Contend Earnestly: Atonement Debate

Friday, November 30, 2007

Atonement Debate


Clearing Up the Confusion

One problem with this debate is that we both agree that Christ died to save the elect. Seth believes that Christ also died to do something for the reprobate. I don’t think that the Scriptures say so. Because I adhere to Sola Scriptura, as does Seth, I don’t believe doctrines unless Scripture teaches them.

I don’t suppose that Seth is asking me to find a verse that specifically denies his position. In other words, I don’t suppose that Seth is asking me to find the verse that says “Christ did nothing by his death for the reprobate” or “there was one purpose, and only one purpose to the atonement.” We can call this the “Prove the Bible doesn’t teach it” argument. Instead, I presume that Seth is asking me to present the best arguments in opposition to the doctrines of “multiple intentions” and the “universal atonement.” I don’t think Seth is intentionally trying to use the Prove the Bible doesn’t teach it argument.

In the first verse, which I’ll get back to in a bit, I went after the multiple intentions view with one of the stronger verses that demonstrates the purpose of God in giving his Son, namely to save all the believers.

Now, in the present verse I am demonstrating the same single purpose in another text. I could pick dozens of such verses, but this verse is significant for another reason. It is important because it tends to get cited a lot in these sort of debates. In fact, as much as the format permits, I had hoped to provide something of a softball – a verse that I expected Seth would be quite prepared on, as it has some linguistic similarity to his counter-thesis in this debate.


Can Seth Simply Agree with My Exegesis?

Seth wrote: “I could agree 100% with Turretinfan on his post and it does nothing to the implication of the Scriptures saying that Christ died for all, especially the elect. Even an Arminian could agree with what Turretinfan has posted.”

Well, of course, if Seth agrees, we can just move on to another verse. If Seth agrees, though, that’s one less verse out of the (how many verses are there in your Bible?) verses available from which to attempt to establish a doctrine of universal atonement and/or multiple intentions.

Seth’s right that “ No one is debating that Jesus or God is the Saviour of the elect, we are debating on whether Jesus died for all people.” Yet Seth’s wrong in stating: “Bnonn was correct in asking how this affects the debate in any way...it doesn't.” It does affect the debate, unless Seth’s position were to make the Prove the Bible doesn’t teach it argument.

Examining Seth’s Counter-Exegesis

Seth states: “I really don't completely agree with his thoughts on this.”

Ok, let’s see what Seth backs that disagreement with:

Seth: “The text in question is not saying that God is the preserver, which would be a verb, of the literal bodies, but is in fact stating that God is the Saviour, the noun, of all men.”

Of course, no, “preserver” is a noun, not a verb. Likewise “savior” is also a noun, and like “preserver” it is related to a verb. The related verb in Greek from which σωτήρ (soter – translated “Saviour” in this instance) is σώζω (sozo – usually translated “to save”). Besides all that, while we theologians may see “savior” and think immediately of salvation from eternal damnation, the term “savior” in English (as with soter in Greek) has a wide etymological range. Just consider the results here (link). My contention is that this verse is explaining that God – the preserver of all mankind – is the preserver of the elect in a special sense.

Seth: “He is the One that saves and Him alone.”

I answer: That’s true, but that’s not the point here (it is the point, for example, in 1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” or in John 4:42 “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”). Here there is a pair of objects: “all men” and “the elect.” He is the One who saves all men, and he is the one who saves the elect.


Seth: “This doesn't imply that He carries this out for all men, which would be a verb form, but that He is in fact the only Saviour for all men.”

I answer: This noun-verb distinction is a slightly different one than in the previous instance, and presents a slightly different error. The error here is simply ipse dixit. Now, I’m sure Seth may not be the first or only person to say that. Furthermore, there’s some slight merit to Seth’s point, which I’ll point out before explaining why it’s insufficient.

The merit is this: if we had a verse that says (in active voice) God saves all men, that would be a more direct way of asserting such a fact than to say God is the Savior of all men. The combination of a being verb and a nominalization is a weaker way to say what is being said.

Furthermore, we can sometimes use a noun form to speak generally or gnomically. In other words, we can say “salvation is of the Jews” meaning that (before Pentacost) it was Jews generally (and generally only Jews) that were saved.

There’s one further tangent to address. It’s interesting (I think) that Seth identifies this use of “savior of all men” as a gnomic, general expression, but fails to consider that “save the kosmos” may be a gnomic, general expression. It seems to be based on the verb-noun false dichotomy, to which I will shortly return.

Nevertheless, whether noun forms (or verb forms for that matter) can be used gnomically, the fact that it is a noun form does not mean that it is merely gnomic. Consider how absurd it would be to interpret it that way in Luke 1:47: “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” The speaker is affirming that God saved the person, not that God is simply out there as the only possible Savior.

Furthermore, Paul is not using “savior” in a merely gnomic sense here. How do I know? Because there are two objects: two saved groups. The first saved group is “all men” and the second is “those that believe.” Now, the two groups are connected by the term “malista.” That word can mean a variety of things, but the KJV has translated it “specially” and most modern translations generally agree, even if they use a slightly different word. There’s an argument to be made that they might all be wrong, but we’ll leave that aside for now.

In short, assuming the conventional interpretation of “malista,” to say that God is simply “the only Savior there is” for all men is not problematic, but to say that God is specially “the only Savior there is” for those that believe is a bit odd – both because how is it any more special? And because we are well aware that he is the actual savior in the eternal punishment sense, of believers.

Seth: “It would be like saying that no one can be saved apart from Christ. Neither of us would disagree with this.”

I answer: It would be like that, but only if one ignores the “specially of those that believe.”

Seth: “I actually find TF's use of Ephesians 5:23 to show the complete lack of understanding context in this verse.”

I answer: Oddly, I have a similar conclusion with one simply substitution. :)

Seth:

Here is the verse:

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
Ephesians 5:23

I answer:

Since I’m a textus receptus kind of guy, for me it’s:

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

There’s – to put it mildly – a bit of textual variation on the last phrase of that verse. It’s probably not worth arguing too much about the textual variant issue at this point, except to point out that the he is not necessarily referring to Christ, but could also reasonably be said to be referring to the husband (that seems to be how the KJV punctuates it). In any event, there is a parallel being drawn between the role of a husband toward his wife and the role of Christ toward the church.

It’s also important to note that Ephesians 5:23 is NOT the verse I selected. It’s simply an example I provided of the use of the term “savior” in a sense other than salvation from sins, in the new testament. I could simply have turned to the LXX at Psalm 27, first verse, or Psalm 62, second verse, or perhaps best of all for the purpose of our discussion, Psalm 65:5:

“Wonderful in righteousness; heed us, O God our deliverer! He is the hope of all the ends of the earth, and of the ones in the sea afar; the one preparing mountains in his strength, being girded with dominion; the one disturbing the extent of the sea; at the sounds of its waves who shall stand?” (Apostolic Greek Bible translation of LXX, form of “soter” in bold)

(or Psalm 79:9, 95:1, etc. etc.)

Alternatively, if the Psalms are too evidently both literal and typical, then simply refer to the descriptions of Othniel and Ehud in Judges 3.

I only mentioned it because someone in the comments had suggested that the Bible only uses “soter” “soteriologically” (ha! – there’s some kind of etymological commentary to be made here) meaning in the sense of being a savior from eternal punishment for sins (or something of that sort). It is used that way, frequently with explanation that it is that sort of meaning that is meant.

Here (in the verse we are actually considering, not Ephesians 5) Paul draws a distinction between the living God the general savior of all men (physical/temporal sense, if you will) and the living God the special savior of those that believe (spiritual/eternal sense, if you will).

Getting back to Ephesians 5, though, the passage is comparing Christ to the church using the simile of husband and wife. In the passage:


- wives submit to husbands (vs. 22) as the church to Christ (vs. 23) (repeated vs. 24)

- and the husband/Christ is the savior of the wife/body/church (vs. 23) (repeated with explanation in following vss.)

- husband/Christ loves wife/church (vss. 25-27)

- husbands love wives as husbands love their own bodies, nourishing and cherishing (vs. 28-29)

- Christ loves the church in an analogous way (vs. 30)


So, yes, the passage is speaking analogously about physical salvation/protection that the husband gives a wife (ought to, at any rate) as a simile to the spiritual salvation/protection that Christ gives Christians, with the actual force of the passage being primarily directed not to emphasize that Christ is our savior, but that husbands should emulate Christ and wives should emulate the church (notice how this discussion is bookended between the directions for church life generally (including mutual submission vs. 21) and the remaining family relations (children to parents 6:1-3, parents to children 6:4, slaves to masters 6:5-8, and masters to slaves 6:9).

Thus, the wife is the husband’s body, and it is his job to preserve it – just as he instinctively preserves his own body, and just as Christ graciously preserves the church (his body/wife by analogy).


I should have avoided that, I suppose, by quoting Psalm 65, or referring to Judges 3. Nevertheless, what’s done is done.

Seth: “The reference here is the comparison of the husband and wife, with Christ and the church. So when TF says that this is saying that Jesus is merely saving a "body" he misses the entire point of Ephesians 5. Christ is the Saviour of the church, the body, not merely a fleshly body as TF would purport.”

I answer: Presumably this comment is moot, in view of the demonstration above.

Seth: “Here is TF's comment in full in response to Bnonn and also TF's post that God is the Saviour of the bodies of all men.

You may be interested to consider/compare the usage of soter in Ephesians 5:23.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Or consider the use of related words such as "saved" (Jude 5, 2 Peter 2:5, or 1 Peter 3:20).

I answer: I think it’s important to point out that contrary to Seth’s statement “when TF says that this is saying that Jesus is merely saving a "body" he misses the entire point of Ephesians 5” I did not say that. I don’t think Seth intentionally misrepresented me, I think he just inferred something he shouldn’t have from my comment. It’s – unfortunately – not the first time that’s happened in our dialogue.

Seth: I will quickly add this. Jude 5, 2 Peter 2:5 and 1 Peter 3:20 all use the term "save" or a derivation of it in the verb form, not the noun form.

I answer: This “part of speech” argument is a bit like saying “there are more letters in that word than this one.” How so? Because it may be a true statement, but it is not a relevant statement. There is no special grammatical-exegetical significance to the fact that one word is a verb (in Jude 5, that’s a participle; in 2 Peter 2, it’s a different Greek verb altogether; and in 1 Peter 3:20 its an active indicative of a related verb with an emphatic particle attached) and another is a noun.

Seth: 1 Timothy 4:10 uses "soter" which is a noun and that is very big difference and the reason so many take 1 John 2:2 wrongly.

I answer: Seth is referring to the fact that hilasmos (propitiation) is used in 1 John 2:2, rather than hilaskomai (make propitious/make reconciliation) or some other verb form. Although it would be helpful in my debates with Arminians to agree with Seth’s noun/verb distinction, I cannot, because I am not persuaded it has any significant degree of merit. It would be a more direct way to say the matter, but that does not mean the indirect way doesn’t say the same thing. Nevertheless, we may find ourselves back on this verse (indirectly) in a few rounds.

Seth: “Even more so...1 Peter 3:20 speaks of "eight persons" being brought safely. TF uses this as kind of a proof text for 1 Timothy 4:10 and Ephesians 5:23, he might want to take a second look. The usage of "persons" in 1 Peter 3:20 is the Greek word "psuche" which means "soul" or "heart," NOT a physical body.”

I answer: The point I was making was a point from English. If I wanted to be contentious, I could point out that it was their physical lives that were preserved, via the mechanism of their “psuche” (breath) not being cut off by drowning in the flood waters, or simply point out that “souls” is simply an idiom for “people.” But that’s really neither here nor there.

Seth: “I actually believe that this comes from TF's continual ignoring the context in other discussions we have had.”

I answer: I feel like this somewhat overstates the point Seth is making, which is simply that he’s felt that way about my position in this debate and not as a general pattern over the years, or something like that. Naturally, as noted above, I think I can demonstrate that I deal more with the context than Seth does, and consequently I don’t think his label is accurate, even though I think he means it sincerely.


Seth next goes back to the discussion of John 3:16, but I’ll hold off for a second to get back to the actual verse I provided (providing the context):

I Timothy 4:1-10

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 6If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 9This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.


The flow of the passage is discussing the interaction between the physical and the spiritual.

- seducers will forbid marriage, prohibit consumption of food

- in contrast, food (and marriage) are good things, things created by God to be received with thanks, especially by believers who know the truth and who sanctify the food by knowledge of the word of God and prayer

- there is a parallel between physical nurture and spiritual nurture,

- which is why Timothy should not heed old wives tales, but good doctrine,

- because exercise is important, but godliness is much more important, because it has benefits both in this world and the next

- and after all, that’s why they preach, because they trust in the God who preserves the lives of all men and the eternal life of the elect.

