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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
One day, I will learn brevity.


me too. :-D


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Ron Bailey

 2004/12/29 9:07Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Keith
A little less brief this time…

Quote:
But do you not see that there your choices are not limited by his choices? They are, in fact, limited by your choice to restrain yourself (which was in turn based upon your choice to respect his rights; not that I disagree with having that kind of respect, but I do believe it is a choice). If you had not chosen to restrain yourself, his choices would not limit yours at all except in matters of ability (i.e. he could do things in such a way as to preclude your ability to interfere, but that's not the scenario I'm talking about: none can preclude God's ability to interfere). You're still choosing 'not to prevent' the event, even though you have a reason for that choice.



This is getting complicated but I see that …in the illustration of the crocodile infested river… My choice is only limited by my previous choice. In other words I have chosen to behave in a certain way. In this sense we might say God has chosen to be as He is, although the statement is close to nonsense. He has consequently chosen to behave consistently with His earlier choices. I don’t believe that God chose earlier that some would be predetermined to salvation and others ‘not to salvation’. I do believe that God chose to behave towards the human race in a way which would not compromise what He had created the human race to be. i.e. a moral agent, responsible and hence accountable for his choices.

I do see that God would be under no obligation to provide salvation for any member of the human race who had chosen to exercise his ‘right to choose’ in rejecting God and His known will. Yes, I (and in the picture, God) is still choosing ‘not to prevent’, but that choice was made long ago at the design stage. This is so with us in a much more limited way. Decisions that I made decades ago set a direction which automatically eliminated many other options. If I had made different decisions there would have been different options to consider, but as it is my historical decisions have put me in geographical and spiritual locations where I don’t ever have to make those choices. For example, 40 years minus 4 days ago, I made a decision to ‘take unto me Margaret, as my wife… and plighted my troth, as the language is over here. That choice automatically eliminated all kinds of other choices for me. In ‘keeping thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live’ that one choice has made many other choices none-existent. I don’t have to make a choice about Alice, Dorothy, Florence, or any others. The one choice obviated the need for all those other choices.

God chose to make man responsible for his actions and consequently accountable for them. This one choice obviated all other choices about interference in man’s choices. He may warn or woo but He will not impose. He has delegated genuine responsibility to man. To ignore this would be in contradiction of His own word; [b]Let us make man in our own image and likeness.[/b] As regards ‘ability’ to interfere, God cannot override man’s moral choices and be true to His original creative word. In that sense He has put restraints upon Himself. We may regard it as one of God’s ‘cannots’; He cannot deny Himself.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/12/29 11:14Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Keith, another bit...

Quote:
Sorry to cut your sentence in half but I wanted to focus on this: God chose to invest man with these rights, intending full well to choose to honor those rights in the future, and God made this choice knowing full well the consequences (good and bad), but He deemed them acceptable. God was not limited in His choices here, those limitations came about as a result of His choice, and thus He was choosing then "not to prevent" everything that He would be unable to prevent later as a result of those limitations. It's indirect, of course, but it's still choice, no?


If this is saying that God made an original decision about how man would be constituted and how God would interact with that constitution, I am with you. I have not been arguing for a relationship between God and man where every moment means a fresh decision on God's part, although I don't believe that God has wound it up and set it going either.

I know that those Calvinistic decress are only a literary device to help folk get their heads around things outside time. I don't like the concept myself. I think that is because while we recognise anthropomorphisms (talking about God as if He were man, Delboy!) when we are dealing with the making bare of arms, and God being right-handed, it is all too easy to forget that we are also dealing with anthropomorphisms when we talk about God thinking or deciding.

We know nothing about God's forethoughts or foreplans, we only see what has happened on the canvas of human history. These concepts of God as a linear thinker have got to be wrong, only time-based beings would think in such a way. In that sense all we can really talk about is what we see God do, biblically. This is part of my discomfort with the Calvinism scenario. I 'know' it couldn't have happened that way. (the Calvinist may tell me he knows it did!) I don't think it is possible for a carbon-based creation to even begin to understand the interface between time and eternity, but that is exaclty what Calvinism seems to set out to accomplish.

