Contend Earnestly: Moving Forward in the Debate

Monday, December 03, 2007

Moving Forward in the Debate


I am going to go ahead and put up my three major "issues" with what TF is purporting in his last argument and he can dialogue, along with others, in the comments box as desired. I have then asked TF to go ahead and come with another argument for limited expiation alone and we'll go from there. What I will say is that by me asking TF to show that the atonement was for the elect alone is not the same as me asking, "prove the Bible doesn't teach it." The reason is, I am not asking TF to prove that "Jesus didn't wear a red t-shirt" but I am asking him to prove that Jesus wasn't a ransom for all, that He didn't come to save the world, that He didn't come to take away the sins of the world. "Jesus wearing a red t-shirt" is a "prove it through biblical silence" treatment, where my questions to him have been in the area of "prove it through through a biblical mandate." I believe that these are questions that beg to be answered, being that the Bible speaks on it. I would also ask all to remember that John's reasoning for writing his gospel and letters is so that we would be saved (John 20:30,31). He is a fisherman, trying to show all the way of salvation. I would think that John is trying to be clear and not "cryptic" in his reading. So, I am asking TF to give me his best arguments for why Jesus is only the atonement for the elect and not the world.

This is why you have seen so much argument on both sides of John's usage of world.


What I am simply going to do is lay out the two things I and TF disagree on and I will ask for a clarification or comment on one last thing. Then Turretinfan can either post on it or comment in the comments of this post (I will let him decide) and then he can post another verse for discussion.

First, Ephesians 5:23

It seems as though we really disagree with each other on this rendering of this passage.

Here is TF's comments:
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 could not disagree more here. Although I believe that TF has hit in one sense, that being physical, that is not where the discussion stops for the husband. The husband is more than just a physical protector for the wife, but he is responsible for the spiritual well being for the wife as well. So, we don't ignore the body, but we also don't ignore the spiritual ramifications here either for the husband. The husband is both the physical and spiritual head of the wife and is responsible for her. How is this comforting for the Christian wife if her husband's job is merely physical? This is why the parallel is made with Christ. The husbands job is to look to Christ and how He laid His life down for the church, and in the same way, the husband for the wife. The husband, like Christ, is to protect his wife spiritually and be ready to do all that is necessary for her in respect to that protection. Chapter 5 of Ephesians starts off this perception by saying, "Be imitators of God..." This is the precedence that the husbands are to adhere to: to imitate Christ. Christ is the physical and spiritual head of the church, as are the husbands to the wife.

Then 1 Peter 3:20 is brought in and said that the thing being saved was merely their bodies?

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.
Turretinfan

Why did God bring a flood? To destroy only the people's bodies? Or was it not because their heart was continually evil (Genesis 6:5) and so God destroyed both body and soul? So, on the other side, God saved the 8 persons body AND soul through the ark, not merely their bodies. Again, look to who Peter is writing to. He is writing to a people who are being lit up like torches by Nero and their confidence is needing building up. I have done studies on 1 Peter and about 50% of 1 Peter speaks of salvation in some way. What is going to comfort these people? Physical salvation or spiritual salvation? I believe both. But if you asked them, which would they rather have confidence in? I believe the spiritual is what is being strengthened here, not just the physical. Look at 1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1 Peter 3:18


So, is Peter then going to point to the mere physical bodies for their comfort? No, he is pointing to the fact of God's grace in saving the eight's "psuche," or their whole person, both body and spirit.

Second, Created Order

TF: John 3:16. God so loved the created order.

So, is the reprobate a part of the created order? If so, we are back to square one. If not, we need a reason they are not. John 1:10 is a great passage to look at:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. John 1:10

Which part of the "created order" didn't know him? Would it not make more sense to see that John is trying to convey the thought of unbelieving humanity?

Thirdly, Calvin's Comments on John 12:47

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

TF, I am not going to get into whether Calvin was a Five Point Calvinist (which would need some clarification in of itself) or not as that would take us into a different direction. I think we both agree on this. But, I do wonder what your thoughts are on his exegesis of John 12:47. Cause, like David says, this is what I believe it to be, this is the exegesis that I agree with for John 12:47. So, any comment on Calvin and his exegesis for John 12:47 would be helpful.

I guess in the end, I have to ask TF, and everyone else: What is the fear in John the Baptists words, "Behold the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world!" Of course using my thoughts of world being "unbelieving humanity" that John uses in John 7:7; John 15:18 and John 1:10.

Any thoughts on this "fear" question will be helpful.



46 comments:

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Seth—

Although you well spot 1 Peter 3:20 referring to psuche—the whole being including the spirit—surely it is obvious that one can hardly save the body without saving the spirit? As James says, the body without the spirit is dead. We can save someone's life physically and temporally, thus saving both body and spirit so that their psuche is preserved—yet not save them eternally. It would appear that Peter is here speaking specifically of the temporal, physical salvation of the eight in the ark, and showing how it prefigures its antitype in eternal salvation through the washing of the Spirit, represented in baptism. So I'm not sure your argument is awfully strong here.

The rest of your comments seem quite sound, though.

Regards,
Bnonn

Seth McBee said...

Bnonn.
I would disagree with you on the fact of why Peter wrote the letter. Although, I of course agree with you that when one's body is saved their soul is attached.

I would think though that the focus would not be on the physical with these people, but the spiritual, being that their friends and family were being burned at the stake. Notice Peter's point in verse 18 and 19..both correspond to the spirit or spiritual. 18 speaks of Salvation and 19 speaks of proclamation...

Verse 21 when speaking of baptism is just an afterthought of Peter's point. The translators use Corresponding to that or as some others put it which corresponds to this. This would seem to point to another point that Peter was also trying to make.

I could be wrong, of course, but with the whole letter of Peter in thought I usually refer to Peter's strongest thought to the readers of their assurance of salvation of their soul, not their physical body.

Take a chance and read the entire letter in one sitting, it is a beautiful letter and the overwhelming focus on the Gospel is awesome.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Seth, I am by no means disagreeing with you that 1 Peter has eternal salvation particularly in view. Clearly it does. I was just pointing out that Peter is using the example of temporal salvation in the ark as a prefigurement of the eternal salvation in which his readers have hope. But, given that the ark was a temporal salvation, it seems unwarranted to assume that eternal salvation is in view when Peter says that "eight persons were brought safely through the water". The conjugation of soter here, διασώζω, seems clearly to refer to a physical and temporal salvation. Certainly something more is in view immediately afterwards in verse 21, which says that "baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you". Obviously the conjugation of soter here (σώζω) refers to eternal salvation. But that is the point: there is a contrast being made, rather than a direct comparison. Between diasozo and sozo there is implied the contrast of type and antitype: in this case, of physical and spiritual.

Perhaps I have misunderstood the argument, but I was of the impression that TF was saying that soter, of which diasozo is a conjugation (hopefully I am not mistaken; my grammar is not wonderful), is used in Scripture to refer to temporal and physical preservation as well as to eternal salvation. His argument was one of precedent, seeking to demonstrate that the term "save" need not always be used soteriologically. It has a wider syntactical range than that in Scripture. Since it is used of temporal preservation in 1 Peter 3:20, we ought not to exclude such a sense a priori when we come to 1 Timothy 4:10. Certainly we may discard it for exegetical reasons afterward—but I don't think we have found any exegetical reasons to do this yet.

Regards,
Bnonn

Robin www.reallyrobins.wordpress.com said...

Here is an interesting blog that discusses Driscoll and Piper's take on some of the same scripture addressed here.

http://www.pkblogs.com/rianniello/2006/09/6-point-calvinist.html

I thought any or all of you might find it an interesting read.

natamllc said...

Things are focusing me now Seth.

You wrote, and before I highlight it specifically and make my commentary, I would say, what you expressed about Peter's writing goes a long way and brightens the path of those who seek Light as a guide!

With that said,

you wrote this:

I could be wrong, of course, but with the whole letter of Peter in thought I usually refer to Peter's strongest thought to the readers of their assurance of salvation of their soul, not their physical body.

Peter:

1Pe 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1Pe 5:11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.

Focusing the LIGHT beam more directly, you wrote:::>

Seth:their assurance of salvation of their soul, not their physical body.

My first response when I read what you describe as the broadest stroke of the brush on the "Peter" canvas was, "no, not salvation but a PETER TESTAMENT TO THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD".

Second to that, "no, not the soul only". Peter goes, in my humble read of Peter, way before and way past one's soul when he puts the words together this way:

1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Is Peter speaking of one's soul "only" in your view?

Proverbs 26:2

Pro 26:2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.


When I pause and ponder your words these Words come to my mind:

Psa 22:2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.
Psa 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Psa 22:4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.
Psa 22:5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Psa 22:6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
Psa 22:7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
Psa 22:8 "He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"


And yes, here too, this one is about one's soul:

Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Those Words of Psalm 22 and 23, where was "Jesus Christ" when the Holy Ghost was writing those Words on the heart of man?

But here on earth is Where Jesus was when He said this that Matthew records:::>

Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

So there is no dispute that Christ was seated at the Right Hand of Almighty God when those Words were penned by men as the Holy Ghost moved upon them, Psalm 22 and 23.

So there is no dispute that Christ was here on earth when He beckoned souls to Himself as recorded in Matthew 11.

And there is simply no dispute that Christ is now back there from where He was Sent from by the time Paul was "fully" functional as an Apostle of the Lord and
wrote Timothy to pray thus and so that he too as we all, would "have"/"lead" a peaceable and quite life/bios while we are here on the earth:

1Ti 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
1Ti 2:2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.


I "hear" what you are saying Seth. Now I hope you will help me get there where you are. Honestly, I am not there yet.

I see the "whole" man as, spirit, soul, body and flesh.

Here is the beginning of John 17:

Joh 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.


The Greek Word here, "flesh" is:

σάρξ
sarx
sarx
Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such): - carnal (-ly, + -ly minded), flesh ([-ly]).