Now, much of this discussion can be rendered mostly moot if Seth simply agrees, for Seth says that God is also something inbetween the two categories of “preserver of all life” and “preserver of the life of the elect.” You could say that Seth’s claim could be simply: “There’s more to God than that.”

Yet, by clearing up the sense of this verse, and properly understanding why it is not a supporting verse for “universal atonement” we can be better prepared to deal with other verses that may be alleged to support the universal atonement.

Seth: “Especially when he says that when John 3:16 says that "God so loved the world" this is speaking of the created order.

I answer: There’s been a substantial discussion about this (much of it here), let me try to summarize, since that link is about 30 pages of reading.

- The literal meaning of the word is “created order.” Lexicons say so, and you can check for yourself. That’s the general, literal sense of the word. It happens that it is that sense which is used in the first instance of “kosmos” in verse 17.

- That word is used by John (in this passage) to refer to the group of “all believers” in a general, global way. “The world” is used to denote a group that is “bigger” than simply the physical nation of Israel. In the context, Jesus is contrasting “ye” (Jewish leaders) with the “world.” There’s not an identity relationship between “world” and “all believers,” but there is a link – and that link is that the expression of God’s loving intent toward the world is in the salvation of the elect (all the believers).

Now, let me turn the exegetical table, and point out that you haven’t offered (that I noticed) any exegetical reason for arguing that the word means “all in unbelief.” So the counter question to you is:

How does someone derive the idea that “all the believers” is in a subset relation to “kosmos” (rather than, say, an explanatory relation) from the text itself?

Seth: Then, TF says that John switches from using the term "kosmos" as "created order" to then John using it figuratively in other places. (I am paraphrasing here so if TF needs to correct me, then so be it)

I answer: Sure, John uses “kosmos” literally sometimes, and figuratively sometimes. People do that with words.

Seth: “Is this not what we would deem as eisegesis instead of exegesis?”

I answer: No. We deem something to be eisegesis when it is not derived from the text. Different contexts often use the same word different ways. Does anyone seriously suppose that “God so loved the world” uses the words “love” and “world” in the same way that “If any man love the world” uses them? And yet it is the same author writing, and the same Greek words for “love” (agape) and “world” (kosmos).

Seth: “Especially in light of the fact that no major theologian, that I have found, would agree that this means "created order" here in John.”

I answer: That, of course, has nothing to do with whether it is exegetical or not – whether or not Seth is correct. I’ve already said enough about the counting reformed noses argument, in previous comments/posts.

Seth: 1. What does "created order" mean? And if you take John 3:16 to say that "God so loved the created order" then does this term, kosmos, switch meanings later in the same chapter? If so, why? Who is the judge of this? I am guessing it is our theological persuasion.

I answer: Hopefully this is mostly answered above. The context is the determiner of meaning. The literal meaning of kosmos is “created order,” which is why the English word “world” is used. The Created Order could be roughly equated to “The Creation” (the thing created, not the event) – and “world” is an adequate translation, except that it has become theologically loaded.

Of course, the precise meaning of “kosmos” is not at all critical to understanding the point of the text, which is that Christ was given to save the elect. That’s the undeniable meaning of the second and third phrases of the verse. Whatever “world” may refer to, Christ was given to save the elect. If it is supposed to convey here, as I think Owen concluded “the world of the elect,” such that the verse reads: “God so loved the world of the elect, that he gave his only begotten Son so that the elect would not perish but have eternal life,” then that makes great sense.

If it is supposed to mean “each and every person” then it creates discordance between the first and second half of the verse, because then the flow of the verse is that God loved “all” and therefore gave His Son to save “some.” That doesn’t make much sense, so we can discard it.

If it is means something in the middle like “Creation” (gnomically and in general) then that two makes sense, because the whole is blessed with reference to the part, in a sort of metonymic relationship.

That’s how exegesis works. You start from the clear, and work to the unclear. You don’t impose a figurative meaning on the word “world” and then try to make the rest of the verse fit.

Seth: 2. How does 1 Timothy 4:10 negate universal expiation? Not sure why you picked this verse as a strong argument.

I answer: I mostly picked it, as noted above, as a way to allow you to deal with a verse that I expected you might think was helpful. It also reemphasizes the fact that God is a Savior in the spiritual sense, only for the elect and not for all mankind.

Seth: 3. Do you really want to stand behind the fact that Ephesians 5:23 is speaking of a literal "body" or do you concede that this is speaking of the church? If so, how does 1 Peter 3:20 help your position...it seems to destroy it.

I answer: I think this is answered above. The answer is, of course, “both” to the first part of the question, and the answer to 1 Peter 3:20 is that – of course – it was physical, temporal salvation that the ark provided, and not salvation from eternal punishment.

-Turretinfan

59 comments:

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

I was referring to this comment here, when I wrote: "someone in the comments had suggested that the Bible only uses “soter” “soteriologically”."

-Turretinfan

P.S. For some reason, the name Carly Simon comes to mind. :)

David Ponter said...

Clearing up the confusion?

Okay some of my initial thoughts.

Seth: “The text in question is not saying that God is the preserver, which would be a verb, of the literal bodies, but is in fact stating that God is the Saviour, the noun, of all men.”

TF: Of course, no, “preserver” is a noun, not a verb. Likewise “savior” is also a noun, and like “preserver” it is related to a verb. The related verb in Greek from which(soter – translated “Saviour” in this instance) is(sozo – usually translated “to save”). Besides all that, while we theologians may see “savior” and think immediately of salvation from eternal damnation, the term “savior” in English (as with soter in Greek) has a wide etymological range. Just consider the results here (link). My contention is that this verse is explaining that God – the preserver of all mankind – is the preserver of the elect in a special sense.

David: If thats the line one wants to take in the final analysis, there is no problem for the classic Calvinist position. There is a problem if one wants to say that the preservation of all men only pertains to their physical bodies and the physical welfare of their bodies and does not pertain to their spiritual well-being. Some of us find the former unsustainable.

Cut

TF: I answer: That’s true, but that’s not the point here (it is the point, for example, in 1 John 4:14 “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” or in John 4:42 “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”). Here there is a pair of objects: “all men” and “the elect.” He is the One who saves all men, and he is the one who saves the elect.

David: Well there is a problem, you have equated world as elect there. We don’t. World means world, apostate humanity. We would follow Calvin who says that the point is that Salvation is common to the whole world. There is no limitation. See below for Calvin’s more explict statement. And see these comments John Calvin on John 3:16

Cut

TF: Nevertheless, whether noun forms (or verb forms for that matter) can be used gnomically, the fact that it is a noun form does not mean that it is merely gnomic. Consider how absurd it would be to interpret it that way in Luke 1:47: “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.” The speaker is affirming that God saved the person, not that God is simply out there as the only possible Savior.

David: To clear this confusion, I don’t believe we are saying that that alone is the point of the verse 1 Tim 4:10 as if Paul is only stressing that God is the only savior. And so of course that is not what anyone would assert with regard to Luke 1:47.

Cut

TF: In short, assuming the conventional interpretation of “malista,” to say that God is simply “the only Savior there is” for all men is not problematic, but to say that God is specially “the only Savior there is” for those that believe is a bit odd – both because how is it any more special? And because we are well aware that he is the actual savior in the eternal punishment sense, of believers.

David: but that is a caricature. If someone said that, thanks for the correction.

Cut

TF: Here (in the verse we are actually considering, not Ephesians 5) Paul draws a distinction between the living God the general savior of all men (physical/temporal sense, if you will) and the living God the special savior of those that believe (spiritual/eternal sense, if you will).

David: Its such a small point. We simply say it refers to their persons and includes their spiritual well-being, which when accepted automatically moves one into our position, as seeing the reference to God as saviour as office and function, etc. When Paul connects God with soter, it always with a soteriological intent. To split the noun to give it fist a non-soteriological then a sotiological meaning. Context and use determines meaning.

TF: Getting back to Ephesians 5, though, the passage is comparing Christ to the church using the simile of husband and wife. In the passage:

cut


TF: So, yes, the passage is speaking analogously about physical salvation/protection that the husband gives a wife (ought to, at any rate) as a simile to the spiritual salvation/protection that Christ gives Christians, with the actual force of the passage being primarily directed not to emphasize that Christ is our savior, but that husbands should emulate Christ and wives should emulate the church (notice how this discussion is bookended between the directions for church life generally (including mutual submission vs. 21) and the remaining family relations (children to parents 6:1-3, parents to children 6:4, slaves to masters 6:5-8, and masters to slaves 6:9).

Thus, the wife is the husband’s body, and it is his job to preserve it – just as he instinctively preserves his own body, and just as Christ graciously preserves the church (his body/wife by analogy).

David: The argument here is that of analogy. Is this it: As the man is to preserve the body of the wife, so Christ body of believers? Of course that is not the point. As the husband seeks to well-being of the total person of his wife, Christ seeks the well-being of the total person of the persons of the church. We can expand this as the Husband, in a sense, is the savior of the wife, her whole person, so Christ is the saviour of the church. Now if this is to where the metaphor was meant to be pressed to (recall Bnonn’s justified concern), the husband is the savior of his wife, derivatively and instrumentally (1 Tim 4:16).

Cut cut

jumping to world

TF: I answer: Sure, John uses “kosmos” literally sometimes, and figuratively sometimes. People do that with words.

David: And context and usage define meaning in given instances.

cut

TF: I answer: No. We deem something to be eisegesis when it is not derived from the text. Different contexts often use the same word different ways. Does anyone seriously suppose that “God so loved the world” uses the words “love” and “world” in the same way that “If any man love the world” uses them? And yet it is the same author writing, and the same Greek words for “love” (agape) and “world” (kosmos).

David: I think we answered that already. The world does not change. So yes, we seriously we say that God loves the world of mankind in unbelief, but we are not to be ‘in love’ with the world. And this rather superficial objection can easily be turned on its head. If world means non-elect, we are not to love all men? If it means the created order, bits or the whole darn thing, are we now not to love it? Does God bear any general love to all men? There is no common sense reason to try and argue that world in 1 John here means reprobate or to change the meaning. When you continually negate a given writers own use of a word, you place yourself on shaky grounds at every point.





cut

TF: I answer: Hopefully this is mostly answered above. The context is the determiner of meaning. The literal meaning of kosmos is “created order,” which is why the English word “world” is used. The Created Order could be roughly equated to “The Creation” (the thing created, not the event) – and “world” is an adequate translation, except that it has become theologically loaded.

David: now we get into the equivocation. I asked you before and you said world, as created order, does not include the reprobate. You had said in another context:

TF: This “set theory” approach to the figurative use of “kosmos” is what seems to be producing the roadblock to D’s understanding. “Kosmos” = “world” in the sense of the created order taken as a whole, not taken as to its constituent elements. The reprobate clearly are not part of the “giving love” because no provision is made for those who never believe, but only for those who believe.

David: As I read that, you deny that the reprobate, any of them, are part of the created order so loved? If so, at no point does it seem that you ever take created order literally either. So whats all this about? This whole created order thing still just strikes me as absurd. No one has used it to explain Jn 3:16-17. If you mean the elect, considered globally, but as to their physicality, that just seems absurd to me. Christ was telling Nicodemus that God loves the ‘created order’ of the elect world? Keep in mind, the object of the love, is the world, not the believers, exclusively.

TF: Of course, the precise meaning of “kosmos” is not at all critical to understanding the point of the text, which is that Christ was given to save the elect. That’s the undeniable meaning of the second and third phrases of the verse. Whatever “world” may refer to, Christ was given to save the elect. If it is supposed to convey here, as I think Owen concluded “the world of the elect,” such that the verse reads: “God so loved the world of the elect, that he gave his only begotten Son so that the elect would not perish but have eternal life,” then that makes great sense.

David: you missed out on my response to this earlier, where I directed you to jn 12:47-48.John 12:47 "If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. This is identical in thought to 3:17bc.

