Theology Club: A Question for Open Theists

Derf

Well-known member
i will be glad to do that. Here the Lord Jesus illustrates that the word of God works in concert with the Spirit and that union results in life:

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life"
(Jn.6:63).​

We can understand that the gospel also works in concert with the Holy Spirit:

"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance" (1 Thess.1:5).​

Even though Paul makes it plain that the gospel comes in much power and in the Holy Spirit the Calvinists say that it is powerless to save anyone unless a person is first "born again."

In the following words of the Apostle John we see that "life" comes as a result of believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God:

"Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (Jn.20:30-31).​

So when a person believes he is "born again" (regenerated) by the word of God:

"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).​

"He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created" (Jas.1:18).​

This demonstrates that a person is "born again" as a result of believing the gospel. The Calvinists teach that being "born again" happens prior to believing.

I think the addition of the John passage is essential to your argument. But it's interesting to me that John spends much time explaining how Jesus is "the Word" (John 1:1), and the other writers don't so much. However, both Peter and James talk of "the word" in your passages in a way that is very reminiscent of John's use of "Word", while your citation of John 6:63 reverts to "words", which is not a representation of Christ. Is it possible that "the Word" is meant by Peter and James, and that the good news requires that Word, not just the "word"?

If that's the case, then I'm not sure how strong those two verses are for your argument--they are saying that for someone to believe requires that object of faith (Jesus) to actually exist, but it doesn't seem to bear on the ordo salutis.

Just my opinion...
 

Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
I think the addition of the John passage is essential to your argument. But it's interesting to me that John spends much time explaining how Jesus is "the Word" (John 1:1), and the other writers don't so much. However, both Peter and James talk of "the word" in your passages in a way that is very reminiscent of John's use of "Word", while your citation of John 6:63 reverts to "words", which is not a representation of Christ. Is it possible that "the Word" is meant by Peter and James, and that the good news requires that Word, not just the "word"?

I do not think that it is possible. When we look at what Peter says in "context" we can see that the "word" in verse 23 is referring to the gospel, as explained in verse 25:

"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).​

The words "this is the word" in verse 25 must point back to the "word of God" in verse 23. And the words "this is the word" are referring to the "gospel."

Therefore, since these verses clearly outline the same principle of which James speaks of here then we can understand that in both cases the meaning is "word" and not "Word":

"He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created" (Jas.1:18).​

In regard to why John would write of the "Word" at John 1:1 we must remember that in his gospel the Apostle John was giving us a portrait of the Lord Jesus as "God."

If that's the case, then I'm not sure how strong those two verses are for your argument--they are saying that for someone to believe requires that object of faith (Jesus) to actually exist, but it doesn't seem to bear on the ordo salutis.

It's not the case because when we examine the "context" of what is said at 1 Peter 1:23 we can clearly understand that the meaning is "word" and not "Word."
 

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Jerry's Scripture Hopscotch and Appeal to Calvin (!) Fails to Make His Argument

Jerry's Scripture Hopscotch and Appeal to Calvin (!) Fails to Make His Argument

Are you saying that it is only the "hearing" of the Good News which results in a person being "born again"?
I am and will say once more that the hearing of the Good News is the ordinary means by which one is born-again (regenerated) by the power and efficacious grace of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the how of being born again—the means—is by the hearing of the Good News of those chosen by God. It is from this ordinary means that one is given the moral ability to believe (Eze. 36:26).

Are you saying that the following words of the Lord Jesus reveal that it is only the hearing of His words which result in receiving "life"?:"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (Jn.6:63).
Unless one has ears to hear (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9) they cannot hear what Our Lord is speaking, Jerry. After all, how can those dead in their sins hear anything righteous (Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Eph. 2:2; Eph. 2:4-5; Titus 3:5; John 3:19; Rom. 3:10-12; 5:6; 6:16-20; Eph. 2:1,3;1 Cor. 2:14)?

Are you saying that the following words of the Lord Jesus are saying that those who only hear (but not believe) receive life?:"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (Jn.5:24).
Make that John 5:25, please. The spiritually dead, which is meant here, not the raising of the dead, as in Lazarus(John 11:44) or the widow's son (Luke 7:15), are quickened unto spiritual life, they hear, that is they have faith (shall live).

The words of the Lord which immediately precede those words show us exactly how those who hear His words receive life:""Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life" (Jn.5:24).
Let the text speak for itself, Jerry. The clause which is added, believeth on him who sent him, serves to confirm the authority of the Gospel: when Christ testifies that the Gospel came from God, and was not invented by men, as Our Lord elsewhere says that what He speaks is not from Himself, but was delivered to Him by the Father, (John 7:16; 14:10).

Thus the grace of Our Lord is a true resurrection from the dead (see the entire verse of John 5:25). This grace is conferred on God's chosen children by the Good News. It is not conferred such that some energy is possessed by the external voice of the one declaring the Good News, which in many cases strikes the ears to no purpose (they have no ears to hear), but because Our Lord speaks to His chosen's hearts within by His Spirit, that His chosen may receive by faith the life which is offered to us. For Our Lord does not speak indiscriminately of all the dead, but means the elect only, whose ears God pierces and opens, that they may receive the voice of His Son, which restores them to life.

This twofold grace Our Lord expressly holds out to us by His words, when He says in John 5:25, The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear shall live. For it is not less contrary to nature that the dead should hear, than that they should be brought back to the life which they had lost, and therefore both (hearing and living) proceed from the secret power of God.

With the hour cometh, and now is, Our Lord speaks of it as a thing which had never before happened. Indeed, the publication of the Gospel was a new and sudden resurrection of the world. Some may then ask, but did not the word of God always give life to men? This is easily answered. The doctrine of the Law and the Prophets was addressed to the people of God, and consequently was intended to preserve in life those who were the children of God than to bring them back from death. But it was otherwise with the Gospel, by which nations formerly estranged from the kingdom of God, separated from God, and deprived of all hope of salvation, were invited to become partakers of life.

It is by believing that a person receives life. John Calvin certainly understood that "life" is received by faith:
"But the Apostle, that he might keep us together in Christ, again repeats that life is found in him; as though he had said, that no other way of obtaining life has been appointed for us by God the Father. And the Apostle, indeed, briefly includes here three things: that we are all given up to death until God in his gratuitous favor restores us to life; for he plainly declares that life is a gift from God: and hence also it follows that we are destitute of it, and that it cannot be acquired by merits; secondly, he teaches us that this life is conferred on us by the gospel, because there the goodness and the paternal love of God is made known to us; lastly, he says that we cannot otherwise become partakers of this life than by believing in Christ" (John Calvin, Commentary on 1 John 5:11).
Jerry, in your desperation, I hope you are not actually trying to pit Calvin against the Calvinist. :AMR:

You appear to read commentaries like you do Scripture: superficially, in that when you find something you think is in agreement with your presuppositions, you declare victory. Take the time to digest the full counsel of what you read and avoid the mistakes you are making.

Why not actually read the exposition?

1 John 5:11
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son

That God hath given us eternal life Having now set forth the benefit, he invites us to believe. It is, indeed, a reverence due to God, immediately to receive, as beyond controversy, whatever he declares to us. But since he freely offers life to us, our ingratitude will be intolerable, except with prompt faith we receive a doctrine so sweet and so lovely. And, doubtless, the words of the Apostle are intended to shew, that we ought, not only reverently to obey the gospel, lest we should affront God; but, that we ought to love it, because it brings to us eternal life. We hence also learn what is especially to be sought in the gospel, even the free gift of salvation; for that God there exhorts us to repentance and fear, ought not to be separated from the grace of Christ.

But the Apostle, that he might keep us together in Christ, again repeats that life is found in him; as though he had said, that no other way of obtaining life has been appointed for us by God the Father. And the Apostle, indeed, briefly includes here three things: that we are all given up to death until God in his gratuitous favor restores us to life; for he plainly declares that life is a gift from God: and hence also it follows that we are destitute of it, and that it cannot be acquired by merits; secondly, he teaches us that this life is conferred on us by the gospel, because there the goodness and the paternal love of God is made known to us; lastly, he says that we cannot otherwise become partakers of this life than by believing in Christ.

Your quotation serves my points above nicely. The dead must be quickened to life (regenerated). God does this for we are destitute and there is nothing we can do to merit life (such as the merits you claim for yourself versus your neighbor). Once so quickened we will believe. By believing we can now live.

And in his commentary of John 3:16, Calvin, in part, makes it quite clear that believing is not within the hands of each and every man:
Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith.

Thus endeth the lesson. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

AMR
 
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Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
Unless one has ears to hear (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9) they cannot hear what Our Lord is speaking, Jerry.

