Contend Earnestly: Atonement Debate: Turretinfan Response

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Atonement Debate: Turretinfan Response


Introduction

With respect, I think that Mr. McBee (aka "SDM") seems to have misidentified the point I was trying to make. Perhaps this is because I was too brief. I certainly do not believe, and do not wish to suggest, that Mr. McBee intentionally misrepresented me. On the other hand, each time Mr. McBee wrote "Turretinfan's position is," I think he missed the position. Allow me to elaborate.

The Point Restated

Christ died for the express purpose of saving the elect. The point of citing John 3:16 was to point out the third phrase, "ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται," that is in Latin "ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat" fairly literally rendered "so-that-would all the believing-ones (in him) not perish," more casually "so that all who believe in him would not perish" or as the KJV so memorably translates it "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish."


The rest, the question of what does the word kosmos mean, and so forth is all secondary. It is important, but it is secondary. The first thing to understand from the phrase is that God is explaining purpose. The phrase is a so-called "hina" phrase, called because it is introduced by "ινα" (typically pronounced "hina") as can be seen above.

In this case, the hina phrase is connected to and is explained by the preceding phrase. The preceding phrase is "ωστε τον υιον αυτου τον μονογενη εδωκεν" in Latin "ut Filium suum unigenitum daret" fairly literally rendered "so (the-[one-who-is]) son his (the-[one-who-is]) onlybegotton he-gave" or more casually "so he gave up his onlybegotten son," or as the KJV so memorably translates it "that he gave his only begotten Son."

In other words, grammatically, the feature of all the believers being saved is linked to the feature of God giving His only begotten Son. From the structure of the sentence we can see that the reason why God gave his Son, was to save all the believers.

Finally, of course, the "hoste" (ωστε) similarly connects to the phrase that goes before it. The phrase before it is "ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον κοσμον" which in Latin is "sic enim dilexit Deus mundum" and can be fairly literally translated "in-this-way for he-loved (the) God (the) world" or more casually "for God loved the world thus" or as the KJV so memorably translates it "For God so loved the world."

This starts the thought, while showing that the thought is providing an illustration of the thought that precedes it. The "For . God loved the world" connects to the preceding thought, while the "thus" tells us that an explanation follows. As seen above, this explanation is two-fold. First, God gave his onlybegotten Son. And Second, God gave him for the purpose of saving all the believers.

It's not particularly important to my argument to define the word "world." Does it mean "the world of the elect" as some have said, or just "men" or perhaps "the natural/created order"? It doesn't particularly matter for the argument that I'm making positively.

The point is that the verse makes the gift's purpose clear: to save believers. My point is that this verse is evidence of the fact that such was Christ's purpose. His purpose always to save the believers, all of the believers, and - while the verse does not say so explicitly - only the believers.

If we had only John 3:17's comment: "but that the world through him might be saved," the question would be open, and we'd have to really dig in to figure out what "world" means. Not so with verse 16. Verse 16 is specific. And we have verse 18 as well, which explains that the "believers-in-him" are not condemned, whereas the "unbelievers-in-him" are already condemned.

Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" equivocally, and (2) the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.

Ok, but what does "Kosmos" mean?

SDM noted that kosmos has a variety of meaning. I would respectfully disagree with one of his claims. He cited Mark 16:15 as being a case of when kosmos means "all of humanity." Mark 16:15 uses kosmos to mean the actual earth (geo-politically). In fact, with respect, I think SDM would be hard pressed in any of the about 150 verses (or about 180 uses) that use the word kosmos in the New Testament to come up with even one that clearly uses the word to mean all humanity, and not simply the actual world, or the natural/created (sometimes considered as fallen) order generally. Even if SDM could come up with a few such examples, I think SDM would have to admit that the dominant usage in the New Testament and in other ancient philosophical material is of the actual world or the created/natural order.


In other words, I would respectfully submit that using the word as SDM does is mostly based on a philosophical presupposition that SDM brings with him to the text, not based on something in the word itself.

I would expand on what SDM said. In Scripture, kosmos ordinarily is a broad term that conveys a sense of expansiveness. It ordinarily does not carry an exhaustive sense. We use "all" this way frequently (and "world" sometimes) in common parlance. It's a form of hyperbole. The statement: "He has traveled through the whole world (or all over the world)," means he is a globe-trotter, not that there is no stone his soles have not touched. This too will be significant as we proceed.

SDM, however, wrote: "Turretinfan's position is that this term, world or "kosmos", means "elect"." That's not quite an accurate representation. I don't take the position that the word means that, but I think that the word - in context - does refer primarily to the elect as a global group. In other words, the "world" contrasted with just the Jews like Nicodemeus the Pharisee to whom Jesus was speaking. We'll see how this is true, as we proceed. But this misunderstanding (I assume it is not an intentional straw man), leads to most of SDM's counter-arguments being irrelevant.

Unraveling SDM's Counter-Presentation

SDM's position is fairly clear: to SDM "the world" is composed of two groups: those who will believe and those who won't. SDM states this position, but I think if we examine his explanation closely we'll see he hasn't actually establish this position with exegesis.

SDM indicates that in his view the verse starts by treating one group, each and every person, in the phrase "God so loved the world." SDM claims that John then turns to another group "those believing will not perish." SDM correctly notes that this term is implies that there is another group, the unbelievers who will perish. SDM then asserts that those two groups make up the original group of the world.

Based on those premises, SDM concludes that to make "the world" = "the elect" would create a problem, because some of the elect would be unbelievers that perish. The problem, of course, is not in the logic, but in the premises. Specifically, the problem is in assuming that "the believing ones who will not perish" i.e. the elect, is intended to be a sub-category of "world."

From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world." Alternatively, we may simply conclude that "world" is a reference to the Creation generally (the natural/created order), and that the phrase about God's love for what he made is to be understood specifically by his expression of that love: giving his Son for the elect.

To borrow SDM's Texas analogy, it would be a bit like saying: "I love Texas; so, I moved to Texas and married a lass from Galveston." Such a comment would not suggest that the speaker plans to play the field with other Texan women, or that his love for Texan women generally is equal to that of his bride. Furthermore, if the same man said that "I didn't come to Texas to visit, but to live there," no one would suppose that the speaker meant that he was going to live in every town in Texas, or that he might not visit Dallas or Houston from time to time, but would understand that he lives in Texas by living in a particular town in Texas, and is wed to Texas by his marriage to the particular Galveston gal, not to every woman who lives there. We also wouldn't assume from his "I love Texas," that he necessarily likes the desert, the beach, the Rio Grande river, Dallas Fort-Worth airport, or Dr. Pepper, whether or not those are a part of Texas. We let people speak in general terms, and we should give Scripture the same flexibility.

Yes, but what about John 12:47?

SDM appeals to John 12:47, which - of course - is not part of the immediate context. Nevertheless, it uses some similar terms, so we should examine it, as well as the other corresponding Johanine passages.

John 12:47 has its own context, which I'll show below:


46I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
John 12:46-50


It seems to me that if "the world" just means the created order generally, and not all men exhaustively, then the passage makes more sense. Specifically, verse 46 would seem to be a bit odd, for it appears to refer to Christ's incarnation: his coming into the world, not his coming into the hearts of each and every person.

On the other hand, if we view the word "world" the same way in verse 46 and verse 47, then Christ's statement is easily understood: he's here to save the created order not to judge it. That is to say, He's here as a Savior, not a Judge. He immediately points out, though, that his words do judge those who reject them, because he speaks the words of the Father who sent him, namely the commandments of eternal life.

And John 12:47/John 3:17 is not the only place to find this concept. The same concept also can be found in the fist chapter of John:

9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:9-14

Now, unlike John 12, John 1 is the preceding context (even if somewhat removed) of John 3. A reader who is reading John's gospel (or hearing it read) will have heard this by the time he gets to John 3. How does John 1 use the term "world." It uses it in the sense of the created order, but it also uses it as a broader term to another group: "his own," which the reader will soon discover are the Jews.

Indeed, we see this same theme in John 3:10-11, repeated just before the verses we are discussing:

John 3:10-11

10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.


Notice the switch in address from simply Nicodemus (thou . knowest not) to Israel generally or especially the Jewish leaders (ye receive not). "Thou" is singular, but "ye" is plural. Thus, as promised above, we can see that the use of the word "world" as a broad term to indicate more-than-just-Jewish-people is both supported by the precedent set in chapter 1, and the confirming context in verses 10-11.

It's worth pointing out that Jesus makes similar claims to be the light of the world and the Savior of those who follow him (the light), several times before John 12:

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(the precipitates an argument with the Pharisees over whether this is just Jesus' say-so, which Jesus denies, saying that the Father bears witness to the truth of his testimony, but then turns the tables on them, explaining why they do not understand and follow him, that is to say, why they do not see the light, compare Paul's comments in 2 Corinthians 4:4)

Or again:

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 9:5
(this context is pretty interesting, because Jesus demonstrates how people see the light by curing the blindness of the man born blind, which is a picture of our spiritual blindness before regeneration)

And again:

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
John 11:9


(this context is interesting too, because Jesus immediately goes and raises Lazarus from the dead, which is another picture of our spiritual deadness before regeneration)

So also, even if we simply go beyond John 3:18, and get the further explanation in the subsequent verses, we see:

19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
John 3:19-21


In other words, the light shining in the world condemns (demonstrates the guilt of) those who hide, but justifies (demonstrates the righteousness of) those who come. It's an amazing light: first we see our sin, then we see our Savior, and then we come to God in our Savior's righteousness.

