Why Can't They See This?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. Martin

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    ""Why do my Christian friends have such an aversion to the Doctrines of Grace?" "In addition to that, how can I keep open the channels of communication with them while making progress in helping them understand?" This article focuses on a few principles to bear in mind in the pursuit of these relationships."

    Great article by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor Dr Tom Nettles.

    PS...If you have trouble with the link try again later. I think the host site is having some trouble tonight. The article is there, I just read it and printed it, and the url is correct. So if it does not work try again later. Thanks.

    http://solochristo.com/theology/Salvation/TomNettles_WhyCantTheySeeThis.html
     
    #1 Martin, Jul 7, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2007
  2. Dale-c

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    Wow, sounds great! I will have to look into that! Thanks for the link.
     
  3. blackbird

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    #1 sentence reminds me of the resistance Moses received from the hard hearted Hebrews in the WILDerness---Moses preached grace and was met with stiff resistance!!

    #2 sentence??? How can I keep open the channels???? Keep preaching grace!!! Keep the channel open between you and God----some will leave but some will stay and become disciples of that doctrine of grace!!!
     
  4. skypair

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    Good question, Martin.

    From my side, I try to read what you "Grace Doctrine" folks are teaching. I have now read many R.C. Sproul works and each time I find an issue that sound foreign to scripture. That is my experience with trying to keep channels open from my free will end.

    This past week I have been reading his "The Holiness of God." And last night I came across a proposition that I can't believe that the "grace" people swallow. Sproul says that every unregenerate man HATES God -- that we each individually would have killed Christ ourselves knowing that He was God!

    "If God were to expose His life to our hands, He would not last one second. We would not ignore HIm; we would destroy Him." says Sproul.

    This is patently NOT true. In Jesus own day, there were many who flocked to Him for healing and teaching. And those that didn't come were happy enough to live their lives ignoring Him. But such is the lie Sproul has to set up to sell his theology.

    Even from my own experience this is not true. Evangelicals teach that man has a "god-shaped hole" that he tries to fill and quite often he comes up with a god or The God. Truly, I did not hate God ever. I got mad at Him, I confess. I got frustrated at not hearing from Him if He was there.

    But you know what it boils down to for Sproul? That we have to have a change of heart (true) -- be born again -- and we would never will that. So God's Spirit comes in indwelling us and suddenly we love God, not hate Him, and can see/enter His kingdom. And here's what Sproul says about that "Semi-Peleganism [= Evangelicals] ... salutes the holiness of God and ... believes in God's sovereignty, [but] it still entertains delusions about our ability to incline ourselves to God, to make 'decisions' to be born again. It declares that fallen people ... can be persuaded to be reconciled even before their sinful hearts are changed. ... Christ made it clear that dead people cannot choose anything ... and that we must be born of the Spirit."

    For me, this simply shows that Sproul (and Cavlinists) do not know how to be born again. Yes, it involves the change of "heart"/spirit. NO that does NOT mean that the Spirit regenerates before we believe -- before we have made believing response to the gospel. And NO, we don't see or enter the kingdom before we believe, either.

    1Pet 1:23 makes it clear as 1-2-3 -- "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." God's Spirit or "mind" is IN the word and able to penetrate our heart (mind, emotions, and will) from outside. We don't "see" the whole kingdom but we see Christ (God does NOT reveal His "kingdom" to the unrepentant, 1Cor 2:7-8, 14, but to the "perfect"/saved, 2:6!

    With just that "incorruptible seed," scripture says we can be born again of the Spirit. But it is life awakened in you -- then repentance and reception of the truth -- then regeneration/rebirth and faith.

    Look at 1Cor 2:1-5 again. ALL Paul preached to the Corinthians at first was the gospel. It was predicated upon their salvation that he now could write them revealing the hidden wisdom of God's kingdom, 2:6-16! Sproul would basically have is to believe that if we can understand the preacher, we are "elect" (= saved) and the Spirit dwells in us. Now we can begin the works of salvation just as if God had chosen us to be "elect." Well, God did it that way with Israel and look what became of it --- the whole kingdom was taken away from them and given to "them who were not a nation" because they didn't choose God!

