Study or Argument?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Barry and Helen Setterfield, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Barry and Helen Setterfield

    Barry and Helen Setterfield
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    This is Barry Setterfield making a brief appearance.

    I have followed with interest a number of threads on the C/A discussion and feel it is time to register several items of concern. To begin, my scientific background has led me to look out for anomalies where the theories of science are not in accord with data. In the immediate context of this forum, the data that we have to go on is all contained within the Bible, both Old and New Testament. The theories that are being discussed here are essentially those of Calvin and Arminius, and/or variations of them. It is precisely at this point that I find myself again confronted with an anomaly. The theories of both Calvin and Arminius are divergent from the total picture presented by the whole Scriptural revelation. It must be borne in mind that neither of these positions is Divinely inspired, but are theories or interpretations of men, and as such are fallible. What has disturbed me in this ongoing discussion is that both sides tend to uphold their particular guru as infallible and seem to refuse to look at the weaknesses of their position, particularly when it is compared with Scripture. It may be true that some verses quoted give apparent support to the respective positions. However, when those verses are looked at in their Biblical context, another picture often emerges – one which seems to be deliberately ignored in order to maintain the theory rather than accept the discrepant data from the Word. I see this so often in science, particularly in the theory of evolution, that I had hoped to find a different attitude amongst those who ostensibly believe in the accuracy of God’s Word as the data we have to go on.

    It was in that context that I encouraged my wife, Helen, to go ahead, and really look at what the Bible itself had to say about the word ELECT. Rather than go in with preconceived ideas, we were both prepared to have our views molded by what the Bible actually had to say itself on these matters. To that end, Helen spent over eight hours on study, along with some help from me as well. The outcome was a document which faithfully reflected the Scriptural context of each occurrence of those words. The outcome was, for both of us, also unexpected – namely that in each case the use of the word ELECT was in the context of God’s chosen people, the Jews, and that the word translated CALLED simply meant to invite.

    However, rather than acknowledge the validity of this Scriptural study, there has been a tendency to marginalize the results because it did not conform to the favoured theory. Little matter that is was profoundly Biblical; the theory had to be upheld at all costs, not because of, but despite the data from the Word. I find this attitude disturbing because it is the same attitude as the evolutionists. In the Biblical context, I also find it strange that the theories/writings/traditions of mere men should be held as being as equally valid as the Bible itself, yet this is what is happening here. And yet this is also what Calvin did in formulating his theology – he went back to Augustine for his ideas rather than go independently to the full Biblical revelation. In that he was following Roman Catholic tradition and practice, and I believe that is where Calvin went wrong. It is for that reason that I again urge you all to take another look, with open hearts and minds, at what Helen has researched from the Bible itself, rather than conform to a man-made theory. While it is readily acknowledged that this was not written as a theological treatise, it is nonetheless Biblically accurate within the limits acceptable for this discussion board. If we had found any Biblical discrepancy on the matter, we would have said so. Instead, a completely consistent view emerged as the word study continued.

    In conclusion, I want to come at this whole matter from another viewpoint. We are meant to be Christlike in all our attitudes, actions and reactions – so that the mind, the outlook, the whole demeanor that Christ had, is overflowing from us into the world around us in all our behaviour. It is at this point that I note some other disturbing trends. Calvin was a very unsatisfactory character; his harshness on occasion culminated in murder. His theology appeared to do nothing to help his character. By contrast, Arminius was a very gracious man, and his theology, however imperfect, encouraged that graciousness towards his opponents and those who did not know the Lord. There is a harshness which emanated from Calvin that sometimes seems to taint those that follow his doctrine. Unfortunately, that has also been in evidence on this discussion board as I have watched from the sidelines. May I urge those of you who insist on following Calvin’s doctrine, please be careful to allow the overflow of God’s graciousness at all times, particularly towards those who hold views that are divergent from yours. I also believe that some kinds of gloating Calvinism are as repugnant to God as they are to some of us as well as to the unsaved who we wish to bring into the kingdom.

    In conclusion, and because of all the matters discussed above, I have requested that Helen refrain from further discussion on the C/A forums. She has done a very good work, and I am proud of her and the way she kept an open mind as she did the word study to find out what the Bible itself had to say. This humbleness of spirit is truly Christlike, and it comes through in her daily living, too.
     
  2. Yelsew

    Yelsew
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    Barry, it is very good to hear from you, Thank you for bringing your keen observations to light. Since I am in your corner on these issues, the best I can do is commend Helen as you have for doing an excellent work. She is a true Bereaen, and her work is trustworthy. Thank you for your encouragement and support of her in this effort.

