zion and Jerusalem are the dwelling place of God's Wisdom, the individual Jew must also make a choice. Will they be faithful to God's covenant? Or will they fall away from the covenant? First, their falling away from the covenant (and God's wisdom which dwells in Israel) is not God's doing:

Do not say, "It was the Lord's doing that I fell away." For He does
not do what He hates. Do not say, "It was He who led me astray."
For He has no need of the sinful. (15:11-12)

Second, the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of wisdom. The wise, those who dwell faithfully in Israel in God's wisdom, thus in covenant harmony, these are the ones who fear the Lord and hate sin:

The Lord hates all abominations; such things are not loved who
fear Him. (15:13)

Third, each has a choice to make in the midst of their present turmoil among the nations from whom they had been chosen. One can choose to remain in or fall away from Israel and the covenant wherein resides God's Wisdom:

It was He who created humankind in the beginning, and He left
them in the power of their own free choice. If you choose,
you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter
of your own free choice. He has placed before you fire and water;
stretch out your hand for whichever you choose. Before each
person is life and death, and whichever one chooses will be
given. (15:14-17)

Sira's timely message to the Jewish people is that out of all of creation the Lord has elected His portion, Israel. There His wisdom dwells for those who seek it. Deliverance is in solidarity with God's elect. The Lord has elected the people of Israel by an eternal covenant. Yet, not "every Jew" will be delivered, but "to those who repent He grants a return" (17:24). Those who remain faithful to Torah and wisdom (contained in Sirach) will be
delivered. Faithfulness to Torah is solidarity with the covenant people, the "portion of the Lord." Solidarity with all other peoples results in repayment and recompense. Those who fall away from Israel, God's elect portion, will be given what they choose.

As stated above, the Wisdom poem of chapter 24 is the transition from the Wisdom poems (Division I) to a series of admonitions for the people to observe in life among the nations (Division II). Sira admonishes by way of sections of precept, proverb and beatitude:

a. 25:1-26:27
b. 26:28-29:20
c. 29:21-33:18
d. 33:19-38:23
e. 38:24-41:13
f. 41:14-43:33

For now we will focus on section "c" (29:21-33:18). In the sub-section (32:14-33:6) we find precepts and directives identifying the fear of the Lord and the maintenance of the covenant as that for which one will never be put to shame, whereas the sinner, the fool, suffers loss.

The one who seeks God will accept His discipline, and those who
rise early to seek Him will find favor. The one who seeks the law
will be filled with it, but the hypocrite will stumble at it ...
Those who fear the Lord will form true judgments, and they will
kindle righteous deeds like a light. The sinner will find a decision
according to his liking ... Guard yourself in every act, for this is
the keeping of the commandments. (32:14-17, 23)

The one who keeps the law preserves himself, and the one who
trusts the Lord will not suffer loss. No evil will befall the one
who fears the Lord, but in trials such a one will be rescued again
and again. The wise will not hate the law ... The sensible person
will trust in the law; for such a one the law is as dependable as
a divine oracle. (32:24-33:3).

The references here to the law ("seeking" "keeping" "not hating" "trusting") are not references to doing the law in order to "enter" the covenant. The Jew was already in the covenant by having been born a Jew. Being a member of Israel was being in covenant relationship, for Israel was God's elect people. These references are to the Jew's responsibility to "maintain" that covenant relationship. The law was the center of covenant life; the law
was the wisdom of God. Fear of the Lord and wisdom maintained covenant. These are found in Israel, Jerusalem, Zion.

Ben Sira's purpose in writing his book was to demonstrate to his fellow Jews where true wisdom resided: in Jerusalem. That is, the Jews were God's covenant people to whom had been given His Wisdom. He here reinforces Jewish social and religious integrity, glorying in the Jewish distinctiveness and separated way of life.

In the sub-section (33:7-18) we find a series of pairs which interestingly merges Greek conceptuality (classification into categories of opposites) with Jewish Wisdom categories. As Sira later says: "All things come in pairs, one opposite the other, and He has made nothing incomplete" (42:24).

Why is one day more important than another, when all the
daylight in the year is from the sun? By the Lord's wisdom
they were distinguished, and He appointed the different
seasons and festivals. Some days He exalted and hallowed,
and some He made ordinary days. (7-9)

The first opposing pair is direct reference to the Jewish calender of weeks, months and festivals based on the luner year (cf. 43:6-8; 39:12; 50:6). "Exalted and hallowed" days are the "seasons and festivals" marking and celebrating the covenant at Sinai where God chose Israel from among the nations and made them a holy and set apart nation. The contrast is to the "ordinary days" of the nations, those outside the covenant of the Lord. Sira's
focus here is to direct the reader's attention to the distinction between themselves and the surrounding nations who were causing such turmoil. They can rest in their elect status as God's portion, His elect covenant people.

All human beings come from the ground, and humankind was
created out of the dust. In the fullness of His knowledge He
distinguished them and appointed their different ways. Some
He blessed and exalted and some He made holy and brought near
to Himself; but some He cursed and brought low, and turned
them out of their place. (10-12)

The second opposing pair further distinguishes the "blessed" covenant people Israel "appointed" (elected to be His special covenant people) to be His portion from among the other nations who remained outside the blessing. Israel had been "blessed" (in Abraham their father) and "exalted" (chosen as His portion) and "made holy" (set apart from the other nations) and "brought near" (through their exclusive priesthood) to the Lord.

But the opposite to this is His cursing of the other nations. In His exaltation of Israel the other nations outside the Sinai covenant are "brought low." This is not a reference to each non-Jew being cursed to an eternal damnation. Deliverance and wisdom were always available to the nations; they need only become members of Israel, the dwelling place of God's Wisdom, the exclusive source of life. Solidarity with the elect people was
deliverance. Sira's purpose is to re-establish the integrity of the elect nation, Israel, in the minds of his troubled readers.

Like clay in the hand of the potter, to be molded as He pleases,
so all are in the hand of their Maker, to be given whatever He
decides. (13)

Here we see the work of the electing Lord as a potter, the Lord who chose Israel to be His portion out of and instead of the other nations as a potter molds clay as he pleases.

The pairs continue:

"good ... evil"
"life ... death"
"sinner ... godly"

Sira then concludes:

Look at all the works of the Most High; they come in pairs,
one the opposite the other.

The Lord's works come in pairs. Sira encourages his distraught readers that God has indeed chosen them for good, for life, to be godly. They should take comfort and remain in the Jewish covenant; they should not be swayed by the nations who rule over them, for wisdom does not dwell in their midst.

But the Jew was responsible to remain in the covenant and not fall away by his own free choice. To fall away was to accept the wisdom of the nations; but within the nations dwells only evil, death and sinners. There are "pairs" to God's works, says Sira; and there is a choice to make between following those nations and maintaining their covenant membership within Israel, the dwelling place of God's Wisdom.

Let's look at a couple sources for Ben Sira's book. It is clear that he merges the Hebrew Wisdom tradition and the Book of Moses (Pentateuch). It appears that he draws from the Prophets as well, as his grandson says he has. Take a look at this parallel from Jeremiah:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Go
down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my
message." So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw
him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the
clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into
another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel, can
I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD.
"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O
house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or
kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that
nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not
inflict on it the disaster I had planned.

And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to
be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does
not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do
for it.

Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in
Jerusalem, 'This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a
disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from
your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your
actions.' But they will reply, 'It's no use. We will continue with
our own plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his
evil heart.'"

Therefore this is what the LORD says: "Inquire among the nations:
Who has ever heard anything like this? A most horrible thing has
been done by Virgin Israel. Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish
from its rocky slopes? Do its cool waters from distant sources
ever cease to flow? Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn
incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their
ways and in the ancient paths. They made them walk in bypaths
and on roads not built up. Their land will be laid waste, an object
of lasting scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will shake
their heads. Like a wind from the east, I will scatter them before
their enemies; I will show them my back and not my face in the
day of their disaster."

They said, "Come, let's make plans against Jeremiah; for the
teaching of the law by the priest will not be lost, nor will
counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come,
let's attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything
he says." (Jer 18:1-18)

The Jews of Ben Sira's day understood all of this "preparing a disaster ... and devising a plan" against Israel and Israel being "laid waste." The understood this as having been behind them, Jeremiah's reference being to the Babylonian Captivity from which the nation had already been restored.

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Go
down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my
message." So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw
him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the
clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into
another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

In Second Temple Judaism the restored Jews, the restored house of Israel, believed that THEY were God's "other pot" which He had formed to replace the "marred" pot, those upon whom the Lord had brought disaster and captivity, those who had previously followed the "stubbornness of his evil heart."

Our interest is how the Jews understand the nature of Israel's elect status, and here how Ben Sira reflects that common understanding. The picture is of God electing a nation from among the nations, a clan from among the clans, a family from among the families. Deliverance and possession of Wisdom was not on the basis of individuals being selected as recipients. It was the corporate entity, the body, the collective whole which received the
blessings.

The individual Jew was born into the covenant but nevertheless had to "maintain" their position within the elect body by their own free choice. They could "fall away" from the elect body "by free choice." And the individual Gentile was outside this blessing on the basis of their corporate solidarity with the "other nations," but could nevertheless become a member of the elect nation by choice and thereby receive the blessings.

Now having read Paul we know that Ben Sira and Second Temple Judaism misinterpreted Jeremiah. Jeremiah says:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Go
down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my
message." So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw
him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the
clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into
another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him ...

... Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel,
can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD.
"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O
house of Israel."

The "pot He was shaping from the clay" which became "marred in His hands" was the national Israel, the covenant community established at Mount Sinai. This covenant could not make one righteous. It was weak. It was only a temporary measure until the arrival of the Seed of Abraham in whom God would bless all nation, in whom God would establish a new covenant community.

When the Lord promises to "form it into another pot" He is referring to "that day" when the Seed of Abraham arrives, and one's being a physical Israelite, a Jew, will matter nothing. For in that day all peoples of the world will be blessed with Abraham by faith. There will no longer be "Jew" and "Gentile." But there will only be one people, a new creation in Him, created for good works which the old people ("marred pot") were unable to do. The
new people ("another pot") will be enabled to do it, however, for they will have the law written upon their hearts by the Spirit of God Himself.

But is this fair? Is it a just God who would form a covenant people and then turn from them? Sure, individual Jews may fall away from Holy Israel (God's holy, set apart nation) by disobedience. But would a just God reject His people as a whole? His very own portion from the earth? Hasn't He promised to restore His people to greatness and righteousness? Has He now rejected His covenant people? If so then the very word of the Lord has failed!

These are the questions asked of Paul as he proclaimed his gospel of the arrival of "another pot" and the destruction of the "marred pot." Paul's answer is that the Jews had misread the promise to Abraham. It was to Abraham and "his Seed." Not "seeds" as if the reference is to the earthly nation of Israel (the "marred pot"). But to Jesus, His Anointed Servant who would establish the "true" Israel, the obedient nation ("another pot"), a holy
nation and chosen race as Peter describes it. The Jews had misread the promise. For, as Paul argued

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are
not all Israel who are descended from Israel; neither are they
all children because they are Abraham’s descendants.

God's word has NOT failed; the Jewish reading of that word was in error. For the promise to Abraham was not to be confused with the Sinai covenant, wherein the Jewish nation had been established. There was no longer any "boast in the flesh," that is, boast in physical descent from Abraham, Isaac or Jacob.

That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of
God, but the children of the promise are regarded as
descendants.

Of course, Paul goes to lengths in many of his books to explain who the true descendants of Abraham are: those who are, by faith, in Messiah. Paul continues his explication of the "true Israel" as contrasted to the "marred pot" and His righteousness in His choice.

... for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done
anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to
His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of
Him who calls ... Just as it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau
I hated."

God's choice of His Messianic vehicle of deliverance was a just choice. The physical Jew's complaint that God would be unjust to reject the "marred pot" (the Sinai covenant people) has no merit. God is just in His choices. He has chosen Messiah and has rejected Sinai. Sinai was only temporary. Those who abide in Sinai abide in sin, for there is no longer cover in Sinai; it is obsolete. Those who abide in God's Elect One, Messiah, abide in
the very Wisdom of God.

The Jewish response:

Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?

"If you are right, Paul," according to the Jews, "then God is unjust for finding fault in us, the Jews. For a Jew is a Jew. One cannot resist being Jewish. One cannot change the covenant which formed the Jewish nation, which was His righteous will."

On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?
The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make
me like this, will it? Or does not the potter have a right over
the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable
use, and another for common use?"

God is just in reshaping the clay from a "marred pot" into "another pot." For the molded does not answer back to the molder. The Potter has every right over the clay in His hands.

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to
make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of
wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He
might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy,
which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also
called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

The "vessels of wrath prepared for destruction" are the "nations" from whom the nation of Israel had been set apart under Sinai. He had endured until the coming of His Servant, in whom He would make known the riches of His glory. The "us" is the "other pot" composed of both Jew and Gentile together in one covenant in Messiah.

Paul's argument is that the "other pot" is God's elect people, and no longer was the "marred pot" a part of His plan. And the mystery now revealed is that this "other pot" was His plan from the foundation. Messiah, His Elect One, had been chosen from the foundation. And the "other pot" was to be composed of both Jew and Gentile. The Jewish exclusivism of the "marred pot" was no longer a part of His plan.

Paul includes a few more OT texts to support the point:

As He says also in Hosea, I will call those who were not my
people, "My people," and her who was not beloved, "Beloved."

His point is that those who had previously not been a part of the chosen, who in fact had been excluded from the commonwealth, were now included as a part of the elect. For the elect are those who abide in His Elect One. Jewish exclusivism is a thing of the past. All peoples are fellow-heirs in Messiah. Deliverance is open to all peoples. And not on the basis of their becoming members of the elect physical nation, but now on the basis of
their becoming members of the "true" Elect One, by faith.

Wisdom dwells in this new covenant people, for Messiah IS God's Wisdom. Those who join partake in God's Wisdom.

JustMe
July 27th, 2002, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by Jaltus: In the Open View, God's plans can be defeated. Romans 8:28 clearly says that all things that happen work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. That means that, according to the OV, God's plans which would benefit the believer can be thwarted by the believer themself. At the same time, this would negate 28.

Greg Boyd agrees implicitly with this statement, as he says in his book God of the Possible, pg. 153...How then does this square with Romans 8:28? It simply does not, and therefore I believe it is impossible to hold a high view of scripture and still hold to the Open View of God. Please review pg. 155, "Find Comfort in the Trials."

I think Rom. 8:28 affirms God's commitment to the believer that, regardless of whatever adverse situations are encountered in life, He will see us through it.

I think the idea that things can get pretty messed up are a reality. How many believers, including ourselves, make mistakes that mess things up for themselves, sometimes fatally?

It doesn't negate the verse, for God can adjust and maneuver "all things" to the believer's advantage.

On the one hand, we can't deny the reality that bad things do happen, which seem to have no purpose in the mind of God; on the other hand, God is wise enough to bring good, if not out of it, in spite of it.

Arminian
July 27th, 2002, 04:29 AM
Corporate election:

As He says also in Hosea, I will call those who were not my
people, "My people," and her who was not beloved, "Beloved."

1013
July 27th, 2002, 07:01 PM
hello Jake, thanks for the info but I do believe I saw it before and it was pretty interesting. two things though, it is pretty long, and I don't really mind that (avmetro posted a huge commentary and that was way too long which I thought was excessive) but the forum now has a rule about that. (though I'm sure I can't catch all such posts in the future-wink wink, nudge nudge :D ) the other thing though is that it's other stuff in romans 9 that seems a little difficult to understand with the "new view of Paul and Romans" and the corporate view with a couple other versus other than pots and vessels. but lets not get to far off track.

I usually don't say much about staying on topic as I myself indulge in getting off topic but I'd like this thread to remain about Jaltus' question, though if he doesn't mind, then so be it. If the topic starter doesn't mind getting a bit off topic then I think it should be fine to wander off a bit, or a lot, but if the topic starter doesn't want any of that, I would support him in that.

In light of post length though, I would like to recommend to knight that he let you write an article for the front page of tol critically examining Romans 9-11 and explaining corporate election. You could give us a thorough run-through and length will not be an issue.

perhaps I could send you some of the questions I've had about the issue and you could write some of the article with that in mind.