Are you citing those verses in order to prove that a person must be "born again" in order to just hear the word of God? I can only assume that you are, especially considering what you said here:

Unless one has ears to hear (Matthew 11:15; Mark 4:9) they cannot hear what Our Lord is speaking, Jerry. After all, how can those dead in their sins hear anything righteous (Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Eph. 2:2; Eph. 2:4-5; Titus 3:5; John 3:19; Rom. 3:10-12; 5:6; 6:16-20; Eph. 2:1,3;1 Cor. 2:14)?

So according to your theology those who are dead in their sins cannot even hear the gospel.

But then you assert that it is by hearing the gospel that men are "born again":

In other words, the how of being born again—the means—is by the hearing of the Good News of those chosen by God.

So according to you a person cannot even hear the gospel unless they are first born again. And then you stand reason on its head by saying that people are "born again" by hearing the gospel.

In your "logical order of salvation" you have being "born again" preceding "hearing the gospel." And then you turn around and have "hearing the gospel" preceding being "born again."

Your beliefs in the teaching of Calvinism have totally confused you! You are so confused that you actually said this:

Faith is evidence you are saved, it is not the cause of your salvation, for God alone is the cause.

Paul and those with him certainly saw a "cause and effect" relationship between "faith" and "salvation," as witnessed how they answered this question:

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house"
(Acts 16:30-31).​

Do you not see that "believing" results in "salvation," that it is "faith" which brings about "salvation"? Here Paul again speaks of a "cause and effect" relationship between "believing" and "salvation":

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Ro.1:16).​

Do you really not see a "cause and effect" relationship between "faith" and "salvation"?
 
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Dialogos

New member
Here we read that the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers. And the purpose as to why he blinds them is "so that they cannot see the light of the gospel." That means that those who are perishing did indeed at one time have the ability to see the light of the gospel.

After all, it is impossible to blind the minds of anyone to the truth of the gospel unless they have the ability in the first place to see the light of the gospel. The verb form of the word "blind" means to "make blind." It is impossible to "make blind" someone who is already blind.

The Calvinists must believe that the god of this age blinds those who are already blind! That idea is ridiculous.
Who, according to the passage, does the god of this world blind?

The answer is clear, he blinds unbelievers.

You claim that this implies that at some point in time they had the ability to see the gospel and respond to it, presumably apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (or else you would be a Calvinist).

I would argue that the god of this world has blinded, from birth, the eyes of the unbelievers. I think that language is consistent with the way the bible uses that word. For example, 1 John 2:11 says:
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1Jo 2:10-11 ESV)

The fact that the darkness has blinded the eyes of those who hate their brother does not assume that those brother haters at one time walked in the light. It is entirely possible, and I would argue the right interpretation, to say that the darkness has blinded those who hate their brothers for as long as they have been haters of the brethren, perhaps for their entire life. That’s what darkness does, it blinds us.

In the same way, the god of this world has blinded unbelievers from the truth of the gospel. That demon has been doing this to unbelievers for as long as they have been unbelievers (which is their entire lives).

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are right and that at some point every unbeliever on the planet did have, at some time, the ability to see the gospel prior to the god of this world blinding them.

How exactly does that help your case?

It doesn't say that the god of this world has blinded some unbelievers while the others he left alone to believe, it says that he blinds the minds of unbelievers in general and so we are left with the conclusion that you and I, when we were unbelievers, had been blinded by the god of this world who was preventing us from seeing the gospel. That condition continues until the God of heaven and earth does something to counter the effects of the god of this world.

So what does a blind person need?

A blind person needs sight.

And what did Jesus say about the ability to see the kingdom of God?

"Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (Joh 3:3 ESV)

Unless we are born again, regenerated by the Spirit of God, we cannot even see the kingdom.
 
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Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
In the same way, the god of this world has blinded unbelievers from the truth of the gospel. That demon has been doing this to unbelievers for as long as they have been unbelievers (which is their entire lives).

That idea is contradicted by the Westminister Confession of Faith, which represents a theological consensus of international Calvinism. There we read that all men come out of the womb having "lost all ability of will to do any spiritual good accompanying salvation," and that must mean that no one has the ability to see the light of the gospel:

"Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation:so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto"
[emphasis added] (The Westminster Confession of Faith; IX/3).​

Calvinism teaches that a man emerges from the womb dead and dead men cannot see the gospel. So your assertion that the god of this age blinds the minds of men to the truth of the gospel all their lives contradicts the teaching of Calvinism.

Let us look at this passage again:

"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).​

Here we read that the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who are perishing. And the purpose as to why he blinds them is "so that they cannot see the light of the gospel." That contradicts the teaching of Calvinism that all men emerge from the womb with no ability to see the light of the gospel.

How could the god of this age blind the minds of men unless those same men have the ability to see the gospel? It is impossible to blind those who are already blind.

How does the god of this world blind some to the light of the gospel? One way is that he sends his ministers out to teach that even though we are saved by grace we must do works of one kind or another in order to be saved. When some believe that lie they are blinded to the truth of the "gospel of grace," and hence they never see the light of that gospel.

But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you are right and that at some point every unbeliever on the planet did have, at some time, the ability to see the gospel prior to the god of this world blinding them.

How exactly does that help your case?

This contradicts the Calvinist teaching that not everyone will have the ability to believe the gospel and come to the knowledge of the truth.
 
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glorydaz

New member
We also, I believe, rightly understand the teachings of Scripture about the full effects of the Fall of Adam, recognizing that unless God does something to the fallen man, none would ever choose the righteousness of God. We give thanks to God for His mercy in choosing some out of the entire fallen lump of humanity in Adam to be redeemed, not because God saw something good in the chosen by peeking down the corridors of time, but simply because of His own good counsel to set His preferences upon (God's love) another. Hence, those not so chosen are left in their state of sin and ongoing sinning, never to be the subject of any of God's saving graces.

This is where you totally lose me...."God choosing some..."

Rather, God does indeed do something to fallen man. He engineers our circumstances to give us every chance to seek him. He has created us with the knowledge of Him clearly manifest in us...where we can clearly see. And His law is written in our conscience...not beyond our ability to do it. Romans 2:14, 15KJV

As we walk through this life, we see God's goodness and forbearance which leads us to turn from unbelief to belief. So that we are brought to our knees and hear the Gospel when we are most in need of hearing it. God actually does a lot to prepare us to hear the Gospel of Salvation. That there is power in that Word works perfectly for those who have not so hardened their hearts that they refuse the plea from their Creator. 2 Cor. 5:20KJV

Romans 2:4KJV Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?​
 
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Lighthouse

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So you're saying Adam didn't make a good choice on days 6 and 7, nor any choice at all not to eat of the wrong tree? I say Adam made perhaps a number of days (but at least 1 or 2) of choices not to eat of the wrong tree.
He wasn't offered a choice. I don't choose chocolate over vanilla ice cream if I'm not offered any ice cream.

If you believe it, then my "attack" for not believing is of no account to you. And if you believe it, why do I need to teach you what you already believe? You seem conflicted. Do you believe in the hypostatic union of God? It was my assumption that you do--maybe I assumed falsely. I could certainly go through a list of scriptures--which often need some explanation as to why they are valid for the topic at hand--but if the purpose is to convince you of something you already are convinced of, it's a red herring--why waste my time asking for it?
I don't believe in the hypostatic union. I believe in the incarnation--God in the flesh. He was not unrighteous, at all, while in that flesh.

I thought you said killing is different from murder, but now you say God didn't kill the child, even. The child died at God's pronouncement--was God just foretelling the future, or was He causing the event?
Foretelling. The child died of an illness.

Another example, if you'll allow me the additional stupidity: Were there any first-born sons in Egypt that didn't deserve to die? God said He would "smite" them, according to King James, and "strike" according to others.
They were slaveholders, in the same sense as we think of slaves in America today because of our past. Yes, they deserved to die.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD. [Exo 12:12 KJV]

The first-born all died. Did God "kill" them or not? If so, then God sometimes kills those that "don't deserve it". If not, who was Moses erroneously quoting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
Technically the angel killed them. But they deserved it.

As to who really deserves to die--it depends on who is doing the killing. God told Noah that all who kill a human should die by a human's hand. (Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. [Gen 9:6 KJV]) The punishment fit the crime. God had just wiped out a whole world full of people, some of which no doubt were in infancy. If God needs a reason to kill a human, then all humans must be guilty, but we can't willy-nilly start killing anyone we want to, or we bear the guilt. So in the same story, God both denies man the right to kill his fellow-man without cause, while asserting His own right to kill man (including babies born and unborn).
Why did Jesus die for all? Romans 6:23

Is what God's word says irrelevant?
And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. [1Ch 21:7 KJV]

His reason for killing was His displeasure at David's missing the mark, if I understand the mark correctly. (But David knew better, because Joab had already expressed his disagreement over the task in terms of its being disobedience to God's command.)
Again, David never even met the mark. In everything David did he missed the mark. You don't understand the mark correctly at all.:nono:

And how is it represented to us?
Through Christ and the Law.

