Calvinists, consider another perspective on Rm. 9

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Romans 9 is probably the one of the most referenced chapters by Calvinists and certainly has been used to convince many to accept the Calvinistic dogma, but does it really say what Calvinists think it says?

    Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."

    Calvinistic interpretation: God saves some and not others.

    Another Perspective: God can and will show mercy to whomever He pleases (even dirty Gentiles who are not the seed of Abraham) and He is perfectly just in doing so! The Jews might protest because like the brother of the prodigal son and the labors in the field they are jealous that the Lord pays the rebel and the late comers with mercy giving them a party or a full days of wages.

    16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

    Calvinistic Interpretation: Man's will and his works don't have any part of salvation. ONLY God's mercy is a factor.

    Another Perspective: It not of him who desires to work and run after the law (Jews), but of God who shows mercy (to those who pursue it as if it were by faith). Paul refers to this in his summary statements in verses 30-32

    What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.

    17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth." 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

    Calvinistic Interpretation: God has mercy on the elect and He hardens the non-elect just like he did Pharaoh.

    Another Perspective: God used Pharaoh’s rebellion and sealed him in it, hardening his will to keep Israel captive so that the plagues could ALL be completed in order to accomplish His ultimate purpose in making his Glory known by foreshadowing the Passover. In the same way God used the Jews rebellion and sealed them in it, hardening their wills so that God's purpose could be accomplished in showing his glory and his mercy in the Passover of the Christ. So, at one time the Gentiles were in darkness but now God was showing them favor (mercy) while hardening those he once showed favor (the Jews). So this is not about the elect being shown mercy and the non-elect being hardened. It is about the Gentiles being shown mercy and the Jews being hardened. (NOTICE: the Jews are not hardened unto certain condemnation. Read chapter 11 and you will see that they are Hardened in order to make way for the Gentiles and once the Gentiles begin to come in they will provoke the hardened Jews to envy and some of them might be saved (vs 14). God has bound them all over to disobedience (both Jews and Gentiles) so that he may have mercy on them all (vs 32).

    19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

    Calvinistic Interpretation: A free will advocate might protest saying, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" But Paul rebukes them for replying against God and teaches that God makes some people for being saved and others for being damned.

    Another Perspective: A Jew might protest saying, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will? But Paul rebukes them for replying against God and teaches that God makes some people from Israel, "the same lump of clay," for noble purposes such as Jacob who became the line of Judah and Paul who became an apostle, for no other reason than because God chose them for those purposes, but others from that same lump (the lump of Israel) may be used for common purposes, such as being hardened.

    22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

    Calvinistic Interpretation: God showed His wrath and power by being patient non-elect reprobates who were born as vessels of wrath and destruction.

    Another Perspective: God showed his wrath and made his power known by enduring the Jews with much longsuffering who were vessels of wrath that fitted themselves for destruction.

    23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Calvinistic Interpretation: This was to make known the riches of His glory to his elect vessels of mercy who he had individually chosen and prepared for glory, not only from the Jews but also of the Gentiles.

    Another Perspective: This was to make known the riches of His glory to the Gentiles who were just then being revealed as God's vessels of mercy, whom He had chosen to save and glorify from the beginning of time, even us (those already in the church) who He has called, not only from the Jews but also of the Gentiles.

    Adam Clarke writes: The Jews were fitted for destruction long before; but the fittest time to destroy them was after he had prepared the believing Gentiles unto glory.

    The basic difference is that Calvinists apply these passages to individual elect and non-elect people. While others apply these passages to the two people groups being represented, Jews and Gentiles. I’m only asking that the Calvinists on this board honestly and objectively deal with another perspective and comment on why it’s not a viable interpretation.

    Personally, I believe Paul's concluding summary remarks reveal his intent:

    30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law *of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.

    What do you all think?

    Please limit your comments to this discussion on Romans 9 and try to keep things civil by only commenting about the doctrines and not others personally. Thank you.
     
  2. GeneMBridges

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    One huge straw man...


    The basic difference is that Calvinists apply these passages to individual elect and non-elect people.

    No, Calvinists acknowledge that this passage is about the election of nations. However, we argue that nations are, in fact, made up of individuals and no group can be elected without individuals in it being elected. We are both/and...you are either/or.

    Additionally, we find your exegesis faulty. There are 23 individuals referred to here. Do they all refer to groups? Also, if the references are to groups, then why are singular, not plural forms used?
     
