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Thread: Predestination and freedom

  1. #91
    Fiddle Dee Dee Tambora's Avatar
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    One can predestine without individually choosing who will be included in the final result.

    For example:
    The serpent on the pole was lifted up to heal those bitten by serpents.
    (Numbers 21:8-9)

    It was predestined that whosoever looked upon it would be healed, but it was not predestined which individuals would do so.

    For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

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    LIFETIME MEMBER steko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tambora View Post
    One can predestine without individually choosing who will be included in the final result.

    For example:
    The serpent on the pole was lifted up to heal those bitten by serpents.
    (Numbers 21:8-9)

    It was predestined that whosoever looked upon it would be healed, but it was not predestined which individuals would do so.
    I agree!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tambora View Post
    One can predestine without individually choosing who will be included in the final result.

    For example:
    The serpent on the pole was lifted up to heal those bitten by serpents.
    (Numbers 21:8-9)

    It was predestined that whosoever looked upon it would be healed, but it was not predestined which individuals would do so.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tambora View Post
    One can predestine without individually choosing who will be included in the final result.

    For example:
    The serpent on the pole was lifted up to heal those bitten by serpents.
    (Numbers 21:8-9)

    It was predestined that whosoever looked upon it would be healed, but it was not predestined which individuals would do so.
    Mark this day on your calendars! Tambora and I agree on this post!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    And consequently those who bear fruit do so because they were “appointed” to bear fruit and not only that the fruit would arrive but that it would “remain” (John 15:16)
    So the question is who does God choose and when does He choose them?
    I have already provided John 15 in context, and addressed the words of Jesus, "IF" and "ABIDE" and "KEEP". You choose to ignore them and go on with your eisegesis of Scripture to fit your doctrine. Now, another question: Do you always get what you ask for from God in Jesus' Name? Do you love me in Christ Jesus as a brother even though I am Wesleyan and Holiness in doctrine instead of Reformed?

    Okay, let's take a look at your "appointed" to bear fruit in John 15, in context:

    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

    This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.


    Why is it that I do not feel the love from so many on this forum? In Wesleyan doctrine cogregations, I feel the love. I see the love in action. Most, not all, are loving, accepting, and forgiving, more so than most Reformed doctrine churches I have been in. It has been my experience that Reformed like to focus on other people's sins and sinfulness instead of the love of God in His sending His only begotten Son, Jesus to reconcile whoever will believe to Himself. My experience in Wesleyanism, and my goal for me, is to love with a pure love, a holy love, a non-judging love from God, to all as Jesus did.

    Jesus knew the sins of all whom He encountered. He lovingly spoke to them about their situation and did not condemn them as the Pharisees did. In Reformed churches, I see Pharisees, not Jesus. Why is that?

    Now on to each of your other points that need to be addressed, one at a time, so as to now overwhelm in one long, wordy post in which to get lost or confused. I am old, confusion is not something I want to entertain.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    That’s not the kind of choosing John is talking about, is it? Everyone, to one extent or another, is an image bearer of God, that does not mean that they will bear fruit that will remain, does it?
    John is talking about the kind of choosing where God chooses us to bear fruit that will remain. Let’s keep focused on what we mean when we say “God chooses.” God chooses all sorts of people for all sorts of things in all sorts of ways, but in John 15 Jesus is talking about choosing his disciples to abide in Him.
    Yes, everyone is made in God's image, though TL denies that. She said that after Adam's sin, all humans bear inbred sin from Adam and are now created in Adam's image. I cannot find a Scripture that supports her "created in Adam's image" in the Bible and she will not provide one.

    Ah, so He is not talking about choosing everyone to abide in Him? He is not talking about choosing only His ELECT to abide in Him?

    In any case, back to you and your post: Yes, let's look back at John 15 in context, yet again...there are those 3 words I hi-lited again: IF, ABIDE, KEEP. Stumbling blocks for Reformed doctrine Christians that are OSAS believers, because "If you abide in me, If you keep my commandments" requires an active participation on the part of the believer in Christ. We must actively continue to believe in Christ Jesus to ABIDE in Him. They are Jesus' words, not Paul's. When Jesus and Paul disagree, I take Jesus at His words, because He is the One who saved me, not Paul. Paul was a Pharisee originally. He presents the Gospel of Jesus, not the Gospel of Paul. But he does so with some Pharisaic lenses at times. One can see the transition in Paul's letters from his first to his last. He became less Pharisaic in his letters as he matured in Christ Jesus. Kind of like we are all supposed to do as we cooperate with Holy Spirit in His work of sanctification of believers.......


    What IF one chooses to not ABIDE in Him? What IF one chooses to not KEEP His commandments? What IF one who is in Him chooses to not bear good fruit?

    Oh, that's right, I forgot, (old age), Jesus is ONLY talking about choosing His 12 Disciples in John 15......so John 15 by your stated doctrine does not apply to all people or even all of His ELECT, ONLY His 12 original Disciples.