"Stupid" is in the eye of the beholder--usually with a glancing (or not-so-glancing in some cases) allusion to arrogance.
No, it's not. "Stupid is as stupid does."

And how do we know what that righteousness of God is? How do we know what the mark is that we aren't supposed to miss?
In everything we do we miss the mark. We can't ever do anything but miss it. Christ is the personification of the mark, and we can never be righteous as He is without Him.
 
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Derf

Well-known member
He wasn't offered a choice. I don't choose chocolate over vanilla ice cream if I'm not offered any ice cream.
But if you're told not to eat any of the single scoop of chocolate ice cream that is sitting in front of your face, when there are three cartons of vanilla also sitting in front of your face, you DO have a choice. At least try to make your analogies fit the conversation, please.

I don't believe in the hypostatic union. I believe in the incarnation--God in the flesh. He was not unrighteous, at all, while in that flesh.
It appears we aren't speaking the same language. You've just described the hypostatic union. God is spirit, God is not flesh--Num 23:19a. In the incarnation, God took on flesh--something that was not previously part of His nature.


Foretelling. The child died of an illness.
[2Sa 12:15 KJV] 15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.


They were slaveholders, in the same sense as we think of slaves in America today because of our past. Yes, they deserved to die.
Believe me, children, including infants, don't have the power to be slave holders. And if the children of slaveholders, and God was punishing the slaveholders, then God was killing the children for the parents' sins. Was God then guilty of murder? No, because God made those children, and God can kill those children if He so wishes.


Technically the angel killed them. But they deserved it.
You can say God didn't kill them in response to my quote: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD. [Exo 12:12 KJV]"??????????????

And what about the beasts? Did they deserve it, too?


Why did Jesus die for all? Romans 6:23
Thus you are justifying murder. Maybe you didn't have the opportunity to read back through our responses to each other for context, but when we talk about God telling humans to exact certain penalties for murder, and then you apply those penalties to anyone at any time, you make God's word mostly meaningless.


Again, David never even met the mark. In everything David did he missed the mark. You don't understand the mark correctly at all.:nono:
meaningless (see above) (what is especially meaningles at this point is that David was a man after God's own heart.
[Act 13:22 KJV] 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.


Through Christ and the Law.
meaningless (see above)


In everything we do we miss the mark. We can't ever do anything but miss it. Christ is the personification of the mark, and we can never be righteous as He is without Him.
meaningless (see above)

In addition, the gospel is meaningless.
 

Lighthouse

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But if you're told not to eat any of the single scoop of chocolate ice cream that is sitting in front of your face, when there are three cartons of vanilla also sitting in front of your face, you DO have a choice. At least try to make your analogies fit the conversation, please.
If you want the analogy to fit then the ice cream shouldn't be sitting in front of my face.

If I'm told not to eat any ice cream and nobody ever offers me any, even though it's present, then I am not choosing not to eat it.

It appears we aren't speaking the same language. You've just described the hypostatic union. God is spirit, God is not flesh--Num 23:19a. In the incarnation, God took on flesh--something that was not previously part of His nature.
He became flesh, but He did not take on human nature/sin nature.

[2Sa 12:15 KJV] 15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
Yup. He made it sick. And it died as a result of that sickness.

Believe me, children, including infants, don't have the power to be slave holders. And if the children of slaveholders, and God was punishing the slaveholders, then God was killing the children for the parents' sins. Was God then guilty of murder? No, because God made those children, and God can kill those children if He so wishes.
Why are you assuming the first born were small children? I'm a first born and I'm an adult.

You can say God didn't kill them in response to my quote: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the LORD. [Exo 12:12 KJV]"??????????????
You need to learn a little about Royal figures of speech. An emissary represents the King, so the King would refer to themselves because the emissary was to be regarded as the King himself. God was doing that here.

And what about the beasts? Did they deserve it, too?
Who cares? They're animals.

Thus you are justifying murder. Maybe you didn't have the opportunity to read back through our responses to each other for context, but when we talk about God telling humans to exact certain penalties for murder, and then you apply those penalties to anyone at any time, you make God's word mostly meaningless.
Did you just accuse God of murder?

Also, I justified no such thing.

And how is that relevant to my question?

meaningless (see above) (what is especially meaningles at this point is that David was a man after God's own heart.
[Act 13:22 KJV] 22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
Irrelevant.

meaningless (see above)

meaningless (see above)

In addition, the gospel is meaningless.
What's meaningless is conversations with you.
 

Derf

Well-known member
If you want the analogy to fit then the ice cream shouldn't be sitting in front of my face.

If I'm told not to eat any ice cream and nobody ever offers me any, even though it's present, then I am not choosing not to eat it.
So you agree with Satan: "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" But Eve knew better, and told Satan, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden".
So she knew that all of the other ice cream was right in front of her face, and that she had been invited to partake of it--all except the chocolate.
He became flesh, but He did not take on human nature/sin nature.
Are you equating human nature with sin nature, as if God created man sinful? Jesus became a man, not just some indescript "flesh". If God is not a man, yet Jesus became a man, then Jesus took on the nature of man. We can define the nature of "man" by what Jesus became--yet without sin. So "man" doesn't have to include "sin", which is good, since in eternity we won't be sinful, yet we will still be "mankind".

Yup. He made it sick. And it died as a result of that sickness.
By your logic, murder doesn't exist. If I shoot someone, he doesn't die of the gunshot, he dies because his heart stops.


Why are you assuming the first born were small children? I'm a first born and I'm an adult.
I didn't say none were adults. But are you saying none were infants? I'd be interested in your evidence for such an assertion.

You need to learn a little about Royal figures of speech. An emissary represents the King, so the King would refer to themselves because the emissary was to be regarded as the King himself. God was doing that here.
Again, your logic suggests that there is no responsibility for an action accomplished using tools. If I shoot a gun at someone and that person dies, am I responsible or not? If God sent His emissary to kill a bunch of Egyptians, and He knows that His command will be accomplished, then He is responsible for their deaths. Saying that the gun killed the victim instead of me would not be accepted by a court of law or by God Himself.


Who cares? They're animals.
You talk in circles. The point was that innocents were killed--those that did not enslave the Hebrews. If other innocents were killed (cattle), then can you admit that some human innocents might also have been killed?


Did you just accuse God of murder?

Also, I justified no such thing.

And how is that relevant to my question?
I know it's hard to keep track of the conversation over a series of posts and responses, but here's the logic:
If we can know that all are guilty because Jesus died for all, and the reason that it's ok to kill someone is that all are guilty, then you have justified murder. It has nothing to do with God--God can't murder.

How is it relevant to your question? Your question was
Why did Jesus die for all? Romans 6:23
and it was a response to my assertion that God had instituted the death penalty for murder after the flood. Thus you asserted that because all are guilty of sin, and because the penalty of sin is death (Rom 6:23), therefore it is OK to murder. Read through the posts and you (hopefully) will see what I'm talking about.




Irrelevant.
Thank you for admitting that you don't follow logic, but it wasn't necessary--I could tell already.

What's meaningless is conversations with you.
I guess that's why you're still here. Maybe your understanding can still grow--there's still hope for you.
 

Evil.Eye.<(I)>

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So you agree with Satan: "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" But Eve knew better, and told Satan, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden".
So she knew that all of the other ice cream was right in front of her face, and that she had been invited to partake of it--all except the chocolate.Are you equating human nature with sin nature, as if God created man sinful? Jesus became a man, not just some indescript "flesh". If God is not a man, yet Jesus became a man, then Jesus took on the nature of man. We can define the nature of "man" by what Jesus became--yet without sin. So "man" doesn't have to include "sin", which is good, since in eternity we won't be sinful, yet we will still be "mankind".

By your logic, murder doesn't exist. If I shoot someone, he doesn't die of the gunshot, he dies because his heart stops.


I didn't say none were adults. But are you saying none were infants? I'd be interested in your evidence for such an assertion.

Again, your logic suggests that there is no responsibility for an action accomplished using tools. If I shoot a gun at someone and that person dies, am I responsible or not? If God sent His emissary to kill a bunch of Egyptians, and He knows that His command will be accomplished, then He is responsible for their deaths. Saying that the gun killed the victim instead of me would not be accepted by a court of law or by God Himself.


You talk in circles. The point was that innocents were killed--those that did not enslave the Hebrews. If other innocents were killed (cattle), then can you admit that some human innocents might also have been killed?



I know it's hard to keep track of the conversation over a series of posts and responses, but here's the logic:
If we can know that all are guilty because Jesus died for all, and the reason that it's ok to kill someone is that all are guilty, then you have justified murder. It has nothing to do with God--God can't murder.