Jesus Christ, at all times and throughout eternity, before His "physical" birth, while He walked the earth made by Him and through Him and for Him and presently now where He is, is still LORD OF THE FLESH OF ALL MANKIND, from Adam's to the last human, whoever that is to be?

That does not mean and I do not take it to mean He came to die for, suffered for to expiate the sin of ALL MANKIND.

He is Who He is and Who He is is Who God says He is, that is, He is LORD OF ALL FLESH, ALL MANKIND.

He also is Lord of all creations, all creations before Genesis 1:1 and forever and ever as His and Our Father's Scepter of Righteousness. For you and me, He will always be Our Head.

I too can be wrong and so I wait, waiting for WORDS OF LIFE to come forth from your side Seth to bring me to your position stated very clearly and with such clarity:

Seth:The reason is, I am not asking TF to prove that "Jesus didn't wear a red t-shirt" but I am asking him to prove that Jesus wasn't a ransom for all, that He didn't come to save the world, that He didn't come to take away the sins of the world.

and:

So, I am asking TF to give me his best arguments for why Jesus is only the atonement for the elect and not the world.

By the way, Seth, by asking TF that, are you saying you have given your best arguments for unlimited expiation of the sins of all the world?

Turretinfan said...

I hope to respond, a chunck at a time. Here's the first chunk:

Seth: "What I will say is that by me asking TF to show that the atonement was for the elect alone is not the same as me asking, "prove the Bible doesn't teach it." The reason is, I am not asking TF to prove that "Jesus didn't wear a red t-shirt" but I am asking him to prove that Jesus wasn't a ransom for all, that He didn't come to save the world, that He didn't come to take away the sins of the world. "Jesus wearing a red t-shirt" is a "prove it through biblical silence" treatment, where my questions to him have been in the area of "prove it through through a biblical mandate." "

Let me tweak the analogy a bit:

You see, you can phrase the matter as:

Jesus did not wear a red tee shirt; or
Jesus wore only shirts of colors other than red.

And the requested proposition for proof is the same.

Even so:

Jesus did not die for the reprobate; or
Jesus died only for the elect,

are both the same proposition, just two different ways of phrasing them.

Asking me to prove a negative is a little unfair, for the same reason that it would be unfair to ask someone to prove that Jesus was not wearing a red tee shirt in the Garden when Judas betrayed him.

The response is, well, Scripture doesn't say so, so we have no reason to believe it.

That would be a fully adequate position for me to take in this case.

It would be fully adequate for me to say, simply, the Bible is silent as to any teaching that Christ died for the reprobate, just as the Bible is silent as to Jesus wearing a red tee shirt.

But I actually have a case that is somewhat more clear than that.

The analogy would be that I can demonstrate from Scripture that Jesus did not wear a red tee shirt that was a blend of linen and wool.

How? Well, not directly. There's no verse that says that Jesus did not wear such a shirt.

There is, however, a commandment of the Mosiac law in Leviticus 19:19, which prohibits such clothes. Jesus honored the law of Moses, and consequently would not have violated it by wearing such a shirt.

I can do something the same here.

First, I have already established that Scripture says God gave his Son to save the elect (all the believers).

Second, I have noted that while there is no logical contradiction between Christ dying to save the elect, and Christ dying to save the elect and the reprobate, nevertheless such is a contradiction of ordinary speech.

Next, I addressed what I anticipated might be a verse that has seemed to some to be contrary. The exegesis of the verse also reinforced the fact while God gives "common grace" (as some call it) to all, he gives saving grace only to the elect.

Upcoming, I plan to provide some additional arguments. In other words, I'm not out of indirect ways to establish the matter, yet.

There are many ways to arrive at the conclusion, although it would be (and still is) sufficient to simply say: Scripture does not teach that Christ died for the reprobate.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

By the way, Robin, thanks for the interesting read!

Turretinfan said...

Next chunk:

Seth: “I believe that these are questions that beg to be answered, being that the Bible speaks on it.”
As noted above, my leading argument is that Scripture does not say that Christ died for the reprobate. If it did, then the questions may need to be answered.
Seth: “I would also ask all to remember that John's reasoning for writing his gospel and letters is so that we would be saved (John 20:30,31).”
The reason for writing the gospel of John is so that we may believe, and believing be saved. Each book has its own reason. There’s a different reason, for example, for writing the Apocalypse.
Seth: “He is a fisherman, trying to show all the way of salvation. I would think that John is trying to be clear and not "cryptic" in his reading.”
John is an apostle who studied at the side of Jesus. He is also inspired by the Holy Spirit. That’s not to claim that he is “crytic,” but rather to point out that his limitations in terms of profession before his call are not necessarily limits on the complexity of his work.
Seth: “So, I am asking TF to give me his best arguments for why Jesus is only the atonement for the elect and not the world.”

That’s not a very fair way of phrasing the matter, since I have no problem affirming that Jesus is the atonement for the world. I just don’t mean the same thing that Seth does by the word, “world.”

Seth: “This is why you have seen so much argument on both sides of John's usage of world.”

Ok

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Ephesians 5:23

Seth: “I could not disagree more here. Although I believe that TF has hit in one sense … .”
Sounds like you could disagree just a bit more. :)

Seth: “… that being physical, that is not where the discussion stops for the husband.”
I didn’t say it stops there.

Seth: “The husband is more than just a physical protector for the wife, but he is responsible for the spiritual well being for the wife as well.”
True.

Seth: “So, we don't ignore the body, but we also don't ignore the spiritual ramifications here either for the husband.”
Ok

Seth: “The husband is both the physical and spiritual head of the wife and is responsible for her.”
Ok.

Seth: “How is this comforting for the Christian wife if her husband's job is merely physical?”
It could still be comforting, but we don’t have to go there.

Seth: “This is why the parallel is made with Christ.”
No. That’s not why.

Seth: “The husbands job is to look to Christ and how He laid His life down for the church, and in the same way, the husband for the wife.”
No. Husbands cannot serve as substitutes to atone for the sins of their wives. Nevertheless, there is a metaphor.

Seth: “The husband, like Christ, is to protect his wife spiritually and be ready to do all that is necessary for her in respect to that protection.”
True, but the primary emphasis here is not on that, but on the physical aspect of not abusing his authority over his wife.

Seth: “Chapter 5 of Ephesians starts off this perception by saying, "Be imitators of God..." This is the precedence that the husbands are to adhere to: to imitate Christ. Christ is the physical and spiritual head of the church, as are the husbands to the wife.”
True.

Hopefully this tangent is over, since we both basically agree on all those details. The point of mentioning the verse at all was to point out that “Saviour” does not have to refer only to salvation from eternal punishment. Presumably that has been accepted by Seth, as I don’t see him disputing it.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

1 Peter 3:20

Seth: “Then 1 Peter 3:20 is brought in and said that the thing being saved was merely their bodies?””
TF (previously): “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: “Why did God bring a flood? To destroy only the people's bodies?”
TF: Yes. Water is totally ineffective against killing souls.

Seth: “Or was it not because their heart was continually evil (Genesis 6:5) and so God destroyed both body and soul?”
TF: Hell is the place where both body and soul are destroyed eternally.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Seth: “So, on the other side, God saved the 8 persons body AND soul through the ark, not merely their bodies.”
TF: Nobody’s soul was saved from hell by the ark. The only way people’s souls are saved from hell is by the work of Christ in his priestly role. Their bodies, their mortal lives, were saved from water. The breath (psuche) of their life was not cut off by the water. Their souls were not separated from their bodies by the deluge. Nevertheless, Ham showed sign of lack of regeneration (recall the dishonor he did to our mutual grandfather, Noah), from which we have no record of repentance.

Seth: “Again, look to who Peter is writing to. He is writing to a people who are being lit up like torches by Nero and their confidence is needing building up.”
TF: He’s right to the elect, and specifically that subset mentioned here:
1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

I don’t recall Nero persecuting Christians in those provinces, but I could be mistaken. Certainly Scripture makes no explicit mention of Nero, and I don’t recall much discussion of persecution in 1 Peter.

Seth: “I have done studies on 1 Peter and about 50% of 1 Peter speaks of salvation in some way.”
TF: No doubt.

Seth: “What is going to comfort these people? Physical salvation or spiritual salvation? I believe both. But if you asked them, which would they rather have confidence in? I believe the spiritual is what is being strengthened here, not just the physical.”
TF: That may be perfectly true, and yet it in no way impacts what I wrote. In fact, the entire point of the analogy to the ark is to talk about baptism (see the next verse).

Seth: “Look at 1 Peter 3:18

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1 Peter 3:18”

TF: I’d prefer this version:

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

(though it really does not make a big difference to our discussion)

Seth: “So, is Peter then going to point to the mere physical bodies for their comfort? No, he is pointing to the fact of God's grace in saving the eight's "psuche," or their whole person, both body and spirit.”
TF: No. He’s analogizing the physical salvation of the eight the spiritual lesson he is making.

But again, the only reason to bring up the verse was to point out that the term "save" "savior" "salvation" has a range of semantic meaning in Scripture, and that the semantic range includes physical/temporal salvation in addition to salvation from hell.

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Second, Created Order

TF (as - I think - paraphrased by Seth): John 3:16. God so loved the created order.

Seth: "So, is the reprobate a part of the created order?"

TF: Not exactly. John's not using it that way. He's not using it as a set.


Seth: "If so, we are back to square one."

TF: Maybe. But that's moot.

Seth: "If not, we need a reason they are not."

TF: Not really. We would need a reason to include them. We would need a reason to think that John uses "world" with a "set" mentality. We have a reason, though, namely the second half of the verse.

Seth: "John 1:10 is a great passage to look at:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. John 1:10

I prefer:
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

(not that it makes a difference to our discussion)

Seth: "Which part of the "created order" didn't know him?"

I answer: Why impose a "set" mentality on the word in the first place? If you don't, the flow is smoother.

The world didn't know him, his own didn't receive him, ... "But as many as received him ..." (vs. 12).

