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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Official: The Southern Baptist Convention Has Affirmed Pelagianism

Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  -- Our Lord Jesus Christ.  John 8:47

For those of you who want to know, which might not be very many, the Southern Baptist Convention's over-reaction to Calvinism in their ranks not only denies their fundamental roots in Calvinism but also fully affirms the doctrine of Pelagianism:

Article Two: The Sinfulness of Man

We affirm that, because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is capable of moral action will sin. Each person’s sin alone brings the wrath of a holy God, broken fellowship with Him, ever-worsening selfishness and destructiveness, death, and condemnation to an eternity in hell.

We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned. While no sinner is remotely capable of achieving salvation through his own effort, we deny that any sinner is saved apart from a free response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel.

Genesis 3:15-24; 6:5; Deuteronomy 1:39; Isaiah 6:5, 7:15-16;53:6; Jeremiah 17:5,9, 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-18, 5:12, 6:23; 7:9; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 6:9-10;15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 20:11-15  [Posted at:  SBC Today].
Closely related to this is the so-called Reformed Baptist view that "all" children who die in infancy are elect.  The late Roger Nicole held that view.  Nicole was a particular or Calvinist Baptist.  But the Bible only affirms that the children of born again believers are promised salvation if they die in infancy.  In fact, the children of believers are marked with the sign of baptism not because they are regenerated by baptism but because God's covenant of grace promise is to save the infants of believers who die in infancy.  All others are a matter of speculation.   (Cf. Acts 2:38-40; Acts 4:10, 12; Acts 16:14, 15).

Looks like sinners are not born sinful; they merely become sinners by following Adam's bad example.  Unfortunately, that is not what the Bible teaches:

Of Original or Birth Sin

Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated, whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek phronema sarkos (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh), is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess that concupiscence and lust hath itself the nature of sin. 

(Cf.  Romans 3:10-23; Psalm 51:3-4; Psalm 58:3; Genesis 6:5; Romans 5:12-21; Jeremiah 17:9; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21-22; Jeremiah 13:23).

Only the new birth can open the eyes of those who are in bondage to sin.  (Cf.  John 3:3-8; Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26).   The Southern Baptist Convention has unwittingly gone over to liberalism via Pelagianism.  It's not that far away.

The Founders Ministries site shows clearly that the SBC was at one time solidly Calvinist:  Abstract of Principles.  From the looks of things that leaves out any possibility of my ever joining another Southern Baptist congregation.  I suppose that could change if they retract the heresy printed above but that is not likely to happen.  Next thing you know the SBC will be back in the same old moderate theology or liberal theology it rejected a few years back.  It is only a matter of time, folks.

Ironically, the writer concedes that there were Calvinist connections in the SBC from early on:

While some earlier Baptist confessions were shaped by Calvinism, the clear trajectory of the BF&M since 1925 is away from Calvinism. For almost a century, Southern Baptists have found that a sound, biblical soteriology can be taught, maintained, and defended without subscribing to Calvinism. [Ibid.]

That will be as close as you will see of any admission of an association of the Southern Baptist Convention ever being part of the dreaded "Calvinism".  Looks like heresy has come full circle once again.



John 8:31–47 (NKJV) — 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” 39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.


194 comments:

John said...

One of my pet peeves is people who abuse the terms Pelagian and semi-Pelagian.

This affirmation is not Pelagian. Pelagius believed that all Adam did is set a bad example, and what Christ did is set a good example. We are all neutral moral agents with perfect and equal ability to choose right and wrong, and we have an undamaged ability to do God's will.

This is in contrast to the statement above that says man's nature is corrupted and inclined towards sin. In short, this statement is historical orthodoxy and what the early church affirmed.

John said...

One of my pet peeves is people who abuse the terms Pelagian and semi-Pelagian.

This affirmation is not Pelagian. Pelagius believed that all Adam did is set a bad example, and what Christ did is set a good example. We are all neutral moral agents with perfect and equal ability to choose right and wrong, and we have an undamaged ability to do God's will.

This is in contrast to the statement above that says man's nature is corrupted and inclined towards sin. In short, this statement is historical orthodoxy and what the early church affirmed.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Semi-pelagianism naturally lends itself to full pelagianism. Besides, the statement says that the person is not guilty of original sin and that they are not guilty of anything until they commit an "actual" sin. That's one of element of full blown pelagianism.

Luther devastated the doctrine of a weakened will enabled by a common grace given to all. If men have merely an inclination to evil but are not in bondage, then why is it that all men sin willfully? All men are sinners without exception. If free will exists and no one is guilty of a sin until they commit one, the implication is that the cross of Jesus Christ is unnecessary. All you have to do is prevent yourself with your "free" will from ever committing a "willful" sin from the so-called "age of accountability." You have 80 years to accomplish this feat of the "free" will. Good luck. Begin.

Try getting to heaven in a row boat while you're at it?

Romans 5:12–15 (NKJV) — 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

Notice above that ALL sinned and ALL die, even if there is no revelation of the law to show them to be sinners. They are not "charged" with a crime in court but they all died because they are all guilty of Adam's original sin and all have a sinful nature corrupted with sin such that all choose to sin willfully and willingly. Jesus calls such men "slaves" to sin--even the super righteous Phariseeism like your Eastern Orthdox theology of "free will". (Cf. John 8:32-38).

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.

The New King James Version. 1982 (Ro 5:18–19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

It would be unjust for "innocent individuals" to be condemned. The SBC statement above is therefore unscriptural because the Bible clearly says that all are born wicked and that death is the just punishment for sin.

(Cf.Psalm 58:3; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Therefore, it is not irreligious, curious, or superfluous, but essentially wholesome and necessary, for a Christian to know, whether or not the will does any thing in those things which pertain unto Salvation. Nay, let me tell you, this is the very hinge upon which our discussion turns. It is the very heart of our subject. For our object is this: to inquire what "Free-will" can do, in what it is passive, and how it stands with reference to the grace of God. If we know nothing of these things, we shall know nothing whatever of Christian matters, and shall be far behind all People upon the earth. He that does not feel this, let him confess that he is no Christian. And he that despises and laughs at it, let him know that he is the Christian's greatest enemy. For, if I know not how much I can do myself, how far my ability extends, and what I can do God-wards; I shall be equally uncertain and ignorant how much God is to do, how far His ability is to extend, and what He is to do toward me: whereas it is "God that worketh all in all." (1 Cor. xii. 6.) But if I know not the distinction between our working and the power of God, I know not God Himself. And if I know not God, I cannot worship Him, praise Him, give Him thanks, nor serve Him; for I shall not know how much I ought to ascribe unto myself, and how much unto God. It is necessary, therefore, to hold the most certain distinction, between the power of God and our power, the working of God and our working, if we would live in His fear. Martin Luther. "The Necessity of Knowing God and His Power," The Bondage of the Will.

John said...

Again, you're abusing the terms. Not everything between Calvinism and Pelagianism is "Semi-Pelagian". That term has a specific historical meaning, which is the position of John Cassian. He taught that no grace is necessary for the beginning of faith, purely free will.

The statement you quoted, affirming the existence of free will, could just as well have been written by Augustine, who affirmed the existence of such a thing. Historically, nobody questioned the existence of such a thing. The question is the relationship between free will and grace - something the quote you gave does not address.

As for the "guilt" or original sin, this was a much later development that only few in the early church accepted, being as the bible never says we are guilty of anything apart from sin. Even the most basic bible student knows the bible links guilt to be the result of our sin. Unfortunately you've fallen hook line and sinker for Romanist traditions. Even your own quote from Romans says that all men die because all men sin. There is no lexical or exegetical reason to think "sin" can mean "something I did NOT do".

Your statement about Luther is irrelevant to the fact you've abused terminology. Be that as it may, the reason we sin is because we have a corrupted nature. So our free will is not neutral, it is corrupted, thus our need for being saved.

BTW, I don't see any way on your blog to subscribe via email to a discussion like many blogs have. I don't know if you can or want to switch that on.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I don't do e-mail discussions. Augustine was the church father who fought Pelagius. His earlier views may have been less dogmatic but Augustine definitely taught the doctrine of total inability and he also taught double predestination. Why do you think he inspired the Protestant Reformers to stand against Rome?

Again, I thank you for admitting that your view is semi-pelagian at best:)

The problem is the Apostle Paul disagrees with you and so does Jesus. Both taught that the will is a slave to sin unless the person is first born again by the Holy Spirit. (John 3:3-8; John 8:32-35; Romans 7:7-25).

I was an Arminian for 10 years. I knew that God was sovereign all along but reading Scripture convinced me of the heresy of Arminianism, semi-pelagianism and pelagianism. I've no interest in going in circles with you. I seriously doubt you are willing to read the Scriptures and deal with what they have to say on the matter. I am more than willing to exchange blows with you here in public any time you like. Why? Because I know you have nothing to support you but sinking sand and man's opinion. Scripture is the final authority. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Peter 3:15-16).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Romans 8:5–8 (NKJV) — 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NKJV) — 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Calvinism IS the Gospel. Everything else is either heterodox or outright heresy.

Genesis 6:5 (NKJV) — 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Charlie J. Ray said...

One of my pet peeves is self righteousness and synergism. :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

If you're talking about the getting the follow-up comments by e-mail, it should be at the bottom of the popup window when you choose an identity. Blogger is not as friendly on that as say Wordpress.

>>>Choose an identity
Charlie J. Ray (Google Account) – Sign Out
Email follow-up comments to XXXXX@XXXXXX.com
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John said...

I don't think this is the time to discuss what Augustine's views are in detail. The point is, what you quoted from the Baptist convention about free will could easily have been written by Augustine, since if you'd read Augustine, you'd know he affirms the existence of free will, which is all that your quote affirms. Augustine wrote against those who "suppose that free will is denied when grace is defended" (Retractions (Book II, Chapter 66)). This is who you are. You suppose that when grace is defended, so free will is denied. Because the baptists here defend free will, you suppose it as an attack on grace. Augustine put it like this: "God helps free will" (with grace). And being in his "Retractions", that's his final word on the subject.


Of course I didn't admit that my views are "semi-pelagian". I'm not aware of any Christian group who affirms semi-pelagianism. There may well be one, but no mainline one does, and neither does your quote.

That we are a slave to sin is the reason we need grace. Thus the condemnation of semi-pelagianism. But again, your quote never mentions the role of grace, and thus stamping your feet about being a slave to sin is irrelevant.

As for original sin, I'm not an expert on Augustine's views on this, but I haven't seen him write directly in support of original sin as a form of guilt prior to sinning. Certainly he taught that unbaptised babies go to hell, which would be consistent with that view, but... people are not always consistent, and as far as I know he didn't actually teach we can be guilty without sin. In fact he taught the opposite in City of God saying that "no sin is committed save by the will'' (City of God XIV.4). So if sin means the thing that condemns us, as from St Paul, then prior to actual sin, we are not condemned until we engage the will. Augustine taught certainly that we are stained with a corruption from Adam, but everyone basically agrees with that. This is uncontroversial. The controversial part is the affirmation that this implies guilt prior to sin.


Yes I see now the box to tick for notifications when you post. Thanks. However many blogs also allow you to get the same result by clicking a link without having to post, or if you forget to check the box after you post.

Charlie J. Ray said...

So the infants of the reprobate unbelievers go to hell. So in your view they go to hell because they are born innocent of Adam's original sin. Gotcha.

John said...

I never said babies go to hell. That was Augustine's minority viewpoint that ultimately gained traction in Rome.

Charlie J. Ray said...

THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces. Those, therefore, who would assert "Free-will," must either deny this thunderbolt, or pretend not to see it, or push it from them. But, however, before I establish this point by any arguments of my own, and by the authority of Scripture, I will first set it forth in your words.

Are you not then the person, friend Erasmus, who just now asserted, that God is by nature just, and by nature most merciful? If this be true, does it not follow that He is immutably just and merciful? That, as His nature is not changed to all eternity, so neither His justice nor His mercy? And what is said concerning His justice and His mercy, must be said also concerning His knowledge, His wisdom, His goodness, His will, and His other Attributes. If therefore these things are asserted religiously, piously, and wholesomely concerning God, as you say yourself, what has come to you, that, contrary to your own self, you now assert, that it is irreligious, curious, and vain, to say, that God foreknows of necessity? You openly declare that the immutable will of God is to be known, but you forbid the knowledge of His immutable prescience. Do you believe that He foreknows against His will, or that He wills in ignorance? If then, He foreknows, willing, His will is eternal and immovable, because His nature is so: and, if He wills, foreknowing, His knowledge is eternal and immovable, because His nature is so.

From which it follows unalterably, that all things which we do, although they may appear to us to be done mutably and contingently, and even may be done thus contingently by us, are yet, in reality, done necessarily and immutably, with respect to the will of God. For the will of God is effective and cannot be hindered; because the very power of God is natural to Him, and His wisdom is such that He cannot be deceived. And as His will cannot be hindered, the work itself cannot be hindered from being done in the place, at the time, in the measure, and by whom He foresees and wills. If the will of God were such, that, when the work was done, the work remained but the will ceased, (as is the case with the will of men, which, when the house is built which they wished to build, ceases to will, as though it ended by death) then, indeed, it might be said, that things are done by contingency and mutability. But here, the case is the contrary; the work ceases, and the will remains. So far is it from possibility, that the doing of the work or its remaining, can be said to be from contingency or mutability. But, (that we may not be deceived in terms) being done by contingency, does not, in the Latin language, signify that the work itself which is done is contingent, but that it is done according to a contingent and mutable will—such a will as is not to be found in God! Moreover, a work cannot be called contingent, unless it be done by us unawares, by contingency, and, as it were, by chance; that is, by our will or hand catching at it, as presented by chance, we thinking nothing of it, nor willing any thing about it before.
Martin Luther, The Sovereignty of God: The Bondage of the Will.

Charlie J. Ray said...

As Gordon H. Clark pointed out, Augustine earlier on asserted "free will". But later he rejected that view and affirmed both double predestination and total inability. That is fairly clear. All of the Protestant Reformers read Augustine that way. And Luther's diatribe against Erasmus devastates any idea of libertarian free will even prior to the fall.

Charlie J. Ray said...

If the will is free, what determines election and reprobation? The will? If so, then you've denied the doctrine of total inability, which is taught in the Scriptures over and over. The Pharisees were not able to believe. Inability. Only by effectual, monergistic grace can anyone be able to believe. John 6:37-44, 65.

Charlie J. Ray said...

If you say that no one is born guilty of original sin then you have stated a Pelagian doctrine.

John said...

" "Free-will" is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces."

Yes well, Luther was heterodox, by any measure of that term prior to him arising on the scene. By this quote alone we can see he was no friend of Augustine.

"As Gordon H. Clark pointed out, Augustine earlier on asserted "free will". But later he rejected that view and affirmed both double predestination and total inability."

Sorry, but his "Retractions" are his final view. Whatever he did or did not think about inability or predesination, by his very own words was not over and against free will. Augustine was still a synergist. As I quoted, "God helps freewill".

"If so, then you've denied the doctrine of total inability, which is taught in the Scriptures over and over"

The Calvinist version of inability is not taught in the scriptures. :-)

"Only by effectual, monergistic grace can anyone be able to believe. John 6:37-44, 65."

I don't see "effectual monergistic grace" in those verses. :-) We can go head to head on John 6 if you want, I'm totally up for it.

"If you say that no one is born guilty of original sin then you have stated a Pelagian doctrine."

No, Pelagianism is the denial of all original corruption (or original sin, if we want to use that term). Orthodoxy is the affirmation of original sin, but denial that it implies guilt. Original guilt is no more Pelagian than monotheism, even though monotheism is a Pelagian doctrine too.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ah, but logic isn't part of your understanding. Your view is that what you say is true apart from the logic of Scripture. The Bible is the final authority, not Augustine. And since you don't believe the Bible I would say that you probably don't understand Augustine properly either.

Your opinion of Luther is neither here nor there since ad hominem is a logical fallacy. What matters is the logic of Luther's argument. His logic is consistent and irrefragable. If God is omniscient then He absolutely knows precisely what will happen in the future--unless you are a deist or an open theist? If God knows the future then He determined it in every detail. There is no contingency with God. That means He even predetermined your obstinate rebellion against the logical propositions of Holy Scripture and your hatred for the truth. It would appear so far that God intended to reprobate you. Of course, I'm not God so I don't know that for sure. God might grant you the grace to repent of your error before you die.

Either way, you will bring glory to God. If you are one of God's elect, your conversion will glorify God because of God's mercy. If you are reprobate your eternal punishment in hell will bring glory to God.

But from all appearances your high opinion of yourself and your own abilities to "cooperate" with God are insurmountable ostacles to your conversion. I guess God needs your help to save your ass?

:)

No. God needs no help to save anyone. Whoever God intends to save will actually be saved and His purposes cannot be thwarted.

Isaiah 14:24

Charlie J. Ray said...

Everyone is born a Pelagian. But when they die they all see the truth of Calvinism--even if they did not believe it in time.

Charlie J. Ray said...

If Adam's original sin brought no guilt on his progeny and everyone who lived afterwards, why do they die? We ought to see someone living almost immortally? But the curse is:

Genesis 2:16 (NKJV) — 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

Adam's sin brought all men under bondage to sin:

Genesis 6:5–8 (NKJV) — 5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

The soul that sins shall die. Since all die, that means all have sinned just like Adam sinned even though they didn't follow His example. They sinned because they are corrupt. (Genesis 6:5; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:23; Romans 5:12-14).

In other words, all humankind is born sinful and in bondage to sin from birth. (Psalm 58:3; Psalm 51:3-5). The heart is desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9). Unless God grants the new birth no one is able to believe or see the kingdom of heaven. (John 3:3-8).

I have no ability to convert you. Unless God grants you faith you are not able to believe. I'm just the messenger.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Jesus specifically says that He taught in parables so the people would NOT understand:

Mark 4:10–12 (NKJV) — 10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’”

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ah, so all babies go to heaven. So you agree with Pelagius after all. Babies are born innocent and with a clean slate. Sin is merely following the bad example of Adam and other sinners.

But why baptize infants if they are innocent? Baptism is the sign or mark placed on the children of believers. Those outside the church or outside the camp are not part of God's covenant promises or the covenant of grace. (Acts 2:38-40; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Genesis 17:9-14; Mark 4:8).

Charlie J. Ray said...

Genesis 2:16–17 (NKJV) — 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Charlie J. Ray said...

Theopedia: The Council of Orange 529 A.D.

Charlie J. Ray said...


The Canons of the Council of Orange
(529 AD)

CANON 1. If anyone denies that it is the whole man, that is, both body and soul, that was "changed for the worse" through the offense of Adam's sin, but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius and contradicts the scripture which says, "The soul that sins shall die" (Ezek. 18:20); and, "Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey?" (Rom. 6:16); and, "For whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved" (2 Pet. 2:19).
Canons of the Council of Orange

John said...

"If God knows the future then He determined it in every detail."

The logic does not follow. Knowledge is not determination. Of course "determined" is an ambiguous word too. I've determined you are heterodox, but I didn't cause it.

"No. God needs no help to save anyone. Whoever God intends to save will actually be saved and His purposes cannot be thwarted."

Sure, but he intends to save those with faith. Ask anyone off the street what faith is, and they'll tell you it has something to do with your will.

"If Adam's original sin brought no guilt on his progeny and everyone who lived afterwards, why do they die?"

Why do trees die? They didn't sin. Things die in part because of the corruption on the world. Rom. 8:21-22 says all of creation is suffering and corrupted, not just things that sinned.

"Adam's sin brought all men under bondage to sin"

That's not controversial.

" So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Yup. The birds too. Because birds are guilty of sin? Nope. This is exactly what I'm saying that all creation is under corruption, not just the things that sinned.

"But from all appearances your high opinion of yourself and your own abilities to "cooperate" with God are insurmountable ostacles to your conversion."

So... being converted is synonymous with being a 5 point Calvinist? Really? So you are are hyper Calvinist then.

"Ah, so all babies go to heaven."

I didn't say that either. This is not something God has revealed.

"So you agree with Pelagius after all. Babies are born innocent and with a clean slate. Sin is merely following the bad example of Adam and other sinners."

No, we are born with a tendency to sin, not merely "following a bad example".

"But why baptize infants if they are innocent?"

It imparts grace to overcome the corruption of the world. Call it original sin if you want, but its not guilt, its corruption.

"but believes that the freedom of the soul remains unimpaired and that only the body is subject to corruption, he is deceived by the error of Pelagius"

I never said the will is unimpaired. It most assuredly is impaired.

"Jesus specifically says that He taught in parables so the people would NOT understand:"

Yes, because those without ears to hear would simply be blinded by the truth stated plainly. As Calvin himself said about this verse in Mark: "When persons of a weak sight come out into sunshine, their eyes become dimmer than before, and that defect is in no way attributed to the sun, but to their eyes. In like manner, when the word of God blinds and hardens the reprobate, as this takes place through their own depravity, it belongs truly and naturally to themselves".

Probably now you'll accuse Calvin of being reprobate and not a Calvinist. :-)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>he logic does not follow. Knowledge is not determination. Of course "determined" is an ambiguous word too. I've determined you are heterodox, but I didn't cause it.<<<

Ah, you have confused the Creator with the creature. Anthropomorphizing God does not make God a human being. By definition what God knows is not limited by contingencies and the vicissitudes of change. God's knowledge is absolute and direct. In fact, if God knows the future is is absolute knowledge and there is no possibility of what God knows will happen will happen in any other way than what will actually happen. There aren't a multitude of possible outcomes in God's mind but only one--the one that comes to pass. So to follow your logic that God's knowing the definite future does not mean the future is determined by God Himself would mean that something else besides God has insured that the future will happen exactly as God knows it will. What is that something else, pray tell? Blind fate?

>>>Sure, but he intends to save those with faith. Ask anyone off the street what faith is, and they'll tell you it has something to do with your will.<<<

Well there's your problem. You are following the philosophy of mere men in the street. The question is what does God's Word say? The Bible is the final authority, not popular opinion.

But let's follow your non sequitur here. You say that God intends to save those with faith. So if no one has faith God intends to save no one. All those who do not have faith are left out. And since they are all unable to have faith, it would appear that you are saying that God won't save anyone.

But if you mean that God will save those He "foresees" will have faith, I have to ask where that faith comes from? One man who hears the Gospel will believe it and other will not. If you are saying that God foreknows they will have faith, then you're saying that God is making His election based on the condition of foreseeing future faith. That would mean that you saved yourself by the good work or merit of your own faith while the other guy didn't give himself faith. (Romans 9:11-13). Which brings us back again to the original question: If God foreknows that something is certain to happen, then it is unchangeable. If it is changeable then God couldn't know which outcome would happen. Therefore, in God's mind both election and reprobation are not contingencies but absolutely certain. The man God foreknows will be lost is certainly going to hell. There is nothing going to change about that.

The Arminian tries to soften the implication by saying that God does not "determine" this but only foreknows it. But if God cannot do anything about what He foreknows to be certain to happen, then what you're saying is that God is not able to answer a prayer to save someone He foreknows will be lost. So why pray for someone who is going to be lost and God can't do anything about it?

Arminianism is basically irrationalism. Semi-pelagianism and Arminianism are two peas in a pod.