Christ is that light. He came to open the eyes of the spiritually blind, to raise the spiritually dead, and to save them from their sins through faith in himself. He came to save them, he did not come to save the reprobate.

Yes, but what about the Brass Serpent?

The serpent is not quite the analogy that SDM was looking for. Let's look quickly at the entire original account, since it is short:


4And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. 5And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Numbers 21:4-9

SDM claims that this is "a direct parallel . [if] you looked, you were saved, if you didn't look, you died." Actually, though, the original passage doesn't make any mention of anyone not looking and dying. That's not really the parallel at all.

The parallel is two-fold. First, like the serpent, Jesus will be crucified ("as Moses lifted up the serpent . so must the Son of man be lifted up" - see also John 8:28 and John 12:32-33). Second, the point is that in crucifixion, Christ will save those he is intended to save.

I think SDM misreads Numbers 21:8. That verse says: "every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, shall live." And then the next verse explains, "If a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Now, there clearly are some translational differences between SDM's and mine, but the point of the passage is actually that God is providing salvation to the people who repented of their grumbling against God and prayed to Him. The sense is "everyone who is bitten will live, when he sees the brass serpent," and "when anyone got bit by a serpent, he looked to the brass serpent, and lived." There's really nothing here about a foolish group of Israelites that refused to look at the brass serpent, and consequently died.

Instead, the point is that for those upon whom God had mercy, he provided a serpent, and they looked (everyone and "any man" "if a serpent had bitten" him) and lived.

There's also no discussion about the serpent being a provision for anyone's idolatry (after all, they were being punished for grumbling not idolatry), nor being a provision either generally for a particular category of sin, or for the specific sins of the people. Instead, the serpent pictured the punishment, not the crime. Even so, Christ died for our sins, on the cross. On the cross he was punished in our place. Our sins were nailed to the cross, and taken away. We can see from the rest of the law, that atonement was not simply made for categories of sins, but I fear that such a discussion will get us away from the text we are currently debating, and this post is long enough as it is.

Yes, but what about Calvin, Davenport, Ryle, and Dabney?

For now, I'm going to stick with what the text of Scripture says, not the meta-debate about whether Calvin (or the others) was a Calvinist as defined by Article 21 of Belgic Confession; the Second Main Pint of Doctrine of the Canons of Dordt; or Chapter 8, paragraph 8, of both the London Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646.

The point is that God provided salvation for his people: that is the gem of his love for the Creation. Thus, Christ is the savior of Creation, or to put it more specifically, the elect. That's what Scripture says, and that's what we believe.


32 comments:

orthodox said...

If this was Turretinfan's rebuttal to a point made by Seth, I suppose we might give him a pass mark. But no, this is Turretinfan's opening gambit. Where is the meat?

Yes, God sent Jesus so that believers would be saved. But that doesn't address the question of who Christ died for. If I wanted all baseball fans to go to the game, one way of doing that is to buy tickets for everyone in town. Showing that my intention was for baseball fans to go to the game doesn't tell us who I bought tickets for.

T: it would be a bit like saying: "I love Texas; so, I moved to Texas and married a lass from Galveston."

O: I don't think it's like that at all. It's more like saying "I loved texas so much, I was prepared to marry any Texan girl who would have me".

T: In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world."

O: That assumes he a-priori only liked the Texan girls who would have him, which would be a distinctly unlikely conclusion to jump to.

T: Alternatively, we may simply conclude that "world" is a reference to the Creation generally (the natural/created order)

O: So he was going to marry a Texan girl, because he likes the Texan landscape? Again, an unlikely link to make.

Rather, you avoid the obvious interpretation.

T: Specifically, verse 46 would seem to be a bit odd, for it appears to refer to Christ's incarnation: his coming into the world, not his coming into the hearts of each and every person.

O: Why must Christ come into your heart to stand as a light of truth? Surely his truth isn't dependant on coming into someone's heart.

T: Instead, the point is that for those upon whom God had mercy, he provided a serpent, and they looked (everyone and "any man" "if a serpent had bitten" him) and lived.

O: Uh yes, exactly. The serpent worked for every man. And this helps you ... how?

T: There's also no discussion about the serpent being a provision for anyone's idolatry (after all, they were being punished for grumbling not idolatry), nor being a provision either generally for a particular category of sin

O: Yes, that's pushing this crossreference / analogy one hill too far. But this helps you how?

natamllc said...

O, I don't know what kind of food you eat, but I do have to shun your remarks about TF's food being something less than solid meat.

This was not "logikos"/λογικός
!

This was solid "logos"/λόγος and a bit of "rhema"/ῥῆμα too!

It seems to me to say to you you are picking a fight you are not prepared to win or will win by charging thus:

["O:If this was Turretinfan's rebuttal to a point made by Seth, I suppose we might give him a pass mark. But no, this is Turretinfan's opening gambit. Where is the meat?".]

I would kindly ask you to retract that comment and apologize to TF.

O, this is not milk/logikos/λογικός toast here:::>

"TF:Christ died for the express purpose of saving the elect. The point of citing John 3:16 was to point out the third phrase, "ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται," that is in Latin "ut omnis qui credit in eum non pereat" fairly literally rendered "so-that-would all the believing-ones (in him) not perish," more casually "so that all who believe in him would not perish" or as the KJV so memorably translates it "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish."]

You are out to lunch if you believe this is slight or shallow stuff. We are talking about people perishing!

Can we step back a bit and realize we're talking about souls here and fate. The sobering reality is DEMONS SHUDDER! People are quickly being blinded by them!!!

To have you or Seth or David P. or anyone raise the issue of one eternal life with or without God is fairly meaty stuff don't you suppose?

Unless you too are blinded by Satan.

By the way TF, that was "rhema/ῥῆμα stuff pure and simple to put into this debate 2 Corinthians 4:4 for no other reason than this and I can count a few more:::>

2Co 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL, "light":
φωτισμός
phōtismos
fo-tis-mos'
From G5461; illumination (figurative): - light.



Unlike Jesus the "PHOS" OF THE WORLD/KOSMOS here the Apostle gets to the meat of the debate and consequently our lives when the Holy Ghost chooses to use another Greek Word to focus us on the entanglements that so easily beset us all, saint or sinner!

Here, Jesus the "LIGHT"/PHOS OF THE WORLD:
φῶς
phōs
foce
From an obsoleteφάω phaō (to shine or make manifest, especially by rays; compare G5316 and G5346); luminousness (in the widest application, natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative): - fire, light.


Joh 12:46 I have come into the world as phos/light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
Joh 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.


I don't believe I have much of a fair grasp of the issue between you Seth and TF. I wasn't following this course until just recently.

Although TF lays out a clear path for this debate to walk.

I am chomping at the bit even and constrain myself.

I would like to state this and close for now that Christ did not come into the world to save the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan or his angels, Death or Hades.

Regrettably He cannot save those who's names are not found in the Book of Life either. Does He want too? hmmmmmm, there might be another debate in that question as I don't believe He does come to save all who first find their beginnings here in this created heavens and earth!

Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

AND

Rev 20:15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

David Ponter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Ponter said...

Well I thought Orthodox's responses were pretty spot on. I too was disappointed by the rebuttal. It was more position statements and assertions.

David Ponter said...

I will chuck in a few of my criticisms of Turretfan's "defence" over the today and tomorrow.

But here is a problem to start with. Look at this:

Turretin says:

1) “It seems to me that if "the world" just means the created order generally, and not all men exhaustively, then the passage makes more sense.”

2) “Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" equivocally, and (2)the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.”

3) “That's not quite an accurate representation. I don't take the position that the word means that, but I think that the word - in context - does refer primarily to the elect as a global group.”

4) From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world."

Turretinfan has given us three definitions of world. Its the created natural order, then its the elect globally, then its beleivers. Which is? How can critique this when the definition proffered suffers from being rather jellyish.

The claims are all non-exegetically derived. Is there any exegetical warrant to believe John's use of Kosmos denotes
the elect globally? None was presented. Was there any that he meant the created order here? None was given. Was there any evidence that he means believers? None.

Turretinfan moved back and forth within the same paragraph:

4) From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world." Alternatively, we may simply conclude that "world" is a reference to the Creation generally (the natural/created order), and that the phrase about God's love for what he made is to be understood specifically by his expression of that love: giving his Son for the elect.

David: So it makes more sense to identify world as 'the believing ones' and not a sub-set of world. But then world is also the created order, of which the elect are a specific object of this love? How can the reference to a “specific* not entail a sub-set of a broader general class?

At this point what he has said is not credible to me.

Now on another note, the modern academic consensus is that Kosmos denotes apostate mankind, all men in unbelief and rebellion. I pulled a few commentaries myself and that’s the consensus. If you don’t believe me, check this out

Gary M. Burge’s commentary on John: “For John kosmos (used seventy-eight times in the Gospel, twenty four-times in his letters) is the realm of humanity arrayed in opposition to God (1:9, 7:7) . . . the Son did not come to the world to save a select few (those chosen, those privileged) rather, he came to save the world, namely, the all-encompassing circle of men and women who inhabit this planet, people who embrace darkness habitually (3:19-21).”

“Likewise, Horst Balz defines kosmos in such ways as: “in the Johannine theology one finds again the basic elements of the Pauline understanding of kosmos in the extreme and intensified radicality of the estrangement and ungodliness of the kosmos…the concern is with the nature of the world that has fallen away from God and is ruled by the evil one,” EDNT 2:312.