If you impose a set mentality, there's a contradiction. You have:

Group A => did not know him
Group B (subset of A) => did not receive him

But Group C did receive him (and Group C is a subset of A and B)

The solution is in the next verse:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Paraphrase:
The Heathen and the Hebrews rejected him, but he saved those who do not reject him, namely those who are regenerate and consequently believe on Him.

The theme is general rejection, with some (miraculous) non-rejection.

It's not rigid sets, its broad brush strokes.

Seth: "Would it not make more sense to see that John is trying to convey the thought of unbelieving humanity?"
TF: Yes, it would not. I'm not saying it would make no sense at all, I'm saying it would not make more sense than John just painting the Heathen and the Jews in broad brush strokes.

Just as the Pharisees (looking at outward appearances) painted the matter in broad brush strokes, the other way:

Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

-Turretinfan

natamllc said...

Have I become an addict? I suppose so since I am back here reading and rereading and reading some more!

Seth you wrote this statement:

"I would also ask all to remember that John's reasoning for writing his gospel and letters is so that we would be saved (John 20:30,31)."

One thing comes to me and maybe you have included this "experience" specific to this debate already or you plan on including it in the future, if so, I am redundant, if not, I am the first to include it.

It is this experience and Scholars who read this and Know, correct me if I am wrong in my inclusion now, that "THIS" John, at John 20 is the same "JOHN" as here: cf Mat. 17 and Mark 9:::>

Luk 9:28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
Luk 9:29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.
Luk 9:30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah,
Luk 9:31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Luk 9:32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.
Luk 9:33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah"--not knowing what he said.
Luk 9:34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.
Luk 9:35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!"
Luk 9:36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

This being the same John then, he certainly has an advantage on the invisible realm aspects and foundation of this debate seeing we are trying to reason together what both things are in relationship to each aspect, the objective and the intrinsic as to placing the plain meaning of the Text into this debate as to what "world" means, "reprobate" means, the "ELECT" means and what commentary of those who also have gone before us or are our contemporaries now, from their various and asundry times and epochs in history, who have exegeted meanings to mean, mean, that we have chosen to be included into this debate.

The Holy Ghost moves upon men and they record what His Will is. Presumably you all agree the same "Holy Ghost" is moving upon your spirit, soul and body as you contribute to this debate and include your exegesis?

He too is Sovereign, Co-equal and Eternal as Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, "All" in co-existence today with each other and He as well is able to "give" us similar experiences, as necessary for the maturity of the Saints who continually pass daily from death to ETERNAL LIFE:

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


There, I commented it.

Would any, Seth, TF, siders with each, Bnonn, David, Stefan..., care to expound on "the advantage" John brings to this debate having had that "EXPERIENCE", recorded for our learning and admonition upon whom the ends of the ages has come, one, to know that is Moses and two, to know that is Elijah and three, to hear Our Heavenly Father's VOICE on that occasion as a greater group of them including Peter, James and John "heard" Our Father's Voice on two other occasions to which Peter says:

2Pe 1:15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
2Pe 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 1:17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,"
2Pe 1:18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
2Pe 1:19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
2Pe 1:20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

And John exhorts all "believers":

1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life--
1Jn 1:2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us--
1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.


Michael

Turretinfan said...

Seth: "TF, I am not going to get into whether Calvin was a Five Point Calvinist (which would need some clarification in of itself) or not as that would take us into a different direction."
TF: Ok

Seth: "I think we both agree on this. But, I do wonder what your thoughts are on his exegesis of John 12:47."
TF: It's a commentary, but it's not particularly (or at least not only) an exegesis. That's really not that important to our discussion, though.

Seth: "Cause, like David says, this is what I believe it to be, this is the exegesis that I agree with for John 12:47."
TF: I basically affirm what Calvin says, although frankly I have not bothered to dig up the Latin (or French) original to see if I would agree with every semantic turn of phrase. Obviously, Calvin did not write this commentary in light of the present controversy.

There's some rhetorical flourish that is probably inaccurate (and which can be distorted by certain folks adding emphasis to things that Calvin didn't), but Calvin's point is fairly simple:

Christ's purpose in preaching the gospel is to offer salvation, not to judge.

I agree with Calvin.

Seth: "So, any comment on Calvin and his exegesis for John 12:47 would be helpful."

-Turretinfan

Turretinfan said...

Final chunk

Seth: "I guess in the end, I have to ask TF, and everyone else:"
TF: Obviously, I'm not answering for anyone else.

Seth: "What is the fear in John the Baptists words, "Behold the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world!" Of course using my thoughts of world being "unbelieving humanity" that John uses in John 7:7; John 15:18 and John 1:10."
I answer: I suppose you mean, what would be the problem with interpreting JtB's words using the "world = unbelieving humanity" figurative sense that the other John (John the Apostle) allegedly uses it for in other places.
If that's really what you mean, and setting aside the issue of whether John the Apostle uses the word in the figurative sense you assert, the problem is two-fold:

(a) it is the sins of believers that are taken away, not of unbelievers; and
(b) the sins of the reprobate are not taken away. The reprobate die in their sins.

On the contrary, a simple "broad brush" sense of the word would solve the problem by making the reference simply to a large body of beneficiaries.

-Turretinfan

David Ponter said...

Seth: "So, is the reprobate a part of the created order?"

TF: Not exactly. John's not using it that way. He's not using it as a set.


Not exactly. But they are not the objects of the love. God loved the world?

I still find this idea of broad brush strokes incoherent. That could be cos I am a finite mind for sure. When I think of the created order, I dont go around excluding swags of it. I see this tree, this stone, this man and I intuitively go "ah created order!"

Some of questions,

Is there any lexical evidence that Kosmos, even for John, meant created order as a broad brush stroke? It looks to me as if you are just making it up. Any authoritative source TF?

I mean, its one thing to say kosmos here means creation, literally, but you are not even doing that. Be honest here, your created order is as far from literal as anything can be.

In this broad brush stroke, lets say of the world not knowing Christ, does that comprehend at least one given concrete individual?

In this broad brush stroke, does World in 3:16 comprehend at least one given concrete particular?

With regard to the broad brush strokes of 3:16-17, does God and Christ (as God) know exactly who are comprehended in this broad brush stroke?

I dont know if these questions will help dispel the illogical fog of a non-literal vague abstract or indefinite notion of a created order... it may or may not.

David

natamllc said...

Seth and Bnonn,

""Seth McBee said...
Bnonn.
I would disagree with you on the fact of why Peter wrote the letter. Although, I of course agree with you that when one's body is saved their soul is attached.""

I will say that Adam is "four" "4" parts as Scripture teaches.

One, pnuema
Two, psuche
Three, soma
Four, sarx.

Now, Adam certainly was "alive", spirit, soul, body and flesh before the fall, yes?

Now then, Adam certainly was "dead" spiritually, but still "alive", soul, body and flesh:::>

Gen 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD."

So apparently God created creatures who can reproduce dead spiritual beings alive though soul, body and flesh!

So, what happened then if Adam and you function quite well in bringing babies into this world? Is there a difference? No. I have two sons and my wife, while I was present, pushed them forward, kinda like you are Seth, pushing this debate baby forward! :) Ok, Ok, that was digression there!

I am not sure this is reasonable to insert here at this time but I will:

Isa 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the LORD has spoken: "Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me.
Isa 1:3 The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand."
Isa 1:4 Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.
Isa 1:5 Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
Isa 1:6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.
Isa 1:7 Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
Isa 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city.
Isa 1:9 If the LORD of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah.
Isa 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
Isa 1:11 "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.
Isa 1:12 "When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?
Isa 1:13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations-- I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
Isa 1:14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
Isa 1:15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.
Isa 1:16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
Isa 1:17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause.
Isa 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Isa 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
Isa 1:20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Now, let me ask, WHO IS IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT DRIVING THAT VEHICLE? GOD? MAN? THE DEVIL?

It seems reasonable to me that God is the one who can and does 'GIVE LIFE' to the dead and calls into being "from nothing", something. How about your Proverb Bnonn?

Pro 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
Pro 16:2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.
Pro 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
Pro 16:4 The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Pro 16:5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
Pro 16:6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.


It seems to me we are looking at this matter from a CREATURE'S point of view and maybe from Christ's conjoined, LIVING SPIRIT, point of view, as the HOLY DWELLING PLACES OF THE MOST HIGH, yes?

Seth McBee said...

TF (as - I think - paraphrased by Seth): John 3:16. God so loved the created order.

Seth: "So, is the reprobate a part of the created order?"

TF: Not exactly. John's not using it that way. He's not using it as a set.


Seth: Turretinfan, you are really going to propose that the reprobate, or as you say, that "set" wasn't known by God when he says, "For God so loved the created order." You are going to exclude the reprobate out of this? This makes absolutely no sense at all.

Seth: "If not, we need a reason they are not."

TF: Not really. We would need a reason to include them. We would need a reason to think that John uses "world" with a "set" mentality. We have a reason, though, namely the second half of the verse.


Seth: This is Jesus speaking. He knows who is included in the created order, if this is how you take it, and I can't believe you would try and exclude the reprobate here. If you are going to use "created order" be consistant. I hope people are seeing through this.

Seth: "John 1:10 is a great passage to look at:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. John 1:10
"Which part of the "created order" didn't know him?"

TF: Why impose a "set" mentality on the word in the first place? If you don't, the flow is smoother.

The world didn't know him, his own didn't receive him, ... "But as many as received him ..." (vs. 12).

If you impose a set mentality, there's a contradiction. You have:

Group A => did not know him
Group B (subset of A) => did not receive him

But Group C did receive him (and Group C is a subset of A and B)


Seth: John 1:10-12 is speaking of Jesus coming to his own (the Jews, cf. Mark 7:27) but they, the Jews didn't receive him. Then it does on in verse 11 to say that those who received him (this would be the elect, whether Jew or Gentile) he made them the true children, truly his own.