Jaltus


I was hoping you would post here. You are one of the few OVers it is worth debating, IMNSHO...Good objections! Keep them coming!


Oh p'shaw! you flatter me you honey dripper. :o


Actually, that is still a problem because God cannot know which choices made by men could possibly screw Him up

Ah! but you err here sir. In the open view, it is not that God does not know which choices will mess up his plans but rather he does not know which choices will be made. In a picture that Boyd calls neo molinism, God knows all of the possible choices. He knows that there are many truly possible choices open at certain given moments and there is no fact of the matter about which choice will be made. that does not mean that there is no fact of the matter of the consequences of those choices.


There is a world of difference between expecting things to go your way and then being surprised by the outcome... (at least He would not exhaustively know since God can and is wrong in the OV)

I never see God being surprised in the consequences of choices (unless those consequences are choices themselves). But it is the choices themselves that he is surprised or disappointed in. As an aside, interestingly, though of course I believe in a sin nature, and though we emphasize so strongly how natural it is for man to sin, ironically, it seems that God is never surprised when people respond in the right way towards him. He is surprised though occasionally at horrendous sin.

A classic examples is Jerimaiah 3:7 (there’s a better example where a specific horrendous sin is mentioned, child sacrifice, but I couldn’t find it.)

Yet even after she had done all that, I thought that she would come back to me. But she did not. Her sister, unfaithful Judah, saw what she did.

Now we openness folks believe that God believed that Israel would return to him but he still new that it was possible that they wouldn’t. He expected them to return but he knew the consequences if they shouldn’t. So in the open view, God not only knows all the possibilities, he has hopes for certain possibilities. So his knowledge is never wrong and in that sense God is never wrong. But his hopes for some issues may not come to pass. But that does not mean that he did not have a plan for such an event. God banished Israel to Babylon and Israel benefited from that spiritually. But I’m sure he was hoping that he would not have to do so.

Arminian
July 27th, 2002, 07:08 PM
1030,


In light of post length though, I would like to recommend to knight that he let you write an article for the front page of tol critically examining Romans 9-11 and explaining corporate election.

Sounds like a lot of work.

But the concept is very simple. Paul is arguing for the identity of God's covenant people. He isn't discussing which unsaved individuals are the elect. To a Jew, only people that are presently covenant memebers are part of the elect, so, by definition, unbelievers can't be elect.

That is why Paul discusses the topic of election along with circumcision. If the Jews and Paul were concerned with which unsaved individuals are elect, circumcision would not be an issue. But it is an issue because Paul is discussing the identity of the elect, which, by definition, is a reference to God's people who ARE covenant members.

Who are God's covenant people? If not the Jews, hasn't God's word failed? If God's covenant people are national Israel, then anyone who wants to be a member of the elect needs to be circumcised. How about the promises God made to Abraham and his flesh? And so the argument goes..........

1013
July 27th, 2002, 07:25 PM
but nevertheless, fun fun fun!

Arminian
July 27th, 2002, 07:30 PM
I just added to my previous post. Sorry.

Jaltus
July 27th, 2002, 10:54 PM
I'll get back to this thread ASAP, but probably not until Tuesday.

Yxboom
July 29th, 2002, 09:49 PM
whew <huff><huff> <ac-hoo>

geralduk
July 31st, 2002, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by Jerry Shugart
Is the Christian dealing with a LIVING GOD,or they only dealing with the iron decree of fate?

If everything in the future of the Christian were already written in stone,why would he tell us to make our requests be known to Him in prayer?

There is a prayer that we might consider.The Lord Himself came down to earth to be crucified on Calvary,but listen to His prayer to the Father on the very eve of Calvary:

"O My Father,if it be possible,let this cup pass from Me"(Mt.16:39).

With the Lord Jesus the necessity to drink it arose from no stern and irrevocable edict of the past,but from the sovereign will of a present living God.And the Father,even then,would answer His prayer if redemption could be won at any price less terrible and costly.

Yet there are those who would rebuke a Christian mother for praying that the Lord would save the children He has given her.

They would say,Why are you praying.Don´t you know that all things are already fated to occur just as it has already been determined by God?

If the doctrine that all things are already predetermined to happen become a limitiation on His power to bless and save,then that doctrine denegrates into a denial of the very truth on which it rests--the sovereignty of the Almighty God.

In His grace,--Jerry

He was not praying that the will of God be not done but that it MIGHT BE DONE!
He was DYING in the garden when according to the scriptures He was to die on a cross on the day of atonement(the next day) the lamb of God who was to take away the sins of the world.
So He prayed that the cup of death would pass from Him that night.
and "in that He feared He was heard" and angles came and ministered unto Him and strengthed Him.
He prayed according to the WILL of God.
For He KNEW the will of God from the SCRIPTURES(see His dealing with PETER)
The PRIMARY means by which God has CHOSEN for His WILL to be done and the kingdom of God to be brought into mainifestation is by PRAYER.
There was NO other way than that which was written for Him to die.
and it took such EFFORT and agonizing prayer that He sweat drops of blood.
So that He would not fall into tempation.
Remember that He told the diciples to pray lest they fall into tempation for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
In the flesh He would have died under the pressure of the hour which had come and the WEIGHT of sin that was pressing on Him.
But He prayed the disiples slept.
When the trial came He was ready and STRONG and able to stand.

As to the rest according to your faith let be unto you.
ALL things ARE possible to him that believeth.

Jaltus
July 31st, 2002, 01:25 PM
Ok, make that Thursday. I've been sick and have class tonighht, sorry.

1013
July 31st, 2002, 05:00 PM
no no. by not answering today you implicitely make me the winner. I win! hurray for me! that will teach you! Ha!

I'm sorry to take advantage of your illness like this but if it makes me win, which it does, How can you blame me?

Yxboom
July 31st, 2002, 05:03 PM
All opportunities to respond are hereby forfeit and you have voluntarily relinquished any and all further praises for a good response. ;)

Arminian
July 31st, 2002, 05:50 PM
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys crack me up.

1013
July 31st, 2002, 07:41 PM
you sir have an excellent avatar!

Yxboom
August 1st, 2002, 01:07 AM
To which I must agree. :)

Arminian
August 1st, 2002, 02:46 AM
So it looks like Jaltus doesn't have a leg to stand on. He has been defeeted.

Yxboom
August 1st, 2002, 05:44 AM
To which I must agree. :)

Jaltus
August 1st, 2002, 04:23 PM
Arminian and 1013,

Not ready to handle the "corporate election" stuff yet, give me some time to read and think (I have never really thought about this before). I am uncertain as to where I stand.

1013,

Ah! but you err here sir. In the open view, it is not that God does not know which choices will mess up his plans but rather he does not know which choices will be made. In a picture that Boyd calls neo molinism, God knows all of the possible choices. He knows that there are many truly possible choices open at certain given moments and there is no fact of the matter about which choice will be made. that does not mean that there is no fact of the matter of the consequences of those choices.
That is only if you assume the modified Molinist position, which only Boyd holds to (none of the other major OV proponents do, and David Basinger even attacks Molinism). Should we go down the Molinist road, or stick to general OV?

The modified Molinist position is basically the "Grandmaster Chess player" defense of the OV. God is the "omnicompentent responder" (taken from an essay by Sanders in the ETS book "Looking into the Future" edited by David Baker), knowing how to best respond to any situation. The problem is, however, that even the most competent person can get backed into a wall from time to time as bad things continually mount up. The question is, what does God do then?

I never see God being surprised in the consequences of choices (unless those consequences are choices themselves). But it is the choices themselves that he is surprised or disappointed in. As an aside, interestingly, though of course I believe in a sin nature, and though we emphasize so strongly how natural it is for man to sin, ironically, it seems that God is never surprised when people respond in the right way towards him. He is surprised though occasionally at horrendous sin.
Of course, even we are surprised at horrendous sin, and I would guess that mankind is much more cynical than God. Hmm, can God be cynical? Nevermind.

Now we openness folks believe that God believed that Israel would return to him but he still new that it was possible that they wouldn’t. He expected them to return but he knew the consequences if they shouldn’t. So in the open view, God not only knows all the possibilities, he has hopes for certain possibilities. So his knowledge is never wrong and in that sense God is never wrong. But his hopes for some issues may not come to pass. But that does not mean that he did not have a plan for such an event. God banished Israel to Babylon and Israel benefited from that spiritually. But I’m sure he was hoping that he would not have to do so. This seems to contradict most OVers, in that they affirm that God can actually be wrong. The verse you mention is one of the instances when God was wrong, according to (at least) Sanders. Can God be wrong (e.g. hold a false belief) or not?

ASIDE, but relevant to Romans 8
Here is a real humdinger of a question: If all things work together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose, then how can anyone lose salvation? Up until they lose salvation, God has to be working in their best interests. Wouldn't losing salvation be against their best interest? This seems a valid question for both Arminians and OVers. I need to think about this one a bit.
END ASIDE

Oh, I am going out of town tomorrow (yet another wedding) and will get back on Saturday or Sunday. I am not sure when I will post after that (maybe Monday or Tuesday). I have a busy summer, hehe.

Arminian
August 1st, 2002, 04:30 PM
Jaltus,


Not ready to handle the "corporate election" stuff yet, give me some time to read and think (I have never really thought about this before). I am uncertain as to where I stand.

Not a problem! I'm just throwing it out for people to think about.

I'm more of a New Perspective person, so I start from a totally different place.

Arminian
August 1st, 2002, 04:34 PM
Here is a real humdinger of a question: If all things work together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose, then how can anyone lose salvation? Up until they lose salvation, God has to be working in their best interests.

I guess it would be a problem for me if it said "those who WILL [in the future] love him" or "those who HAVE [once] loved him." But it only mentions those who already DO love him. I DO believe that "all things" (meaning suffering, too) work for the good of those who DO love him. That's why we should embrace "suffering."

Jaltus
August 1st, 2002, 05:05 PM
But how do you love Him now, and not in a few minutes, and yet still have that be the best thing for you? Or are you saying that Romans 8:28 is a promise only for those who perservere?

Arminian
August 1st, 2002, 06:08 PM
Jaltus,


Or are you saying that Romans 8:28 is a promise only for those who perservere?

It's a promise to those who love him.....to those who "wait."


But how do you love Him now, and not in a few minutes, and yet still have that be the best thing for you?

That goes back to my first post on this issue. Paul's audience is suffering. How can this be if they are God's people? The answer is that if they suffer they will be glorified, so this is how suffering works to their good.

The point is that the verse isn't meant to give meaning to everything that happens or explain why ANYTHING happens. The verse doesn't explain why the pastor's pants split while he was on stage, or why little Joey forgot his line in the school play. The verse explains that suffering works to our good because if we suffer we will be "glorified with Christ," who has made us "more than conquerors." In the meantime, we "groan inwardly" and the "Spirit help us in our weakness" as we "suffer."

In other words, Paul is making pastoral comments, not philosophical ones. "For in this hope we are saved....But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently."

We already know that good things work together for our good, but what about suffering? Paul aswers that question -- it leads to glorification, and that's GOOD! Therefore, all things work together for our good.

What about those who no longer love him? They are not glorified with Christ Jesus. And that ain't good.....

1013
August 1st, 2002, 07:46 PM
That is only if you assume the modified Molinist position, which only Boyd holds to (none of the other major OV proponents do, and David Basinger even attacks Molinism).

sure why not. However I'm not so sure that the other Open Theists are so opposed to Boyd's picture as they are to the terminology. You just cited Sanders with a sufficiently similar view.

Also, was the concept that Basinger was attacking still an issue in Boyd's picture. Open theists are opposed to molinism first and formost on the grounds that it still appears to programed to the point that it is questionable if it can retain the concept of libertarian free will. that is not the case in boyd's modification as the future remains open from the present because of Libertarian freedom.


The problem is, however, that even the most competent person can get backed into a wall from time to time as bad things continually mount up. The question is, what does God do then?

thus showing the limits of this analogy. but to make it closer to the fact, God knows every move of every possible game. God will play the Game to for the best chance of success but if there is a chance that he could get backed into a wall like you say, if it might turn into one of those situations, he makes the rules and he can bend them. He'd done such. obvious examples are miracles.


Of course, even we are surprised at horrendous sin, and I would guess that mankind is much more cynical than God. Hmm, can God be cynical? Nevermind.

yes of course. sometimes he's a real wise guy. but that point even came as a surprise to me and that an already througly indoctinated open view groupie. I can not think of a single time where God is surprised that he was obeyed. evidently it's because he expects his efforts to pay off. Of course perhaps one could argue that just as the situations of surprise to God are situations of disapointment, perhaps some situations of the opposite of disappointment, where God is delighted are also occasionally instances of surprise. but I'm not going to stick by that.


This seems to contradict most OVers, in that they affirm that God can actually be wrong. The verse you mention is one of the instances when God was wrong, according to (at least) Sanders.

where'd Sanders say that? but it isn't like this is an inappropriate way to put it. you could say that God was wrong. but in what way was he wrong? It was in that he hoped and expected for one outcome and expected that the worse outcome would not happen and all this while knowing that the worse outcomes could still come true.

I disagree that these could be called false beliefs. they were hopes based upon truth. in order for them to be false, there had to be a fact of the matter that the israelites would rebel in the way stated in the verse. Until they rebelled, there was no such fact of the matter and I am very hard pressed to call these false beliefs.

As for what Arminian has said, I think that in itself may be enough to answer your objection. but it's always good to have all bases covered.

Yxboom
August 1st, 2002, 11:21 PM
Jeremiah 19:5 and have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt offerings to Baal; which I didn't command, nor spoke it, neither came it into my mind:

Jeremiah 32:35 They built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech; which I didn't command them, neither did it come into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jaltus
August 2nd, 2002, 10:50 AM
Yxboom,

In both of those verses, the "it" referred to is God's command.

"...neither did (commanding it) come into my mind..."

1013,

He said it at the ETS conference in his plenary address. I'll see if I can find it documented (I just got his book on Wednesday, but have only read the intro) in either his book or an article.

I am not sure how other OVers see Boyd's modified Molinist position. The rest of them seem more radical than he is. After all, he is just one word away from being an Arminian (if he changed "might" to "would").
that is not the case in boyd's modification as the future remains open from the present because of Libertarian freedom.
Hmm, note the from the present. I would argue that Arminianism in general would argue that the future is open with respect to the present, we just think that God already knows what future free actions we will take, but we do not place God into our time by necessity.

I think my biggest problem with the OV is that it unnecessarily limits God. I need to think about that some more.

Arminian,

Are you arguing that in Romans 8:28, "all things" refers only to suffering?!? Please show how one can, from the context, arrive at such a conclusion. I really do not think it is warranted.

Yxboom
August 2nd, 2002, 11:42 AM
In both of those verses, the "it" referred to is God's command.

Exactly. What did you think I thought "it" meant? :confused:

1013
August 2nd, 2002, 02:42 PM
I would argue that Arminianism in general would argue that the future is open with respect to the present, we just think that God already knows what future free actions we will take

well, open in an epistemic sense for creatures. Not in a metaphysical sense for all who grasp reality as it truly is.


I think my biggest problem with the OV is that it unnecessarily limits God. I need to think about that some more.

no matter how God creates the world, he will logically be limited according to the fact of the matter of how that world is. For example, If He created a world in which all creatures did precisely as he dictated, His soverignty would not be limited as it is in arminianism, but he could not have creatures choose him of their own volition without him giving up that soverignty.

Yxboom
August 2nd, 2002, 03:36 PM
I think my biggest problem with the OV is that it unnecessarily limits God. I need to think about that some more.
In all sincerity as 1013 stated no matter how God created He would be limited. The purpose of the OV is to understand through Biblical evidence why God has created thus and limiting Himself the way He has. We would agree that God can not lie therefore He is limited in that respect but we search Scripture to better understand why He can not. God is not imperfect by this inabliy or limitation just as the OV contends that God is not any less perfect in His inability to exhaustively foreknow the future. When we understand the purpose to why He would limit Himself in this manner, understand why the limitation exists. It is not one of weakness or impotence or even ignorance. Just as 1013 said

If He created a world in which all creatures did precisely as he dictated, His soverignty would not be limited as it is in arminianism, but he could not have creatures choose him of their own volition without him giving up that soverignty.
It is the utmost of importance to realize the OV states this limitation upon God's foreknowledge rests on man's liberty and freely reciprocating love. It matters more to God to recieve genuine love than to have complete control. Maybe this offers some insight. Peace. :)

Arminian
August 2nd, 2002, 05:42 PM
Hi Jaltus,


Are you arguing that in Romans 8:28, "all things" refers only to suffering?!?