>>>Why do trees die? They didn't sin. Things die in part because of the corruption on the world. Rom. 8:21-22 says all of creation is suffering and corrupted, not just things that sinned.<<<

I see. So what you really mean is that God does not give life or take life away. Stuff just happens:) Right. Maybe you should read the book of Job again? So Adam's guilt kills everyone and everything in the universe but they themselves are not guilty of anything:) Right. But then trees have no moral agency, do they? Do trees continually think evil? (Genesis 6:5).

Charlie J. Ray said...

That speaks volumes.

>>>Yup. The birds too. Because birds are guilty of sin? Nope. This is exactly what I'm saying that all creation is under corruption, not just the things that sinned.<<< Yes, the whole creation groans under the curse of Adam's sin. (Romans 8:18-22). But animals, plants and inanimate objects are not created in God's image and likeness or with will or intellect. So what's your point? Man is nothing but another animal and he's not really God's image and likeness? Why am I not surprised that you see no difference between Adam and the animals? Maybe you've been watching that comedy with Rod Schneider? The Animal.


>>>So... being converted is synonymous with being a 5 point Calvinist? Really? So you are are hyper Calvinist then.<<<

Being converted is synonymous with believing the logical propositions in the verbally inspired and inerrant Scriptures. Since only Calvinism is systematically and rationally consistent with the propositions of the whole Bible, yes, Calvinism IS the Gospel. As for your charge of "hyper-Calvinism", I'm amused:) If I'm a "hyper-Calvinist" why am I witnessing to you in the hope that you're one of God's elect? Silly you:) I'm not God so I have no idea whether or not God will use my witness to save you or not. I can only tell you that if God wants to save you then He will use the preaching of the pure law to convict you of your status as a miserable sinner and He will grant you the grace of regeneration to open your eyes to the truth. (Titus 3:5-7).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>No, we are born with a tendency to sin, not merely "following a bad example".<<< Nice concession you make there. Men are basically good but only have a weak tendency to sin. Funny thing that so many good men tend to commit sins every single day of their lives and do not seem to be able to do anything else but what they are doing. Odd thing that is. (Romans 3:10-23).

>>>"But why baptize infants if they are innocent?"

It imparts grace to overcome the corruption of the world. Call it original sin if you want, but its not guilt, its corruption.<<<

A grace that is given to all men without exception? But what kind of grace is it that has no power to actually change anyone? The deciding factor, according to you, is not grace but "free" will. But if grace has no power to change the will that is enslaved to sin and unable to will anything but sin is no grace at all. This "tendency" you speak of seems to overcome your generic, insipid, brand X grace in vast multitudes of men who have lived and died since Adam's fall.

Maybe the will isn't free after all? And maybe God only grants grace to those who then are free to believe and actually DO believe? :)

>>>I never said the will is unimpaired. It most assuredly is impaired.<<< Oh, but why did God impair the will of Adam's progeny rather than granting them the grace to overcome the impairment? And why are they punished with impairment if there is no condemnnation to them until they sin?

And you will note that above the article of the SBC says:

We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will or rendered any person guilty before he has personally sinned. If your alleged "impairment" is not a condemning punishment sent by God, where does it come from and why do the vast majority of men "freely" will to choose sin and bring God's eternal punishment on themselves. That's a clever sidestep of the obvious, isn't it? God doesn't condemn the human race with a curse but yet they are somehow mysteriously impaired for no reason at all. Great logic there, Sherlock:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Yes, because those without ears to hear would simply be blinded by the truth stated plainly. As Calvin himself said about this verse in Mark: "When persons of a weak sight come out into sunshine, their eyes become dimmer than before, and that defect is in no way attributed to the sun, but to their eyes. In like manner, when the word of God blinds and hardens the reprobate, as this takes place through their own depravity, it belongs truly and naturally to themselves".

Probably now you'll accuse Calvin of being reprobate and not a Calvinist. :-)<<<

Not at all. Every true Calvinist attributes man's damnation to man and justly so. All men are moral agents and are fully accountable for their own damnation. They won't be able to say, "God made me sin." God tempts no one. (James 1:13-15).

But then, who would expect a semi-pelagian to understand Calvinism? The fact is Calvin taught both God's absolute predestination and man's full accountability. God is not obligated to grant any man the grace to believe. And Scripture over and over says that God is completely just in blinding men and hardening them rather than regenerating them and granting them the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and the gift of repentance (Acts 11:18).

The Bible says that God deliberately hardens men and even raises them up for the purpose of demonstrating His justice and condemnation. (Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:18-22).

I notice that you base you opinion on what you think and what the man in the street thinks rather than on God's Word.:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Calvin also says:

Wherefore, let us not decline to say with Augustine, “God could change the will of the wicked into good, because he is omnipotent. Clearly he could. Why, then, does he not do it? Because he is unwilling. Why he is unwilling remains with himself,” (August. de Genes. ad Lit. Lib. 2). We should not attempt to be wise above what is meet, and it is much better to take Augustine’s explanation, than to quibble with Chrysostom, “that he draws him who is willing, and stretching forth his hand,” (Chrysost. Hom. de Convers. Pauli), lest the difference should seem to lie in the judgment of God, and not in the mere will of man. So far is it, indeed, from being placed in the mere will of man, that we may add, that even the pious, and those who fear God, need this special inspiration of the Spirit. Lydia, a seller of purple, feared God, and yet it was necessary that her heart should be opened, that she might attend to the doctrine of Paul, and profit in it (Acts 16:14). This was not said of one woman only but to teach us that all progress in piety is the secret work of the Spirit. Nor can it be questioned, that God sends his word to many whose blindness he is pleased to aggravate. For why does he order so many messages to be taken to Pharaoh? Was it because he hoped that he might be softened by the repetition? Nay, before he began he both knew and had foretold the result: “The Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he will not let the people go,” (Exod. 4:21). So when he raises up Ezekiel, he forewarns him, “I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me.” “Be not afraid of their words.” “Thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not,” (Ezek. 2:3, 6; 12:2). Thus he foretells to Jeremiah that the effect of his doctrine would be, “to root out, and pull down, and to destroy,” (Jer. 1:10). But the prophecy of Isaiah presses still more closely; for he is thus commissioned by the Lord, “Go and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not, and see ye indeed but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed,” (Isa. 6:9, 10). Here he directs his voice to them, but it is that they may turn a deafer ear; he kindles a light, but it is that they may become more blind; he produces a doctrine, but it is that they may be more stupid; he employs a remedy, but it is that they may not be cured. And John, referring to this prophecy, declares that the Jews could not believe the doctrine of Christ, because this curse from God lay upon them. It is also incontrovertible, that to those whom God is not pleased to illumine, he delivers his doctrine wrapt up in enigmas, so that they may not profit by it, but be given over to greater blindness. Hence our Savior declares that the parables in which he had spoken to the multitude he expounded to the Apostles only, “because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given,” (Mt. 13:11). What, you will ask, does our Lord mean, by teaching those by whom he is careful not to be understood? Consider where the fault lies, and then cease to ask. How obscure soever the word may be, there is always sufficient light in it to convince the consciences of the ungodly. Institutes III, xxiv, 13–14

Calvin, J. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Yes, because those without ears to hear would simply be blinded by the truth stated plainly.<<<

So God knows the plain truth cannot convince then so He hopes He can persuade them with enigmatic parables?

Hmmm. That would be odd since the text says God's purpose in teaching them in parable is NOT to make things more clear but to hide the truth from them:

Luke 8:9–10 (NKJV) — 9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?” 10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’

John said...

"By definition what God knows is not limited by contingencies and the vicissitudes of change."

Sorry, but you don't get to define God out of your own misunderstandings.

"In fact, if God knows the future is is absolute knowledge and there is no possibility of what God knows will happen will happen in any other way than what will actually happen."

I know lots of things without being the cause of them.

"So to follow your logic that God's knowing the definite future does not mean the future is determined by God Himself would mean that something else besides God has insured that the future will happen exactly as God knows it will. What is that something else, pray tell? Blind fate?"

Not blind fate, free will. Remember? The topic we are discussing here?

"Well there's your problem. You are following the philosophy of mere men in the street. The question is what does God's Word say? The Bible is the final authority, not popular opinion."

Yes well you see, the meaning of words *IS* determined by the man in the street. That's how language works you see. I can't redefine the meaning of words to create any doctrine I want. I suppose I could affirm that the bible teaches that God is a pink unicorn, just by redefining words like you do, but it isn't right. The bible doesn't come with a lexicon in the back, but through common meaning of words.

" You say that God intends to save those with faith. So if no one has faith God intends to save no one. All those who do not have faith are left out. And since they are all unable to have faith, it would appear that you are saying that God won't save anyone."

Who said that all are unable to have faith, with the right application of grace?

"If you are saying that God foreknows they will have faith, then you're saying that God is making His election based on the condition of foreseeing future faith. That would mean that you saved yourself by the good work or merit of your own faith while the other guy didn't give himself faith."

(a) Most people don't think that asking to be saved is meritorious in and of itself.

(b) Whether you think it is meritorious is neither here nor there, if the bible doesn't count it as such.

(c) In any case, unless you are Pelagian, which I am not, it's not your raw unadulterated free will that chooses, but rather a free will assisted by grace. So since even the free will is not able to make that decision alone, it can hardly be meritorious

(d) Christians do good works all the time, whilst giving all the glory to God. I don't see why this should be different.

(e) Your objection is pure philosophising, and isn't an argument the bible makes, so I don't see why I should give it any credence.

As for Ro 9, I'll go head to head on that if you want, but that is a discussion on its own.

"If God foreknows that something is certain to happen, then it is unchangeable. If it is changeable then God couldn't know which outcome would happen."

You are assigning temporal qualities to a non-temporal being. God can see what the outcome will be, and it is unchangeable from a certain perspective - i.e. from the perspective of someone who transcends time, but it doesn't mean he forced that outcome. You could make the same argument about a hypothetical person with a time machine, but that thought experiment shows that the mere ownership of a hypothetical time machine doesn't make you the Calvinist god.

John said...


"But if God cannot do anything about what He foreknows to be certain to happen, then what you're saying is that God is not able to answer a prayer to save someone He foreknows will be lost."

(a) The future that God foreknows is not a future absent his own grace and influence. So your objection is not valid.

(b) The Calvinist belief is that God elects for secret reasons we don't know. So what's the use of prayer?

(c) If God for some reason did save someone under influence of my prayer, then by Calvinist logic, he'd be saved because of my meritorious prayers, which is abhorrent to Calvinism.

(d) Why pray anyway since everything was all settled long ago?

"I see. So what you really mean is that God does not give life or take life away. Stuff just happens:) "

That's a rather obtuse accusation. Arminians and Calvinists both believe in (a) natural processes. (b) miraculous intervention.

"But animals, plants and inanimate objects are not created in God's image and likeness or with will or intellect. So what's your point?"

The point is, sir, that your argument that death implies guilt has been refuted.

"Why am I not surprised that you see no difference between Adam and the animals?"

Another one of your silly accusations that has no basis in what I said.

"Since only Calvinism is systematically and rationally consistent with the propositions of the whole Bible, yes, Calvinism IS the Gospel."

The whole bible is necessary to come up with Calvinism, and thus the Gospel? So... you can't find Calvinism in just... say the Gospel of Mark, and since Calvinism IS the Gospel, ergo, the Gospel of Mark does not contain the Gospel?

I just don't buy that. If you can't easily and simply come up with something from any one of the Gospels, then it is not the Gospel. It could still be true doctrine, but it is not THE GOSPEL.

"Men are basically good but only have a weak tendency to sin."

I never said men are basically good, or that the tendency is weak. Try not to keep putting words in my mouth. Try to win against what I actually said.

"But what kind of grace is it that has no power to actually change anyone?"

Subtleties are lost on Calvinists. There is a distinction between no power and using so much power to overthrow the will.

"The deciding factor, according to you, is not grace but "free" will. "

When the nuclear submarine has two keys to launch, it's a bit hard to describe either key as "the deciding factor".

"But if grace has no power to change the will that is enslaved to sin and unable to will anything but sin is no grace at all."

Again, power that does not completely overwhelm free will is not the same as no power.

"And you will note that above the article of the SBC says: We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will "

Incapacitation and impairment are not the same.

" If your alleged "impairment" is not a condemning punishment sent by God, where does it come from and why do the vast majority of men "freely" will to choose sin and bring God's eternal punishment on themselves. "

(a) Where does it come from? It's a curse instituted by God, after Adam. (b) Why do the vast majority choose sin? Because our nature is corrupted. (c) Why is it not a punishment? Because that word is defined as a response to bad behaviour, and the same death comes to trees, birds and newborn babies.

" The fact is Calvin taught both God's absolute predestination and man's full accountability. "

Rather illogically though.

Mr. Mcgranor said...

Good for them.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>(a) The future that God foreknows is not a future absent his own grace and influence. So your objection is not valid.<<< An ineffectual "grace" is no grace at all:) "Influence"? God merely influences and is a miserable failure in the vast majority of the cases:) Great god you got there. A god who is insipid and cannot save anyone at all is no god at all. Your god is merely an anthropomorphic, anthropopathic wimp who cannot do anything about evil in the world and cannot overcome the evil "influence" or "inclination" of the human will, mind, intellect. Such a god is no god at all.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>(b) The Calvinist belief is that God elects for secret reasons we don't know. So what's the use of prayer?<<< You collapsed two separate issues into one. First of all, God is sovereign and He chooses based on His own glory, wisdom, and purposes. (Deuteronomy 29:29). The ultimate purpose in God's election is to demonstrate His glory in both His mercy and pardon and in His execution of justice. (Romans 9:11-25).

I might ask you why you pray to a god who cannot answer your prayers? Why do Calvinists pray? We pray for God's will to be done on earth and then we petition Him for our desires in accordance with the Scriptures. We pray because we know that God is all powerful and able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we may ask. Whether or not the answer is yes or no, we know that He can answer the prayer because of His omnipotence. Ephesians 3:20, 21

Your god, on the other hand, is unable to save anyone without their permission. He is unable to overcome evil because if your god were actually in control of evil you would say your god isa monster. Instead you emasculate your god and claim he's a wimp.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>(c) If God for some reason did save someone under influence of my prayer, then by Calvinist logic, he'd be saved because of my meritorious prayers, which is abhorrent to Calvinism.<<<

That's a non sequitur. When we pray we are merely agreeing with what God has already predetermined to come to pass--otherwise it would not happen in the first place. Jesus taught us to pray, "...Thy will be done on earth AS IT (already) IS IN HEAVEN." (Matthew 6:10; 26:42; Luke 22:42; Acts 21:14). How is it meritorious to petition God that His will be done? If that is so then according to your logic all prayer is meritorious, which makes your statement ridiculous and irrational. Of course, irrationalism and logical fallacies are not abhorrent to semi-pelagians and Arminians.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>d) Why pray anyway since everything was all settled long ago?<<< Why pray if God is unable to answer any prayers? After all, everything is contingent with your god. He can only wring his hands in the hope that someone will help your god save them. And your god cannot prevent death or evil. That's why the world is full of evil. Your god cannot do anything about it.

My God, on the other hand, created evil for His own purposes. (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6; Proverbs 16:4).

And, of course, I pray because it might be that what I'm praying for is what God predetermined before the foundation of the world to come to pass in real time according to His providence.

I could pray for your conversion to the Gospel of sovereign grace. In the end God's will shall be done and I will have done what God commands me to do in the moral law: Pray for those who are your enemies. If it be God's will to save you He is more than able to do so. If not, then I have been obedient to share the Gospel with you and pray for your conversion.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"I see. So what you really mean is that God does not give life or take life away. Stuff just happens:) "

That's a rather obtuse accusation. Arminians and Calvinists both believe in (a) natural processes. (b) miraculous intervention.<<<

Your ignorance of the Bible is appalling. Death is not a natural process. That's the deist or atheist position. The Christian theist position is that "we live and move and have our being" in Him. (Acts 17:28). Moreover, Job said it best when all of his children were killed and he lost all his possessions:

Job 1:20–22 (NKJV) — 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.


Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>The point is, sir, that your argument that death implies guilt has been refuted.<<<

Odd that you do not read or understand the Bible:

Genesis 2:16–17 (NKJV) — 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”


Paul clearly says that because of Adam's first or original sin ALL men die and are guilty:

Romans 5:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Paul connects the death of humans with Adam's sin and Adam's sin caused all men to become sinners. All die both because of Adam's first sin and because of their own sins. All die because of sin. And what is sin? It is rebellion against God and therefore deserving of God's judgment, a judgment that includes condemnation:

For if by the one man’s offense many died, v. 15.

I get it. Adam didn't really sin and he didn't die or bring condemnation on himself or his progeny. Gotcha.

So sin and death are out of nowhere and God had nothing to do with it. Right.

For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one,

The New King James Version. 1982 (Ro 5:16–17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>The whole bible is necessary to come up with Calvinism, and thus the Gospel? So... you can't find Calvinism in just... say the Gospel of Mark, and since Calvinism IS the Gospel, ergo, the Gospel of Mark does not contain the Gospel?

I just don't buy that. If you can't easily and simply come up with something from any one of the Gospels, then it is not the Gospel. It could still be true doctrine, but it is not THE GOSPEL.<<<

Oh, so only the parts of the Bible that you agree with are true and rest is optional? I see. Well, I understand that some propositional statements in the Bible are moral law or imperatives and others are Gospel promises and indicative statements. But does that justify reading the Bible in piecemeal to fit with what "you" think it "should" say? The Bible itself says that ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired by God and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, reproof, and correction. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21). If you twist the Scriptures to your own destruction rather than reading them as essential for saving faith, what can I do about it other than pray for you? (2 Peter 3:15-16; Matthew 4:4; John 10:35)...

(and the Scripture cannot be broken) John 10:35

There are 66 books in the Bible and not one jot or tittle can be taken away from the Bible as a whole without distorting what it says in particulars and in the holistic reading of it as one Book. (1 Corinthians 4:6; Matthew 5:17-20).

Proverbs 30:6 (NKJV) — 6 Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.

Deuteronomy 4:2 (NKJV) — 2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.


Revelation 22:18–19 (NKJV) — 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"But what kind of grace is it that has no power to actually change anyone?"

Subtleties are lost on Calvinists. There is a distinction between no power and using so much power to overthrow the will.<<<<

Subtleties? You mean subtleties like you just admitted God is "using so much power to overthrow the will?" If God does not overcome the power of sin there is no power of the will to choose the right choice. The results prove either that God gave the grace or withheld the grace. In your view, it is merely a crap shoot and God's hoping that some self righteous bastard will repent by his own power of will. Grace is not effectual or able to change the will according to you. It is in short of no avail. If the will is the center of authority and grace has no power to change it, then it follows that grace is no help at all.

>>>"The deciding factor, according to you, is not grace but "free" will. "

When the nuclear submarine has two keys to launch, it's a bit hard to describe either key as "the deciding factor".<<<

Yes, so toss the coin and hope it comes up heads. Reason, truth, and effectual grace have no place in your Pelagian philosophy.

Charlie J. Ray said...

"But if grace has no power to change the will that is enslaved to sin and unable to will anything but sin [it] is no grace at all."

Again, power that does not completely overwhelm free will is not the same as no power.

The question is does grace overcome the inability of the will to choose Christ? Your answer is no. So the inability continues.

If, on the other hand, the will is able to choose Christ, then it would. Who in their right mind, knowing the truth of the coming judgment, would choose willingly to go to hell if they were not blinded by sin and rendered incapable of seeing the truth and making the right choice?

Again, your view is simply Pelagianism rehashed. God wouldn't really withhold grace and damn anyone, would He? Of course He would. As Calvin's quote from Augustine shows clearly, God is omnipotent and clearly could change the will of everyone so they would become Christians. He chooses not to do so.

Charlie J. Ray said...

"And you will note that above the article of the SBC says: We deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will "

Incapacitation and impairment are not the same.


Just as Pelagianism and Augustinianism are not the same. The "impairment" view is the view that people are basically good, not slaves to sin, and have free will. Salvation is something they can accomplish on their own choice. Since grace is not the deciding factor, grace is a moot point. After all, grace is common to everyone generically. It's rather like everyone has a brain. But grace makes no difference at all. It's your golden idol of "free will" that saves, right?

So save yourself. Obviously your god is wringing his hands in anxiety, hoping you do.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>(a) Where does it [impairment] come from? It's a curse instituted by God, after Adam. (b) Why do the vast majority choose sin? Because our nature is corrupted. (c) Why is it not a punishment? Because that word is defined as a response to bad behaviour, and the same death comes to trees, birds and newborn babies.<<<

Again, your capacity to confuse categories is simply astounding. Trees, rocks, men and dogs are all the same. They all die.

Your assertion seems to fit this syllogism:

1) Everything dies because of Adam's sin

2) Death is common to all creation.

3) Therefore death is not a punishment for original sin.

That means for you creation and human responsibility are the same thing. Your confusion lies in the fact that creation and animals have no responsibility since they are not moral beings. But Paul clearly links moral inability as the consequence of Adam's fall. (See again Romans 5:12-21; Romans 3:10-23; Romans 6:23).

I know the logical connection is difficult for you as an irrationalist but moral inability is not the same curse as the curse that the creation suffers under. Dogs are not men and have no heaven and no hell. Dogs are not made in God's image and likeness. Men are.

Genesis 1:27–28 (NKJV) — 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


" The fact is Calvin taught both God's absolute predestination and man's full accountability. "

Rather illogically though.

Making a bare assertion does not prove your view. What is illogical is saying that God foreknows contingently and not absolutely. If what God knows is certain to happen, then there is no possibility that it will happen any other way.

Acts 2:23–24 (NKJV) — 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

Acts 4:27–28 (NKJV) — 27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

I guess for you the crucifixion of Christ was a crap shoot? It could have happened some other way?






Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"By definition what God knows is not limited by contingencies and the vicissitudes of change."

Sorry, but you don't get to define God out of your own misunderstandings.<<<<

And you do? Right:) But the point is I am basing what I believe on Scripture and what the creeds and the Reformed Confessions affirm by the "most certain warrant" of Holy Scripture. You seem to shift with the prevailing winds. Pinning down heretics is like trying to grab slippery eels:)

The Bible clearly says that God does whatever He has willed and planned and purposed to happen:

Psalm 115:3 (NKJV) — 3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

Isaiah 14:24 (NKJV) — 24 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:

Isaiah 43:13 (NKJV) — 13 Indeed before the day was, I am He; And there is no one who can deliver out of My hand; I work, and who will reverse it?”


Isaiah 14:27 (NKJV) — 27 For the LORD of hosts has purposed, And who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, And who will turn it back?”


Job 9:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 If He takes away, who can hinder Him? Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’ 13 God will not withdraw His anger, The allies of the proud lie prostrate beneath Him.




Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>"In fact, if God knows the future it is absolute knowledge and there is no possibility of what God knows will happen will happen in any other way than what will actually happen."

I know lots of things without being the cause of them.<<<

Ah, so you know the future in absolute detail with no error in that knowledge? Wow. You're claiming omniscience? I always knew you guys were idolaters but now it's confirmed.

HINT: YOU AIN'T GOD.

Confusing the Creator with the creature is called idolatry:

Romans 1:18–23 (NKJV) — 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.




Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"So to follow your logic that God's knowing the definite future does not mean the future is determined by God Himself would mean that something else besides God has insured that the future will happen exactly as God knows it will. What is that something else, pray tell? Blind fate?"