I wont repeat all that I said, which refutes the idea that world in 3:17b and c refers to the elect exclusively, I will only cite Calvin, once again:

If any man hear my words. After having spoken concerning his grace, and exhorted his disciples to steady faith, he now begins to strike the rebellious, though even here he mitigates the severity due to the wickedness of those who deliberately--as it were--reject God; for he delays to pronounce judgment on them, because, on the contrary, he has come for the salvation of all. In the first place, we ought to understand that he does not speak here of all unbelievers without distinction, but of those who, knowingly and willingly, reject the doctrine of the Gospel which has been exhibited to them. Why then does Christ not choose to condemn them? It is because he lays aside for a time the office of a judge, and offers salvation to all without reserve, and stretches out his arms to embrace all, that all may be the more encouraged to repent. And yet there is a circumstance of no small moment, by which he points out the aggravation of the crime, if they reject an invitation so kind and gracious, for it is as if he had said, “Lo, I am here to invite all, and, forgetting the character of a judge, I have this as my single object, to persuade all, and to rescue from destruction those who are already twice ruined.” No man, therefore, is condemned on account of having despised the Gospel, except he who, disdaining the lovely message of salvation, has chosen of his own accord to draw down destruction on himself. The word judge, as is evident from the word save, which is contrasted with it, here signifies to condemn. Now this ought to be understood as referring to the office which properly and naturally belongs to Christ; for that unbelievers are not more severely condemned on account of the Gospel is accidental, and does not arise from its nature, as we have said on former occasions. Calvin, John 12:47

He who rejecteth me. That wicked men may not flatter themselves as if their unbounded disobedience to Christ would pass unpunished, he, adds here a dreadful threatening, that though he were to do nothing in this matter, yet his doctrine alone would be sufficient to condemn them, as he says elsewhere, that there would be no need of any other judge than Moses, in whom they boasted, (John 5:45.) The meaning, therefore, is: “Burning with ardent desire to promote your salvation, I do indeed abstain from exercising my right to condemn you, and am entirely employed in saving what is lost; but do not think that you have escaped out of the hands of God; for though I should altogether hold my peace, the word alone, which you have despised, is sufficient to judge you. Calvin, John 12:48.

TF: If it is supposed to mean “each and every person” then it creates discordance between the first and second half of the verse, because then the flow of the verse is that God loved “all” and therefore gave His Son to save “some.” That doesn’t make much sense, so we can discard it.

David: What do you mean by each and every person? We mean apostate mankind, the world of unbelievers, alive at any given point. There is no dissonance. The harry analogy with the party explains the point clear enough.

TF: If it is means something in the middle like “Creation” (gnomically and in general) then that two makes sense, because the whole is blessed with reference to the part, in a sort of metonymic relationship.

David: the elect bits of the created order you mean?

TF: That’s how exegesis works. You start from the clear, and work to the unclear. You don’t impose a figurative meaning on the word “world” and then try to make the rest of the verse fit.

David: Well not exactly, context and usage determine meaning. Like Jn 1:10. He came into the world, he made the world, but the world knew him not? Does that mean the elect parts of the created order knew him not? Is this verse saying that only the elect parts of the created order were created?

To conclude:

I am still waiting for a coherent justification that kosmos in 3:16 means the created order, with the reprobate parts excluded.

As to 1 Tim 4:10, it seems that the logic only works if one can maintain that soter pertains only to bodily well-belling and so is non-soteriologically.

David

David Ponter said...

I deleted the comment, thanks for the clarification.

David.

ps I forgot. Please dont republish my material on another site. Please reply here.

David Ponter said...

here I recall I had already posted some of Calvin's more explicit references:

Calvin and Christ’s mission to save the world

David

natamllc said...

DP, for what it is worth, when you go to the gallows, "we" won't be there with you. Would you consider not making a reference to "we" this and that and just give commentary on what "you" believe the Bible, God and the Bible or a learned or stupid person is teaching or not?

Here's why:

Act 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

and

Rom 15:17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
Rom 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience--by word and deed,
Rom 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God--so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
Rom 15:20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation,
Rom 15:21 but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand."


There does appear from inference that there were many aligned with him yet he spoke in first person and then directed them all commending them to God and the Word of His Grace, not "their" collective agreed doctrines. And he set forth himself an example for others to follow. I am not interested in what "we" or "they" believe or think in this debate. I am most interested in what you believe. Fair enough? If not I will know soon enough! :)

TF:

Your response is lengthly so not having gone over it all or read up on all the points DP is addressing I like to jump in where the chip falls when it falls and it fell here so I stopped reading your response and copied this that I just read:

TF:Furthermore, we can sometimes use a noun form to speak generally or gnomically. In other words, we can say “salvation is of the Jews” meaning that (before Pentacost) it was Jews generally (and generally only Jews) that were saved.

My response:

I would say that means that Jesus Christ is from Mary, a Jew of the Hebrew Abram/Abraham and IT IS GOD'S DESIGN, ELECTION THAT SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS, not the Pomo Indians of Northern California and I believe He did come from that Virgin just as the Prophets said.

I have not come to where I end up when I read what I just pasted, your quote. What am I missing historically or theoretically, philosophically or Theologically?

Would you address that and clear up the confusion for me? Why do I simply believe, Jesus, the One prophesized would come AS THE SEED OF THE WOMAN, and by virtue of prophetic writings this Elect One would be of the Tribe of Judah a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and would crush:::>

Gen 3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

I seems to me I am simple minded and don't want to broaden my view of Him as more than the Savior Who was Sent to save those who would believe He came to do the Will of Our Heavenly Father, "we" who were more than born of the will of flesh.

Is it not True that Salvation is for those "born of the Will of God"?

And further, is it not True, sadly, some are deceived and never fully believe He is Who He Sent to Save the World and perish with those who believe and shudder, i.e., demons, the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan, Death and Hades and all whose names are not found in the book of Life?

michael

natamllc said...

WOW

getting somewhere with this one!

TF:The flow of the passage is discussing the interaction between the physical and the spiritual.

- seducers will forbid marriage, prohibit consumption of food

- in contrast, food (and marriage) are good things, things created by God to be received with thanks, especially by believers who know the truth and who sanctify the food by knowledge of the word of God and prayer

- there is a parallel between physical nurture and spiritual nurture,

My response to these word of TF:

The cross of the matter is here!

"ESPECIALLY BELIEVERS"!

Here's why.

Do we miss the point Paul is making Seth and quite unintentionally muddying the waters to emphasize the ESPECIALLY BELIEVERS as something else than the plain meaning?

I have known unbeliever wicked sinners do some "self" sacrificing to gain something they were deceived into believing "IF THEY WOULD DO", then they would receive a benefit from it; that is the self sacrificing and self denying activity and harsh suffering endured for the benefit gained. That premise is exactly why the Council of Dordt found Arminius guilty of false doctrine, yes? Wasn't the idea that man is good and good men do good things?

Well that is error to think any thing I do to gain a benefit from God will gain me anything but a sentence of: YOU ARE STUPID, CHRIST DIED, HE WAS BURIED AND ROSE AGAIN ALREADY, silly!!! You are just trying to manipulate God and not die to yourself and your self serving sacrifical works to gain some benefit FOR YOURSELF! Where is there a reward for this sort of thing done?

1Ti 4:9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.
1Ti 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

The admonition is this:

Heb 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
Heb 4:10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

BELIEVERS DIE AND RECEIVE HEAVEN'S REWARD.

UNBELIEVERS, SELF-RESTRAINING, SELF-RIGHTEOUS DIE AND RECEIVE THE WORKS REWARD! Where does that leave them? Ah, How about these words from the mouth of Jesus: ""Where is your wedding dress, dress meaning, clothing:

Mat 22:11 "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.
Mat 22:12 And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen." ""

Well, alas for me, this verse takes on new meaning now.

Please don't fold up now, continue the debate!!!
Wow.

I believe this here, this comment has opened my mind to a misconception even within the Church communities around the world. One commentary I read concludes that about 70% of the "Church" have this sort of Arminian relationship with God to attain to His righteousness.

Are we to make GREAT SACRIFICE in this life/bios with our life/psuche to obtain a placement in those Many Mansions?

No, seeing no greater sacrifice can be made other than the Sacraments of that one great sacrifice of Christ dying on the Cross for those who have believed, all who died in Faith, believing, before the Resurrection, all those who died and instantly are with the Lord and those yet to die who will also instantly be with the Lord in Glory when they too "GO BEFORE US" who remain.

Mat 27:51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
Mat 27:52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
Mat 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Heb 11:39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
Heb 11:40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

If you see something (anything) in David's comments above that you would like to see answered, please highlight it for me.

Michael,

In answer to your question regarding salvation being "of the Jews":

In the context that Jesus said that, you may recall that a Samaritan woman had just asked him in effect:

- are we (Samaritans) right that we should be worshipping in Samaria, or

- are the Jews right that we should be worshipping in Jerusalem?

Jesus answer is: Jerusalem, for salvation is of the Jews.

So, I don't think Jesus was referring to his own ancestry there, but to the old dispensation (if you will, though that has become a loaded term) of salvation.

Recall that Jesus pointed out that things were about to change, and soon worship would no longer be centralized in Jerusalem.

John 4:21-26
21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Michael:

You wrote: "Is it not True that Salvation is for those "born of the Will of God"?

And further, is it not True, sadly, some are deceived and never fully believe He is Who He Sent to Save the World and perish with those who believe and shudder, i.e., demons, the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan, Death and Hades and all whose names are not found in the book of Life?"

I answer: Agreed.

natamllc said...

Not to be anyone's cheerleader herein and on jumping up and down with pom poms...., but us indians did dance with feathers in our hair!:)

TF, thanks for that insight. I never thought as clearly about it as you have hereon. It takes others eyes and ears to help us keep things in focus.

Yes, I see your point that sometimes Jesus was dealing with moments in time like this one in question and too which you point and at other times as I pointed too which Jesus was obviously doing before with Peter before he denied Him thrice, going right over the thick heads of the apostles soon to be; Jesus said thus: "PETE, LET'S HAVE BREAKFAST AFTER I AM RISEN FROM THE DEAD, AND OH, BY THE WAY, I WILL MEET YOU WHERE YOU ARE GOING, FALLEN FROM GRACE AND FAITHLESS, SULLEN, LICKING YOUR WOUNDS AND STRUGGLING WITH ALL THESE THINGS SHORTLY TO HAPPEN, LET'S HAVE BREAKFAST AT THE SEE OF, AH, NO, THE SEA/SEE, SEE PETER? OF GALILEE!" hmmmm, how did Jesus know where Pete would be four days at dawn, later? hmmmmm, wow, He's good at thinking ahead!

I wonder how much Jesus paid for the fish, who sold it to Him, who cleaned it, who cooked it and what happened after Jesus digested it? ah, no, skip that last question, :)

I have to admit Seth, David, Bnonn, Stefan and others, I have these kinds of moments with each of you when I read your comments hereon and think when I read them, wow, why didn't I think of that?

Oh, well, we only know in part, now don't we? Unless of course we all agree with me, then we are all of one mind!!! like minded/mine, oh, mine, mine, mine!!!

Ok, dispose of it as you see so then!

David Ponter said...

well if TF is just going to ignore my arguments, then perhaps all I can say is here is Calvin on Jn 12:47-48:

If any man hear my words. After having spoken concerning his grace, and exhorted his disciples to steady faith, he now begins to strike the rebellious, though even here he mitigates the severity due to the wickedness of those who deliberately--as it were--reject God; for he delays to pronounce judgment on them, because, on the contrary, he has come for the salvation of all. In the first place, we ought to understand that he does not speak here of all unbelievers without distinction, but of those who, knowingly and willingly, reject the doctrine of the Gospel which has been exhibited to them. Why then does Christ not choose to condemn them? It is because he lays aside for a time the office of a judge, and offers salvation to all without reserve, and stretches out his arms to embrace all, that all may be the more encouraged to repent. And yet there is a circumstance of no small moment, by which he points out the aggravation of the crime, if they reject an invitation so kind and gracious, for it is as if he had said, “Lo, I am here to invite all, and, forgetting the character of a judge, I have this as my single object, to persuade all, and to rescue from destruction those who are already twice ruined.” No man, therefore, is condemned on account of having despised the Gospel, except he who, disdaining the lovely message of salvation, has chosen of his own accord to draw down destruction on himself. The word judge, as is evident from the word save, which is contrasted with it, here signifies to condemn. Now this ought to be understood as referring to the office which properly and naturally belongs to Christ; for that unbelievers are not more severely condemned on account of the Gospel is accidental, and does not arise from its nature, as we have said on former occasions. Calvin, John 12:47

He who rejecteth me. That wicked men may not flatter themselves as if their unbounded disobedience to Christ would pass unpunished, he, adds here a dreadful threatening, that though he were to do nothing in this matter, yet his doctrine alone would be sufficient to condemn them, as he says elsewhere, that there would be no need of any other judge than Moses, in whom they boasted, (John 5:45.) The meaning, therefore, is: “Burning with ardent desire to promote your salvation, I do indeed abstain from exercising my right to condemn you, and am entirely employed in saving what is lost; but do not think that you have escaped out of the hands of God; for though I should altogether hold my peace, the word alone, which you have despised, is sufficient to judge you. Calvin, John 12:48.

