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Featured Romans 9 Isn't What You Think It Is - continued...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by CJP69, Jun 4, 2024.

  1. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    I cannot figure out why threads keep getting shut down right in the middle of active conversations!

    The first thread with this title was "Shut done due to length"! Well, just how much sense does that make? Here I am started another thread, with virtually the same title, wasting bandwidth with this new opening post explaining it's existence, just so that I can respond to direct questions people asked me in the original thread. So how is that supposed to be saving any "length"?

    Here's a link to the original thread....

    Romans 9 Isn't What You Think It Is

    and here's the text of the original opening post, in case someone wants to talk about it specifically.....

    So many people think that Romans 9 is about predestination and that it has a lot to say about how or why or whether someone is saved. The fact is, it doesn't have anything to do with either. Romans 9 is about Israel - the nation of Israel.

    Before I get started, let me say first that I think that the Bible interprets itself and must be taken as a whole but that I also believe that individual passages of Scripture must stand on their own without being logically incoherent. In other words, we are able to determine what a passage of Scripture is saying based solely on the context of the passage itself. We do not need a theological system in place before it is possible to figure out what a section of Scripture is saying. Now, there could be, I suppose, exceptions to this general rule but Romans chapter 9 is certainly not one of them. I'm saying this at the outset because I want to draw attention to the fact that I do not draw upon any theology to interpret this chapter but only upon other Bible passages which the text of Romans 9 makes reference to, all of which couldn't be any clearer and easy to understand than they are. I also bring this up now because I think that this will become important as the conversation goes on because I do not think that the Calvinist take on this chapter makes any logical sense whatsoever. Paul would have to be nearly schizophrenic to write what Calvinists generally say that he wrote in this passage.

    Now, with that in mind let's get to it...

    The ninth chapter of Romans is speaking about the cutting off of Israel. It is quite clear that Paul is making a case that God cut off Israel and turned instead to the gentiles, and that God is justified in having done so. It will become equally clear that this is all that the chapter is about, and that it has nothing to do with predestination (or salvation) at all.

    It helps to see it if one looks at the introduction and summation of the chapter. In the first few verses it is clear that Paul is speaking of Israel and that he is upset by their condition of unbelief...

    Romans 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my *countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

    And then in the last few verses Paul sums up the point of what he's just been saying in the previous several verses...

    Romans 9:30 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. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

    Now, that by itself is probably enough to make it clear what Paul is talking about but what really nails it down is his reference in the body of the chapter to a couple of Old Testament passages, those being Jacob and Esau and then the Potter and the clay story.

    It's always a good idea to read any Old Testament passage that is quoted or made reference to in the New, in order to maintain the context of what's being said. (Remember the whole "Bible interpreting the Bible" thing.) So let's take a look at them so that we can be on the same page that Paul was on when he made these references. Doing so will undoubtedly shed additional light on the point he was making.

    Romans 9:13 As it is written, "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated."

    This is a direct quote from Malachi 1:2-3 but even the Malachi passage is not referencing the two boys themselves but the nations which came from them. I won't bother quoting it here but even a surface reading of Malachi 1 will confirm that it is talking about a nation not a person.
    Likewise, Paul is talking also about a nation. We can tell this for certain because of what is quoted just before in verse 12...

    Romans 9:12 "it was said to her, "The older shall serve the younger.""

    This is a direct quote from Genesis chapter 25 where it says explicitly that there are two nations in Rebecca's womb...

    Genesis 25:23 "And the LORD said to her: "Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger."

    Additionally, even if it didn't explicitly state that it's talking about two nations we could still know for certain that it is anyway because Esau (the older) never served Jacob (the younger). That did not happen, ever.

    This passage is very clearly talking about nations and about how God deals with nations not about individuals or how God deals with individuals and Paul by referencing this material was making the exact same point. That's the reason why he referenced it.

    Now let's move on to the Potter and the clay story. It is on the same topic and is found in Jeremiah chapter 18...

    Jeremiah 18:1The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: 2 "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words." 3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
    5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! 7 The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. 9 And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

    Okay, that couldn't be any clearer! Jeremiah was making the very point that Paul is making! No wonder Paul referenced this passage, it applies directly to the subject he was dealing with! It IS the subject he was dealing with! Romans 9 and Jeremiah 18 are making the exact same point; they both use the same analogy for the same reasons. For all intent and purposes Romans 9 and Jeremiah 18 are the exact same chapter! The only difference is that in Romans 9 Paul is saying that the principle described in Jeremiah 18 has been carried out by God on the nation of Israel.

    Romans 9 is not about predestination at all. Paul didn't start talking about Israel and then suddenly change the subject to predestination and then just as suddenly change the subject back again to Israel. The whole chapter is on one issue and one issue only. That issue being God's absolute right to change His mind concerning His blessing of a nation that had done evil in His sight.