TF: It's not rigid sets, its broad brush strokes.

Seth: Not sure how my thoughts John 1:10 would be rigid? Seems pretty plain speaking to say that Jesus came to the world (unbelieving humanity) that He created and they rejected him. He came to his own(the Jews) but they didn't receive him but his true children are those who believe, whether Jew or Gentile. How is this rigid? Seems like a real plain reading.


Seth: "Would it not make more sense to see that John is trying to convey the thought of unbelieving humanity?"

TF: Yes, it would not. I'm not saying it would make no sense at all, I'm saying it would not make more sense than John just painting the Heathen and the Jews in broad brush strokes.

Just as the Pharisees (looking at outward appearances) painted the matter in broad brush strokes, the other way:

Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.


Seth: Wouldn't the Pharisees be including allthat went away? both Jew and Gentile? Wouldn't they be saying this to all the unbelievers that went after him that they saw? So, Jew would be included in this term "world." The Pharisees help my point,they don't hinder it. From there standpoint unbelieving humanity, the world, went after Jesus.

David Ponter said...

Seth: "Cause, like David says, this is what I believe it to be, this is the exegesis that I agree with for John 12:47."

TF: I basically affirm what Calvin says, although frankly I have not bothered to dig up the Latin (or French) original to see if I would agree with every semantic turn of phrase. Obviously, Calvin did not write this commentary in light of the present controversy.

David: Basically? He says:

"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."

He is pretty clear. World for him is not some non-literal 'created order.' He is not some sort of Platonizer here.

For those interested, here is a collection of relevant Calvin comments on John 3:16. Any honest reading will admit that he takes world as a universal of all mankind.

John Calvin on John 3:16


Sermons:

1) It is true that Saint John says generally, that he loved the world. And why? For Jesus Christ offers himself generally to all men without exception to be their redeemer. It is said afterward in the covenant, that God loved the world when he sent his only son: but he loved us, us (I say) which have been taught by his Gospel, because he gathered us to him. And the faithful that are enlightened by the holy Ghost, have yet a third use of God’s love, in that he reveals himself more familiarly to them, and seals up his fatherly adoption by his holy Spirit, and engraves it upon their hearts. Now then, let us in all cases learn to know this love of God, & when we be once come to it, let us go no further.

Thus we see three degrees of the love of God as shown us in our Lord Jesus Christ. The first is in respect of the redemption that was purchased in the person of him that gave himself to death for us, and became accursed to reconcile us to God his father. That is the first degree of love, which extends to all men, inasmuch as Jesus Christ reaches out his arms to call and allure all men both great and small, and to win them to him. But there is a special love for those to whom the gospel is preached: which is that God testifies unto them that he will make them partakers of that benefit that was purchased for them by the death and passion of his son.

And for as much as we be of that number, therefore are we are double bound already to our God: here are two bonds which hold us as it were straightened unto him. Now let us come to the third bond, which depends upon the third love that God shows us: which is, that he not only causes the gospel to be preached unto us, but also makes us to feel the power thereof, not doubting but that our sins are forgiven us for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake… Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy, Sermon, 28, 4:36-27, p., 167.

2) So likewise, when it is said in the holy scripture, (1 Timothy 1:15) that this is a true and undoubted saying, that God hath sent his only begotten son, to save all miserable sinners: we must include it within this same rank I say, that every of us apply the same particularly to himself: when as we hear this general sentence, that God is merciful. Have we heard this? Then may we boldly call upon him, and even say, although I am a miserable and forlorn creature, since it is said that God is merciful to those which have offended him: I will run unto him and to his mercy, beseeching him that he will make me to feel it. And since it is said. That God so loved the world, that he spared not his only begotten son: but delivered him to death for us. (John 3:16; Romans 8:32) It is meet I look to that. For it is very needful, that Jesus Christ should pluck me out from that condemnation, wherein I am. Since it is so, that the love and goodness of God is declared unto the world, in that that his son Christ Jesus hath suffered death, I must appropriate the same to myself, that I may know that it is to me, that God hath spoken, that he would I should take the possession of such a grace, and therein to rejoice me. We see now, how we must practice this sentence, that we may say unto God, Think upon thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word. If any man will reply, that it cannot be said, that God hath spoken to him, when as he speaketh to all in general: let us consider, that God offereth his grace to men in common, to the end that every man might afterward enter into himself, and not to doubt being a member of the church, but that he hath a part and portion of that, which is common to all the faithful. Sermons on Psalm 119, Sermon 7, 119:49-55, pp 133-134.

3) That, then, is how our Lord Jesus bore the sins and iniquities of many. But in fact, this word “many” is often as good as equivalent to “all”. And indeed, our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he spared not His only Son.” But yet we must notice that the Evangelist adds in this passage: “That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but obtain eternal life.” Our Lord Jesus suffered for all, and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation through him. Calvin, Sermons on Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Death and Passion of Christ, Sermon 7, Isa., 53:12, p., 141.

4) So let us learn (following what I have already mentioned) to know in everything and by everything the inestimable goodness of our God. For as He declared His love toward mankind when He spared not His Only Son but delivered Him to death for sinners, also He declares a love which He bears especially toward us when by His Holy Spirit He touches us by the knowledge of our sins and He makes us wail and draws us to Himself with repentance. Calvin, Sermons on the Deity of Christ, Sermon 6, Matt 26:67-27:10, p, 108.

5) True it is, that this word, saviour, is oftentimes in holy writ given to the son of God: because it is he that hath fulfilled & brought to perfect end, whatsoever was requisite to our salvation… But yet notwithstanding, it is not also without cause, that in this place, S. Paul gives God the father this title:& wherefore? Let us see from whence Jesus Christ came unto us. He was sent us from God his father, for so the scripture witnesses, God so loved the world, that he spared not his own begotten son, but delivered him to death for us [John 3:16, 1 John 4:9]. Therefore, whenever we behold our salvation in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must come to the very head and fountain from whence he came to us, that is to say, from the love which God bare unto mankind. And this is the reason wherefore S. Paul calls God Our Saviour: giving us to wit, by this word, that so oft as we think upon the profit which Jesus Christ has brought us, & we have gotten by him, we should lift up our hearts more high, and know, that God having pity upon the lost state wherein all the stock of Adam was, meant to provide for it, & therefore, gave this remedy, to wit, our Saviour Jesus Christ, who came to draw us out of the bottomless pit of death were in we were. Calvin, Sermons on 1 Timothy, Sermon 1, 1:1-2, p., 5.

To assemble the Jews wholly, which were nigh by reason of the covenant, and ths solemn league which God had made with their fathers: but yet it was requisite that they should be reconciled to God, by the means of this redeemer Jesus Christ. And we see this when the Gospel is preached to confirm the Jews to God: and afterward it was direct to them which were far off, that is to say, to the poor Gentiles, which had no access, even these also had this message of salvation, and of the peace of God: they were certified, that God so loved them now, that he forgot all their faults. And thus the wall was broken down, thus were all the ceremonies dispatched, whereby God had made a difference between the Jews and the Gentiles. And why so? Because the witness of salvation and grace belongs to the world without exception. And thus we have now this doctrine made clear enough unto us, to wit, first of all, that it was requisite that our Lord Jesus Christ should be answerable before God for all our sins and debts, and that in his death we have the price of our redemption. Calvin, Sermons on 1 Timothy, Sermon 15, 2:5-6, p., 180.



commentaries:

1) “For God so loved the world.” Christ opens up the first cause, and, as it were, the source of our salvation, and he does so, that no doubt may remain; for our minds cannot find calm repose, until we arrive at the unmerited love of God. As the whole matter of our salvation must not be sought any where else than in Christ, so we must see whence Christ came to us, and why he was offered to be our Savior. Both points are distinctly stated to us: namely, that faith in Christ brings life to all, and that Christ brought life, because the Heavenly Father loves the human race , and wishes that they should not perish. And this order ought to be carefully observed; for such is the wicked ambition which belongs to our nature, that when the question relates to the origin of our salvation, we quickly form diabolical imaginations about our own merits. Accordingly, we imagine that God is reconciled to us, because he has reckoned us worthy that he should look upon us. But Scripture everywhere extols his pure and unmingled mercy, which sets aside all merits.

And the words of Christ mean nothing else, when he declares the cause to be in the love of God. For if we wish to ascend higher, the Spirit shuts the door by the mouth of Paul, when he informs us that this love was founded on the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:5.) And, indeed, it is very evident that Christ spoke in this manner, in order to draw away men from the contemplation of themselves to look at the mercy of God alone. Nor does he say that God was moved to deliver us, because he perceived in us something that was worthy of so excellent a blessing, but ascribes the glory of our deliverance entirely to his love. And this is still more clear from what follows; for he adds, that God gave his Son to men, that they may not perish. Hence it follows that, until Christ bestow his aid in rescuing the lost, all are destined to eternal destruction. This is also demonstrated by Paul from a consideration of the time; for he loved us while we were still enemies by sin, (Romans 5:8, 10.)

This mode of expression, however, may appear to be at variance with many passages of Scripture, which lay in Christ the first foundation of the love of God to us, and show that out of him we are hated by God. But we ought to remember–what I have already stated–that the secret love with which the Heavenly Father loved us in himself is higher than all other causes; but that the grace which he wishes to be made known to us, and by which we are excited to the hope of salvation, commences with the reconciliation which was procured through Christ. For since he necessarily hates sin, how shall we believe that we are loved by him, until atonement has been made for those sins on account of which he is justly offended at us? Thus, the love of Christ must intervene for the purpose of reconciling God to us, before we have any experience of his fatherly kindness. But as we are first informed that God, because he loved us, gave his Son to die for us, so it is immediately added, that it is Christ alone on whom, strictly speaking, faith ought to look.