See also:
John Calvin on John 3:16

All we are saying, with some obvious exceptions to the we, is exactly what Calvin said on these verses.

David

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

Same thing goes for the issue of whether Calvin was a five-point Calvinist. If you think that's important to the debate, let me know.

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

You know, David, you made your point.

But I will observe using a famous line from one of the Presidential debates long ago,

Benson: Quayle, I know John Kennedy, and you are no John Kennedy!

If your point to TF or any one of us is you equate yourself with John Calvin, I recommend you go back to the bathroom, restroom or closet where there is a mirror and stop and look and see, you are no John Calvin and in my judgment a weak Christian.

Would you stop the foolishness and come to something in the debate other than what others think and believe?

And I might add by simply adding, or inserting quotes of John Calvin, who obviously is not here to defend himself or the Faith once delievered to the Saints, it's just disingenuous of you to do this to TF.

I protest!

Now go and square this with that!

1Co 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1Co 10:32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,
1Co 10:33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Seth McBee said...

Michael.
I suggest you slow down on your comments towards David. You are now calling someone a weak Christian that you do not know.

David never said he was a Calvin but respects Calvin as most who come to this blog do. We use past theologians to aid us in our studies because we realize that the Holy Spirit has used many people in many cultures in many times. We do not ever equate them with Scripture but we do want to learn from them.

TF would agree with this, in my estimation, being that his name is "Turretinfan" meaning, he likes what Turretin has exegeted and stood for. Maybe not all he stood for, but a lot of it.

So, please Michael, do not come on here and start bashing people and judging their walk with our Saviour. You don't know him, as I don't know you.

Your walking a thin line now, and close to not being able to comment here if you continue.

Remember that you are speaking to actual brothers in Christ.

natamllc said...

Seth

thank you for your kindness and respect, it is greatly appreciated.

I too do not consider myself a Calvinist, or a Lutheran for that matter.

I consider myself a person born into the world for such a time as this and I too agree, if we do not learn from men such as Calvin or others dead or alive, we are the ones suffering the understanding.

I apologize to David if my remarks were offensive?

If they were, I would ask David to say so, not you. You have a right to say what you did. This is your blogsphere and I am your guest when I come here to make comments.

I encourage you to continue this debate and too, as you said at the first, when the commenting dies down, you will bring forth your best efforts to find a place of agreement with TF.

Again, thank you for your kindness and the respect you have shown me!

If you would kindly review my reproofs towards David you might see I have always regarded him as a brother in Christ and so I continue to take issue with his openings as this time and for which I am replying to your instruction and mild admonition.

Why do I do that? Well something I read and was underscored to me on several occasions over the years that Martin Luther said.

This a loose paraphrase and by all means if you can quote exactly as he said it or wrote it, please do:

IF I AM SILENT TOWARDS A BROTHER IT IS A SURE SIGN THAT I HATE HIM!

With that said I would say you have not been silent towards me!

I do have to say it is ironic that you are now admonishing me for the same reason I have several times admonished David to treat others as a Christian brother is to treat Christians and all men!

Job 4:1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:
Job 4:2 "If one ventures a word with you, will you be impatient? Yet who can keep from speaking?
Job 4:3 Behold, you have instructed many, and you have strengthened the weak hands.
Job 4:4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees.

and

Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.
Act 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

and

Rom 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Rom 15:3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me."
Rom 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Rom 15:5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
Rom 15:6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

and

Gal 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Gal 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Gal 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Gal 6:4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
Gal 6:5 For each will have to bear his own load.

and finally

Php 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,
Php 2:2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Php 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Php 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

michael

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Michael—

I'm not sure what the problem is with David quoting Calvin here. Calvin's comments are sound and certainly relevant. Presumably you would not object if David said the exact same things in his own words; so why object when he simply puts them here verbatim for the sake of expediency?


TF—

I find your analysis of 1 Timothy 4:10 here to be good and persuasive. I do, in fact, agree with it. However, again, I cannot see that there is sufficient clarity in the Greek to say with certainty that either your position, or Seth's must be correct. In other words, how we interpret this passage is necessarily influenced by our larger theological framework. It doesn't seem helpful to dwell on it any longer, since it is incapable of really proving anything one way or the other. I understand why you have taken the time to show that it doesn't necessarily prove Seth's position—but it seems like we should move on now to passages which can. In saying that, though, I don't think that either position can be proved by exegesis alone. We need to consider what can be deduced by good and necessary consequence from the various passages which we consider.

One other thing I'd like to comment on. You say:

One problem with this debate is that we both agree that Christ died to save the elect. Seth believes that Christ also died to do something for the reprobate.

I find myself balking at this idea that Christ died to do something for the reprobate. I think we should clearly define what exactly Seth thinks Christ's death achieved for them. I am not sure whether Seth and I are in agreement over this particular issue, but it seems to me that all Christ's death achieved for the reprobate was the real provision for their salvation if they believe. Since they will not believe, and cannot, this provision is not actualized—and so I am wary to use the language you have regarding Christ "doing" something for them. At least in my own view, what he "did" for the reprobate was incidental to what he actually did do for the elect.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

Dom,

thanks for your reply and I do not want to go beyond Seth's admonition however mild it is.

I will quote what "upsets" the apple cart for me and DP:

"DP:well if TF is just going to ignore my arguments,"

I am not the brightest star in the universe but don't you think or believe as I do, that that comment is a bit much seeing most of the words, you count them, have been between DP and TF?

Am I ignoring something here? TF can speak for himself as I have been speaking for myself. TF has not been ignoring anyone in this debate. He has shown exceptional skill in addressing almost every ant that crosses my computer screen! A bit over the top I know, but as I pointed to DP already, if he would just come out with verbatim or his own clean words while excluding these sorts of remarks, as most of yours are with you, he might keep the clarity and focus for novices such as I am.

Am I immature? Ok, I leave that for you to judge!

Hope this in no way violates your admonition, Seth????

Michael

natamllc said...

Dom

an interesting question and observation here!

I align myself with most of what you have just said.

Here's why:

In the "prefatory" by John White, 1642, Owen and Arminianism, quote:

"Towards the middle of the ninth century, these questions again assumed distinctive prominence in the history of theological speculation. Gottschalc, a monk of Orbais, distinguished himself by his advocacy of the doctrines of Augustine. It was the doctrine of predestination chiefly on which he insisted; and the controversy in his hands assumed this peculiar modification, that not merely the application of gracious influence, but the reference of the atonement, was exhibited as under the limit and regulation of the divine sovereignty and purpose. Not that in this respect he was at variance with Augustine, but the point seems to have been specially and formally mooted in the discussions of this age. His view of predestination embraced an element which may be reckoned an advance on the Augustinian doctrine; for according to him, predestination was twofold, comprehending the punishment of the reprobate as well as the salvation of the elect; but while he held the predestination of men to the punishment of their sin, he was far from holding, as his opponents alleged, that they were predestinated to the commission of sin. Council warred with council in the case of Gottschalc. Gottschalc himself expiated by a death in prison his audacious anticipation of the rights of private judgment and free inquiry in a dark age."

In an earlier post I cited Colossians 1:19-20 to address both the Justice and the Mercy of God in dealings with the Elect and the reprobate to which some major portion of this debate hinges:

Here is it expanded to include 1:17-23,

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Col 1:19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
Col 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
Col 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.


To digress a bit, one day I was studying law as a newly appointed commissioner for my Tribe. I went online and found an electronic law book. It wasn't very long and an easy read. In the introduction this law professor said that he requires all law students to read the Holy Bible!

I jumped at that and email him exploring the idea and "where did he go to Church". His reply startled me in that he told me why the Bible is required reading, "it's a brilliant book of law" AND NO HE WAS NOT A CHRISTIAN, IN FACT HE WAS AN ATHIEST.

Hmmmm I thought. That's odd. But the wisdom of this man was without a doubt sound in that the Bible is also among other things a scenario of Legal arguments and intents whereby God justifies His eternal damnation upon the Beast, the False Prophet, Satan and his angels, Death and Hades and most of all, those, who's names are not found in the book of Life.

At Col. 1:20, is not this a sound justification for both Justice upon the reprobate and Mercy upon us, the Elect?

What is your view here then?

Michael

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Michael—

I must admit I'm not entirely sure what you're asking...

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

Thanks Bnonn for the follow up!

Here in brackets is John White on Gottschalk about Augustine to which some if not all this debate hangs:

[[His view of predestination embraced an element which may be reckoned an advance on the Augustinian doctrine; for according to him, predestination was twofold, comprehending the punishment of the reprobate as well as the salvation of the elect;]]

Would you handle the verses I cite from Colossians as the answer to this twofold matter of justice for the reprobate and mercy for the Elect?

What seems to be hard to understand at times is GOD IS LOVE and He is "ALWAYS" LOVE ALL THE TIME and what seems unfair to my pea brain isn't unfair at all to Him when He sends a reprobate to eternal damnation.

When I think God is unfair in that loving act of His, hence, sending a reprobate to perish, I am just not playing with a deck like God is here.

For the ELECT, isn't the perishing of the reprobate and their separation from the Elect's Eternal placement in one of those many mansions an aspect of their SALVATION, my salvation and yours? We are the Elect! I know I am!!

For the reprobate though, wouldn't it be hell for them to come to any mansion anyway seeing before they perish they too "believed" yet, for whatever mysterious reason rejected God, Christ and the Holy Ghost along with the "Elect" Angels and their mission to bring the "Elect" to Salvation:

Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
Rev 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

and:

Heb 1:13 And to which of the angels has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

and:

1Ti 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
1Ti 5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.
1Ti 5:23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)
1Ti 5:24 The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later.
1Ti 5:25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

Here is your point with TF that I insinuated myself into and responded asking you to comment on the Colossians verses and the legal justification for punishing the reprobate and forgiving the Elect:

[[I find myself balking at this idea that Christ died to do something for the reprobate. I think we should clearly define what exactly Seth thinks Christ's death achieved for them. I am not sure whether Seth and I are in agreement over this particular issue, but it seems to me that all Christ's death achieved for the reprobate was the real provision for their salvation if they believe. Since they will not believe, and cannot, this provision is not actualized—and so I am wary to use the language you have regarding Christ "doing" something for them. At least in my own view, what he "did" for the reprobate was incidental to what he actually did do for the elect.]]

I believe that "one" act, His death on a cursed tree does both, [achieves simultaneously] as you say it above and dooms the reprobate with God's Justice and secures the Salvation of the Elect with His Mercy.

Let me ask you Bnonn, do you deserve God's Grace and Mercy? I don't!

I am merely pointing to Colossians 1:20 as my proffer of "a passage of Scripture" to move on with and saying by those verses surrounding it God has established a legal foundation to send the reprobate to damnation and to send the Holy Ghost to the Elect, sending the Elect Angels to them as well, those predestined to inherit Salvation.

I was asking for your thoughts and revelations on it::::> You stated to TF above,

Bnonn:but it seems like we should move on now to passages which can.?

I cite Col. 1:20 as a passage of Scripture that we could move onto?

Do you have any?

Michael

Turretinfan said...

Michael,

I think I get to pick the next place we move to, but I'll keep Col. 1:20 in mind.

Bnonn,

I had written:

"One problem with this debate is that we both agree that Christ died to save the elect. Seth believes that Christ also died to do something for the reprobate."

You wrote:

"I find myself balking at this idea that Christ died to do something for the reprobate."


I answer: Me too.

B: "I think we should clearly define what exactly Seth thinks Christ's death achieved for them."

I answer: That would be helpful. It's a bit hard to rebut positions that haven't been explained.

B: "...it seems to me that all Christ's death achieved for the reprobate was the real provision for their salvation if they believe. Since they will not believe, and cannot, this provision is not actualized—and so I am wary to use the language you have regarding Christ "doing" something for them. At least in my own view, what he "did" for the reprobate was incidental to what he actually did do for the elect."

I answer:

I'm not sure how a provision can be real but not ever actual. If something is not actual, it would seem to be either (a) hypothetical, or (b) future (or past).

So, someone might say that there is a provision for the elect, but that election will be "actualized" in the future. I wouldn't, but some might.

-Turretinfan

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi Michael; thanks for clarifying.