    It's no more complicated than that. In a nutshell, Paul was simply saying that Israel's promised kingdom wasn't coming because they had rejected the King and Romans 9 is all about how God was justified in having changed His mind about giving them that kingdom. That's all it's about; nothing more, nothing less.

    Resting in Him,
    Clete

    CJP69, May 16, 2024
     
  2. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    It has been a policy on this board for years that when a thread reaches around 125-135 posts, that it is closed, and then a new one can be started. Some recently have gone a bit longer, I guess due to less moderators on the board now with the departure of a couple of them.
     
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  3. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    I've been doing this for a very very long time, Dave, and I can tell you from first hand experience that no matter what you think, if you want to call yourself a Calvinist, you cannot escape Calvin. More precisely, you cannot escape Augustine. Intellectually speaking, compared to Augustine, Calvin was a drooling moron and every single Calvinistic thing you believe came from Augustine - all of it. If it is a Calvinist distinctive, it came from Augustine - period - including limited atonement or whatever other distinctively Calvinist doctrine you care to name and they ARE ALL derived logically from a single premise - which is to say that the single premise that they all share in common, is the doctrine of ABSOLUTE divine immutability - this most definitely includes total depravity, a doctrine that is ENTIRELY unbiblical and wouldn't exist at all except to preserve the idea that God cannot change in any way whatsoever.

    That isn't what I'm talking about.

    A subject can be approached from several different directions, especially if one is trying to make an attractive case for their particular take on that subject. That's an altogether different subject than looking at the logical underpinnings of a particular idea.

    Indeed, if anyone came at me with such an argument, I would instantly declare victory because they'd have to be borrowing from my theological worldview to open their mouths at all about "justice". I would immediately insist that such a person define the term "justice" and explain how such a concept has any meaning when applied to God, if it does at all. They couldn't do it without either contradicting what everyone on planet Earth intuitively understands the term "justice" to mean or contradicting their own doctrine.

    If you don't believe me, we can try it if you like.

    You are! That is, you are if you desire to have a rationally consistent worldview. I mean, I suppose you can cherry pick whatever doctrines you want to believe and simply ignore what one of them implies about another but if you're going to do that, what are you doing here trying to debate it? If the ideas we hold as truth don't have to be consistent with each other, then what is the point of even trying to defend it? Just declare it as true by fiat and be done with it.

    Calvinists do not merely believe that God is sovereign in the normal sense of that word where God is the highest authority that exists. NO! That is NOT what they mean by that term. When they say that God is sovereign, they mean that God is what would be called in any other context, a control freak. They mean that God is in absolute, meticulous control of every single solitary event that has happened, is happening or will ever happen and they further believe that God predetermined it all an eternity before time began. The idea is wholly incompatible with the notion of free will.

    It's double talk, Dave!

    I don't know how to convince you but I'm telling you that if went up to Mr. Owen and started talking to him, not about free will, but about the sovereignty of God, he would tell you what I just got through saying above. He wouldn't quibble about it and there would be no caveats or exceptions. If you then brought up free will, then and only then would he start quibbling. He would start using terms such as "mystery" or "antinomy" because of the clear conflict inherent in the two concepts. He, along with the majority of those who call themselves Calvinists, want it both ways. They think that when it comes to "truths" about God, it is entirely possible to eat their cake and have it too. I'm here to say that they cannot!

    Quite so! Determinism is one of the first logical derivatives of immutability. If you believe that God cannot change in any way whatsoever, as Augustine learned from Plato and imported into the church, then you have two options. You can except determinism or you can believe that contradictions are truth. There is no third option.

    On the contrary! This is merely one of seemingly countless self-contradictory things that many Calvinists teach!

    The above, by the way, commits a category error. The convoluted discussion of God's "permissive" vs "perfect" wills is meaningless because everything that exists in one category also exists in the other. The alternative is to admit that God doesn't always get what He wants and I've never encountered a Calvinists who was willing to admit that!
     
    #3 CJP69, Jun 4, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
  4. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    It's pretty obvious that it's a policy. The point is that it makes no sense. What is it that they think they're doing that's beneficial to anyone, including themselves?

    It just does not make any sense!
     
  5. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    It just isn't true, Dave! It's just flatly false!

    It is true that we enherit what Paul called "the flesh" from Adam but we are NOT condemned because of this fact! This is a part of what Christ accomplished at the cross that virtually no Calvinist seems to be aware of at all. By one man sin entered the world and by one Man sin was wiped out, Dave! That's what Romans 5 is all about...

    Romans 5:18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.​

    Therefore, in spite of our inherited flesh God, because of the shed blood of Christ, can deal with each of us according to our OWN sin.

    Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

    ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
    And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

    3 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

    4 “Behold, all souls are Mine;
    The soul of the father
    As well as the soul of the son is Mine;
    The soul who sins shall die.
    5 But if a man is just
    And does what is lawful and right;

    9 If he has walked in My statutes
    And kept My judgments faithfully—
    He is just;
    He shall surely live!”
    Says the Lord God.

    19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

    21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. 23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?​

    (You really should read that entire chapter, Dave. Calvinism cannot survive even a cursory reading of it. Either Calvinism is true or Ezekiel 18 is. It cannot be both.)

    And Paul can thus rightly state in Romans 7....

    Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.​

    Notice that he does not teach that he was born dead in sin but that he was alive once and then he died when he sinned.

    There is a whole discussion here we can get into about the age of accountability and how the bible reverse to children as being those "without the knowledge of good and evil" and how the law is quite literally the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and what implications that has in regards to Paul's gospel of grace, etc, but that would be a topic for another thread.

    As I point out in the previous post, I understand that this is where Calvinists like to start debates from but it is not the premise upon which the doctrinal system is logically built.

    No one believe that "God owes everyone some equitable "chance" at salvation". I don't even understand what that would mean! It's a straw-man argument.

    What?

    It isn't about trying to keep the law! Forget the law! Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10). That wasn't always the case but it certainly is now. That isn't the point though! The point is that if we are all condemned sinners because of Adam's sin, which you claim is Calvinism's base premise, then Ezekiel 18 is FALSE!!!!

    Well, it isn't so! It doesn't even make any sense that you would bring it up!
     
    #5 CJP69, Jun 4, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
  6. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    Were you addressing me with this?

    This does not connect to anything that I can identify as anything that I've said, much less anything that I believe.

    Please explain how in the world you've connected anything I've said with the idea that "man does not have a conscience and cannot know good and evil".

    As for the comment about Mormonism and the JW's, I'm only vaguely familiar with what those cults teach. They seem to mention a guy named Jesus a lot. Is this the similarity you are referring to? The point there being that anything they teach that is similar to what I believe is purely coincidental and has no more substance than the fact that you, me and everyone in both of those cults all believe that heaven exists and that not everyone gets to go there and that the deciding factor has something to do with someone named 'Jesus'.
     
    #6 CJP69, Jun 4, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
  7. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you start your own board, then you can make the rules. :)
     
  8. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    Said the Calvinist, in contradiction to everything he believes and teaches!

    If I owned a web forum, I would endeavor to make the rules and run the site in a manner that made some sort of rational sense rather than doing so in what seems to be a completely arbitrary, capricious and practically random manner that would benefit no one, including myself.
     
  9. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Ecclesiastes 7:20, For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

    Ezekiel 18:4, . . . the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

    Romans 6,:23, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
     
  10. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you are so displeased, maybe you should leave the board, instead of being in such a state of agitation over the rules of the board.
     
  11. JD731

    JD731 Well-Known Member

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    If I addressed these comments to you then it was a mistake and I apologize for the mistake. I do not apologize for saying them to the Reformed. There is more than one Jesus but there is only one Jesus who made an acceptable atonement for the sins of the whole world and who has the power and desire to forgive sins .It is this Jesus that I love and preach.

    I have confidence in the words I read in the KJV and wholly understand that men are writing new Bibles every day that could possibly teach what these Reformed say about their Jesus. I am going to avoid these Bibles and the Jesus that is presented most often from them. He cannot save the same people as my Jesus..
     
    #11 JD731, Jun 4, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
  12. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    @CJP69 . I am going to hold off responding to you directly because I want to see if there are any Calvinists still on this site. And by that I mean those who are familiar with and respect Edwards, Owen, and the other Puritan writers.

    This is for several reasons. First of all, I am way more familiar with those writers than Calvin, and I go by their more fully developed writings on the meaning of free will and so on. Secondly, I am tired of in a debate like this, always having to step around the interference from the Primitive Baptists and Hyper-Calvinists who have said in posts that they despise the Puritans anyway.

    And the main reason is that when it comes to determinism in it's extreme, meticulous form, I don't believe it. I think Romans 9 is mainly about individuals but I think it is more along the lines of showing Jews that not only are gentiles invited to full participation in salvation, but that the Jews never were all in just because of their family ties.

    In regards to Calvinism, I depart from them in that I believe in a universal atonement and believe you can say to someone "Christ died for you" without worrying about their status as "elect". If that sounds idiotic to you or inconsistent then that's fine, but you can tell that to J.C. Ryle, who said the same thing.

    The important part of the debate is about the work of the Holy Spirit. There is an article currently up on the home page of Monergism site that is Sinclair Ferguson taking about why this is important from the writings of Owen. And this relates completely to what exactly our free will means, as well as our status before God in our natural state. You do not seem to understand the details of this, nor do the others on here who seem to just deny free will. I am waiting to see some meaningful dialog on this before I will respond further. I do appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully respond to my posts though. I just had already decided that I would probably take off from this site a long time ago, after the last of the nice Calvinists left, so I want to see who responds to this and how they do. After all, Romans 9 is indeed the bedrock passage sited by modern Calvinist internet warriors so we will see.
     