    Simple gospel: Hear -- believe -- repent and receive -- saved/regenerated (1Cor 15:1-4)

    skypair
     
  5. Allan

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    I often ask myself this regarding the aversion my Christian friends have to the Non-Calvinist position. I am not against the Calvinistic view (what is sometimes termed the "Doctrines of Grace"), I am against those who think themselves higher, more holy, God fearing, exhaulted because of their personal view of scripture. These types are ALWAYS condesending, talking to you as though you were a child without any brain or the Spirit of God to guide and Lead them. The you just don't know God, or your God isn't as great as my God. (as if they were to different things)

    Yes, this can be said of BOTH sides of the issue, but why perpetuate it. I 'try' to bring to light misconceptions but not out right go against a brother in Christ (Truth - sometimes I do fall to their level but I try to come back and ask for forgiveness). Yes, I don't agree with many of the mechanics to which you agree, but we BOTH agree on the Immutable Truths of Gods Word from which we have differences regarding the mechanics we see operating in them.

    I beleive we can keep communication lines open ONLY through the Love of the Brethren, as scripture states - that has been shed abroad in ALL believers hearts. And those believers who ridicule, put down, and talk down - Mark them as dividers of the faith and have no fellowship with them. This isn't speaking of a one time deal but something continuous. I have quite a few Calvinistic friends and a couple here on the BB. There are also some on the BB, which are an affront the grace of God and the Love of the Brethren. And up till now, I have not specifically done so, but will henceforth so 'mark' them and tell them so. Not because of what they believe but that their belief has caused no change from the self exhaltings to humble attitude, from patenience and long suffering, to disdain, inane remarks, and condesending attitude. And I don't just mean the Calvinists either. I know of one non-Cal personally that stands out even now on the BB in my mind.

    You can disagree with me, fine. But don't pretend I have not studied out Calvinism (which I have - in great depth), that I don't listen to the Spirit of God, or that I preach another gospel. If I preach another gospel, then I am not your brethren but to be an Anathema.

    Keep the Love of the Lord our God first, and His word as our iron that is needed to sharpen other mens iron. But it will not become sharpened unless they have someone with whom they may rub against that they may become (in whatever truth God reveals) stronger and sharper. So they to may be another mans sharpening iron.

    BTW - Just to clarify what I mean about miscoceptions is those of the Non-Calvinistic view which are CONSTANTLY misrepresented.
    But also those of the Calvinists who claim Calvinism has always believed such and such.
    example - Faith is from God. Calvinist have NOT always held this but many did. John Calvin himself did not believe this (look at his commentary on Eph 2:8-9 where he expressly states faith is not from God but derived from man) - I'm only using him as an example.
    Another is -
    Limited Atonement- This is another which many Calvinists have and have not held to - going WAY back.

    and others. Not that they were wrong or right but that it is something that is not and was not a consistant view in Calvinism as some want to portray. I agree TODAY, many hold to it. I have been told that the Reformation is a still on going process where the misunderstanding of early Calvinists are being corrected today. Well, so is non-cal position.
     
    #5 Allan, Jul 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2007
  6. Allan

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    maybe this better answers it.

    Debate is fine and good. But if you begin to get hard feeling toward a brother or they you, you have gone further than the Spirit of God did.

    Some in their piousness and say those believers who do not agree "are resistant" or spout "they will hate you for my sake", as though the believer is unsaved!
    These comments are twisted from scripture and are toward unbelievers and NOT towards believers.

    The believer will see ONLY what the Spirit of God illuminates and that ONLY will they believe. If God does not illumate what you think is truth, is that their stubborness or because God did not open the truth to them or is it maybe that is not the whole of the truth.

    Can a believer honestly and consistantly deny Spirit revealed truth?

    Can a believer tell God I will not believe THAT?

    If so my friend, how then can scripture be fulfilled that we are predestined to be conformed to the image of His dear Son? That we are His workmanship?

