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Thread: The Calvinist 5 Solas

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    No where in Jn 20:30-31 does it say that being born again comes subsequent to believing, the tense of the verb is clear and the tense of the participle is equally clear.
    The words are clear:

    "And that believing ye might have life through his name" (Jn.20:30-31).

    According to the Apostle John it is by believing that one receives life. The Greek word translated "that" is hina and we read the following about that word:

    "hína (a subordinating conjunction) – for the purpose that (in order that), looking to the aim (intended result) of the verbal idea. 2443 /hína ("for the purpose that") is "the semantically marked (dramatic) way of expressing purpose in Greek (as compared for example to the plain infinitive)" (G. Archer)."
    [emphasis added]. (HELP Word Studies; https://biblehub.com/greek/2443.htm).

    The "purpose" of believing is that those believing will have life. Besides that, Peter makes it plain that being born again happens upon belief in the gospel:

    "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God...And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet.1:23,25).

    James mirrors what Peter wrote about the new birth:

    "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (Jas.1:18).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    You and I both agree on the contingency. Our eternal life is contingent upon our believing. We simply disagree that contingency implies either logical or temporal priority.
    When a person is first made alive it is together with Christ (Eph.2:5) and that can only be in regard to eternal life. And no one receives eternal life until they believe (Jn.6:47).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    What absolutely does imply logical priority is 1 John 5:1.

    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (1 John 5:1 ESV)

    The perfect tense verb γεγεννηται means that the act of being born again is completed prior to the implied action of the substantive participle (πιστευων).

    Case closed. Everyone who is believer has already been born again.

    The action of being born again was completed prior to the action implied in being a believer.
    You don't understand that the word "believe," being in the present tense, is only saying that it is a continuous action happening at the present time but it doesn't mean that the believing only started then. You evidently know little about the Greek verbs in the "present" tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Now on to your misunderstanding of 2 Cor 4:3-4

    Your conclusion that they must have been able to see before “being blinded” is false on its face.
    For what reason did Paul think that Satan had blinded the mind of those who are perishing?:

    "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Cor.4:3-4).

    According to Paul the reason Satan blinded the minds of those who are perishing was so "that they cannot see the light of the gospel." Evidently Paul thought that if these people's minds were not blinded that they could in fact see the light of the gospel. Why would Satan be blinding their minds to the light of the gospel if there was absolutely no chance that they could ever see the light of the gospel since, according to Calvinism, these people had not been given a so-called "gift of faith"by the LORD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Let me ask you a question.

    In 1 John 2:9 Johns says that anyone who hates his brother is still in darkness. The KJV says, “even until now.”

    Do you think that person ever walked in the light?

    I’ll wait for your answer.
    What point are you trying to make?

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    Over 750 post club Dialogos's Avatar
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    Clete:
    I've not simply quoted him, I've provided references to where the quote is located and where it can be read for free by anyone curious enough to do so. Further, as I've said a couple of times already, I have yet to find a Calvinist who will disagree with a syllable of what I've quoted, yourself included.
    And it is clear from the context of each of those quotes that Calvin is combating the errant notion that God's choice is a reaction to human merit or effort. Calvin rebuts such notions and posits instead that the reasons for God’s choosing are His will, and His own good counsel. In no way does Calvin imply that God’s sovereign election is “arbitrary.”

    Hence, you are great at misquoting Calvin. That either comes because you are dishonest or mentally ill equipped to understand the context. Either way, your critique of Calvinism isn’t a critique of Calvinism as a whole or Calvin, but is a critique of an imaginary theology you have invented and projected onto Calvinists.

    You now provide us with a false dichotomy:
    Clete:
    1. Accept that God cannot change in any way whatsoever.
    2. Reject the whole of Calvinism's distinctive doctrines.
    First, in God’s character, knowledge, holiness, goodness etc…, God is immutable. Perfection requires immutability. I believe Calvin also saw God as impassible, which is an argument with which I would contend.

    Clete:

    There is no rational third option. You don't get to pick and choose which doctrines you like and which you would rather disagree with.
    No?, only dispensationalists get to do that?

    Clete:
    I've been debating this topic for twenty years!
    I’m sorry you have spent so much of your life disproving a canard of your own imagination.

    Clete:
    Do you think you're the first person to claim that I'm misrepresenting something?
    No, I’m sure you hear it all the time. That would be because you are misrepresenting something.
    Clete:
    Maybe you're not the Calvinist your pastor lead you to believe you are.
    Two thoughts.

    First, there are no prizes for being the “best Calvinist.” I couldn’t care much less about being a “good Calvinist” or a “bad” one. My goal isn’t to prove Calvin right, its to accurately understand and represent the infallible word of God. I believe in the doctrines of Grace not because I am committed to Calvinism but because I am committed to believing the word of God.