Not blind fate, free will. Remember? The topic we are discussing here?<<<

So men determine storms, earthquakes and wars and famines and whatever comes to existence in the world. Wow, you're back in the Roman pagan world.

Predestination by a personal God is by definition not "blind fate" but a personal determination by God and a decision He makes by thinking propositions and making determinations. The idea that God is the same as "blind fate" is a pagan idea.

Psalm 115:3 is hardly "blind fate". :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>"Well there's your problem. You are following the philosophy of mere men in the street. The question is what does God's Word say? The Bible is the final authority, not popular opinion."

Yes well you see, the meaning of words *IS* determined by the man in the street. That's how language works you see. I can't redefine the meaning of words to create any doctrine I want. I suppose I could affirm that the bible teaches that God is a pink unicorn, just by redefining words like you do, but it isn't right. The bible doesn't come with a lexicon in the back, but through common meaning of words. <<<

But the man in the street does not determine the meaning of the Bible. The Bible has to be rightly divided and the logical propositions are understood through reason, not through consulting with atheists, Buddhists, muslims, and various other miscreants in the street.

Matthew 4:4 (NKJV) — 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

2 Peter 3:15–16 (NKJV) — 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.



Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>" You say that God intends to save those with faith. So if no one has faith God intends to save no one. All those who do not have faith are left out. And since they are all unable to have faith, it would appear that you are saying that God won't save anyone."

Who said that all are unable to have faith, with the right application of grace?<<<

Pelagianism again. If men are able to save themselves with faith then we ought to see them all make the right choice:)

Having two opposite choices is not necessarily "free will". God cannot sin. Doesn't God have "free will"? And the elect angels are sealed so that none of them will fall. Do they have libertarian free will? I think not.

Your definition of free will makes grace of no effect and since men "freely" choose bondage so sin rather than "freedom through the Son" John 8:32ff, then how can you call this bondage "freedom" of the will?

Just as only God can grant a person birth from their natural mother, so salvation can only happen if God grants that person the new birth and the grace to believe. (Titus 3:5-7; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"If you are saying that God foreknows they will have faith, then you're saying that God is making His election based on the condition of foreseeing future faith. That would mean that you saved yourself by the good work or merit of your own faith while the other guy didn't give himself faith."

(a) Most people don't think that asking to be saved is meritorious in and of itself.<<<

Most people, including yourself, have been affected by the noetic effects of sin. So making a general statement about the popularity of a view is neither here nor there. It's like saying abortion is good because "most people" say it is good.

The logical implication or inference to be drawn is that since faith in your view is an action and that action is decided by the will and not by grace itself, then any appeal to the "assistance" of grace is still not addressing the fact that the bottom line is you're claiming that men save themselves by the merit of the own "free will". That's the Roman Catholic view as well. Grace makes merits possible. Salvation is by grace plus works. And since the grace is a generic grace, the deciding factor by your own admission is the particular work of the will in giving itself faith and repentance. In short, God does not save anyone. They save themselves.

At least that's the logical implication of your view.

My view is that God grants grace to everyone He has elected and not one of them will be lost:)

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer. That I with body and soul,1 both in life and death, am not my own,2 but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;3 who, with His precious blood,4 hath fully satisfied for all my sins,5 and delivered me from all the power of the devil;6 and so preserves me7 that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;8 yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation,9 and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,10 and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.11

Q. 2. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

A. Three:12 the first, how great my sins and miseries are;13 the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries;14 the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.15
Heidelberg Catechism, Day 1.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>(b) Whether you think it is meritorious is neither here nor there, if the bible doesn't count it as such.

(c) In any case, unless you are Pelagian, which I am not, it's not your raw unadulterated free will that chooses, but rather a free will assisted by grace. So since even the free will is not able to make that decision alone, it can hardly be meritorious<<<

The Bible says that whatever is of grace is of pure grace and whatever is of works is of works. The two cannot meet:

Romans 11:5–10 (NKJV) — 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” 9 And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. 10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”


And futhermore, Jesus says that even our believing is the work of God:

John 6:29 (NKJV) — 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”


In other words, believing in Jesus is a monergistic work of God in the heart. Without it there can be no belief in the first place....

Charlie J. Ray said...

"If God foreknows that something is certain to happen, then it is unchangeable. If it is changeable then God couldn't know which outcome would happen."

You are assigning temporal qualities to a non-temporal being. God can see what the outcome will be, and it is unchangeable from a certain perspective - i.e. from the perspective of someone who transcends time, but it doesn't mean he forced that outcome. You could make the same argument about a hypothetical person with a time machine, but that thought experiment shows that the mere ownership of a hypothetical time machine doesn't make you the Calvinist god.<<<

I'm not the one "philosophizing". I'm simply assuming that God operates by logic. You seem to be assuming that logic only applies when it agrees with your irrationalism:)

Also, I'm not the one anthropomorphizing God. That would be you. You think that God must fit your presupposed views on what is just and unjust. God is subject to none of your man-made laws since He is in His essence the very source of all moral law.

>>>but it doesn't mean he forced that outcome.<<< So the outcome just happens and God didn't do anything to bring it about except to know what would happen? I don't believe God "forces" anyone to sin. He predetermines what they do by secondary means, not by being the "author" of their sins.

But to put your view to rest, the Bible over and over says that God determines the outcome of particular events and the actions of particular individuals:

1 Kings 22:20–23 (NKJV) — 20 And the LORD said, ‘Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. 21 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ 22 The LORD said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.’ 23 Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.
***

1 Kings 22:28–38 (NKJV) — 28 But Micaiah said, “If you ever return in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” And he said, “Take heed, all you people!” 29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle; but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, “Fight with no one small or great, but only with the king of Israel.” 32 So it was, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel!” Therefore they turned aside to fight against him, and Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 And it happened, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. 34 Now a certain man drew a bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of his armor. So he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and take me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” 35 The battle increased that day; and the king was propped up in his chariot, facing the Syrians, and died at evening. The blood ran out from the wound onto the floor of the chariot. 36 Then, as the sun was going down, a shout went throughout the army, saying, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country!” 37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria. And they buried the king in Samaria. 38 Then someone washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood while the harlots bathed, according to the word of the LORD which He had spoken.


You can run but you can't hide. God will get you if He wants you.

Charlie J. Ray said...

What's good about heresy and false teaching, Mac?

Mr. Mcgranor said...

Ideals versus reality.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Mac, say something meaningful, man. You speak in glittering generalities and riddles. Methinks you're either afraid to discuss anything in detail or unable to do so.

Mr. Mcgranor said...

P.S.

The fall of man, the affairs of Israel, and the rebuke of Peter -- all point to Arminianism -- in the negative. In the positive its the gist of New Testament revolation. Anytime man pleas to God he affirms Arminianism. I am going to quote the whole of Galatians as Arminian.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Mac, you could say that Galatians was inspired by the devil as well. It wouldn't make it so. The Bible speaks for itself.

Mr. Mcgranor said...

The bible speaks Arminian despite words such as predestined and elect. Sure God wills before man, no #@!& Sherlock.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Yet, on this hinge turns the whole question: Is there no justice of God, but that which is conceived of by us? Now if we should throw this into the form of one question-- whether it be lawful to measure the power of God by our natural sense--there is not a man who would not immediately reply that all the senses of all men combined in one individual must faint under an attempt to comprehend the immeasurable power of God; and yet, as soon as a reason cannot immediately be seen for certain works of God, men somehow or other are immediately prepared to appoint a day for entering into judgment with Him. What therefore can be more opportune or appropriate than the apostle's appeal: that those who would thus raise themselves above the heavens in their reasonings utterly forget who and what they are? Calvin's Calvinism, Section I

John said...

--"An ineffectual "grace" is no grace at all:)"

Does that argument apply to human affairs too? Is showing grace to your wife that does not override her free will no grace at all? I think your wife, if you have one, would disagree.

--"God merely influences and is a miserable failure in the vast majority of the cases:)"

God wants none to perish, but all to come to repentance. (2 Pe 3:9) Do all come to repentence? Nope.

--"A god who is insipid and cannot save anyone at all is no god at all."

You are confusing issues again. Nobody said that God cannot save everyone. He simply chooses to save only those who have faith.

--"I might ask you why you pray to a god who cannot answer your prayers?"

It's false to say I think that. God could save anyone. He chooses to save those with faith. If I pray, he could send more grace for that outcome. For you on the other hand:

(a) You don't know that God even wants to save the person you pray for. He might be hoping for more glory for himself in letting them perish. You don't know that he wants them to repent. We believe he gets glory from both, but always MORE glory from someone being saved.

(b) Your god can't change the outcome that he predetermined long ago. He is not omnipotent, he is bound by his prior decision.

(c) It's pretty hard for you to worship the god who could save your loved one, but simply won't out of belligerence.

--"When we pray we are merely agreeing with what God has already predetermined to come to pass"

Oh yes, and how is that different to someone with free will putting up their hand and saying "save me" in accordance with God's will? Apparently saying "SAVE SOMEONE ELSE" bypasses your Calvinist objections about human interference in the process of salvation, but saying "SAVE ME" is an abhorrent interference in God's sovereign will. Inconsistency.

--" Jesus taught us to pray, "...Thy will be done on earth AS IT (already) IS IN HEAVEN."

That assumes God's will is of the nature to predestine everything to the finest detail, whereas God's will in the bible is of the nature of "do good to others" etc.

--"How is it meritorious to petition God that His will be done?"

How is it meritorious to say "save me" when that is God's will already?

--"After all, everything is contingent with your god. He can only wring his hands in the hope that someone will help your god save them."

(a) No, not everything is contingent. It's contingent if he chooses so. And he chooses to be continent on faith. Your god chooses to be contingent on some secret purposes that he does not reveal. It's exactly the same on that level, it's just that our god has revealed what he is contingent on, and yours hasn't.

(b) The existence of contingency is the only thing that can make prayer worthwhile. If there is no contingency, nothing is contingent on your prayers and thus they are a waste of time.

"And, of course, I pray because it might be that what I'm praying for is what God predetermined before the foundation of the world to come to pass in real time according to His providence. "

So what? Why not then pray for a hurricane to destroy your city? After all, it could be what God has planned for it in his almighty good will. Hey, why not pray while you're at it, that your wife and family and everyone in church comes down with the plague and is wiped out?









Charlie J. Ray said...

Simply because you have no logic and your ability to read does not rise above the level of hogs and dogs does not mean that Scripture is molded to your cavils and twisting. The Bible is so plain that a child can read it and understand that God alone saves.

Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?


The New King James Version. 1982 (Is 50:2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"An ineffectual "grace" is no grace at all:)"

Does that argument apply to human affairs too? Is showing grace to your wife that does not override her free will no grace at all? I think your wife, if you have one, would disagree.<<<<

If you don't understand the difference between common courtesy and divine favor or a divine gift given by the Almighty, I don't know what else I could say:)

Dumb hogs root in the ground while men read the propositionals truths of Scripture and learn what God teaches them in His Word. Are you saved by your wife's grace to you or is she saved by your grace to her?

Looks like Dumb and Dumber can't must much of an argument.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>God wants none to perish, but all to come to repentance. (2 Pe 3:9) Do all come to repentence? Nope.<<<


He does? You mean everyone without exception? Then obviously He's failed miserable to do what He desires. Again, your god is insipid and wimpy.

But I should point out that 2 Peter 3:9 is written to elect Christians who are undergoing persecution. Not one of God's elect does perish in persecution.

2 Peter 1:1 (NKJV) — 1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

I'm constantly amazed at how stupid semi-pelagians are. They can't for the life of them even read in context:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>
--"A god who is insipid and cannot save anyone at all is no god at all."

You are confusing issues again. Nobody said that God cannot save everyone. He simply chooses to save only those who have faith.<<<

Oh, so God saves those who make themselves worthy of salvation because they gave themselves faith. Works again.

But I have to ask how one man can set himself free while another cannot?

The only answer I can come up with is he cannot. Only those God sets free are free indeed.

Calvin's comments against Pighius are pertinent here:

Yet, on this hinge turns the whole question: Is there no justice of God, but that which is conceived of by us? Now if we should throw this into the form of one question?whether it be lawful to measure the power of God by our natural sense?there is not a man who would not immediately reply that all the senses of all men combined in one individual must faint under an attempt to comprehend the immeasurable power of God; and yet, as soon as a reason cannot immediately be seen for certain works of God, men somehow or other are immediately prepared to appoint a day for entering into judgment with Him. What therefore can be more opportune or appropriate than the apostle's appeal: that those who would thus raise themselves above the heavens in their reasonings utterly forget who and what they are?

And suppose God, ceding His own right, should offer Himself as ready to render a reason for His works? When the matter came to those secret counsels of His, which angels adore with trembling, who would not be utterly bereft of his senses before such glorious splendour? Marvellous, indeed, is the madness of man! who would more audaciously set himself above God than stand on equal ground with any Pagan judge! It is intolerable to you, and hateful, that the power and works of God should exceed the capacity of your own mind and yet you will grant to an equal the enjoyment of his own mind and judgment. Now, will you, with such madness as this, dare to make mention of the adorable God? What do you really think of God's glorious Name? And will you vaunt that the apostle is devoid of all reason, because he does not drag God from His throne and set Him before you, to be questioned and examined?
Calvin's Calvinism, Section I

John said...

--"Death is not a natural process. "

You're equivocating on the meaning of "natural". It's natural in the world order we now live in. It does not require super-natural intervention for death to occur.

--"Paul connects the death of humans with Adam's sin and Adam's sin caused all men to become sinners. All die both because of Adam's first sin and because of their own sins."

The fact that you said "BOTH" is a concession that you lost the argument. Yes, when we sin and we die, it is because of Adam's sin and our own. But things also die purely because of Adam's sin. Either way, things die, with or without your personal guilt. Furthermore, the argument is not about whether "own sins" make you guilty. The argument is about whether a LACK OF your own sins make you guilty. We can both agree own sins make you guilty, the trouble is you want to say that no sins also make you guilty.

--"17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, "

Yes, death reigns through the sins of Adam, not guilt. Death. Corruption and death. Thanks Paul.

--"Oh, so only the parts of the Bible that you agree with are true and rest is optional?"

Why are so obtuse? I didn't say anything like that. Not everything in the bible is "THE GOSPEL", as true as it might be. You are trying to conflate some theories you have on certain obscure topics, with THE GOSPEL. Even if your theories happen to be true, and even if per se the bible teaches them, it's not the same as saying they are "THE GOSPEL".

--"If God does not overcome the power of sin there is no power of the will to choose the right choice."

Right. But overcoming the power of sin, and forcing a choice on you are not the same.

--"In your view, it is merely a crap shoot and God's hoping that some self righteous bastard will repent by his own power of will."

No. It's his own will WITH God's grace to overcome the corruption.

Look at Adam. His will was NOT corrupted. He could have chosen to eat the apple or not eat it. Both outcomes were possible. With us, our corrupted nature means choosing God is impossible, until God gives us the grace to overcome the corruption. When that happens we are back to the uncorrupted state of Adam. We have both choices now, just like Adam, but we can still take the wrong choice, just like Adam.

--"The question is does grace overcome the inability of the will to choose Christ? Your answer is no. So the inability continues."

Grace does overcome inability and replaces it with ability. Just like Adam had ability. Ability does not imply you will always take the right choice, like Adam did not.

John said...


--"Who in their right mind, knowing the truth of the coming judgment, would choose willingly to go to hell if they were not blinded by sin and rendered incapable of seeing the truth and making the right choice? "

Answer: Adam thus chose, yet he was not under sin.

--"Salvation is something they can accomplish on their own choice. Since grace is not the deciding factor, grace is a moot point."

Is it a moot point if one of the keys on the nuclear submarine is not turned? It's the difference between peace and global thermonuclear war. Doesn't sound moot to me.

--"After all, grace is common to everyone generically."

It may be that God provides grace to everyone. But not everyone at all times. You might only get grace on one particular occasion in your whole life. That is when you have to choose God. That kind of grace is not everywhere at all times for anyone to simply choose God whenever they feel like it. That is our inability and our corrupt nature.

--"Your assertion seems to fit this syllogism:
1) Everything dies because of Adam's sin
2) Death is common to all creation.
3) Therefore death is not a punishment for original sin."

#3 is a very confusing assertion since "punishment" is a very loaded term (one the bible never links to someone without sin) and "original sin" is not a biblical phrase, and what it means is different to a lot of people.

--"That means for you creation and human responsibility are the same thing. "

I don't know what that means.

--"But Paul clearly links moral inability as the consequence of Adam's fall."

The issue is not whether Adam's fall results in moral inability. The issue is whether Adam's fall results in guilt. One can have moral inability, but never commit a crime and be sent to gaol for it. Most likely you ultimately will, but until you do, the courts won't send you to gaol. You want to be like the ridiculous situation of Tom Cruise in Minority Report of skipping the important step of committing the crime before being punished for it.

--"moral inability is not the same curse as the curse that the creation suffers under."

I don't see any reason to split off all the problems the world fell under into dozens or hundreds of sub-curses. Anyway, I don't think it's moral for an animal to eat a man. I'm sure that won't be allowed in heaven.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"I might ask you why you pray to a god who cannot answer your prayers?"

It's false to say I think that. God could save anyone. He chooses to save those with faith. If I pray, he could send more grace for that outcome. <<<

You concede that God could save everyone but does not. So what makes your view excuse God? Suppose God sees a child being raped and murdered by a pedophile? You concede that God "could" save that child but does not do so. So how does that get God off the hook simply because He "permits" evil? So you think "free will" gets God off the hook for not saving everyone? I would love to hear your explanation for that one:)

In Florida we have a "good Samaritan" law. If you're driving on the highway and there's an accident you are required by law to stop and give assistance. Your view, then, that God is guilty of not stopping by to help out. But who are you to accuse God of breaking a law??? (Romans 9:20).



>>>For you on the other hand:

(a) You don't know that God even wants to save the person you pray for. He might be hoping for more glory for himself in letting them perish. You don't know that he wants them to repent. We believe he gets glory from both, but always MORE glory from someone being saved.<<<<

God doesn't need to "hope" for anything. As the Sovereign King of the Universe what He decrees is not contingent upon anything or anyone other than Himself. Your god cannot have any power to save since everything is a contingency with you.

Of course I don't know who God will save:) But the point is that HE does know. AND the Bible says that God gets glory from the vessels of mercy AND from the vessels of destruction:

Romans 9:17–18 (NKJV) — 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

What "power" did God show in Pharaoh? He showed His power to send 10 plagues and to drown Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. And what is more God raised up Pharaoh for the express "purpose" of displaying His power over Pharaoh, a mere man, by destroying him and his army.

Charlie J. Ray said...

So where does the Bible say that God gets "more glory" from saving someone than from demonstrating His justice?

Romans 9:22 (NKJV) — 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,



>>>>(b) Your god can't change the outcome that he predetermined long ago. He is not omnipotent, he is bound by his prior decision.<<<

This is malarkey. Who are you to say that God is bound to be contingent on mere men? Do you not concede that God is bound by His goodness, mercy and justice? So what sort of inconsistent logic do you use to say that God's foreknowledge changes with the wind??? Such a god could not be trusted to keep His promises. There are many places in the Bible where God is said to be unable to do certain things. God cannot lie:)

Titus 1:2 (NKJV) — 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

Now if God cannot lie about what He promised to do for the elect before time began, what makes you think God can break His promises or that God's foreknowledge is contingent on anything outside of Himself?

>>>>(c) It's pretty hard for you to worship the god who could save your loved one, but simply won't out of belligerence. <<<

Ah, here we go. You lift yourself up above God and pretend to be His judge. Good luck with that one when you stand trembling before Him on the great Day of Judgment. (Romans 9:20)

Romans 3:5–6 (NKJV) — 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

God is somehow obligated to save the wicked and rebellious? Please. Since everyone deserves eternal punishment, it is stupid to accuse God of unrighteousness. I am again amazed at the level of your animosity towards your Creator.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"When we pray we are merely agreeing with what God has already predetermined to come to pass"

Oh yes, and how is that different to someone with free will putting up their hand and saying "save me" in accordance with God's will? Apparently saying "SAVE SOMEONE ELSE" bypasses your Calvinist objections about human interference in the process of salvation, but saying "SAVE ME" is an abhorrent interference in God's sovereign will. Inconsistency.<<<

Well, it's way different since for someone to have "free will" they would need to be free from any determination of the will whatsoever. Since you've already conceded that all sin of necessity and "inclination", how is it that they have "free will" according to you? You're contradicting yourself.

Secondly, no one is able to ask God to save them unless they have first been effectually called and regenerated. God turns away no one who sincerely asks for forgiveness of their sins and for Christ to save them. God keeps His promises and not one of them will be lost.

>>>Apparently saying "SAVE SOMEONE ELSE" bypasses your Calvinist objections about human interference in the process of salvation,<<<

I have no objections whatsoever to anyone asking for God to save them:) Stupid you. I simply contend that no one is able to do so unless the Father draws them first:

John 6:44–46 (NKJV) — 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

God is not obligated to save anyone. He saves whom He will save and He hardens whom He will harden. (Romans 9:14-18). It's odd that you never quote Scripture to justify your belligerence against the Almighty:) Your arguments are almost identical to the objections of atheists.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--" Jesus taught us to pray, "...Thy will be done on earth AS IT (already) IS IN HEAVEN."

That assumes God's will is of the nature to predestine everything to the finest detail, whereas God's will in the bible is of the nature of "do good to others" etc.<<<

Oh, so God isn't in control of every thing? God is partly sovereign and the rest runs like a machine? Isn't that called "deism"?

Ephesians 1:11–12 (NKJV) — 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

All things does not mean "some things" the last I checked. Oh, I forgot. You have to check with the man on the street first. Shoot.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>-"How is it meritorious to petition God that His will be done?"

How is it meritorious to say "save me" when that is God's will already?<<<

Simple. Since all men are bound in sin and no one is able to say, "Save me" apart from God's gift, it follows that if some ask and some do not ask then the difference is not "common grace" given to all, but the work of that person's will who saved himself by believing.

The deciding factor for you is not grace or even God's sovereignty but man's sovereign and capricious will. One man decides on his own power to be saved while another decides to do evil and reject Christ. What makes one man better than the other? His own meritorious "decision" according to you. It is "free will" that saves in your view, not grace. My view is that God literally has mercy and grace on a few. He should send everyone to hell since that's what we deserve. Grace and mercy and pardon is not receiving the justice and sentence due.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"After all, everything is contingent with your god. He can only wring his hands in the hope that someone will help your god save them."

(a) No, not everything is contingent. It's contingent if he chooses so. And he chooses to be continent on faith. Your god chooses to be contingent on some secret purposes that he does not reveal. It's exactly the same on that level, it's just that our god has revealed what he is contingent on, and yours hasn't.<<<

So God is really confused now. He contingently chooses to be contingent and nothing is certain, not even His promises:) Eternal insecurity reigns supreme for you. (2 Corinthians 1:20).

There are no contingencies with the God of Scripture. He determines absolutely everything down to the last detail. Do you really think the great details in creation are due to general contingenicies and accidents of statistical probability? Please:) Also, you confuse my ignorance of what God will do in real time with an alleged "contingency" in God Himself. There is nothing contingent with God. If God is contingent He doesn't exist. He is all powerful and nothing can thwart His eternal decrees.

