Thursday, July 10, 2008

Found At Provocations and Pantings

That's interesting. Saw it before. And I have heard the argument before. It was set forth by Billy Graham in fact on Larry King as is quoted in Ian Murray's Evangelicalism Divided. And we built a statue commemorating his soteriology! A soteriology, that by the "Biblicist" standard is nothing short of heresy.

Another question that this raises is the obvious ecumenical spirit that tags along with the Arminian/Calvinist divide. Two different soteriologies can be derived from the BFM. Which is all good and fine until the discussion becomes: just how is one saved?

Albert Mohler has said that no one will go to hell for another's sin. Though he equivocates on the matter, the inherited guilt of Adam, again, is a non-negotiable, and absolutely necessary for an orthodox soteriology. He signed and approved in his work on the 2000 BFM, of the reversal of the order of condemnation from the 1925 BFM, to what is now the BFM's definition of the nature of man after the fall since the 1963. (A bit of a culpability factor working there, maybe?) The denial at any level of the doctrine of original sin is foundational to all sorts of error, giving us notable myths like the age of accountability and LFW, as well as a labyrinth of sacramentalist religions.

You can see what I believe is at the heart of the world's confusion here, along with the rest of the series which began here. It is not them, it is we who allow falsehood and will not defend truth from error that gives them the right of dissent. Remove the strictures of total depravity and God's sovereignty in election, his drawing grace will fall, and there will remain only the conditions of man's vain imagination as the means of salvation. What is the difference between the typical SBC'er and an Oprah disciple if it is by synergistic means that people come to the knowledge of God? If in the end salvation requires some measure of man's effort, then the Oprahites or Osteenites for that matter, are justified in any scheme.



Osteen is the son of a former Southern Baptist. But, is that where he got his theology?





Perhaps, just perhaps, as Billy Graham said, "They may not know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something and I think that they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven." Oh, we might well say that we are credobaptists and all the while deny that we are a credal people. However, according to some heros of the Southern Baptists, when it comes to the final assessment it might just be that God does judge men in deference to the light that they have and what they did with it,



and not by the standards of the only way. A Southern Baptist and fellow member of Sunnyside Baptist in Cheyenne, told me just that. Wonder's where he learned it?

There are some who do not bow to the hero icons, this one for example:



Nor would such stalwarts as Tom Ascol, or the inimitable James White.

Take notice Billy Graham's position has not changed since 1960. A mere three years before the 1963 BFM was finalized by former President of the SBC, Herschel H. Hobbs, a semi-Pelagian. What should be clear is that the accomodation of such heros while ostensibly forbidden, the BFM cannot exclude. One must question how Billy Graham could be honored by the SBC with a statue,



and reject the central tenant of soteriology in the SBC, salvation in the name of Jesus only.

The final assessment is that it matters what integrity we have in the eyes of the world when we make criticisms and expect credibility. What the world sees is a house doctrinally divided and unsure of its doctrinal foundations and history. What once passed the muster of love of truth in the Conservative Resurgence, must again come to the fore and reestablish the Protestant doctrines upon which the SBC was founded. But, as long as it holds to Romanistic free-will and humanistic goodness inherent in man, as opposed to the great hinge pin of the Protestant Reformation, the bondage of the will, and total human depravity, it will continue to feed the world the excuses it needs to not heed the call of repentance.

The only true revival will come when the truth is once again the SBC signature song. As Spurgeon said and I paraphrase, "These doctrines are the Gospel." Let the Doctrines of Grace be proclaimed and the Gospel will be reclaimed. It will cause hate and division, true enough, even attempts by the Secret 9 to subvert the truth. No matter. Truth is our life, is risen indeed and cannot die again.

49 comments:

kelly jack said...

This was an excellent post to show the true nature or divide that really exist between the two sides.If you hold to a synergistic position then eventually all roads do lead to Rome.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

ST,

The Bible never says anything about people inheriting Adam's guilt; we inherited his sin nature, the former is only a test of orthodoxy in your imagination. Your other commentary demonstrates extremely poor reasoning skills:

What is the difference between the typical SBC'er and an Oprah disciple if it is by synergistic means that people come to the knowledge of God? If in the end salvation requires some measure of man's effort, then the Oprahites or Osteenites for that matter, are justified in any scheme.

That doesn't follow at all, holding to synergistic theology does not necessitate the idea that there are "many ways to God," and the correlation you attempt to draw between the two ideas is nothing short of paranoid.