    Clete:

    God is not meticulously controlling it when a pervert penetrates a 5 year old child.
    God was not meticulously controlling it when Jeffery Dahmer raped, murdered, dismembered and ate other sexual perverts.
    God was not meticulously controlling it when people would burn their own children as a sacrifice to their false god.
    Why do your imaginations always go to the most perverted places??

    So lets take Jefferey Dahmer as an example.

    At what point did God become powerless to prevent Jefferey Dahmer from his atrocities? What moment was God forced to say, “I want to stop this from happening, but I can’t.”



    Clete:
    Jeremiah 19:5 [God speaking](they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),
    Explain to me how you end up being smarter than God (may it never be) according to your interpretation of Jeremiah 19:5?

    Facts:

    1. God was aware of child sacrifice to the Baals when Ahaz burned his own children to Baal in 2 Chronicles 28:1-3
    2. Jeremiah was written in the time of Josiah who was Ahaz’s great, great grandson.


    So, either God wasn’t paying attention during the time of Ahaz (heretical view) or He forgot and the possibility slipped His mind (heretical view) or when the text says, “it did not come into my mind.” It means: “It was not in the heart of God” for this to happen.

    There is good reason to suggest this since the LXX has the word “καρδια” as the translation rather than the word “mind.”

    Clete:

    Now, you go ahead and tell me I'm wrong! Tell me that you believe that God is meticulously in control of every molecule that sticks to the toilet paper after you've used it!
    You are wrong, and disgusting, but mostly wrong.

    Clete:
    Tell me that God has to not only be a first person witness to but in active meticulous control of every vile act that occurs in all of the back rooms of every gay bar in America at once.
    You tell me why you think God is powerless to stop any of it.


    Clete:
    Don't believe Calvin? How about Pink?...


    If God was able to subdue your will and win your heart, and that without interfering with your moral responsibility, then is He not able to do the same for others? Assuredly He is. Then how inconsistent, how illogical, how foolish of you, in seeking to account for the present course of the wicked and their ultimate fate, to argue that God is unable to save them, that they will not let Him. Do you say, “But the time came when I was willing, willing to receive Christ as my Saviour”? True, but it was the Lord who made you willing (Ps. 110:3; Phil. 2:13) why then does He not make all sinners willing? Why, but for the fact that He is sovereign and does as He pleases! - Arthur W. Pink "The Sovereignty of God in Salvation"
    None of what you quote Pink saying is inconsistent with anything I have argued. Of course God does as he pleases! Romans 9, you need to read the chapter and read it carefully.

    Pink isn’t arguing inconsistently with the Westminster Confession…

    How do you claim to have discussed Calvinism for 20 years and still don’t get this…?

    CLete:
    The grace of God is irresistible. When God has determined to present us with the gift of salvation, we cannot refuse that gift. - Rev. Gordon Girod "Irresistible Grace"
    No disagreement on my part.

    What is misfiring in your brain that you think you’ve latched on to some inconsistency here?

    Clete:
    I don't believe God predestined everything. I don't need to believe that there was a cause for an event that didn't happen.
    I know. But let’s start small.

    If you can’t admit that God predestined “people” to be conformed to the image of Christ then you either can’t read or your theology has overridden your willingness to believe what the scriptures plainly teach.

    Romans 8
    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30 ESV)
    The word “those” in Romans 8 28-29 are “people.” Not a plan, but God predestined “people.”

    Can you at least see this, don’t worry, we’ll start slowly so you can process…

    Regarding John 3:16 you said:
    CLete:

    It means exactly what it says. It isn't written in code.
    No, it was written in Greek… And in Greek it isn’t a statement about the breadth of the atonement. It’s a statement about the “way” God chose to love the world.

    Look up what ουτω means, it has some meaning of magnitude but is principally about method.
    …”in this way..”


    Clete:
    When you get a gift from your Mother, do you feel like you've earned it by having accepted it?
    False equivalency.

    As lost people, God is their enemy, they are in full on rebellion against God.
    And the lost person doesn’t see the cross as a gift, he/she sees it as foolishness.
    Something has to change to remove the blinders and change the stone-cold heart. In your theological system, it’s all up to your lonesome.

    Clete:
    Did the servant in Christ's parable earn the forgiveness of his debt (Matthew 18:27), was it offered out of obligation or out of compassion?
    Forgiveness isn't earned, ever.

    Incidentally, the servants heart wasn't changed. How'd that work out for him in the end?

    Regarding Romans 5:19 you say:
    Why do you say I'm wrong and then quote the one verse that proves that I'm right?
    Because you aren’t right. The verse could not be more clear.
    For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19 NKJ)


    Clete:

    That might pass as a version of total depravity - sort of - but it has nothing at all to do with original sin. The doctrine of original sin says that you are born in sin, that you are guilty from conception and deserving of Hell fire from your mother's womb and that it is so because Adam sinned.
    Or, in other words.

    “For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners…”

    Why do you not get this….?