I'm afraid I don't see what bearing Colossians 1:20 has on double predestination. Nor am I sure why you think it contributes to establishing a legal foundation for damning the reprobate. Is there some inference which you have not explicated here? Does God require any other foundation for punishing the wicked than the fact that they are wicked?

This verse is speaking of Jesus' work in εἰρηνοποιήσας—in making peace and establishing harmony (Crosswalk). It is therefore speaking presumably of his work in reconciling the elect to God (whether they were in heaven at the time of writing, or on earth). Unless you think that the reprobate have been reconciled to God also—but if that is the case, then why are we talking about active reprobation? If the reprobate are reconciled to God, if he has made peace with them, then what basis does he have for damning them? Is there some interpretation of this verse about which I am unaware? I confess I have not studied it before. Nonetheless, if your view is to make sense, I would expect it to speak of all things, whether in heaven or on earth or in hell.


TF—

Your view that Christ's provision for all must be hypothetical seems to either treat the atonement as pecuniary instead of penal, or conflate it with its application. But I would argue that the atonement is penal, not pecuniary; and that Christ's propitiation for all sin cannot be conflated with its particular application to the elect.

Regards,
Bnonn

Turretinfan said...

B: "Your view that Christ's provision for all must be hypothetical seems to either treat the atonement as pecuniary instead of penal, or conflate it with its application."
I answer: No.
(1) Pecuniary vs. Penal is potentially a false dichotomy.
(2) Whether or not it is a false dichotomy, it does not have any impact on the argument I presented.
(3) Likewise, provision vs. application may potentially be a false dichotomy.
(4) Whether or not it is, it does not impact the argument I presented.

B: "But I would argue that the atonement is penal, not pecuniary; and that Christ's propitiation for all sin cannot be conflated with its particular application to the elect."

I answer: As to the first half, I would argue that the atonement is personal not categorical, and as to the second half, I would argue that you are the one who used the term "Actualized." If there's conflation, you did it.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

Bnonn.
I agree 100% with your statement in regards to Christ's atonement.

I believe that Christ took away the sins of the world (apostate humanity) and imputation still needs to happen, through the faith that God gives, for the payment to be applied to the sinner.

I know you guys seem to not understand this position but I have tried stating it many times.

It is not "hypothetical" in any way. He literally paid the ransom for all. But the payment is penal, therefore application is still needed.

TF: maybe this is where your next post could come from...just a thought.

Seth McBee said...

TF.
I think we are getting somewhere with this.

I think verses to back up your thoughts above would be helpful in your next post.

Why the dichotomy of penal vs pecuniary is possibly false and likewise, provision vs. application. Everyone else that I have ever come in contact with in Christendom has used these dichotomies, so I find your answer odd, and would love to talk more about it. Probably a good way to 'steer' the debate.

Just a thought.

David Ponter said...

As with my other comments, please dont republish them anywhere else without my permission.

The issue over personal versus impersonal is a false-dictomy in my opinion. But take a look at this:

Hodge:
The application of its benefits is determined by the covenant between the Father and the Son. Those for whom it was specially rendered are not justified from eternity; they are not born in a justified state; they are by nature, or birth, the children of wrath even as others. To be the children of wrath is to be justly exposed to divine wrath. They remain in this state of exposure until they believe, and should they die (unless in infancy) before they believe they would inevitably perish notwithstanding the satisfaction made for their sins. It is the stipulations of the covenant which forbid such a result. Such being the nature of the judicial satisfaction rendered by Christ to the law, under which all men are placed, it may be sincerely offered to all men with the assurance that if they believe it shall accrue to their salvation. His work being specially designed for the salvation of his own people, renders, through the conditions of the covenant, that event certain; but this is perfectly consistent with its being made the ground of the general offer of the gospel. Lutherans and Reformed agree entirely, as before stated, in their views of the nature of the satisfaction of Christ, and consequently, so far as that point is concerned, there is the same foundation for the general offer of the gospel according to either scheme. What the Reformed or Augustinians hold about election does not affect the nature of the atonement. That remains the same whether designed for the elect or for all mankind. It does not derive its nature from the secret purpose of God as to its application. Charles. Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol 2, pp., 557-8.

If the expiation only pertained to a specific set of persons' specific sins, absolutely personal, then what Hodge says here is wrong. It would mean that Christ would have to have more sin imputed to him if more were elected to salvation etc.

What Hodge says is that the expiation, as it actually is, remains exactly the same if it was designed for 1 man, or for all men.

So in classic Princeton theology, there is a sense where the expiation has a general quality and reference that is not bound by any limitation, ie by the index of sinners, for whom he died, etc.

From another point, Jn 1:29, its the Sin, singular, not sins, of the world. In classic Augustinian and early Reformation theology, Jn 1:29 pertained to the bearing of Adamic sin. I just read Shedd make this same claim in his work on church history last week.

So either way, the imputation of sin, can be both personal and categorical. Personal in that Christ knows all men, and categorical in that its not the case of so much suffering (ie punishment) for so much sin.

I have seen this comment about personal sin a few times on different blogs, often by the same person. The problem is, like Jn 1:29 Scripture will speak of sin, generically, being imputed and yet also sins, plural, being imputed.

We also might need to go back to Dabney's metaphor that Christ's righteousness is not like a bag of coins to be divided up for each sinner. Rather, the one act of righteousness, generically (if I may use this word) covers and suffices for all the divers sins of believers.

Ps, I would still like to see a comment regarding Calvin on Jn 3:16-17 and 12:47-48. I would like to know why it would be wrong for us to adopt his position there?

David

Turretinfan said...

Seth wrote: "It is not "hypothetical" in any way. He literally paid the ransom for all. But the payment is penal, therefore application is still needed."

I answer:
An unapplied payment sounds like a hypothetical payment to me.
What was purchased by the payment?

I think the answer to that question clarifies the hypothetical nature of the matter.

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...

Just for interests sake, now that we are talking about hypothetical again, here is Shedd:

In the third place, an atonement, either personal or vicarious, when made, naturally and necessarily cancels legal claims. This means that there is such a natural and necessary correlation between vicarious atonement and justice, that the former supplies all that is required by the latter. It does not mean that Christ’s vicarious atonement naturally and necessarily saves every man; because the relation of Christ’s atonement to divine justice is one thing, but the relation of a particular person to Christ’s atonement is a very different thing. Christ’s death as related to the claims of the law upon all mankind, cancels those claims wholly. It is an infinite “propitiation for the sins of the whole world,” 1 John 2:2. But the relation of an impenitent person to this atonement, is that of unbelief and rejection of it. Consequently, what the atonement has effected objectively in reference to the attribute of divine justice, is not effected subjectively in the conscience of the individual. There is an infinite satisfaction that naturally and necessarily cancels legal claims, but unbelief derives no benefit from the fact…

This reasoning applies to vicarious atonement equally with personal. Justice does not require a second sacrifice from Christ, in addition to the first. “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many,” Hebrews 10:28 [sic]. This one offering expiated “the sins of the whole world,” and justice is completely satisfied in reference to them. The death of the God-man naturally and necessarily cancelled all legal claims. When a particular person trusts in this infinite atonement, and it is imputed to him by God, it then becomes his atonement for judicial purposes as really as if he had made it himself, and then it naturally and necessarily cancels his personal guilt, and he has the testimony that it does in his peace of conscience. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:437, 438.

David Ponter said...

This might help too, on pecuniary and penal, and ransom as metaphor:
Charles Hodge on the Atonement

David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

TF—

I think Seth has clarified my meaning quite well. There is a distinction to be drawn between federally representing mankind and suffering the penalty for their sin, and applying that substitutionary atonement to particular people. Christ did not hypothetically atone for my Catholic father's sins. He actually paid the penalty for them. As David has said, the federal headship of Christ implies a generic or categorical aspect to the atonement. However, unless my father repents and believes the gospel of Jesus Christ (and I pray that he will), that penalty will not be imputed to him, and he will be tormented in hell forever.

I use this example to remind us all of the weight of this topic.


David—

As with my other comments, please dont republish them anywhere else without my permission.

To whom is this comment directed...and might I ask why it is of such concern? You realize that this combox is syndicated, and so your comments are technically being published to any number of people without your knowledge?

Regards,
Bnonn

Seth McBee said...

TF.
I think your questions are valid. But, if we continue in this thread we will end up in a 100+ comment post again. So, go ahead and put this in post form and we'll go from there.

I really want to work out your comments on penal vs pecuniary and provision vs application.

You can also include if you want the idea of hypothetical atonement. I don't mind working through that.

David Ponter said...

Bnonn,

Yes I know that, but its the idea of having them lifted and posted at a specific URL that I dont want to happen. I will leave it that cos I dont want to be seen as harassing TF. ;-) (Tongue-in-cheek smilie).

Thanks,
David

Turretinfan said...

I'm really getting tired of seeing Reformed men's names dragged through the mud.

That Hodge was a 5 point Calvinist is clear, from his "Systematic Theology":

"The simple question is, Had the death of Christ a reference to the elect which it had not to
other men? Did He come into the world to secure the salvation of those given to Him by the Father,
so that the other effects of his work are merely incidental to what was done for the attainment of
that object?"

...

"That these questions must be answered in the affirmative, is evident, ..."

Hodge goes on to prove the matter.

He concludes:

"In the review of this subject, it is plain that the doctrine that Christ died equally for all men with the purpose of rendering the salvation of all possible, has no advantage over the doctrine that He died specially for his own people, and with the purpose of rendering their salvation certain. It presents no higher view of the love of God, or of the value of Christ’s work. It affords no better ground for the offer of salvation “to every creature,” nor does it render more obvious the justice of the condemnation of those who reject the gospel. They are condemned by God, angels, an all men, and by their own consciences, because they refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh, and to love, worship, trust, and obey Him accordingly. The opposite, or anti-Augustinian doctrine, is founded on a partial view of the facts of the case. It leaves out of view the clearly revealed special love of God to his peculiar people; the union between Christ and his chosen; the representative character which He assumed as their substitute; the certain efficacy of his sacrifice in virtue of the covenant of redemption; and the necessary connection between the gift of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. It moreover leads to confused and inconsistent views of the plan of salvation, and to unscriptural and dangerous theories of the nature of the atonement. It therefore is the limited and meagre scheme; whereas the orthodox doctrine is catholic and comprehensive; full of consolation and spiritual power, as well as of justice to all mankind."

The failure to understand Hodge appears to spring from his comments such as this one:

"Augustinians readily admit that the death of Christ had a relation to man, to the whole human family, which it had not to the fallen angels. It is the ground on which salvation is offered to every creature under heaven who hears the gospel; but it gives no authority for a like offer to apostate angels. It moreover secures to the whole race at large, and to all classes of men, innumerable blessings, both providential and religious. It was, of course, designed to produce these effects; and, therefore, He died to secure them. In view of the effects which the death of Christ produces in the relation of all mankind to God, it has in all ages been customary with Augustinians to say that Christ died “sufficienter pro omnibus, efficaciter tantum pro electis;” sufficiently for all, efficaciously only for the elect. There is a sense, therefore, in which He died for all, and there is a sense in which He died for the elect alone."

In context, it is clear what Hodge means, but when taken out of context, you can imagine how the last couple lines could sound quite 4-pointer.

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...

Bonn says:

I think Seth has clarified my meaning quite well. There is a distinction to be drawn between federally representing mankind and suffering the penalty for their sin, and applying that substitutionary atonement to particular people. Christ did not hypothetically atone for my Catholic father's sins. He actually paid the penalty for them. As David has said, the federal headship of Christ implies a generic or categorical aspect to the atonement. However, unless my father repents and believes the gospel of Jesus Christ (and I pray that he will), that penalty will not be imputed to him, and he will be tormented in hell forever.

David: Bnonn, be assured I am not trying to pin you down and trap you. What youve said here impresses me, really does.

Given what you have just said, can you not see how that in some sense it can be said that Christ died for your father? Or to put it another way, that he died for your father's sins?

If Christ suffered the curse of the law due to a given man, we say he suffered for that given man. If that curse of the law was the same as due to another given man--all things being equal--we can also say he died for that other given man too. He did not suffer more, did not die more, was not punished more.

So far so good.

If Christ suffered for your father's sins, that is, bore the same curse--all things being equal--then can we not say, too, that Christ died for your father? in the sense that he bore the sin that was due to your father?

David

David Ponter said...

TF,

dont get bent out of shape. No one here is saying Hodge is a 4 pointer. I believe you do not understand our position or Hodges.

Take care,
David

natamllc said...

Bnonn

thanks for the demeanor and tone of your responses to mine, it is very helpful for a lost little soul walking around with you giants of the Learned!