Yes, in that Paul seeks to anwer how suffering can be good.


Please show how one can, from the context, arrive at such a conclusion. I really do not think it is warranted.

Really? What are the verses just before and after the verse about (starting at verse 17)? Are they philosophical reflections on metaphysics, or are they about suffering and glorification? Then, if you say that the verses are about suffering and glorification, do they say God CAUSES the suffering, or that the Spirit ASSISTS us as we suffer? How do these things work for our good?

If you say that the Spirit assists us as we suffer, then you understand how all things work to the good of those who "love him, who "wait," and who "suffer so that we might be glorified with Christ." They are all the same. Suffering leads to glorification.

I included quotes from the surrounding text in my last post. Let me know if I need to explain myself.

Later,

Jaltus
August 5th, 2002, 01:02 PM
Arminian,

My problem is the contradiction it leads to in 8:32, for if "all things" is limited to suffering, then God will graciously give us suffering, which seems nonsensical in context.

Yxboom,

If it is that God's command did not come into His mind, then those verses in no way support the OV over against any other viewpoint.

1013,

Not in a metaphysical sense for all who grasp reality as it truly is.
Unwarranted assumption. You are assuming that God's reality is the only reality. I do not think that is a valid understanding. Our reality is not God's, since we could never understand His reality. Therefore, ours is just as real, though more limited. you must therefore show either that our reality should be the same as God's or that our reality includes His knowledge of the future. If you cannot cover either of those, your point is moot.

Yxboom and 1013,

We all know that God is in some sense limited, at the very least by His own nature. However, I think the OV unnecessarily limits God in that it takes away His foreknowledge. No other (orthodox) system tries to trncate God in such a way, and thus I call it unnecessary limitation. Again, your reasons for doing so stem from the belief that EDF and libertarian free-will are incompatible, which is not true.

1013
August 5th, 2002, 04:34 PM
I can't argue with that Jaltus. Seriously, it makes no sense to me to speak of multiple realities. Something is either real or it isn't. We can have different perspectives on reality but it's all of the same animal. God has a total perspective on it. We have a limited one.

Perhaps I can use reality in a subjective sense but I am commited to this objective view as well.

I geuss as close as I come to making an arguement is that I don't think it makes any sense for us to speak of different facts of the matter about eternal destinies. Either the fact of the matter is heaven, or it is hell or the fact of the matter is that both heaven and hell are possible until our relationship is sufficient to exclude the possibility for one for the certainty of going to the other. But we can't have one reality where the fact of the matter for one is certainly destined for hell and another realty where that same exact person in that same exact dimension of that same exact universe has a possibility for salvation. I can't imagine how anything like that can be coherent.


However, I think the OV unnecessarily limits God in that it takes away His foreknowledge.

it doesn't take away his foreknowledge. It says that the thing he created can change such that changes in knowledge must accompany that change if that knowledge is to remain truthful.

And if you want to tie a frozen view of foreknowledge so closely to the attributes of God, you would sacrifice His freedom. To what extent you want to still insist that God is free, you still cannot have that extent to the same degree that we in openness hold it. And freedom in God is more important to power and Love than is foreknowledge.


No other (orthodox) system tries to trncate God in such a way

at one time, no system tried to limit God to power only to do what is logical, but then acquinac made his radical proposal.

Open theists seek very much to be faithful to the tradition but in that we would site that the tradition is not always faithful to the tradition. For example, before a few hundred years ago, the church pretty much universally held that infants who weren't baptized would go to hell.

At most we only chuck this view of foreknowledge. but even here we still find agreement in the tradition because our view of foreknowledge is the same as everyone's view of foreknowledge as we affirm with everyone else that God knows as much as possible as soon as possible. We agree furthermore more closely with the calvinists that God foreknows what is determined. We agree with molinists that God knows all possibilities. Ironically, it is the traditional arminians that we have the least agreement concerning foreknowledge.

also, though our view of foreknowledge has never been a significant issue in the church, it has been held by a little known Christian Scholar as early as the fourth century who was an expert on Plato by the name of Calcidius. He wasn't quite a church father but at least he wasn't declared a heretic.


Again, your reasons for doing so stem from the belief that EDF and libertarian free-will are incompatible, which is not true.

very debatable. I know you and other arminians view the nature of time as an answer but interestingly, some people that I was discussing this issue of the rejection of timelessness automatically piped up and said something like "well that would allow for free will"

I just realized recently that not only does your view of time make the future open, it also suggests an open past, and that for me is a bit too radical.

Yxboom
August 5th, 2002, 05:20 PM
I just realized recently that not only does your view of time make the future open, it also suggests an open past, and that for me is a bit too radical.
Could you shed some more light for me about this?

Arminian
August 5th, 2002, 06:00 PM
Hi Jaltus,


My problem is the contradiction it leads to in 8:32, for if "all things" is limited to suffering, then God will graciously give us suffering, which seems nonsensical in context.

I see what you're saying. But the reference in 32 appears to be to the future. "All things" there appears to be a reference to all the good things involved in salvation.

I'm not the most articulate person, so I looked at a few commentaries to see if there is a better way I could word things. Most of the commentaries I looked at came to the same exegetical conclusion as I, but many injected their inferences and then went in a different direction. I see Moo (since you mentioned him...) doing what I've described: exegesis --> inference --> conclusion. I'll stick with Paul's exegesis (and Moo's) and leave Moo's inference for anyone who wants to participate in creative writing.

Paul has said that God subjected creation to futility (or however you like to translate it) and that this works together for our (the lovers of God) good because of our groaning and/to the Spirit. The emphasis here is not on the details -- or meaning of details --of a person's life. The emphasis is on the type life itself.

I'll post more later, with a few examples of what the commentaries say. A few examples from the commentaries of good exegesis and pitfalls of inference and false choices should be helpful.

Again, make me explain if I'm not clear. I appreciate your help.

Later,

1013
August 5th, 2002, 07:18 PM
[quote]Could you shed some more light for me about this?[quote]

Jaltus doesn't like the traditional view of timelessness nor the view of God as a presentist being.

I could be slightly misrepresenting him here but God is said to be dynamic but outside of the whole of time all of which exists. Not only can God change the future of this time line but he can also change the past, or so I think Jaltus has told me.

but if God can change the past, then the past is open, not that we can percieve that.

Arminian
August 6th, 2002, 03:11 AM
Jaltus,

I'll have to shorten what I was going to post. I couldn't get on TO for several hours, so now I'm behind schedule.

Here's what Cranfield has to say:

"Paul's meaning is that all things, even those which seem most adverse and hurtful, such as persecution and death itself, are profitable to those who truly love God. But not every sort of profit is meant. So the expression has to be made more precise. Hence the addition of 'for their ture good'. Paul does not mean that all things serve the comfort or convenience or worldly interests of believers: it is obvious that they do not. What he means is that they assist our salvation."

Cranfield is saying the same thing as I: that suffering leads to salvation.

Now that the exegesis is done, Cranfield goes on the make an inference: "But the reason why all things thus assist believers is, of course, that God is in control of all things."

This is that typical pattern of which I spoke. Exegesis is performed and we discover what Paul said and meant, and then an inference is made and we are told what he REALLY meant but FORGOT to say!

What Paul said that that God subjected creation to futility, and that's how he affected the world so that it could be saved. Cranfield agrees, but then insinuates that God controls every situation. So Cranfield and I agree what Paul meant, but Cranfield's sensus plenior is SUPERIOR Paul's meaning.

Now let's watch Moo agree with me about what Paul is saying that then watch Moo go wild with his own inferences:

"In this context, "all things" are particularly the "sufferings of the present time" (v.18; cf. vv. 35-37), but the scope should probably not be restricted."

OK, he agrees with me, but he doesn't want to restrict what was said, so let's see where he goes with it:

"Anything that is a part of life -- even our sins -- can, by God's grace, contribute toward 'good' (Haldane; Cranfield)." (For your notes, Cranfield did not say anything about God causing sin, so Moo must refer to him for another reason)

Wow, is he actually saying that our sins are by God's "grace"?! The statement appears ambiguous, because "can" may mean to him that God "could" use sin -- which he is not the cause of -- and turn it to good. That kind of comment wouldn't even conflict with Arminianism. But here is what Moo means by his comment:

"Rather, it is the sovereign guidance of God that is presumed as the undergirding and directing force behind all the events of life."

There it is! Even though Moo agrees with my exegesis regarding what Paul IS ACTUALLY saying, Moo believes his sensus plenior is superior to what Paul is actually saying! Therefore, he is saying that God CAUSES SIN in CHRISTIANS to aid in their salvation! Unbelievable!

Arminian
August 6th, 2002, 03:37 AM
Moving on to better comments, Dunn (a "New Perspective" determinist), under the influence of Sanders, makes the following observation concerning the corporate identity in Jewish thinking:
""Those who love God" is a characteristic of self-designation of Jewish piety (a full listing in Cranfield, 424 n.4) usually following the typically deuteronomistic style, "those who love God and keep his commandments" (Exod 20:6; Deut 5:10; 6:5; 7:9; ect.; Josh 22:5; .....1Qh 16:13).

Then...:

"In the context here, where Paul has in view the eschatological climax which God has purposed for "all things," the agothon will have an eschatological reference (cf. 14:16): the Christian is not dependent on the Micawberish hope that something will "turn up"; his confidence rests rather on the outworking of God's purpose through all the contradiction and frustration of the present to its intended end."

Now that makes sense!

Jaltus
August 21st, 2002, 09:56 AM
BUMP


I'm still working on this one.

GrayPilgrim
August 21st, 2002, 01:50 PM
I've been away for a while (moved from the Chicago area) and don't have internet access at home right now so I just dropping in for a little bit.

But I remember liking Dunn on Colossians but I haven't spent much time with his Romans commentary though I know its gotten some bad press.

I just thought I would give you guys a little balance for old times sake. While yes suffering is encompassed in all things I wonder if that is too small of a circle. For the most part on this I agree with what Jaltus has heretofore written, but I would say that while God is not the author of evil, he would be the most compassioante non-potentate if he could not turn evil situations around for good. he groans as creation does so see the revealing of the Sons of God, but that does not relegate his actions to a sideliner as a cheerleader as 1013 argued for.

Well I just could not resist sticking my nose in here to your discussion but I will immediately pull it out again. :angel:

Hope all are well,
GP

Arminian
August 21st, 2002, 06:33 PM
Gray,


I just thought I would give you guys a little balance for old times sake. While yes suffering is encompassed in all things I wonder if that is too small of a circle. For the most part on this I agree with what Jaltus has heretofore written, but I would say that while God is not the author of evil, he would be the most compassioante non-potentate if he could not turn evil situations around for good. he groans as creation does so see the revealing of the Sons of God, but that does not relegate his actions to a sideliner as a cheerleader as 1013 argued for.

We'll probably get more opposing thoughts. For now, I still think that God subjected the whole of creation to futulity, and that's how all things work together for the good of those who love God. That sounds strange unless you understand that Paul had just said that suffering leads to glorification (8:17).

He didn't say that everything has it own good or its own glory. It seems that there's only one "good" being spoken of in that entire section.

1013
August 21st, 2002, 09:55 PM
but that does not relegate his actions to a sideliner as a cheerleader as 1013 argued for.

eh? how'd I argue that? my arguement was that God is resourceful to use all things even if he didn't intend those things to happen. Calling him a sideliner is an understatement.

I'm goin outta town for a couple of days. smell ya all later.

Jaltus
August 22nd, 2002, 07:59 AM
Be safe, 1013.

Arminian
August 23rd, 2002, 09:03 PM
smell ya all later.

That didn't make scents.

geoff
August 24th, 2002, 05:05 AM
Now you're all in trouble....


28 .... who have been called according to his purpose.
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Why has no one explained this away yet? SteveT and someone else have offered retranslations to prove their points, but no one has actually dealt with it.

Put your theological/philosophical bents aside for a moment... blank your mind and read it... read it out loud with your eyes closed...

THOSE God foreknew (yes it says He FORE knew them - them = persons) - are who? Those called according to His purpose....

What happens? They are PREDESTINED to be saved (conformed to the nature of His Son, if thats not salvic, nothing is).

predestined=called=justified=glorified.

Jaltus is right, you can NOT hold this passage as authoritive and be OV. You have to explain it away, change its meaning, retranslate it, or find means to make it non authoritive (which puts you in the neo-orthodox mold if I remember correctly).

Why not actually deal with the passage... I find it hard to believe its such a mysterious passage that there could be that much doubt in what it means... this discussion waffled off and clouded the issue... (which is fairly normal for this place)

I look forward to seeing how someone OV deals with this whilst being honest... I dont think it can be done.

Arminian
August 24th, 2002, 04:29 PM
geoff,


Why not actually deal with the passage... I find it hard to believe its such a mysterious passage that there could be that much doubt in what it means... this discussion waffled off and clouded the issue... (which is fairly normal for this place)

I'm not OV, but I've delt with the verse time and again. In fact, I addressed it here. And, my position is often the one presented by New Perspective theologians. Since you are somewhat of a NP theologain yourself, you might appreciate it.

The postion is neither Calvinistic nor Arminian. It isn't philosophical at all. It comes more from the Biblical Theology approach. The interpretation neither contradicts nor supports OV. But OV'ers would almost always like it.


Jaltus is right, you can NOT hold this passage as authoritive and be OV. You have to explain it away, change its meaning, retranslate it, or find means to make it non authoritive (which puts you in the neo-orthodox mold if I remember correctly).

Not really. The question involves the identity of "those" being spoken of. It all involves the "promises."

geoff
August 25th, 2002, 06:47 PM
Arminian,

Aye, I like NP, although I tend to more the Westerholmian view, which is modified Lutheran.. ie, take the 'truth' from the Np, and the 'truth' from the Lutheran view, and you have a more balanced understanding... my opinion anyway

Who is 'those' (them.. whatever)...
Isnt it clear? They are the ones who are called, justified, sanctified and conformed to the nature of the Son - thats what Paul says to me.. if I put all other thoughts aside, thats what I come up with..

Lets see, 'they' are those who He FOREKNEW... therefore 'they' are those who He PREDESTINED to be conformed to the nature of the Son, and therefore, (because this is what it means to be conformed to the nature of the sun), 'they' are called, justified, and glorified.

It doesnt get any simpler by my reckoning.

Nice to see ya btw :)

Arminian
August 26th, 2002, 02:53 AM
Howdy geoff,


Who is 'those' (them.. whatever)...
Isnt it clear? They are the ones who are called, justified, sanctified and conformed to the nature of the Son - thats what Paul says to me.. if I put all other thoughts aside, thats what I come up with..

Lets see, 'they' are those who He FOREKNEW... therefore 'they' are those who He PREDESTINED to be conformed to the nature of the Son, and therefore, (because this is what it means to be conformed to the nature of the sun), 'they' are called, justified, and glorified.


Paul isn't speaking with Western individualism in mind; he's refuting his opposition's claim that they are God's chosen people.

According to Paul's opposition, they were God's chosen people according to the promises made to Abraham and his descendants ("flesh"). They were, then, a foreknown, predestined, called and glorified people. They argue that if Paul is correct, God's word has failed. Paul's response is that the children of the promise are not Abraham's flesh (those who "boast in the [Abraham's] flesh), but instead those who have faith. Therefore, God's chosen, predestined and called people are those in Christ, not those of the flesh of Abraham.

According to Paul, the promise was made to Abraham and his Seed, not seeds (Gal 3:16). The promise did not go to the Jews, but to one person, Jesus Christ. We partake of that election through faith. "All the nations will be blessed through you." (3:10).

According to Jewish tradition, an outsider can join the elect, predestined people by entering into the covenant with God. Paul's belief is no different.

So Paul's argument is that "those who love God" are God's people. By implication the opposing Jews do not love God. The Jews are not a called and chosen people. The calling is theirs (Romans 11:29), but it is in Christ (a people in Christ), and they are not in him apart from faith..

Good to see you, too. It's been a while.

geoff
August 26th, 2002, 03:30 AM
Arminian,

It seems to me that doesnt change the understanding of the verse at all.
It in fact confirms it. So, I dont really understand what problem you have with it.

