Calvinism

Jack and Stan, thank you so much for your input.
It seems many people are more willing to let others tell them what to believe, instead of letting God tell them and write it on their hearts. This trait has been warned against many times in the Bible, but it has to be read to be paid attention to.
I agree wholeheartedly and this is what is so sad. People need to break off their leashes and find the truth from God's Word for themselves.
Working from that starting place, it is important to draw our understanding of what God has taught and believe regardless of whatever we call it.
How true, but saddly too many chose to follow elsewhere.

Thank you both again and God bless.

In His Service,
forgivenWretch
 
Jack Williamson posted:
CALVIN:​
calvin said:
Heh heh:) fasten your seat belt then and hang on. :rolleyes:
An alternate approach to Acts 13:48. "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed." Hmmm well the first presumptuous thing I want to say is that IMNSHO the Greek Grammar used by (Luke??) here is not so good.​
JACK: You've raised a number of interesting points. Luke, contrary to John and Peter, was one of the better educated among the followers of Jesus and the grammar he displayed in both his gospel and in Acts is extraordinarily well developed. Probably only Paul exceeds his language skills. But, regardless of that point, I happen to believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible that means every word is the Word of God. The text is not in dispute, but many people differ over how they interpret it.​
CALVIN: First, and to illustrate my point, consider verses 51 & 52. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. OK so why? What happened? Paul and co. shook the dust from there sandals and stormed off in disgust to some other place that is what happened. Is that a good reason for the disciples to be filled with joy? I wouldn't think so. Better scenario would be that after Paul & co had finished their ministry there, the disciples were filled with Joy and the Holy Spirit. Then.................because of the hardness of heart demonstrated by the Jews, Paul & co. shook off the dust and caught the first bus out of town. Can you see that there is a sort of illogical order of events portrayed in the texts? Greek is a very logical language, even Helenist Greek. Note that I'm not saying that the translations are wrong, just that the thought order seems to be a bit skewed.​
JACK: Greek is a very orderly and logical language with very few exceptions to its rules and principles. You are making several assumptions here that I think are unwarranted. You're assuming that the events in verses 51-and 52 occurred close enough in time to affect the expression that Luke used and distort his language, and there is nothing in the text to suggest that. There are several events that are stated in verses 49 & 50 and we don't know how long they took.​
CALVIN: Back to V48. That is probably a bit sus grammatically as well. It could run something like this analogy:- when they heard it was raining, those who stood outside got wet. So...when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many believed, (stood outside) were appointed to eternal life (got wet). Now I know that is not how a literal translation runs, but it does fit in nicely with other passages from scripture that talk about 'come to me all who..', behold I stand at the door and knock...... and so on.​
JACK: I've taught New Testament Greek for thirty-five years and I have an earned PhD in a related field. Your understanding of the grammatical sequence is untentable. The passage is very accurately translated in the NASV when it says, "When the Gentiles heard this, they [began] rejoicing and glorfying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." The word "appointed" is TASSO which is a military order. The passage, in my understanding, quite clearly conveys the thought that all those ordered by God to eternal life believed.​
CALVIN: BTW, despite my name, I am not Calvinist, nor Armenian nor republican not communist nor any other 'ist'. Just plain lovable me:)
JACK: You certainly seem like a very lovable person. It may be better if we took this debate over to the Bible Study board as this General Discussion isn't suppose to have Doctrine issues on it and this is certainly a doctrinal issue. Isn't this fun?
Jack, thanks for your reply. I don't believe I was commenting on the grammatical correctness of the translation, though in re reading my post I can see how I have inadvertently misled you into thinking that was my point.:(
The translation seems OK, I was questioning the Greek itself that is.................well OK, given that we do not have the original manuscript, but a copy of a copy of.... it seems to me that there exists a possibility of a transcription error, please note that I am not declaring that this is so, just considering the possibility. I would also consider the possibility that at certain times Luke might have employed an 'amanuencsis' when writing/compiling his work.
I know you stated :"But, regardless of that point, I happen to believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible that means every word is the Word of God. The text is not in dispute, but many people differ over how they interpret it." We might one day have a discussion on that.
But I am not that far different from you anyway, just maybe a bit more flexible.
Let me just say, the original was, but what we have today???..... compare Mark 15:28. in the Kjv, Nkjv with it the Esv, Niv,...it seems to be included in the Nasb, and it is included in the UBS texts but where is it in the Niv or Esv? Why is it not there? (no answer needed here :) just making a point).
Me, personally I do not use the Niv, but the point still remains that when we look at the Bible as God's word, we can't afford to have 'blinkers' on.
Well, as I recall you said:" I'm a theologian and seminary teacher by profession and I enjoy understanding how other people see things and interpret the Bible" (reply #71)
I just consider the possibility that what we have in our hot little hands today is not 100.000% what the original documents had; if it was, then there would be a lot of Hebrew and Greek linguistic scholars out of work.
Another example, and why I have an intense dislike for the Niv would be Deut 22:28. Note the fact that 'they are discovered', not 'he is discovered' Getting off topic I know, my only defense is in laying out a reason for my not blindly following either a particular version/translation or being in awe of the learning of those ostensibly ordained to translate the Word of God.
Getting back on topic, What I thought I was postulating was the possibility that the order of those verses could have been shuffled at some point. You say that " Greek is a very orderly and logical language with very few exceptions to its rules and principles. insert (I think I more or less made this point :) ) You are making several assumptions here that I think are unwarranted. You're assuming that the events in verses 51-and 52 occurred close enough in time to affect the expression that Luke used and distort his language, and there is nothing in the text to suggest that. There are several events that are stated in verses 49 & 50 and we don't know how long they took." I agree, however there is by the same reasoning nothing to suggest that those events were separated by sufficient time so as not to distort Luke's language. Indeed reading again those verses, there is probably nothing other than poor composition skills to exclude the possibility that the disciples mentioned in v52, were in fact disciples in Iconium, not Antioch. But nobody, me included thinks that!....or do they?
Jack, your point I think is that the events in v49,50 could have spanned an indefinite period of Time? Doesn't v51 logically follow on from the persecution by the Jews though? They were driven out of town, they shook the dust of their feet and went to Iconium. That is what the text says. why would anyone argue for a significant time interval between them being driven out of town and them shaking the dust off their feet here?
So what might the relevance be here that the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit?
Is that a logical sequence? If one of your students submitted an essay structured like that, what would you say? Wouldn't you ask for an amplification to establish relevance? Where is Luke's amplification, where is his relevance?
So, if you agree that an essay structured like Luke's account of the acts of the Apostles here in v49,50,51,52 needs more work.....Q.E.D.