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  13. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    It takes a LOT of scrolling to get to the end of 160 posts, so I get what you’re saying, but it’s all right with me if they shut them down at 100 posts and then you just start another one, part two, part three, part four. Then if I’m looking for a particular post all I have to do is remember which part it was in one or two or three or four. And you can scroll through it quicker.
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yet another thread, now on post 14, where the false claim that Romans 9 is not addressing two boys, but only the two nations that arose as the offspring of those boys. Complete nonsense, as Esau was older than Jacob, and Esau was not favored whereas Jacob was favored.

    The idea that because an important point is made in a passage, the bible student can ignore (nullify) the other points of the passage is totally bogus nonsense. How much longer must we witness the beating of a dead horse?
     
  15. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    Not in dispute. In fact, an off topic waste of band width to even post.

    The very next verse...

    "But if a man is just
    And does what is lawful and right;...."

    Thank you for conceding the debate!
     
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  16. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    Well, I wasn't sure whether you had said them to me or not. If not then that's terrific.

    Can you name a single salvific doctrine that is taught in the KJV that is not taught equally well in the NKJV?
     
  17. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    [quote uid=303 name="KenH" post=2885539]Well, if you are so displeased, maybe you should leave the board, instead of being in such a state of agitation over the rules of the board.[/QUOTE]

    I wish you wouldn’t be so quick to invite people to leave. I enjoy reading CJP69. It’s really a breath of fresh air from this constant Calvinism, which I don’t find taught in Scripture. It’s fatalism, as noted below.

    Again, really long threads are difficult to scroll unless you’re on a computer. I see your point but Part 2 works, too.
     
    #17 MrW, Jun 4, 2024
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2024
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  18. MrW

    MrW Well-Known Member

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    That’s a threat.
     
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  19. CJP69

    CJP69 Active Member

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    LOL!!!!

    You don't get to define the term "Calvinist", Dave!

    Then don't do it. I know you don't believe me but I'm telling you that you have not redefined Calvinist doctrine and neither have any of your favorite authors. If you believe that God cannot change or that God knows the future in every detail, That God exists outside of time, that Jesus' death only paid for a specific list of people that God determined before time began, or any other distinctively Augustinian doctrine, regardless of what other doctrines you accept or reject, those doctrine ARE rational predicated upon the idea that God is immutable. That is simply the fact of the matter. It isn't my opinion, it isn't some false flag, red herring, straw man or other nefarious kind of argument. It is simply a fact of history. So much so that it isn't even typically disputed! Most Calvinists are totally proud of the fact and accept without argument that if God can change IN ANY WAY whatsoever, everything that is recognizable as Calvinism - of any flavor - crumbles to dust.

    Good! You're one step closer to escaping the biggest scam Satan ever pulled on the Christian church!

    However! If you believe that God is immutable then you have to choose between accepting the logical consequences of that premise or accepting that your doctrine is self-contradictory. There simply isn't any third option.

    "All in"? No one was saved merely because they were a Jew. They were, however, in covenant relationship with God by virtue of their nationality. A person could hate God completely and still serve as a priest, for example. That doesn't mean they weren't going to go to Hell if they didn't repent before their physical death. It just meant that God dealt with Jews on the basis of the fact that they were the nation He had chosen to both receive the Law and to produce the Messiah. It was this special relationship between God and the nation of Israel that Paul is explaining has been ended by God in Romans chapter 9. It doesn't matter what you think it's talking about. Your opinion (not mine) doesn't come into it. The text is as clear as it is possible for it to be. It explains itself as I have demonstrated in the opening post without refutation from anyone.

    Outstanding! That's a second step away from the blasphemy that is Calvinism. You're not far at this point from being an Arminian!

    As before, however, if you believe that God is immutable then you have to choose between accepting the logical consequences of that premise or accepting that your doctrine is self-contradictory. There simply isn't any third option.

    If he were still alive and here, I would! And it doesn't merely sound inconsistent, it is inconsistent. Contradictions do not exist, Dave! If you think you've found one, check your premises. You'll find that one of them is false. That's how truth works! You simply don't get to pick and choose your doctrines a la carte and then claim that your theological worldview is rational.

    We can discuss Monergism is you want but it's going to go the same way for you as this discussion has gone. This because it isn't about the details but about the ideas that serve as the foundation of those details. Monergism, at the end of the day, is just another attempt to reconcile one's theology proper with such basic principles as righteousness and justice.
     
  20. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for being a bother to you. I will, henceforth, try to avoid any interaction with you on this board.
     
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