How is it relevant to your question? Your question was and it was a response to my assertion that God had instituted the death penalty for murder after the flood. Thus you asserted that because all are guilty of sin, and because the penalty of sin is death (Rom 6:23), therefore it is OK to murder. Read through the posts and you (hopefully) will see what I'm talking about.




Thank you for admitting that you don't follow logic, but it wasn't necessary--I could tell already.

I guess that's why you're still here. Maybe your understanding can still grow--there's still hope for you.

Derf,

I do believe you and I are on the same page here.

This discussion was quite the rage in the ECT thread for a time...

My continual assertion was that the idea of an inherited "sin nature" actually undermines the need for admission of personal need for Jesus.

If a person sins because God wanted them to "sin"... then they are born saved. In other words... I'm not guilty of my own infractions, by the very nature of the concept that God made me to SIN and thus I'm doing God's Will when I "Miss the Mark" and even "Unbelieve".

People keep missing that we ALL FALL SHORT of THE GLORY OF GOD and thus are in need of HIM.

The very nature of the idea of Augustine Original Sin is a codified way of saying that Jesus only died for Adam's Sin and thus All men Sin because of God's Will and Adam's guilt.

In other words... Augustine people don't always... but they tend... to limit grace, because they actually believe that they never sin willfully, but by the will of God or Fault of Adam. This very crowd tends to be rather unmerciful to people based on their flesh. The Augustine crowd can... not always... but tend to... "fruit inspect".

Me, Myself and I? I admit that I have always been a "willful" sinner, and thus I am condemned as a rebellious brat. This makes me even further in need of Christ and the last person to go and point out what is going on "next door" (figuratively speaking)

Mozzle tov

:e4e:
 

Derf

Well-known member
Derf,

I do believe you and I are on the same page here.

This discussion was quite the rage in the ECT thread for a time...

My continual assertion was that the idea of an inherited "sin nature" actually undermines the need for admission of personal need for Jesus.
I don't think an inherited sin nature negates the need for Christ--if we say that all have sinned and all will sin, that defines a sin nature. And if the wages of sin is death, then it shows the need for a savior.

If a person sins because God wanted them to "sin"... then they are born saved. In other words... I'm not guilty of my own infractions, by the very nature of the concept that God made me to SIN and thus I'm doing God's Will when I "Miss the Mark" and even "Unbelieve".
I agree that such wording is confusing, as is the Decreed Will/Revealed Will distinction. I've seen the effects of people using this thinking in the wrong way (and good Calvinists will admit there's a wrong way to use it). But I understand it, I think. If God has the power to prevent any evil, and He does, and if God doesn't will any evil, which would make Him the author of evil, since whatever He wills He accomplishes, that means that anything that happens is, in a sense, God's will. Open Theists would say that allowing sin is necessary to allow for real relationship between God and man. Maybe Calvinists would say the same, or at least that some sin is allowed that some greater evil can be avoided.

My thought is that God allowed the greatest evil--the death of His Son--to prevent the lesser evil--the death of a bunch of created beings. And He did so for love, of course, of the created beings.

People keep missing that we ALL FALL SHORT of THE GLORY OF GOD and thus are in need of HIM.

The very nature of the idea of Augustine Original Sin is a codified way of saying that Jesus only died for Adam's Sin and thus All men Sin because of God's Will and Adam's guilt.
I'm not too familiar with Augustine's writings--I tried to read his Confessions, but never made it through--but I doubt that you have his position correct. Though you might have correctly stated the results.
In other words... Augustine people don't always... but they tend... to limit grace, because they actually believe that they never sin willfully, but by the will of God or Fault of Adam. This very crowd tends to be rather unmerciful to people based on their flesh. The Augustine crowd can... not always... but tend to... "fruit inspect".
My experience is more with Calvinists than Augustinians, but I believe Calvin was an Augustinian. And I believe good Calvinists take responsibility for their sins. So I guess I'm in agreement with your "don't always". The "L" in TULIP limits grace in a different way, which I question.

Me, Myself and I? I admit that I have always been a "willful" sinner, and thus I am condemned as a rebellious brat. This makes me even further in need of Christ and the last person to go and point out what is going on "next door" (figuratively speaking)

Mozzle tov

:e4e:
Sometimes somebody needs to point out to me that I'm not bearing fruit. Who is going to do that, and who is going to tell a rebellious brat not to be rebellious, if we all only pay attention to our own sins and never to our brothers'. Matt 18:15

Jesus seemed to think it might be possible to get the log out of our own eye first, and then go help a brother with a speck. Matt 7:5. But logs are difficult to remove, I admit.

The other example, near and dear to my heart, is that of parents with their children. Even the most sinful of parent still has a responsibility to bring up a child in the way he should go, and that requires a ton of fruit inspection, I must say. But it also needs to involve a ton of introspection, too.

I need others to inspect some fruit in my children (who aren't all children anymore) and let them know when they see something unworthy of a child of the king.

I usually bristle when someone tells me I'm not bearing fruit. But I need to hear it.
 

Lon

Well-known member
means that anything that happens is, in a sense, God's will. ... Maybe Calvinists would say the same, or at least that some sin is allowed that some greater evil can be avoided.
Rather so His nature and power can be known to those 'in' (amidst) the evil. The parable of the Wheat and Tares leaves all as is, in order that ALL the wheat may be saved. Matthew 13:24-30 The analogy is God's. However it breaks down by association, it expresses God's heart and concern. He forbids the removal of weeds (tares) that no wheat be harmed. For me, a lot of scriptural expressions ring true by the parable: 2 Peter 3:9 Romans 11:25 John 3:17 Luke 19:10

You have a similar position:
My thought is that God allowed the greatest evil--the death of His Son--to prevent the lesser evil--the death of a bunch of created beings. And He did so for love, of course, of the created beings.

I'm not too familiar with Augustine's writings--I tried to read his Confessions, but never made it through--but I doubt that you have his position correct. Though you might have correctly stated the results.
My experience is more with Calvinists than Augustinians, but I believe Calvin was an Augustinian. And I believe good Calvinists take responsibility for their sins. So I guess I'm in agreement with your "don't always". The "L" in TULIP limits grace in a different way, which I question. [/
Rather limited 'atonement.' I express a bit differently than most Calvinists, simply because I believe there are better terms and descriptors.
For me, John 3:16 in the context of all of John 3, says those who do not have the Son, are condemned already. Men will fall upon grace or stumble over it. The Lord Jesus Christ is BOTH the chief Cornerstone or conversely the stone rejected, of stumbling and falling.

It might need more explanation than that but I think it makes sense enough and stands for the shorter.

Sometimes somebody needs to point out to me that I'm not bearing fruit. Who is going to do that, and who is going to tell a rebellious brat not to be rebellious, if we all only pay attention to our own sins and never to our brothers'. Matt 18:15
I believe it is to help us learn something for future glorification as well as an important part of giving us a foretaste of glory divine. You 'can' be a brat and not producing the best fruit. I can encourage good fruit but it is God's work in us. I agree, He may and does, very well use brothers and sisters to spur one another on to love and good works. It is all part of body life. Those who eschew it are too focused on future to realize God want them to taste some of it now. I think some are burned by well-meaning but overt and zealous perhaps. It is sad. We need one another and church body life is important to understanding we need a foretaste of glory this side of glory.

Jesus seemed to think it might be possible to get the log out of our own eye first, and then go help a brother with a speck. Matt 7:5. But logs are difficult to remove, I admit.
I heard a pastor say: A toothpick looks like a log sticking out of your own eye! You get it up close. When I post harshly on TOL, I regret that I didn't think about the speck/log in my own eye first. So, in a nutshell, I share the belief and concern and covet prayers for when I do it wrong, as well as encouragement to endeavor to do it right.

The other example, near and dear to my heart, is that of parents with their children. Even the most sinful of parent still has a responsibility to bring up a child in the way he should go, and that requires a ton of fruit inspection, I must say. But it also needs to involve a ton of introspection, too.

I need others to inspect some fruit in my children (who aren't all children anymore) and let them know when they see something unworthy of a child of the king.

I usually bristle when someone tells me I'm not bearing fruit. But I need to hear it.

It really NEEDS to be done by believers. I have had unbelievers tell me my kids are awesome but it is when believers tell me that, that it has value. I do want them to be lights in the secular world, but their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is paramount. I'm not sure you disagree, just saying I'm not overtly concerned with but the Body regarding what is Christ-like. Not sure if that's what you meant though. I'm not quite understanding the near and dear comment, perhaps. -Lon
 

Evil.Eye.<(I)>

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I don't think an inherited sin nature negates the need for Christ--if we say that all have sinned and all will sin, that defines a sin nature. And if the wages of sin is death, then it shows the need for a savior.