lovable.....but argumentative.
 
Jack Williamson posted:

CALVIN: Jack, thanks for your reply. I don't believe I was commenting on the grammatical correctness of the translation, though in re reading my post I can see how I have inadvertently misled you into thinking that was my point.:(
The translation seems OK, I was questioning the Greek itself that is.................well OK, given that we do not have the original manuscript, but a copy of a copy of.... it seems to me that there exists a possibility of a transcription error, please note that I am not declaring that this is so, just considering the possibility. I would also consider the possibility that at certain times Luke might have employed
an 'amanuencsis' when writing/compiling his work.
I know you stated :"But, regardless of that point, I happen to believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Bible that means every word is the Word of God. The text is not in dispute, but many people differ over how they interpret it." We might one day have a discussion on that.

JACK: Of course, Luke may have used a secretary as did Paul, but as I mentioned before my belief is in the inspiration of the "documents" as they were written, not as we wished they were written.

CALVIN: But I am not that far different from you anyway, just maybe a bit more flexible.
Let me just say, the original was, but what we have today???..... compare Mark 15:28. in the Kjv, Nkjv with it the Esv, Niv,...it seems to be included in the Nasb, and it is included in the UBS texts but where is it in the Niv or Esv? Why is it not there? (no answer needed here :) just making a point).
Me, personally I do not use the Niv, but the point still remains that when we look at the Bible as God's word, we can't afford to have 'blinkers' on.
Well, as I recall you said:" I'm a theologian and seminary teacher by profession and I enjoy understanding how other people see things and interpret the Bible" (reply #71)
I just consider the possibility that what we have in our hot little hands today is not 100.000% what the original documents had; if it was, then there would be a lot of Hebrew and Greek linguistic scholars out of work.