    Let God reveal, you just be that sharpening stone, WITH a heart to hear that you yourself could even be wrong and be taught as well. Even if it would mean denying the Doctrines of Grace? I'm not saying to this, but are you really willing to hear God over the thoelogian. Kinda in the same vain as Spurgeon stated in his sermon "Salvation by knowing the Truth" Regarding the text
    He stated:

    When was the last time you heard a hard core 5 pointer EVER say something to the effect Spurgeon did in in the Sermon "Defence of Calvinism":
    The problem many have is not the specifically the Doctrine but the Attitude of the perveyor of the Doctrine. Even Spurgeon detested most of the doctrines of Wesley but that did not make him less of a man of God nor Godly man than Whitefield. Spurgeon would not ask the Apostleship be given to Two great Calvinists but two Godly Men. Most Calvinists today might go as far as to say a Non-Cal was a godly man and yet have little to no respect for that person. It is only platitude they offer due to their attitude. Yet Spurgeon is known, read, and loved by Non-Cals BECAUSE of this love for the brethren. Most Cals can't understand it but it is because he shows true love for the BRETHREN and not just the brethren of the Doctrines of Grace. I know some on the BB that think Spurgeon was incorrect and or not as Calvinistic as he should have been due to this comment and supporting the ministry of D.L. Moody (even letting him preach in his CHURCH an evangelistic message of all things) among other wise Calvinistic don'ts of today.

    We sometimes forget, we are unified by Christ not doctrine. Yes, it should be biblical consistant but doctrine does not determine our sonship, heirship, and being His workmanship. Doctrine shows what we understand about the God who saved us, but our fellowship is derived from who we received from our salvation from - Christ our Lord, through the power of God the Holy Spirit, at the behest of God the Father.

    We make 'disciples' of Christ, NOT "disciples' of the Doctrines of Grace!!! (blackbird)

    Peace unto you.
     
    #6 Allan, Jul 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2007
  7. Rippon

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    I read that comment by Spurgeon regarding Whitefield for the first time years ago . C.H.S. was wrong about Wesley . Wesley was certainly devoted to his ministry -- but his character was not above reproach . He lied on too many occasions to promulgate his theological views .

    There is no antithesis between Christ and doctrine . That is a false antithesis . They do not contradict the other . Christ came preaching doctrine . One can't take a penknife and divide the two . Christ was what He taught .
     
  8. Allan

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    My Point Proven!
     
  9. Rippon

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    Do you believe that Christ and doctrine are at odds with the other , or not ?
     
  10. Allan

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    No, but man and what he concieves are so at times.
    This is why the Doctrines of Grace have never been proven 'immutable'. Many truths in scripture are but the mechanics you hold (as do I) come from scripture but are not seen in the same way.

    Doctrine is NOT God.
    It is what we understand about God based on scripture and its context.
     
  11. Rippon

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    Allan , I see that you had to go back and delete your comments in post #6 where you had Christ and doctrine in opposing camps . I'm glad you changed your ideas about that . That's a start .

    The Word of God . Christ is the Word , is He not ? Sometimes the Bible says that the Scriptures say this or that -- Scriptures and the LORD are indistinguisable . What the LORD says is Scripture .
     
  12. Allan

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    Actually I was editing BEFORE you wrote anything. I didn't change my view.
    No one has said nor insinuated the Word of God is not God, I said "Doctrine is not God".
     
  13. Allan

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    bump... :type: :laugh:
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    Hello Allan,

    I'm not sure I agree with this Allan. Doctrine can be God. Doctrine means teachings...does it not?

    Did you mean to say Theology? Theology would fit what you said.
     
  15. Rippon

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    Allan : "We are unified by Christ , not doctrine ."

    No , again , Allan . Christ is defined by what He taught . I said before that there is no antithesis between Christ and doctrine . He taught doctrine as did Paul and other writers in the Canon .

    Christ is fleshed-out by His doctrine(s) . The Messiah is not some amorphous figure who is somehow separate from His words . You are way off the beam here Allan -- unless you'd like to do some heavy-duty qualifying .
     
  16. TCGreek

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    "Such reactions which highlight the revolutionary tendencies of these doctrines should let us know that these truths are not toys used only to relieve momentary boredom and to be put back into a box when one is tired of playing. Fragile! Handle with care: the opportunity is like cutting and setting a precious stone, not like throwing husks and scraps to pigs. But the delicate nature of the task doesn't diminish the strength necessary for steadiness and perseverance in the job, and it increases the need for sharpness in the tools. This spiritual odyssey calls for rigorous preparation and a readiness for some painful personal growth. Firmness and sharpness of personal conviction, compassion and kindness toward the other person, and patience toward a resistant attitude are necessary."