    Clete:
    The Calvinist will often attempt to worm around the injustice of both doctrines by taking the position that is this condition itself that is referred to as original sin and they say that it was merely caused by Adam's sin but the result is the exact same. One way or the other, Adam ate sour grapes and all of mankind's teeth were set on edge.
    No, you keep wanting to make Ezekiel refute Paul. It doesn’t. Stop trying. Your attempt to do so is clownish.

    God isn’t saying “Adam’s disobedience doesn’t actually make his posterity sinners.”

    God is saying that if my dad worships an idol, I don’t get the sword for it.

    Nevertheless, my chances of standing before God in sinless perfection based on my own ability to keep God's law is exactly 0%. Same with you.

    So despite the fact that neither of us have to answer for the lawlessness of our fathers, our first father made us both sinners through his disobedience which results in our very own sins for which we will be pronounced guilty.

    BTW, Ezekiel 18, isn't about one generation's innocence in light of a previous generation's guilt. God is removing the excuse from Israel that they will suffer, not for their own sin, but for the sins of their fathers. In reality, all generations are guilty, and called to repentance. If they don't, (and they didn't), God would bring judgment, (and He did.)

    I’m not confident you will see the difference but a difference is there nevertheless.
    Last edited by Dialogos; September 22nd, 2019 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    Worthy is the Lamb

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    Nang (September 20th, 2019)

  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAN P View Post
    Hi Nang , I see where Paul said in Eph 3(9 To make all see what IS the FELLOWSHIP of the MYSTERY !!

    But where does it say to make all see what is the FELLOWSHIP OF CALVINISM ?

    At least DISPENSATIONISM IS IN THE BIBLE , THE Greek word for CALVINISM is not !!

    dan p
    Dan,

    You are correct. "Dispensation" is a biblical term and "Calvinism" is not.

    The question ends up being how "dispensation" is interpreted by both Dispensationalists versus Reformers.

    We of the Reformed faith believe the biblical dispensations refer to eras and/or Godly economies of different times. e.g. the Old Testament compared with the New Testament teachings. They are distinct eras of time and reveal God working in various ways, through His Word of Truth at all times.

    But we do not believe the dispensations reveal two different peoples in the body of believers. All saints are saved by grace by faith in Christ during both O.T. and N.T.

    Neither do we believe there are two different Gospels; two different kingdoms; two different Decalogues (moral Law); two or more different covenants in addition to the one, eternal Covenant of Redemption, etc. etc. such as Dispensationalists teach these days.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    .Neither do we believe there are two different Gospels...
    What gospel were the Twelve preaching at Luke 9:6 since at that time they didn't even know that the Lord Jesus was going to die (18:33-34)?

    How could it possibly be the same gospel Paul preached when he proclaimed that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor.15:1-3)?

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    Right Divider (September 19th, 2019)

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    TOL Subscriber Nang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    What gospel were the Twelve preaching at Luke 9:6 since at that time they didn't even know that the Lord Jesus was going to die (18:33-34)?

    How could it possibly be the same gospel Paul preached when he proclaimed that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor.15:1-3)?
    Same Gospel message that the Messiah had come to usher in His eternal Kingdom.

    Paul simply expounded on the same message of the Christ.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    Same Gospel message that the Messiah had come to usher in His eternal Kingdom.

    Paul simply expounded on the same message of the Christ.
    So even though one message declared that "Christ died for our sins" and the other one didn't we can conclude that both messages were the same?

    BRILLIANT!

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    TOL Subscriber Nang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    So even though one message declared that "Christ died for our sins" and the other one didn't we can conclude that both messages were the same?

    BRILLIANT!
    Psalm 22 is part of the O.T. Gospel message, is it not?
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    Psalm 22 is part of the O.T. Gospel message, is it not?
    Where do we see a gospel being preached in the OT which declares what we read at Psalm 22?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    Where do we see a gospel being preached in the OT which declares what we read at Psalm 22?
    The entire O.T. is replete with Gospel promises of Messiah proclaimed by the patriarchs; psalmists, and prophets of God.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    The entire O.T. is replete with Gospel promises of Messiah proclaimed by the patriarchs; psalmists, and prophets of God.
    All you aredoing is trying to change the subject. What gospel were the Twelve preaching at Luke 9:6 since at that time they didn't even know that the Lord Jesus was going to die (18:33-34)?

    How could it possibly be the same gospel Paul preached when he proclaimed that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor.15:1-3)?

    You have not said anything that makes sense to defend your idea that there was only one gospel.

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    Over 750 post club Dialogos's Avatar
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    Jerry, you replied.
    The "purpose" of believing is that those believing will have life.
    I don’t disagree.

    For what purpose do you breathe? Is it not to live? Does that mean that you weren’t alive until after you took your first breath?

    Weird conclusion, don’t you think?

    Purpose does not necessitate temporal priority. That’s what you fail to realize and it’s the Achilles heel of your argument in John 20.

    Jerry:
    You don't understand that the word "believe," being in the present tense, is only saying that it is a continuous action happening at the present time but it doesn't mean that the believing only started then. You evidently know little about the Greek verbs in the "present" tense.
    How does this erase the fact that “has been born again.” Is in the perfect tense relative to the present tense of the participle.