JACK: The internal textual evidence for Mark 15:28 is sketchy at best. The earliest manuscripts in both the Alexandrian and Western text types omits the verse. There is pretty good external evidence as well that a textual slip from a passage in Luke may account for the inclusion of this verse from a marginal notation. Mark, of the four gospel writers, had a tendency not to include OT quotations. So, I think the English Bibles are quite correct to include this verse in brackets and note it as a highly suspicious inclusion.

CALVIN: Another example, and why I have an intense dislike for the Niv would be Deut 22:28. Note the fact that 'they are discovered', not 'he is discovered' Getting off topic I know, my only defense is in laying out a reason for my not blindly following either a particular version/translation or being in awe of the learning of those ostensibly ordained to translate the Word of God.
Getting back on topic, What I thought I was postulating was the possibility that the order of those verses could have been shuffled at some point.

JACK: I'm not understanding your point with this example. "They" is the correct reading. Are you saying that because the reading of this verse doesn't square with reasonable human understanding it must be suspicious? If that is your point--and I'm not sure it is--I would retreat to my stand on inspiration that involves the documents and not the writers. We must accept the Bible the way it was written and not as we wish it were written. We need to form our thinking around the Scripture and not the other way around.

CALVIN: I agree, however there is by the same reasoning nothing to suggest that those events were separated by sufficient time so as not to distort Luke's language. Indeed reading again those verses, there is probably nothing other than poor composition skills to exclude the possibility that the disciples mentioned in v52, were in fact disciples in Iconium, not Antioch. But nobody, me included thinks that!....or do they? Jack, your point I think is that the events in v49,50 could have spanned an indefinite period of Time? Doesn't v51 logically follow on from the persecution by the Jews though? They were driven out of town, they shook the dust of their feet and went to Iconium. That is what the text says. why would anyone argue for a significant time interval between them being driven out of town and them shaking the dust off their feet here?

JACK: Of course, the events in verse 49 and following could have occurred immediately after verse 48 and certainly occurred with hours or a few days at most. I was trying to make the argument that subsequent events wouldn't have much impact on what verse 48 says. Like it or not, it seems to me that Acts 13:48 quite clearly says that those among that group who heard the Word of God and believed were chosen before hand. If I get the opportunity in the next day or two, I have a presentation to make on Unconditional Election on the "Bible Study" board and see how that plays out. I think the readers would enjoy seeing a debate on that subject.

CALVIN: So what might the relevance be here that the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit? Is that a logical sequence? If one of your students submitted an essay structured like that, what would you say? Wouldn't you ask for an amplification to establish relevance? Where is Luke's amplification, where is his relevance? So, if you agree that an essay structured like Luke's account of the acts of the Apostles here in v49,50,51,52 needs more work.....Q.E.D.

JACK: I think it is a very logical sequence that God elects, man believes, and, as a result, rejoices in the knowledge of his new life. Your question about a student of mine is irrelevant. Luke wrote inspired Scriptures; none of my students do that. I have a hard enough time getting them to put together a cohesive paragraph, but that's another story.
 
Well, as long as the mod squad don't object, I'll still respond to this topic here on this board,

Jack, I'm really surprised and disheartened at the repetitive 'crossed transactions' taking place here.
My reference to the Niv's Rape of Scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 22:28 contained no challenge of the word “they”....rather, I emphasized it as a sort of champion of my grievance.
Being a college lecturer as you say, I expected you would check up the reference I supplied, rather that responding as you did.
Here is the result of research that I expected from you.
Deut 22:28. (taken from the online Niv) “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,”
It should become clear why I drew attention to “and they are discovered” ie. this is not speaking of a rape scenario but a seduction scenario.
Now, again back to Acts 13 and your pointing out the Greek used for 'appointed' You supplied the lexal form τάσσω. And said that it was a military order?
JACK: I've taught New Testament Greek for thirty-five years and I have an earned PhD in a related field. Your understanding of the grammatical sequence is untentable. The passage is very accurately translated in the NASV when it says, "When the Gentiles heard this, they [began] rejoicing and glorfying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed." The word "appointed" is TASSO which is a military order. The passage, in my understanding, quite clearly conveys the thought that all those ordered by God to eternal life believed.
As a 'military order' would properly belong to Acts 28:23. perhaps but not 13:48.