Andrew Lincoln, in his recent commentary on John, explains, “Some argue that the term ‘world’ here simply has neutral connotations—the created human world. But the characteristic use of ‘the world’ (ho kosmos) elsewhere in the narrative is with negative overtones—the world in its alienation from and hostility to its creator’s purposes. It makes better sense in a soteriological context to see the latter notion as in view. God loves that which has become hostile to God. The force is not, then, that the world is so vast that it takes a great deal of love to embrace it, but rather that the world has become so alienated from God that it takes an exceedingly great kind of love to love it at all,” The Gospel According to St. John (Henrickson 2005), 154.”

These were originally cited by the Triablogue team unless I am mistaken.

These 3 citations are confirmed by Morris, Bruce, Carson and many others. What evidence can Turretinfan adduce that world here, means the elect globally, the believers, or the created order?

It would help us if we had some clarity here. Its possible that these contrary definitions are unified in the mind of Turretinfan, but its not evident to me a reader–non-telepathic at that–where this unity lies? I am not seeing it at this point. Rather I see that it cant be all three, even two of three. And he apparently has admited:

“Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" *equivocally,* and (2) the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.”

David: But it seems to me that he has done just that: posited equivocal meanings of John’s kosmos here.

David

natamllc said...

For what it's worth I still hold out a request of Orthodox to retract his comment and apologize to TF.

David, wow!

You have a mind!

Two things I would touch and hopefully I will be succinct about it?

We shall see.

First off, I want to say that GOD IS LOVE. Whatever God does intrinsically or broadly, openly will only establish that LOVE.

Keeping that in mind the tenor of this debate should be and I ask Seth to see to it that it remains such, a debate about those that perish.

We here all agree we will not perish? Yes, well of course unless we are not one of the "Elect".

Now to David's question. David, I am glad you asked it!

Here is your question:

[David: How can the reference to a “specific* not entail a sub-set of a broader general class?]

Michael's answer:

Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
Deu 32:9 But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.


I too David want to wade into this debate, somewhat in trepidation knowing what little I know of your sharp sword and those of others commenting thus far!

David Ponter said...

Hey Michael,

You say: For what it's worth I still hold out a request of Orthodox to retract his comment and apologize to TF.

David: Okay, he says it barely gets a pass-mark. How is that an insult? I would not encourage anyone to fall on their sword for a remark like that. Wait for something really insulting. :-) But it really not a matter I want to get into. His actual remarks to Turretinfan’s arguments were good as I read them. His pointing out the flaw in the Texas girl analogy was good too.

Michael: Keeping that in mind the tenor of this debate should be and I ask Seth to see to it that it remains such, a debate about those that perish.

David: I thought the debate was over the meaning of 3:16? For the purposes of the discussion, focus is paramount.

To my comment, “David: How can the reference to a “specific* not entail a sub-set of a broader general class?”

Michael says:

Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
Deu 32:9 But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.

David: I am not sure how that speaks to my point?

David

natamllc said...

David

thanks for your kindness and addressing my remarks.

I guess one can conclude each have different ears and we hear and see things differently.

And with that said, I will just wait a bit and ponder your points looking for O's retraction by my request not TF's mind you and others who want to pick apart both TF's and Seth's positions which now it seems to me are not to far away from each other's.

I am most interested in John 3:16 as it relates to my own soul and yours and everyone's for Whom He was Sent by the Only True God, Our Heavenly Father. That to me is paramount!

There is much to be gained by humility and preference one towards another. There is also much to learn when learned men as you and TF and Seth debate the paramount issues.

I guess as the Prophet already said, if one is into straining, I would it would be camels and not gnats! Don't you agree?

David Ponter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Ponter said...

I want to tackle this. I should preface this that my remarks follow a streams of consciousness format. I post on things that I think I have worked out in my head: the problem that is.

Turretinfan says this:

I think SDM misreads Numbers 21:8. That verse says: "every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, shall live." And then the next verse explains, "If a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Now, there clearly are some translational differences between SDM's and mine, but the point of the passage is actually that God is providing salvation to the people who repented of their grumbling against God and prayed to Him. The sense is "everyone who is bitten will live, when he sees the brass serpent," and "when anyone got bit by a serpent, he looked to the brass serpent, and lived." There's really nothing here about a foolish group of Israelites that refused to look at the brass serpent, and consequently died.

Instead, the point is that for those upon whom God had mercy, he provided a serpent, and they looked (everyone and "any man" "if a serpent had bitten" him) and lived.

David:

There is this constant confusion in Turretinfan’s approach here. He is confusing the intentionality and engaging in reductionism.

We would say this, the intention of God in the provision of the serpent is complex, not simple (without parts).

Let me illustrate by way of example.

Harry decides to organize a party for his co-workers on the 5th floor, so that the ones who come have the greatest time. Turretinfan wants to say something like this: Harry only organized the party for those who had a great time, that is those who came.

He is missing the point. Its clear that the party was in one general sense organized for all the co-workers on the 5th floor and yet its also clear that Harry’s design is that the party be especially efficacious for those who do indeed come. Turretinfan’s gloss on this is really quite shallow.

What is more, his confusion is what is undergirding his analysis of 3:16. For likewise he keeps saying that Christ came to save those who believe. Thats perfectly true. But it does not exhaust the complexity of the picture. Christ came to sustain a provision for the whole world, and also he did this with the special intention of providing the exact efficient means to save those who do believe on him. He also came to save the world. There are multiple intentions here which tf is glossing over.

I am sure others can make my point clearer than I can. But that seems to me to strike at the heart of Turretinfans fallacious reasoning on that point.

Next:

Turretinfan: There's also no discussion about the serpent being a provision for anyone's idolatry (after all, they were being punished for grumbling not idolatry), nor being a provision either generally for a particular category of sin, or for the specific sins of the people. Instead, the serpent pictured the punishment, not the crime. Even so, Christ died for our sins, on the cross. On the cross he was punished in our place. Our sins were nailed to the cross, and taken away. We can see from the rest of the law, that atonement was not simply made for categories of sins, but I fear that such a discussion will get us away from the text we are currently debating, and this post is long enough as it is.

David: I am not sure if in principle he is wrong, but lets just grant that he overstated it for now. Where will that take us? The point of continuity remains nonetheless. As the serpent was a type, as provision for the people (general sense) so that the one who believes will not perish (special sense) so too Christ is the anti-type by sustaining and effecting a provision for the world (general sense) so that the one in the world who believes will be not perish (special sense). If my Harry analogy does not spotlight what Turretinfan is doing, then I don’t know what will. He keeps saying that Christ came to save those who believe, and for this we all agree. But thats not all there is here. I don’t think any sensitive thinker would just insist that harry only hosted the party only for those who actually came. But thats exactly how some of us feel about Turretinfan’s treatment of 3:16. Of course to avoid this, Turretinfan has to play around with the meaning of “world.” And I suspect if he were to fix his meaning to one definition, he knows his exegesis would fall apart because he has already acknowledged that those who believe God so loved the elect of the world, for that would entail equivocation [even tho at another point its okay to say the ‘elect globally’?], and it would bring us back to some of the elect not believing. I know he has said:

“From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world.”

He says that because he wants to make ‘world’ the believing ones (and as I have shown, he seriously equivocates and confuses his readers on that point). But that takes us back to Harry and the party.

Like this: Harry organizes a party for the 5th floor workers, so that those who come have a great time. Turretinfan would want us to think that ‘5th floor workers’ is identical to ‘those who had a great time.’ We are saying nothing he says demonstrates that they are equivalent, and its obvious, given John’s actual use of kosmos, that they are not.

Some redundancy there sorry, I am just trying to make the same basic point from slightly different angles.

David

natamllc said...

David

I hope we are not found to be pigs, muddy hogs, hogging this debate?:)

But I have some time and I too want to chime in here.

I will go at the first of these comments of yours here.

First off, I have nothing to "go at" in the sense of "proving" Seth right and TF wrong or vice versa. I believe they fairly state accurately the reality we are all living in right now as we go along in this debate.

So I will refrain from making judgments on that scope trusting we both or any who come in here to bring clarity to the matter by way of this forum are bringing clarity to a position and not discipline implied to a Brother, a Son of the Living God whom we think is wrong.

Did not our friend, the Great Apostle Paul conclude as much? He indeed said he would wait it out and stand before the Judge to find out whether he was right or wrong! That's a loose paraphrase of Michael's translation then!

1Co 4:1 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1Co 4:2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.
1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
1Co 4:4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.


Fair observation so far?

Your point then David to me has a foundation but as you just asserted, using your own words now:

david: He is confusing the intentionality and engaging in reductionism.

We would say this, the intention of God in the provision of the serpent is complex, not simple (without parts).

Let me illustrate by way of example.

michael:I like to look at Scripture to bring clarity or confusion, which ever works, :)to the text in question so I would point to this verse first;

Rev 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

Here we read and it is opened up to my mind to search this idea out in light of the text in question, John 3:16.

The idea is this: .....WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD...

hmmmmm

What does that mean?

Who is God referring to, those from the FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD?

Me, perhaps? I certainly hope so! :)

Mysteries abound needless to say.

That word there "world" in Revelation 17:8 is this Greek Word:

kos'-mos

Back to the serpent then. For me, an incident when it first occurred has relevance.

In the Numbers 21 matter to which Jesus refers when humbly answering that Teacher of Israel Nicodemus has an interesting and serious matter attached to it, ELECTION.

Would you infer that everyone who died at the first part of Numbers 21 were not the ELECT of God, and so God disposed of them without mercy? And then if that is so, we would say that everyone after Moses made that bronze serpent and lifted it up so that everyone afterwards who looked upon it "and" were equally as guilty as those first to die are the ELECT entitled to mercy?