    I have done these studies myself over twenty years ago, and arrived at the same conclusions that you and Helen have. I know this was not an easy task, but the reward for you and Helen is increased faith in Jesus Christ and strength of conviction that no human philosophy can shake.

    I trust that after some period of rest that both you and Helen will return and refute the lies of both Calvinism and Arminianism.

    Meanwhile, God Bless you both!
     
  3. Gina B

    Gina B
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    That's too bad and I'm disappointed to hear it. It's not often one can have a decent and productive discussion in this forum, and Helen provided that.
    I was sorry to see rudeness in some of the responses to her, so I understand though. :mad:
    I don't think the meaning of one word was as much the issue as people disagreeing with who was being spoken of though.
    On the other hand...YAY I CAN USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO BACK OUT NOW BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT IT TO SAY MUCH MORE! :eek:

    Gina
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Barry,

    Let me first thank you for your work in science and creation. I appreciate those who will take a firm stand for Scripture in that area. But since you are involved in critical theories and interacting with various things, I hope you mind some interaction with your post here. I hope that you will understand that it does not come from a heart of animosity or personal dislike. It comes from a heart committed unequivocally to the revealed truth of God's word, from a heart that has devoted its very existence to the clear and consistent proclamation of that word in all its truth.

    First, let me address the study that Helen did on the word elect. Having been in the field of theology for a number of years, I am well familiar with studies on the doctrine of election. I have read it and studied it from both sides. So my opinion on her study is not an uninformed opinion. Having looked at the information she presented many times, every time I see it I find it less convincing. The more I learn, the less credibility I can find in that position. In reading it, I found it very lacking, not in intent—I am sure that you and her meant the best in it. It was lacking in actual study. Looking up words and then explaining how they fit your preconceived notions is no different than look at a fossil and explaining how it is millions of years old. You and I both reject the latter because it is not based in reality; it is theory propounded to support a preconceived notion. We should both reject the former for the same reason. I took a very few examples from her study and showed how her argumentation was inadequate. As I told her, it is not sufficient to make assertions. You must make arguments from the text to support those assertions and in that area it was very lacking. One of the disciplines that good seminary training brings is critical thinking. I remember very well having seminar classes where you write a 40-50 page paper for the purpose of letting others pick it apart and question your publicly on it. In doing that kind of work, you learn very quickly to spot bad arguments, unsupported assertions, etc. I demonstrated concrete evidence that clearly contradicted her assertions. She would not even interact with them. That was disappointing. It was understandable because of the force of the arguments in the passages – but it was disappointing nevertheless. I have literally begged her to explain some things that she was simply unwilling to address.

    When we claim to revere and honor the word of God, we must show a respect for its words and its context. I was hoping against hope that Helen’s study of election would show a willingness to put aside her precommitments and look at the text. I can understand saying that some of the uses of “elect” refer to Jew. But there are some unquestionable occurrences that belie any objectivity on your part. There is simply no legitimate way to maintain that (to use your words) in each case the use of the word ELECT was in the context of God’s chosen people, the Jews, and that the word translated CALLED simply meant to invite. That position has been too long exposed by people who have spent way more than eight hours in Bible study. I showed clear evidence that contradicted it here. Yet she would not even interact with it. If you want to discuss, then you have to discuss. You can simply claim victory while leaving pieces on the table.

    You complain that there has been a tendency to marginalize the results because it did not conform to the favoured theory.. But if you read my comments on it, it had little to do with theory and much to do with the text of Scripture. My concern is, and always has been, the text. That is why to this day I haven’t read Calvin. I don’t need to. I don’t base my beliefs on him or what he said. This study was not profoundly biblical in the sense of taking into account all of Scripture. Simply put, while “elect” sometimes does refer to the Jews, there are unquestionable cases where it does not. I find the approach that you and her took to be of the same quality that evolutionists take. They make an assertion that they must make. There are certain avenues of evidence that they are completely unwilling to consider because it would contradict their basic presuppositionism against supernaturalism. I don’t know you and have never interacted with you. But having interacted with Helen, and having seen the spirit of her responses, I find little credibility to the claim that she was objective in this study. She was not prepared to come to any conclusion other than that to which she was previously committed.