From the Gold Standard Greek English Lexicon..., with full credits given regarding the subject thought: “belong to, be classed among those possessing ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον Ac 13:48"
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. 2000. A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. "Based on Walter Bauer's Griechisch-deutsches Wr̲terbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frhüchristlichen [sic] Literatur, sixth edition, ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, with Viktor Reichmann and on previous English editions by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker." (3rd ed.) . University of Chicago Press: Chicago” emphasis added.

The Greek for life eternal is also emphasized. So in word order for the quoted Greek we have: whoever / were /classed among those possessing/ (were) placed into /life /eternal.
And here seems to be the problem. A literal translation would run it in this order: They believed and then they were classed among those possessing eternal life. The preposition ' εἰς' places some object into life eternal. What is it that gets placed? Those who believe, or those who are placed(???????) not too logical, that second option is it. I can't actually see anything in the Greek that allows or requires that those who believe be placed after those who are given life eternal or, where is the preposition that teleports those who believe forward to a position after they are placed into life eternal. Help me out here please.
There is only one preposition that I can see used in this text and it properly belongs to those who have been appointed to life eternal, who in turn are those who having first believed are so placed.

Hear the word.......believe.....be accepted into membership.
Acts 2:14-38. They heard, if they believed, then they would be accepted.
Acts 2:41. Same author as in 13:48 Gotta be the same formula.

I can not accept calvanism or unconditional election, not because it is not what I want to hear (as you intimated Jack) but because as far as I can see or understand, the Bible does not teach it.
 
Well, as long as the mod squat don't object, I'll still respond to this topic here on this board,

CALVIN: Jack, I'm really surprised and disheartened at the repetitive 'crossed transactions' taking place here.
My reference to the Niv's Rape of Scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 22:28 contained no challenge of the word “they”....rather, I emphasized it as a sort of champion of my grievance. Being a college lecturer as you say, I expected you would check up the reference I supplied, rather that responding as you did.

JACK: Perhaps a very minor point, but I'm not a college lecturer, that is a completely different profession. I'm a seminary profession with an earned PhD in the field.

CALVIN: Here is the result of research that I expected from you. Deut 22:28. (taken from the online Niv) “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered,”
It should become clear why I drew attention to “and they are discovered” ie. this is not speaking of a rape scenario but a seduction scenario.

JACK: I'm no fan of the NIV for a lot of reasons, but it seems to be, the entire passage of Deuteronomy 22 is speaking of four separate and distinct situations. The specific one (v28) results in the man paying a fine; in ancient Israel and in this very chapter, rape was punished by death. The Hebrew word rendered "lay" in the KJV is SHAKAB meaning to "recline" with a sexual overtone. "Hold," while it can be rendered and is often used as seizing, can have the connotation of physically dominating something or somebody not necessarily being resisted. For example, it is used in Hab. 2:19 of "covering" an idol with gold. So, I believe the specific depiction in verse 28 is talking about consensual sex of unmarried people. Hebrew is an entirely different language than Greek or English, much more fluid and given to a much wider interpretation. The NIV, in my opinion, is notorious for its narrow renderings--sometimes very unwarranted--of Hebrew verbs.

CALVIN: Now, again back to Acts 13 and your pointing out the Greek used for 'appointed' You supplied the lexal form τάσσω. And said that it was a military order? As a 'military order' would properly belong to Acts 28:23. perhaps but not 13:48.

JACK: The same word is used in Mat. 28:16 when the Lord Jesus "appointed" his apostles. It is used in Luke 7:8 of a military officer describing subordinates under his command. It is used in Acts 15:2 when Paul and Barnabas were "appointed" by the church to attend the meeting in Jerusalem. It is used by Luke in Acts 22:10 when he quoted Jesus "appointing" Saul for his future duties. It is also used in Acts 28:23 (as you pointed out) of a day being "appointed" by God for judgment. Paul used the word in Romans 13:1 that God "appointed" governmental officials, and in I Cor. 16:15 of people being devoted to the ministry. Acts 13:48 certainly conveys the idea that God appointed them to eternal life and only those so appointed believed upon Him.