I agree with you. The matter is in the eye of the beholder. [MENTION=6696]Lon[/MENTION] is present, so I can pick on him in a positive way. He embraces Augustine... but he negates any personal desire to find loopholes for his failings and rushes straight to humility. Because of this... he theologically embraces "sin nature", but he sincerely reveals his need for Christ and relates to others as a man that has faced his "metaphorical" demons and recognizes that he is sunk without Christ.

Perhaps I disdain the concept of late, because there are another flavor of Calvinists that abuse the concepts put forth from Calvinism. I am not an advocate of Calvinism, but Lon and AMR claim the title and moderate their theology with solid biblical submission. It is a matter of the persons humility in this matter that seems to decide the outcome of their understanding.

I agree that such wording is confusing, as is the Decreed Will/Revealed Will distinction. I've seen the effects of people using this thinking in the wrong way (and good Calvinists will admit there's a wrong way to use it). But I understand it, I think. If God has the power to prevent any evil, and He does, and if God doesn't will any evil, which would make Him the author of evil, since whatever He wills He accomplishes, that means that anything that happens is, in a sense, God's will. Open Theists would say that allowing sin is necessary to allow for real relationship between God and man. Maybe Calvinists would say the same, or at least that some sin is allowed that some greater evil can be avoided.

I have to consider what you have done here. You are lavishing respect towards open theism and Calvinism that allows for peace between the two and reckons perspective. This is the correct attitude in matters and I respect it. I'm like a bull in a china shop, but I can recognize sincere understanding that steps beyond self centric perspective.

I prefer the Open View on the matter, because God's limiting of His foreknowledge seems to answer why evil is present. The question of why evil is allowed seems to connect to the old "butterfly" emerging analogy. If the butterfly is assisted in the process, it's wings won't fill with blood properly, and it will be rendered unable to fly.

I will simply say that I associate predestination with a form of tyranny that all scripture associates with one that is clearly not God and is clearly the root of all evil.

My thought is that God allowed the greatest evil--the death of His Son--to prevent the lesser evil--the death of a bunch of created beings. And He did so for love, of course, of the created beings.

Well spoken and I fully agree.

I'm not too familiar with Augustine's writings--I tried to read his Confessions, but never made it through--but I doubt that you have his position correct. Though you might have correctly stated the results.
My experience is more with Calvinists than Augustinians, but I believe Calvin was an Augustinian. And I believe good Calvinists take responsibility for their sins. So I guess I'm in agreement with your "don't always". The "L" in TULIP limits grace in a different way, which I question.

I am in specific agreement with everything you have said here. I have read Augustine on core writings that the concept of "classical original sin" were derived from and I still come out with the impression that he worked to hard to immobilize the will of mankind.

Sometimes somebody needs to point out to me that I'm not bearing fruit. Who is going to do that, and who is going to tell a rebellious brat not to be rebellious, if we all only pay attention to our own sins and never to our brothers'. Matt 18:15

This is initially distasteful to me, but that is my pride... you are correct in this matter. A verse that immediately comes to mind is Proverbs 27:6 ... also Proverbs 9:9 ... Both of these are tantamount to spiritual growth and any growth that comes from life, for that matter.

Jesus seemed to think it might be possible to get the log out of our own eye first, and then go help a brother with a speck. Matt 7:5. But logs are difficult to remove, I admit.

Well spoken.

The other example, near and dear to my heart, is that of parents with their children. Even the most sinful of parent still has a responsibility to bring up a child in the way he should go, and that requires a ton of fruit inspection, I must say. But it also needs to involve a ton of introspection, too.

Again... well spoken!

I need others to inspect some fruit in my children (who aren't all children anymore) and let them know when they see something unworthy of a child of the king.

I usually bristle when someone tells me I'm not bearing fruit. But I need to hear it.

This is the result of a contrite Spirit. There are standards that must be met for people to "inspect me", but if said standards are met... there is no argument I could sincerely conjure against the true words you have spoken here.

Humility... that is the standard I look for. Not the false kind... but the sincere kind that yields to the authority of God and honesty that is rooted in Christ.
 
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Derf

Well-known member
Hi Lon, I took awhile to get back to this, as I wanted to think through what you said better (I tend too often to kneejerk back), not to mention give me the chance to read it through better.
Rather so His nature and power can be known to those 'in' (amidst) the evil. The parable of the Wheat and Tares leaves all as is, in order that ALL the wheat may be saved. Matthew 13:24-30 The analogy is God's. However it breaks down by association, it expresses God's heart and concern. He forbids the removal of weeds (tares) that no wheat be harmed. For me, a lot of scriptural expressions ring true by the parable: 2 Peter 3:9 Romans 11:25 John 3:17 Luke 19:10

You have a similar position:


I'm not too familiar with Augustine's writings--I tried to read his Confessions, but never made it through--but I doubt that you have his position correct. Though you might have correctly stated the results.
My experience is more with Calvinists than Augustinians, but I believe Calvin was an Augustinian. And I believe good Calvinists take responsibility for their sins. So I guess I'm in agreement with your "don't always". The "L" in TULIP limits grace in a different way, which I question.
Rather limited 'atonement.' I express a bit differently than most Calvinists, simply because I believe there are better terms and descriptors.
For me, John 3:16 in the context of all of John 3, says those who do not have the Son, are condemned already. Men will fall upon grace or stumble over it. The Lord Jesus Christ is BOTH the chief Cornerstone or conversely the stone rejected, of stumbling and falling.

It might need more explanation than that but I think it makes sense enough and stands for the shorter.
I should probably ask for the "more explanation" before I dive in, but here goes anyway.

I'm aware of the words the "L" stands for, but can you honestly say that God's full grace has been extended to the unbelievers, if the atonement wasn't expected to apply to them? Thus, in my opinion, God limited His grace, if He limited the atonement before the people that couldn't receive it were born. Some would say God did so on the basis of knowing their choice ahead of time, but Calvinists don't say that.

Plus, if the grace is irresistible, then He would have to limit it to keep everyone from being saved. And Calvinists aren't universalists.

Finally, if by grace we are saved, but not all are saved, then grace must be limited.

This isn't to try to debunk the limited atonement, irresistible grace or the assertion that we are saved by grace. I'm just saying that grace is limited in terms of who it applies to, for whatever the reason. At the same time, God's sacrifice of His son shows the limits, or lack thereof, to which He would go to save the world. This is hard to comprehend.

I believe it is to help us learn something for future glorification as well as an important part of giving us a foretaste of glory divine.
I'm not sure what your "it" is referring to--was it the bratness, or the response to the bratness from other believers?
You 'can' be a brat and not producing the best fruit. I can encourage good fruit but it is God's work in us.
I can plant and another water, and perhaps another prune, but God brings the increase. In reality, God is planting, watering, pruning, and bringing the increase, using us as His means.
I agree, He may and does, very well use brothers and sisters to spur one another on to love and good works. It is all part of body life. Those who eschew it are too focused on future to realize God want them to taste some of it now. I think some are burned by well-meaning but overt and zealous perhaps. It is sad. We need one another and church body life is important to understanding we need a foretaste of glory this side of glory.
I've been both the target and the deliverer of such spurring. I'm sure I've been wrong in my assessment sometimes, as I believe others have been wrong in their assessment of me sometimes, but I hope I can take what they say and apply the part that fits without rejecting either them or their message. It's not always easy, and I must admit I'm more averse to doing it now than before, but part of that is because the reactions are rarely friendly. I think that is the basis of your "It is sad" comment, or at least part of it.

I heard a pastor say: A toothpick looks like a log sticking out of your own eye! You get it up close. When I post harshly on TOL, I regret that I didn't think about the speck/log in my own eye first. So, in a nutshell, I share the belief and concern and covet prayers for when I do it wrong, as well as encouragement to endeavor to do it right.
Well said! On TOL, it's fairly easy to fire and forget, without considering the brotherly love side of the conversation. In person, it's not as easy, but still happens too much.



It really NEEDS to be done by believers. I have had unbelievers tell me my kids are awesome but it is when believers tell me that, that it has value. I do want them to be lights in the secular world, but their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is paramount. I'm not sure you disagree, just saying I'm not overtly concerned with but the Body regarding what is Christ-like. Not sure if that's what you meant though. I'm not quite understanding the near and dear comment, perhaps. -Lon
Except that Paul rebukes the Corinthians by pointing out the judgment of the unbelievers on multiple occasions (1 Cor 5:1, for example). I don't mean to assert that the counsel of the ungodly is something we should seek out, but sometimes they make good points that we would do well to receive.

In the creation/evolution debate, this is especially prevalent. Many atheists/evolutionists see the inherent inconsistency of theistic evolution. But in other areas it is, too, such as who we choose for president. I'm not advocating for or against either party, here, but it's interesting that the two divorced presidents have both come from the conservative side. And both Bob Dole (1996) and John McCain (2008) had divorced their first wives. It seems conservative Christians have to back a Mormon to find a nominee that hasn't been divorced lately.
 