…This, he says, is the proper look of faith, to be fixed on Christ, in whom it beholds the breast of God filled with love: this is a firm and enduring support, to rely on the death of Christ as the only pledge of that love. The word only-begotten is emphatic, to magnify the fervor of the love of God towards us. For as men are not easily convinced that God loves them, in order to remove all doubt, he has expressly stated that we are so very dear to God that, on our account, he did not even spare his only-begotten Son. Since, therefore, God has most abundantly testified his love towards us, whoever is not satisfied with this testimony, and still remains in doubt, offers a high insult to Christ, as if he had been an ordinary man given up at random to death…

“That whosoever believeth on him may not perish…” And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled [Latin, propitium: propitious, merciful, favourable] to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.

Let us remember, on the other hand, that while life is promised universally to all who believe in Christ, still faith is not common to all. For Christ is made known and held out to the view of all, but the elect alone are they whose eyes God opens, that they may seek him by faith..

[verse 17.] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world. It is a confirmation of the preceding statement; for it was not in vain that God sent his own Son to us. He came not to destroy; and therefore it follows, that it is the peculiar office of the Son of God, that all who believe may obtain salvation by him. There is now no reason why any man should be in a state of hesitation, or of distressing anxiety, as to the manner in which he may escape death, when we believe that it was the purpose of God that Christ should deliver us from it. The word world is again repeated, that no man may think himself wholly excluded, if he only keep the road of faith. The word judge (prino) is here put for condemn, as in many other passages. When he declares that he did not come to condemn the world, he thus points out the actual design of his coming; for what need was there that Christ should come to destroy us who were utterly ruined? We ought not, therefore, to look at any thing else in Christ, than that God, out of his boundless goodness chose to extend his aid for saving us who were lost; and whenever our sins press us–whenever Satan would drive us to despair–we ought to hold out this shield, that God is unwilling that we should be overwhelmed with everlasting destruction, because he has appointed his Son to be the salvation of the world. When Christ says, in other passages, that he is come to judgment, (John 9:39;) when he is called a stone of offense, (1 Peter 2:7;) when he is said to be set for the destruction of many, (Luke 2:34:) this may be regarded as accidental, or as arising from a different cause; for they who reject the grace offered in him deserve to find him the Judge and Avenger of contempt so unworthy and base. A striking instance of this may be seen in the Gospel; for though it is strictly the power of God for salvation to every one who believeth, (Romans 1:16,) the ingratitude of many causes it to become to them death.. Both have been well expressed by Paul, when he boasts of having vengeance at hand, by which he will punish all the adversaries of his doctrine after that the obedience of the godly shall have been fulfilled, (2 Corinthians 10:6) The meaning amounts to this, that the Gospel is especially, and in the first instance, appointed for believers, that it may be salvation to them; but that afterwards believers will not escape unpunished who, despising the grace of Christ, chose to have him as the Author of death rather than of life. Calvin, Commentary on John 3:16-17.

2) “And hast loved them,” He means that it is a very striking exhibition, and a very excellent pledge, of the love of God towards believers, which the world is compelled to feel, whether it will or not, when the Holy Spirit dwelling in them sends forth the rays of righteousness and holiness. There are innumerable other ways, indeed, in which God daily testifies his fatherly love towards us, but the mark of adoption is justly preferred to them all. He likewise adds, and hast loved them, As THOU HAST LOVED ME. By these words he intended to point out the cause and origin of the love; for the particle as, means because, and the words, AS thou hast loved me, mean, BECAUSE thou hast loved me; for to Christ alone belongs the title of Well-beloved, (Matthew 3:17; 17:5.) Besides, that love which the heavenly Father bears towards the Head is extended to all the members, so that he loves none but in Christ. Yet this gives rise to some appearance of contradiction; for Christ, as we have seen elsewhere declares that the unspeakable love of God towards the world was the reason why he gave his only-begotten Son, (John 3:16.) If the cause must go before the effect, we infer that God the Father loved men apart from Christ; that is, before he was appointed to be the Redeemer. I reply, in that, and similar passages, love denotes the mercy with which God was moved towards unworthy persons, and even towards his enemies, before he reconciled them to himself It is, indeed, a wonderful goodness of God, and inconceivable by the human mind, that, exercising benevolence towards men whom he could not but hate, he removed the cause of the hatred, that there might be no obstruction to his love. And, indeed, Paul informs us that there are two ways in which we are loved in Christ; first, because the Father chose us in him before the creation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4;) and, secondly, because in Christ God hath reconciled us to himself, and hath showed that he is gracious to us, (Romans 5:10.) Thus we are at the same time the enemies and the friends of God, until, atonement having been made for our sins, we are restored to favor with God. But when we are justified by faith, it is then, properly, that we begin to be loved by God, as children by a father. That love by which Christ was appointed to be the person, in whom we should be fiercely chosen before we were born, and while we were still ruined in Adam, is hidden in the breast of God, and far exceeds the capacity of the human mind. True, no man will ever feel that God is gracious to him, unless he perceives that God is pacified in Christ. But as all relish for the love of God vanishes when Christ is taken away, so we may safely conclude that, since by faith we are ingrafted into his body, there is no danger of our falling from the love of God; for this foundation cannot be overturned, that we are loved, because the Father hath loved his Son. Calvin, Commentary, John 17:23.


David: For Calvin, the world is the human race or mankind, it is universal, without limitation. The human race is loved. The love is the first degree of love, a mercy, etc.

David

Seth McBee said...

Michael.
I only scanned your comment but I would direct you to Bnonn's blog as he has just discussed this over there.

I have also only scanned his article but in the end I would agree with his thought of the dichotomy of man not a trichotomy and if you are trying to prove a third, ummmm...don't know what to say.

here is Bnonn's article:

On Composition of Man

David Ponter said...

Okay,

Lets try again. I think I know whats happening. Its all code language.

Seth: "So, is the reprobate a part of the created order?"

TF: Not exactly. John's not using it that way. He's not using it as a set.

David: To me its not rocket science. Either they are, or they are not. If Nicodemus was to form a conception of any man, TF would have to say, well he may not be part of this created or, or the object of divine love specifically.

Or we could turn the question around: Are any of the elect part of this created order so loved?

As I see it now we have two alternatives. If TF says "not exactly", then for him world is a non-specific generality. Hold any man, any concrete particular up, and TF would have to say "not exactly" or 'perhaps, perhaps not.'

But really, thats not the point here. God's point is that men be assured, that specific concrete men can know something about God's disposition to mankind.

If TF says that the elect are concretely included in the "created order" then he is being arbitrary. The 'created order' which knew him not, cant mean the elect, so TF just moves back and forth at his convenience.


Further, for 3:16, created order is just code for "the elect." That is, he has John allegedly using universal and vague language to connote the elect in the final secret analysis. It really is: God so loved the elect.

If that is the case, all these weeks its all just been code language. We have just been trying to crack the code.

Now to explain. I think it is really TF who is bound up in a foggy notion of set theory.

God in his mind knows the one and the many. He knows the one and the universal. He knows all the particulars of any set. He does not set his love upon a vague generality without specifics in mind. That said, the idea that that being true, the Jesus was only trying to tell Nicodemus that God loves an undefined generality is patently absurd. When God loved the world, he has particular concrete people in mind; and thats what Jesus was trying to communicate. Thats gotta be so obvious to TF.

And so to this. There is a difference between world being dynamic, and world being without particulars or as unspecified.

The "world" is numerically fluid concept at this critical point. This is true: 3 days ago the world was steeped in sin. Yesterday, 1/2 of the world died from the plague. Today, the world is still steeped in sin.

At no point is specificity or concreteness lost. God knows all the particulars of the world 3 days ago, 2 days ago, and today. At no point does world become some particular-less abstraction.

Three days ago, God loved the world, yesterday God loved the world, and today God loved the world. The number is fluid, but the numbers who make up the world at any given time is not.

Next, it really does seem to me that TF with his confused understanding of our definition of world and of set theory has this problem with sub-classes. All this is easily answered by my Harry's party analogy.

Harry loves his co-workers on the 5th floor. He hosts a party for them all, invites them all, and promises that all who come will have the greatest time.

What is the problem? One can say that yes, Harry hosted the part to give the greatest time to those who came. And yet, also Harry hosted the part for all the co-workers on the 5th floor. TF misreads the former as if it excludes the latter.

God loves the wider set in such a way that he provides a way of salvation for all of the wider set who believe. There is no problem.

If God spoke to the world a week ago, and yesterday, 1/2 of them died from a plague, God can still be said to love the world and has provided salvation for the all who believe.

Finally, the world denotes apostate mankind. World in John here is an ethical statement about the badness of the world, its a dark rebellious place, though not such a place that it has no numerical extension (particulars) in the mind of God. Believers are transported out of the world ethically. We are in it, but not of it any more. The world which knew him not is the world which remained in apostasy and rejected Christ.

I'll leave it that. I think we are done with 3:16 finally. TF's position is just so bad. I would much prefer if he had stuck with Owen or Turretin.

David

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

Thanks for your comments. I'll try to reply in due time. It probably won't be today.

I see that at least one other person has posted a heap of comments. If you see anything from them that you think is worth responding to, please highlight those points for me.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

TF:
I think David makes a lot of good points...sure that is no surprise to anyone...

but, yes, I think you should respond to what he is saying in his latest comment.

Seth McBee said...

Also...TF:

Would the elect be included in the created order in John 3:16?

David Ponter said...

I should preface my remarks are for this blog only, not to be published somewhere else.

John Calvin, tho, anyone can scatter his comments to the wind.

David
:-)

Turretinfan said...

Seth,

Well, if I'm going to respond to such voluminous comments, I'm probably going to do so off-line, which means they may show up on my blog, with a link posted to them from here (so that no one has trouble finding them).

I realize that will annoy David, but he'll have to try to be a man about it.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

TF:

I would rather you comment here. If you rather do it in post form instead of the combox let me know.

David Ponter said...

Well lets make it simple then:

Are the elect comprehended in the world of 3:16?

Yes or no?

Are the non-elect comprehended in the world that knew not Christ in Jn 1:10?