Here's your words:

B: It is therefore speaking presumably of his work in reconciling the elect to God (whether they were in heaven at the time of writing, or on earth).

Let me "edit" that sentence and see if we can have agreement?

M's edition of B's sentence then:

It is therefore speaking presumably of his/Our HEAVENLY FATHER'S work in reconciling the elect to Himself THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS SON'S CROSS, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SAVIOR IN TOWN, KING OF THIS UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING CREATED, things BEFORE Genesis 1:1 that are here in this created heavens and earth AND NOW THINGS (whether they were in heaven at the time of Paul's writing those words, Col. 1:20, or on earth before then, then at creation and now in these days). Of course the created heavens and earth here are implicit and implied to be the created ones, not Eternity where Our Heavenly Father dwells and from there sending His Only Begotten Son, the Second Person of the Trinity to here where the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost is working sanctifying the Elect out of this world that the god of this world influences for evil against Our Creators. The Holy Ghost, you know, Him who is referred to here at::::>Gen 1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

1. The earth, the created heavens and earth; 2. darkness, you know, the fruit of something or someone's activity; and 3. the Blessed Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God who has been here from the beginning.

In "your" sentence Bnonn, you refer to Jesus as the one doing the reconciling.

In my "version" of your sentence, God Our Heavenly Father is the one reconciling. How does He do that? Through the blood of His Cross, of course I assign Jesus Christ to the word "His" in that phrase, THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS and through the sanctification WORK OF THE HOLY GHOST.

For me it makes a world of difference Who is doing What.

One of the clearest examples of this "revelation" comes from 1 Peter. Consider Who is doing What by Whom and Who?:::>

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
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.


Even while this debate is going on, just as Jesus said, His and Our Father is WORKING up til now!:

Joh 5:16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working."
Joh 5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Joh 5:19 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
Joh 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.
Joh 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
Joh 5:22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
Joh 5:23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.


Let me now come back to what I believe for this participant in this debate finds as "revelatory".

It's that part between TF and Seth and the "plain" meaning of the word "especially" in 1 Tim. 4:10

1Ti 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

μάλιστα
malista
mal'-is-tah
Neuter plural of the superlative of an apparently primary adverb μάλα mala (very); (adverb) most (in the greatest degree) or particularly: - chiefly, most of all, (e-) specially.


Someone somewhere said this that that simply means, "namely". I would be strong in saying, yes, namely, especially and 'only'.



I don't know much about double predestination, so explain that one to me.

All I know is from what has been given to me so far after 35 years of walking out the experience of the Faith once delivered to the Saints reaching me on July 21, 1975.

You should by now have picked up I am well less read than you debaters here on the great minds of the Faith to which you guys recall and point. Little babies like me only handle milk, not cream cheese!

Although I do believe I too have the Spirit of God dwelling in me, well, in fact, I know I do!

Back to one more point and then onto reading more of this debate as I see a lot of activity today between the main players and the first and second string!

That verse in 1 Peter above, verse 3:

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,


if you will permit me some wind here I would put that verse next to two verses and point to one Greek Word, suzoopoieo:

συζωοποιέω
suzōopoieō
sood-zo-op-oy-eh'-o
From G4862 and G2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): - quicken together with.

Paul uses this WORD at Ephesians 2:5 and Colossians 2:13.

So, Peter says God Our Heavenly Father caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Paul reveals how when he uses that Greek word suzoopoieo.

What does that word mean?

It means we are "conjoined" to the Eternal Son of God by the Spiritual working of God. We are "reanimated". We are made alive in Christ.

Now look at this Greek Word used by John there in those verses quoted already, at John 5:21.

ζωοποιέω
zōopoieō
dzo-op-oy-eh'-o
From the same as G2226 and G4160; to (re-) vitalize (literally or figuratively): - make alive, give life, quicken.

I make a distinction here. I make a legal stand at Colossians 1:20.

The reprobate perish. The Elect do not.

However, saying that, that does not mean to me, and please correct me here!!!! that all the ELECT are saved.

Some contemporary Scholar, I believe it was R.C. Sproul in a video I watched talked about the "Covenant of Redemption".

The Father, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Ghost came into agreement to redeem us, the Elect.

I see in several places directly and many other places as implied the issue of the ELECT in an OBEDIENT relationship with that COVENANT.

AT Romans 1:5 and 16:26 and at 1 Peter 1:2 we see that word OBEDIENCE:

ὑπακοή
hupakoē
hoop-ak-o-ay'
From G5219; attentive hearkening, that is, (by implication) compliance or submission: - obedience, (make) obedient, obey (-ing).

Ok, God had done Their part in our redemption. What part do we play but to obey the TRUTH, the FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS?

This exercise, this debate is useful to me only if I will PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL without trying to bring anyone into OBEDIENCE TO IT.

You?

Bnonn, as I have been developing this post I have noticed a lot of activity between you and Seth, David and TF.

I want to come back to this sentence above after I spend time weighing what all you are debating now.

Here's the sentence:

B: Unless you think that the reprobate have been reconciled to God also—but if that is the case, then why are we talking about active reprobation?

I have a short answer and long one.

I don't know which one I will post. Maybe neither, I shall see after reading further what's going on in here!

regards
michael

Turretinfan said...

Seth: "Why the dichotomy of penal vs pecuniary is possibly false and likewise, provision vs. application. Everyone else that I have ever come in contact with in Christendom has used these dichotomies, so I find your answer odd, and would love to talk more about it. Probably a good way to 'steer' the debate."

I answer: The solution is in the definitions. If one uses one set of definitions, one gets one result, another set, another result.

Consider what Hodge wrote: "The work of Christ is not of the nature of a commercial transaction. It is not analogous to a pecuniary satisfaction except in one point. It secures the deliverance of those for whom it is offered and by whom it is accepted."

Hodge would say (And I would agree): "As the satisfaction of Christ was not pecuniary, but penal or forensic; a satisfaction for sinners, and not for those who owed a certain amount of money...."

And Hodge would explain, as would I, "All, therefore, that the Church teaches when it says that Christ satisfied divine justice for the sins of men, is that what He did and suffered was a real adequate compensation for the penalty remitted and the benefits conferred."

That is to say, in sacrificial terms, Christ was the perfect victim. All those (no matter how many) for whom he died as a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, will be saved - regardless of how numerous that crowd is.

Obviously, that's not where the debate is - the debate is over what he did for the reprobate beyond the providential/incidental benefits that Hodge mentions.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Bnonn:

I wonder whether Seth's position is that Christ was the federal head of all mankind or merely the elect.

I would, of course, hold the latter.

Are you saying you hold the former view?

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

"I think your questions are valid. But, if we continue in this thread we will end up in a 100+ comment post again. So, go ahead and put this in post form and we'll go from there."

Hmm ... ok ...

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

TF.
We could have a lot of fun, and bore a lot of others, debating what Hodge thought...but I would agree with what Hodge said.

Notice what he says:

"The work of Christ is not of the nature of a commercial transaction. It is not analogous to a pecuniary satisfaction except in one point. It secures the deliverance of those for whom it is offered and by whom it is accepted."

Notice who is secure and delivered, those whom it is both offered and accepted.

So, I would accept this quote fully.

As far as headship of Christ. As Adam was the head of the entire race as the first Christ so Jesus Christ is the federal head for all as well, especially the elect.

Here is another Calvin quote on this topic:

It is true that the angels well knew that Jesus Christ was the Head of all mankind, but how that should come to pass, or what time, or by what means, that was hidden from them. Calvin, Sermons on Ephesians, Sermon 18, 3:-12, p., 264

Seth McBee said...

TF...by the way...where did you get that Hodge quote?

Can you give me a reference so I can use it in the future?

Thanks.

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

I don't think you'll find that you and Hodge are in agreement right now, but that's neither here nor there.

As long as Hodge has been cleared of the charge of being a four-pointer, I'm glad to return to the issue of what Scripture teaches.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

All the Hodge quotations came from his "Systematic Theology."

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

Here's a dumb question Seth:

ARE WE GONG AROUND IN CIRCLES NOW?

Shedd:The death of the God-man naturally and necessarily cancelled all legal claims. When a particular person trusts in this infinite atonement, and it is imputed to him by God, it then becomes his atonement for judicial purposes as really as if he had made it himself, and then it naturally and necessarily cancels his personal guilt, and he has the testimony that it does in his peace of conscience. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:437, 438.

YES AND AMEN whoever posted that!!!!

I would point to these verses from Romans and the "two" Greek Words used but translated the one English word "justification".

Rom 5:16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.


At verse 16, the Greek Word is:

δικαίωμα
dikaiōma
dik-ah'-yo-mah
From G1344; an equitable deed; by implication a statute or decision: - judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness.


At verse 18 the Greek Word is:

δικαίωσις
dikaiōsis
dik-ah'-yo-sis
From G1344; acquittal (for Christ’s sake): - justification.


Here's my humble commentary:

He did the equitable deed, of course, that's what Jesus DOES ALL THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY, ALWAYS!

He offered me, the WRETCH, a solution to Adam's and my own personal pollution, AND IT WAS NOT DILUTION, as some think it should be, but ABSOLUTION, i.e.

ACQUITTAL

δικαίωσις
dikaiōsis
dik-ah'-yo-sis
From G1344; acquittal (for Christ’s sake): - justification.


I stand here, I HAVE BEEN ELECTED!

You?

Seth McBee said...

TF.
It would help if you would next time give a source instead of just saying, "In his systematic theology."

But, nevertheless, I found it...

Also, no one ever said that Hodge was a 4 pointer on this site.

So not sure why you would say that Hodge has been cleared of the charge of a 4 pointer

Unless you believe me to be a 4 pointer, which wouldn't make sense either. :)

Turretinfan said...

Seth, I think this post (here) both justifies the four-point label (or 6 point or whatever you may prefer as a label that means what you know I mean by 4-point) as well as the idea that you might possibly use 1 Tim. 4:10 to support your view.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

TF: yeah...about that post...I will probably delete it being that I have changed my view on that verse...that is why I told you that I had changed my mind on that verse. The reason I questioned why you used it was that, from my point of view, it does not help you on your side of the debate.

As far as 4 pointer. I don't remember ever "accepting" that tag for myself. I have always said that if you want to tag, call me a 6 pointer to make it easy. But, of course, I believe that this is actually historic "five pointerism" going back to Calvin and Dordt.

So I still reject being called a 4 pointer and it makes no sense why someone would call myself one.

Hope that clears that up.

natamllc said...

Seth, could you do a recap thus far on what has been and has not been agreed to by and between you and TF?

Or maybe it's for you to do TF?

"Bnonn", first off, I do hear you when you reveal your circumstance with your father and I too take that seriously. I am a man of Prayer and will pray for you and him. If you would send me via email his name you can so that I can be more specific in my prayers to God for his "awakening" and "enlightening" as you certainly have been? natamllc@sbcglobal.net

To your words now:

"M: I want to come back to this sentence above after I spend time weighing what all you are debating now.

Here's the sentence:

B: Unless you think that the reprobate have been reconciled to God also—but if that is the case, then why are we talking about active reprobation?"

I answer thus:

YES THE REPROBATE HAVE BEEN RECONCILED TO GOD FOR THE PURPOSE OF ETERNAL DAMNATION.

THEY ARE NOT BROUGHT BACK TO HIM IN THE SAME WAY OR MANNER AS THE ELECT ARE. WHAT ADAM LOST, JESUS PURCHASED BACK BY WAY OF A COVENANT OF REDEMPTION BETWEEN OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, HIMSELF, THAT IS JESUS AND THE HOLY GHOST.

Verses:Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,
Rev 5:10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."


Why do I say that and what pray do I mean by that answer?

Well, there are two Greek words I want to bring forth hereon used by Peter.

Before that I will quote Paul first:

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Rom 1:19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
Rom 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.


For me sometimes and "most" all of the time I need help in the interpretation of Scripture.

In this case the help came to me first when I first discovered Peter's use of words translators translated into the English word KNOWLEDGE; Peter's use of two different Greek Words here:

ἐπίγνωσις
epignōsis
ip-ig'-no-sis
From G1921; recognition, that is, (by implication) full discernment, acknowledgement: - (ac-) knowledge (-ing, -ment).

and

γνῶσις
gnōsis
gno'-sis
From G1097; knowing (the act), that is, (by implication) knowledge: - knowledge, science.