    Actually, if you read what is being said here, there is very little citation of men. I very rarely refer to other men, except in cases of exegetical support. I have tried to direct the conversation to Scripture time after time. I have begged all here to focus on Scripture. I have shut down threads that do not conform to that standard. In fact, my response to Helen did not reference one person apart from Scripture. I took the comments she made and the verses she used and showed problems. That level of work would not be accepted at any reputable Bible college. If we are going to study the word of God, we must expect more of ourselves and of those we converse with.

    None of which matters one little bit, since we are not discussing men. The doctrines known as Calvinism go back to the early church.

    In the end, this discussion will never be solved until there is an absolute determination to leave presuppositions and precommitments behind and come to the text of Scripture for what it says, not for what we wish it to say. I share a great frustration with this forum because of the way in which Scripture is treated. I find it very distressing. There is a great frustration because there are so many basic ideas that people simply do not understand. Helen has made a life out of posting misrepresentations in here in spite of the fact that we have pointed them out and asked her not to do it. We have many times given clear and cogent explanations for what we believe. I have often said, ‘You don’t have to agree; just don’t twist my position.’ I wish that would be the rule rather than the exception. It does get rough in this forum at times. In that regard it is much like the Versions forum.

    When all is said and done, what is done in this forum will not have that great of an effect. God will still be God and his truth will still be his truth. As I have often said, if others can, in good conscience, hold arminianism as true, then so be it. I can’t. I am a Biblicist through and through and for that reason I can hold no other position than that which I hold.

    I mean no ill will towards you or her. As I said at the beginning, I respect your work in the scientific field immensely and wish you God’s best in carrying that out. I am convinced that one day the truth of creationism will be sung from the very rafters of heaven, as it were. God’s glory in creation and salvation will echo through the halls of heaven as we worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords. My passion on this earth is to start early on that—to learn all that I can about our precious Savior and God through his word and preach it from the housetops that Christ alone is the hope of everyone who will come to him.
     
  5. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Barry,

    I could not agree with you more. In my experience on this board I have noticed the Calvinists unwillingness to even acknowledge the possibility of any interpretation except their own. At least some people are willing to occasionally say, "Yeah, I could see that." Or, "Thats a possible translation, but I would disagree." No, not here. Its more like, "Where did you hear that one." "Your blind," "Don't you read your bible." blah blah blah...

    I have conversations with Calvinists pretty often and very few of them conduct themselves in this manner when you speak to them in person. Maybe its the nature of an impersonal message board that lends itself to rudeness, stubbornness and harsher debate tactics. Its as if nobody really wants to challenge themselves to go deeper or understand and evaluate their position or someone elses, they just want to win and show as many people up as they can in the process. That is not edifying at all. It is of no value.

    I admit that I don't know all the answers. I have opinions about what I think scripture says and I enjoy throwing those opinions out in order to challenge myself to think and question my own position. Its difficult to do that when you're dealing with people whose only desire is to show you up and win a debate.

    Thanks for your post, unfortunately it probably won't be heard by those who need to hear it the most. I enjoyed my discussions with Helen and I'm sad that I will not be able to continue our discussion concerning the security of the believer. I was really learning a lot. She will be missed.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. massdak

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    i see it different you seem to over look that this question was settled by the apostle paul but with rebuke toward even thinking about the unfairness of God to choose those whom He will save. Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

    Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?
    Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

    Rom 9:22 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
    Rom 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,


    if you could spare one more reply tell me in context why paul said this in rom 9? this could help in the study of the word elect. belief and faith is not a decision that is equally distributed to all of mankind.
     
  7. AllOfGrace

    AllOfGrace
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    Barry,

    I will miss Helen. Honestly.

    Even though we agreed on little in regards to this debate.

    I will agree, most people within this forum appear to approach scripture from their own perspective. In fairness I would include both Helen and myself in that category.

    The question is, can our perspective be fairly backed up by Scripture? For example — do we have to change the meaning of a word like "death" in order for our theology to fit?

    I am relatively new to this discussion, so I know I do not speak for everyone. However, for myself, Helen, you are always welcome to post here as long as I am always welcome to consider and disagree. [​IMG]
     