:)

Arminian
August 26th, 2002, 01:44 PM
geoff,


It seems to me that doesnt change the understanding of the verse at all.
It in fact confirms it. So, I dont really understand what problem you have with it

I don't think that you believed a predesinted people were a people that anyone could join or leave. That, however, was what the Jews believed they were. But Paul uses his arguemnt to "steal" (if you will) their election from them by making Christ the Chosen One, and not Israel.

So if you thought the same thing as I, you can see how it doesn't conflict with OV, per se.

geoff
August 26th, 2002, 04:37 PM
Yo,

I think Paul is correcting their view that they are the 'remnant' actually, there is only one who is truly Israel, Christ. He is the faithful remnant, but it amounts to the same thing in reality.

I dont think I thought the same as you, I think you restated what I said in a circular way, in order that it wouldnt conflict with your understanding. When in actual fact, your restatement doesnt change it at all, because you basically resaid what I said, and that still leaves the OV devastated.

You said that 'they' were God's chosen people, predestined, conformed to the nature of the Son, called, justified and glorified. Except, with an assertion you indicate that 'they' are not individuals, but a 'group'. Were that the case, the OV can rest easy, and so can arminianism. It is a point of agreement between them. However, it is not the case. "They" are called, and God calls people by name, individually, as Individuals - into His family. I dont see how you can escape from that....

Arminian
August 26th, 2002, 05:42 PM
geoff,


You said that 'they' were God's chosen people, predestined, conformed to the nature of the Son, called, justified and glorified. Except, with an assertion you indicate that 'they' are not individuals, but a 'group'. Were that the case, the OV can rest easy, and so can arminianism. It is a point of agreement between them.

Arminianism doesn't need my explanation. They have their own. However, considering that Paul believes that Abraham and circumcision are an issue involving election, I'm quite certain my case has been made.


However, it is not the case. "They" are called, and God calls people by name, individually, as Individuals - into His family. I dont see how you can escape from that....

"Called" has many different uses, depending on the context. Here, however, Paul isn't arguing with a bunch of Greek philosophers concerning metaphysics. He's arguing with Jews concerning who God's people are. They believed that God called Israel to be set apart from the nations. That's why they argue that they must be joined for a person to be justified.

The argument of Paul's opposition doesn't concern metaphysics. They argued for identity based upon their connection with Abraham as the father of God's people. Paul argues from Abraham and his Seed for the identity of God's people. Whoever that people is, they were called and predestined. Anyone who loves God is, then, a member of that people who are glorified.


When in actual fact, your restatement doesnt change it at all, because you basically resaid what I said, and that still leaves the OV devastated.

The only way OV would be devastated is if they thought that God couldn't possibly have in mind that his promise to Abraham and his Seed couldn't possible be fulfilled through Christ (actully, even that wouldn't harm their argument). However, Paul's argument is that that was God's plan all along. The promise of was never to the "seeds"; it was only to the Seed, meaning One Person. If the promise was to one person, then those who are "in Him" partake of that promise.


I think Paul is correcting their view that they are the 'remnant' actually, there is only one who is truly Israel, Christ. He is the faithful remnant, but it amounts to the same thing in reality.

Dude, that was a terrific observation!!

Arminian
August 26th, 2002, 06:02 PM
geoff,

I thought of a better example. Notice that the Jewish argument is that election involves doing something to your Gentile penis.:rolleyes: This involves joining the chosen, called and predestined people. According to the Jews, they were called according to God's purpose. To be a Jew was to be circumcised, because the promise was to Abraham and his seeds, was it not?!

NOT!

geoff
August 26th, 2002, 07:09 PM
Arminian,

I agree, I dont see a problem with that at all, but I also dont see how it makes the understanding compatible with OV.

The problem is that God foreknows, calls, justifies, and glorifies individuals. Thats incompatible with the OV, in fact, its opposed to it.

geoff
August 26th, 2002, 07:18 PM
The only way OV would be devastated is if they thought that God couldn't possibly have in mind that his promise to Abraham and his Seed couldn't possible be fulfilled through Christ (actully, even that wouldn't harm their argument).

The OV problem isnt this though dude, the problem is the determination the verse offers. Believers/unbelievers are foreknown (unbelievers by default), and predestined to be conformed to the nature of the Son (justified and glorified).
Thats what is the problem for the OV (and to some extent Arminianism).

I have no real problem with what you're saying, except that it in no way changes this understanding. Paul certainly is dealing with a problem with their understanding of election (Dunn's nationalism problem perhaps?) - His answer is to say that its not by birthrite (as Jesus does in John 8:30-59) - but by the grace of God, for those He foreknew (would be saved) - are conformed to the nature of His Son (it is effective), that is, they are called, justified and glorified in the End.

Do you see what I mean?

Jaltus
August 26th, 2002, 07:29 PM
I still think the biggest struggle with this is Romans 8:28 itself.

Think about this: everything works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.

If this is true, then how can a Christian ever lose salvation? What I mean is that, Calvinist model aside, if God is not going to let the worst happen to you, how is it possible that ANYONE could lose salvation? This should ensure salvation no matter what.

The only response I can think of would be that someone could stop loving Him of their own volition, which is a freedom God would not override. However, this seems to be a shakey rejoinder at best.

Arminian, what do you think? Goeff, slap on an Arminianism hat and try critiquing from within our system. What do you think?

Arminian
August 26th, 2002, 08:22 PM
Hi geoff,


The OV problem isnt this though dude, the problem is the determination the verse offers. Believers/unbelievers are foreknown (unbelievers by default), and predestined to be conformed to the nature of the Son (justified and glorified).
Thats what is the problem for the OV (and to some extent Arminianism).

Again, the circumcision issue clearly demonstrates that Paul isn't speaking of individuals, but of a people. The issue is racial. All those who love God are, therefore, included in that people.

Replace "those who love God" with "those who observe the law" and the racial issue becomes clearer. If those who observe the law are God's justified and glorified people, then you would be wise to join them: the Jews. Then all things would work for the good of those who observe the law (8:28), for they have been called (according to the promise made to Abraham) according to his purpose (8:28). Then you would need to fulfill their rite of passage.

Once again, the issue of circumcision would not enter the conversation if individualism were in view. God could easily irresistibly ordain that a person be circumcised, so why doesn't Paul assdrees THAT?! However, if the issue involves racial identity, Paul would be required to argue that the justified and glorified people had a different identity than what the Jews argue. And so we witness Paul arguing that the children of Abraham (the elect) are those of faith (not those who do not yeat have faith).

God's gifts and his call to the Jews are irrevocable, according to Romans 11:29. The comment is meaningless if the "call" really isn't offered to them. But the comment isn't meaningless because the call and election is theirs, but in is in the Christ whom they reject. That Christ defines the new chosen people.

1013
August 26th, 2002, 08:25 PM
So Jaltus, do you still see that verse as problematic for the open view especially or for arminianism in general (arminians that don't hold to OSAS)?

Arminian
August 26th, 2002, 09:08 PM
Jaltus,


The only response I can think of would be that someone could stop loving Him of their own volition, which is a freedom God would not override. However, this seems to be a shakey rejoinder at best.

No, I think that your solution is totally Biblical. I think you're beening too philosophical, so you're doubting your solution. It's important to think what a Jew would mean by such a comment, so we would have to look at the OT to understand. If you remember, I provided a quote from Dunn a week or so ago on this topic. I'll go get his full list and Cranfield's and then post my comments. "Those who love God" doesn't mean "those who love God ONCE," as even the Greek suggests.

Arminian
August 27th, 2002, 12:26 AM
1030,

I haven't forgotten the promise I made to you regarding Romans 12 and also Ephesians 2. I had hoped to work on it today. Unless you are really in need of a response, I'd like to respond to what Jaltus said first. Either way, I won't have any more time until tomorrow.

geoff
August 27th, 2002, 04:28 AM
Jaltus,

I would have to say that voluntarily giving up salvation could be an option...

I think the verse is fairly difficult for arminians, and OV'ers alike... which is one reason I cant get in to the system, lol, my mind just rejects it.

arminian:

Again, the circumcision issue clearly demonstrates that Paul isn't speaking of individuals, but of a people.

I dont know that you can actually prove this, you certainly havent to me... the main reason being that any group is made up of individuals. Individuals are circumcised, individuals are called - you cant escape it. Again, I agree, Paul is talking about a group, but the group isnt a nameless multitude, each one is called by name.

1013
August 27th, 2002, 11:41 AM
I'm in no hurry arminian

1013
August 27th, 2002, 11:44 AM
hey geoff, we americans won world war II. We did it.

Arminian
August 27th, 2002, 01:02 PM
geoff,


dont know that you can actually prove this, you certainly havent to me... the main reason being that any group is made up of individuals. Individuals are circumcised, individuals are called - you cant escape it.

Yes, that's how they enter and become members of God's chosen people.

Arminian
August 27th, 2002, 01:03 PM
Cranfield is hiding. The search continues......

Later,

Jaltus
August 27th, 2002, 01:20 PM
I think my rejoinder may be enough, but I want to look into it more. however, I think 28-30 give OV a tough time since there is the concept of foreknowing who will be saved (an essential point against the OV). My concept may get the OV past 28, but not 29-30.

Jake,

I am not a big Dunn fan. He tends to write theology instead of exegesis. Cranfield is supposed to be very good, but I do not have the $90 for him yet.

Arminian
August 27th, 2002, 04:36 PM
Hi Jaltus,


I am not a big Dunn fan. He tends to write theology instead of exegesis. Cranfield is supposed to be very good, but I do not have the $90 for him yet.

I'm not a fan of either, though I do have a respect for both for different reasons. The list I'm looking for (not the explanation)may be in Cranfield's shorter commentary ($12, which is in my car), but I know it's in the longer one. I'll find out later. Otherwise I'll just use a concordance and skip the other ancient Jewish writings.

My point, however, was the same as Dunn's concerning Jewish peity. Those who love God are those who obey him. The idea isn't that they obeyed him ONCE in the past. OF course, my point has been made, so the list is just supporting data.

So, God's predestined (according to the promise made to Abraham) people are the Jews, according to Paul's oppostion. The election and calling is theirs (notice the Paul agrees!), but it is in the Elect One, according to Paul. But his opposion argues that the predestined people (according to the promise...) are joined via circumcision. The issue doesn't involve the knowledge or predestination of individuals, or the issue of circumcision would be silly.

geoff
August 27th, 2002, 06:45 PM
1013,

No, The British did... you just helped.

We're not talking about a 'group effort' here... we are talking about the individual soldiers who join the army. They are either drafted, or voluntary, either way they are individuals. And in this case, uncle Sam foreknows them, and predestines them to become soldiers. Thus, foreknowing they will become soldiers, he calls them, trains them, and in the end, gives them a medal and a pension.

In this case, some soldiers may go AWOL (yay Jaltus), which proves they were never really soldiers in the first place, they were just 'soldier groupies' heheh.

Either way, the OV is damaged by this verse.

Arminian, The issue of circumcision isnt made silly, in fact, if Paul isnt talking about individuals AND the group, then the whole passage is insensible. YOu can not talk about any group specifically in this manner, without bringing to mind the individuals who make up the group. And yes, the Hebrew thinks wholistically... I agree... just how holistic do you think they think though? I expect you believe the human being is divisible (its off topic so I dont wanna argue about it... it only gives an idea of how we apply this wholistic thinking of the Hebrew mind when it gets in the way of our preconceptions).

Arminian
August 27th, 2002, 06:57 PM
geoff,


Arminian, The issue of circumcision isnt made silly, in fact, if Paul isnt talking about individuals AND the group, then the whole passage is insensible.

Yes, the issue of circumcision would be silly if Paul were talking about individual salvation because the penis would not play a role in God's decision before the world began. If, however, Paul is speaking corporately, then he is arguing for the identity of God's chosen people (Jews vs Christains) and the means of joining that chosen people (circumcision vs faith).


YOu can not talk about any group specifically in this manner, without bringing to mind the individuals who make up the group. And yes, the Hebrew thinks wholistically... I agree... just how holistic do you think they think though? I expect you believe the human being is divisible (its off topic so I dont wanna argue about it... it only gives an idea of how we apply this wholistic thinking of the Hebrew mind when it gets in the way of our preconceptions

On the contrary, we speak like that all the time. If I speak of the Bill of Rights being what the founding fathers ordained for the protection of Americans, I certainly don't have any specific individuals in mind. The Bill of Rights applies to whomever becomes and American, and it does not apply to someone who leaves America and becomes a citizen of another country.

Or let's say that God chose the Jews or the Scouts for salvation based upon a promise made to Abraham. Wouldn't that be a good argument for becoming a Jew or a Scout? Wouldn't the issue of HOW to become a Jew or Scout then be the focus of attention? But if the issue were of individualism, circumcision wouldn't be an issue. If God has chosen an individual to be a Jew or a Scout, who cares about his penis!!! (how many times can I say "penis" without getting in trouble??):shocked:

Arminian
August 27th, 2002, 07:00 PM
No luck with Cranfield's shorter commentary. It's either the longer one or Dunn....

1013
August 28th, 2002, 08:50 AM
No, The British did... you just helped.

I did? I'm 23 years old Geoff. I wasn't even alive. unless you meant "you" plural? that'd be alright because we did help the british.


(how many times can I say "penis" without getting in trouble??)

How many times can you put it into proper context.

Now, How many times can 1013 let arminian get away with riske posting and not get into trouble for it?

geoff
August 28th, 2002, 08:37 PM
1013,

No, not you, America the nation, made up of individuals, sent their army, a group made up of individuals, to help the british, a nation made up of individuals. Americans died in WWII, does that mean ALL Americans died in WWII? No. It means INDIVIDUALS died. This is a stupid line of argument because it doesnt prove anything, any more than the claim that Paul is soley talking about a group can not be proved.

It is illogical to make that distinction. A group can not be differentiated from those individuals who make it up.

If I say, JW's came to my door. Do I mean that ALL JW's came to my door? No, I mean those specific individuals who are JW's who came to my door. There was 5 of them, so there was a group, and they were individuals. Capeche?

Arminian
August 29th, 2002, 02:29 AM
All I can say is that if election of individuals instead of a race and a people is involved, saying that the promise was to the "Seed" and not to the "seeds" is a horrible way to make the point!!

Also, reinforcing the argument by saying that only those who DO have faith are the children of Abraham and heirs to the promise blows the individualism theory right out of the water. Aren't the heirs to the promise the elect individauls who have yet to believe? Not according to Paul. They are the people made up of only those who have entered. That people fulfill the promise made to Abraham. In fact those individuals who turn back will be cut off.

1030,

Now you've given me two projects? Don't invest too much expectatoin in NP just yet, but do enjoy the reading. I'll fill you in....

geoff
August 29th, 2002, 03:37 PM
Sorry arminian, that just doesnt make any sense to me

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 01:23 AM
Hi Jaltus,

Thanks for your patience. I'm running so far behind on so many things that I'm forced to give a shorter reply to your question than I had planned. I am, however, getting more interested in this topic than I expected. This may become another one of my 14-pagers!

I quoted Dunn earlier:


""Those who love God" is a characteristic of self-designation of Jewish piety (a full listing in Cranfield, 424 n.4) usually following the typically deuteronomistic style, "those who love God and keep his commandments" (Exod 20:6; Deut 5:10; 6:5; 7:9; ect.; Josh 22:5; .....1Qh 16:13).

Dunn is referring to the Jewish contextual backdrop for Paul's comments in Romans 8:28.

Let's examine Deuteronomy 7 and use it as an example:

For you are a chosen people, holy to the Lord you God; the LORD you God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth.

The corporate nature of the comment is difficult to miss. God chose a people, not individuals, to be his own possession. Individuals must enter the covenant to become part of that chosen people and possession.

The people are invited to enter the covenant and maintain it. Those who live by this covenant are those who love him:

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generation, and requites to their face those who hate him, by destroying them; he will not be slack with him who hates him

"Those who love him" must continue to love him:

You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statuses and the ordinances with is command you this day. And because you hearken to these ordinances and keep them and do them the LORD you God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love he swore to your fathers to keep.