Their uses by Peter:

"epignōsis"
2Pe 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the "knowledge" of God and of Jesus our Lord.

and

"gnōsis"
2Pe 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with "knowledge",
2Pe 1:6 and "knowledge" with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,

And then Peter comes back and uses "epignōsis" again here:

"epignōsis"
2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the "knowledge" of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Again when you go to the next verse:

2Pe 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

weighing his point with these verses of Paul making similar points here:

2Ti 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
2Ti 2:17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
2Ti 2:18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity."
2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.
2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.


and here

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.
1Co 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--
1Co 3:13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
1Co 3:14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

One comes to consider that after one is SAVED, one's "walk after" is going to come into a process of testing.

It seems to me as I survey the Scriptures from Genesis 1:1 to the words THE END in Revelation 22 THERE IS CONFUSION AS TO WHO WALKS BY FAITH, the "just", and who does not and why some do and some do not.

I guess this debate is sorting that question out and we all will go away better Saints after Seth and TF agree which is the correct answer? Hopefully God is having as much fun with this as we are, or rather I am?

Albeit, wasn't it Tozer who said, GOD CANNOT LEARN, HE'S OMNISCIENT?

And to my point then. It seems each of these two Apostles gained by the Work of the Holy Ghost and Jesus on their spirits an understanding of "knowing" God is.

Some come to "know" Him and consequently Them by applying SCIENCE. They simply realize that NATURAL LAW ESTABLISHES A "HIGHER" INTELLIGENT BEING CREATED THIS UNIVERSE:

Genesis 1:1.

When one is moved upon by "ELECTION", predestined and foreknown before GENESIS 1:1 one then has two confirmations of GOD'S EXISTENCE.

It seems Scripture takes us all on an oddessy of sorts as we each personally "WALK" it out.

To some, 30 percent, to others, 60 percent, and to the ELECT, one hundred percent of our lives are:

Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Gal 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Seth:

You wrote: "As far as 4 pointer. I don't remember ever "accepting" that tag for myself. I have always said that if you want to tag, call me a 6 pointer to make it easy. But, of course, I believe that this is actually historic "five pointerism" going back to Calvin and Dordt."

Hmm ... well, if you really are an historic "five pointer" - perhaps this debate will end with us patting each other in the back in agreement!

:)

Please don't take offense at the label.

-Turretinfan

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

David—

Given what you have just said, can you not see how that in some sense it can be said that Christ died for your father? Or to put it another way, that he died for your father's sins?

I wonder if perhaps I have poorly represented my own position in the past. I definitely agree that, in one sense, Christ died for my father's sins. And yes, we can also state simply that he died for my father, provided that it is clear that this is true in the same sense that he died for all people. That is, he died for my father, but not particularly for my father (unless, may it be, he is one of the elect). Hopefully my comments to TF below will help to clarify my position.


Michael—

In my "version" of your sentence, God Our Heavenly Father is the one reconciling. How does He do that? Through the blood of His Cross, of course I assign Jesus Christ to the word "His" in that phrase, THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS and through the sanctification WORK OF THE HOLY GHOST.

I can agree with your statement, although I think we can say that God the Father reconciles all things to himself, and that God the Son reconciles all things to himself. That same phrase can be used to refer to both the activity of the Father in ordaining the reconciliation, and the activity of the Son in actualizing it at the cross. I don't think there is any ambiguity there, since we always understand that the Son performs the will of the Father, who is all in all. Nonetheless, I certainly agree with your distinction, and it is good to keep in mind.

Still, I am confused about what you see the relevance being here to God's punishment of sinners in hell. You suggested that Colossians 1:20 provides a foundation for the damnation of the wicked. I am not sure how. With regard to your query about double predestination, you had suggested that the wicked were predestined to damnation. This is what double predestination means: that God predestines some to heaven, and the rest to hell. Again, I was just querying how Colossians 1:20 fits in to this doctrine.

The rest of your post is somewhat confusing to me. I am still in the dark as to the relationship you see between Colossians 1:20 and many of the topics we are discussing, like the covenant and the reprobation of the wicked, and how suzoopoieo fits in, and so on. I also don't think that there is warrant for saying that God has reconciled the reprobate to himself. If he has, then there would be peace between him and the wicked, and he would have no reason to punish them in hell. Given that they are "objects of wrath prepared for destruction", how can we say that he is reconciled to them?

However, saying that, that does not mean to me, and please correct me here!!!! that all the ELECT are saved.

How can one be elected to salvation, but not be saved? If the elect do not perish, but not all the elect are saved, what happens to those who neither perish nor are saved? And what of John 6:37,39? "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out [...] And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day."

Clearly, all the elect are indeed saved.

You should by now have picked up I am well less read than you debaters here on the great minds of the Faith to which you guys recall and point. Little babies like me only handle milk, not cream cheese!

To be fair, and in the interest of honesty, I am very poorly read. I am just good at taking scriptural propositions and working with them. I by no means consider myself before you in the kingdom of God, Michael.


TF—

I do indeed believe that, just as Adam represented all mankind, so the second Adam represented all mankind as well. If the whole point of Christ being human was to put to death sin in the body, then in what way could he not have represented all humanity? That doesn't seem to make any sense. Is there some ontological distinction between the elect and the reprobate, that Christ could represent one without representing the other? Unless I am very confused about how federal headship works, I don't think your view is coherent on this point. It sound perhaps like you are supposing that specific, actual sins were imputed to Christ at the cross and therefore covered—so naturally the sins of the reprobate were not imputed. But this does not seem to comport with the nature of imputation or headship. If you will permit me to quote myself, with minor edits—

When we look at the way in which righteousness is imputed to us, it is not in the form of specific acts of righteousness; but rather a state of righteousness. Christ, having fulfilled the whole law, is counted righteous, and this state of being righteous is imputed to us by God. Now, did Christ fulfill the whole law in the sense of keeping every commandment given? He certainly kept every commandment which was relevant to him, but what if he never encountered his enemy's donkey going astray, that he might return it (Deut 23:4)? Does this imply that his adherence to the law was less than perfect? Would a Jew, after he was converted to Christianity, have to go out and find a donkey to return, so as to be sure that his righteousness before God was complete?

Of course not. For we know this is not how God views the law:

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law (James 2:10).

What this shows us is that the law is merely a description of all the ways in which we must be obedient to God. There is one underlying principle—obedience—which is manifested in various ways. Therefore, to break one of the laws is to break the whole law, because the law itself is a single principle: obedience. If we break one law, we have been disobedient, and so we have transgressed the whole law. There may be a quality and a quantity to our disobedience in terms of the law—that is, we break a certain number of laws a certain number of times (quantity); and each on occasion with a certain severity (quality). We know that lying is not as severe a sin as murder; and that lying with evil intentions should suffer harsher penalties than lying with good intentions. But in terms of obedience there is no quality or quantity at all. Either we are obedient, and therefore perfect; or we are not. The relationship is purely binary. And we know that disobedience demands death. That is the punishment that each of us must suffer apart from Christ, for "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23), and we have all sinned (Rom 3:23).

So, therefore, just as by the breaking of one commandment the whole law is broken, bringing the guilt of disobedience, in the same way when no commandment is broken, the whole law is kept. This is the manner in which guilt and righteousness is imputed by federal headship: for we are not counted as having eaten a fruit in Adam, but as having disobeyed. Similarly, we are not counted as having returned our neighbor's donkey in Jesus, but as having obeyed.

If it is the case that headship works in this way, then it seems incongruent that, when it comes to our own sin which is hidden in Christ, this binary obedience/disobedience relationship would be replaced by the boolean quantity and quality relationship which accompanies individual transgressions of the law. If Adam's disobedience is accounted to us without concern for the specific sin; and if Christ's obedience is accounted to us without concern for the specific laws kept; then it is difficult to suggest that our disobedience is accounted to Christ in a different way. If this is how headship works, then there must be a parity between the way in which Christ's righteousness is counted as ours; and our sin is counted as his. So it would seem that it is not individual sins which were imputed to Christ at the cross, but simply disobedience itself. He was counted as disobedient; as guilty of the whole law, as we are; and he was punished for this.

Thus, although Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that was only one half of the equation. Being perfect God, his suffering counted as a perfect payment for disobedience—that is, it was a perfect propitiation for the guilt of transgressing the whole law. Therefore, whatever sin we have committed, whether we are elect or not, it can be covered to the uttermost in Christ (see Heb 7:25). However, this alone does not save, for the atonement must be applied to us in order for us to be counted righteous. He must be counted as the transgressor of the law in our place. This second part of the equation is justification, by which the atonement he made is applied to us as individuals through faith. This is done at a time other than the atonement itself—otherwise we would all have been justified at the cross, and would surely not have been "children of wrath" (Eph 2:3) at any point, since we would always have been in Christ. But we know that if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation—the old has passed away; the new has come (2 Cor 5:17). And indeed, we are a new creation: a spiritual person, rather than a natural one (1 Cor 2:6ff), who is reconciled to God (Rom 5:10). But the reconciliation, the new creation, is through the Spirit, by faith (Rom 5:1). Therefore, the application of the atonement comes at another time, when we are given faith, making it efficacious for us.

Hopefully this clarifies my position here. I have a feeling that many of us may be interpreting each other's views according to certain other presuppositions, when the view being interpreted is actually formulated on the basis of different presuppositions. That leads to a lot of confusion and talking past each other.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

Bnonn,

I am willing to go along this walk with you until Seth or TF step in and bring us back to where they are heading?

Seth?
TF?

Bnonn, you defined D.P. thus:

With regard to your query about double predestination, you had suggested that the wicked were predestined to damnation. This is what double predestination means: that God predestines some to heaven, and the rest to hell.

My response:

I don't know this definition nor have I weighed the issues and who historically brought this definition about? Point me to someone I can read up on on this position.

I would state this about the ELECT.

The ELECT, those in question here within this debate, are those KNOWN before the foundation of the world for Whom Christ was sent to SAVE from the will of the god of this world, this world and themself in their Adamic nature. We are first born of the will of FLESH. We are then "born again" of the Will of Our Father as you have already addressed and I concur.

I qualify the "REPROBATE AND WICKED" as is used in Scripture to be definitively thus: these are they who are "after" the creation came about, however, they, they came to be reprobate and wicked. I know not how.

I know my actual sins or at least those I recollect.

I further make this distinction that according to my current understanding the only to exist "before" creation [Genesis 1:1] are the Eternal and those Created by Them: The Father, The Son, the Holy Ghost, The Elect Angels, both Seraphim and Cheribim, The Elect, ....Satan and company.

Satan and company: Satan, the fallen angels, the Beast, the False Prophet, Death and Hades.

I finally say this in a simplistic sense that some ELECT fall from GRACE and they then find their place with those who's names are not written in the book of Life.

I can only cite one of many cited in Scripture now, Judas, who clearly had entered into a Predetermined OFFICE with the eleven and then left his Predestined state by the wiles of the Devil himself and perished. I can say unequivocally that I wish it was not so, compassionately and it saddens me to let the full weight of that reality stay on my mind.

Act 1:16 Men, brothers, it was necessary for this Scripture to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke before through David's mouth concerning Judas, the one having become guide to those seizing Jesus;
Act 1:17 for he was numbered with us, and obtained a portion of this ministry.
Act 1:18 Indeed, then, this one bought a field out of the reward of unrighteousness; and falling headlong, he burst in the middle, and poured out all his bowels.
Act 1:19 And it became known to all those living in Jerusalem, so as that field to be called in their own dialect, Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.
Act 1:20 For it has been written in the scroll of Psalms, Let his estate become forsaken, and he not be living in it. And, "Let another take his overseership." LXX-Psa. 68:26; Psa. 108:8; MT-Psa. 69:25; Psa. 109:8

And while I am on this line let me add a couple more verses:

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."
Joh 12:33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.


and

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Joh 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
Joh 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
Joh 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Joh 16:12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
Joh 16:16 "A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me."

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi Michael—

My apologies, I defined double predestination very poorly, and I think I have merely confused matters by using that term. Perhaps we should leave it aside and simply grapple with the points you have made.

I qualify the "REPROBATE AND WICKED" as is used in Scripture to be definitively thus: these are they who are "after" the creation came about, however, they, they came to be reprobate and wicked. I know not how.

Well, if we believe that God ordains and brings about all things, then I think we must acknowledge that the reprobate and wicked came to be such because God made it so. He makes even the wicked for the day of trouble (Pr 16:4).

I finally say this in a simplistic sense that some ELECT fall from GRACE and they then find their place with those who's names are not written in the book of Life.