  8. John Owen

    John Owen
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    Barry, should we accept your wife's conclusions as being infallible? Is either her or you an infallible guru? I doubt you think that, pity you so easily falsely accuse others of this very thing. For you seem uncomfortable with the idea that people dare disagree with her, and of course given your position in this matter, it is obvious that you are biased and want to protect and support your wife. But if she posts her conclusions publicly, you should not expect for a minute that anyone would automatically accept her conclusions, just because she spent 8 hours doing a word study!! LOL! I mean, lets be realistic here, there are people who have spent not hours, but days, weeks, months, even years studying concepts like election. Thus, your wife will hardly be the last word on the subject, and certainly was not the first, and more germane, not the most thorough. Her efforts are laudable, to be sure, and I do not want to take anything at all from the effort she put forth. Anytime one goes to the Holy Scriptures, it is a good thing. But hopefully you realize that other highly skilled exegete's have come to vastly different conclusions from the views held by either you or your wife. And given their much better vantage point, one would be wise to consult and take into account their opinions. My saying this, however, does not mean for I think anyone on either side has, despite your unfounded accusation, ever claimed infallibility for the respective positions or persons holding to the various views on biblical subjects. Such an accusation is simply uncalled for, and false, and ought to be recanted.

    Again, you act as if the claims made by your wife are infallible, and ought not be challenged, or that to challenge the conclusions amounts to some sort of denigration for the Bible and its teachings. This is far from being the case. You say
    By now I hope that you have learned that such a statement can easily be turned on it's head, such that I could say to you and your wife
    It is just this kind of blindness you have, so quick to consider other's attitudes of not being Christ-like, such that you seem to not see your own faults. It is easy for me to say, I want to come at this whole matter from another viewpoint. We are meant to be Christ-like in all our attitudes, actions and reactions – so that the mind, the outlook, the whole demeanor that Christ had, is overflowing from us into the world around us in all our behavior. It is at this point that I note some other disturbing trends. The disturbing trend throughout your post is one of maligning other’s attitudes and motivations, thinking that you could somehow judge another’s inner thoughts, or that you can somehow see into their minds to know that they deliberately ignore biblical evidence. This does not sit well with me, and it should not for you. Perhaps you are just blind to the fact of failing at exactly the points you accuse others of having, this happens, we are all, after all, sinful humans. But hopefully you can, as a result of this response, see this is the case in your own statements about others..

    Further, as briefly mentioned earlier, I take issue with your claim that evidence against our various positions are "deliberately" ignored. This is a serious charge. So where is your proof for it? And how could you prove such a thing? Do you know the heart and mind of each and every person who has viewed this thread? Of course not. Therefore you have stepped beyond your bounds in making such a claim. As a person who claims to have a scientific background, you should know better than to have made such an error, just in light of methodology. For you have in no way proven what you claim to be the case by giving the least shred of evidence, and this should concern you, as it concerns me. It is manifestly not the case that just because someone disagrees with a conclusion that such a person also and automatically ignores evidence to the contrary of their position. It simply does not follow. As further evidence of this habit of making unfounded accusations and points, consider the claim that

    Now given your background, why would you think that I or anyone else should give any credence at all to, or that we ought to accept such a statement? Imagine the contrary, for instance I could I say that your and your wife's position on the Bible and its great truths are at variance with the overall Scriptural message, a message you claim to respect and which you seek to uphold as the standard. Yet your variation from the biblical witness on this subject of election seems to say otherwise.

    And to help you feel the force of your unsupported accusations, consider your saying
    ... now suppose I say that you have deliberately ignored all the evidence to the contrary of this statement. How would you react? Then think about how I or someone else would (and rightly should!) react to the same charge. For have I proven my above accusations to be the case at all? Of course not. But sadly, that is exactly the same sort of thing you do repeatedly in your OP. Thus in this case, you should pluck the anomaly out of your own eye, so that you can see to pluck the (supposedly) greater anomaly out of someone else's eye.

    So I find your own position and comments a matter of grave concern, because (again, think of the following as a reductio absurdum) I see in you a tendency to marginalize other's views because they do not conform to your and your wife's understanding of election. Little matter that opposing views are profoundly biblical, your theory had to be upheld at all costs, not because of, but in spite of abundant evidence to the contrary given from a close study of the Scriptures. I find this attitude disturbing, no matter who holds it. In fact, I find it quite strange that your and your wife's theories and writings are supposed to be held as being equally valid as the Bible's own teachings. Capishe?

    Or consider another unfounded charge, that Calvin
    This is absolutely absurd. Firstly because no one can go independently to the Scriptures as if they are a blank slate, we all have cultural baggage, we have backgrounds that coulour our perceptions. Of course these biases should be recognized and eliminated if they are at odds with the Scripture. But there is no such thing as an unbiased neutral observer of brute facts, be they Scriptural statements or empirical observations.
    Secondly, there is no question that Calvin quotes Augustine more than any other teacher in his Institutes, but it in no follows from this that Calvin did not consult the Bible as the standard in all things (ever heard of a little saying called “sola Scriptura? Thanks the Reformers for this very principle that you claim is denied!) , or that he held the Bible to be in some way inferior to the teachings of Augustine. This accusation is nothing short of libel. Even Calvin's theological opponent Arminius recognized the profound biblical knowledge and respect Calvin had and displayed in his massive commentaries. Arminius said
    ….. this sort of commendation is quite a statement, coming from one who disagreed so strongly with Calvin....