This is an interesting series of comments that gives us insight into what Paul was thinking when he borrowed the words and imagery. The covenant God was intent on keeping was the one made to the "forefathers" (not to the members of the covenant) concerning a people that could be joined ("if you obey these ordinances, I will be your God and you will be my people") or left ("because you hearken to these ordinances and keep them and do them the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant" ). Paul speaks of this corporate election and the promise to the patriarchs as the rationale behind his letter to the Romans (15:8-9):

For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy...

The promise to the patriarchs was that God would give them a new chosen people that would incorporate the Gentiles. That's why the issue of circumcision comes up. If there is another chosen people, HOW do we become members? Circumcision? Faith?

So now it's clearer why Paul brings Abraham into the debate. The "promise" of election was made to him, so he is the ultimate patriarch being spoken of. So who are the elect people being spoken of? The Jews? The people of faith?

Well, the answers to the questions are obvious now (to those who are not Reformed). The elect and predestined people, according to the promise made to the patriarchs, are the royal priesthood known as Christians. There's no such thing as an elect unbeliever, because, by definition, that person has not yet entered the covenant and is not among "those who love God."

So to answer your question, "those who love God" are most certainly blessed by him. They MUST continue to love God, as Moses has said (cf. Romans 11:20).


Jaltus, please challenge me if I'm not clear enough. 13 more pages to go.:D

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 02:35 AM
I just looked at Jack Cottrell's commentary on Romans. I guess I do like what at least one Arminain, Cottrell, says about the passage:

"How much is included in all things"? This must be determined by the context, which specificaly deals with the ills and adversities of our presnet earthly life, "our present sufferings" (v. 18; see vv. 33-39)." This includes trials and miseries suffered as the consequence of other' sins, but not necessarily our own (Godet, 322)

Hot dang! Where's my Godet?!

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 02:40 AM
arminian:


""Those who love God" is a characteristic of self-designation of Jewish piety..."

I dont think this means that Dunn is even referring to a 'corporate nature' here... you could read it a couple of ways...

btw, I heard that Dunn isnt a Christian... cant remember where though

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 02:44 AM
I would have thought 'all things' seems quite clear, its the part following which is our problem.

Jaltus
August 30th, 2002, 07:09 AM
Arminian,

I disagree with respect to your analogy. Using Israel's corporate election (which nobody disputes) is not a close enough connection to the New covenant election. The question becomes, how close of a relationship is there between election in the OC and under the NC? Your assumption is that it is synonymous, which I find extremely hard to swallow. Perhaps you could deal more with that issue before continuing.

1013
August 30th, 2002, 03:38 PM
No, not you

that's not what you said.


No, The British did... you just helped.

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 08:18 PM
1013:

When you say 'we won the war' - do you mean 'you' won the war, or did the american army win the war, or did the allied win the war? Did the people who died in the American army win the war?

Its a stupid analogy. And it doesnt work. You cant have an army unless you draft people into it. You cant have a 'we' or a 'them' unless you have individuals to make up the 'we' or the 'them'. You cant have a corporately elected group unless the individuals are elected to make the group.

You can say 'we americans' - but 'we americans' are a bunch of individuals who have american citizenship and are identified as such. You can not escape it. it does not compute. it is illogical. all the vulcans are laughing at you right now!

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 08:31 PM
Hi geoff,


I dont think this means that Dunn is even referring to a 'corporate nature' here... you could read it a couple of ways...

I didn't say that he did or did not use it for that reason. I was simply quoting him for what he thought it meant.


btw, I heard that Dunn isnt a Christian... cant remember where though

Does it make a difference one way or the other when we are looking at the meaning of a phrase?

Thanks,

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 09:02 PM
Hi Jaltus,


I disagree with respect to your analogy. Using Israel's corporate election (which nobody disputes) is not a close enough connection to the New covenant election. The question becomes, how close of a relationship is there between election in the OC and under the NC? Your assumption is that it is synonymous, which I find extremely hard to swallow. Perhaps you could deal more with that issue before continuing.

OK, let me ask you a few questions so that I can understand how you are thinking.

Do you understand that the promise to the patriarchs is the same promise of which both Moses and Paul speak? If not, why? If so, do you understand "people" in the OT to be corporate and then somehow it became individualistic in the NT?

Now since Paul and his opposition are debating the identity of God's chosen people, and Paul is also a Jew, do you or do you not apply that to Paul's argument concerning Abraham in Romans and Galatians in the typical Jewish corporate sense? If you understand the debate to be at the level of individualism, how do you explain that the children of the promise are those who believe, rather than elect that have yet to believe?

What do you think the promise to the patriarchs was? What do you make of the following: "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ (Gal 3:16)... but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise (3:18)....that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe "(3:23). The promise was to "one person," so do you believe it was STILL somehow to many people, meaning elect unbelievers that have yet to believe and many who have yet to be born?

Do the promise, inheritance and election have any connections in your understanding? Don't you think they all relate to God's comments to Abraham? If not, why not?

We'll continue after you respond. Throw me a few hardballs!! :eek:

Thanks,

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 09:26 PM
I think it does... agenda and stuff... perhaps, who knows

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 09:44 PM
Hi geoff,


I think it does... agenda and stuff... perhaps, who knows

We'll you're the third person that has tried to defuse what he said by attacking the messenger. But what is it you think he said?

I merely look at his comment a notice that it is correct (1+1=2). But somehow no one has noticed that he wasn't making my argument. He simply said something concering the traditional use of the phrase. In fact, he gave the credit for the observation to a well-known evangelical Calvinist. So, not only was Dunn not making the argument everyone is trying to attack via his reputation, but he isn't the one who made the observation in the first place.

And, not only do Dunn and Cranfield make the observation, but also numerous others who comment on the historical use of the phrase. In fact, I can't find a single scholar who disagrees!!

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 09:49 PM
I wasnt trying to attack him at all, merely commenting... and I did say that he wasnt supporting your argument, or at least, you can not use him (in that quote) to support your argument.

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 09:56 PM
Geoff,


I wasnt trying to attack him at all, merely commenting...

Oh, I thought you meant he had an agenda.


and I did say that he wasnt supporting your argument, or at least, you can not use him (in that quote) to support your argument.

As I've said before, I merely used his list.

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 10:08 PM
yup, good-o and all that.. oh well and stuff :)

Big Finn
August 30th, 2002, 10:12 PM
Jaltus and Arminian,

I think that Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus when he came to talk to Jesus during the night throws some light on just how close the OC and NC are.

Jesus rebuked Nicodemus for not understanding that a man must be born again to see the kingdom of heaven. Jesus actually said, How can you be a Master in Isreal and not know this? If the new birth, and thus the NC, should have been known to Nicodemus this makes both Covenants very similar, if not identical for Nicodemus was a man highly educated in the Jewish knowledge and theology. Why would Jesus have rebuked Nicodemus for not knowing something that wasn't taught in the OT? Wouldn't that be completely out of character for Him? Rather hypocritical?

While the term "new birth" is not seen in the OT, the idea is clearly shown in David's prayer for a clean heart and right spirit, and that God not take His Holy Spirit away from him (David). The multiple promises in the OT concerning a new heart and being able to walk in the commandments of God, and do them most surely point to the covenants being pretty much identical. Paul's statements about faith also point in this same direction. In fact, when the entire NT is studied from this perspective the Bible becomes a complete whole, not a book artificially divided between Malachi and Matthew.

Also, is not what Jesus says to the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 not based upon the same principles found in Isaiah 58? There God points out what He really wanted from those of Isaiah's time, instead of their legalistic dependence upon the perversion of the ceremonies that God gave them in the sin offerings and Sactuary Services, while they did the same works as the Pharisees of Jesus' time. Look at Isaiah 58 closely and then look at how the Pharisees behaved. You will find great similarities, if not a repetition of the same exact sins. Funny how God condemned the legalism in the OT and the NT while pointing out that what He really wanted was a heart religion in both places. Why would He have done this if the two Covenants didn't have the same basis?

The Sanctuary services pointed forward to Jesus. Thus the offering of a sacrifice for sin showed faith in the Redeemer to come. Faith in Christ and His sacrifice has always been the condition for salvation.

geoff
August 30th, 2002, 10:16 PM
blah blah blah, all those words just run into a big senseless pill of black text...

or maybe its just me

Arminian
August 30th, 2002, 10:55 PM
Big,


Why would Jesus have rebuked Nicodemus for not knowing something that wasn't taught in the OT?

Good point.

1013
August 30th, 2002, 11:52 PM
When you say 'we won the war' - do you mean...

america won. of course we can get more specific and say those alive at the time won it. but that doesn't negate the truth of the corporate "we" in the sense that you and I use it.


Its a stupid analogy. And it doesnt work. You cant have an army unless you draft people into it. You cant have a 'we' or a 'them' unless you have individuals to make up the 'we' or the 'them'.

and somehow you told me No, The British did... you just helped.

corporate thinking, which in this particular case, involves all members claiming the merits of the group though the whole group was not particularly involved, is natural to us just as it was to Paul and when I say us here, I do mean a group that does in fact specifically include you as you have beautifully demonstrated.

geoff
August 31st, 2002, 12:40 AM
Arminian,

And I thought Jesus was rebuking him for not understanding why Jesus cleansed the temple (because he didnt grasp things spiritual)

Arminian
August 31st, 2002, 02:45 AM
geoff,


And I thought Jesus was rebuking him for not understanding why Jesus cleansed the temple (because he didnt grasp things spiritual)

I think he was talking about what had just been said, which doesn't mention the temple. The OT (1 John and Hebrews, too) spoke of a time when a teacher would no longer be needed because the Spirit would come and the kingdom would be established. With the arrival of Christ, the time HAD come. Nicodemus should have known was Christ was talking about.

geoff
August 31st, 2002, 02:53 AM
Arminian,

The whole discussion would seem to be in the context of what Jesus had just done at the end of John 2, where he cleanses the Temple, surely? thats the reason Nicodemus is there in the first place isnt it? That certainly seems how it looks to me.

Arminian
August 31st, 2002, 02:54 AM
At first I thought I'd just give this to 1030, who is interested in NP. But then I realized that it is pertinent to the present topic that Jaltus and I are discussing. Cranford, FYI, is what I would call a NP Calvinist, but those types of NP's always deny being Calvinists. Anyhow, there's nothing Calvinistic about this article, but if there were, I'd correct it. Cranford rarely comes up with genuinely original ideas, but he is quite articulate.

I do what to "share the wealth." Enjoy.

http://sundoulos.com/answers/body_abraham_in_romans_4.html

geoff
August 31st, 2002, 02:57 AM
The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.

Arminian
August 31st, 2002, 03:07 AM
My second attempt. This article rocks! An even better one is the one by Hays mentioned in this article.

http://www.sundoulos.com/articles.aspx?in=19

Thank me later,

Arminian
August 31st, 2002, 03:34 AM
geoff,


The whole discussion would seem to be in the context of what Jesus had just done at the end of John 2, where he cleanses the Temple, surely? thats the reason Nicodemus is there in the first place isnt it? That certainly seems how it looks to me.

It seems that Nic is more interested in the miracles, since that is what he mentions. I don't see a hint that he is interested in the temple. It seems that he wanted to be taught by Jesus since "no one could perform the miraculous signs ...if God were not with him."

geoff
August 31st, 2002, 03:38 AM
John seems to have other ideas, considering how he has placed the 2 things together and connected them..
The miracles prove that Jesus has come from God, and is deserving of some (barely) respect..

"Now... a man... came..."

Big Finn
August 31st, 2002, 06:00 AM
Geoff,

You are going to have to prove your assertions about the temple in reference to John 3:1-21 as this whole conversation shows Jesus pointing out the real source of salvation to Nicodemus. I see nothing tied to the temple at all. This is all heart stuff. Jesus also ties it directly to His own ministry and the prophecies concerning Him through His usage of the brass serpent which God told Moses to make and then walk through the camp of the Isrealites so that anyone who looked at it might be healed from being bitten by a snake when the camp of the Isrealites in the wilderness was overrun by snakes. That Jesus brings this out to Nicodemus and relates it to Himself also points out that the OC and NC are very much alike for all anyone had to do to be healed was to look. It was look and live. It was being healed by faith in what God provided. These lessons are to be found throughout the OT.

Just as humanity has been bitten by that old snake the devil and we will die if we don't look to Jesus, so the Isrealites when bitten by the snakes were to look and live. Jesus is quite plain in His analogy.


John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
John 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

This whole conversation has to do with Jesus and His ministry, and Jesus makes it very clear. It is as if He read Nicodemus' heart and answered Nicodemus' heart question instead of his opening gambit.

The very fact that Nicodemus came to Jesus at night tells us something. By that time in Jesus' ministry anyone who acknowledged Jesus openly was being excommunicated (thrown out of the temple and unable to worship there). So, if Nicodemus wanted to really learn from Jesus, and not be ostrasized by those of his own social status, he couldn't do it openly. Thus, Jesus in speaking to salvation and heart condition to Nicodemus was in reality addressing the very things that Nicodemus was questioning. Nicodemus knew all the prophecies of the OT about the Redeemer to come, and must have had questions. His opening admission that Jesus had to have come from God shows this.

Big Finn
August 31st, 2002, 06:48 AM
Arminian,

That was an excellent article.

Arminian
August 31st, 2002, 12:19 PM
geoff,


John seems to have other ideas, considering how he has placed the 2 things together and connected them..

I don't think Nic knew about your ideas of the design of the narrative. He was only aware of his own request.

1013
August 31st, 2002, 12:40 PM
thanx arminian. I'll read it when I get a chance. In the mean time, I'll share the NP page that I have been recently browsing through. There's a lot of interesting stuff there. There are good intorductory articles to the new perspective for novices like myself.


http://www.angelfire.com/mi2/paulpage/

Arminian
August 31st, 2002, 01:08 PM
1030,

Thanks! I've never actually searched the web. Now I'll be too interested to spend time with my family or do my work. What little time I have will be spent reading. Curse you!!!:crackup:

Regardless of anyone's opinion of NP, NP is having a HUGE affect on how we understand the Bible. Even those who reject it are adopting many of ideas the NP theologians are putting forth.

Time for another Kuhnian paradigm shift!!!

geoff
September 1st, 2002, 01:33 AM
arminian,

Nicodemus didnt write Johns Gospel did he?

Finn,

By verse 13 Jesus has long finished talking with Nicodemus, He is talking to the crowd.
BTW, Nicodemus came to Jesus at night for a few reasons, a: it was the end of the day (after the Temple cleansing), and b: thats when most teaching took place, because people had to work to live... No KFC, McD's or fridges back then.

If you want a good overview of recent Pauline thought "Israel's Law and the Church's Faith" by Stephen Westerholm is Brilliant. His summaries of the major schools of thought is second to none.

Arminian
September 1st, 2002, 01:36 AM
Geoff,


Nicodemus didnt write Johns Gospel did he?

No, so I guess he didn't have the temple cleansing in mind when he approached Christ.

Big Finn
September 1st, 2002, 02:57 AM
Geoff,


By verse 13 Jesus has long finished talking with Nicodemus, He is talking to the crowd.

Hmmm.... The NIV sets the whole block of text from verses 1-21 aside as the story of Jesus interview with Nicodemus. So do all the commentaries I've read. None of them try to make an artificial break in the middle of Jesus discourse to Nicodemus. In fact verse 13 is in the middle of a paragraph in the NIV. And, if there had been a crowd the Bible would most likely have mentioned it, as it does in the other places that a crowd had gathered to hear Jesus. As no crowd is mentioned you have to hypothesize this out of thin air. There is no evidence to support it at all.

As to:
BTW, Nicodemus came to Jesus at night for a few reasons, a: it was the end of the day (after the Temple cleansing), and b: thats when most teaching took place, because people had to work to live... No KFC, McD's or fridges back then.

Most commentaries support my position as to why Nicodemus came at night. Those who don't are simply silent on the matter. So, I'd say the weight of evidence does not back you up.

In reference to the bolded section of your quote:

This is not supported by the weight of the evidence of scripture. Almost all the crowds that Jesus taught were during the day. We have evidence of Him sending them away when it got towards evening too. Very few of the scenes that the Bible relates in the life of Jesus took place at night. Other than the Transfiguration (no crowds there), His arrest and trial, and the Saturday evening when He healed Peter's mother (there was a crowd there for the Bible explicitly says so), and the scenes of the disciples fishing at night, I can't think of any other nighttime events. Oh, the trip to Emmaus after dark, but then again, this was unusual and there were no crowds around. There may be a couple more, but I think I've covered the great majority of them.