But then in what sense are they elect? If they are not saved, then they were by definition never elected to salvation. There are two kinds of people: the reprobate, and the elect. The reprobate are always damned; the elect are always saved. Surely you agree? After all, if someone is not saved, then by definition he is reprobate. Again, by definition, he was never elected to salvation. In light of this, I don't understand your reference to Judas Iscariot. Clearly he was not elect. There is no indication that his name was ever written in the Book of Life. What is this "predestined state" to which you refer, and from which he fell? The reference to his being numbered among the Apostles merely indicates that he was literally a one of their number. He was one of the twelve. But there is nothing intrinsic to the nature of the twelve that makes them all predestined to salvation.

Again, I am afraid I am very confused here, and we seem to be getting further and further from the topic at hand, without coming any closer to how Colossians 1:20 serves as a basis for God's punishment of the wicked!

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

Bnonn:

I also don't think that there is warrant for saying that God has reconciled the reprobate to himself. If he has, then there would be peace between him and the wicked, and he would have no reason to punish them in hell.

My response:

God is angry with the wicked every day and He hates evil! There is no peace between God and the reprobate, the wicked and evil. There is however a full reckoning, a reconciling.

I apply reckoning, reconciling in this instance as A PENAL JUSTICE, eternal damnation for the reprobate.

I apply reckoning, reconciling in this instance as unmerited favor or mercy, eternal life for the ELECT.

Are you equating reconciling the reprobate to mean "they too" receive ETERNAL LIFE as the ELECT DO? To me the only similarity is the word ETERNAL; eternal damnation; Eternal Life.

At Colossians 1:20, "reconcile":

ἀποκαταλλάσσω
apokatallassō
ap-ok-at-al-las'-so
From G575 and G2644; to reconcile fully: - reconcile.

At 2 Cor. 5:18, "reconciled"

καταλλάσσω
katallassō
kat-al-las'-so
From G2596 and G236; to change mutually, that is, (figuratively) to compound a difference: - reconcile.

Same, "reconciliation"

καταλλαγή
katallagē
kat-al-lag-ay'
From G2644; exchange (figuratively adjustment), that is, restoration to (the divine) favor: - atonement, reconciliation (-ing).

Now to Col. 1:20 again, God through Christ is fully reconciling a matter, let's say, a matter between Himself and the reprobate and Himself and the Elect. The use of the English Word, reconcile is much different here in Colossians 1:20 than the use of the English Word, reconcile at 2 Corinthians 5:18.

Here is how Paul the apostle deals with this issue at Ephesians:

Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands--
Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
Eph 2:15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
Eph 2:16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
Eph 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.
Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Eph 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
Eph 2:21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
Eph 2:22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

The same Greek word here at 2:16 is the same Greek word at Col.1:20:

apokatallassō
ap-ok-at-al-las'-so
From G575 and G2644; to reconcile fully: - reconcile.


Again, "for who knows why", [I just have to say it's a MYSTERY TO ME] when I read these words and consider them in light of the reprobate and the Elect issue of this debate, it becomes clear to this participant that God ELECTED SOME TO BECOME HIS DWELLING PLACE IN THE SPIRIT by: Eph 2:16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.;

....and He cannot destroy the hostility of others in the same way He can the hostility between Him and His ELECT, i.e. the reprobate, that hostility that exists between Him and them according the Scripture cannot be destroyed. I don't know why it cannot. Do you? All I know is it has been destroyed, the hostility between God and me and now I am a DWELLING PLACE FOR GOD IN THE SPIRIT, cf Psalms 46 with Eph. 2.

I don't know WHY GOD CANNOT LIE, I just believe what the Scripture teaches and the Scripture teaches GOD CANNOT LIE.

Apparently it is so here that GOD CANNOT DESTROY THE HOSTILITY BETWEEN HIMSELF AND THE REPROBATE.

And to my imagination/mind, sadly, for the reprobate, He does not and cannot elect them. So I say as I said, only the ELECT were before, in the 'FOREKNOWLEDGE' of God, the creation of these present heavens and earth. The reprobate and wicked came along after these present heavens and earth were created. And when God created these present heavens and earth, He did know His Own and Sent Christ to the Cross to save them, you and me:

2Ti 2:19 But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity."

Rom 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
Rom 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down)
Rom 10:7 or "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
Rom 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
Rom 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Rom 10:11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."



See at 2 Corinthians the use of the word "CHANGE". A change occurs from the Adamic nature to the Divine Nature as applied by Paul there.

katallassō
kat-al-las'-so
From G2596 and G236; to change mutually, that is, (figuratively) to compound a difference: - reconcile.

Whereas when he wants to reconcile or bring to account fully what else there is to be brought into account fully, that word does not imply CHANGE, but consequence.

apokatallassō
ap-ok-at-al-las'-so
From G575 and G2644; to reconcile fully: - reconcile.



The consequence for the REPROBATE [those that will not change] is certainly not the same as the consequence for those that have been CHANGED or "born again" by the Will of God through Christ and the Holy Ghost.



Let me go off on a digression a bit building on that aspect of this word, "fully".

At Matthew 3 then and here:

Mat 3:15 But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.
Mat 3:16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Mat 3:17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Jesus said: "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."

fulfill:
πληρόω
plēroō
play-ro'-o
From G4134; to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.


and here:

Joh 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus said: "It is finished,"

finished:
τελέω
teleō
tel-eh'-o
From G5056; to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): - accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform.

These words imply something "done" in CREATION but known about before CREATION fully.

However as I pointed to in those verses from John 12:31

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

and

John 16:11

Joh 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

My question finally here rests, probably no closer to an answer, but I will place it now here:

WHEN, WHEN WAS SATAN JUDGED AND WHEN WILL HE BE CAST OUT?

For certainly when the wicked and reprobate die in their sins, they go to everlasting destruction.

When I die, for me, to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord!

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Michael—

I apply reckoning, reconciling in this instance as A PENAL JUSTICE, eternal damnation for the reprobate.

But this is not what "reconcile" means; nor what eirenopoieo means either, with which it is paralleled in Colossians 1:20. Rather, it means "to restore to friendship or harmony". So the rest of your exegesis does not appear to follow.

And to my imagination/mind, sadly, for the reprobate, He does not and cannot elect them. So I say as I said, only the ELECT were before, in the 'FOREKNOWLEDGE' of God, the creation of these present heavens and earth. The reprobate and wicked came along after these present heavens and earth were created. And when God created these present heavens and earth, He did know His Own and Sent Christ to the Cross to save them, you and me

What? You will need to clarify what you mean here. It sounds as if you are saying that the elect existed in some sense before creation, and the reprobate only were created afterward (perhaps not even by God). You seem to be suggesting that God chooses the elect based on who they are, as if there is a difference between them and the reprobate before they are chosen. That is not the case. As even you have pointed out, the elect are made one with Christ by God—they are not one with him beforehand. They were exactly as the reprobate are, and were chosen simply due to God's good pleasure, and not because they were in any way different or better.

Regards,
Bnonn

David Ponter said...

Hey Bnonn,

Your position is very interesting.

You say:

I wonder if perhaps I have poorly represented my own position in the past. I definitely agree that, in one sense, Christ died for my father's sins. And yes, we can also state simply that he died for my father, provided that it is clear that this is true in the same sense that he died for all people. That is, he died for my father, but not particularly for my father (unless, may it be, he is one of the elect). Hopefully my comments to TF below will help to clarify my position.

David: If I read you right, you have said that Christ paid for your father's sins, and yet if he does not repent, he will be punished in hell, for those sins (I am paraphrasing what I think your intent).

I think I am reading you correctly. There is a lot there, Bnonn. You clearly have seen through the fallacious trilemma argument, which relies on double jeopardy and double payment fallacies.

You make a point that you still hesitate at saying Christ died particularly for your father.

Here is our thesis, and I believe I can sustain this from C Hodge too, Christ died for all men generally (in multiple senses) but he died for the elect especially. The latter is easy: he died to infallibly secure their salvation.

The former. I confess that I find that as some pretend to say (Cunningham et al) that Christ died for all in that he secured common grace is intelligible. I find that a debasing of what it means to say, biblically, Christ died for someone. So that aside.

We can say that Christ died for the sins of your father. Can we say tho, that Christ died in some way for your father so that he should be saved?

Like this: if Christ was alive now, and met your father, would not Christ have tried to save him? A lot of highs have problems here and will hesitate. They may say that only as a mere man did Christ seek the salvation of the non-elect. Thats junk: if you have seen me you have seen the Father.

What is Jn 12:47-48 about if not that while men are alive in this day (the day of grace {Hebrews}) Christ seeks their salvation and so calls them to the provision of his sacrifice? here we come back to the question what are men called to?

So is there a sense where one can say that Christ died to save all men?

David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi David—

As long as Christ's sacrifice is sufficient for all men, and as long as all men are called and commanded to accept that sacrifice, I believe that it must follow that there is a sense in which Christ died for all men. I don't know if I would say this correlates to there being a sense in which he died to save all men, because this implies that he failed in his purpose. I would rather ensure precision, and say that his work for all men at the cross correlates to his calling of all men to the cross.

I think that, unless we make God very inconsistent, there must be a correlation between the intentions of Christ on the cross, and his intentions in calling all men to repentance and faith. That is, if Christ calls all men to repentance, then there must be a certain sense in which this intention that they repent is present in his work at the cross. I would hasten to add that this intention that all men repent is not an intention of his purpose, but rather an intention of his affections. He has not intended that all will repent, just as he has not intended that all will be saved. But because of his character, and even though he has intended the opposite for a higher purpose on which he has set his affection, yet nonetheless his affections are such that he desires all men to be saved were it possible. In this sense, then, he intends all men to repent and be saved. And in the same sense, then yes, we may say that he died with the intention to save all men. It it not an intention of purpose, but an intention of affection.

I don't believe it is sensible to say that Christ calls all men to repent and trust in him for salvation after the cross, but that he excluded this intention from his work at the cross.

Rather, I would affirm that, just as he desires all people to repent, but grants repentance only to the elect; so he offered an atonement for all people, but with the intention of applying it only to the elect. The elect are always in view in his purpose, but this does not mitigate his love and goodness even to the reprobate.

I hope this makes sense; it is a very difficult topic and I find myself prone to continual revisions of my position!

Regards,
Bnonn

Seth McBee said...

Bnonn
Need some clarification:

You say:

I don't believe it is sensible to say that Christ calls all men to repent and trust in him for salvation after the cross, but that he excluded this intention from his work at the cross.


He doesn't call all men in the same way, because for one, the elect, he provides the Spirit of promise to convict their hearts, and the other, the reprobate, he leaves in their sin.

But He does in fact call all men to repent.

“Therefore having aoverlooked bthe times of ignorance, God is cnow declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
Acts 17:30


I personally think you are just tripping on your terms and how you apply them to your theology. When you have exegeted Scripture you have been very tight (that's a good thing) in your exegesis. But, when you explain your position you tend to fall short of your exegesis...there is a disconnect.

This is not to discount you in any way, just an observation...

I hope this makes sense...ask if it doesn't

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi Seth, I think you guys are having trouble with the way I phrase my sentences or something. I do treat sentences as objects which must be parsed as a whole. Perhaps you are reading me as having bad grammar when I am not? :) Let me try to put some emphasis into my statement which you quoted:

I don't believe it is sensible to say that Christ calls all men to repent and trust in him for salvation after the cross, but then to say that he excluded this intention from his work at the cross. In other words, if we are to say that Christ calls all men to repent and to trust in him, then we must also say that this intention has a corollary at the cross. And, since Christ does call all men to repentance, as you have shown from Acts, it therefore stands that this intention of affection was in view at the cross also.

You seem to have read me as saying that Christ does not call all men to repent. But actually I was saying the opposite. I wonder if you are so accustomed to people poorly structuring their sentences online, and using commas incorrectly, that you are "error correcting" my posts out of habit and reading the various clauses of my sentences as being unrelated when they are not; or, perhaps, related differently than I intended. Let me give you an example from the sentence you quoted, in the hope of avoiding future confusion. Here is the grammatically correct way to write the statement you understood me as having made:

I don't believe it is sensible to say that Christ calls all men to repent and trust in him for salvation after the cross; but rather that he excluded this intention from his work at the cross.

That is rather clumsy, of course, because there is still an unexplained relationship implied between the two clauses. But at least it is clear that I am making a denial and related affirmation, rather than an if-then statement.

In future, I will try to be less convoluted. I do try to compose my comments very carefully, and to get my meaning across as precisely and expediently as possible. But that does sometimes mean long sentences with several related clauses, and evidently I am structuring them in a confusing way. My apologies if I have been unclear because of this.

Regards,
Bnonn

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