  3. Skandelon

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    Could you be specific? What specifically did I write that misrepresents your views and why. Thanks

    Of course nations are made up of individuals but do you deny that Paul could be referring to a nation as a whole and that in doing so his intent could be general and not specific in regard to showing mercy and hardening?

    One could say, "God has chosen to show mercy to the Gentiles," without meaning that God has chosen to show mercy to a few Gentiles to the neglect of the rest. It could simply mean that God has chosen to bring the message of redemption to the Gentiles so that they too may respond.

    You are going to have to be more specific. If you have a passage you would like to discuss I would be more than happy to discuss it. A wide sweeping general rebuttal like this is meaningless and gets us no where. If my exegesis is faulty show me where and tell me what I have done incorrectly. Then we'll have something to discuss; otherwise its just us going back and forth saying, "I'm right because your wrong."

    Blessings.
     
  4. GeneMBridges

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    Could you be specific? What specifically did I write that misrepresents your views and why. Thanks

    Of course nations are made up of individuals but do you deny that Paul could be referring to a nation as a whole and that in doing so his intent could be general and not specific in regard to showing mercy and hardening?

    One could say, "God has chosen to show mercy to the Gentiles," without meaning that God has chosen to show mercy to a few Gentiles to the neglect of the rest. It could simply mean that God has chosen to bring the message of redemption to the Gentiles so that they too may respond.

    You are going to have to be more specific. If you have a passage you would like to discuss I would be more than happy to discuss it. A wide sweeping general rebuttal like this is meaningless and gets us no where. If my exegesis is faulty show me where and tell me what I have done incorrectly. Then we'll have something to discuss; otherwise its just us going back and forth saying, "I'm right because your wrong."

    Blessings.
    </font>[/QUOTE]You are seem to be alleging that we do not believe God elects groups. That is false. We do, and we acknowledge that nations can be elected. We teach that the passage in Malachi in the OT is referring to nations, but if this is referring to groups then why are all the pronouns SINGULAR? We simply say that no group is elected alone. Individuals are also elected. We do not teach this passage is about the election of individuals ONLY. We teach it is about BOTH the election of individuals and the election or reprobation of groups.

    God can and does do what He wants with His creation and this includes individuals. He raised up Jacob and Esau according to His own plan and will, and it had nothing to do with their deeds. That's the point that Paul is trying to make here. We acknowledge that this is about the election of nations, but the point Paul is making is that no nation is elected apart from the election of specific individuals.

    (SINGULAR AND PRESENT) 1:1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. 2"I have loved you," says the Lord. But you say, "How hast Thou loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" declares the Lord. "Yet I have loved Jacob; 3but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation, and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness."
    (PLURAL AND FUTURE) 4Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the Lord of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever." 5And your eyes will see this and you will say, "The Lord be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"


    It is from the section of scripture that is of singular that Paul quotes, not the plural, not the area representing the nations specifically. He references Esau as Jacob's brother, not a brother nation, not a group.

    God declares to Moses that He has mercy and compassion on whom (SINGULAR) He wants. The word "whom" here is in the singular, not the plural, designating individuals. Therefore, God is declaring that He displays His mercy and compassion upon the individuals of His choice.


    V. 17, "For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I raised you (SINGULAR) up, to demonstrate My power in you (SINGULAR), and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.'"

    V. 18, "So then He has mercy on whom (SINGULAR) He desires, and He hardens whom (SINGULAR) He desires.

    Since election is "The act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons," we see that Paul here says that God is merciful to whom (SINGULAR) He wants. This definitely teaches us that God elects for blessings those individuals whom He desires.

    Some Arminians say that individuals ARE elected, but only for a specific purpose. Calvinists agree, and we point to predestination for that purpose. All those elected are elected for a purpose according to Ephesians 1 and 2. Election, ALL election is purposeful. Part of God's purpose is for us to be conformed to the image of his Son. Not all of His purposes are fully disclosed. Notice, however, there is no special purpose in mind beyong eternal salvation in this passage.

    The passage in question is part of a response to a problem relating to eternal salvation presented in vs. 1 - 5. If we say that this is primarily about election of nations or groups in addition to (or over and against others), then we are saying that God elects nations to salvation over and against others. Some will say it is about the selection of the Gentiles v. the Jews. However, that doesn't make sense either as the objection isn't about the selection of Gentiles and not Jews, the issue is the salvation of some, but not all of the House of Israel itself.
    We acknowledge that this is about the election of nations, but the point Paul is making is that no nation is elected apart from the election of specific individuals. In short, Gentiles are not elected as a group, they are elected as individuals.