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Lon

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Hi Lon, I took awhile to get back to this, as I wanted to think through what you said better (I tend too often to kneejerk back), not to mention give me the chance to read it through better.I should probably ask for the "more explanation" before I dive in, but here goes anyway.
:up: And good questions too. I will endeavor to meet them meaningfully. Thank you.

I'm aware of the words the "L" stands for, but can you honestly say that God's full grace has been extended to the unbelievers, if the atonement wasn't expected to apply to them? Thus, in my opinion, God limited His grace, if He limited the atonement before the people that couldn't receive it were born. Some would say God did so on the basis of knowing their choice ahead of time, but Calvinists don't say that.
Starting with the need of man for salvation: 1) God is going to do something. 2) Something will happen to man as a result of that something. 3)God does the something and sets it all in motion.
Observations: A) God is doing this specifically with the purpose to save B) God knows the result of those actions. C) God is good and according to His incomparable efforts seeks and saves - including Saul whom He had to strike blind. D) Those who do not believe are 'condemned already.' E) I think you can agree that what God did in sending His Son, became the Chief Cornerstone of all who believe and the stumbling block to all who reject Him (John 3:18).

Plus, if the grace is irresistible, then He would have to limit it to keep everyone from being saved. And Calvinists aren't universalists.
Another thoughtful and well-reasoned question. We don't believe it is irresistible to all, but rather irresistible to those upon whom grace prevails. I couldn't say "no" the day of my salvation. Romans 9 asks "who can resist His will?" Paul is asking if anyone can and concludes they cannot. For us, it is a believing of that scripture as is. Many scriptures have contextual considerations, and non-Calvinists have these concerning Romans 9. How do you see Romans 9:16,19,20-24

Finally, if by grace we are saved, but not all are saved, then grace must be limited.
Agree.

This isn't to try to debunk the limited atonement, irresistible grace or the assertion that we are saved by grace. I'm just saying that grace is limited in terms of who it applies to, for whatever the reason. At the same time, God's sacrifice of His son shows the limits, or lack thereof, to which He would go to save the world. This is hard to comprehend.
Agree. I don't try to make people Calvinists, I simply want to explain scriptures as I understand them which happens to be Calvinist.
God will make us what He desires and the way we understand scriptures will come with labels. I try to just do my job of understanding scripture and leave those labels to God. My concern is to be biblical. In the sense that I'm part of a body, then I feel a personal need to identify with those closest in belief with me (or I with them). I am more concerned that people embrace scriptures and I don't tend to draw as many lines. I think we can be wrong as His people about a good many things. As long as we understand Him and His saving work, the rest (imho) will take care of itself as we keep studying and endeavoring to serve Him and know Him. I also believe we do best associated with a body too, so I always encourage our spiritual need to be involved with a body in Christ.

I'm not sure what your "it" is referring to--was it the bratness, or the response to the bratness from other believers?
1 John 3:3 We know our future will perfect us. Anything we get here, I think is negligible 1 Corinthians 2:9 to what we will be. However, we can bless others, can follow after our heart's affection, as well as be molded by Him this side of our Hope. Ephesians 2:10 The thief on the cross bore no fruit, yet his salvation was assured. The parable of the unfruitful tree is not about a tree that doesn't produce fruit, imho, but is more about the steadfastness and dedication of God as the gardener. How can that tree not grow with God doing the work? In a nutshell, I think spiritual gifts and growth, for our benefit to encourage us and others, and give us a glimpse or foretaste 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 John 3:2

I can plant and another water, and perhaps another prune, but God brings the increase. In reality, God is planting, watering, pruning, and bringing the increase, using us as His means. I've been both the target and the deliverer of such spurring. I'm sure I've been wrong in my assessment sometimes, as I believe others have been wrong in their assessment of me sometimes, but I hope I can take what they say and apply the part that fits without rejecting either them or their message. It's not always easy, and I must admit I'm more averse to doing it now than before, but part of that is because the reactions are rarely friendly. I think that is the basis of your "It is sad" comment, or at least part of it.
Try not to get all your fellowship from TOL. A good church and home-group is important and part of our strength. I find I have to take time off from TOL on occasion, when I get sucked in. There are some good people on here with very good hearts, but if you are not finding them, I'd recommend doing something similar as I and regrouping as well as ensuring you are posting from a place of peace in God and strength in Him. Our faith can be tested here, but not everyone needs such a threshing floor or iron sharpening iron experience day in and day out.

Well said! On TOL, it's fairly easy to fire and forget, without considering the brotherly love side of the conversation. In person, it's not as easy, but still happens too much.
nikolai_42 and AMR are two people I try to emulate on here. Nikolai told me to 'treat the subject, not the person.' It helps, but when "I" get 'treated' sometimes, I forget again and have to be reminded. Send me a 'treat the subject' encouragement to me any time you like. I welcome such.



Except that Paul rebukes the Corinthians by pointing out the judgment of the unbelievers on multiple occasions (1 Cor 5:1, for example). I don't mean to assert that the counsel of the ungodly is something we should seek out, but sometimes they make good points that we would do well to receive.

In the creation/evolution debate, this is especially prevalent. Many atheists/evolutionists see the inherent inconsistency of theistic evolution. But in other areas it is, too, such as who we choose for president. I'm not advocating for or against either party, here, but it's interesting that the two divorced presidents have both come from the conservative side. And both a Dole (1996) and John McCain (2008) had divorced their first wives. It seems conservative Christians have to back a Mormon to find a nominee that hasn't been divorced lately.

Politics are something altogether different. It seems to me, we were ALL a bit hand-tied this election. Some people will nitpick you to death.

While I know I am a light on a hill, I don't get too worked up by people who don't see that light. They generally are complaining it isn't perfect. "Well duh!" I think but don't say. He is perfect, I'm a glass-darkly vessel carrying Him. That said, I have always had many students who have come to me when I was teaching in public schools. "We all knew you were a Christian." Jesus said we are lights on a hill that 'cannot' be hid. I take encouragement in that. 1 Peter 4:8 helps. Romans 13:8 helps.

Thank you for your questions. My desire is not to make Calvinists, but point people to scripture and let God make and mold them. We all need to be biblical and trusting God. In Him -Lon
 

Derf

Well-known member
Thanks for the great response, Lon. Always a pleasure to chat with you!
:up: And good questions too. I will endeavor to meet them meaningfully. Thank you.


Starting with the need of man for salvation: 1) God is going to do something. 2) Something will happen to man as a result of that something. 3)God does the something and sets it all in motion.
Observations: A) God is doing this specifically with the purpose to save B) God knows the result of those actions. C) God is good and according to His incomparable efforts seeks and saves - including Saul whom He had to strike blind. D) Those who do not believe are 'condemned already.' E) I think you can agree that what God did in sending His Son, became the Chief Cornerstone of all who believe and the stumbling block to all who reject Him (John 3:18).
Re. 1, 2, and 3: God did the something in providing a sacrifice. If God now has to do something else for our salvation, something He only does to the ones that are saved, does that not suggest we are NOT saved by faith alone in Christ alone? Are we not then saved by a tweaking of our minds rather than by (or perhaps in addition to) the blood of Christ?

I'm not sure I agree with B): God can know the results of His actions without knowing the individual results of all individual actions. And He can still guarantee His victory, whether I'm in agreement or not with it.

Re. D) Those who do not believe are condemned already: I think you are saying that we start from a condition of condemnation. Yes, that's true from our point of view, but in the Calvinist's world some people start from a condition of salvation (called "election") that just has to be worked out all the way. You might not agree with my description, but I think it is valid. And if valid, then did Jesus come to save those condemned already? I think He did.

Another thoughtful and well-reasoned question. We don't believe it is irresistible to all, but rather irresistible to those upon whom grace prevails. I couldn't say "no" the day of my salvation. Romans 9 asks "who can resist His will?" Paul is asking if anyone can and concludes they cannot. For us, it is a believing of that scripture as is.
I suppose we can't avoid all tautologies, but this one strikes me as relatively useless: that it is irresistable to all who it is irresistable to. But adding reference to Paul seems to cheapen Paul's appeal to unbelievers. I heard a description of an event once where the Christians (Calvinists in this case) were telling someone who was opposed to their message to call if they had questions or wanted to know more, then finished it off with--"But if you do call, it won't be you that decides to call, it will be God who caused you to do it." Which seemed particularly unnecessary and probably anti-westminsterish in one sense, while fully westminterish in the other.
Many scriptures have contextual considerations, and non-Calvinists have these concerning Romans 9. How do you see Romans 9:16,19,20-24
I think this is a great segue of return (is that a proper phrase? or oxymoronic?) to the OP topic.