    Another common error you make is the Informal Fallacy called the Genetic Fallacy. You say
    I do not for a moment agree with the common penalty for theological heresy, but that point aside, what Calvin taught is not automatically eliminated due to his sins. It would be like saying that because Hitler believed 2=2=4, and since he committed many moral atrocities, I should then deny that 2+2=4. In other words, something can never be true or false simply based on who it is who holds the belief. Even Satan tells the truth sometimes, though he wrests it to devious ends.

    You say
    This is just the kind of general statement that has gotten you into trouble throughout your post. Nothing!?!? How would you know such a thing? Did you know him personally? Again, giving no support to his actions that I personally disagree with, I still realize that Calvin was not a gruesome troll, who manifested no fruits of the Spirit whatsoever at any time. And you could not prove otherwise, which is why you should avoid such loose statements, especially when you can be found guilty of character assassination based on these selfsame absolutist statements.

    Lastly, in response to
     
  9. John Owen

    John Owen
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    Skandelon, I could not agree with you more, with a few caveats. In my experience on this board I have noticed the non-Calvinist's unwillingness to even acknowledge the possibility of any interpretation except their own, and even further, that they think it quite appropriate and necessary to say things about Calvinists that are, to say the least, less than flattering. And even more ironically, they seem blind to their own tone and phraseology used of and towards Calvinists, and often even have the gall to malign someone for doing the very same thing that they do when they engage in polemics. Amazing!. Could there be any clearer or obvious case of the pot calling the kettle balck?

    Instead, you and others on this board make comments like "you are enslaved to a man-made system of doctrine", "you think Calvin is infallible", or "Calvin held Augustine's teachings to be superior to the Bible", that Calvinism is merely "human philosophy", that Calvinism is comprised of lies, that Calvinists are rude, that Calvinists have an "unwillingness to even acknowledge the possibility of any interpretation except their own", that no Calvinist "wants to challenge themselves to go deeper or understand and evaluate their position or someone elses", that "they just want to win and show as many people up as they can in the process.", that Calvinists are "people whose only desire is to show you up and win a debate".... and they apparently feel themselves to be quite justified in making such accusations, once again, being blind to the fact that they are actually doing what it is they accuse the Calvinist of doing. Strange.

    So talk about not hearing!! LOL!! It is truly astounding that you can say such things about Calvinists all the while complaining that Calvinists do such things themselves. Don't you get it? What? Is the Calvinist the only one guilty of these things? The non-Calvinist is just an innocent bystander in all this, poor things, yeah, "the Calvinists treat them so badly that they DESERVE to have such things said about THEM." Please. He who is without sin cast the first stone, and in your case, I want to remind you that you obviously live in a glass house, and this is proven from just this thread alone!

    So if you are not happy with the tone of the discussions, I suggest that you tone down your own rhetoric. As it is, you haven't the slightest reason to be offended or to complain, seeing as you engage in exactly what it is you complain about.

    You who teach others, do you not teach yourself?


    Blessings
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

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    We are all guilty of having strong opinions and clinging to them for, as we believe it, the best of reasons.

    We are all guilty of feeling that those who hold contrary opinions are somehow less than perfectly logical compared to ourselves. Some of us are more right than others. We disagree which ones those are.

    I can't straighten out administrators who think that the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics has nothing to do with the discussion of free will versus determinism. They think they can't straighten me out.

    What we can do is pay attention and learn and agree to get along even as we disagree. In church, for example, if we are discussing these matters in front of visitors, we refrain from heavy arguing and simply keep to those things on which we can agree, or maybe even just share that we disagree on some things.

    But here in our arguing club area we strongly present the truth as we understand it to the best of our abilities.

    Still, we keep sight of the fact that God loves each one of us in spite of our comprehension challenged brains, DON'T WE!!!!! :D
     
  11. Yelsew

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    John Owen said,
    Now given your background, why would you think that I or anyone else should give any credence at all to, or that we ought to accept such a statement?</font>[/QUOTE]Quite simply because it is a statement of truth! Both Calvin and Arminius diverge from true Christianity by establishing Concepts that are less than, or that pull one from the truth of Christianity!