    (SINGULAR AND PRESENT) 1:1 The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. 2"I have loved you," says the Lord. But you say, "How hast Thou loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?" declares the Lord. "Yet I have loved Jacob; 3but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation, and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness."

    (PLURAL AND FUTURE) 4Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the Lord of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the Lord is indignant forever." 5And your eyes will see this and you will say, "The Lord be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"


    It is from the section of scripture that is of singular that Paul quotes, not the plural, not the area representing the nations specifically. He references Esau as Jacob's brother, not a brother nation.


    Also, if this text is about the election of nations, not individuals, then it would be an exceptional use of the word "skeuos." "Skeuos," is Greek word for vessels. It is used of containers of an ordinary household use. When used of people, however, it refers to individuals, not groups. Acts 9:15, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument (skeuos) of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.”
    1 Thess. 4:4, “that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor." This usage means either ‘own body’ or possibly ‘wife.’ Again, it is speaking of individuals.
    2 Tim. 2:21, “Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."
    1 Pet. 3:7, “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman...” Even though husbands is plural, vessel is singular.
    You say, "One could say, "God has chosen to show mercy to the Gentiles," without meaning that God has chosen to show mercy to a few Gentiles to the neglect of the rest. It could simply mean that God has chosen to bring the message of redemption to the Gentiles so that they too may respond.Yes, it could but how do you reconcile that with vs. 1-5. Paul is talking about JEWS, not Gentiles. He is upset because some of his people, JEWS, NOT GENTILES, have all these covenant promises. However, he knows, rightly, that some are going to be excluded from the New Covenant. It makes God look to be unfaithful to His Word. What's the solution?

    Vs. 6-13. Not all who are of the House of Israel are of "Israel." In other words, not all Jews are elected. In short, you can say what you say, but this is not the text to say it. That is elsewhere. The text turns on a question of God's faithfulness to individual JEWS, not Gentiles. Gentiles are nowhere to be found here. You want the text to speak to an issue that is not in it. Where are Gentiles even mentioned in the argument Paul is advancing? If Paul is making the point you are offering as an alternative, then it is a very vague point, because he doesn't mention Gentiles until v.24. That's simply answering the charge Jews would make that they are God's favorites and God does not love them. Paul's answer does not stop at God loving the Gentiles as well as the Jews. He is answering the Jewish objection, "How can that be...we have the all the covenant promises." Paul's answer is that, "Gentiles are included, because it isn't a nation that God elects, it is the individuals in the nations, both Jew and Gentile." In short, Gentiles are included because God elects individuals from among them as well as individuals among the Jews.

    To relegate election here to a group is also a failure to understand the concept of election as we Calvinists teach it. We understand and teach it as a positive decree of God. You have simply assumed that election is not a decree. If it is a positive decree, then it is something that God has decided WILL be done actively and will be done. Ultimately, you have the God of the universe acting contingently in your scenario...the God of pure actuality with no contingency in Him...you have Him acting contingently.

    You exegesis also begs the question of "Why?" According to this text why did God elect Jacob and not Esau? If you are going to say this is about the extension of the gospel to the Gentiles in a general manner, then why is God doing that? Is it truly unconditionally? Arminians say no, it is based on foreseen faith and/or foreseen perseverance. The text says otherwise. Are you willing to say that the Gentiles are elected unconditionally in the same way that Calvinists say, because this text also clearly teaches election is not grounded in the individuals/groups themselves? You have yet to deal with that.
     
  5. ScottEmerson

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    I agree with much of what you wrote, Skandelon. Malachi chapter 1 is actually referring to the entire nations of Edom and Israel, and it's not entirely uncommon in the Hebrew works to use the individual to refer to the nation. One must also note the tense and message of verse three: "I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation, and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." It's clear that "Esau" is referring to a present nation, not a past person. I've never seen anyone exegete Malachi 1:3 another way, but I'm open to reading whoever.

    I would also point you to the vessels spoken of in Jeremiah 18. Romans 9 seems to parallel Jeremiah's use, which has a very interesting "twist," as God says, "Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD . "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it."

    In an almost bizarre turn of events, God compares the nation to the earthen vessels, but also adds that there is, indeed, free will to choose to repent or reject Him.