CALVIN: From the Gold Standard Greek English Lexicon..., with full credits given regarding the subject thought: “belong to, be classed among those possessing ὅσοι ἦσαν τεταγμένοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον Ac 13:48"
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. 2000. A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature. "Based on Walter Bauer's Griechisch-deutsches Wr̲terbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der frhüchristlichen [sic] Literatur, sixth edition, ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, with Viktor Reichmann and on previous English editions by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker." (3rd ed.) . University of Chicago Press: Chicago” emphasis added.

JACK: Bauer is such a gold standard that it is the one lexicon I use when I teach Greek. You'll notice the first definition that Bauer listed is: "Place or station in a fixed spot, appoint to establish in an office." The second definition he gives is: "Order, fix, determine, appoint."

CALVIN: The Greek for life eternal is also emphasized. So in word order for the quoted Greek we have: whoever / were /classed among those possessing/ (were) placed into /life /eternal. And here seems to be the problem. A literal translation would run it in this order: They believed and then they were classed among those possessing eternal life. The preposition ' εἰς' places some object into life eternal. What is it that gets placed? Those who believe, or those who are placed(???????) not too logical, that second option is it. I can't actually see anything in the Greek that allows or requires that those who believe be placed after those who are given life eternal or, where is the preposition that teleports those who believe forward to a position after they are placed into life eternal. Help me out here please.

JACK: English is a word order language where the function of a word is determined by its sequence in the sentence. For example, "Tom hit John," would mean something entirely different if you changed the order. "John hit Tom," isn't the same thing. Greek is an inflectional language and the function of the word in the sentence is determined by its spelling which changes with the function. We have a little of that in English. "His, he, him" are all the same word but as the function changes so does the spelling. In Greek everything is that way. The word order of Greek conveys the emphasis of the various words, not the function of the word as in English. Acts 13:48 in the original Greek says that all those who were appointed to eternal life believed.

CALVIN: There is only one preposition that I can see used in this text and it properly belongs to those who have been appointed to life eternal, who in turn are those who having first believed are so placed.
Hear the word.......believe.....be accepted into membership.
Acts 2:14-38. They heard, if they believed, then they would be accepted.
Acts 2:41. Same author as in 13:48 Gotta be the same formula.

JACK: The meaning of Greek prepositions are governed by the noun cases and in this instance the preposition takes the accusative case. The accusative case narrows or limits the action of the preposition; think of it as a funnel. They "went into" eternal life. Who did? Those who were appointed to it. For example, in Acts 11:26 it is used, "...he went INTO Tarsus." In 16:19, "...they were dragged INTO the marketplace."

CALVIN: I can not accept calvanism or unconditional election, not because it is not what I want to hear (as you intimated Jack) but because as far as I can see or understand, the Bible does not teach it.

JACK: A lot of people can't accept it. Forty-five years ago, I was among them. I rebelled against it when I first heard it and thought people who held to the doctrines of grace were people who had lost all rationale and reason. I remember very clearly telling my wife that I would never believe in Calvinism it was the "stupidest thing" I had ever heard. I decided to embark on a year long Bible study to prove it was wrong. Today, forty-five years later, I am a convinced of the doctrines of sovereign grace.
 
Jack....calvin:
You are both obviousely learned men of God's Word and you also have demonstrated Christian brotherhood by speaking to each other in respect over a very difficult and contoversial topic. My compliments to both of you!!!

Not that it matters one little bit to anyone, but I can not accept Calvinism either. Actually Calvinism comes from Augustine NOT John Calvin, but that is another story. IMO, Calvinism it is not a coherent system of theology based upon Scripture but arises from human theories which men have forced upon certain biblical texts, but that is just me.

Romans 10:13....
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved".
 