    Pot calling the Kettle black? WOW, You just did!

    Why do Calvinists insist they are right, to the point of changing the meanings of words in the bible just to suit their own beliefs.
     
  12. John Owen

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    Try this on for size Yelsew:

    Why can I dogmatically assert that Yelsew is a heretic, wresting the Scriptures to his own destruction, twisting the words of the very Scriptures he says he honors, in order to suit his own desires and beliefs? Quite simply because it is a statement of truth! Both Yelsew and any other person I disagree with diverge from true Christianity by establishing Concepts that are less than, or that pull one from the truth of Christianity!

    Pot calling the Kettle black? WOW, You just did!

    So again I ask, why does Yelsew insist they he is right, to the point of changing the meanings of words in the bible just to suit his own beliefs?

    ___________________________________________

    Now, where has this gotten us?

    Consider the above an exercise, one that I do not necessarily believe to be the case, though, in some cases it may be. I am not concerned with even showing that to be the case at this juncture. What is germane is this Yelsew; just as I pointed out earlier to Barry, you are the perfect example of the blindness of which I am speaking. It seems, for some strange reason, it is quite alright, perhaps even a moral virtue, for you to say things that are maligning another person's integrity, you question another person's honesty, and you insult and degrade (esp Calvinists) seemingly every chance you get, in nearly every post I have seen of yours. Yet you are oblivious to the fact that the very complaint you make is one which you yourself are guilty of. Do you get it? Can it be any plainer?

    What I humbly suggest for you, that is, if you are capable of recieving any exhortation, is that 1) either refrain from this type of inflammatory language or 2) stop complaining when others speak in such ways about you and your beliefs.

    That only seems reasonable, doesn't it?
     
  13. Yelsew

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    John, Have you ever considered that the Holy Scriptures are not all there is to Christianity?

    The truth is the Holy Scriptures are not all there is, they are but a study guide that leads one from ignorance and puts that one on the road to righteousness. The Scriptures are not the final word on life, they are merely a primer to life. Yet you want to confine human life and existance by the strictest and narrowest of definitions, and your problem is you haven't got a clue!

    I have the same problem with you that Paul had with the Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Galations, Corinthians, and Thessalonians. It is very difficult to convey a message in written form. It is very difficult to convey sincerity, integrity, emotion, and of course "the rest of the story" in writing.

    You are no different than believers anywhere in the world, we actually see Jesus in others before we see Jesus in print! We witness Christianity in living Christians before we take an interest in their book.

    You do not view Christianity as a life style, but as a religion that is strictly conformed to that which is written, and my friend Christianity simply does not lend itself to that kind of written rules and regulations! Democracy cannot be lived in accordance with written rules and regulations either. There is no one living who knows every jot and tittle of law, and therefore there is no one who can live their life in accordance with law.

    Get a grip on life young man! Don't wait until you are dying to discover you haven't lived.

    Eternal life is not in the bible! Eternal life is in the living of it! Now what does it take to have it, live it, keep it, and enjoy it? That is what is important! Everyone has an equal opportunity to get it, once you have it you must live it, never lose it, and by all means enjoy it.
     
  14. PappaBear

    PappaBear
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    Barry, I enjoyed your post and wholeheartedly agree. I shall dreadfully miss Helen's posts, though. The both of you are blessings! *hat tip &lt;/ [​IMG] )
     
  15. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Take a good hard serious look at the historical context of Romans 9-11.

    Also take a look at Matthew 22:1-14, "Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. "Again he sent out other slaves saying, `Tell those who have been invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast." ' "But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. "But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. "Then he ^said to his slaves, `The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. `Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find [there], invite to the wedding feast.' "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, `Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. "Then the king said to the servants, `Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "For many are called, but few are chosen."
     
  16. Yelsew2

    Yelsew2
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    Historical Context?
    Historical context? This is the only known record of a prophesy regarding the birth of twins. If it were the norm among men, it would not necessarily be recorded!

    The point is in this, the relationship that Isaac and Rebecca had with God brought their story to prominence. How many occurrences of the birth of twins do we have documented prophesy that one will be servant of the other? ......only this one!

    So to say that this is 'the norm' for all mankind in order to support a false doctrine of "election" is an unqualified lie! To deny that God can do such works among men is also foolish, but such works are not the norm among men! This passage does not support "election" in the manner that Calvinists would like it to!
     

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