    Other interesting points (I'm all over the place, I know.) In verse 12, Paul goes back to the prophecy, "the older shall serve the younger." In Genesis is there any time at all when Esau serves Jacob? Or is this refering to their ancestors? If this does refer to their ancestors, then it seems that the following text (Jacob I loved, Esau I hated) is also not referring (in Paul's usage) to Jacob and Esau as individuals, but as nations.

    I'm not Arminian, but I did find Gene's quote to be a pretty big straw man fallacy: "Ultimately, you have the God of the universe acting contingently in your scenario...the God of pure actuality with no contingency in Him...you have Him acting contingently." This isn't true, and it is a huge mischaracterization to make regarding those who do not understand Romans 9 (and the following two chapters).

    -----------
    And for free: What does it mean in chapter 11, when Paul says that "All Israel will be saved?" Also look at Paul's message to both Israelites and Gentiles. Interesting, no?
     
  6. Skandelon

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    Scott,

    You make some excellent points. I have not looked at the Jeremiah passage from this perspective before and what you say makes perfect sense. The LUMP Paul refers to in Romans 9 is most likely Israel which he used to make objects for noble purposes (i.e. apostleship) and others for common use.

    And on your points about Esau and Jacob I think you are very much on target. Even in Calvin's commentaries there are subnotes that speak of these men representing their prosterity and not necessarily themselves personally. And it refers to the most likely usage of the word "hate" as being related to preference for one over the other for the common good. Such as the verse that speaks of hating your father and mother or the one about hating one's own life. Calvinists have a tendency to overlook such things IMO.
     
  7. Skandelon

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    I did not intend to "allege" such a thing. I'm only focusing on the points in which we disagree, that happens to be about applying election of nations for a specific purpose to a doctrine of election of individuals for salvation. I know that you affirm national election too, I just didn't feel the need to address a point in which we agree.

    First, allow me to say that I too believe that election involves individuals. You seem to make the same mistake you accuse me of making.

    But I can't resist making one other point anyway.
    "One nation under God"
    "I will fight for America because I love her!"

    A nation is a group, but the group is one...singular.

    You are correct. We do believe that individual are chosen for specific purposes. Jonah was chosen to go to Ninevah. Paul was chosen to be an apostle to the Gentiles. Being chosen or elected does have to do with more than just salvation and its nice to see that you recognize that. It is our belief that Calvinists take passages which are about God's electing to save nations by granting them entrance into his covenant and apply them to God's electing individuals to be saved to the neglect of others. In doing so, Calvinists take passages having to do with God's choosing one of his messengers and apply them as proof texts to support their dogma of individual election unto salvation.

    In Romans 9 Israel was chosen to receive God's revelations, through prophets and scripture. They were also the nation from which Christ would come and redeem the world. And they were the people from which God would choose his first messengers of reconcilation. He elected the NATION but he also chose individuals in that nation to carry out these noble purposes. Jacob and his descendants were some of those chosen, but this certainly should be understood as Jacob being chosen to be individually saved while his brother was not. Can you imagine the reaction his parents would have had if indeed that was the intent? Think about it! If God told you that he was going to save one of your kids but leave the other damned? I know I would freak out and go into deep depression. That is not the reaction of these parents. They understand that one son is being chosen to receive the blessing over the other and to carry on the noble purpose.


    Only one could be the line of Judah. Both could not father the Christ. Esau was to father the Edomites who would later accomplish other purposes. One was chosen for a noble purpose and the other for a common use. This was to show that being a seed of Abraham didn't gaurentee you to be in the lineage and thus to be apart of the first covenant--many of the Jews thought that being a Jew was their gaurentee. It didn't work for Esau and he was the first born of Isaac. Does that mean that Esau and all his descendants were somehow baned from believing in the God of their fathers? I don't think so, do you? They just weren't chosen for the purpose Jacob and his decendants were chosen for.

    Paul uses the choice of Jacob and Esau as a parallel to modern day Jews and Gentiles. In his readers minds the Jews were the "chosen ones" because of their birthright, afterall they were the seed of Abraham. They were JUST LIKE ESAU.

    Esau = Jews

    He was the first born of Isaac and by that very fact deserved of the blessing and the noble honor to carry on the lineage of the Christ and redemption. But like Esau, the Jews were not chosen, but instead were hardened from receiving the gospel. Notice the shift as he makes this parallel comparison.