John said...

--"The Bible clearly says that God does whatever He has willed and planned and purposed to happen:

Psalm 115:3 (NKJV) — 3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases."

I don't think the original Jewish readers of that verse, or of similar verses, interpreted that to mean that God always is in control of people's free will and that he determines every single thing that happens in the finest detail. Even if those things were true, it's not implied by a verse like that. The Jewish readers would interpret verses like that to mean, that their God is all powerful, and he does what he wants, if he wants, and when he wants. It doesn't mean that what he wants and what he does is to always interfere in men's free will in each and every situation.

--"Ah, so you know the future in absolute detail with no error in that knowledge? Wow. You're claiming omniscience? I always knew you guys were idolaters but now it's confirmed."

Can't you tell the difference between "I know a lot of things" and "I am omnicient"???? The point is, whatever I know, whether it be one thing, or all things, whether my knowledge is of past, present or future, mere knowledge does not imply causation. They are orthogonal.

--"So men determine storms, earthquakes and wars and famines and whatever comes to existence in the world. Wow, you're back in the Roman pagan world. "

What an odd comment. You asked what besides God caused things. I said that also men cause things. Doesn't mean that men cause ALL things. Like Calvinists you are very very confused by categories like "some" and "all". Of course, many times men do cause wars and famines. These days sometimes even earthquakes, perhaps even storms. Not always of course.

--"But the man in the street does not determine the meaning of the Bible."

Again with you confusing categories. I said the man in the street determines the lexical meaning of words, and you conflate that with the meaning of the bible. Biblical exegetes are always consulting secular manuscripts to determine word meaning. So the man in the street is critically important to lexical scholarship.

--"Having two opposite choices is not necessarily "free will". God cannot sin. Doesn't God have "free will"?"

God cannot sin because what he does is by definition not sin. God does many things such that if I did them they would be sin.

--"And the elect angels are sealed so that none of them will fall. Do they have libertarian free will?"

Show me chapter and verse on that, and I'll comment. As for me I think angels did fall and Satan is one of them.

--"The Bible says that whatever is of grace is of pure grace and whatever is of works is of works. The two cannot meet:

Romans 11:5–10 (NKJV) — 5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works"

You see, this is where you've gone horribly wrong. We both agree that grace is absolutely necessary. We both agree that our action is absolutely required. (our faith etc.).

This verse is saying that if grace was involved, then you can't take credit for it as a work or as meritorious. We both agree still, but for different reasons. You think it's not meritorious and only by grace because God obliterated our free will. I think it's not meritorious and attributable to grace alone, because it could not have been done without grace. Yet both of us require the extra step of actually implementing our personal faith. It's a storm in a teacup really.








Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>(b) The existence of contingency is the only thing that can make prayer worthwhile. If there is no contingency, nothing is contingent on your prayers and thus they are a waste of time.<<<

Why pray to God if everything is contingent with God Himself? Just because we are weak and experience contingency does not mean that God does. If God experiences things like a human, then He is not god but a mere man.

Isaiah 59:1–3 (NKJV) — 1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity.


>>>"And, of course, I pray because it might be that what I'm praying for is what God predetermined before the foundation of the world to come to pass in real time according to His providence. "

So what? Why not then pray for a hurricane to destroy your city? After all, it could be what God has planned for it in his almighty good will. Hey, why not pray while you're at it, that your wife and family and everyone in church comes down with the plague and is wiped out?<<<

Don't be ridiculous:) Why would I pray for that? Are you saying that God would be unjust if He did send judgment? I guess for you God was wrong when He took away all of Job's possessions, his children and servants?

Your audacity is stupid and will bring God's judgment upon you.

Job 40:1–2 (NKJV) — 1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: 2 “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it.”


Job 40:7–9 (NKJV) — 7 “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: 8 “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? 9 Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?

Like I said before, stupid is as stupid does. Or is it "says"?



Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Psalm 115:3 (NKJV) — 3 But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases."

I don't think the original Jewish readers of that verse, or of similar verses, interpreted that to mean that God always is in control of people's free will and that he determines every single thing that happens in the finest detail. Even if those things were true, it's not implied by a verse like that. The Jewish readers would interpret verses like that to mean, that their God is all powerful, and he does what he wants, if he wants, and when he wants. It doesn't mean that what he wants and what he does is to always interfere in men's free will in each and every situation.<<<

Maybe you need to go back and read Isaiah again:) Besides, your speculations do not override the plain meaning of the text. God is just in whatever He does. He cannot sin or do wrong. So if God creates evil, He did nothing wrong. Isaiah 45:7

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Ah, so you know the future in absolute detail with no error in that knowledge? Wow. You're claiming omniscience? I always knew you guys were idolaters but now it's confirmed."

Can't you tell the difference between "I know a lot of things" and "I am omnicient"???? The point is, whatever I know, whether it be one thing, or all things, whether my knowledge is of past, present or future, mere knowledge does not imply causation. They are orthogonal.<<<

Stupid me. I didn't know you weren't God. :) But stupid you were comparing stupid you with the knowledge of Almighty God. There is no comparison.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>What an odd comment. You asked what besides God caused things. I said that also men cause things. Doesn't mean that men cause ALL things. Like Calvinists you are very very confused by categories like "some" and "all". Of course, many times men do cause wars and famines. These days sometimes even earthquakes, perhaps even storms. Not always of course.

--"But the man in the street does not determine the meaning of the Bible."

Again with you confusing categories. I said the man in the street determines the lexical meaning of words, and you conflate that with the meaning of the bible. Biblical exegetes are always consulting secular manuscripts to determine word meaning. So the man in the street is critically important to lexical scholarship.<<<

I'm not the idiot who confused the categories. I just pointed out your obvious mistake:) God is not a creature. I don't know why you keep confusing the Creator with the perspective of mere creatures?

The man in the street could be insane or brain dead:) They don't determine anything. But what does determine what is true or false is God's rational and logical revelation in Scripture. God's truth is unchanging. You seem to major on confusion and illogical arguments. The axiom here is that Scripture IS God's truth and God's Word.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>God cannot sin because what he does is by definition not sin. God does many things such that if I did them they would be sin.

--"And the elect angels are sealed so that none of them will fall. Do they have libertarian free will?"

Show me chapter and verse on that, and I'll comment. As for me I think angels did fall and Satan is one of them.<<<

After the fall of 1/3 of the angels the other 2/3s are sealed:

1 Timothy 5:21 (NKJV) — 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.


Luther will straighten you out:

For if we believe it to be true, that God fore-knows and fore-ordains all things; that He can be neither deceived nor hindered in His Prescience and Predestination; and that nothing can take place but according to His Will, (which reason herself is compelled to confess;) then, even according to the testimony of reason herself, there can be no "Free-will"—in man,—in angel,—or in any creature!

Hence:—If we believe that Satan is the prince of this world, ever ensnaring and fighting against the kingdom of Christ with all his powers; and that he does not let go his captives without being forced by the Divine Power of the Spirit; it is manifest, that there can be no such thing as—"Free-will!"

Again:—If we believe that original sin has so destroyed us, that even in the godly who are led by the Spirit, it causes the utmost molestation by striving against that which is good; it is manifest, that there can be nothing left in a man devoid of the Spirit, which can turn itself towards good, but which must turn towards evil!

Again:—If the Jews, who followed after righteousness with all their powers, ran rather into unrighteousness, while the Gentiles who followed after unrighteousness attained unto a free righteousness which they never hoped for; it is equally manifest, from their very works, and from experience, that man, without grace, can do nothing but will evil!


The Bondage of the Will: Conclusion

Do you really think dumping all your silly remarks here constitutes a logical argument?

I could go on forever answering your stupidity. I've been gracious thus far but your rebellion against God is nothing more that the rootings of a hog in the dung and the mud.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>This verse is saying that if grace was involved, then you can't take credit for it as a work or as meritorious. We both agree still, but for different reasons. You think it's not meritorious and only by grace because God obliterated our free will. I think it's not meritorious and attributable to grace alone, because it could not have been done without grace. Yet both of us require the extra step of actually implementing our personal faith. It's a storm in a teacup really.<<<

More stupidity. God obliterated free will because Adam sinned. Even a child can undestand that. (2 Timothy 3:15).

In short, the loss of free will is because of Adam's original sin, which you still deny. You're a Pelagian pure and simple.

Secondly, you're lying. You want to attribute the change to grace but grace is not the deciding factor. According to you "free will" is what saves, not grace. Grace is "resistible" according to you. I say there is no grace where there is no salvation. Where there is no grace the will of necessity sins and rebels because it is enslaved by sin. There is NONE righteous, not not even ONE. (Romans 3:10-12).

I do not believe that election is contingent upon someone giving themselves faith. Election is unconditional and prior to creation (Ephesians 1:4-5). It's not based on foreseen works as you contend (Romans 9:11-13). You say that man could not set himself free by free will without grace but you contradict yourself because you know that your grace is no grace at all because it has no power to change the enslaved will. Your "grace" is resistible and defectible. It is no grace at all.

Effectual grace actually saves. We do not "implement" any "steps". That's Pelagianism. God applies justification to the elect by means of the instrument of faith. Faith is a gift. And faith itself is given through the preaching of the word. Where there is no preaching there is no faith. (Romans 10:7-17).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>It's a storm in a teacup really.<<< No, it's two completely different religions. I am a born again Christian and a Protestant "catholic" and a Reformed Anglican. You, on the other hand, are a semi-pelagian heretic at best and a pelagian at worst. Saying there is no difference between the sovereignty of God and the sovereignty of man is like saying there's no difference between the universe and one grain of sand.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Death is not a natural process. "

You're equivocating on the meaning of "natural". It's natural in the world order we now live in. It does not require super-natural intervention for death to occur.<<<

So you decide when you're born and when you're going to die? Pray tell. My Bible says that God is in charge of life and death:

Colossians 1:17 (NKJV) — 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.


Acts 17:28 (NKJV) — 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV) — 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Death comes by divine appointment:

Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) — 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Genesis 3:19 (NKJV) — 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”




Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>The fact that you said "BOTH" is a concession that you lost the argument.<<<

I did? I thought you did. You were the one that denied that original sin brought death and condemnation to all men.

Stupid you. Let me quote Paul for you one more time for emphasis. You really should learn your Scriptures, son:

For if by the one man’s offense many died... Romans 5:15

All men die because of Adam's sin.

All men are sinners because of Adam's sin:

Romans 5:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

All men are condemned by Adam's sin:

For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation

The New King James Version. 1982 (Ro 5:16). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Yes, death reigns through the sins of Adam, not guilt. Death. Corruption and death. Thanks Paul.<<<

Boy, you really ARE thick, aren't you?

Death is the punishment for Adam's sin and for our actual sins. It's both/and. The "innocent" don't die:) If anyone were born innocent, you Pelagian, they would not die and they would not sin.

The soul who sins shall die. Ezekiel 18:4

Death came into the world through Adam's original sin:

Genesis 2:17 (NKJV) — 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Romans 5:12 again.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Oh, so only the parts of the Bible that you agree with are true and rest is optional?"

Why are so obtuse? I didn't say anything like that. Not everything in the bible is "THE GOSPEL", as true as it might be. You are trying to conflate some theories you have on certain obscure topics, with THE GOSPEL. Even if your theories happen to be true, and even if per se the bible teaches them, it's not the same as saying they are "THE GOSPEL".<<<

YOU DID say that. You specifically said that Calvinism is not the Gospel because the Gospel is not the whole Bible. Well, unfortunately your ignorance is appalling. The law and the Gospel are throughout the Bible, not just in the NT or the Gospels. Also, the teaching of the Bible all fits together as a whole. To remove law and keep Gospel leaves no Gospel at all.

Secondly, without the sovereignty of God there is no Gospel since God alone can keep His Word and His promises.

Your problem is you want to judge God by your opinion and the opinions of every idiot in the street. Unfortunately for you, theology is not based on popularity but on God's infallible and inspired Scriptures. Matthew 4:4; John 10:35

Charlie J. Ray said...

--"If God does not overcome the power of sin there is no power of the will to choose the right choice."

Right. But overcoming the power of sin, and forcing a choice on you are not the same.

But your "grace" has no power to break sin. It's "resistible," remember? And God does not violate anyone's will:

Romans 2:4–5 (NKJV) — 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,


The Westminster Confession says that God does violence to no one's will:
CHAPTER III—Of God’s Eternal Decree

1. God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Heb. 6:17, Rom. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Acts 2:23, Matt. 17:12, Acts 4:27–28, John 19:11, Prov. 16:33)


The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

But why would I expect you to know the Westminster Confession? You obviously have no interest in understanding the "actual" Calvinist position. The best you can do is offer silly straw man caricatures:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"In your view, it is merely a crap shoot and God's hoping that some self righteous bastard will repent by his own power of will."

No. It's his own will WITH God's grace to overcome the corruption.

Look at Adam. His will was NOT corrupted. He could have chosen to eat the apple or not eat it. Both outcomes were possible. With us, our corrupted nature means choosing God is impossible, until God gives us the grace to overcome the corruption. When that happens we are back to the uncorrupted state of Adam. We have both choices now, just like Adam, but we can still take the wrong choice, just like Adam.<<<

Ah, thanks for conceding the obvious. You are a Pelagian. You think that common grace defaults everyone back to the sinless condition of Adam prior to the fall. Sin, for you, is following Adam's bad example and your alleged "grace" is just an excuse for your self righteousness. The real cause of sin is the will, isn't it? :) And the opposite is also true. You overcome sin with your will. Grace is just the excuse you use to default to Pelagianism.

But Augustine demolished that heresy. You really ought to do some reading in Augustine's writings:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>> --"The question is does grace overcome the inability of the will to choose Christ? Your answer is no. So the inability continues."

Grace does overcome inability and replaces it with ability. Just like Adam had ability. Ability does not imply you will always take the right choice, like Adam did not.<<<

A perfect description of Pelagianism. Thank-you.

But the Anglican Formularies disagree because they are based on Scripture:

X. Of Original or Birth Sin.
ORIGINAL sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk), but it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated, whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek phronema sarkos (which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh), is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess that concupiscence and lust hath itself the nature of sin.

X. Of Free Will.
THE condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God. Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.

39 Articles of Religion


This is particular grace and irresistible grace, not a defectible grace.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Answer: Adam thus chose, yet he was not under sin.<<<

Oh? So even before Adam was enslaved by sin he had no free will. He was predetermined by God to fall. Why did God test Adam's obedience in the first place? :)

But again, you conceded that your view is Pelagian because you think sin is following Adam's bad example.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Is it a moot point if one of the keys on the nuclear submarine is not turned? It's the difference between peace and global thermonuclear war. Doesn't sound moot to me.<<< So which is it? Free will or grace?

If grace is resistible, as you say, then for you free will is the deciding factor. Grace for you is merely generic, brand x grace that cannot enable the will to choose Christ. It's a crap shoot. Capricious:) Proverbs 16:33

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>It may be that God provides grace to everyone. But not everyone at all times. You might only get grace on one particular occasion in your whole life. That is when you have to choose God. That kind of grace is not everywhere at all times for anyone to simply choose God whenever they feel like it. That is our inability and our corrupt nature.<<<

YOu're flipflopping back and forth. Common grace means everyone gets it from birth. You're born with a common and resistible grace, allegedly. It's not particular to time and place. It's just out there someplace:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>#3 is a very confusing assertion since "punishment" is a very loaded term (one the bible never links to someone without sin) and "original sin" is not a biblical phrase, and what it means is different to a lot of people. <<<

But the doctrine is inferred from the most certain warrant of the logical propositions of Holy Scripture. It's not made up out of thin air:)

And besides, you're the one asserting # 3, not me. The Bible clearly teaches that death is punishment for sin. All die. All are guilty of Adam's orginal sin, even infants who have not sinned actual willful sins yet. Duh. Did you forget that God destroyed the earth with a flood? Genesis 6-9?

Only souls lived. Babies died. Sin. Hello?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>The issue is not whether Adam's fall results in moral inability. The issue is whether Adam's fall results in guilt.<<<

NO, the issue is that you don't believe the Bible's clear and plain statements on the guilt of the whole race which is fallen in Adam and guilty before God. (Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-23; Genesis 2:17; Romans 5:12-21). Consistent with your Pelagianism you cannot accept the logical and plain propositional statements in the text.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"moral inability is not the same curse as the curse that the creation suffers under."

I don't see any reason to split off all the problems the world fell under into dozens or hundreds of sub-curses. Anyway, I don't think it's moral for an animal to eat a man. I'm sure that won't be allowed in heaven. <<<

There is only one fall of man. The results of that one fall is multifaceted. Is it a sin for a man to kill and eat another man? Of course. And even today if an animal kills a man it is put down. We don't put down men for killing a dog.

Your logic is truly astounding. Keep up the good work. Maybe I'll use you as a example of how to lose a debate in my next logic class:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Only 8 souls survived the flood that is.

John said...

"By definition what God knows is not limited by contingencies and the vicissitudes of change."

Sorry, but you don't get to define God out of your own misunderstandings.

"In fact, if God knows the future is is absolute knowledge and there is no possibility of what God knows will happen will happen in any other way than what will actually happen."

I know lots of things without being the cause of them.

"So to follow your logic that God's knowing the definite future does not mean the future is determined by God Himself would mean that something else besides God has insured that the future will happen exactly as God knows it will. What is that something else, pray tell? Blind fate?"

Not blind fate, free will. Remember? The topic we are discussing here?

"Well there's your problem. You are following the philosophy of mere men in the street. The question is what does God's Word say? The Bible is the final authority, not popular opinion."

Yes well you see, the meaning of words *IS* determined by the man in the street. That's how language works you see. I can't redefine the meaning of words to create any doctrine I want. I suppose I could affirm that the bible teaches that God is a pink unicorn, just by redefining words like you do, but it isn't right. The bible doesn't come with a lexicon in the back, but through common meaning of words.

" You say that God intends to save those with faith. So if no one has faith God intends to save no one. All those who do not have faith are left out. And since they are all unable to have faith, it would appear that you are saying that God won't save anyone."

Who said that all are unable to have faith, with the right application of grace?

"If you are saying that God foreknows they will have faith, then you're saying that God is making His election based on the condition of foreseeing future faith. That would mean that you saved yourself by the good work or merit of your own faith while the other guy didn't give himself faith."

(a) Most people don't think that asking to be saved is meritorious in and of itself.

(b) Whether you think it is meritorious is neither here nor there, if the bible doesn't count it as such.

(c) In any case, unless you are Pelagian, which I am not, it's not your raw unadulterated free will that chooses, but rather a free will assisted by grace. So since even the free will is not able to make that decision alone, it can hardly be meritorious

(d) Christians do good works all the time, whilst giving all the glory to God. I don't see why this should be different.

(e) Your objection is pure philosophising, and isn't an argument the bible makes, so I don't see why I should give it any credence.

As for Ro 9, I'll go head to head on that if you want, but that is a discussion on its own.

John said...

"If God foreknows that something is certain to happen, then it is unchangeable. If it is changeable then God couldn't know which outcome would happen."

You are assigning temporal qualities to a non-temporal being. God can see what the outcome will be, and it is unchangeable from a certain perspective - i.e. from the perspective of someone who transcends time, but it doesn't mean he forced that outcome. You could make the same argument about a hypothetical person with a time machine, but that thought experiment shows that the mere ownership of a hypothetical time machine doesn't make you the Calvinist god.
--"If you don't understand the difference between common courtesy and divine favor or a divine gift given by the Almighty, I don't know what else I could say:)"

I guess this is another case where words don't mean what they normally mean. You get to redefine words to mean whatever you want them to mean, just because the object is God and not you to your wife. Unfortunately, language doesn't work that way. Words mean what they mean regardless of subject and object.

--"You mean everyone without exception? Then obviously He's failed miserable to do what He desires."

No, because you don't read all scripture. He wants lots of things, including to love him of your free will. He wants everyone to be saved, by accepting him, not just be saved for its own sake.

--"But I should point out that 2 Peter 3:9 is written to elect Christians".

Why does he have to be patient towards elect Christians, waiting for them to come to repentance? Haven't Christians already repented? I don't suppose the immediate context is more important than what happened 2 chapters earlier? Nah, surely not.

--"Oh, so God saves those who make themselves worthy of salvation because they gave themselves faith. "

Nope, they allowed grace to work in themselves to produce faith. Go argue with Augustine, who is supposedly your poster boy, except you disagree with most of the stuff he wrote.

--"But I have to ask how one man can set himself free while another cannot? The only answer I can come up with is he cannot. "

No, there is the other option that he will not.

--"You concede that God could save everyone but does not. So what makes your view excuse God? Suppose God sees a child being raped and murdered by a pedophile? You concede that God "could" save that child but does not do so. So how does that get God off the hook simply because He "permits" evil? "

Err.. why wouldn't it? Go talk to a lawyer about your own legal system. Merely failing to take action to prevent a crime, is not making you guilty of the crime. Even in your Florida law, your obligation to interfere in circumstances is extremely limited. If a human legal system can make such a distinction, why can't you?

In any case, this does not get Calvinism in any better situation. Whatever explanation you offer for such things, I can utilise too.

John said...

--"Of course I don't know who God will save"

So stop praying for people's salvation, because you don't know if you are praying against God's will.

--"So where does the Bible say that God gets "more glory" from saving someone than from demonstrating His justice?"

Because God only had to do nothing, and everyone would be destroyed and condemned, to his own glory. He had to go to an awful lot of trouble to save some.

--"Who are you to say that God is bound to be contingent on mere men?"

Who are you to say God can't choose to be so bound? Is your God so small that he can't make a creature with free will, then make his decisions contingent on them? Your God is very small and weak that he can't do those things. Go read Genesis sometime, about how God reacts to what man does. Go read Genesis 6 how God was "sorry" he made man, because of all the evil he does. Go read Jonah 3, and saw how they repented and had compassion and did not destroy them. Unfortunately you worship the Muslim god, and not the God revealed in the bible.

--"Well, it's way different since for someone to have "free will" they would need to be free from any determination of the will whatsoever. Since you've already conceded that all sin of necessity and "inclination", how is it that they have "free will" according to you?"

Because God by grace overcomes the corruption to give us the ability.

--"I have no objections whatsoever to anyone asking for God to save them:) Stupid you. "

Actually you do have an objection. You contend that were someone able to do it, they would be saved by works. You see? You do object to it. Thus my question remains, why pray for someone's salvation, since if it influenced God, they would be saved by your prayer and thus by works?

--"It's odd that you never quote Scripture to justify your belligerence against the Almighty:)"

Not much point quoting scripture against your non-scriptural philosophising. Like here, you quote John 6:44, which I agree with. Nobody comes to God unless he draws them. It's called grace. But if you want scripture here it is: John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

--"God is partly sovereign and the rest runs like a machine?"

I don't see any need to pit God as sovereign over and against nature as a machine. But yet, nature does work like a machine. Gravity works.

--"All things does not mean "some things" the last I checked"

That's rich, coming from a Calvinist.

Actually, the context does put some limits on it. He works all things "that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." In other words, he does all things necessary for the elect, not necessarily that he interferes continuously.

John said...


--"What makes one man better than the other? His own meritorious "decision" according to you.”

(a) being different is not equivalent to being meritorious.