As I read the scriptural accounts, in real time, I get the impression of people making choices and being held responsible for them. I get the impression that man's history has been a defiance of God and His will rather than the following of a script. And, and this is my main point here, I think I am supposed to get that 'impression'. I don't think we were ever intended to 'understand' God's outworkings by taking the perspective of a watcher at the decrees.

This affects my understanding of prophecy too. I don't think of prophecy as prediction awaiting fulfillment, but I look to the future to explain the prophecy. This is why my eschatology (Delboy, knowledge of the last things) is often so annoying to folks. It isn't that I set one scheme against another, I refuse to systematise. In the interface of eternity with the future, I consciously refuse to create a scenario. In the interface of eternity with the past, I similarly refuse to create my scenario.

Annoying, ain't I?


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Ron Bailey

 2004/12/29 11:49Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

In Bro. Ron's response to Keith,

Quote:
I don't think it is possible for a carbon-based creation to even begin to understand the interface between time and eternity, but that is exaclty what Calvinism seems to set out to accomplish.



I agree with this completely. Everything we experience in this cosmos is a creation of God. We have to try and understand everything based upon the creation. God is seperate and other (holy) from His creation. We have three dimensions of space and one dimension of time with which to gain experience, and it is ALL a creation of God. This is why we can apprehend certain things, but not fully understand them.

This is how I answer the question we often get from children (usually) about how God has "always been." We can only understand things as they relate to 'time'. We have been created this way. Yet, God created time. God does not need time. He created time as one dimension of our reality.


Quote:
It isn't that I set one scheme against another, I refuse to systematise. In the interface of eternity with the future, I consciously refuse to create a scenario.



Wow! This is not bad advice. I often will create a scenerio about things like Revelation 13, etc. Not to make a doctrine, but to extrapolate the warnings. Many "have it all figured out" and they are set up for deception. What will happen to their faith when the prophesies they were so dogmatic about do not come to pass as they thought?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/12/29 13:43Profile
Svineklev
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Joined: 2004/12/14
Posts: 74


 Re:

Robert--

You wrote:

"Let me characterize my position and see if we are on the same page or not. I believe that God has revealed Himself primarily as a God of love. All of His attributes must be seen in that light. I believe God desires all men to be saved. I do not consciously think about who will or will not make it when I minister. I feel everyone, while breath is in their lungs, have a chance to repent."

I agree wholeheartedly but with a couple of caveats:

1. God's love must be seen for what it is, encompassing both mercy and justice.

2. God may not will for every single individual to be saved. This does not mean that God is not Love any more than saying God does not [i]ensure[/i] that every single individual will be saved means that he is not loving.

3. We do agree that while they have life and breath "whosoever will" may come.

I certainly did not intend to mischaracterize you as not wanting all glory to go to God. I only believe that you--quite unintentionally--do not [i]end up[/i] giving him all the glory. But I assume you would say the same for me in light of my [i]unacceptable[/i] Calvinistic positions.

We do agree on much. Thanks for the outstretched hand of fellowship....

--Eric

 2004/12/29 14:56Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Svineklev,

I understand. I just pray that God will use all of us to preach repentance to this generation. I have no quarrel that a man or woman would preach like Whitfield. Glory to God if it is! I will likely be taking more of a Finney line on it; but however revival and repentance comes, let it come.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/12/29 15:10Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Though I believe we should declare our independence from creeds and check everything against Scripture (as the Bereans), I find a total rejection of creedalism to be a foolish enterprise. If you out-and-out reject Calvinism and Arminianism and Dispensationalism and Thomism and Cassianism and What-not-ism, all you are left with is "Ron"ism (and not a purer biblicism). Interact with the creeds with respect. These are the work of that great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. Dismiss them at your peril.


Eric
I only reject creedalism and the isms as foundations, or as I have called them the setters of the agenda. I am more than ready to listen to what others have said in other times, but I accept or reject their testimony as I see it to be consistent or otherwise with the scriptures. The greater cloud of witnesses that you refer to, of course, are biblical persons with authentic, inerrant life stories. Their witness is to faith in the word of God not to theological schemes.

The only reason I asked for a definition of the will is that folks often go on to specify its characteristics. It is not the will that is fallen but man. It in not the intellect that is fallen but man. Regeneration is a new start with a new man.