    The same kind of construction happens in 1 John 2:29 and 1 John 4:7.
    I going to go out on a limb and assume you don’t think that people are born again because they practice righteousness (1 John 2:29) or are born again because they love one another (1 John 4:7)…, am I wrong?

    So why do you assume that 1 John 5:1 means that they are born again because they believe?

    Hmmm?



    Now you ask:
    Jerry:
    For what reason did Paul think that Satan had blinded the mind of those who are perishing?:

    "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Cor.4:3-4).

    According to Paul the reason Satan blinded the minds of those who are perishing was so "that they cannot see the light of the gospel."
    Yes.

    Jerry:
    Evidently Paul thought that if these people's minds were not blinded that they could in fact see the light of the gospel.
    Sure, if their minds are not blinded, then they can see.

    But, their minds are blinded, so they can’t.

    So what’s the solution?

    All you have to do is want to really, really hard and the blinders come off?



    The answer is verse 6.
    For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV)
    God is the one who shines in our hearts to give us the light of the gospel.

    Jerry:
    Why would Satan be blinding their minds to the light of the gospel if there was absolutely no chance that they could ever see the light of the gospel since, according to Calvinism, these people had not been given a so-called "gift of faith"by the LORD?
    You are completely missing the point. Remedying the Satan caused blindness (that all non-believers have because we are, by nature, children of wrath prior to being born again) is what it means to be given the “gift” of faith.

    How else do you think the blinders get removed?

    Satan does it?

    We try, really, really hard and eventually find a way to remedy our own blindness?

    I’m genuinely interested, Jerry.

    If Satan is blinding non-believers from the light of the gospel, how exactly does one overcome that blindness on their own, apart from any Divine intervention?
    Last edited by Dialogos; September 22nd, 2019 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    TOL Legend Jerry Shugart's Avatar
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    I said:

    The "purpose" of believing is that those believing will have life.

    To which you replied:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    I don’t disagree.
    But Calvinism teaches that life precedes believing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Purpose does not necessitate temporal priority. That’s what you fail to realize and it’s the Achilles heal of your argument in John 20.
    You just ignored the fact that when a person passes from spiritual death to spiritual life he is made alive "together" with Christ:

    "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Eph.2:5).

    Since the life of Christ is "eternal" in nature then when a person is made alive "together" with Christ then that person's life also becomes eternal in nature. And no one receives any other kind of life prior to the time when he receives eternal life which is in the Son (1 Jn.5:11).

    And no one receives eternal life until he believes (Jn.5:24, 6:47). So life comes as a result of faith and not prior to faith, as the Calvinists teach. The following two verses provide even more evidence that life comes as a result of faith, and not prior to faith:

    "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God...And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you"
    (1 Pet.1:23,25).

    "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (Jas.1:18).

    You just ignored these two verses as well as Ephesians 2:5 so perhaps next time you will actually address them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    How does this erase the fact that “has been born again.” Is in the perfect tense relative to the present tense of the participle.
    If you will actually study the Greek "present" tense of verbs you will see that just because they are in the present tense doesn't mean the action started then but instead it is an ongoing action at the present time.

    So why do you assume that 1 John 5:1 means that they are born again because they believe?
    Because of John 20:30-31 as well as what he wrote here:

    "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God"
    (Jn.1:11-13).

    Those who "believed on His name" were given the right to become children of God so in order to become children of God they were "born of God." it was "believing" which resulted in their being "born of God." They were not born of Godbefore they believed, as the Calvinist teach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    You are completely missing the point. Remedying the Satan caused blindness (that all non-believers have because we are, by nature, children of wrath prior to being born again) is what it means to be given the “gift” of faith.
    In some instances Satan blinds the minds of those who are perishing. and no one becomes a child of wrath until he sins. After all, the Lord Jesus was made like His brethren in "all things" (Heb.2:17) so it is inconceivable that anyone emerges from the womb as a child of wrath.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    How else do you think the blinders get removed?

    Satan does it?

    We try, really, really hard and eventually find a way to remedy our own blindness?
    One way Satan blinds the mind of the light of the gospel of the grace of God is through his minions (2 Cor.11:14-15) in the church at Rome because they teach a false gospel. That false gospel declares that even though salvation comes by grace through faith that "works" of one kind or another are required to be saved by grace. In that way they blind people to the true gospel of grace.

    In order for the blinders to be removed from those who have been deceived a Christian needs to show them, from the Scriptures, the true meaning of the gospel of grace. Then they can see the light of that wonderful gospel and as a result they are saved,

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    Dialogos,

    If you do not use the quote tag properly, I get no notification that you've responded to my post. How much time did you spend writing this post, that I had to go looking for to even know that it existed, which I do not usually do!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    And it is clear from the context of each of those quotes that Calvin is combating the errant notion that God's choice is a reaction to human merit or effort. Calvin rebuts such notions and posits instead that the reasons for God’s choosing are His will, and His own good counsel. In no way does Calvin imply that God’s sovereign election is “arbitrary.”
    This was an intentional lie!

