Who is responsible?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    I posted this on another part of the forum, but didn't know how to move it to the folks on this part. Therefore, I posted it here. My apologies if this is an affront to the system.
    ..................................

    Who is responsible?

    In the parable of the seed and ground I have a question for the thinking folk of this forum.

    Who is responsible for the dirt?

    Seriously, who determines where the road is, the rocks piles, the areas where the dirt is little – possibly because it is walked on as a path to the barn, and the well tilled and prepared soil?

    Is it the one who is spreading the seed?

    Is it the soil that has the ability to move from one area to another?

    Is it the sun, moon, rain, wind, or other forces of nature or environment?

    Perhaps, it is the natural state of some dirt chosen for plowing and some for walking upon.

    So, who is really in charge of the dirt?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    I don't know the source of this story, but I have found it used several places on the internet.

    One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people, we can create life in a test tube and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."
    God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this, let's say we have a man making contest." To which the scientist replied, "OK, great!"
    But God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."
    The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
    God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"
     
  3. Amy.G

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    We are. The dirt represents the human heart. God plants a seed and we either receive it or reject it. The more we reject it, the harder our heart becomes, eventually leading to condemnation. But if we receive it, it takes root and produces fruit.
     
  4. agedman

    agedman
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    I would disagree.

    The Scripture teaches that "no man seeks God," and that the lost are "dead in trespasses and sin."

    How then can the dirt soften itself and prepare itself for the seed.

    I wish my garden would do such work! :)
     
  5. Amy.G

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    Sounds like you've got your mind made up, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.


    So God has revealed Himself to all men. You are right that man does not seek God, that is why God reveals Himself to men.


    God has revealed Himself through creation, the conscience, His word, the gospel, and the many witnesses that know Him personally through salvation. So man is really without excuse.

    The word "dead" does not mean without ability to respond to God. It means separation from God. Jesus bridges the gap between man and God, if only man will hear.

    In the parable of the sower, Jesus makes this clear.

    Mark 4:9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


    In other words, be willing to listen!
     
  6. MB

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    In this parable man is the dirt there fore it is man who is responsible. The seed is the Word and once inside of man it may grow if the man receives it and is prepared for it.
    Soil becomes good once it has been plowed with conviction, and convincing of the truth of Christ, by the Holy Spirit. You see any soil can produce. All it takes is the Holy Spirit to prepare it. Some soil can stand the conviction and never be convinced that the seed is truth. Some can be convinced and not be convicted because of lack of conscience or an over abundance of rebellion. At any rate it takes the Spirit to convince and convict and if both are in the prepration it can take a man to His knees in submission to the Holy Father through Jesus Christ. However the truth is submission is an act of the will and Calvinism cannot deal with man having a will.

    Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

    Man has no way to Christ with out submission. Like Paul's brother Jews they go about trying to establish there own righteousness. Never submiting to the righteousness of God, to send His blessed Son, to die for our sins.

    You see it isn't by anything we have done, it is by the righteousness of Christ. It isn't by our own faith it's by the faith of Christ we are saved.
    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    Make no mistake Salvation is not preordained it is chosen by our wills.

    MB
     
    #6 MB, Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2011
  7. Winman

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    I answered this in the other forum. Jesus himself explains the parable and shows that the hearer (the soil) is responsible for how they hear.

    Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
    12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
    13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
    14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
    15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
    16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
    17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
    18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

    Jesus's warning in vs. 18 is meaningless in your view. If only God can enable a person to hear, how could a man affect how receptive he is to God's word? In the Reformed view, the unelect do not have the ability to hear and believe, and the unelect irresistably believe to whatever extent God CAUSES them to hear. No warning could possibly change a thing.

    Of course, if Reformed theology is error, and all men have the ability to hear and believe if they so choose to do so, then Jesus's warning makes perfect sense. Jesus is saying to those who are willing to hear and believe, more will be given them, but to those who do not hear and believe, even that which was given them shall be taken away.

    Notice in verse 12 that the way side soil has the ability to hear.
     
  8. The Archangel

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    This is bad contextual work.

    Notice: The explanation of the parable ends in v. 15. But, even if it doesn't v. 18 is addressed to the disciples, it is not directed to the interpretation of the parable.

    Furthermore, how can you have the statement of v. 15 when we're told in many other places that man has a heart that "desires only evil continually?"

    Why, then are there 4 types of soil?

    Why do you miss the metaphor that the soil must be tilled and we cannot do the tilling because God is the Master Farmer?

    The Archangel
     
  9. Winman

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    Baloney, as usual you spend all your time trying to explain scripture away. If your doctrine was correct it would naturally agree with the scriptures and you would not need to do this.
     
  10. The Archangel

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    Of course there's no answer to my questions...only an accusation that I explain scriptures away.

    Unfortunately, you seem to be skipping the second question of the triumvirate of questions:

    1. What does the text say

    2. What does the text mean (ie. what does the author intend it to mean?)

    3. What is this text telling me to do (ie. How does it apply to me?)

    You seem to have no care or concern to ask what the author thinks it means. Therefore, your interpretation falls into error quite quickly.