That just doesn't square with God's LOVINGKINDNESS AND MERCY!

So there has to be some other reason Jesus is educating Nicodemus!

How about this biblical story to maybe draw closer to what I believe TF is teaching us here? I might digress a bit more and say, unlike us, Jesus, one of His names is ALPHA AND OMEGA. Me, I am on a one track one way pathway to Heaven! Yes and Amen. Jesus then at anytime in the process of these current Heavens and Earth can insert any Life Giving Truth to help poor in spirit souls such as we are!

Our dear friend Peter,:

Mat 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
Mat 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee."
Mat 26:33 Peter answered him, "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away."
Mat 26:34 Jesus said to him, "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
Mat 26:35 Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!" And all the disciples said the same.


hmmmmm, ok, let's get this one straight then.

Jesus, Son of God, sent to lost Sheep of Israel and to all whose names are known about before the foundation of the world, is not dead yet but tells Peter he's nuts and out to lunch but don't worry Peter, after I am crucified, dead and buried and you go off licking your wounds and saddened by your faithlessness and cowardous, when I am risen, I will meet you for breakfast in Galilee and I'm buying so bring as many friends when we meet again, ok? See ya Pete! :)

I might just add, maybe Seth according to TF missed TF's point!

Fair enough? We all error continually!

I don't deserve mercy or grace or Peace with God!

Do any of you?

But to end this diddly I want to refer finally to that Great Apostle Peter and insert maybe "his" near to or shortly before his death when writing to the Elect he made an amazing admission which I certainly am pondering more these days seeing I am just sick and tired of going behind the spiritual woodshed with Jesus!!!!:::>

Consider the phrase "IF NECESSARY".

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
1Pe 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

More comments to come!

michael

David Ponter said...

Michael says:
Rev 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

Here we read and it is opened up to my mind to search this idea out in light of the text in question, John 3:16.

The idea is this: .....WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD...

David: So okay you got me. I will assume your point us: Some instances of Kosmos mean physical creation. Where does that get us?

Is John using kosmos in chapters 1-3 as physical creation? Is he using it in 3:16-17 for creation?

If so, just be consistent. Christ came into the world to save physical creation.

Has anyone ever taken kosmos in 3:16-17 as physical creation? No I guess not.

Can any instance of world in 3:16-17 be etablished to mean physical creation? I doubt it for all the arguments we have already adduced.

Cut

Michael: Would you infer that everyone who died at the first part of Numbers 21 were not the ELECT of God, and so God disposed of them without mercy?

David: Assuming that no elect person in the OT could be punished with death? Was Moses’ death before the entrance into the land a punishment? Was the death of David’s son a punishment? Was David’s son elect? is the question I would say. Most would say yes.

Michael: And then if that is so, we would say that everyone after Moses made that bronze serpent and lifted it up so that everyone afterwards who looked upon it "and" were equally as guilty as those first to die are the ELECT entitled to mercy?

David: Why should I make that assumption? The question can easily be turned around. Paul says that they drank from the spiritual rock Christ, and yet their bodies littered the desert.

Michael: That just doesn't square with God's LOVINGKINDNESS AND MERCY!

David: Okay...

David: Michael, here is why I am reluctant to interact with you: most of what you say makes no sense to me. I only understand you when it looks like you are cranky with one of us. For then you right forthrightly.

With respect, I wont be replying to any more comments, Michael, unless they are 1) relevant to what I have said, and 2) understandable to me.

Take care,
David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

David, I must confess I am still having trouble with the analogies being used here. Like the pony analogy, the party analogy is missing a very obvious element: effectual calling. We cannot merely say that Harry threw a party for the whole fifth floor. That is not the whole picture. We must also recognize that Harry only ever intended for the alcohol drinkers to come to the party in the first place (before he threw it), and so he deliberately served alcohol to exclude the teetotalers. He never intended for them to come.

If Harry is in charge of throwing the party, and in charge of deciding who will come, can we still say that he threw the party for the whole fifth floor, given that he only intended that the alcohol drinkers would come? The party was certainly sufficient for the teetotallers—they could have come if they'd wanted—but it was never meant for them.

Similarly, can we say that Harry really wanted the teetotalers to come if he never intended for them to do so? You will notice I have deliberately not answered these questions. I am just trying to demonstrate that the question is a little more complex than you have represented it to be.

I cannot see a way around avoiding viewing Harry's invitation in the light of his intentions about who can come. I have considered that perhaps I am committing a category error—but manifestly that does not appear to be the case: because the invitation, and deciding who can come, are both Harry's own actions, and are both motivated by his specific intentions toward teetotalers. I cannot see how they can be put into different categories. To do so would be to give Harry multiple personality disorder.

Regards,
Bnonn

Turretinfan said...

O: If this was Turretinfan's rebuttal to a point made by Seth, I suppose we might give him a pass mark. But no, this is Turretinfan's opening gambit. Where is the meat?
TF: Actually, this is a rebuttal to the points made by SDM.

O: Yes, God sent Jesus so that believers would be saved. But that doesn't address the question of who Christ died for. If I wanted all baseball fans to go to the game, one way of doing that is to buy tickets for everyone in town. Showing that my intention was for baseball fans to go to the game doesn't tell us who I bought tickets for.
TF: The issue of particular intent, does - in fact - resolve the issue, but it does require something extra. I'm thinking that SDM will be willing to give me the something extra.

[I've omitted the rest of the Texas saga.]

O: Why must Christ come into your heart to stand as a light of truth? Surely his truth isn't dependant on coming into someone's heart.
TF: Read verse 46, which is what was being discussed. Truth is objective, not subjective, certainly.

O: Uh yes, exactly. The serpent worked for every man. And this helps you ... how?
TF: It's part of the something extra. The cross did what it was intended to do. I know SDM will grant me that.

TF (previously): There's also no discussion about the serpent being a provision for anyone's idolatry (after all, they were being punished for grumbling not idolatry), nor being a provision either generally for a particular category of sin
O: Yes, that's pushing this crossreference / analogy one hill too far. But this helps you how?
TF: It rebuts the proferred support for the death-for-class-of-sins assertion by SDM. Keep in mind that I am rebutting here.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

D: "Well I thought Orthodox's responses were pretty spot on. I too was disappointed by the rebuttal. It was more position statements and assertions."
TF: There's plenty of irony in that particular criticism.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

D: I will chuck in a few of my criticisms of Turretfan's "defence" over the today and tomorrow.
TF: I cannot promise to respond to every criticism, though SDM has asked me to provide some responses.

D: But here is a problem to start with. Look at this:
Turretin says:
1) “It seems to me that if "the world" just means the created order generally, and not all men exhaustively, then the passage makes more sense.”
2) “Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" equivocally, and (2)the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.”
3) “That's not quite an accurate representation. I don't take the position that the word means that, but I think that the word - in context - does refer primarily to the elect as a global group.”
4) From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world."
Turretinfan has given us three definitions of world. Its the created natural order, then its the elect globally, then its beleivers. Which is? How can critique this when the definition proffered suffers from being rather jellyish.
TF: As I explained, the meaning of "world" is not that important to my argument. I don't think Scripture uses the word "world" with a single wooden meaning. More importantly, there seems to be an assumption in the "which is it" question that word cannot serve all three purposes:
1) to mean literally the created order generally;
2) primarily to be used to refer to the elect as a global group (in distinction to "his own" - cf. John 1); and
3) to be explained as a general reference to the particular objects via the "all the believers" in the latter part of the verse.

D: The claims are all non-exegetically derived.
TF: Actually, of course, they are exegetically derived, and the exegesis is in the post.

D: Is there any exegetical warrant to believe John's use of Kosmos denotes the elect globally? None was presented.
TF: Sure there was. Recall the John 1 portion of the post.

D: Was there any that he meant the created order here? None was given.
TF: Sure there was. It was argued that such is a natural reading of the text, in combination with the assertion (which I assume would not be challenged) that such is the ordinary meaning of the term in philosphical contexts.

D: Was there any evidence that he means believers? None.
TF: Of course there was. The were the argument from the hoste-hina link between the first and third phrases.

D: Turretinfan moved back and forth within the same paragraph:
4) From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world." Alternatively, we may simply conclude that "world" is a reference to the Creation generally (the natural/created order), and that the phrase about God's love for what he made is to be understood specifically by his expression of that love: giving his Son for the elect.
D: So it makes more sense to identify world as 'the believing ones' and not a sub-set of world.
TF: As noted above, not an identity claim, but explanatory relationship.

D: But then world is also the created order, of which the elect are a specific object of this love?
TF: Exactly.

D: How can the reference to a “specific* not entail a sub-set of a broader general class?
TF: Well, as everyone knows, everyone, that is, who has studied rhetoric, sometimes conversations include explanations that are like the one at the beginning of this sentence.

D: At this point what he has said is not credible to me.
TF: That's hardly significant, since you started on the other side of the fence.

D: Now on another note, the modern academic consensus is that Kosmos denotes apostate mankind, all men in unbelief and rebellion.
TF: Where, aside from Scripture (and commentaries on Scripture), do you see it used that way in ancient/classical/koine/you-name-it Greek? I cannot think of a single example. I suspect that is because none exist, but I'll leave you to provide some Homeric, or other example, if such can be found.
As for it being "modern academic consensus" - that's not true (Dr. James White being an example of a contrary modern academic) and even if it were true, it would hardly be compelling, given that much of modern academia is theologically liberal, and their interpretation is highly suspect of theological bias because of the prominent misuse of John 3:16.