(b) why does the Calvinist God save one person over another? Either it is a completely random crap shoot (... but how can God be random? Besides you told me, God works everything according to his will), or else... there is something different about one person than another. If there is something different, then by your logic there is something meritorious about them.

You see, you make condundrums which you yourself cannot escape from.

(c) Even if mere will were meritorious, we wouldn’t be saved by that meritorious act, or deserving of being saved because of it.

--“Just because we are weak and experience contingency does not mean that God does.”

Except that the bible, especially in the old testament, God is often said to experience contingencies. God is angry, man repents, then God has mercy and doesn’t destroy them like he was going to.

I know its uncomfortable for you that your views of God, while interesting don’t align with the bible.

"So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people." Exodus 32:14

--“Don't be ridiculous:) Why would I pray for that?”

Why not? You claim that you don’t pray to influence God, only that maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll pray something that God was going to do anyway. So what’s wrong with praying for death and destruction? Maybe it is what God predestined, and thereby it will bring God glory. In fact, pray for the damnation of your wife and kids and the people at your church. It may well be they are not elect and their damnation will bring God glory, and it may well be what God predestined. And you wouldn’t want to pray for their salvation if it isn’t God’s will. So go for it! Pray for the damnation of everyone around you, to the glory of God!

--“ charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things”

Does elect mean lacking in free will and unable to sin? But you (claim to be) elect, and yet you sin.

--“Election is unconditional and prior to creation (Ephesians 1:4-5).”

This refers to a group, not individuals.

--“It's not based on foreseen works as you contend (Romans 9:11-13)”

No, it’s by faith. Ro 9:32. Keep reading that chapter, don’t get stuck there.

--“You say that man could not set himself free by free will without grace but you contradict yourself because you know that your grace is no grace at all because it has no power to change the enslaved will. “

It disenslaves the will enough to choose God. That is grace enough.

John said...

--“ Your "grace" is resistible and defectible. It is no grace at all.”

It must be something because even most Calvinists believe in non-saving grace.

--“And faith itself is given through the preaching of the word. Where there is no preaching there is no faith. (Romans 10:7-17).”

Odd that a supernatural gift, predestined from the foundation of the world would need preaching, but whatever.

--“So you decide when you're born and when you're going to die? Pray tell. My Bible says that God is in charge of life and death: Colossians 1:17 Acts 17:28 (NKJV) Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV) Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) Genesis 3:19 (NKJV)

None of these verses say anything like what you claim.

--“Romans 5:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men”

Yes, death, not guilt.

--“All men are condemned by Adam's sin: Ro 5:16 For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation”

The condemnation of the world from Adam, is death (v15), not personal guilt outside of our own sin.

--“Death is the punishment for Adam's sin and for our actual sins. It's both/and. “

The bible NEVER calls it a punishment for individuals, only a general judgment on the world. Why do you want to force down my throat this unbiblical doctrine?

--“The soul who sins shall die. Ezekiel 18:4”

Yes, and you keep going through contortions to claim that the one who doesn’t sin... sins. For your next trick I suppose you’ll show that black is white and you’ll disappear in a puff of logic.

--“YOU DID say that. You specifically said that Calvinism is not the Gospel because the Gospel is not the whole Bible. Well, unfortunately your ignorance is appalling. The law and the Gospel are throughout the Bible, not just in the NT or the Gospels.”

No, I didn’t say that the Gospel can’t be found in various parts of the bible. I said that not all the bible is the Gospel. Genesis 3:1 for example is not the Gospel. I also said that any one of the Gospels must contain the Gospel. If you can’t show 5 point Calvinism from the Gospel of Mark, then its not the Gospel.

--“Ah, thanks for conceding the obvious. You are a Pelagian. You think that common grace defaults everyone back to the sinless condition of Adam prior to the fall.”

(a) That’s not Pelagianism. Amazing how you remain willfully ignorant, when you’ve been corrected.

(b) That’s not my position. Amazing how many times I can explain my position but you insist on roasting the straw man. I never said that common grace puts people back to the position. It may well be special grace. It may be that God at one time in your life gives you a specially crafted special grace to give you a chance. The bible isn’t specific about it. But since Calvinists historically spent a lot of time anathemetizing and condemning each other over the question of whether there is common grace and if so what it is, it doesn’t seem to be much problem.


--“A perfect description of Pelagianism. Thank-you.”

Puhlease. Do you realise that when you misuse terms like this, it really makes you look willfully ignorant?

--“But again, you conceded that your view is Pelagian because you think sin is following Adam's bad example.”

This must be getting embarrassing for you. Pelagianism is that sin is *MERELY* following Adam’s example. Anybody who teaches that the world is corrupted is not Pelagian.

---“YOu're flipflopping back and forth. Common grace means everyone gets it from birth. You're born with a common and resistible grace, allegedly. It's not particular to time and place. It's just out there someplace:)”

If I’d stated my position as common grace, sure. But since that isn’t my position, let the straw men burn.
























John said...

What is totally astonishing about this, is I can side with Augustine on these issues and be condemned as a Pelagian. That's how ridiculous this is.

Charlie J. Ray said...

What is astonishing is your ignorance of what Augustine said in toto. While he did allow for apostasy, that is not the same thing as saying that election can be lost.

A Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints

CHAP. 3 [II.]—EVEN THE BEGINNING OF FAITH IS OF GOD’S GIFT.

Therefore I ought first to show that the faith by which we are Christians is the gift of God, if I can do that more thoroughly than I have already done in so many and so large volumes. But I see that I must now reply to those who say that the divine testimonies which I have adduced concerning this matter are of avail for this purpose, to assure us that we have faith itself of ourselves, but that its increase is of God; as if faith were not given to us by Him, but were only increased in us by Him, on the ground of the merit of its having begun from us. Thus there is here no departure from that opinion which Pelagius himself was constrained to condemn in the judgment of the bishops of Palestine, as is testified in the same Proceedings, “That the grace of God is given according to our merits,”5 if it is not of God’s grace that we begin to believe, but rather that on account of this beginning an addition is made to us of a more full and perfect belief; and so we first give the beginning of our faith to God, that His supplement may also be given to us again, and whatever else we faithfully ask.

CHAP. 4.—CONTINUATION OF THE PRECEDING.

But why do we not, in opposition to this, rather hear the words, “Who hath first given to Him and it shall be recompensed to him again? since of Him, and through Him, and in Him, are all things”? [Rom. 11.35.] And from whom, then, is that very beginning of our faith if not from Him? For this is not excepted when other things are spoken of as of Him; but “of Him, and through Him, and in Him, are all things.” But who can say that he who has already begun to believe deserves nothing from Him in whom he has believed? Whence it results that, to him who already deserves, other things are said to be added by a divine retribution, and thus that God’s grace is given according to our merits. And this assertion when put before him, Pelagius himself condemned, that he might not be condemned. Whoever, then, wishes on every side to avoid this condemnable opinion, let him understand that what the apostle says is said with entire truthfulness, “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” [Phil. 1.29] He shows that both are the gifts of God, because he said that both were given. And he does not say, “to believe on Him more fully and perfectly,’’ but, “to believe on Him.” Neither does he say that he himself had obtained mercy to be more faithful, but “to be faithful,” [1 Cor. 7.25.] because he knew that he had not first given the beginning of his faith to God, and had its increase given back to him again by Him; but that he had been made faithful by God, who also had made him an apostle. For the beginnings of his faith are recorded, and they are very well known by being read in the church on an occasion calculated to distinguish them: how, being turned away from the faith which he was destroying, and being vehemently opposed to it, he was suddenly by a more powerful grace converted to it, by the conversion of Him, to whom as One who would do this very thing it was said by the prophet, “Thou wilt turn and quicken us;” [Psalm 85.6.] so that not only from one who refused to believe he was made a willing believer, but, moreover, from being a persecutor, he suffered persecution in defence of that faith which he persecuted. Because it was given him by Christ “not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”


Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“ Your "grace" is resistible and defectible. It is no grace at all.”

It must be something because even most Calvinists believe in non-saving grace.<<<

Common grace is not grace. Simply because modernist neo-Calvinists have rejected traditional Calvinism does not justify your view. But even so, the neo-Calvinists do not teach that common grace is the same things as "irresistible grace". The three points of "common grace" are better called "general providence" since that is what the Westminster Confession calls it.

CHAPTER V—Of Providence

1. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, (Heb. 1:3) direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, (Dan. 4:34–35, Ps. 135:6, Acts 17:25–26,28) from the greatest even to the least, (Matt. 10:29–31) by His most wise and holy providence, (Prov. 15:3, Ps. 104:24, Ps. 145:17) according to His infallible foreknowledge, (Acts 15:18, Ps. 94:8–11) and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, (Eph. 1:11) to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy. (Isa. 63:14, Eph. 3:10, Rom. 9:17, Gen. 45:7, Ps. 145:7)


The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“And faith itself is given through the preaching of the word. Where there is no preaching there is no faith. (Romans 10:7-17).”

Odd that a supernatural gift, predestined from the foundation of the world would need preaching, but whatever.<<<<

What is odd that you do not understand that God works through appointed means. If there is no appointed means or ways that God brings about His will, then everything is uncertain and contingent from God's perspective and He would not be in control of anything that happens in general or particular:

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. (1 Pet. 1:2, Eph. 1:4–5, Eph. 2:10, 2 Thess. 2:13) Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, (1 Thess. 5:9–10, 1 Tit. 2:14) are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified,adopted, sanctified, (Rom. 8:30, Eph. 1:5, 2 Thess. 2:13) and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. (1 Pet. 1:5) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. (John 17:9, Rom. 8:28, John 6:64–65, John 10:26, John 8:47, 1 John 2:19) WCF 3:6 Of God's Eternal Decree

The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.



Pray tell, how else would all the details happen just as they do if God had not appointed certain means of accomplishing what He had previously decreed?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“And faith itself is given through the preaching of the word. Where there is no preaching there is no faith. (Romans 10:7-17).”

Odd that a supernatural gift, predestined from the foundation of the world would need preaching, but whatever.<<<<

What is odd that you do not understand that God works through appointed means. If there is no appointed means or ways that God brings about His will, then everything is uncertain and contingent from God's perspective and He would not be in control of anything that happens in general or particular:

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. (1 Pet. 1:2, Eph. 1:4–5, Eph. 2:10, 2 Thess. 2:13) Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ, (1 Thess. 5:9–10, 1 Tit. 2:14) are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified,adopted, sanctified, (Rom. 8:30, Eph. 1:5, 2 Thess. 2:13) and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation. (1 Pet. 1:5) Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only. (John 17:9, Rom. 8:28, John 6:64–65, John 10:26, John 8:47, 1 John 2:19) WCF 3:6 Of God's Eternal Decree

The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.



Pray tell, how else would all the details happen just as they do if God had not appointed certain means of accomplishing what He had previously decreed?

Charlie J. Ray said...

Also, you've ignored the stipulation for posting here. You have not identified yourself or what church you belong to other than a generic blog page with no identification there either.

Charlie J. Ray said...

What's really odd is that you think saving faith is possible apart from God's appointed means. Perhaps you are a liberal after all? :)

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) — 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Romans 10:12–15 (NKJV) — 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“So you decide when you're born and when you're going to die? Pray tell. My Bible says that God is in charge of life and death: Colossians 1:17 Acts 17:28 (NKJV) Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV) Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) Genesis 3:19 (NKJV)

None of these verses say anything like what you claim.<<<

It goes without saying that these verses are God's Word. You pretend, like Satan, to usurp the prerogatives and attributes of God Himself. The assertion is so ridiculous that it needs no answer on my part. But thanks for admitting that you have no explanation for why you do not believe what these verses plainly teach: God is sovereign over life and death. You, on the other hand, think you gave yourself life and you get to decided when you will die. Unless you're planning to commit suicide, that would be absurd:) Of course, even if you committed suicide even that would not be solely your choice for everything that happens--even suicide--is under God's secret decree. He softens the hearts of whom He wills to save and He hardens the hearts of those whom He wills to harden.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Romans 5:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men”

Yes, death, not guilt.<<<

Pelagianism again. Death proves guilt. The result of both Adam's first sin and all actual sins proceeding from that first sin is DEATH. The death penalty is not an indication of innocence. But, once again, thanks for tacitly admitting your blatant Pelagianism.

By the way, you've yet to support any of your nonsense from either Scripture OR the church fathers. If you cannot do more than simply spout empty heresies and if you do not identify who you are I will not continue this waste of my valuable time.

I have better things to do than argue with reprobates who refuse to think or reason from the Scriptures.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“All men are condemned by Adam's sin: Ro 5:16 For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation”

The condemnation of the world from Adam, is death (v15), not personal guilt outside of our own sin.<<<

Let's try this one more time. Just for emphasis. You're obstinately pigheaded but obviously cannot understand logic. Paul says that sin came into the world through one man's sin, Adam. Because of Adam all men become sinners. The penalty for Adam's sin for himself and for all men was death. All men died after Adam sinned, even those who did not sin after Adam's example. All men are sinners not because they "become" sinners but because of Adam's first sin. That's what Paul says. And they are "born" sinners. So the penalty for sin, both original sin and actual and willful sins is death. Death is not some benign thing that just happened. No, death is the curse of God rendered to all mankind since Adam because of Adam's rebellion:

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) — 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Death is condemnation:

Romans 5:18 (NKJV) — 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, ...

It's fairly obvious that you cannot read the Bible for what it plainly says. All die because they are all condemned by one man's offense. They are all condemned by original sin, which original sin results in making all men sinners. But stupid Pelagians refuse, like pigs trying to root out the truth, to understand what even a school boy can see and understand.

If you cannot admit what the Scriptures teach, we have nothing else to discuss. I've got better things to do that argue in circles with puerile delinquents.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Death is the punishment for Adam's sin and for our actual sins. It's both/and. “

The bible NEVER calls it a punishment for individuals, only a general judgment on the world. Why do you want to force down my throat this unbiblical doctrine?<<<

The last I checked the man in the street is not the source of "biblical doctrine". The Bible is the final authority. Since you either cannot read with comprehension or you refuse because of your presuppositions to see what the Scriptures plainly teach, it is not I who "forces" biblical doctrine down your throat. It is God Himself who said it. If choke on it, it's because you refuse to chew and swallow what the Almighty says.

Romans 5:16 (NKJV) — 16 ...For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

Oddly enough, you want to make grace general but you can't, because of your Pelagianism, understand that condemnation is on all men. If condemnation is not on all men, then why would they need a Savior? Pray tell? :)

According to you, all they need to do is not sin and then they will not be condemned like Adam was:) Pelagianism. Oh, brother. Like slippery eels liars and dissimulators like yourself change positions from one moment to the next as the situational ethics change.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“The soul who sins shall die. Ezekiel 18:4”

Yes, and you keep going through contortions to claim that the one who doesn’t sin... sins. For your next trick I suppose you’ll show that black is white and you’ll disappear in a puff of logic.<<<

Oh, MORE Pelagianism. Well, since the Bibles says that there is NO ONE who does not sin, then your assertion that the one who doesn't sin is a hypothetical that never materializes:) JESUS ALONE IS WITHOUT SIN.

Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV) — 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

John says that if Christians claim to be without sin, we make God a liar. If that is true of Christians, how much more true is it of the unconverted???

1 John 1:8 (NKJV) — 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

There is no one who is not a sinner:

Romans 3:10–12 (NKJV) — 10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”


Furthermore, the Bible says that infants are not born "innocent". They are born sinful and conceived in sin and from the moment of birth men are wicked and go astray:

Psalm 51:5 (NKJV) — 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalm 58:3 (NKJV) — 3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

You are of your father the devil, a promoter of lies and deception:

John 8:32–47 (NKJV) — 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” 39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>No, I didn’t say that the Gospel can’t be found in various parts of the bible. I said that not all the bible is the Gospel. Genesis 3:1 for example is not the Gospel. I also said that any one of the Gospels must contain the Gospel. If you can’t show 5 point Calvinism from the Gospel of Mark, then its not the Gospel.<<<

This is a rabbit trail. When I said Calvinism IS the Gospel, I was equating the systematic teaching of the Bible on the whole Gospel message with Calvinism. Your weak attempt to side track is duly noted.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>I never said that common grace puts people back to the position. It may well be special grace. It may be that God at one time in your life gives you a specially crafted special grace to give you a chance. The bible isn’t specific about it.<<<

I've shaken up your world I guess. Make up your mind. A doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways. EITHER grace is given to all men without exception OR it is given only to those who then become believers as a result of that grace. The only other way to understand your nonsense is that your defectible, resistible grace is not common to all men but only to a few. Which view are you advocating or do you even know? The Arminian/semi-pelagian view is that grace is given to all men without exception. As you already admitted above, this grace sets men from from depravity and makes them as pure and innocent as Adam himself before the fall. Wonder of wonders:) And they "become" sinners after receiving common grace by committing their first sin. All they gotta do is just will not to sin since their "will" is "free". A free will is not a slave to sin:)

But oddly enough the only man who never sins his whole life is JESUS. Figure it out, Einstein. WHY? :)

Free will defaults to slavery in sin. Good grief. Even a child can see that everyone since Adam is predetermined to sin by the sinful nature that they inherited from Adam. AND they DIE because they are legally charged with Adam's original sin. Death is a curse, not a benign blessing. Original sin is imputed to everyone.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>But since Calvinists historically spent a lot of time anathemetizing and condemning each other over the question of whether there is common grace and if so what it is, it doesn’t seem to be much problem.<<

It's not my problem if modernists and Van Tilians have duped neo-Calvinists into irrationalism:)

But Calvin himself never taught "common grace". And more to the point, you claim that "common grace" renders man innocent of Adam's guilt at birth. Even neo-Calvinists call that Pelagianism. Also, you claim that common grace enables "free will". Neo-Calvinists do not. They still believe in the doctrine of total inability of the will, the bondage of the will to sin.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>-“A perfect description of Pelagianism. Thank-you.”

Puhlease. Do you realise that when you misuse terms like this, it really makes you look willfully ignorant?<<<

And don't you realize you have cut the limb from beneath you so many times in this conversation that it goes without saying?

You're even backpeddling on whether or not your defectible grace is common or particular to individual cases:) I might be getting somewhere with you after all?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>-“But again, you conceded that your view is Pelagian because you think sin is following Adam's bad example.”

This must be getting embarrassing for you. Pelagianism is that sin is *MERELY* following Adam’s example. Anybody who teaches that the world is corrupted is not Pelagian.<<<

What's embarrassing is that you have shit all over your face but refuse to see it in the mirror of God's Word.

Malachi 2:3 (AV) — 3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it.

If Pelagianism is "*MERELY* following Adam's bad example" you're still guilty. You claim that no one is born guilty of Adam's sin or charged with it. Paul says otherwise. Also, you claim that common grace is given to all so that they are now "innocent" like Adam, and not born sinful or unable. I've already quoted the Scriptures that expose you as a hypocrite and a liar. Everyone is born guilty of Adam's sin; everyone without exception sins because sin came from Adam's first sin. Everyone dies because of sin, both Adam's first sin and because of their own sins.

Psalm 130:3 (AV) — 3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

Let's see some more of your backpeddling and equivocation? You're a Pelagian but not really a Pelagian because you think you qualified your Pelagianism with the word "merely". Great logic:)



Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>---“YOu're flipflopping back and forth. Common grace means everyone gets it from birth. You're born with a common and resistible grace, allegedly. It's not particular to time and place. It's just out there someplace:)”

If I’d stated my position as common grace, sure. But since that isn’t my position, let the straw men burn.<<<

Now you're ducking and diving. First you say all men have grace and now when I pinned your squirming and slippery tactics to the ground with a shovel, you attempt to say that common grace is really particular grace but a resistible and defectible grace. That raises another question: If everyone does not receive your "resistible" grace, then how is your god just? He's withholding salvation by not giving grace since all are sinners, remember? :)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"What makes one man better than the other? His own meritorious "decision" according to you.”

(a) being different is not equivalent to being meritorious.<<<

Ah, so consistently with your Pelagianism, you now say some men are sinful and others are sinless. That would be odd since Paul says all have sinned. (Romans 3:23). Jesus alone was sinless. (2 Corinthians 5:21)



>>>(b) why does the Calvinist God save one person over another? Either it is a completely random crap shoot (... but how can God be random? Besides you told me, God works everything according to his will), or else... there is something different about one person than another. If there is something different, then by your logic there is something meritorious about them.<<<

This one is easy to refute:) First of all, since EVERYONE should go to hell, the reason God chooses to save a few out of the sinful lump of mankind is that He wanted to bring glory to Himself by showing mercy and pardon to the undeserving. It's not a "crap shoot" but the King's sovereign decree. Why would you question God's authority to grant mercy to whom He wills to give it? I suppose you would rather that everyone should get what they deserve and bust hell wide open along with Mother Teresa and John Paul II and a host of Eastern Orthodox patriarchs?

>>>You see, you make condundrums which you yourself cannot escape from.<<<<

There is nothing enigmatic about grace. Obviously those who receive it come to saving faith. (John 3:3-8). Those who do not receive it are damned. (1 Peter 2:8). The trouble is you keep second guessing God's authority over you. Don't you fear God at all? Surely you know that you must answer to God's charges and not the other way around?

Romans 3:2–8 (ESV) — 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Just because we are weak and experience contingency does not mean that God does.”

Except that the bible, especially in the old testament, God is often said to experience contingencies. God is angry, man repents, then God has mercy and doesn’t destroy them like he was going to.

I know its uncomfortable for you that your views of God, while interesting don’t align with the bible.<<<

Ah, so you think the anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms in the OT make God a mere man? Don't you know that these are only there to help man relate to what God is "like" but do not express that God is literally a "man"? We are not God and God is not us:)

Furthermore, the Bible clearly says that God does not change or shift shape like you do:

CHAPTER II—Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

1. There is but one only, (Deut. 6:4, 1 Cor. 8:4–6) living, and true God, (1 Thess. 1:9, Jer. 10:10) who is infinite in being and perfection, (Job 11:7–9, Job 26:14) a most pure spirit, (John 4:24) invisible, (1 Tim. 1:17) without body, parts, (Deut. 4:15–16, John 4:24, Luke 24:39) or passions; (Acts 14:11,15) immutable, (James 1:17, Mal. 3:6) immense, (1 Kings 8:27, Jer. 23:23–24) eternal, (Ps. 90:2, 1 Tim. 1:17) incomprehensible, (Ps. 145:3) almighty, (Gen. 17:1, Rev. 4:8) most wise, (Rom. 16:27) most holy, (Isa. 6:3, Rev. 4:8) most free, (Ps. 115:3) most absolute; (Exod. 3:14) working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, (Eph. 1:11) for His own glory;


The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

The 39 Articles say the same thing:

Article I
Of faith in the Holy Trinity

There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people." Exodus 32:14<<<

Exodus 32:14 (ESV) — 14 And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

God speaks to humans in real time. It would not be odd that an eternal God gives conditional statements in regards to rewards and punishments for obedience and disobedience. It does not mean that "God changed His mind..." That would be silly since God already knew that the people would repent. How could an omniscient God not know the future?

In fact, even Septuagint or LXX, the Greek translation of this verse does not use the word for "repent" or "change the mind" (metanoia) but rather uses the word hilaskomai, to appease, be gracious. The middle voice in Greek indicates it is reflexive and refers back to God. In other words, God was appeased and chose to be gracious, not that He "changed His mind."