    Those quotes are not taken out of context in any way shape or form! Calvin absolutely did believe and teaches that God's choice was for no reason whatsoever other than 'His will' or that "it please Him to do so' or the equivalent. I don't care how much of Calvin's work you read, there is no other conclusion that any honest reader could come to because he wasn't the slightest bit vague or cryptic about it. He believe that proudly and used it repeatedly in perhaps a thousand sermons!

    You're just a flat out liar dialogos! You either made this stupidity up and presented it as fact having never read a word of Calvin's books or else you have read them and just openly and flagrantly misrepresented them because you rightly think most everyone here hasn't read them and will believe you.

    LIAR!

    Hence, you are great at misquoting Calvin. That either comes because you are dishonest or mentally ill equipped to understand the context. Either way, your critique of Calvinism isn’t a critique of Calvinism as a whole or Calvin, but is a critique of an imaginary theology you have invented and projected onto Calvinists.
    The problem for you is that I have the direct quotes.

    Nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally
    purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is
    an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man
    or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own
    good pleasure and for His own eternal glory. – A.W. Pink

    “If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”
    ― R.C. Sproul, Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children

    "The biblical doctrine of God’s immutability says that God is always what he is. He is never any more or any less than he is. He is not becoming. He is not changing. He is utterly reliable. He is utterly perfect. He needs nothing. He wants nothing. He lacks nothing. The word immutable means unchangable. It means God cannot be anything other than what he is. God says, “For I Yahweh do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal 3:6). As Richard Muller explained decades ago to the Open Theists (those who deny that God is immutable, who claim that God not only does not know the future but also that he cannot know or control the future and is mutable with us), the second half of that verse only makes sense if the first half is literally true.

    There are even some ministers and theologians in NAPARC churches (though none in the URCs of which I know) who are challenging the confessional formulation of immutability. They seem to be suggesting that, when we consider God’s covenant with his people, we may consider that he is mutable “covenantally” or something like that. Other writers have said, in response to Open Theism, essentially, “Well, God changes a little.” Of course, both these approaches are not only unhelpful but they are profoundly false.

    Our entire doctrine of providence, our entire doctrine of salvation, the covenants of redemption and grace all depend upon divine immutability. As Muller noted in 1980, if God is not immutable then we are left with an incompetent Marcionite deity." - Dr. R. Scott Clark

    "Here, then, is something fundamentally necessary and salutary for a Christian, to know that God foreknows nothing contingently, but that he foresees and purposes and does all things by his immutable, eternal, and infallible will. Here is a thunderbolt by which free choice is completely prostrated and shattered, so that those who want free choice asserted must either deny or explain away this thunderbolt, or get rid of it by some other means." - Martin Luther

    I've got dozens if not hundreds of them!

    You now provide us with a false dichotomy:
    Quote Originally Posted by Clete
    1. Accept that God cannot change in any way whatsoever.
    2. Reject the whole of Calvinism's distinctive doctrines.
    First, in God’s character, knowledge, holiness, goodness etc…, God is immutable.
    You simply don't know your own doctrine! If this where the doctrine of immutability then it wouldn't be the source of controversy that it's been for centuries. This is very nearly the open theist's understanding of the way God does not change and it is a major reason, if not THE reason why reformed theologians consider open theism to be heresy!

    Tell this to your pastor. I dare you!

    Be prepared to get kicked out of that reformed baptist church you go to if you hold to this belief too loudly. And I'm not kidding!

    What he will tell you is something along the lines of "From God's eternal perspective, everything is unchangeably ordered. But from our perspective, blah blah blah". That the passages that talk about God learning something or changing His mind are somehow lengthy figures of speech that mean that God always knew and that God does not change His mind (i.e. the opposite of what they say.)

    And it flat out is not a false dichotomy! I have debated Calvinist on this specific point for years and years. The boys over on the CRTA (Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics) web forum understood the foundational nature of immutability intuitively. None of them would move one single centimeter toward even your modified stance, which is by far the furthest anyone who called themselves a Calvinist has ever been willing to go in my presence. Calvinism absolutely does teach that God cannot change in anyway WHATSOEVER! If you think otherwise, it is you who don't understand Calvinism not me and if you reject immutability, you might as well drop the rest because I'm telling you that the whole theological construct is built on that single premise and on no other!

    Perfection requires immutability.
    The whole argument goes like this...

    And what do you think of a second principle? Shall I ask you whether God is a magician, and of a nature to appear insidiously now in one shape, and now in another–sometimes himself changing and passing into many forms, sometimes deceiving us with the semblance of such transformations; or is he one and the same immutably fixed in his own proper image?

    I cannot answer you, he said, without more thought.