D: I pulled a few commentaries myself and that’s the consensus. If you don’t believe me, check this out
[Examples omitted]
These were originally cited by the Triablogue team unless I am mistaken.
These 3 citations are confirmed by Morris, Bruce, Carson and many others. What evidence can Turretinfan adduce that world here, means the elect globally, the believers, or the created order?
TF: For the created order, in addition to general reference materals on Greek usage (take your pick), if you want a specific reference that relates to New Testament Greek you could pick, for example, "The New Analytical Greek Lexicon," by Wesley Perschbacher. It's surprising to me that anyone who knows Greek would challenge that particular definition. Perhaps you don't know Greek?

D: It would help us if we had some clarity here. Its possible that these contrary definitions are unified in the mind of Turretinfan, but its not evident to me a reader–non-telepathic at that–where this unity lies? I am not seeing it at this point. Rather I see that it cant be all three, even two of three.
TF: Hopefully the explanation above clarifies.

D: And he apparently has admited:

“Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" *equivocally,* and (2) the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.”
D: But it seems to me that he has done just that: posited equivocal meanings of John’s kosmos here.
TF: Again, since this seems to be built on the inability to see the unified relation, I trust that the relationship has been explained, and this charge of equivocation has been addressed.

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

You know, I think I am just going to be the fool now:

Pro 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.
Pro 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

TF, defence
D, defense to rebuttal
TF, refutation

Clear to me.

Seth, is it your time now or are you going to wait a day or so more for more commenters and rebutters rebut?

michael

Turretinfan said...

D: Turretinfan says this:
I think SDM misreads Numbers 21:8. That verse says: "every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, shall live." And then the next verse explains, "If a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Now, there clearly are some translational differences between SDM's and mine, but the point of the passage is actually that God is providing salvation to the people who repented of their grumbling against God and prayed to Him. The sense is "everyone who is bitten will live, when he sees the brass serpent," and "when anyone got bit by a serpent, he looked to the brass serpent, and lived." There's really nothing here about a foolish group of Israelites that refused to look at the brass serpent, and consequently died.
Instead, the point is that for those upon whom God had mercy, he provided a serpent, and they looked (everyone and "any man" "if a serpent had bitten" him) and lived.
D:There is this constant confusion in Turretinfan’s approach here.
TF: Hmm...

D: He is confusing the intentionality and engaging in reductionism.
We would say this, the intention of God in the provision of the serpent is complex, not simple (without parts).
Let me illustrate by way of example.
Harry decides to organize a party for his co-workers on the 5th floor, so that the ones who come have the greatest time. Turretinfan wants to say something like this: Harry only organized the party for those who had a great time, that is those who came.
He is missing the point. Its clear that the party was in one general sense organized for all the co-workers on the 5th floor and yet its also clear that Harry’s design is that the party be especially efficacious for those who do indeed come. Turretinfan’s gloss on this is really quite shallow.
TF: Well, with respect, I think the rebuttal is even less shallow. Let me explain:
John 3:16 is teaching that Jesus was given for the purpose of saving "all the believers" which we Reformed folks (and even some others) call "the elect."
Now, I think you have already admitted that it was not intended to save the other group - those who refuse to believe.
The party analogy is non-anlogous, because "having a good time" is sliding-scale - whereas Salvation is binary. There are two final destinations - and the purpose of Christ's sacrifice was to put a particular group ("all the believers") into one of those two destinations.

D: What is more, his confusion is what is undergirding his analysis of 3:16. For likewise he keeps saying that Christ came to save those who believe. Thats perfectly true. But it does not exhaust the complexity of the picture.
TF: It does exhaust the point of the verse, although I am aware that you assert some additional purposes.

D: Christ came to sustain a provision for the whole world, and also he did this with the special intention of providing the exact efficient means to save those who do believe on him.
TF: The verse does not say so, as has been demonstrated in the post above.

D: He also came to save the world. There are multiple intentions here which tf is glossing over.
TF: The verse does not say he also came to save the world.

D: I am sure others can make my point clearer than I can. But that seems to me to strike at the heart of Turretinfans fallacious reasoning on that point.
TF: First, demonstrate the fallacy, then call it fallacious reasoning.

D: Next:Turretinfan: There's also no discussion about the serpent being a provision for anyone's idolatry (after all, they were being punished for grumbling not idolatry), nor being a provision either generally for a particular category of sin, or for the specific sins of the people. Instead, the serpent pictured the punishment, not the crime. Even so, Christ died for our sins, on the cross. On the cross he was punished in our place. Our sins were nailed to the cross, and taken away. We can see from the rest of the law, that atonement was not simply made for categories of sins, but I fear that such a discussion will get us away from the text we are currently debating, and this post is long enough as it is.
D: I am not sure if in principle he is wrong, but lets just grant that he overstated it for now. Where will that take us? The point of continuity remains nonetheless. As the serpent was a type, as provision for the people (general sense) so that the one who believes will not perish (special sense) so too Christ is the anti-type by sustaining and effecting a provision for the world (general sense) so that the one in the world who believes will be not perish (special sense).
TF: My response is that you are stretching, because there is nothing in the original story about the serpent being a general provision, but instead, every indication is given that the serpent was universally effective, although the effect was applied via "looking to" to the serpent.

D: If my Harry analogy does not spotlight what Turretinfan is doing, then I don’t know what will. He keeps saying that Christ came to save those who believe, and for this we all agree. But thats not all there is here. I don’t think any sensitive thinker would just insist that harry only hosted the party only for those who actually came. But thats exactly how some of us feel about Turretinfan’s treatment of 3:16.
TF: If Harry went out and compelled certain people to come to the party (and we somehow knew that if Harry didn't compel them, they wouldn't come), we'd feel a bit different, wouldn't we?

D: Of course to avoid this, Turretinfan has to play around with the meaning of “world.” And I suspect if he were to fix his meaning to one definition, he knows his exegesis would fall apart because he has already acknowledged that those who believe God so loved the elect of the world, for that would entail equivocation [even tho at another point its okay to say the ‘elect globally’?], and it would bring us back to some of the elect not believing.
I know he has said: “From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world.” He says that because he wants to make ‘world’ the believing ones (and as I have shown, he seriously equivocates and confuses his readers on that point). TF: See above, regarding the equivocation charge.

D: But that takes us back to Harry and the party.
Like this: Harry organizes a party for the 5th floor workers, so that those who come have a great time. Turretinfan would want us to think that ‘5th floor workers’ is identical to ‘those who had a great time.’
TF: This formulation has another significant difference from the text: the verse does not say "for the world." Still I think the other main discriminator (adding to the analogy that all and only those who Harry actively persuades to come, actually do come) renders the entire analogy moot as to its intuitive force.

D: We are saying nothing he says demonstrates that they are equivalent, and its obvious, given John’s actual use of kosmos, that they are not.
TF: The literal scope of "world" is not equivalent to "elect," and yet the expression of "love the world" is "save the elect."

D: Some redundancy there sorry, I am just trying to make the same basic point from slightly different angles.
TF: No problem. I hope the answers clarify.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Any/all - I think I've answered at least the main points in the comments section so far, but if I've overlooked anything of import please let me know.

Thanks, Michael, for your kind support. (and sorry for not realizing your name was Michael before now!)

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...

I will break the sub-points up with a little line so that the text does not confuse.


Old David:
D: But here is a problem to start with. Look at this:
Turretin says:
1) “It seems to me that if "the world" just means the created order generally, and not all men exhaustively, then the passage makes more sense.”
2) “Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" equivocally, and (2)the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.”
3) “That's not quite an accurate representation. I don't take the position that the word means that, but I think that the word - in context - does refer primarily to the elect as a global group.”
4) From the grammatical/exegetical analysis we saw above, there is no particular need to make the believing ones a sub-category of the "world." In fact, it would be more natural to assume that "the believing ones" is a more precise way of expressing the same thing as what is intended by "the world."

Turretinfan has given us three definitions of world. Its the created natural order, then its the elect globally, then its beleivers. Which is? How can critique this when the definition proffered suffers from being rather jellyish.

TF: As I explained, the meaning of "world" is not that important to my argument. I don't think Scripture uses the word "world" with a single wooden meaning.

David: Yeah I saw you had said that, but then you go to great lengths to say world cant include any non-elect. I word it that way because that is the ultimate intent. But nothing you have said proves this.

________


TF: More importantly, there seems to be an assumption in the "which is it" question that word cannot serve all three purposes:

1) to mean literally the created order generally;
2) primarily to be used to refer to the elect as a global group (in distinction to "his own" - cf. John 1); and
3) to be explained as a general reference to the particular objects via the "all the believers" in the latter part of the verse.

David: Sure you can say that. But for me, its very implausible. John is using kosmos in the chapters to denote people, not their mere physicality, and not general physicality like trees and rocks. So that riles out the created order. And for sure, we do mean created people, but its not creation, per se. As to world equaling believers, we given reasons why that cannot be so. Does world include believers? Yes, believers is a sub-set of world.

______

Old David and TF:
D: The claims are all non-exegetically derived.
TF: Actually, of course, they are exegetically derived, and the exegesis is in the post.

David: Well we have to agree to disagree on that.

Old David and TF:
D: Is there any exegetical warrant to believe John's use of Kosmos denotes the elect globally? None was presented.
TF: Sure there was. Recall the John 1 portion of the post.

David: I didnt see any evidence that Johannine kosmos meant elect globally. Sorry.