    He uses God's rejections of an individual (who represents a nation) to parallel God's rejection of a nation (Jews). Neither rejection was unto certain condemnation for Paul goes on to explain in the next two chapters that those hardened might be saved (i.e. 11:14)
     
  8. nwells

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    Can you explain how it is that if, "God makes some people from Israel, "the same lump of clay," for noble purposes such as Jacob who became the line of Judah and Paul who became an apostle, for no other reason than because God chose them for those purposes, but others from that same lump (the lump of Israel) may be used for common purposes, such as being hardened."

    that is different from God choosing John Doe for noble purposes and John Smoe for common purposes?

    Could you expand on the reasons for interpreting the chapter this way - what changes in your mind that makes that interpretation better or more true?

    If you do not have a problem with God choosing a nation - how does that free up an individual to choose without God pressuring him? Or do you mean to say that by choosing a nation the choosing is really up to the individual - so really it doesn't matter if God chose the nation at all because they can be saved regardless if God's mercy is on them or if God has hardend them?

    That is where your logic is taking me - that God's choice is actually nothing and changes nothing but man's choice is everything and is higher than God's choice - for God can harden a nation but an individual can rise above that hardening and recieve Christ.

    Is that what you would say?
     
  9. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Nwells;
    Do you think of God as a dictator who dictates every aspect of our lives?.
    You see Love cannot be dictated. God Loves us, can't He do this without thinking of Himself first?
    Don't you think that God is smart enough to realize that Love is an act of the will that it is selfless. That with out the ability to love willingly there is no love at all.
    It's intresting that you can take a dog that hates you and try to make it love you with force dragging it every where you go, even forcing it to eat and drink, and the dog will hate you all the more. But on the other side of the coin you can take a dog that hates you, and treat Him with Love allowing the dog to make that choice for Himself feeding it and being kind to it and inviting it to come to you and most usually the dog will learn to love you and even lay down it's life for you. Even a dog understands that it's up to him how he feels about you.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  10. nwells

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    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for writing - it has been a great thing to be able to talk with you over the last week.

    You said:

    God Loves us, can't He do this without thinking of Himself first?


    My answer is no. God must think of Himself first.

    'It is manifest from Scripture, that God's glory is the last end of . . . the work of redemption by Jesus Christ'(The Works Of Jonathan Edwards, volume 1, 110).

    God Himself says:
    Isaiah 42:8 (NASB95)
    "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images."


    And again:

    Psalm 79:9 (NASB95)
    "Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake."


    We are saved for the glory of God - not because God loves us more than He loves Himself but because God loves His glory more than us. We are saved for HIS name's sake and not for ours.

    Jesus loved us more than He loved His own life - for He laid it down for us (there is no greater love) but that was not the end. Jesus said:


    John 7:18 (NASB95)
    "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."


    God's glory is central - God's love for us is not equal to God's love for His own glory.

    For He does all things for His own glory - for His own name's sake - including love us, sinners.
     
  11. rc

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    nwells,

    Nice. It is so hard to explain the amazing depth of thought by Jonathan Edwards.... If only Christians would be zealous after God's Word as him... Understanding this chapter has been somewhat amiss on this forum, but to save alot of space I will leave with this... PLEASE READ "Religious Affections" by Jonathan Edwards. It will change your view of God and yourself. When will men put off emotional, humanistic, man centered ideas and stop using extra biblical scenario's instead of sticking to scripture. Comparing man to a dog or putting God in the position of the master of the dog and then imputing what HE thinks is love is dangerous talk... Stick with God's word brother. Psalm 50:21 These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself.

    You have to show in God's word that man can change his nature...
     
  12. nwells

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    RC,

    I have read "Religious Affections". It is a wonderful book - and I would recommend it, as you have, to everyone.

    I do my best to "stick to God's word", since my thoughts don't really matter - but yes, all of us do put our own ideas in what it is we read. There is one true meaning and many applications to the Word - may the Spirit guide us as we read and search His Word.

    Have a good one,
    Nathan

    P.S.
    I don't believe you can show from the Word that man can change his own nature by himself. Neither do I think any would claim that to be - though in essence many believe that when it comes down to it - for if a man can do the good thing of believing in Christ - and though that option to do that good thing would not be there unless God put it there, in the end it is the man who made the choice and therefore deserves salvation - that is not Biblical at all - for the Bible says we have no ability to please God in ourselves - there is no good thing in us - but God is the one who works - who changes - who saves - based on His will and not based on man's choosing.
     