    Well, I said; but if we suppose a change in anything, that change must be effected either by the thing itself, or by some other thing?

    Most certainly.

    And things which are at their best are also least liable to be altered or discomposed; for example, when healthiest and strongest, the human frame is least liable to be affected by meats and drinks, and the plant which is in the fullest vigour also suffers least from winds or the heat of the sun or any similar causes.

    Of course.

    And will not the bravest and wisest soul be least confused or deranged by any external influence?

    True.

    And the same principle, as I should suppose, applies to all composite things–furniture, houses, garments: when good and well made, they are least altered by time and circumstances.

    Very true.

    Then everything which is good, whether made by art or nature, or both, is least liable to suffer change from without?

    True.

    But surely God and the things of God are in every way perfect?

    Of course they are.

    Then he can hardly be compelled by external influence to take many shapes?

    He cannot.

    But may he not change and transform himself?

    Clearly, he said, that must be the case if he is changed at all.

    And will he then change himself for the better and fairer, or for the worse and more unsightly?

    If he change at all he can only change for the worse, for we cannot suppose him to be deficient either in virtue or beauty.


    That's from Plato's Republic and it is THE reason that the doctrine of immutability exists. Augustine, who all but worshiped Aristotle and even refused to become a Christian until the bible was explained to him with a Classical interpretation, introduced this line of reasoning into church.

    Compare the pagan Greek philosophy of Plato and Aristotle with modern Calvinists...

    "Briefly put, whatever changes acquires something new. But God cannot acquire anything new, since he is absolutely perfect; he could not be better. Therefore God cannot change.

    God is by his very nature an absolutely perfect being. If there were any perfection that he lacked, then he would not be God. However to change one must gain something new. But to gain a new perfection is to have lacked it to begin with. Hence, God cannot change. If he did, he would not be God. Rather, he would be a being lacking in some perfection, not the absolutely perfect God that he is." - Dr. Norman Geisler

    I believe Calvin also saw God as impassible, which is an argument with which I would contend.
    Well you don't get to pick and choose, bub! Reason doesn't work that way. The doctrine of impassibility is nothing but a subset of immutability. You cannot have one without the other. If God's state of mind is mutable then where is the desire to retain the rest of the doctrine?

    “We correctly deny that God has passions… He cannot be affected by love…” - C. S. Lewis (Miracles, 1960, pp. 92 93)

    My goal isn’t to prove Calvin right, its to accurately understand and represent the infallible word of God. I believe in the doctrines of Grace not because I am committed to Calvinism but because I am committed to believing the word of God.
    That's what every Christian alive says. Every single one!

    They cannot all be right.

    The fact is you believe Calvinism because you were taught to believe Calvinism. The "doctrines of grace" as you so blasphemously call them, cannot survive even a surface reading of the most famous texts in all of scripture so long as the doctrines are not brought a priori to the reading.

    Why do your imaginations always go to the most perverted places??
    Because if your logic doesn't survive there, it doesn't survive at all. God either predestined everything or he didn't.

    So lets take Jefferey Dahmer as an example.

    At what point did God become powerless to prevent Jefferey Dahmer from his atrocities? What moment was God forced to say, “I want to stop this from happening, but I can’t.”
    "Powerless to prevent"?

    You think that God's sovereignty is limited to whether He is or is not "powerless to prevent" something?

    Tell that one to your pastor and watch his head spin right off his shoulders!

    I'm telling you that this is not Calvinist doctrine. You might as well be an Open Theist!

    Explain to me how you end up being smarter than God (may it never be) according to your interpretation of Jeremiah 19:5?

    Facts:

    1. God was aware of child sacrifice to the Baals when Ahaz burned his own children to Baal in 2 Chronicles 28:1-3
    2. Jeremiah was written in the time of Josiah who was Ahaz’s great, great grandson.


    So, either God wasn’t paying attention during the time of Ahaz (heretical view) or He forgot and the possibility slipped His mind (heretical view) or when the text says, “it did not come into my mind.” It means: “It was not in the heart of God” for this to happen.


    Well, you pulled it off! That's sure is one I've never heard before!

    So, according to you, the heart of God is seperate from the mind of God; that He has parts that are compartmentalized from one another and that what God planned, predestined, ordained and commanded to happen was at odds with what was in His heart to happen.

    You Calvinists just have broken minds. You literally cannot tell when you've said something that contradicts you own beliefs. In order to refute an argument that defeats one Calvinist doctrine, you make an argument that turns the entire system upside down!

    None of what you quote Pink saying is inconsistent with anything I have argued. Of course God does as he pleases! Romans 9, you need to read the chapter and read it carefully.

    Pink isn’t arguing inconsistently with the Westminster Confession…

    How do you claim to have discussed Calvinism for 20 years and still don’t get this…?
    What did I say that makes you think that I was suggesting that Pink was being inconsistent with the WCF?

    No disagreement on my part.

    What is misfiring in your brain that you think you’ve latched on to some inconsistency here?
    If you can't see the contradiction, your mind is broken.

