It was a pleasure to listen to Leighton Flowers rather than merely have a written debate with him, as it made a complete difference of how I viewed him. I think if he could listen to me, rather than merely read what I say it would make a complete difference in his perspective of me as well. Leigton Flowers argument that the "bird's eye" view of John 6 has to do with judicial hardness to Israel and that Jesus is dealing with the Apostles and only the apostles, while admitting there is a secondary application to us, is deeply flawed. 1. The audience being addressed is not the apostles but those who had followed him over the sea of Galilee and had been witnesses of the feeding of the 5,000 - Jn. 6:2,5,14,22,24,41 2. The Synagogue in Capernaum is the place where this discussion took place which no doubt included the religious leaders - v. 59 3. The apostles were among a host of other disciples and there is no direct address to His disciples or the apostles until after verse 59, and only then because of the results it produced in some "disciples." The other disicples only come into the narrative because of the question directly addressed to those who remained which were MORE than the apostles as Acts 1:21-22 proves and the sending out of 70 proves. 4. There is NO DIRECT ADDRESS to the apostles in this chapter - NONE So Flowers is wrong when he says the address in John 6:29-59 was directed to the apostles or the apostles were the direct audiance. Second, His view of judicial judgement is fundamentally wrong. Hardening is a progressive action that progresses with exposure to truth and the mental development to understand or comprehend. For example, mud progressively hardens according to the measure of direct exposure to the sun. The "mud" is mud by nature and so hardening is the NATURAL reaction whenever exposed to sunlight. The degree of hardening is determined by the length and/or intensity of sunlight it is exposed to. At some point it removes all moisture, and is thus in a permanent hardened condition. However, that does not mean it was not in the progress of hardening from the very moment it was exposed to sunlight. Likewise, the fallen man by nature is fallen, meaning the law of sin resides within him and permeates his whole being. Therefore, hardening begins at the very point of exposure to the Light of Truth and increasingly progresses according to the intensity of exposure to light. 1. Flowers argument fails because he fails to understand that ALL human beings enter this world EXPERIENTIALLY and thus consciously ignorant of their own sin nature and of God's Law. However, this ignorance does not mean that either their sin nature or God's Law is absent. The consciousness of both is a matter of progression in mental growth and exposure to light, as it is this exposure that triggers the response of indwelling sin which sets off or triggers an internal struggle that may extend for moments to months depending upon how the individual can justify his experiential struggle in attempting to keep the law. However, it ALWAYS ends in experiential condemnation as explained by Paul in Romans 7:7-10. 2. Israel had been directly exposed to the most intense form of Light in the Person, works and teaching of Jesus Christ. So the conscious experience between Israel and Christ entered into such a struggle over a prolonged period of time that eventually ended in all moisture removed and a hardened resistance and complete condemnation resulted. 3. However, what is true of Israel as a nation is equally true of any fallen individual as nations are merely made up of individuals. That is why Jesus did not say "no NATION can come to me" but "no MAN can come to me" as all men are by nature totally destitute of ability to "come to Christ" by faith. All that truth does is manifest their nature. The struggle that persues is a hardening process which always results in complete hardness of heart. Flowers argues that their eyes had to be open, and ears had to be open before they could be shut or closed by divine hardening. However, he is confusing the NATURAL abilities of comprehension with SPIRITUAL abilities to comphrend and receptivity. They do have ears, which hear audible sounds and eyes that see visible sights, and minds that comprehend words, and thus have eyes that see not spiritual things and hear not the Holy Spirit or minds that perceive not spiritual things. Hardening is a PROCESS that is the CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE of reaction of indwelling sin with truth that ALWAYS ends in condemnation and death.