Yes or no?

If you can answer with a non-cryptic yes or no, we will know exactly where you are coming from and we disagree. I personally think your position is incoherent--I dont say that in a mean way, that its not coherent. Youve even had such a hard time even explaining it to us these last weeks.

But either way, a yes or no will resolve this part of the debate. Seth and I continued to press you on 3:16 and this non-literal created order thing cos neither of us were clear at all what you were saying. Now you are almost there. Once we have the yes or no, we are happy.

There is a snowballs chance in hell of not melting in convincing us. :-) But thats fine. We at least better understand you.

Btw, its not about being a man, but its about intellectual property rights and just basic courtesy, at the civic level and about not offending a brother at the Christian level.

David

Turretinfan said...

Seth: "Would the elect be included in the created order in John 3:16?"

(1) As I pointed out from the start. It's not the important to my argument.

(2) As I tried to point out above, I don't think the figurative sense of the word "world" should be taken to mean a set having particular individual consituents.

If you understood those two points, it would be hard to see any reason at all for your question.

So, let me make them clear:

As to (1), whatever "world" refers to, God's love of the world is expressed by giving His Son to save the elect. The verse is very clear about that. If we can agree to that, we've made progress.

As to (2), imagine a scenario where we say: "Anthony's ironic speech won over the crowd to his side and against Brutus."

Do you suppose that anyone reasonable person would suppose we mean that the foreigner there in the middle, who doesn't understand irony, because he's so busy trying to understand the words that Anthony is saying, was won over?

How about the young lady who has been spending speech time flirting with one of the young men?

How about the urchins playing in the fountain?

Or even, how about Brutus' mother who was just coming down to see how her son was doing?

Do you suppose that anyone would think that "crowd" was to be rigidly defined as "each and every person in the crows"?

Of course not.

Likewise, do you suppose that one can use the word "world" in a similar sense, just to mean a large, diverse number of people, without having in mind the group considered as individuals?

Surely, if you are reasonable, you must admit that such a sense is possible.

Likewise, when the Pharisees said:

John 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

Do you think that they meant "each and every person"? Surely not.

They mean that had won the heart of the crowds.

But for theological reasons, some folks want to impose a sense of 'each and every person' (perhaps with some other qualification, such as "in unbelief") on the word "world."

That's not generally how John used, that's not how the ancients who spoke Greek used it, and that's not what it means.

So, the answer to your question is that your question is loaded. It's loaded with this notion that "world" refers to individual people (each and every one of them, or each and every one of some particular class or other).

It's a general term, like "crowd" or "multitude." I'm not sure if that point can be made much more clearly, but I'd be happy to try.

-Turretinfan

Seth McBee said...

TF:

You seem to be the only one that I have read that doesn't care what the term world means here in John 3:16.

If it doesn't matter to the verse than why is it there? It does matter, and that is why Owen fought so hard to make it mean, world of elect.

By God's affectionate love here, he gave his Son. He gave his Son to those whom he loved. This is the normal reading of this verse and again, the reason that kosmos has been so fought for. By you saying,
whatever "world" refers to, you are showing that you are leaving it up to be arbitrary, which is not the statement being made by John. He is specific: God so loved the world.

I have never said, "each and every person." Kosmos is used as unbelieving humanity. Who hate Jesus in John 7 and John 15:18? The created order or unbelieving humanity? Who rejects Christ in John 12:47?

Come on TF think about this.

Who in John 1 did not know him? The created order? Or is it better understood that the ones rejecting is unbelieving humanity? Because if you flip this around and use your brush stroke thought, aren't there specific elect people who believe in John 1:12? Or is that a set as well, so we can't go there? Not sure anymore.

I am just using created order in the literal rendering that you have purported in the past.

Created order makes no sense here or in those other places. A created order doesn't reject these things and in the same way when they stand for judgment the reprobate cannot stand and say, "sorry, didn't know that I was part of the created order that you loved"

Because John and Christ are being very clear, "God so loved the whole world as humans" not a mere object that no one can understand.

By the way, as far as the Pharisees: I am pretty sure that they meant each and every person that they saw following after Christ, but the just didn't limit it to that. That is why they used the term world.

I think as this debate has gone on, and continues, I hope that people will see how hard it is to carry out this use of kosmos. It becomes a time of just picking what fits into a theology for the term kosmos, and not even a simple reading of the text. And then even to downplay the term so there is no definition or importance for John 3:16.

How in the world were the readers of John ever to know what he was talking about? It seems like a guessing game. Like code talk.

But, on the other hand, if you take world to mean unbelieving humanity as it would seem would be the reason for Christ's coming (look to John 1:29/John 1:10/John 3:16/Romans 5:8) then the whole of the book makes sense and very easy to follow. This doesn't mean that we take it to mean, each and every single person, but as a whole unit at any given time. It would be the same use as the Pharisees. They weren't speaking of the "world" today, but as of those right then and there. So, we should too when we come to understand that those that will hate us in this world are not each and every person who ever lived, but each and every person who is an unbeliever when we are living.

God so loved the unbelieving humanity, that he gave his only begotten Son, that those who are the elect who will believe will not perish like the reprobate, but will have eternal life.

For God did not send the Son into unbelieving humanity to judge unbelieving humanity, but that the unbelieving humanity might be saved through Him.

David Ponter said...

TF, you keep changing the terms.

We asked about the created order of 3:16 which you had said was literal, to be followed by figurative occasions of world.

You just keep moving back and forth. And on top of that, you have not justified the equivocation of the meaning of world in 3:17. Why is not the meaning of world in 3:16 not the same world in 3:17c?

TF: 2) As I tried to point out above, I don't think the figurative sense of the word "world" should be taken to mean a set having particular individual constituents.

David: But a few days ago it was the literal created order? But that aside: why not? How do you justify the claim that when God said he loved the world, he meant it just like might say “I love this crowd?”

You have not justified this claim at all. Are you saying that at no point Scripture can world signify all and every person of the class to which it speaks? You act like thats impossible.

Acts 17:31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

John 17:9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

David: Whats happening there? If God can refer to the whole set, all and every, they why not in Jn 3? Did he just break his own rules at times?

cut

TF: As to (1), whatever "world" refers to, God's love of the world is expressed by giving His Son to save the elect. The verse is very clear about that. If we can agree to that, we've made progress.

David: Well no, the world is the direct object of the love, not the elect directly. And the world is the direct object of the saving work in 3:17. So it is important to define world. But now you have to prove that when God makes predications about the world here, he does not mean all the particulars of the class “world”. Where?

TF:

As to (2), imagine a scenario where we say: "Anthony's ironic speech won over the crowd to his side and against Brutus."

David: So when God says he loves the world thats exactly the same as when a man says, “the crowd has been won over”? How do you know that?

TF: Do you suppose that anyone reasonable person would suppose we mean that the foreigner there in the middle, who doesn't understand irony, because he's so busy trying to understand the words that Anthony is saying, was won over?

David: I don’t suppose this analogy is even comparable. God is not being ironic here. There is no proper comparison.

TF: Do you suppose that anyone would think that "crowd" was to be rigidly defined as "each and every person in the crows"?

David: if the proposition was meant to be serious, I would say the normal human thing would be that the crowd was won over. If you said, do I have to believe every single person? No I agree. Why is that I wonder? Well because when one says “the crowd is won over” they are using hyperbole,. Figures of speech do not control non-figures of speech. But surely, if serious, most would say, the majority of the crowd was won over. But you have nto even got that.

TF: Likewise, do you suppose that one can use the word "world" in a similar sense, just to mean a large, diverse number of people, without having in mind the group considered as individuals?

David: But not such a number that exactly includes the reprobate? Why should we believe that God has this general vague object in mind? Why can it not be that God has the total number of particulars in mind here? Why cant I believe that when God conceptualizes a class he cannot consider all the particulars of that class? If God can conceptualize concrete elect particulars in the world which he loves, why not the non-elect as well?

TF:
Surely, if you are reasonable, you must admit that such a sense is possible.

David: sure if God was finite.

TF: Likewise, when the Pharisees said: John 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him. Do you think that they meant "each and every person"? Surely not.

David: Hyperbole. We don’t use hyperbolic speech to regulate non-figurative instances.

cut

TF: But for theological reasons, some folks want to impose a sense of 'each and every person' (perhaps with some other qualification, such as "in unbelief") on the word "world."

David. We grant that John can quote someone using kosmos hyperbolically. We grant that. But now, why cannot John quote God using the word world to denote all and every of a given class? Or even if we left out the question of extension altogether, why cant God have meant the world of apostate mankind, which includes the elect and the non-elect? We can say yes even if not every single non-elect was in mind. Thats never been our claim anyway.

TF: That's not generally how John used, that's not how the ancients who spoke Greek used it, and that's not what it means.

David: What evidence is there that John used kosmos as you are claiming? There is no evidence–which does not beg the question–that John uses world in a way the Greeks used barbaros, etc?

TF: So, the answer to your question is that your question is loaded. It's loaded with this notion that "world" refers to individual people (each and every one of them, or each and every one of some particular class or other). It's a general term, like "crowd" or "multitude." I'm not sure if that point can be made much more clearly, but I'd be happy to try.

David: Your evidence is really off-point. Citing an instance of hyperbole which John is just quoting, proves that God is using world in a comparable way? When John speaks of world he generally speaks of it as apostate mankind.

We are just going to have to agree to disagree. But for the record, you did say kosmos in 3:16 was literally the created order. Thats clearly unsustainable. Now its just a general descriptor of a large mass, which nicely cannot include any of the reprobate. If it is a general undefined descriptor, it cannot be used to exclude some and include others at the same time. And when it comes to the world rejecting Christ, suddenly what happens?

Thanks for clarifying things, even if things now are more fogged up. :-)

David

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

I will say that Adam is "four" "4" parts as Scripture teaches.

One, pnuema
Two, psuche
Three, soma
Four, sarx.