By far the greatest amount of Jesus teaching, according to the Biblical record, is during the day. You are arguing your point b in the face of great evidence to the contrary.

geoff
September 1st, 2002, 03:25 AM
Arminian,

You dont know that... and John seems to have written with that intent in mind, so i go with the author.

Finn,

There is an obvious change around verse 7-9 where Jesus ceases talking to Nicodemus and directs his speech to the crowd about him.. He repeatedly uses 'you' (individual) and then 'you' (the group) - its clear in the text and is mentioned in every decent commentary.

Arminian
September 1st, 2002, 03:15 PM
Hi geoff,


You dont know that... and John seems to have written with that intent in mind, so i go with the author.

I'll have to meet you half way on this, geoff. You first said that Jesus was rebuking Nic for not understanding why Jesus cleansed the temple. I can't agree because that's not the issue that Nic brought up and that Jesus addressed.

However, John is including the stories for reasons that are bigger than the individual stories themselves. He is showing that the "old" is leaving and the "new" has arrived. So, yes, I do understand the purpose of John's narrative in a way similar to the way you understand it.

Enjoy the American holiday,;)

geoff
September 1st, 2002, 04:42 PM
Arminian,

Thanks for the concession :D

Now, if you read the passage, you would see that Jesus cleansed the temple, then Nicodemus came to him to try and shoot him down. Jesus, by cleansing the Temple was claiming to be more than just a Rabbi. WAY more. You couldnt probably read a claim to divinity, however Johns mention of the verse regarding 'zeal for His house' is a direct Messianic link. This action was a demonstration of Jesus claim to be the Messiah, the annointed King. Nicodemus recognised that, and came with the intention of proving Jesus wrong, although in a polite and respectful way.

He was unable to prove Jesus wrong, because the argument Jesus gave him was irrefutable. In the end Nicodemus has to admit Jesus is right: John 3:9 Nicode'mus said to him, "How can this be?" -
(incidentally, this is where the conversation shifts, Jesus begins to redirect the focus from Nicodemus to the crowd surrounding using you (singular( and you (plural)).

Nicodemus should understand, He should know what Jesus authority to cleanse the temple was, if He was really a Son of Abraham he would have recognised him as the Messiah.

See, Johns gospel was written to reveal Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah, so that we might believe and have eternal life (john 20:31f)
He does this by having Jesus meet various characters, and reveal himself to them by words, signs, and wonders. Many of Jesus' discussions take on new significance when looked at in this light. Especially this one. Jesus' logic is so completely clear and true they cant defeat him.... just look at the buffoons in John 8:30-59. Jesus totally shoots them down... they call him a liar but cant convict him of any sin, so all the can do is call him names and try and kill him.

Fascinating stuff... I have been studying John's gospel for 4 years now.. with a passion. I looooove it. John, Gen 1-11, and the Psalter... thats where you'll find me...

Arminian
September 1st, 2002, 07:01 PM
geoff,


Nicodemus recognised that, and came with the intention of proving Jesus wrong, although in a polite and respectful way.

I just don't see that, nor the "temple issue," lurking behind Nic's comments. He'd have to be sitting in the author's chair. However, if you give me corporate election and a large amount of money, I'll give you this. If not, ...well.....

geoff
September 2nd, 2002, 04:05 AM
Arminian,

Whats the point of having the 2 passages stuck together like that, and interconnected? Some might say the interconnect is 'weak' - but its still there...

and I did give you the corporate election thing, just not on the basis that individual election is excluded.... because its logically impossible for that to be true.

1013
September 2nd, 2002, 08:38 AM
The British did... you just helped.

yeah, that's just really illogical. nobody ever thinks like that.

:p

Arminian
September 2nd, 2002, 08:42 AM
geoff,


Whats the point of having the 2 passages stuck together like that, and interconnected? Some might say the interconnect is 'weak' - but its still there...

Are you saying that Nic put the verses there? I already said why John put them there. You, however, FIRST commented on Nic. Now you are commenting on John.

drdeutsch
September 2nd, 2002, 09:43 AM
Geoff,

Your analogy of Uncle Sam foreknowing individual soldiers is all messed up. I guess they don't have drafts in New Zealand.
When Uncle Sam drafted soldiers for Vietnam (and if he decides to draft again), he drafted a corporate group. I'm not sure exactly, but let's say he drafted all men between the ages of 18-25. Sure, it's made up of individuals as any group is, but it's a very generic corporate group. Also, Uncle Sam wouldn't foreknow for certain these individuals until the draft - he wasn't exactly picky and fickle when they drafted for Vietnam - thus it's much more like Open View: it's predestined, thus knowable.

Likewise if somebody volunteers, like I did. Did my recruiter know I was going to volunteer that day? Did the President? NSA? FBI? CIA? Secretary of Defense? No, of course not. Did they make me? No. Did I do it of my own freewill? Yes, of course I did.

God bless,
Dr. Deutsch

1013
September 2nd, 2002, 01:59 PM
I'm not sure exactly, but let's say he drafted all men between the ages of 18-25.

It's even less definate than that. They draft according to a randomly selected birthday as the need for more soldiers arises (maybe that was another war but it's still pretty random). So the selection of individuals is removed even further than than the selection of the group!

geoff
September 2nd, 2002, 04:32 PM
DRD,

Did they send the draft letters to a group of (nameless) people randomly hoping that they might just get one that was 18-25?

Because thats what you're saying.

God just randomly knocks on peoples doors hoping that the person there might be one of those who is savable..

lol

God, like the army, knows the name, address, and phone number of all those He is going to draft - John 6:64, Rom 8:28-32.
Foreknown - means KNOWN BEFOREHAND - not 'unknown until after they have been selected'.

BTW, you dont volunteer for salvation... read the verses again. NO ONE comes to the Father except that He is given to Christ... and Christ knows 'who' they are... not that there is a group... he knows 'who', personal, persons.. He also knows who will not believe.

How easy you forget Scripture when your personal philosophical convictions get in the way.

Arminian,
John gives intent to Nicodemus. Dont presume to know what 'real' intention Nicodemus had, I doubt John even knew that. John uses the meeting in a certain way, to reveal Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, in order that we (and Nicodemus) might believe and have eternal life. He does it by having Nicodemus (a ruler of the Jews, high up in their council (read in the Temple System) approach Jesus after Jesus just cleansed the Temple, as if what they were doing was 'wrong'. Do You see?

Jesus reveals himself as a man sent by God, by signs and wonders, then goes into the Temple and smashes it up, effectively calls them sinners and blasphemers, and THEN the one of the leaders of the Temple (who recognises Jesus has come from God) approaches Him... do you think He would do this and it has NOTHING to do with whats gone on in the Temple? The mode of discussion has Nicodemus REPRESENTING the Cultic leaders... its more than just a discussion about salvation... its about Jesus authority to say the Temple system is defunct and smash the place up. And this, Nicodemus has no answer for.

1013
September 2nd, 2002, 06:38 PM
the point is, the decision to draft thus choosing Americas youth to fight in the war and the figuering out which individuals would do it were handled seperately. There is no need to know the individuals the moment the group is choosen. that can be handled later and by different means. congress approved the draft by a vote of majority. Congress did not approve every single soldier. the draft board did. The draft board figuered out which individuals were to go to war by means of figuering specifically who was born on what date. that the individuals didn't have a choice is beyond the purposes of the analogy.

the choosing of the group was handled via different means than the choosing of the individuals.

Arminian
September 2nd, 2002, 09:51 PM
geoff,


John gives intent to Nicodemus.

The intent is found in the words Nic used and not in the words he did not use. Those are the words I referred to. Nothing about the temple was mentioned.


Dont presume to know what 'real' intention Nicodemus had,

You're the one who brought up the idea that he was being sneaky and had other intentions. I merey repeated what Nic said and what Jesus said. These "other intentions" are what you used to prove your point. But the words aren't there.


John uses the meeting in a certain way, to reveal Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, in order that we (and Nicodemus) might believe and have eternal life.

Right.


He does it by having Nicodemus (a ruler of the Jews, high up in their council (read in the Temple System) approach Jesus after Jesus just cleansed the Temple, as if what they were doing was 'wrong'. Do You see?

Sorry, but you're presuming to know what the 'real' intention of Nic was, and you're asking me not to do the same thing. There isn't a hint that Nic was talking to him for that reason. I refuse to 'read' into the narrative ideas that contradict the clear meaning of the text.

geoff
September 2nd, 2002, 10:39 PM
The point I am trying to make, old chap, is that ANY meaning to the words of Nicodemus is given by the CONTEXT John uses them, and the context is in the light of Jesus actions in the Temple.

If it isnt, please explain how they are unrelated, and proof therewith that John has ceased/finished his story about the Temple cleansing and that this is an unrelated and NEW event.

None of the scholars I have read (and thats quite a few now) have been prepared to do that... and most commit to some sort of continuance.

I eagerly await your refutation (I can recommend Morris, Schnackenberg (sp?), Ridderbos, brown, and Beasley-Murray (word commentary) as a starter (several different theological view points there).

Arminian
September 3rd, 2002, 12:44 AM
Hi geoff,

I'll look at a few commentaries (limit of 6) to see what they have to say and then I'll reply to your post above. I also want to look at the Greek because there's something interesting going on here in my English translation.

Off I go....!

Later,

geoff
September 3rd, 2002, 01:31 AM
hehe..

I had the strange feeling you would say that...

<vbeg>

Arminian
September 5th, 2002, 01:03 PM
Still looking for more commentaries. Remind me to wash my hands.:sleep:

Jaltus
September 5th, 2002, 08:06 PM
I also recommend Carson and Bruce. You spelled Schnackenburg correctly, I believe. Skip Morris. He is, in my opinion, annoying. you may also want to look at Bultman and Culpepper.

geoff
September 6th, 2002, 01:03 AM
I've read them all..

Morris is ok... and yes, annoying
lol

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:15 AM
geoff,

I've just finished Ridderbos. There's no mention of sinister intent or interest in the temple cleansing. In fact H. R. sees the passage as a "departure" and a "transition" from the previous context which turns to the issue of the "deficiency of faith" of the "many." You'll find this on page 122, but I read about 10 or 15 pages.

The search continues......

geoff
September 6th, 2002, 01:22 AM
yep,

I didnt agree with Ridderbos on that point <VBEG>
(I got a good mark for it in my exam too lol)

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:23 AM
Witherington sides with me in John's Wisdom. Tenny and Carson are hiding under a pile of papers around here, I beleive. The search continues.....

geoff
September 6th, 2002, 01:27 AM
Arminian,

You will find most of them say there is a 'possible' connection, and a few say there is none (like ridderbos). However, I have not read a really convincing argument as to why we should assume there is no connection. It would be a big Flaw in Johns otherwise good writing style.

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:38 AM
Tenny agrees with me on page 47 of the Expositor's Bible Commentary. He says nothing about the temple cleansing. He even goes so far as to describe Nic as "interested," "sensitive" and "open-minded." Tenny says his interest was prompted by the miracles.

Carson is never in his office when he's supposed to be. Now where's his book hiding??? Off I go....!

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:40 AM
geoff,


You will find most of them say there is a 'possible' connection,

I haven't seen those words yet. Perhaps I'm missing them. I haven't seen your description of Nic, either. The search continues....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:46 AM
Whitacre appears to go with the flow. The search continues......

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:49 AM
No help from Fredrikson... the search continues.....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:54 AM
No help from Hans Frei's The Eclipse of the Biblical Narrative. But that should come as no surprise since the book isn't about John's Gospel and Frei doesn't quote Scripture in that book. hehehe.

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 01:57 AM
No direction from Stephen S. Smalley. The search contiues after I get some sleep....

geoff
September 6th, 2002, 02:10 AM
hehe

You are a crazy man..

Once you have read the commentaries... read the passage and reflect on what I said :)

Maybe I will put up the sermon i preached on it

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 02:16 AM
I just tried calling Carson on the phone to ask him in person. I was shocked to learn that he had been sleeping at 2 AM. He said something which has unintelligible and then hung up, but I since found that the words were ancient Hebrew curses. Just kidding.....

I tried to call Grant Osborne, too. But he has caller ID, so he never answers my calls unless I call from another person's house.

geoff
September 6th, 2002, 02:21 AM
hehe... go to sleep ya wombat

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 06:58 PM
Carson agrees with Tenny. The search continues......

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 06:59 PM
Bruce is free from Carson's inferences, yet he agrees. The search continues......

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 07:00 PM
Bloomberg just voted with the majority. The search continues.......

Jaltus
September 6th, 2002, 07:11 PM
New Bloomberg or old one?

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 07:28 PM
Jaltus,


New Bloomberg or old one?

The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel -- Issues and Commentary

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 07:50 PM
Nothing in Barrett. The search continues......

Jaltus
September 6th, 2002, 07:54 PM
Ok, the new one, thanks.

You tried Brown yet?

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:07 PM
Jaltus,


You tried Brown yet?

No, I've never laid eyes on it. I've wanted to see it for years. I intend to photo copy several chapters when I see one.

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:13 PM
Can't find it in Westcott. the search continues.....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:15 PM
I just read Pink. I feel so dirty :cry: The search continues....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:17 PM
Tasker? Nope. The search continues.....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:19 PM
Sure can't find it in Kysar. The search continues.....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:22 PM
Morris actually argues against Nic being concerned about the temple cleansing. He says Nic would have been happy about it!! I kid you not!

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:25 PM
Can't find it in G. Campbell Morgan's commentary. He did notice something about the Greek that I noticed... the search continues....

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:26 PM
Barnes? Nope. The search continues.....

Yxboom
September 6th, 2002, 10:28 PM
If that wasn't spamming!!!

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:35 PM
Spamming? Nope. The search continues...

Arminian
September 6th, 2002, 10:37 PM
Beasley-Murray or Hull? Nope. The search is now off.

Yxboom
September 6th, 2002, 10:46 PM
There is always Bumblyburg.........the search continues............

Arminian
September 7th, 2002, 12:45 AM
Yikes!

geoff
September 7th, 2002, 01:53 AM
Arminian,

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling counsel."

is 'now' contrastive, or is it conjunctive.

I dont believe it is contrastive, and I dont think you can provide a conclusive argument for it.

I believe it is joining the events of chapter 2, and providing context for this:

"He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.""

Jesus has just (strangely enough) performed a sign. His cleansing of the Temple. Elsewhere we are told that the disciples 'remembered' that scripture foretold this of the Messiah (and John tells us the purpose of this narrative is to reveal Jesus as the Messiah, Son of God remember.. john 20:30ff).

If this isnt the context, I'll be a monkies uncle!

Yxboom
September 7th, 2002, 06:02 AM
Monkey...is this your uncle?

geoff
September 7th, 2002, 06:21 AM
No, I thought it was a very good self portrait though mwahahahahah

Jaltus
September 7th, 2002, 10:38 AM
It is a contrastive now, since it is "de" and not "nun." "Nun" could link it, but "de" in this instance cannot.

Arminian
September 7th, 2002, 01:50 PM
geoff,

I read it as contrastive. That was part of the interesting aspect of the Geek I noticed. It involves a pattern in John. I'll post on it tomorrow if you are interested.

Arminian
September 7th, 2002, 01:55 PM
I still can't believe I read Pink.:shocked:

geoff
September 7th, 2002, 09:24 PM
Well I have it on fairly good authority that it can not be proven either way...

As I said, if it is contrastive, it doesnt make sense for the discussion to follow.. Does Nicodemus know that Jesus has turned water into wine? John has not revealed to us any other 'signs'. The only sign John has told us of, is the Temple cleansing.

I would concede it is contrastive, in the sense of 'next' - like 'now - after this', or 'in the light of this'.

My paraphrase goes like this:

'(Jesus cleanses the temple)... now [in the light of this] there was a man named Nicodemus, the Head rabbi, who came to see Jesus...'

Big Finn
September 7th, 2002, 10:38 PM
As I said, if it is contrastive, it doesnt make sense for the discussion to follow.. Does Nicodemus know that Jesus has turned water into wine? John has not revealed to us any other 'signs'. The only sign John has told us of, is the Temple cleansing.



Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

geoff
September 8th, 2002, 12:55 AM
that, finn, is a bit more of a leap han I am willing to commit too. I dont think that the sign directly preceeding it it too much to ask.