Quote:
since you are not required, indeed are unable to, choose against your own will


If as you say the will not [i]really anything more than whatever intellectual or spiritual faculties allow us to make decisions under own own power[/i] How does this definition fit into the above quote? How can I choose against my own choice? I can change my choice, but it is still my choice. Is what I am seeing no more than a snap-shot of a process of decision? ie at one moment in the process I am heading in this direction, but at another an opposite direction.


Quote:
As I said before, to me the question we have been dealing with (concerning the Doctrines of Grace) has more to do with the spiritual inability of the unregenerate, rather than any lack of "freeness."


What can be said more than that someone is 'dead', how much more unable can someone be than 'dead'. However, Adam was 'dead' from the day he transgressed but that did not stop God communicating with him. Those similarly 'dead' can hear the voice of God; this is just a foreshadowing of the promise of [i]the hour coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live[/i].

When God speaks 'being dead' is 'no excuse'. ;-)


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Ron Bailey

 2004/12/29 15:27Profile
Svineklev
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Joined: 2004/12/14
Posts: 74


 Re:

Robert wrote:

"Now I must ask, who can come up with a scenerio where this man would not be blamed no matter what he did? If he leaves the lock on we say he is a madman. If he takes it off we say it was his fault she committed adultery. What is the solution? The woman must do her duty and maintain her fidelity. That is the only scenerio that will work. Otherwise we get to what ends up being the general answer for the disaster; 'Well, they say, it was his fault for marrying her.'"


Well, Robert, first we must clarify a couple of things:

1. To what are you comparing her (potential) adultery? To sin or to apostasy? For the regenerate, the door is open for the former and locked for the latter.

2. How inclined is she toward adultery? Is it like chocolate ice cream or crack cocaine? We don't accuse mental health institutions of being run by "madmen" if they lock up someone who's going through heroin withdrawal (heck, we'd probably approve four-point restraints!)

There are those God brings through such a withdrawal period to the cleanness of the other side and those he leaves in their addiction.

Those to whom he is married (his beloved elect) do not blame him for this apparent heavy-handedness. We know we would be lost had we been left on our own. We do not wish for unaided choice. Our response is less a clear-headed "Choose you this day whom you shall serve" and more a desperate "I believe. Help thou my unbelief!"

For freedom Christ has set us free...the chains of sin have been severed (in the sense that we do not serve our rebellious natures). But we are captive free--bond slaves of Christ--and quite content to be. He is the [i]Good[/i] Shepherd, and he keeps his lambs within the fold!

--Eric


 2004/12/29 15:38Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Eric,

Quote:
For the regenerate, the door is open for the former and locked for the latter.



I agree with you to an extent. Let me preface by saying that I believe that most so-called "backslidings" are not really backslidings they were merely the results of a person who prayed off conviction and were never regenerated (their backsliding was going back to what they ARE). I believe that when the regenerate backslide they are not at home in sin. By and large pigs return to the pig pen and the sons return to the Father's house (this was J. Vernon Mcgee's take). However, there is a word I use a lot and have not really got a lot of hits on it. I hope that sometime Bro. Ron will shed some light on it for me, but it is the Greek word ADOKIMOS. No matter how we slice it, Paul got under his body (hit it in the eye) and brought it into subjection (led it away captive) lest when he had preached to others, he himself would become ADOKIMOS. That is a very real warning to even those who we would be considered as definately elect. We all have heard the arguments back and forth, but what are (anyone please input) thoughts on this passage? (1 Corinthians 9:27)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/12/29 15:55Profile
Svineklev
Member



Joined: 2004/12/14
Posts: 74


 Re:

Ron--

I had to go back quite a ways to find the quote of mine you cited:

"Yes, I understand that in many senses one would still be "free" (since you are not required, indeed are unable to, choose against your own will)."

I am speaking here of Edwards' view and not my own. He virtually equates desire and will. Surely, you see that one can choose against one's own [i]desires[/i] (like staying away from that tempting pint of Ben and Jerry's in the fridge). Edwards says that is only because you have a stronger desire to remain on your diet (the stronger desire always wins). I believe we can actually reason and opt for the best choice even when our stronger desire says otherwise. I simply think Edwards is too deterministic...and does not teach true freedom as I would define it.

--Eric

 2004/12/29 15:59Profile





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