Michael, please check your lexicon. These are not ontologically co-equal parts. Approximately speaking, pneuma is to psuche as sarx is to soma. There are two parts to man: his spirit and his body. Please see my recent blog entry on this, 'On the composition of man', for more information. I specifically address Genesis in the comments section.

I would also ask that you stop quoting reams of Scripture without explaining how they are relevant. At least emphasize the parts that you think are pertinent using bold (append a [b] and [/b] before and after the text you want bolded, replacing the square brackets for angle ones). I am basically just skipping most of your posts because they are so hard to read, and most of the verbiage just seems unrelated to your point. It is also poor form to use capitals as you are; it comes across as SHOUTING.

Regards,
Bnonn

Seth McBee said...

Bnonn...you are much more patient than I am. I was letting it continue cause you seemed to understand what he was saying...

I just don't understand most of what he says, so I just left it.

Anyways.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

its not about being a man, but its about intellectual property rights

To be fair, David, I think you should realize that not everyone recognizes the concept of intellectual property. For my own part, I believe the very idea to be incoherent. And, while I will respect people's wishes regarding how their writing is used by others, I still find attempts to rigorously control this to be very strange in most instances. My friend Darryl wrote a great article on the issue of copyrights from a Christian perspective, if you're interested.



TF—

As regards the idea that "God so loved the world" can be analogous with "Brutus won over the crowd", there seems to be a problem: the latter phrase implies a large majority, such that those not won over are insignificant compared to those who were. But are we confident to say that those elected out of all humanity make the number of reprobate look insignificant? Even today, when more people are being brought to faith than ever before, we do not see a majority of Christians in any population that I know of. In the past, the number of people who had never even heard the gospel far outweighed those who had; and it seems to be a general rule that, of those who have, only a minority believe. It doesn't seem to comport with what we know of the church to treat "world" in John 3:16 in the same way as "crowd" in the example of Brutus and his speech.

Regards,
Bnonn

David Ponter said...

This early post from me never did get an answer. I think it got lost. Here again is why we take world as we do. I will add some material to the argument.

Firstly, we assume that the meaning of world in 3:16-17, especially in 17, and more especially in 17b and c does not change. We've seen no reason to imagine it does.

We assume that the wording of Jn 12:47 is identical and to the same point as the the structure in John 3:17.

John 3:17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 12:46 "I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. 47 "And 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. 48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

The man who rejects is not now condemned... why? Because Christ did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world. This passage would make no sense if world (which is to be saved) here means only the elect.

Why is this man not condemned? Because Christ did not come to condemn him, but to save him. But rather, this man, the one who rejects Christ, will be judged at the last day. This hypothetical man, therefore, is a reprobate man.

Its just nonsense to say that the man who rejects Christ is not meant to be part of the world which Jesus didnt come to condemn but to save. For that would entail this: Andrew is not condemned, why? because Jesus came to save Sally [to the exclusion of Andrew]. I find that really really implausible.

I have trouble thinking that a rational person would not come to this conclusion, therefore: Why is this man not condemned? Answer, because Christ came into the world not to condemn this man, but to save him.

What is more, Jesus’ commentary in Jn 12:47-48 shows that world is to be taken as a collection of concrete individuals.

Here another example which is interesting:

Luk 9:51 And it came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem; 52 and He sent messengers on ahead of Him. And they went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make arrangements for Him. 53 And they did not receive Him, because He was journeying with His face toward Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56 for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And they went on to another village. [textual variant aside.]

Christ did not come to destroy men but to save men. The only way around this is say, Christ does not destroy Earl, because he came to save Joan (to the exclusion of Earl).

The most intuitive answer is, why are these men not to be destroyed, because Christ did not come to destroy men, but to save this men.

Anyway... world of 3:16 is one of the hardest things to work through... its actually all downhill after this.

David

natamllc said...

Without showing any dis-respect to Brother Calvin, I ask, is this John Calvin's "exhaustive" analysis of God and His Love?

Calvin:
Thus we see three degrees of the love of God as shown us in our Lord Jesus Christ. The first is in respect of the redemption that was purchased in the person of him that gave himself to death for us, and became accursed to reconcile us to God his father. That is the first degree of love, which extends to all men, inasmuch as Jesus Christ reaches out his arms to call and allure all men both great and small, and to win them to him. But there is a special love for those to whom the gospel is preached: which is that God testifies unto them that he will make them partakers of that benefit that was purchased for them by the death and passion of his son.

And for as much as we be of that number, therefore are we are double bound already to our God: here are two bonds which hold us as it were straightened unto him. Now let us come to the third bond, which depends upon the third love that God shows us: which is, that he not only causes the gospel to be preached unto us, but also makes us to feel the power thereof, not doubting but that our sins are forgiven us for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake… Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy, Sermon, 28, 4:36-27, p., 167.

I don't believe it is. If it is, someone state that and that you know definitively this is Calvin's understanding about God's Love. It seems from what I gather reading it that is simply his commentary and not exhaustive scholarship on God's Love. There is so much more he writes on God and His loves, right? I don't know, I'm asking.

to the point I am making here though, how does that help us come to understand why some perish?

My understanding of why some perish is obviously different than others engaging in this debate and it is as with everything God, I mean everything God does, however wonderful, awe inspiring or contrastly dreadful it is to my soul, it is still God and God simply is Love. Everything He does, They do, think or say is Love. God is Love. This is Who God is, God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Can anyone doubt that the Lake of fire where all those go as John was shown by Christ's Angel on the Patmos Island on that Lord's day is also a place of God's Love? Hell is a terrible place, but it is a place God sends the reprobate. This place is so horrible to think about, demons shudder thinking about this place and too will be sent, forcefully. I am sure they will struggle violently as they are sent on their way to serve their eternal sentence in Hell.

Maybe this makes sense, the point I am making,

I cite these verses and intend to focus on them together to make a point. Oh, I post then in their entirety and not this way: "2Co 2:12-17 simply so you don't have to turn to your Bible and read there and them come back here.

2Co 2:12-17 then:

2Co 2:12 When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord,
2Co 2:13 my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.
2Co 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
2Co 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
2Co 2:16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

Someone help me here!

How is it that this Apostle says "one event", the aroma, singular, of Christ, causes two different results and outcomes?

The aroma of Christ is to those that perish, death, hmmmmm, this death is different than that personality "Death" cast into the lake of fire and at exactly the same time and essence is Life/Zoe to those who believe.

The same aroma of Christ is to those that believe, Life/Zoe. For one to "believe", God has to do something to that one, so that one can and will believe!

Why does God give His Gift of Faith to one and not to another?

Here is a group of people God gave the Gift of Faith too and look at where it got them:::>

Rev 7:14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 7:15 "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
Rev 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

There is only one Christ, or is there two, three, four or more Christs that God sent to save His own out of the world to bring them to that place describe in Revelation 7:14-17?

I am being foolish now!

There is only one Christ. Here is what Paul says about Him and to whom he was called to preach Christ too:::>

1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
1Co 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Remember that guy? How is it one day they are for him and the next day after his "Damascus experience", they that sent him to press warrants upon the infant "female" child, this new HOLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH, now send others to find and kill him?

The fragrance of Christ does two things at the same time!

And to remind again, the devils believe like we do and they shudder.

My question then is, I believe, yet I do not shudder. I rejoice in the wonderful grace of God, the True Grace, Jesus Christ and I experience unspeakable joy.

Why don't I shudder now, I use too?

And Bnonn, with all do respect, I have no problem being a dim little star among your Planets. As for my form, if you are willing, go ahead and continue making comments as you have above about my form herein and I will do my best to conform to your form then.

As for my clarity. Yes, I have to admit, I am hard to understand. Just ask my wife!

Was what I posted in this one clear enough for you and you Seth?

And as for posting just a portion of a verse or just one verse, I am not like you. I would rather post before and after the verse I thinking about for context and let the Holy Ghost enlighten the intent He has put in me. I do recall reading about both Jesus and Paul being hard to understand too, :)

But I can bracket the particular aspect if that helps? Let's keep the reproofs coming and see if I am responsive enough for you and conform to your abilities then? I am not insulted or offended by reproofs from a brother and quite gladly welcome them.

If it is not clear, say so and I will work on it wordsmithing it, tightening it up to give the sense and meaning I am conveying.

Bnonn,

As for the Spirit and Body dialogue, yes I have pondered that and don't accept it. So there is a difference on that between us. And I did go over to your blog as Seth indicated here you were discussing that in your forum there and tried commenting there but was unsuccessful. I will go there again and make my comments and give my defense of the plain meaning of Scripture and some exegesis for what I understand about it whether we are two, three or four parts of a whole human being. I do believe I have an understanding and as in this case here, this debate, there seems to be diverse understandings put forth on a whole range of parts; what this word means and what that figurative intent is and what's the objective here; did He do this for these alone or for everyone and why does He elect one and not another and who is who?

Well, and as for different personalities, didn't Paul the Apostle already deal with that in 1Corinthians?

Now my intent in quoting these verses below is that every one of these verses is read for content and context to my main point being made addressing your observation about how much different I am than you so I post then in total. Well why? Well because I am different than you and post and think a bit differently too. Is it my nuance and overtness? Well I guess it is.

Here's Paul nuance and overtness, 1Co 12:1-25 expressly put:

1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.
1Co 12:2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.
1Co 12:3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.
1Co 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
1Co 12:5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
1Co 12:6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1Co 12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
1Co 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
1Co 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
1Co 12:11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
1Co 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
1Co 12:16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
1Co 12:18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
1Co 12:19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
1Co 12:20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
1Co 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
1Co 12:22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
1Co 12:23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
1Co 12:24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,
1Co 12:25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.


By the way, can you speak at the exact same time diverse languages, "tongues" and "dialects" like we see the Holy Ghost can Acts 2?

Act 2:7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
Act 2:8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Act 2:9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
Act 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
Act 2:11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians--we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."
Act 2:12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"
Act 2:13 But others mocking said, "They are filled with new wine."