Arminian
September 8th, 2002, 01:04 AM
geoff,


As I said, if it is contrastive, it doesnt make sense for the discussion to follow.. Does Nicodemus know that Jesus has turned water into wine? John has not revealed to us any other 'signs'. The only sign John has told us of, is the Temple cleansing

I'll probably post more on John's Greek tomorrow. Right now I'm tired and have no reference material.

Anyhow, I think you are wrong about the temple cleansing being the only sign. First of all, how is the cleansing a sign? The Jewish use of the term indicates that they are speaking of a miracle. What kind of a sign is making a mess of a few tables? Sure, the disciples remembered Psalm 69:9 because of the incident, but the people didn't.

Also, the verse in question says that "at the Passover feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing." "Signs" is plural, indicating that there was more then one. "Doing" suggests an ongoing or series of events.

Finally, the verse in question says that the signs (plural) took place "at the Passover feast." Yet verse 13 says that the temple cleaning took place "When it was almost time for the Passover..." The temple cleaning took place BEFORE the signs that Nic is speaking of. The temple cleansing left the people asking Jesus for a "sign" to prove his authority (verse 18), but after the signs (plural) that took place at the Passover, "many believed in his name."

So no, the "signs" can't possibly be the temple cleansing.

geoff
September 8th, 2002, 03:09 AM
Arminian:


First of all, how is the cleansing a sign? The Jewish use of the term indicates that they are speaking of a miracle. What kind of a sign is making a mess of a few tables? Sure, the disciples remembered Psalm 69:9 because of the incident, but the people didn't.


Nicodemus wasnt 'the people' - the head Rabbi probably (the dude in charge of the Temple teaching system.. at the very least one of the dudes in the high council) - He may well have made the connection ... These guys were looking for the Messiah to come, after all, and this is generally thought of as one of the signs of the Messiah - at least it is a claim to a mission directly from God, as His representative.


Finally, the verse in question says that the signs (plural) took place "at the Passover feast." Yet verse 13 says that the temple cleaning took place "When it was almost time for the Passover..."


Dude I think you are confused...
"2:13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple ..."
&
"23 When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing."

When it was near, Jesus went to Jerusalem, arriving in time for the Passover, during which the Temple was cleansed, and people believed....


"2:15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple,...18 The Jews then said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?"

Note, this sign doesnt mean a "miraculous" sign... more like a 'sign of authority'.

"signs" in v23 is strange because we are not told about any other signs - the fact that He doesnt mention them should make us realise that they are not the focus here. You dont mention something as major as the temple cleansing, to over shadow it and direct the focus elsewhere by something so insignifiant.


So no, the "signs" can't possibly be the temple cleansing.

This is misleading... the cleansing is one of the signs.. its the major sign.. and its the sign John wants us to focus on... if it wasnt, He would have mentioned the other signs, rather then a passing comment.

Arminian
September 8th, 2002, 04:58 PM
Hi geoff,


Nicodemus wasnt 'the people' - the head Rabbi probably (the dude in charge of the Temple teaching system.. at the very least one of the dudes in the high council) - He may well have made the connection ... These guys were looking for the Messiah to come, after all, and this is generally thought of as one of the signs of the Messiah - at least it is a claim to a mission directly from God, as His representative.[quote]

He was one of the people. And we aren't told that he disagreed.



[quote]Dude I think you are confused...
"2:13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple ..."
&
"23 When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing."

When it was near, Jesus went to Jerusalem, arriving in time for the Passover, during which the Temple was cleansed, and people believed....

I'm sorry, but the only time mentioned in the passage is the time before. You had to skip to verse 23 and also add "during which" to your description.



"2:15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple,...18 The Jews then said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?"

Note, this sign doesnt mean a "miraculous" sign... more like a 'sign of authority'.

The miraculous sign WAS the sign of authority to the Jews.


"signs" in v23 is strange because we are not told about any other signs - the fact that He doesnt mention them should make us realise that they are not the focus here. You dont mention something as major as the temple cleansing, to over shadow it and direct the focus elsewhere by something so insignifiant.

The Jews asked for signs (verse 18) because they hadn't seen any. Why would signs be "insignificant"? Why ask for a sign if they had already seen the sign (singluar) that caused them to believe in his name?

Rather than jump from verse 13 to verse 23, as though they were attached, I notice that the Jews don't believe until they see the signs (plural) performed at the Passover. They certainly did not accept his authority until the signs performed after the temple cleansing.


quote of Arminian:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So no, the "signs" can't possibly be the temple cleansing.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




This is misleading... the cleansing is one of the signs.. its the major sign.. and its the sign John wants us to focus on... if it wasnt, He would have mentioned the other signs, rather then a passing comment.

If you were correct, cleansing would be a sign (singular). The word, however, is plural. After the cleansing we see the Jews asking for a sign because they had yet to see one. Then we find them believing after they had seen "signs" (plural). Therefore, the signs Nic mentioned can't possibly be the unmiraculous temple cleansing.

Later,

geoff
September 8th, 2002, 05:25 PM
Arminian:


I'm sorry, but the only time mentioned in the passage is the time before. You had to skip to verse 23 and also add "during which" to your description.

Its all part of the same narrative.. I dont see how its a problem at all.. Jesus left to go to Jerusalem b4 the passsover, He arrives and cleanses the temple, then afterwards Nicodemus comes to him.. how hard is that to comprehend?


The miraculous sign WAS the sign of authority to the Jews.

Yes, they wanted to know what authority He had to do this... think about it... in John, signs are not always miraculous... I have a reference for that.. I will dig out it soon, you might find it interesting.


The Jews asked for signs (verse 18) because they hadn't seen any.

They asked for A SIGN (authority) for him to cleanse the Temple.


Why would signs be "insignificant"?

The SIGNS of V23 were not mentioned. They are OBVIOUSLY different signs.. The sign John wants us to focus on is the cleansing. The Jews ask for a 'sign' because they are too DUMB to recognise that the cleansing IS a sign. Nicodemus is not so dumb though.


Why ask for a sign if they had already seen the sign (singluar) that caused them to believe in his name?
I am sure Jesus did other miracles while he was there... however the ONE sign we are to focus on is the cleansing of the Temple.

The problem is, you do not seem to accept the temple cleansing as a sign. I would suggest that it is a singularly powerful sign that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah. The Temple is God's house, and Jesus anger at its misuse, and His power to cleanse it were akin to (and in fact) God's... as the first testament Scriptures (which later occurred to the disciples.. but I doubt took so long to occur to a learned man like Nicodemus) prophesied.

Arminian
September 8th, 2002, 05:35 PM
geoff,



quote of Arminain:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Why ask for a sign if they had already seen the sign (singluar) that caused them to believe in his name?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I am sure Jesus did other miracles while he was there... however the ONE sign we are to focus on is the cleansing of the Temple.

Your argument that the temple cleansing is the "signs" is what we are talking about. Nic can't possibly be speaking of it when he says "signs."


The problem is, you do not seem to accept the temple cleansing as a sign.

The issue is moot. Nic isn't speaking of it, and the Jews show no hint that they considered it a sign.


I would suggest that it is a singularly powerful sign that Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah.

I can think of dozens more powerful. In fact, I can't imagine that many would make the connection. Rather, the "signs" would have more impact than the cleansing.

Jaltus
September 8th, 2002, 07:24 PM
Aren't I right that, in john, the word "sign" is used for miracle?

There are seven signs in John (though he only numbers the first three). Each sign shows a particular matter of Jesus' authority.

The first is in 2:11. Note that the second sign is not until chapter 4. Therefore, it only makes sense that the sign referred to is the wedding feast, since that is the only recorded sign by John.

The problem with geoff's argument is that we have to link a few different times together in order to make it work. Would Nic really refer to the temple cleansing when the last signs mentioned (though not by specifics) would be those performed during the passover week, and not the cleansing beforehand? And if you want to argue for the cleansing, then you need to state why it is not the wedding miracle, when that has the best claim due to it being the only named "sign."

"Sign" (singular) appears 8 times in John, with only two occurences not referring to miracles. The other two refer to the sign on the cross.

The word "signs" occurs 11 times, and every single occurence has the word "miraculous" attached to it. Miraculous NEVER refers to something as mundane as the temple cleansing.

Sorry, geoff, but I do not think your argument is really feasible, at least with respect to sign or signs.

geoff
September 8th, 2002, 07:26 PM
I can think of dozens more powerful. In fact, I can't imagine that many would make the connection. Rather, the "signs" would have more impact than the cleansing.

So, you dont think the temple cleansing a sign, or even really important?

geoff
September 8th, 2002, 07:30 PM
Jaltus,

The passage refers to the cleansing of the Temple DURING passover week... thats the point..

He leaves 'as passover is near' - arrives at Jerusalem for passover, cleanses the Temple...

Its all highly symbolic... the passover lamb cleansing the temple yadda yadda...

I dont see a time discrepency at all... at least not until you bring in the synoptics... but we arent doing that at all. Well, I am not.

Arminian
September 8th, 2002, 11:02 PM
I just cleaned up my last post. I don't know how I messed it up so badly. It looks better now.

Arminian
September 8th, 2002, 11:09 PM
geoff,


The passage refers to the cleansing of the Temple DURING passover week... thats the point..

In fact, it doesn't. You tried to make the connection by jumping over the verses in beteen and adding "during." But in between we find the Jews asking for a sign as though they've never seen one. Then, later, they have seen signS (plural) and many DO believe.

Prior to the Passover, Jesus cleansed the temple. The Jews demanded a sign. After they see the signS Jesus did during the Passover, many believe in his name.

geoff
September 8th, 2002, 11:57 PM
Arminian,

Jesus cleansed the temple around the time of the passover. During that same period he probably did many signs.. John ONLY focuses on ONE sign...

The jews in their ignorance asked for a sign, inspite of the fact that the very thing they asked for a sign of, was a sign.

Some consider the temple cleansing the sign that may have convinced Nicodemus of who Jesus was.

BTW, I didnt 'add' during... its there in my translation.. which I cut and pasted.

And the point is... Nicodemus *DID* recognise it as a sign... and that is the reason John mentions that particular sign... AND THEN has Nicodemus come to him about it..

Arminian
September 9th, 2002, 12:26 AM
geoff,


Jesus cleansed the temple around the time of the passover. During that same period he probably did many signs.. John ONLY focuses on ONE sign...

No, he uses the plural. Nic comes to Jesus because of the signS. The temple cleansing is no longer in view.


The jews in their ignorance asked for a sign, inspite of the fact that the very thing they asked for a sign of, was a sign.

So they agree with me that it wasn't a sign. So their believing wasn't related to the temple cleansning, but rather some signS during the Passover.


Some consider the temple cleansing the sign that may have convinced Nicodemus of who Jesus was.

And I've shown why that is a bad argument.


BTW, I didnt 'add' during... its there in my translation.. which I cut and pasted.

In your translation it is in verse 23, not verse 13. You have been reading and arguing as though it is in verse 13. However, they believed because of the signS. Pior to that they did not believe and were asking for a SIGN.


And the point is... Nicodemus *DID* recognise it as a sign... and that is the reason John mentions that particular sign... AND THEN has Nicodemus come to him about it..


Sorry, but he only mentions the signS, not the sign. And he isn't being sneaky and asking about the temple cleansing, either. He speaks of the "signS you ARE doing" -- not "the sign you did."

geoff
September 9th, 2002, 05:10 AM
Arminian:


No, he uses the plural. Nic comes to Jesus because of the signS. The temple cleansing is no longer in view.

Dude, I think you might have yourself off the track a little here...

Nicodemus comes to Jesus and says the signS reveal he is from God... he doesnt say he came BECAUSE of the signs... you are reading FAR too much into it.


So they agree with me that it wasn't a sign. So their believing wasn't related to the temple cleansning, but rather some signS during the Passover.

Perhaps it wasnt... even if it wasnt, Nicodemus approaches Jesus because of it... Why else is it there? Just an unconnected random paragraph? not likely. It is not connected to the wedding story before it, obviously, so what other conclusion can there be? There is NO good evidence that Nicodemus approached Jesus for any other reason... there is no definitive reason given, only the temple cleansing before it.


And I've shown why that is a bad argument.

I am not sure I know *what* you have have argued against, or how you have proven it.... sorry.


In your translation it is in verse 23, not verse 13. You have been reading and arguing as though it is in verse 13. However, they believed because of the signS. Pior to that they did not believe and were asking for a SIGN.

Perhaps you think I have,... but I have not.


Sorry, but he only mentions the signS, not the sign. And he isn't being sneaky and asking about the temple cleansing, either. He speaks of the "signS you ARE doing" -- not the sign you did.

As I said, Nicodemus didnt say he came BECAUSE of the signs.. he does say that the signs show Jesus came from God.

Arminian
September 10th, 2002, 01:02 AM
geoff,


Dude, I think you might have yourself off the track a little here...

Nicodemus comes to Jesus and says the signS reveal he is from God... he doesnt say he came BECAUSE of the signs... you are reading FAR too much into it.

What's your point? He said that the signS indicate that Jesus is from God. The only data that we have to draw from is what is present in the text. You want me to ignore the fact that the signs are the only thing mentioned when Nic came to Jesus and believe that he addressed him as a teacher for other reasons. Sorry, but the text does not support your theory.


quote of Arminian:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So they agree with me that it wasn't a sign. So their believing wasn't related to the temple cleansning, but rather some signS during the Passover.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Perhaps it wasnt... even if it wasnt, Nicodemus approaches Jesus because of it... Why else is it there?

Asserting your conclusion is not an argument. I already told you why it was there. That's the order of events.


Just an unconnected random paragraph?

It's not necessary to swing from one extreme to the other. Just because it's mentioned it JUST HAS TO dominate all the following text, regarldess of what is said? Not at all! We have the words and the context that indicate that Nic was speaking of the signs that took place after the temple cleansing. John is recording the order of events. Nic has seen the signS and now he wants to be taught.


not likely. It is not connected to the wedding story before it, obviously, so what other conclusion can there be?

Mine. The one that draws from the information in the text.

There is NO good evidence that Nicodemus approached Jesus for any other reason... there is no definitive reason given, only the temple cleansing before it.

The evidence is what Nic said about the signS! How absurd to say that the very words he used are not there to tell us why he came. THE S I G N S!

Prior to the signS, Jesus was just a guy who kicked over a few tables. Heck, even you could qualify. No WONDER they asked for a SIGN! Then, during the Passover, Jesus did those signS.


quote of Arminian:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In your translation it is in verse 23, not verse 13. You have been reading and arguing as though it is in verse 13. However, they believed because of the signS. Pior to that they did not believe and were asking for a SIGN.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Perhaps you think I have,... but I have not.

You have.


quote of Arminian:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry, but he only mentions the signS, not the sign. And he isn't being sneaky and asking about the temple cleansing, either. He speaks of the "signS you ARE doing" -- not the sign you did.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




As I said, Nicodemus didnt say he came BECAUSE of the signs.. he does say that the signs show Jesus came from God.

We only have his words (the topic he selected) to draw a conclusion from, and proir to the signS, they would not believe in his name. So what changed? Now that Nic believes that Christ is from God, he came to be taught.

geoff
September 10th, 2002, 06:09 AM
Arminian:


Sorry, but the text does not support your theory.

The text does NOT state Nicodemus comes to Jesus 'because' of signS. The text DOES have one event following another with no good reason for them to be considered apart.

The signS are not the reason Nicodemus came to Jesus. He also did not come to have being born again explained to him.

So, according to arminian, Nicodemus came to visit Jesus, at the time when teaching generally took place, after discussion amongst themselves ('we' ...) for 'no apparent reason' - except to get some random teaching on Spirituality which He was supposed to have already known the answer too (and being somewhat of a NP boffin, you would already know that the born from above thing wasnt an alien concept to them).

Seeing as you dont really have a theory, and mine at least follows literary convention and common sense.. I'll go with that.


Asserting your conclusion is not an argument. I already told you why it was there. That's the order of events.

I forgot, what was the order of events again?
1. Its almost passover and Jesus leaves for Jerusalem.
2. Its passover week and Jesus cleanses the Temple (and perhaps does some other signs and wonders of a non specific nature)
3. Jesus is asked for a sign to show His authority for cleansing the temple (strange as he has supposedly done signS)
4. During this time some believe
5. As a result the TEMPLE authorities come to Jesus ..