    The Archangel
     
  11. Winman

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    Why, because it disagrees with your doctrine?

    I doubt even Reformed scholars would agree with you here.

    Can you give a reference for that verse please?

    It is explained, the way side is hard and trodden down. The seed (word of God) does not penetrate and the fowls (the devil) take it away. These are men who are hardened by sin and do not want to give it up.

    The thorny soil are those who are distracted by the world and bare no fruit. It is not saying they are lost, because it says they "sprang up". These are believers, but they get distracted by the world and bare no fruit.

    The rocky soil is those who are discouraged by persecution. They too are believers, as Jesus said they "believe for awhile". They also sprang up which is life, but because of persecution they do not go out and win souls, they bare no fruit.

    The good soil are those who hear and keep God's word. They have firm convictions based on God's word and do not allow themselves to be distracted by the world or fall away in persecution. They go out and witness and bare much fruit.

    Normally I would agree with you, but Jesus himself explains that the soil is responsible for how they hear. Those that hear and believe will be given more, those who do not hear even that which was given them shall be taken away.
     
  12. Amy.G

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    When Jesus said "he who has ears let him hear" did he really mean "he who has been elected let him hear"?

    What does this statement mean to a Calvinist?
     
  13. The Archangel

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    That Jesus says "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" itself implies that there are those who do not have ears able to hear.

    We would say that persons whom God chooses are given ears to hear, eyes to see, etc. But that does not mean that they have always had those hearing ears or seeing eyes. There is a point in time when they are given and conversion usually follows quickly.

    The Archangel
     
  14. Amy.G

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    On the contrary, everyone has ears, meaning everyone can hear (understand).
     
  15. quantumfaith

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    Barnes' Notes on the Bible
    He that hath ears ... - This expression is frequently used by Christ. It is a proverbial expression, implying that the highest attention should be given to what was spoken. The doctrine about John he regarded as of the greatest importance. He among you, says he, that has the faculty of understanding this, or that will believe that this is the Elijah spoken of, let him attend to it and remember it.

    Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear - As if our Lord had said, These things are so clear and manifest that a man has only to hear them to be convinced and fully satisfied of their truth. But neither the Jews of that time nor of the succeeding times to the present day, have heard or considered, these things. When spoken to on these subjects, their common custom is to stop their ears, spit out, and blaspheme; this shows not only a bad, but a ruined cause. They are deeply and willfully blind. They will not come unto the light, lest their deeds should become manifest, that they are not wrought in God. They have ears but they will not hear.

    Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. A way of speaking used by Christ, when anything serious, and of great importance, was delivered; and which required attention, and was not easily understood: and such were the several things he had mentioned in this context; as that John was more than a prophet, more excellent than all the prophets; that the law and prophets were now at an end, and that John was Elias; which things, if rightly understood, would serve greatly to settle their judgment, with respect to himself as the Messiah: but his words imply, that everyone had not spiritual ears and understandings, to hear and take in things of such an high nature, and excellent use; none but those to whom they were given; and such ought to attend to them, and, seriously weigh and consider the importance of them.

    The phrase is to be met with in Jewish writings, where it is thus expressed (h);

    ""He that hears let him hear, and he that understandeth let him understand";''
     
  16. Winman

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    Problem is, Jesus himself said the unelect can and DO hear.

    Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

    Those who are not saved hear the gospel and the problem is they do understand it. They know they are being asked to make a decision between choosing Jesus or living in sin. They love their sin and this is why they will not believe.
     
  17. The Archangel

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    But that isn't what the text says, is it?

    It doesn't say, as you quoted, "he who has ears let him hear." Instead, the text says "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

    Notice the "to hear." It is not just "ears," it is "ears to hear." There is, apparently a difference.

    Jesus is not just referencing the auditory organs. The text shows this. Again, the text itself implies that in order to hear one needs "ears to hear," not only ears.

    The Archangel
     
  18. The Archangel

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    Wrong.

    Look at the text:
    And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’
    (Luke 8:9-10 ESV)
    The text is clear that it is possible to hear and not understand; it is possible to see and not see.

    One can hear the auditory language and not understand the implications or the importance of what is being said. In other words, the sound, though heard, have no impact on the hearer.

    What you are trying to say is this--simply having ears means that one can hear (with understanding). You are, of course, free to argue this. You just cannot do it from this passage. Jesus isn't saying what you are wanting Him to say. In fact, He's saying the exact opposite.

    The Archangel
     
  19. MB

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    With Calvinist it's always something different with there definitions
    Act 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
    I'm a Gentile who was not regenerated before belief and I heard it loud and clear. You don't have any verse that says man cannot hear.
    MB
     
  20. Winman

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    You have to believe for the understanding to be given you, this is why Jesus said,

    for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

    Jam 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
    7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.


    You have to believe to receive understanding.

    Jam 1:5-7 makes no sense in Calvinism. If faith is a gift, then you either have it or you don't. It would be nonsensical to warn someone if they do not believe they cannot expect to receive from God, just as Jesus warned his disciples to take heed or be careful how they hear. This warning makes absolutely no sense if Calvinism is true.
     

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