  13. rc

    rc
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    Nwells,
    I assumed by your language that you did read "RA" and wrote the rest of my reply not to you but to the palagians on this board.

    post tenabra lux
     
  14. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Skandelon,

    Your ideas in Romans nine shows responsibility to this passage. Insightful!
     
  15. ILUVLIGHT

    ILUVLIGHT
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    Hi Nwells;
    I'm not intrested in what Jonathan Edwards thinks or says.Couldn't you just show those scriptures he was talking about.
    You said "God must think of Him self first". but if God is Love and I believe that He is. Then you must believe that God doesn't really Love us at all. Love doesn't think of self first.
    Neither of the scriptures in Isa or Psalms even come close to saying anything about what you claim but then you say this;
    I have never ever heard a anyone say such a thing. Are you sure you're a Calvinist or are just speaking as your self?
    Jn. 3:16 says that God so Loved the world that He sent His own son to die for it. I'd say that this is proof of the selflessness of God.
    May God Bless you;
    Mike
     
  16. johnp.

    johnp.
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    Nwells said;
    ILUVLIGHT replied;
    Eze 36:26-32 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. 32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!

    He does everything for Himself and we enjoy that.

    johnp.
     
  17. johnp.

    johnp.
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    From your first post Skandelon.

    About the prodigal son and the link you make to the Jews. LK 15:11.
    There is a difference between the unsaved Jew and the prodigal son's brother. The brother was a brother and a son of the Father. The link you make is a false one.
    The unsaved Jews were never Children of God. Only those that believe are the Children. It was not the unsaved that complained but the saved.

    When we read about Israel we must bear in mind that there are two nations involved. The shadow, the nation, and the reality, true spiritual Israel. Christians.
    We should distinquish between them because many times when God is speaking to the shadow He is in fact addressing the Church.
    There are saved and non saved in the church. Just like Israel. Same as it ever was.
    Many universalist type beliefs would fade away when we realise that God speaks to His people not the world. Only many are called.

    johnp.
     
  18. rc

    rc
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    Mike, Jo 3.16 heightens our awareness of God's love, not to center on the "whom"... (unless you're man centered). The world again in the Greek is rendered "believing ones"... the elect.. sorry but it's true... And verses that God does everything for Himself? And He loves Himself over all? PLEASE read Jonathan Edwards "The End For Which God Created The World". And if you disagree because "he's just a man" watch yourself... Eph 4.11 say's to listen to those gifted in teaching. And Edwards will give you more verses than you'll read anyway. Also if God did anything other than for the love of Himself He would be an idolator. God must by definition do all for himself and no one else. We are just secondary causes that lead in all circumstances back to Him for His glory.

    Soli Deo Gloria
     
  19. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    The Puritan Jonathan Edwards did not write the Bible.

    You need to study: Mark 16:15-16; John 3:17; 5:24; Acts 2:21; 16:31; 17:30; Romans 5:1; 5:18; Romans 8:1a; I Cor. 5:17 (any person be in Christ) Galatians 3:22; I Timothy 2:4 (the Greek word, wishes all men (people) to be saved) His ransom is not only for the elect, but 'for all' I Tim. 2:6; Galatians 2:6; Hebrews 2:9 the last phrase; II Peter 3:9; Revelation 3:20; Revelation 22:17f,g.

    Edwards meant well but His theology was born out of Roman Catholicism back in the time of Augustine and was passed down from generation to generation and the John Calvin systematized the error. I am sure many found Christ through Edward's mighty preaching. God works through Calvinists and Arminian preachers who perhaps all have some error.

    Let the Word's of Christ be true and every man a liar!

    Berrian, Th.D.
     
  20. rc

    rc
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    Ray,
    The "Catholic" church was not what it is today. ALSO The Modern Catholic church does not hold to Augustine's view. The modern Catholic church belives in semi-pelagianism, like you! Luther,(an Augustinian monk) fought the Catholic church on this very issue! Edwards view is much of the same as Luther, Augustine, and PAUL and Jesus.

    Your view goes with Arminius, Pelagius, and the Catholic church. I have read their works along with other "modern" philosophers on the Arminian view. I wish that you would just try to read Edwards. He would greatly give you a DEEP understanding of all those scriptures that you have given.
     

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