I think Rom 9:16 is a statement saying that God is not compelled by anything we do to show mercy. But He compels Himself to do some things, based on His statements, since he doesn't lie. Both of these are at play here--He compelled Himself to overthrow Egypt based on His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Pharaoh could not resist His will. He had never made a promise to Pharaoh (as far as I know), so even though God raised him (Pharaoh) up, God also brought him down.

He also compels Himself in cases where people either stop doing righteously or stop doing evil. (see Jeremiah reference and discussion below)

Esau could have received some of the promises as the offspring of Isaac (in fact, there is evidence that he did! Deut 2:22), but he rejected some as well by despising his birthright. And afterward, Esau's descendants fought against Jacob. I can't say whether God had this in view or not when He said the elder shall serve the younger (and the evidence says He didn't--Rom 9:11), but certainly there was reason for God to hate Esau afterward, even though he came from Isaac's loins (and thus could have been the recipient of God's blessings, even if not the full blessing of the line God was continuing through Jacob).

The lump analogy is certainly of interest. It seems like God is saying that your parentage doesn't matter--God isn't compelled to save you (assuming these verses are about salvation) based on your parentage. Jacob and Esau came from the same lump, yet God favored one, and not the other. But would God have shown the same disfavor to Esau (and his offspring) had he been faithful to God? Seems unlikely to me.

But the potter analogy as shown to Jeremiah (Jer 18) talks about making two things from the same lump--one for honor that was marred in the potter's hand, and one for dishonor--because the first was spoiled. These were not two separate vessels, but two renditions of the same vessel material. The explanation that came afterward was that God can take a nation that He has raised up and He can destroy it--just as He did Egypt/Pharaoh. Just as He was doing or about to do to Israel.

What's interesting is that if God was making one type of vessel, why couldn't He complete it as He started, instead of having to make it into a second type? Is God not powerful enough to do what He at first purposed to do with Israel?

If Rom 9 is about salvation, then I'm not sure if we should ever feel very safe in God's hands, as He is telling His elect that they can't expect special treatment in salvation. He can choose to show mercy and He can choose to stop showing mercy (as He did to Pharaoh). And we can't question Him about it or bring back to mind any of His promises or even bring up the name of Christ.

But God DID promise to bring in the Gentiles, and He's isn't going back on that promise--He doesn't lie.

Most of the texts in the OP showed that God was working on the outside, so to speak, to bring about changes that He desired. And the reasons He desired those changes, in most of the cases, were to either punish those guilty of turning away from Him or to protect and preserve those that He had promised to take care of--actually both in many cases. But isn't it interesting that God seems to use outside means to affect the inward state of hearts--why can't He just make them think like He wants them to think? Why, in 2 Sam 17:14 for instance, does Ahithofel's counsel need to be counteracted with other counsel (from a supposed David deserter) instead of just changing Ahithofel's mind to cause him to give bad counsel?

Here's my take on it:
When God says He turns the king's heart whithersoever He desires (Prov 21:1), it doesn't say how He does it. But if you have ever tried to turn a stream (most kids do this regularly), you either put up dams in the direction you DON'T want it to go, or you dig the area lower where you DO want it to go. That's how God seems to act. In Pharaoh's case, He gave Moses some simple miracles/tricks that He knew the magicians could emulate (though not necessarily on the same scale). I can see how this would harden Pharaoh's heart. I can't say I can see how everything worked out the way it did, but that's why God is God and I'm not (well, one reason, anyway). But the hardening didn't have to be God twiddling with Pharaoh's brain. And God knew all about Pharaoh and what would make him harden his heart.

Sihon, king of the Amorites, was similar, except we aren't told any of the things that hardened his heart. God had already determined to take this land away from him, and He aroused him to fight against Israel so that He could defeat him and destroy the Amorites. But why are these words not also applied to Edom, who also came out to fight the Israelites, but God wouldn't let them (as pointed out earlier, God gave the land to Esau). Why was the king of Edom not hardened, but Sihon was, when their responses were the same? And this was after God told Moses to treat Edom kindly and pay for all they took of food or water, though Edom refused. We should be consistent. Sihon did what God wanted him to do--go up against the Israelites. Edom did not do what God wanted them to do--to allow Israel to pass.
Agree.


Agree. I don't try to make people Calvinists, I simply want to explain scriptures as I understand them which happens to be Calvinist.
God will make us what He desires and the way we understand scriptures will come with labels. I try to just do my job of understanding scripture and leave those labels to God. My concern is to be biblical. In the sense that I'm part of a body, then I feel a personal need to identify with those closest in belief with me (or I with them). I am more concerned that people embrace scriptures and I don't tend to draw as many lines. I think we can be wrong as His people about a good many things. As long as we understand Him and His saving work, the rest (imho) will take care of itself as we keep studying and endeavoring to serve Him and know Him. I also believe we do best associated with a body too, so I always encourage our spiritual need to be involved with a body in Christ.
Well stated.


1 John 3:3 We know our future will perfect us. Anything we get here, I think is negligible 1 Corinthians 2:9 to what we will be. However, we can bless others, can follow after our heart's affection, as well as be molded by Him this side of our Hope. Ephesians 2:10 The thief on the cross bore no fruit, yet his salvation was assured. The parable of the unfruitful tree is not about a tree that doesn't produce fruit, imho, but is more about the steadfastness and dedication of God as the gardener. How can that tree not grow with God doing the work? In a nutshell, I think spiritual gifts and growth, for our benefit to encourage us and others, and give us a glimpse or foretaste 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 John 3:2
When will the perfecting take place? is the perfecting a twiddling of the mind by God? Maybe so, but it's because we have repented of wanted what God doesn't want for us; it is because He has become our Lord. I think that's what God is doing for us in this life--making us into the image of Christ, where we desire God's will and not our own. I wish I could say that I didn't need my whole life to come that point, but alas, I can't.

Try not to get all your fellowship from TOL. A good church and home-group is important and part of our strength. I find I have to take time off from TOL on occasion, when I get sucked in. There are some good people on here with very good hearts, but if you are not finding them, I'd recommend doing something similar as I and regrouping as well as ensuring you are posting from a place of peace in God and strength in Him. Our faith can be tested here, but not everyone needs such a threshing floor or iron sharpening iron experience day in and day out.
Good words! I have found some good folks here, but this is not a community one can count on for fellowship in the normal sense. And I agree that to do so would be foolhardy.

nikolai_42 and AMR are two people I try to emulate on here. Nikolai told me to 'treat the subject, not the person.' It helps, but when "I" get 'treated' sometimes, I forget again and have to be reminded. Send me a 'treat the subject' encouragement to me any time you like. I welcome such.
I haven't run into Nikolai too often, but have seen the name go by some. I'll keep my eye out for him.



Politics are something altogether different. It seems to me, we were ALL a bit hand-tied this election. Some people will nitpick you to death.

While I know I am a light on a hill, I don't get too worked up by people who don't see that light. They generally are complaining it isn't perfect. "Well duh!" I think but don't say. He is perfect, I'm a glass-darkly vessel carrying Him. That said, I have always had many students who have come to me when I was teaching in public schools. "We all knew you were a Christian." Jesus said we are lights on a hill that 'cannot' be hid. I take encouragement in that. 1 Peter 4:8 helps. Romans 13:8 helps.

Thank you for your questions. My desire is not to make Calvinists, but point people to scripture and let God make and mold them. We all need to be biblical and trusting God. In Him -Lon
Amen and amen!
 
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Lon

Well-known member
Thanks for the great response, Lon. Always a pleasure to chat with you!
You too. Thank you as well.
Re. 1, 2, and 3: God did the something in providing a sacrifice. If God now has to do something else for our salvation, something He only does to the ones that are saved, does that not suggest we are NOT saved by faith alone in Christ alone? Are we not then saved by a tweaking of our minds rather than by (or perhaps in addition to) the blood of Christ?
]When will the perfecting take place? is the perfecting a twiddling of the mind by God? Maybe so, but it's because we have repented of wanted what God doesn't want for us; it is because He has become our Lord. I think that's what God is doing for us in this life--making us into the image of Christ, where we desire God's will and not our own. I wish I could say that I didn't need my whole life to come that point, but alas, I can't.
Certainly. Teachers 'tweak' our minds. Synapses literally connect when we learn something. Check this short video out:
I'm not sure I agree with B): God can know the results of His actions without knowing the individual results of all individual actions. And He can still guarantee His victory, whether I'm in agreement or not with it.
:think: Good thought. More than you meant, past your own dissention? :up:
I embraced that fully ala Job 13:15 and Romans 9
Re. D) Those who do not believe are condemned already: I think you are saying that we start from a condition of condemnation. Yes, that's true from our point of view, but in the Calvinist's world some people start from a condition of salvation (called "election") that just has to be worked out all the way. You might not agree with my description, but I think it is valid. And if valid, then did Jesus come to save those condemned already? I think He did.
It has to play out in time. I agree it causes a conundrum, but we are talking about God casting His efforts. Who can resist His will? Paul asks. In that sense, the Calvinist sees things unfolding as God knows they will. For me, Christ entering the world caused some to build, others to stumble. When I read of the ten plagues on Egypt, I see grace: God gave Pharoah 10 opportunities to listen to God. Ten of them!
I suppose we can't avoid all tautologies, but this one strikes me as relatively useless: that it is irresistable to all who it is irresistable to. But adding reference to Paul seems to cheapen Paul's appeal to unbelievers. I heard a description of an event once where the Christians (Calvinists in this case) were telling someone who was opposed to their message to call if they had questions or wanted to know more, then finished it off with--"But if you do call, it won't be you that decides to call, it will be God who caused you to do it." Which seemed particularly unnecessary and probably anti-westminsterish in one sense, while fully westminterish in the other. I think this is a great segue of return (is that a proper phrase? or oxymoronic?) to the OP topic.
Got questions does a fairly good job on this.