    I am so glad we got that cleared up.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    “All” is a word that needs to be contextually defined. All does not always mean every single one in the world. When I say I am going to pick up all of the kids from the school for youth group I don’t mean I am picking up every child in the world, nor do I even mean that I am picking up every child in the school, I mean I am picking up every child in the school who is going to youth group at our church that night.
    That’s not changing the meaning of a word, it’s just moving from defining a word in general to allowing a word to be defined in context. Arminians refuse to let “all” be defined in contextually and we will see that in your example from 2 Peter.

    As opposed to the predestination of every single person who has ever lived? Yes. But for all your education in Calvinism, you still haven’t correctly articulated the doctrine of election properly.
    Yes, let's look back to the Greek for John 3 for a moment: Forgive me, I am on my work computer and do not have Greek letters installed as I do at home. I will have to type them in English letters.

    John 3:15 word-for-word: "pas ho pisteuOn eis auton mE apolEtai all echE zOEn aiOnion" that every-the-one-believing into Him no should be destroyed but may-be-having life "eternal". Nothing about only all of the elect here.

    John 3:16 uses the same wording "every-the-one-believing into Him" No restriction to just "every-the-one-believing-elect". That is not how it is written in Greek. pas in this use is everyone, with no restriction to everyone of a group which would have an accent over the a in pas.

    Now, let's look at the Greek for Romans 5 "all": (Longer context, this is going to take time, and I may get interupted with work).

    Romans 5:12; "dia touto hOsper di henos anthrOpou hE hamartia eis ton kosmon eisElthen kai tia tEs hamartias ho thanatos kai houtOs eis pantas anthrOpous ho thanatos diElthen eph hO pantes hEmarton"

    Word-for-word:
    because of this even as through one human the missing into the world entered and through the missing the death and thus into all humans the death through came on which all missed.

    Please take note of the Greek word used for "ALL" here: pantas for all humans in which death came and pantes for all humans that missed (sin). In this case it is every and all manner of humans. Again, it is not specific use of pas with an accent over the a to restrict it to all of a specific group as you would like it to say.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    As opposed to the predestination of every single person who has ever lived? Yes. But for all your education in Calvinism, you still haven’t correctly articulated the doctrine of election properly.
    Then, please, correctly articulate Calvinism for us all. Here is your open door, please step in.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    Originally Posted by Lee
    If humanity, by choice, rejects God, then humanity, by choice, can accept God.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    That’s a fine assertion but it isn’t biblical. The bible says that the natural man cannot understand spiritual things. They aren’t able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (see 1 Cor 2:14)
    A spiritually neutral human (can you say Pelagius) might have been able to choose God, but a spiritually dead human cannot and does not apart from the intervention of God by His Spirit.
    Pelagius you say? How much of Pelagius' works are preserved today? Did not the RCC burn most of his works? Now, most of Pelagius' work that is known is known only from those who opposed him. It is dedacted like an NSA document, what little of it that is left. You do realize that upon further examination, absent Augustine of Hippo to oppose that examination, Pelagius' work is now looked at as quite possibly orthodox in nature and Augustine was perhaps mistaken in his opposition to Pelagius? Did you know this?

    Ah yes, shall we look at what Paul was saying in context? To do so, one must look at all of Chapter 2 and all of Chapter 3. (sorry people, you all know I am allergic to posting extra long posts for the sake of clarity and lack of confusion). So, I will conclude this post and post 1 Corinthians 2 and 3 in my next post, by itself.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    1 Corinthians 2 ESV:
    And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

    Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,


    “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
    what God has prepared for those who love him”—

    these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

    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. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.


    1 Corinthians 3 ESV:
    But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

    What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.

    According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

    Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

    Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

    One can see from reading the letter in context that Paul was talking to already born-again Christian, yet, immature Christians spiritually. And so, he said that mature Christians understood spiritual things, but those to whom he was speaking in this letter were immature in the Holy Spirit and therefore, he must speak to them in the flesh, because they could not discern Spiritual matters. These were already born-again Christians!

    Enter prevenient grace from God, justifying grace from God, sanctifying grace from God, working hand-in-hand to bring unbelievers, the unsaved, to Christ Jesus to reconcile them and assist them in growing in the Spirit of God. No limitation on whom, just whoever will believe.

    Nice try though!

    Context of Paul's letters is as important as context of to whom Jesus was choosing, it appears.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    Originally Posted by Lee
    We are not limited to a one way spiritual street here. There is no Scripture, in context, that confirms Calvin's doctrine of total depravity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Of course there are. Here are just a few.
    Ephesians 2:1-3, John 6:44, Romans 3:1-23 and 2 Cor 4:3-4.
    Remember, I said in context......So, let us look at your proof texts, one at a time:

    Remember that the Letter to the Ephesian Christians was a letter. It is much more honest to read it in one setting without chapters and verses. In that manner, one can discern what it is that Paul is saying to the Christians in Ephesus of that day and why, because Paul actually explains it all in the letter.

    When viewed in this manner, we see that Paul actually has a rather Eastern Orthodox Church view of ancestral sin, versus the Western RCC and Reformed view of original sin. Paul explains that we humans before salvation in Christ Jesus are walking in sin, following the devil instead of following God. He does not actually say that sin is inherited from Adam, nor that sin is inherent in humans. He said we were dead, (spiritually) due to walking in sin=following Satan. Nothing here says that humanity is totally depraved. Misguided, decieved, walking in darkness, following the wrong guide, but not totally depraved.