    This second paragraph to me is the substance of the entire article. The Doctrines of Grace are not toys to be played with. They are at the heart of Scripture, from the Fall to our Glorification.

    The Doctrines of Grace put God where he belongs and man where he belongs. Whenever God seems to exchange role with fallen man, then our theology is defected, as in the case of Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism.

    But our salvation is not whether we were Arminians or Calvinists. It is based on the sovereign choice of God, which we experienced, having been enabled by God to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior via faith (Eph.2:1-9).

    The Doctrines of Grace, however, have practical benefits that other approaches to our salvation and sanctification do not enjoy. If you don't believe me, just read 1 Peter. The entire book is built on the first two verses of Chapter one, and then we have this wonderful statement in chapter five:

    "Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it." (v.12, emphasis added)
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    We've noticed quite the opposite as the op - most of the young Christians (20-30 year old) are SEARCHING for truth and doctrine and depth and reality in contrast to the shallow fluff of some churches.

    It is exciting to see the hunger for more than the typical Sunday School pablum. :)
     
  18. Allan

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    While I do agree that theology is a better fit, I still hold to point that "Doctrine is not and can not BE God"

    Dictrine does mean teachings, yes. But is a teaching - God, or does it reveal God?

    Doctrines reveal God but are not God themselves. We worship God not doctrine. We praise and thank God not doctrine. We humble ourselves before God NOT doctrine.

    When doctrine becomes God, we no longer worship the one true God. But our opinion of God. Literally we worship our intellectualism.

    Theology is probably the better word, since I was speaking of each aspect of theology being based upon both the immutable truths of scripture (unarguable) it is also based upon each persons assumption of other doctrinal perspectives (that which has been argued by believers for ages now) that gives definition to our view. When I say theology this is what I am refering to, all doctrines we hold to comprise our theological view.

    The problem with Doctrine (theology) being God is that no man knows the true God for all men hold differening theologies as well as differing slants of the same views. And then of course the question comes "who causes them to differ" (which contextually refers to believers)?
     
    #18 Allan, Jul 10, 2007
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  19. Allan

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    So you are saying that as a Calvinist you have NO fellowship with those who hold different doctrines than you do?
    You count them as unsaved and Godless, because they do not have your God?

    What I was refering to by term Doctrine was in the broadest scope of the term which encompasses all our theological view. James better formulated the thought from Doctrines to Theology. I was speaking of them corporately as they make up our theology.

    I will say this though. Yes, Christ is defined by what HE taught. But He is not defined by what we think He was teaching and THAT is the problem. So who is more right?

    We have merged the immutable doctrinal truths of scripture, with the mechanics of how 'we see' those truths opperating and made the debatable truths of the mechanics absolute doctrine as well.

    See nothing heavy-duty about it. Just change the word from doctrine to theology.
     
  20. Allan

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    But see here in lies the problem, you lump all who do not believe as you in the same catagory with Pelagians and semi-Pelagains who were absolute heritics. Their main tenent of belief is that man must FIRST come to God without any divine intervention and absolute untrue and contested avidly by non-cals. Your assumption is that if it isn't Calvinistic God is dethroned. It is a strange wonder that those Non-Cals who hold the opposite true think the VERY same thing of your 'veiws'.

    This is anothe funny point to me. There is not a Non-Cal alive who deny's this but we diligently preach this. These are immutable truths. What we differ on is the mechanics of operation of these truths.

    Actaully I'm preaching verse by verse in a new church work God has lead me into here in S. Dakota. And I can say without reservation I disagree with you here. Your observation is lightly made and presumptuous at best but does not accurately portray to truth of what the Non-Cal sees. I can say with certainty that commentaries I have used to reference 1 Peter with both Calvinist and Non alike show the same message and teach the very same things. The only difference is NOT the truths but our views of the mechanics of operation.

    "Through Silvanus, whom I know to be a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it." (v.12, emphasis added)[/QUOTE]
     

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