καὶ ἱλάσθη κύριος περὶ τῆς κακίας, ἧς εἶπεν ποιῆσαι τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ.

Septuaginta: With morphology. 1996 (Ex 32:14). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.

Again, this is an anthropomorphism or anthropopathism, not that God literally is apppeased in the human sense of it. God never changes but He does relate to us on our human level since He is immanent in the real world of time and space.

See: Does God Repent?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Don't be ridiculous:) Why would I pray for that?”

Why not? You claim that you don’t pray to influence God, only that maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll pray something that God was going to do anyway. So what’s wrong with praying for death and destruction? Maybe it is what God predestined, and thereby it will bring God glory. In fact, pray for the damnation of your wife and kids and the people at your church. It may well be they are not elect and their damnation will bring God glory, and it may well be what God predestined. And you wouldn’t want to pray for their salvation if it isn’t God’s will. So go for it! Pray for the damnation of everyone around you, to the glory of God!<<<

When I am God I'll let you know:) But since I'm not God I must obey God's revealed will in the moral law, namely that I must love God and my neighbor. Jesus raised the standard even higher and said that we are to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44). He also commanded us to pray for those who persecute us. (Mt. 5:44).

Again, you can't seem to distinguish the absolute gulf between God and the creature. God is God and you are not God:)

Romans 11:33–36 (ESV) — 33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.


BTW, the imprecatory psalms do pray for God's curses on the enemies of God. I suppose David might have prayed for your destruction. Good thing that Jesus raised the standard and commanded us to pray for the enemies of the Gospel. Cf. Psalm 137:7-9

May God grant you the grace to believe the Gospel of sovereign, unmerited grace.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“ charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things”

Does elect mean lacking in free will and unable to sin? But you (claim to be) elect, and yet you sin.<<<

Bait and switch again:) I'm not an elect angel. DUH! Angels are not charged with Adam's sin nor do they inherit the sinful nature by natural generation since angels are not given to marriage or having children.

Mark 12:25–26 (ESV) — 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Election is unconditional and prior to creation (Ephesians 1:4-5).”

This refers to a group, not individuals.<<<

Oh? Which group is that? The Philistines or the Hittites? Maybe it refers to the Romans or the Greeks or the Buddhists or the Muslims as a groups?

As if God does not know which individuals are elect?

2 Timothy 2:19 (ESV) — 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“It's not based on foreseen works as you contend (Romans 9:11-13)”

No, it’s by faith. Ro 9:32. Keep reading that chapter, don’t get stuck there.
<<<<

All Scripture is inspired by God, not just the parts that agree with your heresies:) Scripture is interpreted by other Scripture. Since faith is a gift, you have no room to boast that you saved yourself by believing. (Ephesians 2:8-9). What's the difference between the believer and the unbeliever in your view? The believer gave himself faith and the unbeliever did not? Free will? So you're boasting that you repented because "you" chose to do so and he didn't repent because he chose not to. You're bragging on yourself.

But for the grace of God I would be an idiot, too:) I deserve hell like you do but God chose to have mercy and grant me, a miserable sinner, the grace to believe. It's all of grace from beginning to end. Augustine said that, too, btw.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“You say that man could not set himself free by free will without grace but you contradict yourself because you know that your grace is no grace at all because it has no power to change the enslaved will. “

It disenslaves the will enough to choose God. That is grace enough.<<<

So you admit that you're defaulting back to Pelagianism. The real reason men are lost is that they follow Adam's bad example? You are attributing salvation to the first merit of giving yourself faith by your own free will while the other guy was too stupid to do the right thing? You are just a little better than the next guy?

Don't you see that you deserve hell? Only God's grace can open the eyes of dead men that they may live again. It's all of grace and where that grace is given dead men live again. (John 5:24-25; Ephesians 2:1-5).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Of course I don't know who God will save"

So stop praying for people's salvation, because you don't know if you are praying against God's will.<<<

God is able to save whomever He wills at His discretion though. So when my prayers are aligned with God's will in heaven, "Thy will be done" then God's answer to my prayers is "yes". You, however, cannot pray for God to change anyone's heart since according to you that would be "forcing" that person against his own crap shoot choice between two equal choices. Libertarian free will makes good and evil equal, which they are not. My God, however, is perfectly just in saving whom He wants to save and damning whom He wants to damn.

The fact that God should damn everyone makes it grace and mercy when someone is given an effectual call and regeneration. (John 1:13). You, on the other hand, say that those who give themselves faith "deserve" to be saved by a grace that includes the merit of a "free will choice". You're siding with Pelagius and against Augustine.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"So where does the Bible say that God gets "more glory" from saving someone than from demonstrating His justice?"

Because God only had to do nothing, and everyone would be destroyed and condemned, to his own glory. He had to go to an awful lot of trouble to save some.
<<<

I asked you to substantiate your opinion from Scripture. It would appear that you are unable to do so!

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Who are you to say that God is bound to be contingent on mere men?"

Who are you to say God can't choose to be so bound?<<<

God cannot "choose" to be bound by anything other than what He is by nature. God, for example, cannot lie. Titus 1:2 (ESV) — 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began


God cannot make Himself less than God.

The fact of the matter is your god is not the God of the Bible.



>>>Is your God so small that he can't make a creature with free will, then make his decisions contingent on them? Your God is very small and weak that he can't do those things. Go read Genesis sometime, about how God reacts to what man does. Go read Genesis 6 how God was "sorry" he made man, because of all the evil he does. Go read Jonah 3, and saw how they repented and had compassion and did not destroy them. Unfortunately you worship the Muslim god, and not the God revealed in the bible.<<<

As I said above, your god is too small. The God of the Bible is not a mere man:

1 Samuel 2:6 (ESV) — 6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

1 Samuel 2:2 (ESV) — 2 “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Well, it's way different since for someone to have "free will" they would need to be free from any determination of the will whatsoever. Since you've already conceded that all sin of necessity and "inclination", how is it that they have "free will" according to you?"

Because God by grace overcomes the corruption to give us the ability.<<<<

Read: Defaults back to Pelagianism:) If men have no bondage of the will, then surely they would all choose to be righteous? But no, you say they all follow Adam's bad example. Wonder WHY? :)

>>>--"I have no objections whatsoever to anyone asking for God to save them:) Stupid you. "

Actually you do have an objection. You contend that were someone able to do it, they would be saved by works. You see? You do object to it. Thus my question remains, why pray for someone's salvation, since if it influenced God, they would be saved by your prayer and thus by works?<<<

No, my objection is that you do not see the logic that if some is able to set themselves free it is a work of man. That's simple enough.

Secondly, my prayers don't "influence" God since God does not change:) God influences ME through prayer by giving me faith that when my petitions are answered I have faith that God rewards my faith with affirmative answers. When He says no I learn discipline to persevere in faith even when God does not answer the way I wanted. That's why Jesus taught us to pray: THY WILL BE DONE.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>--"It's odd that you never quote Scripture to justify your belligerence against the Almighty:)"

Not much point quoting scripture against your non-scriptural philosophising. Like here, you quote John 6:44, which I agree with. Nobody comes to God unless he draws them. It's called grace. But if you want scripture here it is: John 12:32 “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”<<<<

Wonderful news:) Everyone is going to be saved and no one is going to hell. Universalism. I knew you were a liberal:)

If God draws all individuals without exception then they will all come to Him, surely:)

Otherwise, what's the point of making a meaningless statement of a drawing that is a crap shoot?

God saves His Sheep they follow Him. John 10:1-25

Charlie J. Ray said...

I'm not the one rationalizing away what Scripture says. That would be you. That's why you don't know the Scriptures or how to understand the Bible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"God is partly sovereign and the rest runs like a machine?"

I don't see any need to pit God as sovereign over and against nature as a machine. But yet, nature does work like a machine. Gravity works.<<<

So your god did not create the universe nor does He sustain it. Wow. The universe exists on its own apart from God and sustains itself apart from God's power?

I guess the universe is another god in the form of materialistic panenthism?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"All things does not mean "some things" the last I checked"

That's rich, coming from a Calvinist.

Actually, the context does put some limits on it. He works all things "that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory." In other words, he does all things necessary for the elect, not necessarily that he interferes continuously.<<<

What's rich is that you want to say all men can save themselves by giving themselves faith by their own free will and on the other hand you limit God so that the universe sustains and runs itself apart from God's providence and superintendence. Amazing logic there, Sherlock:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"If God foreknows that something is certain to happen, then it is unchangeable. If it is changeable then God couldn't know which outcome would happen."

You are assigning temporal qualities to a non-temporal being.<<< That's rich coming from someone who claims that God repents, changes His mind and that God has no power over the intricate details of a materialistic universe that runs itself like a machine. I'm truly astounded:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>God can see what the outcome will be, and it is unchangeable from a certain perspective - i.e. from the perspective of someone who transcends time, but it doesn't mean he forced that outcome. You could make the same argument about a hypothetical person with a time machine, but that thought experiment shows that the mere ownership of a hypothetical time machine doesn't make you the Calvinist god.<<<<

Stuff just happens by itself. God has no power over it. Gotcha. Why pray? Evil just is. God can't do anything about it. Right:)


--"If you don't understand the difference between common courtesy and divine favor or a divine gift given by the Almighty, I don't know what else I could say:)"

I guess this is another case where words don't mean what they normally mean. You get to redefine words to mean whatever you want them to mean, just because the object is God and not you to your wife. Unfortunately, language doesn't work that way. Words mean what they mean regardless of subject and object.<<<<

So you're saying that words have a necessary connection with reason and logic and propositional truth claims? I agree. The question is whether or not your logic is consistent, which it isn't.

I'm not the one redefining the biblical doctrine of grace as merely "courtesy" as you are the one confusing two completely different contexts and word meanings in some ambiguous attempt to justify denigrating grace to a mere human level.

Grace, as defined by Scripture, is not to do with relationships between human beings. Rather grace, according to Scripture, is an expression of divine favor, mercy, and forgiveness to eternally offensive and sinful human beings who deserve justice, punishment and hell. It's a "gift" that is not merited, earned, or deserved.

"3. practical application of goodwill, a (sign of) favor, gracious deed or gift, benefaction—

b. on the part of God and Christ; the context will show whether the emphasis is upon the possession of divine grace as a source of blessings for the believer, or upon a store of grace that is dispensed, or a state of grace (i.e. standing in God’s favor) that is brought about, or a deed of grace wrought by God in Christ, or a work of grace that grows fr. more to more."


Arndt, W., Gingrich, F. W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (1979). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature : A translation and adaption of the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer's Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schrift en des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur (877). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"You mean everyone without exception? Then obviously He's failed miserably to do what He desires."

No, because you don't read all scripture. He wants lots of things, including to love him of your free will. He wants everyone to be saved, by accepting him, not just be saved for its own sake.<<<

More of your irrational philosophizing I guess? The golden idol of "libertarian free will". If God's will can be frustrated, then why pray for anything? The world is a machine and outside God's control. Men's will keeps God in suspense and He's wringing His hands hoping beyond hope someone will save themselves with their own "free" will. Oddly, that "free" will is a "slave to sin" according to Jesus (John 8:34).

If God wants all men to be saved, surely He would just save them, wouldn't He? Obviously, an omnipotent and omniscient God can do anything. If, as you say, God limits Himself (which is impossible since God is by nature God), then it would follow that God deliberately leaves men to save themselves by their own capricious wills, a crap shoot between two "libertarian" choices.

So again, if God sit idlely by while men are drowning and perishing, how does that remove God's culpability for their demise into hell forever? God "could" save them but instead leaves them to their devices and "free" will. If a life guard sat by while people were drowning he or she would be legally responsible for the death of those people who were drowning.

Free will does not get your limited god off the hook. And worse, the God of the Bible is all powerful. He created the ocean and the tides that are sucking people down. He is in control of nature and natural disasters. (Isaiah 45:7). God sends earthquakes, famines, floods, tsunamis and hurricanes.

But you think free will somehow gets God off the hook. hmmmm

Charlie J. Ray said...

-"But I should point out that 2 Peter 3:9 is written to elect Christians".

Why does he have to be patient towards elect Christians, waiting for them to come to repentance? Haven't Christians already repented? I don't suppose the immediate context is more important than what happened 2 chapters earlier? Nah, surely not.<<<

So you concede that this is written to Christians who have been tempted to backslide during persecution and it is not written to every single individual in the world. Great:) We're getting somewhere.

And since God's prescriptive will is that backslidden Christians "should" repent so that they will not perish, that surely does not contradict His sovereign decrees. Conditional statements in Scripture are for "our" benefit not God's benefit.

The same thing applies to Ezkiel 18:20ff. It's written to the nation of Israel, not to all nations and individuals in general.


The other nations were all lost. Only Israel was saved just as during the flood only Noah and his family were saved:


Ezekiel 18:30–32 (ESV) — 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”

1 Peter 3:20 (ESV) — 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Oh, so God saves those who make themselves worthy of salvation because they gave themselves faith. "

Nope, they allowed grace to work in themselves to produce faith. Go argue with Augustine, who is supposedly your poster boy, except you disagree with most of the stuff he wrote.<<<

God needs man's permission to save them? Since in your construct grace follows man's action of "allowing grace" to produce faith, it follows that the deciding factor is man's will, not grace. This is simply contradictory and irrational. If man's will has ability to "allow" grace to produce faith, then it is the will that is supreme and therefore the will that sets itself free from sin and "allows" grace to work faith. Same thing. Ultimately the will gives itself faith by lording it over grace and "allowing" God's grace "permission". God's hands are bound by the sovereignty of man. Great construct you have there. God is subject to His creatures. What a mighty small god you serve.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"But I have to ask how one man can set himself free while another cannot? The only answer I can come up with is he cannot. "

No, there is the other option that he will not.<<<

And the reason he "will not", according to Jesus and Paul is that he "cannot":

John 8:34 (NKJV) — 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

Proverbs 5:22 (NKJV) — 22 His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, And he is caught in the cords of his sin.

Romans 6:16 (NKJV) — 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

2 Peter 2:19 (NKJV) — 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

John 6:65 (NKJV) — 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"You concede that God could save everyone but does not. So what makes your view excuse God? Suppose God sees a child being raped and murdered by a pedophile? You concede that God "could" save that child but does not do so. So how does that get God off the hook simply because He "permits" evil? "

Err.. why wouldn't it? Go talk to a lawyer about your own legal system. Merely failing to take action to prevent a crime, is not making you guilty of the crime. Even in your Florida law, your obligation to interfere in circumstances is extremely limited. If a human legal system can make such a distinction, why can't you?

In any case, this does not get Calvinism in any better situation. Whatever explanation you offer for such things, I can utilise too.<<<

Not so fast:) I'm not the one accusing God, you are:) Whatever God does is right, including when He creates evil. (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:5). You claim that an omnipotent and omniscient God is not responsible for evil because He merely "permits" it. He "could" prevent evil but instead "allows" it. But why "allow" evil at all? That's question, isn't it? You're the one saying that such a God would be a monster. So your own argument entangles you in your own web of deception, irrationalism, and contradiction. If God permits evil then He is culpable.

Why? Because He could have prevented it. But the Bible does not say that God merely "permits" evil. It says that God also creates and uses evil for His own glory and His own purposes, including moral evil.

Proverbs 16:4 (NKJV) — 4 The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.

Romans 9:17–22 (NKJV) — 17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,


Calvinism IS Christianity precisely because it makes the most sense of the systematic and dogmatic teaching of the Scriptures in logical and rational form:


The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men. (2 Tim. 3:15–17, Gal. 1:8–9, 2 Thess. 2:2) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: (John 6:45, 1 Cor 2:9–12) WCF 1:6 Of the Scriptures

The Westminster confession of faith. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"By definition what God knows is not limited by contingencies and the vicissitudes of change."

Sorry, but you don't get to define God out of your own misunderstandings.<<<

Scripture is God's Word, not my opinion or yours:

Malachi 3:6 (NKJV) — 6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

God does not renege on His promises. (Lamentation 3:22)

Numbers 23:19–20 (NKJV) — 19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 20 Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.

James 1:17 (NKJV) — 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.



Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>I know lots of things without being the cause of them.<<<

You are a mere man and will perish like all mere men. Comparing yourself to God is stupid at best:

Psalm 82:6–8 (NKJV) — 6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. 7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>"So to follow your logic that God's knowing the definite future does not mean the future is determined by God Himself would mean that something else besides God has insured that the future will happen exactly as God knows it will. What is that something else, pray tell? Blind fate?"

Not blind fate, free will. Remember? The topic we are discussing here?<<<<

So man determines the future and God doesn't. But since men were not yet born or created, how could men issue forth "divine" decrees before creation? How it be that all the prophecies of the Bible came true just as they were predicted by prophets who would not live to see the fulfillment of those prophecies? I guess their "free will" is what inspired the prophecies, too?

Your capacity for mixing categories is truly astounding. You continually confuse God with man:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

"Well there's your problem. You are following the philosophy of mere men in the street. The question is what does God's Word say? The Bible is the final authority, not popular opinion."

Yes well you see, the meaning of words *IS* determined by the man in the street. That's how language works you see. I can't redefine the meaning of words to create any doctrine I want. I suppose I could affirm that the bible teaches that God is a pink unicorn, just by redefining words like you do, but it isn't right. The bible doesn't come with a lexicon in the back, but through common meaning of words. <<<

I got it. So logic is not necessary to decide the meaning of a word or a statement in Scripture. Instead we just pick out someone at random on the street and ask what it means and that's it. Brilliant! Relativism at it's best!

But the fact of the matter is that Scripture is the final word, not the opinion of random idiots in the street. God's Word is the beginning of knowledge and the source of all truth:

Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV) — 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.


Psalm 1:1–6 (NKJV) — 1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Augustine admits his error when he formerly believed that faith preceded grace:

And it was chiefly by this testimony that I myself also was convinced when I was in a similar error, thinking that faith whereby we believe on God is not God’s gift, but that it is in us from ourselves, and that by it we obtain the gifts of God, whereby we may live temperately and righteously and piously in this world. For I did not think that faith was preceded by God’s grace, so that by its means would be given to us what we might profitably ask, except that we could not believe if the proclamation of the truth did not precede; but that we should consent when the gospel was preached to us I thought was our own doing, and came to us from ourselves. And this my error is sufficiently indicated in some small works of mine written before my episcopate.

Augustine on Predestination

John said...



I agree with what you quoted from Augustine. Faith is a gift of God. But I also agree with the other things Augustine wrote. God helps free will. The gift can be rejected.

I understand the attraction of the simplistic Calvinist doctrine. It’s real easy to just say, God did it all with no free will. Unfortunately the truth isn’t so simple.

If the gift couldn’t be rejected, then we wouldn’t have what we observe in real life, and what is taught plainly in the scriptures, namely that people can fall away. If it was an irresistable gift, falling away would be impossible. But experience and the scriptures plainly tell us that falling away happens.

Thus, I prefer to believe ALL of scripture, and not the narrow subset that Calvinists believe, just because it makes theology class simpler.

As for your complaints about how much scripture I quote, it’s hard to quote scripture to prove a negative. It’s hard to quote scripture against the proposition that God is a pink unicorn, because the bible doesn’t say anything about it, neither does it teach any of the 5 points of Calvinism, because nobody thought of them yet.

John said...

As for the church fathers, do I really have to quote them? If you were informed you would know that none of them are your friend. Augustine was your best hope, and you haven’t even really able to win even with him. But if you insist:

JUSTIN MARTYR: (110-165 AD) "God's foreknowledge is intuitive, not active, and is caused by man's choices."
"We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man's actions. Otherwise, if all things happen by fate, then nothing is in our own power. For if it be predestined that one man be good and another man evil, then the first is not deserving of praise or the other to be blamed. Unless humans have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions-whatever they may be... For neither would a man be worthy of reward or praise if he did not of himself choose the good, but was merely created for that end. Likewise, if a man were evil, he would not deserve punishment, since he was not evil of himself, being unable to do anything else than what he was made for." (Justin First Apology chap. 43)
TERTULLIAN: (110-165 AD) "...it is not the part of good and solid faith to refer all things to the will of God...as to make us fail to understand that there is something within our power." Exhortation on Chastity 2.
IRENAEUS states that God sent His Son "as one who saves by persuasion, not compulsion, for compulsion is no attribute of God." Epistle to Diognetus 7:4.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA, "This was the law from the first, that virtue should be the object of voluntary choice." - Stromata 7:2.
ORIGEN: (185-255 AD) In response to a claim that "whatever happens in the universe, whether it be the work of God, of angels [or] of other demons...is regulated by the law of the Most High God," Origen says, "This is...incorrect; for we cannot say that transgressors follow the law of God when they transgress; and Scripture declares that it is not only wicked men who are transgressors, but also wicked demons and wicked angels...When we say that 'the providence of God regulates all things,' we utter a great truth if we attribute to that providence nothing but what is just and right. But if we ascribe to the providence of God all things whatsoever, however unjust they may be, then it is no longer true that the providence of God regulates all things." Against Celsus 7:68.
METHODIUS: (260-315 AD) "Those [pagans] who decide that man does not have free will, but say that he is governed by the unavoidable necessities of fate, are guilty of impiety toward God Himself, making Him out to be the cause and author of human evils."  - The Banq

John said...

uet of the Ten Virgins discourse 8, chap. 16
ARCHELAUS: (250-300 AD) "All the creatures that God made, He made very good. And He gave to every individual the sense of free will, by which standard He also instituted the law of judgment...And certainly whoever will, may keep the commandments. Whoever despises them and turns aside to what is contrary to them, shall yet without doubt have to face this law of judgment....There can be no doubt that every individual, in using his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases."  - Disputation With Manes 32, 33
TATIAN: (110-172 AD) "The Logos...before the creation of men, was the Framer of angels. And each of these two orders of creatures was made free to act as it pleased, not having the nature of good, which again is with God alone, but is brought to perfection in men through their freedom of choice, in order that the bad man may be justly punished...but the just man be deservedly praised...Such is the constitution of things in reference to angels and men."
CHRYSOSTOM: “For the phrase, “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,” even if it comes in the course of the objection, still, were it said by Paul, would create no difficulty. Because when he says, “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,” he does not deprive us of free-will, but shows that all is not one’s own, for that it requires grace from above.”

Do I really have to go on? Nobody is your friend among the Fathers. All affirm free will.

I understand what you’re saying about appointed means, but the fact remains that preaching, as everyone knows... is a mechanism designed by the orator to have an affect upon the hearers WILL. That God is playing a trick on us, and bypassing the sermon designed to affect our will, yet according to Calvinists is so corrupt it is unable to be persuaded, every preacher in the history of the world wasted so much study and planning and rehearsal. They could merely have said simply “Repent and come to Christ... end of sermon”. If God wants to then change the will, he would. And if he doesn’t, then a long sermon won’t help. But I’ve yet to see any preacher, Calvinist included, attempt such a thing.

--"Unless you're planning to commit suicide, that would be absurd:)”

If you admit this one exception, the floodgates are opened.

--“Pelagianism again. Death proves guilt.”

Except... you have no verse for that. Anyway, Christ wasn’t guilty, yet he died. And if you say its because your guilt was on him, then why do you die?

John said...


--“ All men are sinners not because they "become" sinners but because of Adam's first sin. That's what Paul says. And they are "born" sinners.”