Note, that Jesus refers to Zech 14:21 in cleansing the Temple, which is an obvious allusion to 'the day of the Lord' and thus His Messiahship.

Hard to believe that Nicodemus and the Temple Authorities DIDNT recognise Jesus words, also his biblical mandate (Ps 69:9) for the cleansing, which was, in John's mind to conform the Temple to its eschatalogical form, or at least prepare it. There is the idea that Jesus body is the new replacement for the Temple System, although this was an afterthought added by John (hindsight).

Jesus made a powerful statement and an OBVIOUS (to a Hebrew Scholar) claim to Messiahship. There is no other conclusion that I could make for the Temple representatives to come to Jesus. The other 'signS' merely confirm the claim Jesus made by His actions at the temple.

Can I make it any clearer for you?

Big Finn
September 10th, 2002, 08:04 AM
If you are going to keep on with the argument that you are making, well, lets look at the last few verses of chapter 2 and see what they are about.


Joh 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
Joh 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
Joh 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

What is the context here? Many believed on Jesus when the saw the miracles He did. (No mention is made specifically of the temple cleansing by John himself.) But Jesus didn't reveal Himself to them because He knows what is in men. Interestingly John is speaking about how Jesus could read the hearts of men. Now after these comments John tells the story of Nicodemus. So, John was really showing how Jesus was exposing the real motive and question in the heart of Nicodemus. The question of heart conversion. Nicodemus must have known that something in his heart wasn't right.

Now this is truly in the context of the preceeding verses in chapter 2. John changed the subject from focusing on the cleansing of the temple to Jesus knowing the hearts of men. This is the true context of Jesus remarks in chapter 3.

geoff
September 10th, 2002, 04:42 PM
Its because of the hearts of men that the Temple needs cleansing

Jaltus
September 10th, 2002, 05:51 PM
Its because of the hearts of men that the Temple needs cleansing Frankly, that is irrelevant.

geoff
September 10th, 2002, 10:29 PM
the hearts of men are irrelevant?

I agree, although Finn probably doesnt

Arminian
September 11th, 2002, 01:45 PM
Geoff,


The text does NOT state Nicodemus comes to Jesus 'because' of signS. The text DOES have one event following another with no good reason for them to be considered apart.

Yeah, it mentions the signS PRIOR to Nic coming to Jesus. It took nearly a week for you to admit that. Now it may take a few days for you to see the order of what happened. Nic did not come to him before the signS and he did not mention anything else when he came.


The signS are not the reason Nicodemus came to Jesus.

The reason is what Nic mentioned. Did he mention the temple cleansing or signS? He mentioned signS, so you claim he came because of something that he did not mention??? The reasons for my conclusion are now obvious.,


He also did not come to have being born again explained to him.

No, he came to be taught by the One who did the signS that indicated he was sent from God. He was asking to be taught by the Teacher.


So, according to arminian,...for 'no apparent reason' - except to get some random teaching on Spirituality which He was supposed to have already known the answer too (and being somewhat of a NP boffin, you would already know that the born from above thing wasnt an alien concept to them).


Geoff, you're cornered so you're lashing out. I didn't say anything like that. Anyone sent from God, geoff, is a teacher. This man, Jesus, showed his authority through signs. Nic didn't ask for information regarding being born again, and your way of dealing with your predicament is to put silly words in my mouth.

Geoff, look how silly you sound.


Seeing as you dont really have a theory, and mine at least follows literary convention and common sense.. I'll go with that.

HAHAHA! It took you a week to actually understand the words in the text. Now you say the words aren't an indication of what Nic was thinking or doing.


quote of Arminian:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asserting your conclusion is not an argument. I already told you why it was there. That's the order of events.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




I forgot, what was the order of events again?
1. Its almost passover and Jesus leaves for Jerusalem.
2. Its passover week and Jesus cleanses the Temple (and perhaps does some other signs and wonders of a non specific nature)
3. Jesus is asked for a sign to show His authority for cleansing the temple (strange as he has supposedly done signS)
4. During this time some believe
5. As a result the TEMPLE authorities come to Jesus ..

Yes, you forgot, again. You left out the signS during the Passover. But we saw that coming.....LOL!!


Note, that Jesus refers to Zech 14:21 in cleansing the Temple, which is an obvious allusion to 'the day of the Lord' and thus His Messiahship.

Of course it is.


Hard to believe that Nicodemus and the Temple Authorities DIDNT recognise Jesus words, also his biblical mandate (Ps 69:9) for the cleansing,

John mentions only 12 people who recognized that. Didn't John know how to say "all the Jews" in Greek?


which was, in John's mind to conform the Temple to its eschatalogical form, or at least prepare it. There is the idea that Jesus body is the new replacement for the Temple System, although this was an afterthought added by John (hindsight).

Of course.


Jesus made a powerful statement and an OBVIOUS (to a Hebrew Scholar) claim to Messiahship. There is no other conclusion that I could make for the Temple representatives to come to Jesus.

Nic is the only one mentioned. The plural pronouns used are a reference to the Jews.


The other 'signS' merely confirm the claim Jesus made by His actions at the temple.

The other signS confirm that he is a teacher sent from God. They confirm everything he does. They show that he has something to teach. No one would come to him for teaching otherwise. Now that he performed the signS, "many" (even those who were not at the temple) now believed in his name. Seeing that Jesus is sent from God, Nic, a teacher himself, comes to be taught. Is Nic telling the One sent from God what He should teach? Certainly not.

Arminian
September 11th, 2002, 01:52 PM
geoff,


Can I make it any clearer for you?

It's clear for me. It needs to be clear for you!

Big Finn
September 11th, 2002, 03:24 PM
Geoff,


So, according to arminian, Nicodemus came to visit Jesus, at the time when teaching generally took place, after discussion amongst themselves ('we' ...) [b]for 'no apparent reason' - except to get some random teaching on Spirituality which He was supposed to have already known the answer too [b](and being somewhat of a NP boffin, you would already know that the born from above thing wasnt an alien concept to them).

Do you really think Jesus taught the things He did at random? Do you think it was by accident that He chose the subject He did? He reads the hearts of men, and knows the answers to our deepest needs. He knew exactly why Nicodemus came, even if we don't, and He taught Nicodemus what Nicodemus needed to know for his own spiritual good, and for our instruction too.

As to your statement in answer to Jaltus' statement to you about the temple needing cleansing because of the hearts of men, well, as far as the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus goes I find it irrelevant. No one mentions the temple in that entire conversation.

I do find a correlation between the temple needing cleansing and the condition of mens hearts though. What I find very interesting is that you find this very relevant to the context of the entire incident. The only reason it could possibly be relevant is if the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are based upon the same principles and upon being born again. Something that you have been arguing against.

If heart condition was the reason for the temple needing to be cleansed, then heart condition was the basis for the OC. Only the condition of men's hearts could have defiled it. If the OC was based upon law and ritual alone, then heart condition is completely irrelevant to the temple. Thus you find that the OC has at it's basis far more than ceremony and legalism. You must see that the OC was based upon heart condition, heart obedience, love for God, and trust in a personal Savior, just like the NC.

Arminian
September 11th, 2002, 07:36 PM
Big,


Do you really think Jesus taught the things He did at random?

No, geoff dosn't believe that. He wanted me to believe that, but I don't.

I believe that if someone was sent from God we'd all want to hear what he or she had to say.

Big Finn
September 11th, 2002, 08:15 PM
Arminian,


I believe that if someone was sent from God we'd all want to hear what he or she had to say.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but if that was true the Pharisee's would never have crucified Jesus. Neither would the following text be true.


John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Since Jesus had the words of eternal life why did many of His disciples "go back" and walk with Him no more? He was definitely sent from God and yet most of the people who heard Him preach didn't accept Him then, and still don't today.

Also look at the history written in the Bible. How many of the prophets sent by God were killed, persecuted, or simply just had their message from God rejected by their contemporaries? That number is a majority, not a minority. Even those who weren't completely rejected still had many detractors among their contemporaries. They were sent of God with a message for their time and most people rejected them.

Arminian
September 11th, 2002, 10:42 PM
Big,


Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but if that was true the Pharisee's would never have crucified Jesus. Neither would the following text be true.

That's a good point. I mean what I said in more general terms.


Since Jesus had the words of eternal life why did many of His disciples "go back" and walk with Him no more? He was definitely sent from God and yet most of the people who heard Him preach didn't accept Him then, and still don't today.

To listen to him is one thing, and to agree is yet another. He was, however, being followed by them up to that point. My point is that anyone believed to be sent from God would draw the interest of anyone who believed they were sent from God. That doesn't mean that everyone will continue to believe that he was sent from God or that God should be obeyed.

Big Finn
September 11th, 2002, 11:16 PM
Arminian,


That's a good point. I mean what I said in more general terms.

Ok. I understand you then. My usage of the words hear, and listen, are much more in line with the Biblical usage of the words. In the Bible when someone "hears" there is an action that takes place too. When I "listen" to God, I obey Him too. If I'm not "listening" I'm not heeding what is told to me either.

Arminian
September 11th, 2002, 11:26 PM
Big,


In the Bible when someone "hears" there is an action that takes place too. When I "listen" to God, I obey Him too. If I'm not "listening" I'm not heeding what is told to me either.

Correct. The Jewish use of the word is also applied in the NT.

geoff
September 12th, 2002, 02:12 AM
Arminian,


Yeah, it mentions the signS PRIOR to Nic coming to Jesus. It took nearly a week for you to admit that. Now it may take a few days for you to see the order of what happened. Nic did not come to him before the signS and he did not mention anything else when he came.

NO, I said the signs were NOT the reason Nicodemus came to Jesus. You still havent given us a reason... I have. And as I say... You can not prove otherwise, because there is no contrary evidence. There HAS to be a reason Nicodemus came to Jesus, and generally when you are telling a story, unless specified its connected to some previous even (which we all know is not signS now).


The reason is what Nic mentioned. Did he mention the temple cleansing or signS? He mentioned signS, so you claim he came because of something that he did not mention??? The reasons for my conclusion are now obvious.,

He did NOT say he came because OF the signS, he says thatthe signS show He is from God.. nowhere does He mention signS as a reason.. you are imagining things.


No, he came to be taught by the One who did the signS that indicated he was sent from God. He was asking to be taught by the Teacher.

YES, that is what I have said all along... and what prompted this? THE TEMPLE CLEANSING.... All He said was 'we know you are a teacher come from God' - John is assuming we can figure out we Nicodemus is there.. and there is only ONE logical reason... because of the EVENT CONNECTED WITH NICODEMUS 9the temple cleansing) which has gone before.

YOu are asking me to abandon literary sense, reason and plain old common sense to think Nicodemus just turned up for no real reason... just for a good old chinwag..

Strangly enough, the rest of the chapter in regards to judgement etc, and Jesus escatalogical purpose is connected to the Temple cleansing also... but No, Arminian wants us to believe its some random event unconnected to anything.


HAHAHA! It took you a week to actually understand the words in the text. Now you say the words aren't an indication of what Nic was thinking or doing.

Ah, no, I say you can not prove the Temple Cleansing wasnt Nicodemus' purpose for approaching Jesus, and I know you can not give any better reason...

Arminian
September 12th, 2002, 02:48 AM
Geoff,


NO, I said the signs were NOT the reason Nicodemus came to Jesus. You still havent given us a reason...

You said that the reason he came to Jesus involved words he did not use. I said the reason he came to Jesus involved words he did use. My evidence comes from the text and context and yours come from your question-begging.


I have. And as I say... You can not prove otherwise, because there is no contrary evidence.

Yeah, if we throw out the WORDS Nic used, we have no evidence. Let's pretend "signS" means "sign" and that verse 23 is connected to verse 13 and then we'll have the argument you were making a few days ago. That'll be GREAT "evidence"!! Then we'll predend that "disciples" means "all the Jews."


There HAS to be a reason Nicodemus came to Jesus,

Yeah, the signs Nic MENTIONED with his W O R D S!


and generally when you are telling a story, unless specified its connected to some previous even (which we all know is not signS now).

Nic mentioned the S I G N S. LOL!!! You won't even list them in your list of events. Poor Nic has no say in the narrative, according to you. LOL!!

Perhaps we should copy you and look everywhere but the words in the text to figure out what the characters were thinking. Then, if anyone wants us to look at the words in the text, we'll say, "Are you nuts? You're asking me to abandon common sense! You must think that the Bible is a series of random events!!" LOL!!!



He did NOT say he came because OF the signS, he says thatthe signS show He is from God.. nowhere does He mention signS as a reason.. you are imagining things.

Nic mentions the only thing on his mind. The thing you want him to mention is not there. The evidence is on my side.



All He said was 'we know you are a teacher come from God' - John is assuming we can figure out we Nicodemus is there.. and there is only ONE logical reason... because of the EVENT CONNECTED WITH NICODEMUS 9the temple cleansing) which has gone before.

LOL!! Nic said why he made the connection... "For (gar) no one could perform the s i g n S you are DOING if God were not with him."!!!!!!! Here's the connection Nic did not make: "Fur U cicked ofer a bunche uv tabels and verz 13 iz konneckted 2 verz 23. And eanyone whoe dizagreez with me iz abandoning kommon senze."

Again, you continually confuse the intent of John with the motivation of Nic. If you would separate the two, you'd find that I would agree with more of what you are saying. But you won't, so you are blind to the fact that Nic's motivation is mentioned by Nic HIMSELF. As I mentioned days ago, you are confusing the role of the writer and the role of the characters! LOL!!


YOu are asking me to abandon literary sense, reason and plain old common sense

No, you did that voluntarily.


to think Nicodemus just turned up for no real reason... just for a good old chinwag..

geoff, come out with your hands in the air. The truth police have you surrounded!!! I've told you time and again why Nic came, you silly boy. A man sent by GOD has come. Who wouldn't want to ask him some questions?!?!?



No, Arminian wants us to believe its some random event unconnected to anything.

I have nothing but contempt for your dishonesty, geoff. I've said nothing like that. You've been trying to put words in my mouth instead of addressing and acknowledging what I've said. I feel sorry for you.

A man is sent from God, so Nic wants to talk to him (as would we all).


Ah, no, I say you can not prove the Temple Cleansing wasnt Nicodemus' purpose for approaching Jesus, and I know you can not give any better reason...

Take a class on logic and read the paragraph in your textbook concerning proving a negative.

Nic said why he was there: "FOR no one could perform the signS you are doing..." Contained in the following brackets are all the words Nic used that support your case: []

geoff
September 12th, 2002, 03:04 AM
Arminian,

Nicodemus didnt say he came because of the signs, he said the signs were proof that Jesus was from God.. its pretty simple.. you are making a mountain out of... nothing really...

He doesnt say "we come to you because of the signS .... yadda yadda' -

He says "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God"

How does He know:
"for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God."

No mention of this being the reason for His presence... the signS are proof that Jesus is a teacher from God... a teacher from God who has just gone and smashed up God's temple, which, incidentally, is run by the 'we' (which includes Nicodemus)... funny that...

Arminian
September 12th, 2002, 03:13 AM
geoff,


All He said was 'we know you are a teacher come from God' - John is assuming we can figure out we Nicodemus is there.. and there is only ONE logical reason... because of the EVENT CONNECTED WITH NICODEMUS 9the temple cleansing) which has gone before.

"For....the signs"!! That is what Nic said. So if you are correct, and there really is "ONE LOGICAL" reason, that "ONE LOGICAL" reason can't be your reason because Nic said that the "ONE LOGICAL" reason was the " S I G N S"!!!!!!

ONE REASON?! "SIGNS"!!!

Arminian
September 12th, 2002, 03:15 AM
No mention of this being the reason for His presence... the signS are proof that Jesus is a teacher from God... a teacher from God who has just gone and smashed up God's temple, which, incidentally, is run by the 'we' (which includes Nicodemus)... funny that...

...a teacher that did many things that week. Funny that Nic never mentioned the ONE REASON you wanted him to mention. Now we're forced to read what he said to figure out what he was thinking.

Arminian
September 12th, 2002, 03:19 AM
Nicodemus didnt say he came because of the signs, he said the signs were proof that Jesus was from God.. its pretty simple.. you are making a mountain out of... nothing really...

No, you just can't differentiate between what the author is doing and what the character is doing. And, in addition, you projected motivations upon the character that are not there.