And again, I intend that every verse there is read, weighed and put into context here with this, my missive.

thanks
michael

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

My question then is, I believe, yet I do not shudder. I rejoice in the wonderful grace of God, the True Grace, Jesus Christ and I experience unspeakable joy.

Why don't I shudder now, I use too?


Michael, you do not shudder because you have, by God's grace, faith. We know that. But what relation does this bear to the beginning of your comment, where you quote Calvin on God's love? The problem we have with your posts is not that they are long, per se, but that you start off at one place, make some comments which may or may not contain a question or point...and then you just jump to some other place and do the same thing...and then you jump again, and again, and again! Your posts to us seem to be a jumble of comments on unrelated subjects, just strung together with no link drawn between them. You start on one topic, then seem to go off on one tangent after another, before finally coming out at someplace completely different, with no evident trail of reasoning.

Here, you start off here talking about Calvin on God's love, then ask another question about why some perish, then move on to ask whether hell is a place of love, then ask why God gives faith to some and not others, and end up asking why you don't shudder at God. Well, we know you don't shudder because of faith, but what does that have to do with any of the other questions you asked? In other words,

What is your point?

It is very frustrating to read through your posts trying to glean some kind of understanding of what your point is. It's no good just to talk vaguely on the topic of soteriology when there seem to be no less than four or five different threads or ideas in each of your comments, yet with nothing to tie them together, and with no real introduction or conclusion to help us understand what you are even trying to say. In the end, we just start to scan over what you write, because we know that if we read it we will come out more confused than when we went in, and probably not be able to respond anyway because we won't have any idea what you are actually saying or asking.

I'm sorry I can't be more positive. It just very hard to respond to you.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

I am dense and just don't perceive what this is saying, I don't get it:

Commentor:
Why is this man not condemned? Because Christ did not come to condemn him, but to save him. But rather, this man, the one who rejects Christ, will be judged at the last day. This hypothetical man, therefore, is a reprobate man.

I will parse out parts of that full text above as follows thus:

"Why is this man not condemned?"

my answer:
God did not condemn him, that's why. Is that a fair answer? Yes, no?

"Because Christ did not come to condemn him, but to save him."

my answer:
No, Christ was "sent" to do the Will of the One Who Sent Him.

Those that believe are those God "chose" to give the Gift of Faith too so that they would believe on Him Whom He sent.

Yes or no? Is the yes or no question a fair question, yes or no?

"This hypothetical man, therefore, is a reprobate man."

my response:
There are no hypothetical beings. There are Elect beings and reprobates, there are Elect Angels and fallen ones, there are Seraphim and Cherubim, there are Four Living Creatures and twenty four Elders, then, Seven Spirits of God, "hmmmm" huh? [I thought God was Three Eternal Spirits, Our Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Did they morph and become Ten?]' and all of them I just listed above seem to be able to communicate with John on some objective or metaphysical or spiritual level depending on the reason for the communication or evil intent against him. He also knows how to write, unlike this writer, ah, he is the author of the Gospel of John, 1,2, and 3 John and the book of the Revelation?

Elect ones have been give the Gift of Faith so that they too believe.

The reprobate do not believe because God, for whatever reason, did not give them the Gift of Faith so that they too would believe like the Elect believe.

Saying that I simple refer the reader to Paul starting at "Romans 1:18....".

Do reprobates know God? Yes.
Do reprobates know God by the same Faith once delivered to the Saints? No.

Can one of you who know tell me now why God does not give the Gift of Faith to the reprobate?

I cannot. I do know He gave the Gift of Faith to me, that Faith for which this blog bears it's name:

Jud 1:3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jud 1:4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Oh yeah, Seth, presumably I can assume you have indeed come across those described by Jude at verse 4? and this blog is intended to help us know them and know about them and be viligant against them too?

The demons "believe" and mind you here, they also "know" the Only True God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost and they do not look forward to their personal day of reckoning being reconciled to God, Col 1:20 and to give an account for their evil deeds done and they are even still doing and will continue to do until the day they are cast into the Lake of Fire to serve their sentence, eternal damnation.

michael

natamllc said...

Bnonn

ah, thank you.

I will post one point at a time then, will that help you follow my "sort" of reasoning?

I ask you this question:

Are you disciplined with "systematic theology"?

Michael

natamllc said...

Bnonn,

yes your point is well taken. I see it now.

Please kindly use your imagination now and break that particular post up.

The first part was addressing a blogger who "quoted" Calvin. I was asking if that is all Calvin has to say on God's Love, three levels?

If that's his scholarly work, why all the Calvinists in the world?

Michael

As for the next part, I was doing my preview of what I am going to post and noticed both you and Seth were talking about me and my format and line of communication when posting. I type as I think.

If I wanted to have it formal I would hire an editor or publisher to clean it up.

This is raw mental flows here. Is it offensive to a disciplined and trained writer and orator such as yourself?

I apologize.

I do indeed want to encourage you to speak candidly and honestly as I want too when you post something that is divergent from my way of thinking and reasoning.

Ok?

Michael

natamllc said...

And for what it is worth Seth, I made a calculation that putting in my view on ontology was a necessary part of this debate.

If it is not in your judgment, please say so.

You haven't been silent before with me at other blogs you and I have crossed paths on. Nor have you been silent here.

Please excuse or reject my selfishness as I am gaining so much by this debate. It's enormous importance and emphasis here seems to be of the same down through the ages gone before us. Would I be correct in saying that some of what this debate is, was found at Acts 15 when they debated back then?

And I only hope the Proclamation of the Gospel comes from this debate? I know you certainly will be glad to hear that someone who was lost, blind, deaf and dumb, now is in the Light!

Act 15:3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.


Michael

Seth McBee said...

michael.
Now you have me curious...where have our paths crossed before?

As far as the outcome of this debate...yes, I desire that it strengthens our message to the world that

God so loved you that He gave his only Son to die for you

Evangelism is the natural outworking when the atonement is understood.

thanks for your comment Michael, and your patience.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hi Michael—

Can one of you who know tell me now why God does not give the Gift of Faith to the reprobate?

Do you mean to ask why God chooses people as he does, to damn or to save? No, I cannot answer that. That is entirely concealed in his secret will. Why did he choose me, and not someone else? I don't know. I can only fall and worship. Or do you mean to ask why God chose to not save everyone? I can answer that: because if he had saved everyone, he could not have fully glorified his wrath, justice, and power in the reprobate.

I will post one point at a time then, will that help you follow my "sort" of reasoning?

That would be extremely helpful. We can then focus on one specific point before moving on to the next one.

Are you disciplined with "systematic theology"?

That depends on what you mean. I have not been taught systematic theology at a seminary or anything. I have not been taught formally at all. Everything I know I know from the Bible, or from theology books I have read. That said, I have not actually read any Systematic Theology all the way through. I have read parts of Grudem's Systematic Theology, and I have read parts of Vincent Cheung's Systematic Theology. I have a reasonable understanding of most parts of systematic theology, but I would by no means consider my knowledge exhaustive.

The first part was addressing a blogger who "quoted" Calvin. I was asking if that is all Calvin has to say on God's Love, three levels?

I don't know. I would imagine not. But does it matter if it is? Since God is love, as you say, then love is reflected in all theology, inasmuch as theology is the study of God. After all, one could wonder why there are so many trinitarians in the world when the Bible has so little to say on the Trinity!

This is raw mental flows here. Is it offensive to a disciplined and trained writer and orator such as yourself?

I apologize.


It is not offensive, per se. It is just very difficult to understand, which can in turn be very frustrating. I am sure that we would all appreciate it if you did take some time to go back and read through what you have written, and make sure that it is clear before you post it. That is what I do. If I did not, much of what I say would seem confusing—so I take the time before posting to fix it up, so that I don't have to spend time afterwards explaining. It also ensures that I am sure that what I'm writing has value. Sometimes I will start a post, and then read through it, and think, "No, that's not really right", or "No, that doesn't add enough to the conversation to warrant posting". I think it would benefit us all if you did a similar thing. In any case, your apology is accepted, although perhaps unnecessary.

Regards,
Bnonn

natamllc said...

Seth,

David McCrory perhaps?

Reformation Theology perhaps?

Gage Browning perhaps?

Misadventures of Captain Head... perhaps?

Reformed Puritan perhaps?

Been to foreign countries? I have, about thirty or so.

I ran into John Hagee in Paris one time and spent about forty minutes with him.

I have seen your name posted and I and you have worked through some meaning in someone's blogspherehead in the past???

Now don't tell it was here! :)

natamllc said...

Bnonn,

I believe I know why God does not choose to save everyone.

But your first answer was what I meant:

B:Do you mean to ask why God chooses people as he does, to damn or to save? No, I cannot answer that.

I will give you a cookie now if only you will tell me which kind you like?

:)

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Anything with chocolate is guaranteed to meet my approval, Michael, provided there isn't anything else funny in it, like peanuts.

natamllc said...

Bnonn:

After all, one could wonder why there are so many trinitarians in the world when the Bible has so little to say on the Trinity!

With kindness Bnonn, I would have to disagree with that.

There is more than enough written by each of the Three of Them, albeit it all goes through the Holy Ghost through holy men of God onto what we, now, by Faith believe we are reading, without doubt, as the Holy Word of God preserved for us today.

To splash a bit of cold water on your face then, if I might take some liberty here, seeing we were directed to think like Mormons, I suppose so that Seth and TF and respective companies can cool down their mental jets some, before the next big wave of thoughts come forward, and to parallel the "5" points of Calvin, TULIP, I will 'B"log the five points of michael?

I call them acronymically the "5" B's of St. michael:

1.

Psa 32:1 A Maskil of David. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psa 32:2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

2.

Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

3.

Jer 17:7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.

4.

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.'"

5.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,


Can I hear the proverbial fingers tapping an AMEN on their keyboards then posting "Amen"?

Was that question too pentecostal for some?

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