If “sinners” means someone with a strong propensity to sin, then I agree. If “sinners” means someone who has commited a sin, then I disagree, and frankly you have no argument, because nobody can claim that someone who has not committed a sin, has in fact committed a sin.

--“So the penalty for sin, both original sin and actual and willful sins is death”

The result is death, but its not a penalty. Why do you insist on using a word the scripture doesn’t? What I agree with is purely the facts as presented by scripture. Not the subtle little appendages you add which go beyond what scripture teaches. You keep on going on and on and on quoting scriptures about sin that I agree with, but can never quote something that teaches the extra bits. The bits nobody outside of your branch of Christianity was ever aware of.

--“Oddly enough, you want to make grace general”

For what, the 10th time now? I’m not an advocate of general or common grace. So forget it, and burn that strawman on your own time.

--“Well, since the Bibles says that there is NO ONE who does not sin, then your assertion that the one who doesn't sin is a hypothetical that never materializes:) “

Even out of the “Everyone” who sins, there was a time prior to them sinning. You can’t sin before you sin. If you want to make sin a mere abstraction, it makes sin into a nonsense. Maybe we’re all living perfect lives according to you, and sin is a mere abstraction inherited from Adam. It makes the whole religion into a nonsense. When Paul says “there is none righteous”, he’s not saying “you might be living a perfect life, but unfortunately it is tained by an abstraction called original sin”. NO! He means you commit real actual sins! You turn the bible into jelly.


--“When I said Calvinism IS the Gospel, I was equating the systematic teaching of the Bible on the whole Gospel message with Calvinism.”

Again, if its not plain in the Gospel of Mark, it’s not the Gospel. Period.

--“ EITHER grace is given to all men without exception OR it is given only to those who then become believers as a result of that grace.”

I thought you said you taught logic or some nonsense? You should know those are not the only options.

In any case, God can offer grace to every man, without it being common grace, at least as normally defined. Of course, I know you feel free to redefine common theological terms to mean whatever suits you at the time.

--“The Arminian/semi-pelagian view is...”

OK, you just totally blew your credibility AGAIN. The Arminian view is NOT semi-Pelagian. Seriously, you ought not to be discussing theology in public. As for me, I’m not advocating the Arminian view NOR Semi-Pelagian view. God can give grace to every man without it being common grace. It would be grace SPECIFIC to that man, at a particular time in their life. Not grace that just floats around commonly at all times. Semi-Pelagianism doesn’t require grace at all. Arminianism argues for common grace.

John said...

--“Ah, so you think the anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms in the OT make God a mere man?”

No. What a silly statement. These things... you foolishly call “anthropomorphisms”, are simply stories of what makes God... God. How ignorant of you to call them anthropomorphisms.

“Don't you know that these are only there to help man relate to what God is "like" but do not express that God is literally a "man"? We are not God and God is not us:)”

Even if they are “anthropomorphisms”, all I am doing is using them to, as you put it... understand “WHAT GOD IS LIKE”. For you, they are a nonsense, meaningless at best, misleading and a lie at worst. But I believe what they say, like I do the rest of the scriptures, whereas you pick and choose what to believe.

--“It does not mean that "God changed His mind..." That would be silly since God already knew that the people would repent. How could an omniscient God not know the future?”

How could an all-powerful God not have the ability to not know things if he chooses to? If I, a mere man, have to ability to not know things that it is well within my power to know should I choose to, why can’t God do much more than I, a mere man, and do likewise? I think God can know, and not know whatever he chooses to. He is THAT powerful. Much more powerful than you give him credit for, thinking that he is under bondage to know everything whether he likes it or not.

--“ But since I'm not God I must obey God's revealed will in the moral law, namely that I must love God and my neighbor. “

The higher imperitive is to pray for God’s will be done, and since you don’t know God’s will, how insolent of you to pray for anything at all, when you don’t know what that will is. If you want to raise loving your neighbour above that principle, then you should pray that the Calvinist god gives up his plan, and saves everyone, and rethinks his design to damn so many.

--“ I'm not an elect angel. DUH! Angels are not charged with Adam's sin nor do they inherit the sinful nature by natural generation”

Neither did Adam have those faults, and yet he sinned. So your claim about the Angels was pure supposition and fluff.

--“Oh? Which group is that? The Philistines or the Hittites?”

The Christians.

--“As if God does not know which individuals are elect?”

Whether he knows or not, is not the exegetical issue.

--“ You, however, cannot pray for God to change anyone's heart since according to you that would be "forcing" that person against his own crap shoot choice between two equal choices. “

What verse instructs me to pray for that exact thing?

--“You, on the other hand, say that those who give themselves faith "deserve" to be saved by a grace that includes the merit of a "free will choice". You're siding with Pelagius and against Augustine.”

No, Augustine says that “grace helps free will”. You have no clue about Augustine.

John said...

--“I asked you to substantiate your opinion from Scripture. It would appear that you are unable to do so!”

Yeah. There’s this thing in the bible called... THE GOSPEL. You know, that thing where God went to a lot of trouble and DIED ON THE CROSS to stop everyone going to hell?

--“God cannot "choose" to be bound by anything other than what He is by nature.”

Errr yeah, and GOD IS LOVE by nature. Since listening to people’s own free will is to love them, there is no inconsistency here.

--“No, my objection is that you do not see the logic that if some is able to set themselves free it is a work of man. That's simple enough.”

And if you set someone else free by your prayer, then it is a work of man too. Same logic. Either it works in both scenarios, or in neither. You can’t have it both ways.

--“And since God's prescriptive will is that backslidden Christians "should" repent so that they will not perish, that surely does not contradict His sovereign decrees.”

Christians can perish? Oh how can it be, oh 5 point Calvinist? Aren’t they kept by God imperishable?

--“God needs man's permission to save them?”

No, God CHOOSES to give man free will in this matter. Ro 9:32.

--“If man's will has ability to "allow" grace to produce faith, then it is the will that is supreme and therefore the will that sets itself free from sin and "allows" grace to work faith. “

Nonsense. If a good lawyer gives me the option to take action to let me out of gaol, my allowing it doesn’t mean I set myself free.

--“And the reason he "will not", according to Jesus and Paul is that he "cannot”:”

Right, thus the need for grace.

--“But why "allow" evil at all? That's question, isn't it? You're the one saying that such a God would be a monster.”

I never said any such thing. 90% of what you write is railing against straw men.


--“I got it. So logic is not necessary to decide the meaning of a word or a statement in Scripture. Instead we just pick out someone at random on the street and ask what it means and that's it. Brilliant! Relativism at it's best!”

You can’t utilize logic on a statement, until you’ve parsed the grammar and words in the statement. The requires lexical analysis of the words. That requires consulting secular sources. I’m sorry, but if you don’t understand this, you are just plain ignorant of how exegesis is done. Maybe you should go study in a seminary, even a Protestant one to learn this stuff.

As for your supposed new stipulation about what church I belong to, we’ve locked horns enough times that you are well aware I’m in the Orthodox church.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Yes, and if you knew the Bible you would know that God is not the friend of the church fathers on this issue:) The Bible IS God's Word. The church fathers, like everyone else, are fallible and often err. And you're forgetting that Augustine's views were the orthodox view established by the ecumenical councils. Your Pelagian views were condemned at the Council of Carthage in 418. The Council of Orange, although not an ecumenical council, further condemned semi-pelagianism, although it rejected Augustine's views on predestination. Church councils can and do err--so do the church fathers.

The final authority is Scripture. Creeds, confessions, and church councils are only valid as they draw their most certain warrant from Holy Scripture:

Article VIII
Of the Three Creeds
The three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius' Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of Holy Scripture.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I should point out that that divine determinism is not "blind fate" since God is not an "it". Whatever He decrees will come to pass without violating the will of men. Yet, they do exactly what God knows they will do and it is predetermined even down to the last detail:

Proverbs 21:1 (ESV) — 1 The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.

Proverbs 21:1 (NASB) — 1 THE king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Ezra 6:22 (ESV) — 22 And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the LORD had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

And even Augustine is not always right:

Naturally, the great Christian philosopher Augustine grappled with the difficulty. Under Neoplatonic influence he taught that all existing things are good; evil, therefore, does not exist – it is metaphysically unreal. Being non-existent, it can have no cause, and God therefore is not the cause of evil. When a man sins, it is a case of his choosing a lower good instead of a higher good. This choice too has no efficient cause, although Augustine assigns to it a deficient cause. In this way God was supposed to be absolved. Augustine, admittedly, was a great Christian and a great philosopher. Later in the chapter more will be said about him. But here he was at his worst. Deficient causes, if there are such things, do not explain why a good God does not abolish sin and guarantee that men always choose the highest good.

Gordon H. Clark. Religion, Reason and Revelation (Kindle Locations 4420-4426). The Trinity Foundation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>I understand the attraction of the simplistic Calvinist doctrine. It’s real easy to just say, God did it all with no free will. Unfortunately the truth isn’t so simple.<<<

Ah, now you're reversing yourself. Truth is so simple that you go to the man in the street to learn what is true and what is not:) But if truth is not so simple, why are you quoting the church fathers?

Let me be blunt here: in order to refute Calvinism you would need to understand it first. Since you don't seem to get it that moral agents have genuine choices and are fully accountable and responsible to God for their actions and choices, your remark is only meant to bolster your own arrogance. But Pharisees are always arrogant:)

>>>If the gift couldn’t be rejected, then we wouldn’t have what we observe in real life, and what is taught plainly in the scriptures, namely that people can fall away. If it was an irresistable gift, falling away would be impossible. But experience and the scriptures plainly tell us that falling away happens.<<<

The distinction between the apostasy of a reprobate person and a temporary falling away of an elect person seems to escape you:) More silliness.

To divest them of this false and pernicious opinion, he says, as is most true, that those who had once knowingly and willingly cast off fellowship with Christ, had no means of returning to it. It is not, however so cast off by those who merely, by the dissoluteness of their lives, transgress the word of the Lord, but by those who avowedly reject his whole doctrine. Institutes III, iii, 23

Calvin, J. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

John said...

You ask me to quote the fathers, and then when I do, you say oh well, they are all wrong. Oh, and the councils are wrong too. The question is, if your interpretation of the scriptures is right, how come ALL the church fathers are against you?. Either scripture is shown with certainty not to be perspicuous on this issue (and you've made the issue to be equivalent to "THE GOSPEL"), or else your interpretation is wrong.

Either way, its dark DARK days for your protestant world view. Either Calvinism is wrong, or Protestantism's sola scriptura is wrong. Choose your poison, then come join us.



Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>Thus, I prefer to believe ALL of scripture, and not the narrow subset that Calvinists believe, just because it makes theology class simpler.<<<<

Well, that would be odd since Calvinist accept all the Scriptures that refer to both man's responsibility AND God's absolute sovereignty. You, on the other hand, reject ALL the verses that refer to man's total corruption and bondage of the will and the absolute sovereignty of God. Thus, your assertion is amusing:)

>>>As for your complaints about how much scripture I quote, it’s hard to quote scripture to prove a negative. It’s hard to quote scripture against the proposition that God is a pink unicorn, because the bible doesn’t say anything about it, neither does it teach any of the 5 points of Calvinism, because nobody thought of them yet.<<<

I'm not the one arguing from the silence of the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures are so silent on your rationalist and irrationalist views that you cannot even support your views from the Bible.

As for pink unicorns, you're right there with the atheists again:) Where does the Bible mention that one? Another argument from silence? Please:)

And as for your assertion that the 5 points of Calvinism are not in the Bible, that would be silly since all 5 are either plainly stated in the Bible or are logically inferred by good reason and warrant from the Scriptures. By your line of reasoning we cannot believe the Trinity either since the word "Trinity" is not directly stated in the Bible but is instead a logical deduction based on what the Bible says in specific places in the Bible.

If you would stop continually contradicting yourself and be consistent you might score a point here or there. Instead you've shot so many holes in your feet that you might as well go ahead and put the gun to your head:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

My view has never been that the church fathers are always right. They are obviously fallible, including Augustine. Origen was a universalist, btw. I guess you believe everyone is going to heaven? Origen was condemned as a heretic, btw. He did contribute some good things but his views on the allegorical interpretation of Scripture and his universalism are huge problems for anyone who thinks the church father and "tradition" are an infallible "revelation" from God on equal status with the Bible.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>The question is, if your interpretation of the scriptures is right, how come ALL the church fathers are against you?<<<

And how come you do not understand that the ecumenical creeds and the Reformed confessional statements are the Calvinist standards for doctrine? Scripture is the final authority.

But then you seem to be ignorant of the fact that the Protestant Reformers argued from the church fathers to prove their case. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury during the English Reformation, for example, argued clearly from the church fathers to prove that the popish doctrine of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not only unbiblical but was out of line with the church fathers.

As I already pointed out, the church fathers, like modern commentators, are prone to err. Where they agree with Scripture we affirm them. Where they deny the Scriptures we deny them.

Since your selective quotes contradict the Scriptures then I am under no obligation to accept them.

And you're still not proving your case from Scripture:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Cranmer: "By these words of Cyril appeareth his mind plainly, that we may not grossly and rudely think of the eating of Christ with our mouths, but with our faith, by which eating, although he be absent hence bodily, and be in the eternal life and glory with his Father, yet we be made partakers of his nature, to be immortal, and have eternal life and glory with him.

"And thus is declared the mind as well of Cyril as of Hilarius.

"And here may be well enough passed over Basilius, Gregorius Nyssenus, and Gregorius Nazianzenus, partly because they speak little of this matter, and because they may be easily answered unto by that which is before declared and often repeated, which is, that a figure hath the name of the thing whereof it is the figure, and therefore of the figure may be spoken the same thing that may be spoken of the thing itself.

"And as concerning the eating and drinking of Christ's flesh and drinking of his blood, they spake of the spiritual eating and drinking thereof by faith, and not of corporal eating and drinking with the mouth and teeth.

"Likewise Eusebius Emissenus is shortly answered unto; for he speaketh not of any real and corporal conversion of bread and wine into Christ's body and blood, nor of any corporal and real eating and drinking of the same, but he speaketh of a sacramental conversion of bread and wine, and of a spiritual eating and drinking of the body and blood. After which sort, Christ is as well present in baptism (as the same Eusebius plainly there declareth) as he is in the Lord's table: which is, not carnally and corporally, but by faith, and spiritually. But of this author is spoken before more at large in the matter of transubstantiation.

"And now I will come to the saying of St. Ambrose, which is always in their mouths. 'Before the consecration,' saith he, as they allege, 'it is bread; but after the words 'of consecration it is the body of Christ.'

"For answer hereunto, it must be first known what consecration is.

"Consecration is the separation of any thing from a profane and worldly use unto a spiritual and godly use.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Cranmer: "And therefore when usual and common water is taken from other uses, and put to the use of baptism, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, then it may rightly be called consecrated water, that is to say, water put to a holy use.

"Even so when common bread and wine be taken and severed from other bread and wine, to the use of the holy communion, that portion of bread and wine, although it be of the same substance that the other is from which it is severed, yet it is now called consecrated or holy bread and holy wine.

"Not that the bread and wine have or can have any holiness in them, but that they be used to an holy work, and represent holy and godly things. And therefore St. Dionyse calleth the bread holy bread, and the cup an holy cup, as soon as they be set upon the altar to the use of the holy communion.

"But specially they may be called holy and consecrated, when they be separated to that holy use by Christ's own words, which he spake for that purpose, saying of the bread, This is my body; and of the wine, This is my blood.

"So that commonly the authors, before those words be spoken, do take the bread and the wine but as other common bread and wine; but after those words be pronounced over them, then they take them for consecrated and holy bread and wine.

"Not that the bread and wine can be partakers of any holiness or godliness, or can be the body and blood of Christ; but that they represent the very body and blood of Christ, and the holy food and nourishment which we have by him. And so they be called by the names of the body and blood of Christ, as the sign, token, and figure is called by the name of the very thing which it showeth and signifieth."


On Eating and Drinking

Charlie J. Ray said...

Never show up to a gunfight with a knife. And make sure you bring some ammunition:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Yeah. There’s this thing in the bible called... THE GOSPEL. You know, that thing where God went to a lot of trouble and DIED ON THE CROSS to stop everyone going to hell?<<<

Ah, so you're a universalist. Jesus died to save everyone. You're right up there with Origen:) Everyone is going to heaven. Wow.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“God cannot "choose" to be bound by anything other than what He is by nature.”

Errr yeah, and GOD IS LOVE by nature. Since listening to people’s own free will is to love them, there is no inconsistency here.<<<

My Bible says that God hates the wicked and the reprobate and that those who are unbelievers are condemned already and under the wrath of God.

Psalm 11:5 (ESV) — 5 The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

John 3:18 (ESV) — 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

John 3:36 (ESV) — 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.



HINT: Justice is also one of God's attributes:)

As for your remark about Sola Scriptura, it's obvious that you wouldn't know the Bible if someone slapped you over the head with it. Why would I want to join a synagogue of satan and a pig sty where church members wallow in ignorance of the Scriptures and glory in the opinions of stupid men?

If you are any example, the Orthodox are woefully ignorant of what the Bible says on a host of issues.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“No, my objection is that you do not see the logic that if some is able to set themselves free it is a work of man. That's simple enough.”

And if you set someone else free by your prayer, then it is a work of man too. Same logic. Either it works in both scenarios, or in neither. You can’t have it both ways.<<<

You really are stupid, aren't you? God alone sets men free. My prayers have no power to do anything. God "answers" prayers according to HIS will. But I guess plain English is too hard for you. Maybe your native language is Greek?

Would plain Greek or Russian be any more clear to you? Probably not.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“And since God's prescriptive will is that backslidden Christians "should" repent so that they will not perish, that surely does not contradict His sovereign decrees.”

Christians can perish? Oh how can it be, oh 5 point Calvinist? Aren’t they kept by God imperishable?<<<

The warning passages are used by God to cause the elect to repent. It is impossible for them to be deceived or perish:

Matthew 24:24 (ESV) — 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

John 10:26–30 (ESV) — 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“God needs man's permission to save them?”

No, God CHOOSES to give man free will in this matter. Ro 9:32.<<<

God chooses to submit himself to man's will. The mighty Creator becomes the servant of wicked men who refuse to be saved. And you say that's "freedom". Gotcha:)

Romans 9:32 out of context? Please. Romans 9:11-22 proves that there is no free will.

Romans 9:15–16 (ESV) — 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

I know it bothers you that God doesn't need your approval or your permission. But the King doesn't answer your commands and decrees and He most certainly isn't your bellhop.

Charlie J. Ray said...

--“If man's will has ability to "allow" grace to produce faith, then it is the will that is supreme and therefore the will that sets itself free from sin and "allows" grace to work faith. “

Nonsense. If a good lawyer gives me the option to take action to let me out of gaol, my allowing it doesn’t mean I set myself free.<<<

So it wasn't the lawyer who got you out but you got yourself out:) Cooperating implies that you are the one who did the work to save yourself. The lawyer is just an aside.

But suppose you're dead? Can a lawyer raise you from the dead?

Obviously not.

Ephesians 2:1–6 (ESV) — 1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Charlie J. Ray said...

--“And the reason he "will not", according to Jesus and Paul is that he "cannot”:”

Right, thus the need for grace.<<<

And grace is resistible according to you and therefore cannot break the bondage and slavery to sin. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, including yours, your "grace" has no effect at all. It's like giving a dead person a medicine for the common cold. Medicine has no effect on dead men. Only a supernatural resurrection can raise the dead.

John 11:43–44 (ESV) — 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Charlie J. Ray said...

--“But why "allow" evil at all? That's question, isn't it? You're the one saying that such a God would be a monster.”

I never said any such thing. 90% of what you write is railing against straw men.<<<

You implied it several times. Why else do you insist on this facade you call "free" will, when it is obvious that there is no such thing?

Charlie J. Ray said...

At least you admit that you believe in a finite god who can do nothing about evil:

To refer evil to a corrupt human nature transmitted from Adam, Professor Patterson brands as “an odious doctrine which Pelagius, to his honor, anticipated modern liberals in rejecting” (218n3). Besides, there is a previous question. The author asks, “If it be as easy for God to create good men as to create evil men, why did not God create all men good?” (173). To suppose that God created the good and the evil for his own glory, to bestow his love on the good and his wrath on the evil, is to lower God to the level of the most degenerate human tyrant. Such an idea must be decisively rejected, for, the author insists (177), God cannot be thought of as immoral. Even if we believe, in the absence of all evidence, that every occurrence of evil is essential to the realization of a greater good, the fact that God could not produce the good without the previous evil indicates that God’s power is limited (179). Today, then, as in the past, the existence of evil is a crucial question; and the answer frequently includes the idea of a limited deity. Many modern philosophers, such as John Stuart Mill, William Pepperell Montague, and Georgia Harkness, as well as the ancient Zoroaster and Plato, accept a finite god. But it must be clearly understood that this idea is incompatible with Christianity. The Bible presents God as omnipotent, and only on this basis can a Christian view of evil be worked out. The idea of a finite god, although it is a non-Christian expedient, has nonetheless a certain amount of merit by reason of its honesty. Professing Christians are not always so frank. In a certain Christian college the head of the Bible Department used to tell his students not to discuss the subject (indeed, this was rather clearly the policy of the institution), for the subject is controversial. It is also unedifying. And the professor should have added, it is embarrassing. For when some pointed questions were asked him, he grew irritated and replied, “I do not like the kind of questions you ask.” Perhaps such colleges think that if evil is never mentioned, the students will never hear about it. They seem to forget that the secular enemies of Christianity will soon remind them and ask them controversial, unedifying, and embarrassing questions. Such an attitude of secrecy did not characterize the great Christian theologians: Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin. We may perhaps not agree with this one or that one, but like the modern secularists they were open and honest. Before we drop the idea of a finite god, however, there is one interesting consideration to mention. If the mixture of good and evil in the world rules out the possibility of a good and omnipotent God, and if the extent of good in the world hardly allows the assumption of an infinite evil demon, it still does not follow that there is a finite good God. A finite evil god is an equally acceptable conclusion. Instead of saying that God does the best he can, but being limited he cannot quite eliminate the evil in the world, we could just as well say that God does the worst he can, but being limited he cannot quite eradicate the forces of good which oppose his will. Evidently, therefore, the advocates of a finite god arrive at their conclusion more by emotion than by reason.

Gordon H. Clark. Religion, Reason and Revelation (Kindle Locations 4450-4478). The Trinity Foundation.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“I got it. So logic is not necessary to decide the meaning of a word or a statement in Scripture. Instead we just pick out someone at random on the street and ask what it means and that's it. Brilliant! Relativism at it's best!”

You can’t utilize logic on a statement, until you’ve parsed the grammar and words in the statement. The requires lexical analysis of the words. That requires consulting secular sources. I’m sorry, but if you don’t understand this, you are just plain ignorant of how exegesis is done. Maybe you should go study in a seminary, even a Protestant one to learn this stuff.

As for your supposed new stipulation about what church I belong to, we’ve locked horns enough times that you are well aware I’m in the Orthodox church.<<<

Ah, so for you the secular atheist's opinion matters more than your church's traditions and doctrines. You're not even Orthodox, apparently:)

The fact of the matter is that REASON unaided by revelation leads to skepticism and atheism. The only reason that counts is the rational revelation God gives in His Holy Scriptures. Since God IS Logic, it naturally follows that His Word is perfectly logical and the propositions there are so clear that a plow boy could know more than the pope or an Orthodox patriarch.