Thank you for the compliment. It's a joy to discuss things with Calvin for that very reason. As I told him, you're certainly not alone in your rejection of the doctrines of grace. Some of the greatest evangelists and Bible teachers Christianity has ever known came from both camps. It seems to me people who are the most convinced in their individual stand have the ability to discuss their positions without being abusive to the other side.
 
Thanks for the reply and the info Jack. Sorry to take so long in reply. I am caught up with a few things and am determined to get back into it as circumstances permit.
 
JACK: A lot of people can't accept it. Forty-five years ago, I was among them. I rebelled against it when I first heard it and thought people who held to the doctrines of grace were people who had lost all rationale and reason. I remember very clearly telling my wife that I would never believe in Calvinism it was the "stupidest thing" I had ever heard. I decided to embark on a year long Bible study to prove it was wrong. Today, forty-five years later, I am a convinced of the doctrines of sovereign grace.
Just a quick post mostly to 'Bump' the conversation back into the land of the living:)

I really don't see that grace can be anything other than sovereign. As such it probably neither supports nor undermines the notion of unconditional Election.
There is a difference as far as elective action goes, whereas grace by the very nature of the thing is unconditional.
If I can't extend grace toward you, unless you comply with some precondition, it would be a covenant based on works, and not otherwise.
I need instead to offer you something born out of a gracious heart; you choose if you want to take up my offer or not as you please. See you at tomorrow's cook out (BBQ)?:)

Just on another point in passing Jack, up here in Australia we don't have seminaries. We have colleges, and University. My reference to you being a college lecturer was simply differentiating between University and any other tertiary education venue. Certainly there was absolutely no slight intended.
 
Just a quick post mostly to 'Bump' the conversation back into the land of the living:)

I really don't see that grace can be anything other than sovereign. As such it probably neither supports nor undermines the notion of unconditional Election.
There is a difference as far as elective action goes, whereas grace by the very nature of the thing is unconditional.
If I can't extend grace toward you, unless you comply with some precondition, it would be a covenant based on works, and not otherwise.
I need instead to offer you something born out of a gracious heart; you choose if you want to take up my offer or not as you please. See you at tomorrow's cook out (BBQ)?:)

Just on another point in passing Jack, up here in Australia we don't have seminaries. We have colleges, and University. My reference to you being a college lecturer was simply differentiating between University and any other tertiary education venue. Certainly there was absolutely no slight intended.

I'm a bit baffled. You expressed your view about grace being unconditional. Of course, I would agree. Wouldn't that translate into unconditional election?

Approach this whole matter from a different angle. If God is omniscient, which I believe He is, I take that to mean that He has always known all things and is eternal, complete, and perfect in all of his knowledge. If that is accurate, and I believe it is, God can never be taken by surprise. Therefore, logically, God can not learn anything because He has always been in possession of all the knowledge that has ever existed. Hence, when it says "Whom He foreknew, them He also did predestinate..." would imply that God's salvation was based upon his knowledge which He could not have received from his creation. So, salvation is the sovereign act of God and unconditional.

Now, let's introduce man into this line of thinking. Does God base his actions on the foreseen decision of man? If He does then He has learned from his creation and that comprises one of his divine attributes, because that means there was a time when God did not know something.
 
Jack, to my way of thinking, you are understanding the Lord on your own terms on this issue instead of allowing for the probability that His reality far transcends our very finite capacity to understand Him. I'm sure we would both agree without hesitation that for us to fully comprehend the Lord, we would need to be at the very least His equal.
That said, to try to clarify what I was saying about Grace and election:
Actually I did not really say much about the two, except that the Sovereign nature of Grace probably has no effect on election.
Since I took the thought no further, I don't see why you would be "a bit baffled" by what I said. All I did was to agree with you that Grace is sovereign But I did separate Grace and election... I used the idea of a BBQ invite.
I graciously invite you..(unconditionally) You either accept the invite or you don't....your call. If you do, then I will elect to throw a few extra shrimp on the Barbie......that is conditional on you accepting my invite. (Actually, up here we call them Prawns. But that is neither here nor there :))
"Whom He foreknew, them He also did predestinate..." would imply that God's salvation was based upon his knowledge which He could not have received from his creation.
I think the important thing here is ...'would imply'. Actually, if He 'foreknew' in the generally accepted understanding of the word, how could He not have taken knowledge from His creation? I must go, as I'm not free to discuss these things fully yet. I wanted to prevent the thread from sinking slowly in the wast, and I do intend to be true to my word on coming back to it. But in closing, please allow me to offer you this minor challenge to think about.....You argue that the Lord's knowledge could not have been received from His creation.....Very well then, and I don't necessarily disagree, how could he have foreknowledge of things not yet created? Logically, that is way out of the arena. Seems to me that He either sat down with pen and paper and devised the whole thing right down to the last infinitesimal detail, or He purposed a plan which would come to fruition, but allowed for individualism...Being Omnipotent as we believe Him to be, I figure He could swing a deal like that and yet remain true to Himself.
gotta go.
 