    You cannot both choose and not choose. You cannot choose to accept irresistible grace otherwise, it wouldn't be irresistible.

    Further, the bible explicitly states that people resist his will! (Luke 7:30 and elsewhere) Thus, as I said, it is not because of faith that people are saved but because God chose them before they ever existed.

    If you can’t admit that God predestined “people” to be conformed to the image of Christ then you either can’t read or your theology has overridden your willingness to believe what the scriptures plainly teach.
    God predestined the group of people known as "the Body of Christ" to be conformed to the image of His Son, not specific individuals.

    The word “those” in Romans 8 28-29 are “people.” Not a plan, but God predestined “people.”
    Right, and American Airlines have predetermined to send people from Dallas to New York several times today. They have no idea who, they just know that there are people who are going to board those planes.

    Regarding John 3:16 you said: "It means exactly what it says. It isn't written in code."

    No, it was written in Greek… And in Greek it isn’t a statement about the breadth of the atonement. It’s a statement about the “way” God chose to love the world.

    Look up what ουτω means, it has some meaning of magnitude but is principally about method.
    …”in this way..”
    So are you seriously suggesting that the single most famous verse in the whole of scripture has been mistranslated every single time anyone has ever bothered to translate it into English since the 1611 edition of the King James Bible until you showed up here on TOL to correct the record?!

    Is that seriously what you are suggesting!

    Why can't you just read the bible and take it to mean what it says when the contexts and the words themselves make it plainly obvious that it means what it seems to mean?

    The reason why is because it contradicts your doctrine. So much for sola scriptura!

    False equivalency.

    As lost people, God is their enemy, they are in full on rebellion against God.
    And the lost person doesn’t see the cross as a gift, he/she sees it as foolishness.
    Something has to change to remove the blinders and change the stone-cold heart. In your theological system, it’s all up to your lonesome.
    LIAR!

    It is absolutely not a false equivalency and you know it! God didn't offer the gift of salvation to people because He hated them but because He loves them!

    Where is the limit to which you will twist yourself into knots in order to preserve your idiotic, self-contradictory, blasphemous doctrine?

    Is there any limit?

    Forgiveness isn't earned, ever.
    My forgiveness was earned (i.e. paid for) by the shedding of God's own blood.


    I don't have the time or the patience for the rest of you drivel.

    Clete
    Last edited by Clete; September 24th, 2019 at 03:39 PM.

    "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    Calvinists, holding to the historical Reformed Faith of the Protestant churches, witness to the following Gospel doctrines:

    Sinners are saved by the grace of God only (SOLA GRATIA), through God’s gift of faith alone (SOLA FIDE), in the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone (SOLUS CHRISTUS), as revealed to mankind from God via the Holy Scriptures alone (SOLA SCRIPTURA), to the glory of God alone (SOLA DEO GLORIA)!

    Anyone who declares these Calvinist beliefs & teachings to be delusional, deny the very Gospel message that alone will save souls.

    May God show mercy to those who falsely bring dark accusations against those who walk in the light of Godly TRUTH.
    What is the gospel of your salvation?
    Is the righteousness of God by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all?
    Did the man Christ Jesus give Himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time?
    2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    Paul defines the word of truth as the gospel of your salvation (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV, Ephesians 1:13 KJV). Now, study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed by rightly dividing it!

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  19. #105
    Over 750 post club Dialogos's Avatar
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    Jerry.
    First, allow me to express my appreciation to you for discussing this without all the drama and posturing that sometimes characterizes discussion on TOL. We may not agree but I appreciate your willingness to be cordial. It is greatly appreciated.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    I said:
    The "purpose" of believing is that those believing will have life.
    To which you replied:
    But Calvinism teaches that life precedes believing.
    Not exactly.
    Calvinism believes that regeneration precedes faith in logical priority. Calvinists don’t believe that there are some who are born again unbelievers. Most Calvinists, that I have encountered, believe that regeneration and faith happen simultaneously in a “temporal” sense, but that regeneration precedes faith in a “logical” sense. It is our regeneration that enables us to believe. In other words, we have been born again unto belief as 1 John 5:1 will show, but more on that verse later.
    As the apostle Peter said:
    1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3 ESV)
    The logical order is that being born again causes us to have a living hope.
    Non-Calvinists have to reverse the order. In their (your) view, hoping in Christ leads to being born again.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    You just ignored the fact that when a person passes from spiritual death to spiritual life he is made alive "together" with Christ:
    "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)" (Eph.2:5).
    I don’t ignore it at all, I rejoice in it! Even when we were dead in sins, by God’s grace alone God caused us to be made alive together with Christ.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    Since the life of Christ is "eternal" in nature then when a person is made alive "together" with Christ then that person's life also becomes eternal in nature. And no one receives any other kind of life prior to the time when he receives eternal life which is in the Son (1 Jn.5:11).
    "Eternal" in the sense of having a definite point of origin and proceeding eternally into the future, yes. But my belief isn’t into eternity past. Respectfully, you are still missing the point of this verse.
    1 Jn 5:11 clearly shows that the experience of being born again leads to belief (in logical order) not the other way around.
    The way John talk about being born again in 1 John confirms this.
    Here’s proof.
    I John 5:1 says:
    Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (1 John 5:1 ESV)
    “Believes” (πιστευων) is a present participle and “has been born” (γεγεννται) is a perfect tense verb. Therefore everyone who is currently believing is done being born again regardless of when that “believing” is. They have been born again unto belief.
    Your conclusion is that belief precedes “being born of Him.”
    But I guarantee you won’t be consistent when you see the same grammatic construction in other verses in the same letter.
    For example.
    1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:29 ESV)
    The same construction is present. Ποιων (is a present participle and γεγεννται is the same perfect tense verb as in 1 Jn 5:1. To be consistent, you must now argue that practicing righteousness precedes being born of Him. You must now argue that one practices righteousness unto regeneration.