______

Old David and TF:
D: Was there any that he meant the created order here? None was given.
TF: Sure there was. It was argued that such is a natural reading of the text, in combination with the assertion (which I assume would not be challenged) that such is the ordinary meaning of the term in philosphical contexts.

New David: again, assertion is not argument. Argument means building a case for a conclusion.


______
Old David and TF
D: Was there any evidence that he means believers? None.
TF: Of course there was. The were the argument from the hoste-hina link between the first and third phrases.

New David: Ah yes. That does not work. The gift of God is to world, so that one who believes [in the world] should not perish. Here the hina works specifically to that, so that the who believes should not perish. We are fine here.

But lets borrow language from Zanchius. Lets invoke is categories of conditional will (aka decree) and absolute will (aka decree).

And now lets merge that with my party analogy. Harry has a conditional willing to host a party for the one who comes. The party is not properly (non-absolutely for the one who does not come), but it is conditionally for them. The one who does come, Harry absolutely wills he will have the greatest time.

God conditionally gives the son the world. But he absolutely wills that all who believe, will not perish.

In this classic model, the idea in John 3;16 entails multi-intentionality. You view only works if you 1) reduce the world to be believers: ie Harry only organized the party for those who came; try and play around with John’s kosmos.


_____
TF: As noted above, not an identity claim, but explanatory relationship.
David: Well no, to me its just equivocation, an attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

Old David and TF
D: How can the reference to a “specific* not entail a sub-set of a broader general class?
TF: Well, as everyone knows, everyone, that is, who has studied rhetoric, sometimes conversations include explanations that are like the one at the beginning of this sentence.

_____
D: At this point what he has said is not credible to me.
TF: That's hardly significant, since you started on the other side of the fence.

David: Sur it is significant. If the one who believes is a sub-set of the world, then world is broader than the ones who believe, and so world cannot be equal to the ones who believe. Secondly, its also absurd to say the world is, the ones who believe, qua the ones who believe, for many of them didnt or havent believed yet. At the most now, you can say the world is the ones who believe qua as their eschatological totality perhaps.

But as it stands, some of those who will yet to believe, are part of the world, nonetheless. So “world” and “the ones who believe” are not equipollent.

_____
Old David and TF:
D: Now on another note, the modern academic consensus is that Kosmos denotes apostate mankind, all men in unbelief and rebellion.
TF: Where, aside from Scripture (and commentaries on Scripture), do you see it used that way in ancient/classical/koine/you-name-it Greek? I cannot think of a single example. I suspect that is because none exist, but I'll leave you to provide some Homeric, or other example, if such can be found.


Sure, the classic is John 17:9, here it’s the world in darkness. 1 Jn 2:5:19, the world lies in sin. John 3:17 the world stands under judgement. John 3:19, the world stands in opposition to the light, and is in darkness. John 7:7 the world hates Christ. Etc etc. The world is contrasted by John as a place of opposition to Christ and to the believers.

Where in Scripture are the believers ever called ‘the world”? Can you find a single instance, Turretinfan?


_____
Turretinfan:
As for it being "modern academic consensus" - that's not true (Dr. James White being an example of a contrary modern academic) and even if it were true, it would hardly be compelling, given that much of modern academia is theologically liberal, and their interpretation is highly suspect of theological bias because of the prominent misuse of John 3:16.

Old David:
What evidence can Turretinfan adduce that world here, means the elect globally, the believers, or the created order?
New David: I did say “world here” I thought that would be clear.

_____
TF: For the created order, in addition to general reference materals on Greek usage (take your pick), if you want a specific reference that relates to New Testament Greek you could pick, for example, "The New Analytical Greek Lexicon," by Wesley Perschbacher. It's surprising to me that anyone who knows Greek would challenge that particular definition. Perhaps you don't know Greek?

David: Show me where in the verse ranges at hand they say world means created order... or the elect globally, or believers? That was my question. There is none, Turretinfan. No reputable scholar says that the world of 3:16-17 denotes any of those things. Sure you will find it means the creation. But in these relevant texts?

______
Old David:
D: It would help us if we had some clarity here. Its possible that these contrary definitions are unified in the mind of Turretinfan, but its not evident to me a reader–non-telepathic at that–where this unity lies? I am not seeing it at this point. Rather I see that it cant be all three, even two of three.
TF: Hopefully the explanation above clarifies.

New David: Actually it does not. I am still looking for some evidence, exegetical, logical, even lexical.

______
Old David and TF:
D: And he apparently has admited:

“Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" *equivocally,* and (2) the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.”
D: But it seems to me that he has done just that: posited equivocal meanings of John’s kosmos here.
TF: Again, since this seems to be built on the inability to see the unified relation, I trust that the relationship has been explained, and this charge of equivocation has been addressed.

New David: Actually no. You are making an incidental aspect–the believers physicality–part of the direct predication behind the meaning of world. That is how it looks to me. Again, what you say hardly seems plausible that world here means the directly: created order, the elect globally, and believers. Its just incoherent to say that. For example, all the elect are part of the created order. But not all the created order are elect. All the believers are the elect, but not all the elect are believers. Only at the final eschaton will all the elect and all the believers be co-extensive in quantity. So, it cannot be that equipollent, even roughly interchangeable.

David Ponter said...

_____
Old David:

D: He is confusing the intentionality and engaging in reductionism.
We would say this, the intention of God in the provision of the serpent is complex, not simple (without parts).
Let me illustrate by way of example.
Harry decides to organize a party for his co-workers on the 5th floor, so that the ones who come have the greatest time. Turretinfan wants to say something like this: Harry only organized the party for those who had a great time, that is those who came.
He is missing the point. Its clear that the party was in one general sense organized for all the co-workers on the 5th floor and yet its also clear that Harry’s design is that the party be especially efficacious for those who do indeed come. Turretinfan’s gloss on this is really quite shallow.


TF: Well, with respect, I think the rebuttal is even less shallow. Let me explain:
John 3:16 is teaching that Jesus was given for the purpose of saving "all the believers" which we Reformed folks (and even some others) call "the elect."
Now, I think you have already admitted that it was not intended to save the other group - those who refuse to believe.
The party analogy is non-anlogous, because "having a good time" is sliding-scale - whereas Salvation is binary. There are two final destinations - and the purpose of Christ's sacrifice was to put a particular group ("all the believers") into one of those two destinations.

David: Thats the reply? Thats hardly effective. All analogies cannot be pressed at all points to exhaustively match.

So lets simply change it. Harry hosts a party for his 5th floor co-workers so that the ones who come will all receive a gift of a clock.

Now, this newer version opens up new discussion points. Lets say only 15 of the 50 5th floor co-workers come. Does that mean that Harry only had 15 clocks to give away? Anyway... your reply there is very unconvincing. I know you know exactly what I was getting at.

_____
Old David:
D: What is more, his confusion is what is undergirding his analysis of 3:16. For likewise he keeps saying that Christ came to save those who believe. Thats perfectly true. But it does not exhaust the complexity of the picture.

TF: It does exhaust the point of the verse, although I am aware that you assert some additional purposes.

David: Well because there are two stated purposes in 3:16-17. There is the first one is God does such and such, so that the one who does believe, should not perish. Thats purpose 1. But then there is a second stated purpose with its own purpose clause. But here the person or agent is different. God sent his Son, so that the Son, may save the world.

This is actually very important and often glossed over. The son here is the Son has Messiah. The Son seeks the salvation of all men, the sheep, the lost sheep, the pharisees, the rich, the Gentiles, etc etc. And so it is the Son who says if any man rejects my words, I do not condemn him, for I did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save the world.

So when you collapse the intentionality into just one, you break down the complexity of the passage. My Harry analogy was an attempt to show you that.

_____
Old David:
D: Christ came to sustain a provision for the whole world, and also he did this with the special intention of providing the exact efficient means to save those who do believe on him.
TF: The verse does not say so, as has been demonstrated in the post above.

David: Well we have stated it time and time again. Our argument has had multiple aspects to it. 1) we have asked you to actually establish an exegetical case that here and in the critical passages, your three definitions can be sustained? You have not shown anything exegetically.

2) We have used reductios to show that your definitions are illogical. Seth has focused on this.

3) We have used examples where world–in identical or near identical passages–clearly includes at least some non-elect as counter-factuals. 1 critical counter-factual is John 12:47-48.

You have not been following the comments so you may not be aware of this. Thats fine. I would encourage you to spend some time reading our replies in the comments.


______
Old David:
D: He also came to save the world. There are multiple intentions here which tf is glossing over.
TF: The verse does not say he also came to save the world.

David: Ah, I see.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The object of the love is the world. It’s the same world as in v17:

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Now, you object, I understand, but on no grounds have you exegetically established a basis that world here can mean three things at once: the created order, the global body of elect, and the ones who believe. And more simply, nowhere are believers called the world. Can you find a single instance where believers are called the world?

At this point, the standard arguments from Owen and others has more going for it, for they don’t say that world=believers. Owen’s arguent, White’s even, has more plausibility at this point because they don’t engage in all this equivocation.


_______
Old David:
D: I am sure others can make my point clearer than I can. But that seems to me to strike at the heart of Turretinfans fallacious reasoning on that point.
TF: First, demonstrate the fallacy, then call it fallacious reasoning.

David: Harry did not organise the party only for those who came. Right? Its self-evident.




TF: My response is that you are stretching, because there is nothing in the original story about the serpent being a general provision, but instead, every indication is given that the serpent was universally effective, although the effect was applied via "looking to" to the serpent.