Thank you for the compliment. It's a joy to discuss things with Calvin for that very reason. As I told him, you're certainly not alone in your rejection of the doctrines of grace. Some of the greatest evangelists and Bible teachers Christianity has ever known came from both camps. It seems to me people who are the most convinced in their individual stand have the ability to discuss their positions without being abusive to the other side.

I agree totally my friend!!
 
Jack, to my way of thinking, you are understanding the Lord on your own terms on this issue instead of allowing for the probability that His reality far transcends our very finite capacity to understand Him. I'm sure we would both agree without hesitation that for us to fully comprehend the Lord, we would need to be at the very least His equal.
That said, to try to clarify what I was saying about Grace and election:
Actually I did not really say much about the two, except that the Sovereign nature of Grace probably has no effect on election.
Since I took the thought no further, I don't see why you would be "a bit baffled" by what I said. All I did was to agree with you that Grace is sovereign But I did separate Grace and election... I used the idea of a BBQ invite.
I graciously invite you..(unconditionally) You either accept the invite or you don't....your call. If you do, then I will elect to throw a few extra shrimp on the Barbie......that is conditional on you accepting my invite. (Actually, up here we call them Prawns. But that is neither here nor there :))

I think the important thing here is ...'would imply'. Actually, if He 'foreknew' in the generally accepted understanding of the word, how could He not have taken knowledge from His creation? I must go, as I'm not free to discuss these things fully yet. I wanted to prevent the thread from sinking slowly in the wast, and I do intend to be true to my word on coming back to it. But in closing, please allow me to offer you this minor challenge to think about.....You argue that the Lord's knowledge could not have been received from His creation.....Very well then, and I don't necessarily disagree, how could he have foreknowledge of things not yet created? Logically, that is way out of the arena. Seems to me that He either sat down with pen and paper and devised the whole thing right down to the last infinitesimal detail, or He purposed a plan which would come to fruition, but allowed for individualism...Being Omnipotent as we believe Him to be, I figure He could swing a deal like that and yet remain true to Himself.
gotta go.

JACK: I think I understand both the transcendence as well as the immanence of God. That was the topic I was tackling in my lecture at seminary class last night. I agree God certainly transcends our understanding and a finite mind can never understand completely an infinite being. I was baffled by your discontinuity (if that is the right term) between election and God's sovereign nature. I would think they are very much related. I can understand that we may disagree over how they are related, but I was puzzled that you seem to say one has no affect on the other. If you have the time, I'd like to hear more about how you perceive that.

I was also baffled by your BBQ illustration the first time you used it. I couldn't figure what on earth you were talking about. Now that you explained it, AH! (light bulb moment!). I also agree that there is a general invitation that God's Word gives to all to come to Christ. But I don't believe that is the "call" Paul is talking about in Romans 8. That word is much stronger; it carries the idea of summons and in the chain he describes, it can hardly be optional.

I don't see a problem with God's foreknowledge including uncreated things. I would ask, Why not? Isa. 14:24 makes that quite clear. He foretold of the coming of Cyrus the Great of Perisa hundreds of years before he came. He must have known about him long before He was created. I have no quarrel with the idea that individualism was used in the plan of God. No one was forced against their will to do anything. Augustus issued the decree to have the people counted and taxed. No one put a gun to his head and "forced" him to do that. But it was prophecied, and, as a result, became necessary in history.

I understand you had to cut your last post short, so I hope we can talk again.
 
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