    That’s salvation by works!

    The only way that verse can be properly understood is that born again (perfect tense) is logically prior so that one is born again unto practicing righteousness.
    Or the following:
    1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7 ESV)”
    “Whoever loves” (ο αγαπαων) is another present participle and γεγεννται is the same perfect tense verb as 1 Jn 5:1. So now, to be consistent in your interpretation you must conclude that loving one another precedes being born again. You must argue, to be consistent, that one loves their neighbor unto being born again.
    More works righteousness…?
    No, the only way this verse makes sense is to conclude that the perfect tense verb (born again) is unto loving one another. The perfect tense action is completed before the action of the substantive participle.
    Looking at how John uses the perfect tense form of γεγεννται (born again) makes it crystal clear that he means that it comes first. In 1 John 4:7 it comes before loving our neighbor, in 1 John 2:29 it comes before practicing righteousness and in 1 John 5:1 it comes before “believing.”

    Jerry, Please address why you are willing to make 1 John 5:1 the lone exception to the way γεγεννται is used in every single other use of the form of the word in the epistle of John.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God...And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet.1:23,25).
    Yes, but you are ignoring the fact that Peter has already told us that God has “caused” us to be born into a living hope. Of course, the living hope we are born into is the truth of the gospel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (Jas.1:18).
    Yes, Jerry, of His own will, not our will.
    Jerry said:
    If you will actually study the Greek "present" tense of verbs you will see that just because they are in the present tense doesn't mean the action started then but instead it is an ongoing action at the present time.
    I understand that the present tense talks about ongoing action. I don’t deny that. 1 John 5:1 says that whoever is “presently” believing – regardless of when that believing started - the selfsame person has “already been” born again (in the sense of logical priority). This is true from the very first moment anyone can be accurately described as “believing” or the verse is falsified. This means that if a person came to Christ at 8:32 AM EST, they are “believing” at 8:32 and must be described as having already been born again at 8:32 AM EST.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn.1:11-13).
    Yes, there are a good number of things that accompany our faith. I don’t dispute any of them. Having the right to become the children of God is among them. Note, however, the verse is clear that they weren’t born by the “will of man” which you must ignore (and assume the opposite) to make the verse work to support your theology. According to the verse you just cited, the “will of man” has absolutely nothing to do with our being born again. You must believe that man wills to believe unto being born again in direct contradiction to the verse you just cited.
    Finally, let us talk about 2 Cor 4:4.
    Here’s where we both agree. The passage is clear that Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of unbelievers. We both agree that the word of God is indispensable when it comes to preaching the gospel.
    Here is where we disagree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry
    For the blinders to be removed from those who have been deceived a Christian needs to show them, from the Scriptures, the true meaning of the gospel of grace. Then they can see the light of that wonderful gospel and as a result, they are saved,
    I completely agree that no one even knows what the gospel is until they are shown, from the scriptures. Nevertheless, your interpretation ends up being that Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers from seeing the light of the gospel and the solution is sharing the gospel.
    What you are describing is like man with 20/20 vision giving a blind man directions by pointing to relevant landmarks on a map. 2 Cor 4:4 says that they are blinded from the light of the gospel so even if they see it, from the scriptures, they are still blinded.
    There needs to be an intervention into the sightless state of the blind man, one that removes the blinders so that they can see and understand the very scriptures you rightly say must be explained by a faithful Christian.
    The answer is clear…
    For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV)
    God must “shine in our hearts” to give us the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” In other words, God must do what only He can do, He must overcome the darkness and give us the ability to know the real, awesome, saving identity of Jesus Christ.
    If ‘we’ could remove the blinders by our preaching then Paul could never have said..
    The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)
    God must intercede, opening the mind of the nonbeliever, shining His light into the mind darkened by Satan’s blinding so that they can understand the spiritual truths of the gospel.


    God Bless, Jerry.
    Last edited by Dialogos; September 24th, 2019 at 12:51 PM. Reason: Spelling
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