    More to follow as we examine your other proof texts in context.

    Blessings,

    Lee

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    John 6:44.

    The key to John 6:44 is John 3:14-16, John 6:40, and John 12:32.

    "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

    Whom did God the Father give to Jesus? Hint: look at the bold in verses above........

    In all cases in the Greek the word pas and pantas are unrestrictive to a specific group of all. All in each of these is everyone, all people, NOT all of the elect, or only those predestined, all here means ALL.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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    Romans 3, the great proof text of Calvin's total depravity of all of humanity!!

    Paul misquoting several OT Psalms, songs written in times of great travail.

    Ya know, I really, REALLY like Contemporary Christian music. It has much worth in Praise and Worship service. (I really like JesusCulture and Hillsong.) It speaks forth much truth of the Spirit and love of God to us. God truly does inhabit the praise of His people. I will not base my theology on those Contemporary Christian lyrics. I won't even base my theology on Hymms written by Charles Wesley. So, I am also unwilling to take single verses of lyrics of the Psalms and base theological doctrine upon them. Yes, they are inspired by God in many cases, and they have great value to those in the faith, but they are not theological doctrine and were not intended to be so by the Church Fathers that included them in the Canon of Scripture.

    That said, let's get started with in context review of Romans 3.

    Once again, this is a letter from Paul to Christians. The recipients are already born-again Christians. They must have been very excited to recieve this letter. They most assuredly read it in groups from start to finish in one sitting, as a letter, not as a book with chapters. So, again, we must read it as it was written to squeeze the essence of the letter out, rather than focusing on a few verses in the middle and ignoring the rest as inconvenient to our favored doctrine.

    Blessings,
    Lee

  14. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee52 View Post
    Mark this day on your calendars! Tambora and I agree on this post!
    Then you also agree with me.


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    Okay, sorry for the delay in response to Romans 3, work is a necessary interuption......lol.

    Romans 3, as I said is part of a letter. This letter from Paul starts out painting a picture of his view of all humanity without Jesus, both Gentile and Jew. In fact, in chapter 2, Paul rakes the Jews for having the Scriptures of the OT and not realizing that they all pointed straight at Jesus. There is, in addition, in Romans 2 a set of verses that are very, very important about the total depravity of humanity being a false doctrine.

    "For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Romans 2:13-16 ESV

    Did you understand that? There are those, without the Law and the Prophets, Gentiles who God wrote the work of the Law upon their hearts and they were righteous in their thoughts and actions apart from the Law and apart from Jesus, because God had written righeousness in their hearts. And, get this: "God alone judges them by Christ Jesus", when they die, because they were/are doers of the Law, not hearers only.

    Now, as to Romans 3:24-26, Paul was actually taking some liberty with what was actually written in the Hebrew Psalm 14 combined with Psalm 53. Instead of quoting those from the Hebrew, he chose to quote them from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew. If we look at Psalm 14, we see whom it is in verse one that is basically indicting the Lord God and telling him that there are none righteous on the earth. The last half of the Psalm tells a different story.

    Psalm 14: ESV
    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.


    2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.


    3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.


    4 Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon the Lord?


    5 There they are in great terror,
    for God is with the generation of the righteous.
    6 You would shame the plans of the poor,
    but the Lord is his refuge.

    7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

    So, the evangelist Paul, is making a point with Scripture to make a written alter call. Have none here been in a congregation with an evangelist preaching hell-fire and damnation to all in attendance? They use colorful metaphors to bring people to the alter by beating them down with their words of condemnation, as if those words apply to them specifically. Since Calvinism is a doctrine of condemnation of all but the elect of God, Paul's misquote without the rest of the story is exactly what they need to beat people down with the Bible into submission and a run down the aisle to the alter to find out if they can become one of the elect.

    Psalm 53 ESV:

    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
    there is none who does good.


    2 God looks down from heaven
    on the children of man
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.


    3 They have all fallen away;
    together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.


    4 Have those who work evil no knowledge,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread,
    and do not call upon God?


    5 There they are, in great terror,
    where there is no terror!
    For God scatters the bones of him who encamps against you;
    you put them to shame, for God has rejected them.


    6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.

    Wow, two songs that look almost identical. Go figure? I wonder, do we today have two songs in which the lyrics are almost the same?

    Do we really want to base the keystone of our theology on songs? Both were written by King David, who had a general killed so he could have Bathsheba for himself, who had a son Absalom trying to kill him and take his throne. Do you suppose that perhaps David had a pretty dark view of the world and humans from time to time in his life?

    Romans 3:24-26 bumps up against so much other Scripture that one is standing on really shaky ground to base one of one's key tennets of doctrine upon it, especially when one understands that David wrote the Psalms being quoted around the time he was involved with Bathsheba on 14 and his son Absalom around the time of 53. No wonder David started them both out with the same first verse. Perhaps David was being self-critical in calling himself the fool.

    Again, pretty flimsy evidence of the total depravity of humanity, since no other Scriptures support that position in context.

    Blessings,
    Lee

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