David: I struggle to see how it is that the obvious is denied here. The bronze serpent was a provision for the whole people. And it was this, so that the one who looks up will not perish. Lets grant that all of the people actually looked up. Lets grant then, as this follows, that all of the people were bitten. Still the serpent was for the whole people, so that anyone, particularly, who looks up, will not perish. The anyone is a subset of the whole people.

Now where the assumption breaks down is that I am not convinced that everyone was bitten. Was Moses bitten? Were the faithful bitten? If not, does that mean that the Serpent was not a provision for them too?



______
Old David:
D: If my Harry analogy does not spotlight what Turretinfan is doing, then I don’t know what will. He keeps saying that Christ came to save those who believe, and for this we all agree. But thats not all there is here. I don’t think any sensitive thinker would just insist that harry only hosted the party only for those who actually came. But thats exactly how some of us feel about Turretinfan’s treatment of 3:16.

TF: If Harry went out and compelled certain people to come to the party (and we somehow knew that if Harry didn't compel them, they wouldn't come), we'd feel a bit different, wouldn't we?

David: You know the point of the analogy.


_______
Old David:
D: But that takes us back to Harry and the party.
Like this: Harry organizes a party for the 5th floor workers, so that those who come have a great time. Turretinfan would want us to think that ‘5th floor workers’ is identical to ‘those who had a great time.’
TF: This formulation has another significant difference from the text: the verse does not say "for the world." Still I think the other main discriminator (adding to the analogy that all and only those who Harry actively persuades to come, actually do come) renders the entire analogy moot as to its intuitive force.

David: Again, you know the point and you know how it better explains Jn 3:16-17.

A great King gets his cooks and servants together to have a great feast. Now he invites all his friends, his servants, his workers, his lease-holders to come to this feast. His aim is to provide a great feast for all that come. When the feast is ready, he sends out his invitations to all his invitees. However, his messengers come back beaten and afraid. It turns out that for some weird reason, some of the invitees have refused to come. So what does he do? He sends out other servants to compel others to come.

So where are we at now? Has anything changed? No. All your “comments” add nothing. No one can seriously say the feast was only an intended provision for those who finally came. No one can say that the King only had one intention or desire here.



______
Old David:
D: We are saying nothing he says demonstrates that they are equivalent, and its obvious, given John’s actual use of kosmos, that they are not.
TF: The literal scope of "world" is not equivalent to "elect," and yet the expression of "love the world" is "save the elect."

David: What I see here another equivocal move. You keep moving from world meaning the ones who believe, the created order, the elect globally.

If you say world includes believers, thats fine. But now to what you just said; World is not literally equivalent to elect:

1) The world exhausts the scope of the love of God.

I think we can agree here.

2) world is not elect

You concede that.

3) Therefore God loves more than the elect? The object of the love of God is broader and more inclusive than the circle of the elect.

I think you want to concede this point. So you come back and say, well yes cos world here means created order. And we say, can you prove that? Can you show that the direct object of the love and the saving work of the Messiah is the created order? as if thats the point of the intent here?

Further, as we have said, how does this not follow: “For God did not send the Son into the created order to judge the created order, but that the created order should be saved through Him”?

In order to avoid the absurity, you have to equivocate on the meaning of world in these three instances.

David Ponter said...

I am running out of time, so those posts have less than my usual even minimal proofing.

David

David Ponter said...

Hey Bnonn:


Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...
David, I must confess I am still having trouble with the analogies being used here. Like the pony analogy, the party analogy is missing a very obvious element: effectual calling. We cannot merely say that Harry threw a party for the whole fifth floor. That is not the whole picture. We must also recognize that Harry only ever intended for the alcohol drinkers to come to the party in the first place (before he threw it), and so he deliberately served alcohol to exclude the teetotalers. He never intended for them to come.

David: Any anology can be pressed too far, and no analogy ever has an exact one to one correspondence. Analogy, like metaphor, always means similarities with a difference. There is continuity and discontinuity. At the point I am trying to illustrate–multiple intentions with complex causal statements–the analogy works.

Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again in parables, saying, 2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king, who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3 "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 4 "Again he sent out other slaves saying, 'Tell those who have been invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast."' 5 "But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6 and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7 "But the king was enraged and sent his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and set their city on fire. 8 "Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 'Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.' 10 "And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And he was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."

And I think you have seen this before:

XXI. The invitation to the wedding proposed in the parable (Mt. 22:1-14) teaches that the king wills (i.e., commands and desires) the invited to come and that this is their duty; but not that the king intends or has decreed that they should really come. Otherwise he would have given them the ability to come and would have turned their hearts. Since he did not do this, it is the surest sign that he did not will they should come in this way. When it is said “all things are ready” (Lk. 14:17), it is not straightway intimated an intention of God to give salvation to them, but only the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. For he was prepared by God and offered on the cross as a victim of infinite merit to expiate the sins of men and to acquire salvation for all clothed in the wedding garment and flying to him (i.e., to the truly believing and repenting) that no place for doubting about the truth and perfection of his satisfaction might remain.

Turretin, Francis, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1994) 2:509.

Now I don’t agree with everything the real Turretin says, but sufficiency speaks to provision

Bnonn:
If Harry is in charge of throwing the party, and in charge of deciding who will come, can we still say that he threw the party for the whole fifth floor, given that he only intended that the alcohol drinkers would come? The party was certainly sufficient for the teetotallers—they could have come if they'd wanted—but it was never meant for them.

David: We come back to the same basic points. Do you believe in the external call of the gospel, Bnonn? If so, what are the called, called to come to? What is a man called to come to?

Bnonn: Similarly, can we say that Harry really wanted the teetotalers to come if he never intended for them to do so? You will notice I have deliberately not answered these questions. I am just trying to demonstrate that the question is a little more complex than you have represented it to be.

David: Again, Does God desire compliance to his commands? Yes. If God calls someone to come to Christ, he desires it. If he desired it, and called them to come to Christ, he could not have not made any provision in Christ for them. Right? To what, to whom, are all men called to come to, in the gospel?

There is this propensity to always jump to the “real” will as if the will behind the command is not real. It’s a phantom. When God desires that all me live by will revealed, he really desires this. Its not sham. Its not pretend desire. What is more, jn 3:16 is an expression of the revealed will and determinative and effective will.

What is more, God and Christ prepared a provision for the world, as an expression of their love to the world, so that anyone, that means anyone, in the world who believes may not perish. The point is God’s compassion is that no one in the world perishes. His love expresses itself with this intent, tho, he therefore provided for the world a provision for those who come. His love is magnified.

God loves the world. But even more so, he loved them to provide a remedy for their sin.

Bnonn:
I cannot see a way around avoiding viewing Harry's invitation in the light of his intentions about who can come. I have considered that perhaps I am committing a category error—but manifestly that does not appear to be the case: because the invitation, and deciding who can come, are both Harry's own actions, and are both motivated by his specific intentions toward teetotalers. I cannot see how they can be put into different categories. To do so would be to give Harry multiple personality disorder.

David: We come back to the same issue: hypercalvinism. God reveals that he desires that all men come and find life. And yet in another way, God has determined to only effectually save some. You have already conceded that God does desire the salvation of all in some sense. How is this not subject to your same “personality disorder” charge?

Was the mind of Christ similarly disordered, when he expressly declares that he sought the salvation of the pharisees in Jn 5:34, when he sought to gather the masses of the city Mat 23:37, when he wept over Jerusalem Luk 19:41 etc. What was God’s problem in Hos 11:8?

Take care,
David

David Ponter said...

I thought of this too. If world equals created order, then the question is: are any of the reprobate part of this created natural order? are any of them objects of this giving love?

If Turretinfan says no, then we now have another definition, a new twist on what it means to be "the created order."

David

David Ponter said...

I was rushing those last two posts and I screwed up some of the formatting. Oh well.

But this:

Turretinfan said:

As for it being "modern academic consensus" - that's not true (Dr. James White being an example of a contrary modern academic) and even if it were true, it would hardly be compelling, given that much of modern academia is theologically liberal, and their interpretation is highly suspect of theological bias because of the prominent misuse of John 3:16.

David:

two things,

Firtly: what degree does White have? and is it 1) accredited; and 2) in the field of linguistics and Biblical and Exegetical theology?

Secondly, the statement there is so conspiratorial, Turretinfan. Much of modern Scholarship is liberal? Carson, Morris, and all the others? Surely thats not a sound comeback just to dismiss the general consensus of modern scholarship? And do you mean, somehow Owen, Gill and others from the 16thC are right just because they are theologically orthodox as you understand orthodoxy?

Your comment, to me, smacks more of fundamentalism than Reformed.

take care,
David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi David. I think you replied well, and I think particularly you hit the nail on the head when you said that "no analogy ever has an exact one to one correspondence". Realistically, I think the Harry analogy is insufficient to examine the full extent of redemption (or at least, both atonement and faith), because it distorts the situation too much. We then read those distortions back into the theological discourse, which results in confusion and error.

Suffice to say I still find myself bemused by this discussion—which, to be frank, is not something I experience often, so forgive me my clumsy attempts to reconcile the situation in my own mind (: I do agree with the multiple intentions view; I am still working out the precise implications of this, however, to my understanding of God and his purposes.

I will continue to monitor this discussion closely!

Regards,
Bnonn

David Ponter said...

Hey Bnonn,

to be clear, I was not pressing the Harry analogy to that end, but simply that in a like example, one can have diverse intentions, such that one would/should willingly note that its absurd to say that Harry only hosted the party for those who came.