I think Rom 9:16 is a statement saying that God is not compelled by anything we do to show mercy. But He compels Himself to do some things, based on His statements, since he doesn't lie. Both of these are at play here--He compelled Himself to overthrow Egypt based on His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And Pharaoh could not resist His will. He had never made a promise to Pharaoh (as far as I know), so even though God raised him (Pharaoh) up, God also brought him down.
He also compels Himself in cases where people either stop doing righteously or stop doing evil. (see Jeremiah reference and discussion below)

Esau could have received some of the promises as the offspring of Isaac (in fact, there is evidence that he did! Deut 2:22), but he rejected some as well by despising his birthright. And afterward, Esau's descendants fought against Jacob. I can't say whether God had this in view or not when He said the elder shall serve the younger (and the evidence says He didn't--Rom 9:11), but certainly there was reason for God to hate Esau afterward, even though he came from Isaac's loins (and thus could have been the recipient of God's blessings, even if not the full blessing of the line God was continuing through Jacob).
The lump analogy is certainly of interest. It seems like God is saying that your parentage doesn't matter--God isn't compelled to save you (assuming these verses are about salvation) based on your parentage. Jacob and Esau came from the same lump, yet God favored one, and not the other. But would God have shown the same disfavor to Esau (and his offspring) had he been faithful to God? Seems unlikely to me.

But the potter analogy as shown to Jeremiah (Jer 18) talks about making two things from the same lump--one for honor that was marred in the potter's hand, and one for dishonor--because the first was spoiled. These were not two separate vessels, but two renditions of the same vessel material. The explanation that came afterward was that God can take a nation that He has raised up and He can destroy it--just as He did Egypt/Pharaoh. Just as He was doing or about to do to Israel.

What's interesting is that if God was making one type of vessel, why couldn't He complete it as He started, instead of having to make it into a second type? Is God not powerful enough to do what He at first purposed to do with Israel?

If Rom 9 is about salvation, then I'm not sure if we should ever feel very safe in God's hands, as He is telling His elect that they can't expect special treatment in salvation. He can choose to show mercy and He can choose to stop showing mercy (as He did to Pharaoh). And we can't question Him about it or bring back to mind any of His promises or even bring up the name of Christ.

But God DID promise to bring in the Gentiles, and He's isn't going back on that promise--He doesn't lie.

Most of the texts in the OP showed that God was working on the outside, so to speak, to bring about changes that He desired. And the reasons He desired those changes, in most of the cases, were to either punish those guilty of turning away from Him or to protect and preserve those that He had promised to take care of--actually both in many cases. But isn't it interesting that God seems to use outside means to affect the inward state of hearts--why can't He just make them think like He wants them to think? Why, in 2 Sam 17:14 for instance, does Ahithofel's counsel need to be counteracted with other counsel (from a supposed David deserter) instead of just changing Ahithofel's mind to cause him to give bad counsel?
The timeline and us stuck in it, often makes concepts hard to understand and so has Calvinists seeing God as purposing, and others seeing God as reacting. Malachi 1:2 might be of service to you

Here's my take on it:
When God says He turns the king's heart whithersoever He desires (Prov 21:1), it doesn't say how He does it. But if you have ever tried to turn a stream (most kids do this regularly), you either put up dams in the direction you DON'T want it to go, or you dig the area lower where you DO want it to go. That's how God seems to act. In Pharaoh's case, He gave Moses some simple miracles/tricks that He knew the magicians could emulate (though not necessarily on the same scale). I can see how this would harden Pharaoh's heart. I can't say I can see how everything worked out the way it did, but that's why God is God and I'm not (well, one reason, anyway). But the hardening didn't have to be God twiddling with enPharaoh's brain. And God knew all about Pharaoh and what would make him harden his heart.Sihon, king of the Amorites, was similar, except we aren't told any of the things that hardened his heart. God had already determined to take this land away from him, and He aroused him to fight against Israel so that He could defeat him and destroy the Amorites. But why are these words not also applied to Edom, who also came out to fight the Israelites, but God wouldn't let them (as pointed out earlier, God gave the land to Esau). Why was the king of Edom not hardened, but Sihon was, when their responses were the same? And this was after God told Moses to treat Edom kindly and pay for all they took of food or water, though Edom refused. We should be consistent. Sihon did what God wanted him to do--go up against the Israelites. Edom did not do what God wanted them to do--to allow Israel to pass.
For me: Love will either be accepted or rejected. Grace will either be despised or received, etc. etc. God cannot change Who He is, He is always loving. Always Gracious. Therefore, Him, Himself, will harden or soften. He is not a respecter of persons, because His character and nature doesn't change. He therefore applies Himself and by doing so, some will be softened, some hardened. The Calvinist leaves this as a mystery, but to me, I believe this would/could take some mystery out of it. At the same time, I am ever mindful that we must realize His ways are higher. Mine is my finite best attempt to understand.

Thank you for all your encouragement from the rest of the thread. I truncated it but it is a good conversation and I thank you as well. His blessings this day -Lon
 

Lighthouse

Star-Spangled Kid
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So you agree with Satan: "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" But Eve knew better, and told Satan, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden".
So she knew that all of the other ice cream was right in front of her face, and that she had been invited to partake of it--all except the chocolate.
The tree was available, but it wasn't right in front of them unless they went up to it.

Are you equating human nature with sin nature, as if God created man sinful? Jesus became a man, not just some indescript "flesh". If God is not a man, yet Jesus became a man, then Jesus took on the nature of man. We can define the nature of "man" by what Jesus became--yet without sin. So "man" doesn't have to include "sin", which is good, since in eternity we won't be sinful, yet we will still be "mankind".
Man was created with the ability to disobey. Otherwise they never would have. Jesus never had that ability.

We won't be sinful because our sin will be removed.

Did you mean "nondescript"?

By your logic, murder doesn't exist. If I shoot someone, he doesn't die of the gunshot, he dies because his heart stops.
Not equatable to dying of an illness. And what makes you think the child was innocent anyway?

I didn't say none were adults. But are you saying none were infants? I'd be interested in your evidence for such an assertion.
Either is an argument from silence. There well may have been no infant firstborns at tat time. You don't know. And why are you assuming the were innocent?

Again, your logic suggests that there is no responsibility for an action accomplished using tools. If I shoot a gun at someone and that person dies, am I responsible or not? If God sent His emissary to kill a bunch of Egyptians, and He knows that His command will be accomplished, then He is responsible for their deaths. Saying that the gun killed the victim instead of me would not be accepted by a court of law or by God Himself.
I didn't say he wasn't responsible.

And I'll leave the argument that guns kill people to the liberals.

You talk in circles. The point was that innocents were killed--those that did not enslave the Hebrews. If other innocents were killed (cattle), then can you admit that some human innocents might also have been killed?
Why do you assume they were innocent?

I know it's hard to keep track of the conversation over a series of posts and responses, but here's the logic:
If we can know that all are guilty because Jesus died for all, and the reason that it's ok to kill someone is that all are guilty, then you have justified murder. It has nothing to do with God--God can't murder.
How does that lead to it being OK to murder? You're being illogical.

How is it relevant to your question? Your question was and it was a response to my assertion that God had instituted the death penalty for murder after the flood. Thus you asserted that because all are guilty of sin, and because the penalty of sin is death (Rom 6:23), therefore it is OK to murder. Read through the posts and you (hopefully) will see what I'm talking about.
That is not logical at all.

Thank you for admitting that you don't follow logic, but it wasn't necessary--I could tell already.
Actually, being on the spectrum, it's very difficult for me to not think logically.

I guess that's why you're still here. Maybe your understanding can still grow--there's still hope for you.
:plain:
 
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