If your church is captive to secularism, it is nothing more than a pig sty resting on irrationalism, skepticism and unbelief. Although I do not throw out reason, I am not so stupid as to think that secular authorities get to tell the church how to think and reason. The presuppositions and axioms of a believing church begin with God's written and inspired Word, not with unbelievers and their biased opinions of so-called "science".

1 Timothy 6:20 (AV) — 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>As for your supposed new stipulation about what church I belong to, we’ve locked horns enough times that you are well aware I’m in the Orthodox church.<<<

You are still posting anonymously. My information is here for all to see. Are you a coward of some sort? You can't stand by your words?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>--“Ah, so you think the anthropomorphisms and anthropopathisms in the OT make God a mere man?”

No. What a silly statement. These things... you foolishly call “anthropomorphisms”, are simply stories of what makes God... God. How ignorant of you to call them anthropomorphisms.<<<

Well, no. You didn't say they were anthropomorphisms. You said that God is literally ignorant and passionate and that God literally repents or changes. The Bible clearly says that God is by nature who He is and He cannot do certain things like "lie" or "change".

Titus 1:2 (AV) — 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

2 Timothy 2:13 (AV) — 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

James 1:17 (AV) — 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Malachi 3:6 (ESV) — 6 “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.


>>>“Don't you know that these are only there to help man relate to what God is "like" but do not express that God is literally a "man"? We are not God and God is not us:)”

Even if they are “anthropomorphisms”, all I am doing is using them to, as you put it... understand “WHAT GOD IS LIKE”. For you, they are a nonsense, meaningless at best, misleading and a lie at worst. But I believe what they say, like I do the rest of the scriptures, whereas you pick and choose what to believe.<<<

No, what you are doing is creating a finite god of your own imagination. Scripture clearly portrays God as infinite, immeasurable, and incomprehensible. To create a god in the image of man is idolatry. (Romans 1:23).

>>>--“It does not mean that "God changed His mind..." That would be silly since God already knew that the people would repent. How could an omniscient God not know the future?”

How could an all-powerful God not have the ability to not know things if he chooses to?<<<

I guess according to your finite view of your god, your god can lie and do evil and not keep his promises since your god changes with the wind:)


>>> If I, a mere man, have to ability to not know things that it is well within my power to know should I choose to, why can’t God do much more than I, a mere man, and do likewise?<<<

I already explained that you are not God. God is who He is by nature. If God could become less than God He would no longer BE God. As I said, your god is a finite god and not the God of the Bible.

>>>I think God can know, and not know whatever he chooses to. He is THAT powerful. Much more powerful than you give him credit for, thinking that he is under bondage to know everything whether he likes it or not.<<<<

God can make Himself not omnipresent, not omniscient, and not omnipotent. You idiot, what you're saying is that God can make Himself NOT God. What brilliant logic you hogs use. Wallowing in the mud has addled your brain. If you would stop eating dung mixed with the grain you might be able to reason from the Scriptures. In redneck parlance we call that "shitferbrains".

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“ But since I'm not God I must obey God's revealed will in the moral law, namely that I must love God and my neighbor. “

The higher imperitive [imperative] is to pray for God’s will be done,<<<

But your god chose to make himself less than god and cannot know or do anything. How many times are you going to contradict yourself in this thread? :)

>>>and since you don’t know God’s will, how insolent of you to pray for anything at all, when you don’t know what that will is.<<<

This one is easy to answer:

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NASB) — 29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

Any plow boy knows we pray for what we DO know, namely what God reveals in the Holy Scriptures. Love your enemies. Is that so hard? I can pray for your conversion because God commands me to pray for my enemies and those who persecute me and despitefully curse me. Whether or not God has chosen you from before the foundation of world is not my concern. May God's predetermined will be done. (And it shall be done).


>>>If you want to raise loving your neighbour above that principle, then you should pray that the Calvinist god gives up his plan, and saves everyone, and rethinks his design to damn so many.<<<<

Well, we both know that not everyone will be saved. If everyone is going to heaven, any religious faith is unnecessary and irrelevant. The difference is this: You says that your god chose not to be god and therefore evil exists outside of his control. You say that people go to hell because your god chose to limit himself so that he is unable to save them. They must save themselves by the work of giving themselves faith with a grace that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

My view, on the other hand, is that God is God and evil exists because He chose to create it for His own glory and for His own divine purposes. God could have saved everyone but it is obvious that He chose not to do so--OTHERWISE they WOULD BE SAVED.

Saying that your finite god sits idly by while men perish and go to hell means either that your god is unable to save them or that he is able but unwilling to save them.

The God of the Bible is ABLE to save all men but chose NOT to do so. Salvation is therefore not owed to man. If so, then God is indebted to man and not man to God. God does what He jolly well pleases and whatever God does is good and just simply because He is God and is subject to no mere man's opinion.

What do you really think of God's glorious Name? And will you vaunt that the apostle is devoid of all reason, because he does not drag God from His throne and set Him before you, to be questioned and examined? Calvin's Calvinism, Section I



--“ I'm not an elect angel. DUH! Angels are not charged with Adam's sin nor do they inherit the sinful nature by natural generation”

Neither did Adam have those faults, and yet he sinned. So your claim about the Angels was pure supposition and fluff.<<<

And the elect angels are unable to fall:) And God is unable to sin. Just because God foreordained that Adam would "freely" rebel does not mean that he had "libertarian free will" and the fall was just a crap shoot. God planned the fall and redemption. Jesus is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8).

Furthermore, you again admit that you think that people born after Adam are born sinless and innocent, betraying that you are a Pelagian. I already posted the verses proving your man-made tradition contradicts the Bible. Need I quote them again? (Psalm 58:3; Psalm 51:4; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8; Psalm 130:3; Psalm 143:2)

Charlie J. Ray said...



--“Oh? Which group is that? The Philistines or the Hittites?”

The Christians.<<<

Ah, so you admit then that grace is limited to Israel in the OT and the church in the NT? We're getting somewhere. This means that grace is not universal after all and neither is election. Election is God's choice. Abraham alone was called and none other in his day.

--“As if God does not know which individuals are elect?”

Whether he knows or not, is not the exegetical issue.<<<

But you've already said that God does foreknow:) It is the exegetical issue because the Bible clearly says that God not only foreknows but predetermines everything down to the last detail.

Ahab's death was predicted. Ahab knew ahead of time that God said he would die in battle. Ahab tried to fool the enemy by disguising himself. God sent an arrow to strike him in the breastplate so that he died. God predetermined the whole thing from beginning to end. I quoted it to you already. But the Scriptures are not your source. Instead you believe in the traditions of hog pens and atheists in the street and ungodly secular "science." Go figure:)

>>>--“ You, however, cannot pray for God to change anyone's heart since according to you that would be "forcing" that person against his own crap shoot choice between two equal choices. “

What verse instructs me to pray for that exact thing?<<<

Well, you can't pray for anyone to be saved since that would mean God is able to change the will so that it now accepts Christ. If you leave the will to itself, then you cannot say that God can intervene. So don't pray for anyone to believe:)

I, on the other, can pray for God's will to be done. I know that God's will is always done. If I petition God for that person to be converted, I still qualify that prayer with, "Thy will be done." Whether or not God converts the person is up to Him. He is God and I am not. You, however, cannot pray for conversion at all since you don't believe your limited god is able to change the will. The will has to pull itself up by its own bootstraps with a resistible, defectible grace that doesn't work.

--“You, on the other hand, say that those who give themselves faith "deserve" to be saved by a grace that includes the merit of a "free will choice". You're siding with Pelagius and against Augustine.”

No, Augustine says that “grace helps free will”. You have no clue about Augustine.<<<

That's not true. I already refuted that one. Augustine said that grace helps the will after conversion. Faith is impossible without a grace that gives the faith in the first place:

And it was chiefly by this testimony that I myself also was convinced when I was in a similar error, thinking that faith whereby we believe on God is not God’s gift, but that it is in us from ourselves, and that by it we obtain the gifts of God, whereby we may live temperately and righteously and piously in this world. For I did not think that faith was preceded by God’s grace, so that by its means would be given to us what we might profitably ask, except that we could not believe if the proclamation of the truth did not precede; but that we should consent when the gospel was preached to us I thought was our own doing, and came to us from ourselves. And this my error is sufficiently indicated in some small works of mine written before my episcopate. Augustine: I Was in Error

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“ All men are sinners not because they "become" sinners but because of Adam's first sin. That's what Paul says. And they are "born" sinners.”

If “sinners” means someone with a strong propensity to sin, then I agree. If “sinners” means someone who has commited a sin, then I disagree, and frankly you have no argument, because nobody can claim that someone who has not committed a sin, has in fact committed a sin.<<<

Take it up with God who said:

Psalm 58:3 (ESV) — 3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

Thanks for proving this verse to be true, since you are obviously in disagreement with Paul who said that not only are all men sinners but they are so because of Adam's first sin, not in spite of it. (Romans 5:12-20).

Adam's first sin is imputed to all men. That's what Paul says. And the sinful nature/total corruption is inherited. (Psalm 51:4)

If all men are not guilty of Adam's sin, then why are they born with the inability to live sinlessly? :) ALL sin. (Romans 3:23). Even Christians sin (1 John 1:8). But you agree with Pelagius, not Paul or the Psalmist.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“So the penalty for sin, both original sin and actual and willful sins is death”

The result is death, but its not a penalty. Why do you insist on using a word the scripture doesn’t?<<<

Because the text DOES use the term, which you don't know because you don't read or understand the Bible:

Romans 5:18 (ESV) — 18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men,

Furthermore, Adam's first sin MADE everyone after that a sinner:

Romans 5:19 (ESV) — 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners,



>>>What I agree with is purely the facts as presented by scripture. <<<

Where's the beef?? hehehe You have yet to prove any of your nonsensical opinions from Scripture.


>>>>Not the subtle little appendages you add which go beyond what scripture teaches. You keep on going on and on and on quoting scriptures about sin that I agree with, but can never quote something that teaches the extra bits. The bits nobody outside of your branch of Christianity was ever aware of.<<<

You have disagreed with everything I've quoted:) Instead, you insist on spinning it to agree with your little view of a limited god and your golden idol of libertarian free will.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Oddly enough, you want to make grace general”

For what, the 10th time now? I’m not an advocate of general or common grace. So forget it, and burn that strawman on your own time.<<<

If grace is particular to individuals, then it logically follows that salvation is limited to those to whom God gives grace. That makes election particular, not general and conditional.

But you cannot for the life of you even understand the doctrine of your own Orthodox religion:) The Eastern Orthodox, like Rome and the Arminians, teach general, common, and defectible grace, not effectual calling and irresistible grace. You have confirmed that above, so why do you wish to lie about your own view? Unless you're just hopelessly confused and contradictory?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>>--“Well, since the Bibles says that there is NO ONE who does not sin, then your assertion that the one who doesn't sin is a hypothetical that never materializes:) “

Even out of the “Everyone” who sins, there was a time prior to them sinning. You can’t sin before you sin. If you want to make sin a mere abstraction, it makes sin into a nonsense.<<<

The Bible says that actual sins begin from birth:) So what's your point? You didn't sin at the moment of birth? Since everyone sins from the time they are able to make moral choices, it is your view that is a mere abstraction. The reality is that everyone is born sinful and commits actual sins from the get go. Go figure. I guess they just were too stupid to exercise "free" will. Son of a gun:)

Romans 3:23 (ESV) — 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Surely if everyone has "free will" someone ought to have resisted unto death without giving in? But wait! There IS ONE Person who did exercise "free" will and who never sinned. His name? JESUS. I wonder why it is that Jesus alone was able to do what even Adam was unable to do?


>>>Maybe we’re all living perfect lives according to you, and sin is a mere abstraction inherited from Adam.<<<

I'm not the one denying the real effects of the fall. Total inability of the will is not a fiction. It's reality. You're the one obfuscating behind the silliness that sin is not sin until you commit one. Sin begins in the heart, not in actions and deeds:

Genesis 6:5 (ESV) — 5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Matthew 15:19 (ESV) — 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.



Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>It makes the whole religion into a nonsense. When Paul says “there is none righteous”, he’s not saying “you might be living a perfect life, but unfortunately it is tained by an abstraction called original sin”. NO! He means you commit real actual sins! You turn the bible into jelly.<<<

I'm not the one who is proclaiming that men are able to be perfect. That's your view. My view is that men are born sinners and they sin out of necessity. They are unable to anything but sin. You, on the other hand, are a Pelagian.

Question 22

Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, (Acts 17:26) sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression. (Gen. 2:16–17, Rom. 5:12–20, 1 Cor. 15:21–22)


Question 23

Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery. (Rom. 5:12, Rom. 3:23)


Question 24

What is sin?
Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature. (1 John 3:4, Gal. 3:10,12)


Question 25

Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’ s first sin, (Rom. 5:12,19) the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually; (Rom. 3:10–19, Eph. 2:1–3, Rom. 5:6, Rom. 8:7–8, Gen. 6:5) which is commonly called Original Sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions. (James 1:14–15, Matt. 15:19)


Question 26

How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?
Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are conceived and born in sin. (Ps. 51:5, Job 14:4, Job 15:14, John 3:6)


Question 27

What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, (Gen. 3:8,10,24) his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, (Eph. 2:2–3) bond slaves to Satan, (2 Tim. 2:26) and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come. (Gen. 2:17, Lam. 3:39, Rom. 6:23, Matt. 25:41,46, Jude 7)


The Westminster larger catechism: With scripture proofs. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Charlie J. Ray said...

--“When I said Calvinism IS the Gospel, I was equating the systematic teaching of the Bible on the whole Gospel message with Calvinism.”

Again, if its not plain in the Gospel of Mark, it’s not the Gospel. Period.<<<

:) Well, Calvinism or the doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty can be proved from the Bible as a whole and in every book of the Bible. I accept your challenge:

Mark 1:1–3 (NKJV) — 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” 3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’”

Who inspired the Prophets to write? God. Who fulfilled the prophecies about Christ? God. Who sent John ahead of Christ to prepare the way? God. How did God bring this about? He did it by His power.

We see the absolute sovereignty of God on every page of the Bible. But your god limited himself so that the biblical writers just made it up as they went along and your god was hoping it would all turn out the way it did:)

Good grief:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“ EITHER grace is given to all men without exception OR it is given only to those who then become believers as a result of that grace.”

I thought you said you taught logic or some nonsense? You should know those are not the only options.

In any case, God can offer grace to every man, without it being common grace, at least as normally defined. Of course, I know you feel free to redefine common theological terms to mean whatever suits you at the time.<<<<

So for you grace IS given to all men. But their will has to accept apart from grace? What the heck???

You're just being obtuse here. You say "grace is offered" to all and in other places you say all already have the grace. Which is it? And if grace is "offered" then it is certain that none have it since they must "accept" the grace before they have it. Since all men are sinners and they don't have grace, it follows that your view is Pelagian since the deciding factor is a "free will" apart from grace. Grace isn't given yet, according to you.

Your inconsistencies are running into huge numbers:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“The Arminian/semi-pelagian view is...”

OK, you just totally blew your credibility AGAIN. The Arminian view is NOT semi-Pelagian. Seriously, you ought not to be discussing theology in public. As for me, I’m not advocating the Arminian view NOR Semi-Pelagian view.<<<<

The Arminian view IS semi-pelagian since the doctrine of "prevenient" grace is allegedly given to everyone so they can have a "free will" like Adam's free will, excepting they still have a propensity to sin, which Adam didn't have prior to the fall. Either way, the doctrine of "free will" is Pelagianism rehashed.


>>>God can give grace to every man without it being common grace.<<<

The word "common" means everyone has it. Unless you're just being obtuse again? Uncommon means not everyone has it. If every single individual has grace then it is "common" to all. But then black is white for you and yellow is green and yes means no and no means yes. You seem to invent new logic and new meaning with every turn. Irrationalism is your forte.

>>>It would be grace SPECIFIC to that man, at a particular time in their life. Not grace that just floats around commonly at all times.<<<

Make up your mind. If grace is particular to a specific person at only one particular time, then it is no longer given to everyone but only given particularly to individuals at God's discretion, not to every single person in general. But I'm detecting a bit of wavering on your part. You seem to be uncomfortable with the official teaching of your church. Maybe God is changing your mind? :)


>>>Semi-Pelagianism doesn’t require grace at all. Arminianism argues for common grace.<<<<

Pelagianism doesn't require grace at all. Semi-pelagianism concedes grace but that grace just makes it possible to default to an alleged "free" will, which will is inclined to evil. Adam had no inclination to evil prior to the fall:)

Why not be honest and admit that sinners sin of necessity? They are all in bondage to sin and only God can free them.

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>Do I really have to go on? Nobody is your friend among the Fathers. All affirm free will.<<<

I affirm that the doctrine of "free will" is Pelagianism and that you are a Pelagian. The Scriptures, and not the church fathers, are the inspired and infallible Word of God. :) 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 1:19-21

>>>>I understand what you’re saying about appointed means, but the fact remains that preaching, as everyone knows... is a mechanism designed by the orator to have an affect upon the hearers WILL.<<<<

No, Paul says that preaching is not by clever persuasion. It is the message of the cross and the power of God that makes the difference:

1 Corinthians 1:17 (NKJV) — 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

God alone can change the mind and will of a degenerate, wicked person:

John 1:13; John 3:3



>>>That God is playing a trick on us, and bypassing the sermon designed to affect our will, yet according to Calvinists is so corrupt it is unable to be persuaded, every preacher in the history of the world wasted so much study and planning and rehearsal. <<<

But here's the problem. You are now claiming that preachers save people with cleverly prepared sermons! More heresy! Of course the Word of God has an effect on the unconverted elect sinner. But ONLY on that elect. None other will follow Christ's voice in the Word of God:

Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV) — 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Charlie J. Ray said...

God "opens the heart" of the elect person through means of the preached word:

Acts 16:14 (NKJV) — 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

The wicked reprobate person cannot hear or believe but only the elect are enabled to hear spiritual things:

1 Corinthians 2:13–14 (NKJV) — 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.




>>>They could merely have said simply “Repent and come to Christ... end of sermon”.<<<

The command to repent is a command and is therefore LAW. Giving commands about what a person should, ought, or is commanded to do cannot bring the Gospel to anyone. Gospel is what GOD promises to do when someone believes. Half a message is no message at all. But your attempt at a straw man is duly noted.



>>>>If God wants to then change the will, he would. And if he doesn’t, then a long sermon won’t help. But I’ve yet to see any preacher, Calvinist included, attempt such a thing.<<<

That's because no Calvinist believes that God saves His elect apart from the appointed means. Predestination includes all the details:) Do you deny that God predestined every single word in the Bible and that the words would be preserved for the church? I guess the canon of Scripture and all the details in the Bible were a crap shoot and totally unnecessary? OR just maybe God appointed every jot and tittle in His predetermination and plan? (Matthew 5:17-20; John 10:35).

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--"Unless you're planning to commit suicide, that would be absurd:)”

If you admit this one exception, the floodgates are opened.<<<

Well, no. Even suicide is ordained of God:

Acts 1:16–20 (NKJV) — 16 “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; 17 for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19 And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’

Psalm 41:9


>>>--“Pelagianism again. Death proves guilt.”

Except... you have no verse for that. Anyway, Christ wasn’t guilty, yet he died. And if you say its because your guilt was on him, then why do you die?<<<

Romans 6:23 (NKJV) — 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die:

Ezekiel 18:4 (NKJV) — 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.

Jesus died to save His elect from the second death, not the first death. All who live on earth will experience physical death.

Revelation 20:14 (NKJV) — 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.


Question 28

What are the punishments of sin in this world?
The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind, (Eph. 4:18) a reprobate sense, (Rom. 1:28) strong delusions, (2 Thess. 2:11) hardness of heart, (Rom. 2:5) horror of conscience, (Isa. 33:14, Gen. 4:13, Matt. 27:4) and vile affections; (Rom. 1:26) or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures of our sakes, (Gen. 3:17) and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments; (Deut. 28:15–18) together with death itself. (Rom. 6:21,23)


Question 29

What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission, in hell-fire for ever. (2 Thess. 1:9, Mark 9:43–44,46,48, Luke 16:24)


The Westminster larger catechism: With scripture proofs. 1996. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

John said...


--So for you grace IS given to all men. But their will has to accept apart from grace? What the heck???”

It’s called orthodoxy. That thing that all the church believed up until Calvin.

--“And if grace is "offered" then it is certain that none have it since they must "accept" the grace before they have it. “

No, they have to accept the salvation, not the grace. The grace is objective.

--“The Arminian view IS semi-pelagian since the doctrine of "prevenient" grace is allegedly given to everyone so they can have a "free will””

Sorry, but while it may be fashionable in Calvinist circles to call Arminianism semi-Pelagian, as I’ve pointed out countless times, semi-Pelagian has a specific theological meaning, and doesn’t just mean “anything in between Calvinism and Pelagianism”.

--“The word "common" means everyone has it. Unless you're just being obtuse again? “

(a) Theological terms have meaning beyond the mere words. Trinity doesn’t just mean “something to do with threeness”. It carries a lot of nuance.

(b) What I am talking about is NOT common, because not everyone has it in the same way, nor at the same time.

(c) Invest in a theological dictionary so that you don’t embarrass yourself so much.


--“Pelagianism doesn't require grace at all. Semi-pelagianism concedes grace but that grace just makes it possible to default to an alleged "free" will, which will is inclined to evil.”

Nope. Go buy that theological dictionary.

--“But here's the problem. You are now claiming that preachers save people with cleverly prepared sermons! More heresy!”

No, I’m claiming the obvious, namely that sermons are designed to affect the will, and the will is part of the conversion process. According to you, changing the will is purely supernatural, making a well prepared sermon superfluous. An awful sermon would do equally as well.

--“Jesus died to save His elect from the second death, not the first death. All who live on earth will experience physical death.”

Aha! So then, death is NOT related to you being seen by God as a sinner!!! Because God sees you, the converted as righteous, with the righteousness of Christ... RIGHT? Yet you die. You haven’t really thought all this through, have you?

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--So for you grace IS given to all men. But their will has to accept apart from grace? What the heck???”

It’s called orthodoxy. That thing that all the church believed up until Calvin.<<<

Unfortunately for you, you've already admitted that for you the Bible is irrelevant and it is Scripture that teaches God's absolute sovereignty and absolute predestination.

Since you refuse to prove your bare assertions from Scripture this is your last post. I have better thing to do than argue in circles with irrationalists:)

Charlie J. Ray said...

>>>--“Jesus died to save His elect from the second death, not the first death. All who live on earth will experience physical death.”

Aha! So then, death is NOT related to you being seen by God as a sinner!!! Because God sees you, the converted as righteous, with the righteousness of Christ... RIGHT? Yet you die. You haven’t really thought all this through, have you?<<<

Does eternal life mean anything to you? :) I think it is you who have not thought things through. HINT: Heaven is not of this world or of mortal life.

Adios.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Johnny still can't reason. He can't understand that contradicting oneself over and over and baiting and switching do not win rational debates:)

The end.

This thread is now closed.

Charlie J. Ray said...

For the record, Augustine did teach free will early on in his life. Toward the end of his life, Augustine rejected free will and taught the absolute sovereignty of God and free grace, not free will.

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