But that is how I see Turretinfan trying to argue with regard to 3:16at points.

Ive been talking to Seth, and I would still like to know from TF what does "created order" mean? Trees, rocks? Created humans? Any non-elect included? And if kosmos means created order is consistently created order in 16 and 17 in all the instances? if it changes why?

Anyway...

Take care,
David

natamllc said...

TF wrote this:

{{His purpose **[I add "is" here after the word purpose and before the word always]** always to save the believers, all of the believers, and - while the verse does not say so explicitly - only the believers.}}

So my edited version of TF's words is including the word "is"!

not TF's version:::>"His purpose always to save the believers, all of the believers, and - while the verse does not say so explicitly - only the believers."

My comment: YES TF, YOU ARE RIGHT, THE BELIEVERS ARE THE ONLY ONES SAVED, ONLY. ONLY BELIEVERS CAN BE SAVED. WHY? ONLY BELIEVERS BELIEVE IN THE ONE SENT AND IN THE ONE WHO SENT HIM TO BE A GIFT WITH A PURPOSE FOR THE SENDING.

My question is this based on this fact not in dispute.

DEMONS BELIEVE AND SHUDDER.

WHY WOULDN'T ONE WANT TO BELIEVE AND BE SAVED THEN?

My answer: IT BEATS ME, I WANT TO RECEIVE THE GIFT/PURPOSE, THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, A PLACE WITH GOD FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY AND PASS FROM THIS MORTAL'S DEATH TO ETERNAL LIFE NOW THAT GOD HAS MADE CLEAR TO ME THAT I TOO HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF HIS GLORY; [DEAD ON ARRIVAL SO TO SPEAK] AND SO I AM HAPPY TO BELIEVE AND RECEIVE SOMETHING I HAVE NO MERIT TO OFFER GOD TO BELIEVE AND RECEIVE ANYWAY! I AM HAPPY TO ACCEPT CHRIST'S EQUITABLE DEED DONE AND STAND ACQUITTED FOR SOMETHING I DID NOT DO NOR WAS EVER ELECTED TO DO, THAT IS DIE ON A CROSS FOR THE SIN OF THE WORLD.

As I say, "MYSTERIES ABOUND". If God wants to make known something to me I don't know or understand, I trust He is well able to reveal it to me and help me understand it. :) I am in the mean time happy to TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL MY HEART, LEAN NOT ON MY OWN UNDERSTANDING, LETTING HIM DIRECT ME. HE DID SAY TO ME TOO: "FOLLOW ME".

michael

natamllc said...

TF and Seth and anyone else for that matter...something occurs to me as I reread these exchanges and the matter of the issue of secondary importance to TF's apparently mis-understood remarks or assertions about primarily the Salvation of the elect, implying the others perish. And also comments now seem to be less heated emotionally but nevertheless may end with "we agree to disagree" and the such like. I do not imply Seth or TF that you two were ever at loggerheads just that those wanting to side with yous twos have bordered on discounting commenters such as me :) No, Christians treating Christian this way, no way! :)

The question of the kosmos, the people and the places and the things seems still to be the fulcrum upon which this debate turns and will undoubtedly end in agreements to agree or concede to agree not to agree but disagree. None the wiser for that but agreed might be the best place to move on from!

When you look at the prescriptions for THE SABBATH RESTS directed by Our Creator of these present heavens and earth and all creatures great and small, you discover in the Levitical writings God pointing to the discipline and stewardships allowing for times of the LAND RESTING.

Here, I cite one from Leviticus and slip one in from Proverbs too:

Lev 25:1 The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying,
Lev 25:2 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the LORD.
Lev 25:3 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits,
Lev 25:4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.
Lev 25:5 You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land.


Pro 12:10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
Pro 12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.


Question:

IS NOT THE LAND AND WATERS OF THE SEA TEAMING WITH LIFE FULL OF VARIOUS CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL BOTH LAND AND SEA as well as we elect humans be?

Yes, the earth lives too, plants, trees, birds, bees, fish of the sea and streams and rivers, cattles of kinds, good dirt, soiled and poisoned dirt, asphalt covered dirt, pretty green grass covered dirt, burnt up scrubs and trees dirt, dirt, dirt; how about tired and worn out dirt because mankind has not let it rest? How about air pollution? Cough, cough!

YES, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD...WHY? BECAUSE GOD IS LOVE THAT'S WHY!

As you work your way through the hard readings and somewhat mundane readings too and in some sense boring readings of the Books of the Bible, you discover God brings wrath and judgment against mankind for the express purpose of giving the LAND REST, sometimes for 10 years, sometimes for 40 and even 80 years.

Sometimes God disappears from mankind and does not visit them for over 400 years. I point to Egypt and between the end of Malachi and the beginning of the Book of the Gospel of Matthew bearing his name.

God gets mad at mankind from time to time, even His elect!

I cite verses:

2Ch 15:1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded,
2Ch 15:2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
2Ch 15:3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law,
2Ch 15:4 but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them.
2Ch 15:5 In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands.
2Ch 15:6 They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress.


There is even some addresses pointed to the wicked and their utter disregard for the LAND AND IT'S TIME OF SABBATICAL RESTS under their control! Yes, even the wicked control God's good land!

It does seem to me TF is making a point for me as I ponder the "real" issues of this debate!

Also it is like a cool breeze to read some of the commenters comments now, not so sullied with prided and prejudiced undercurrents, reading between the lines, but now we read comments coming after some serious thought coming out with some fair and sharp critiques. Nothing wrong with that!

At the end of the day, wherever you land after this debate is wrapped up, I assert I am one of the ELECT!

Can you make that firm assertion having "laid" hold of Eternal Life too?

1Ti 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1Ti 6:13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,
1Ti 6:14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Ti 6:15 which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
1Ti 6:16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

natamllc said...

TF,

I like scripture to intrepret scripture. Of course some people like commentaries of Scripture to bring understanding to interpret their understanding of the commentary of Scripture to explain Scripture.

Having made that point I will quote a point you are making in this debate and point to it in another Bible lesson that I believe underscores the point being debated and made by you?

TF: Now, I would not take the position "God so loved the world, that is, the elect of the world, that He sent His Son." Why not? There are two reasons: (1) it uses the word "world" equivocally, and (2) the point of the verse is simply: God so loved the kosmos, that He sent His Son to save the elect.

I refer the reader to consider Genesis 18:

Gen 18:17 The LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
Gen 18:18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him."
Gen 18:20 Then the LORD said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave,
Gen 18:21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know."
Gen 18:22 So the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.
Gen 18:23 Then Abraham drew near and said, "Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?


Yes, God could have just as one commenter said, WHEN JESUS SHOWED UP AT THIS ADVENT AFTER HIS BIRTH, [His advent through the Virgin birth] SURVEYED THE SITUATION AND SAID, OK, OFF WITH THE HEADS OF ALL MANKIND, I AM STARTING OVER AND THEN PROCEED TO SAY A SECOND TIME:

Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."


A conversation of the "clay pot arguing with the Potter: ""YEAH GOD, AND BECAUSE?""

"AH, CLAY, BECAUSE IS BECAUSE, THAT'S WHY! I TOLD THEM TO BE ""Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."" SO I AM GOING TO START OVER BECAUSE THIS CROWD FAILED AND THEN OVER AND THEN OVER AND THEN OVER AND THEN OVER AND THEN AND THEN AND THEN AND AND AND UNTIL THEY GET IT RIGHT AND BEAT THE SNOT OUT OF SATAN AND HIS ANGELS, THE BEAST, THE FALSE PROPHET, DEATH AND HADES!!!!

THAT'S BECAUSE BECAUSE, SO THERE!"

Could that be a fair rendering of your point made and currently being debated and refuted to endlessly?

natamllc said...

TF,

you wrote in this debate thus:

I would expand on what SDM said. In Scripture, kosmos ordinarily is a broad term that conveys a sense of expansiveness. It ordinarily does not carry an exhaustive sense. We use "all" this way frequently (and "world" sometimes) in common parlance. It's a form of hyperbole. The statement: "He has traveled through the whole world (or all over the world)," means he is a globe-trotter, not that there is no stone his soles have not touched. This too will be significant as we proceed.

I have been pondering that one overnight and today and have this to say:

Michael: I have traveled the world, a globe-trotter.

God must be rich seeing I have put about a million miles behind me, land, air and sea.

Everywhere I go, God is there too when I arrive and apparently He's been there quite awhile living complete and content in need of nothing!

:)

One thing I believe is not in dispute here using the parlance above in your words: "not that there is no stone his soles have not touched." Jesus certainly has touched every stone! He's quite literally, been there, done that! :)

I would hope Seth will step to the plate and place this formatted part of the debate back where you had it placed, in a secondary position to your primary position, as you said in Greek and Latin, ""at the third phrase??"" and I would hope HEARTFELT, with a sense of the severity of the Wrath of God that awaits a deceived, confused elect one being currently trampled blindly upon in the ditch they have fallen into or were led into by the great lion king Lucifer ah, no, Satan, ah no, the cast out one now?

Scripture text:

**and please note here from "John 12" also an area of some concern in establishing a clear theology to the Theology in debate currently, at this point in time and eternity he is not "cast down" yet! grrrr To which I exclaim, "CHURCH, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Another debate?" :)

Joh 12:15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"
Joh 12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.
Joh 12:17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.
Joh 12:18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
Joh 12:19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."
Joh 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
Joh 12:21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Joh 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Joh 12:27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

David Ponter said...
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