And Kelly Jack -what in the world?? I'm a Synergist, yet I hold that Rome itself is Mystery Babylon, and that many of the Catholic church's teachings are outright cultic. But if you can put out more than just unsubstantiated generalities struggling up slippery-slopes, care to explain exactly how my theology "leads to Rome"?

kingofbleh said...

AWESOME POST!!!

Thank you, ST! I plan to share with as many people as possible.

Strong Tower said...

Thib-

But it does. There is only one way, and that is a monergistic work of the H.S.. If you propose that man adds some level of his own machinations, you are no different than any other who would propose another way.

Yes, we inherited Adams guilt also, and not just his depraved nature: "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" it is a done deal. All men sinned in Adam. They did not just receive a potential to become condemned, but are actually condemned in Adam. But, thanks for letting us know again that you reject orthodox Christianity. By the way, I don't think that Rome is MB, but rather Jerusalem and Isarel, the mother of all harlotry.

Thanks king and kelly. By all means pass it along. As James White understands, synergism falls back upon some form of Pelagianism as the Thib has demonstrated. The rejection of the condemnation of man through Adam's transgression leaves open the necessity of each and every individual committing his own sin to invoke the curse. In other words, man is born neutral, with neither righteousness, nor unrighteousness. It then falls to the individual to achieve what ever status they choose. It is a false religion that many brothers have bitten into. We all, like the disciples, are at first confused as any child would be about the facts of life. Jesus had to explain that they did not choose him. Paul is exacting in his explanation that we cannot because we are dead in both, sin and trespasses. Unfortunately for the likes of Thib, a man after my own previous likeness, the tendency is to separate sin and sins as if the nature is not the condemnable part but only the action.

William Birch said...

So, let me get this straight. You guys believe that the Holy Spirit, in your monergistic system, regenerated you and then "gave" you faith? Did YOU actually have to believe? Did YOU actually have to do something? And is that not robbing God?

Faith is NOT a work, my friends. Romans 4.5 reads, "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (NASB).

Whose faith? "His faith." The Holy Spirit's faith given to the regenerated? No, his faith.

If I had made the same bombastic remarks as I read on this post against Calvinism, my combox would have been littered with Calvinists complaining of how unfair I am about this issue.

And you guys will have to concede that IF YOU'RE WRONG, then it is YOU who have fallen for a lie, not the "synergist." And now I'm not convinced that you even understand synergism at all.

I expected better from you guys. You guys are smarter than this. I know how tempting it is to demean someone else's system. But c'mon guys . . . do you really understand Classical, Reformational Arminianism? You seem to be caricaturing it, and you don't even care. You use words like weapons. And it comes off as nothing more than obnoxious and arrogant. I think you guys are better than that.

IN CHRIST,

Billy

William Birch said...

BTW,

We agree with so many of your complaints (Graham, Osteen, etc.). We, too, grieve over this mess. But to blame all of this on Arminianism is like blaming hyper-Calvinism on Calvinists; something I am sure you would not appreciate.

Billy

Strong Tower said...

Well gee Bill, tell us just what is synergism? Cuz da thib sez weuns is jez plane dum n him rite. Ize geson yuz krect, wez airgant.

Just to set you straight. These guys are not me. They will stand or fall upon their own predilections and convictions. This is mine. No, Arminianism is not to blame, it is the theology of mechanistic faith. The occult for lack of a better term. And no, we, that is I, do not believe that faith is given post regeneration, but consumate with it. Faith follows as a logical temporality, but precedes our knowledge, conviction or trusting into Christ for it is a gift and must logically come first before any expression of it, and can only do what it was created to do. It is not a magic talisman, but consistent with and never separated from the new nature. Faith consists of much more than then you seen to conceive. Even you must admit that it is a gift that precedes your acting upon it. And it cannot be that a degenerate man can exercise faith in Jesus Christ, for that would be an exercise of unrighteousness, though I know you would disagree.

William Birch said...

Arminius wrote,

"Concerning Grace and Free Will, this is what I teach according to the Scriptures and orthodox consent: Free Will is unable to begin or to perfect any true and spiritual good, without Grace . . .

"I affirm, therefore, that this grace is simply and absolutely necessary for the illumination of the mind, the due ordering of the affections, and the inclination of the will to that which is good: It is this grace which operates on the mind, the affections, and the will; which infuses good thoughts into the mind, inspires good desires into the affections, and bends the will to carry into execution good thoughts and good desires.

"This grace [prevenit] goes before, accompanies, and follows; it excites, assists, operates that we will, and co-operates lest we will in vain . . .

"This grace commences salvation, promotes it, and perfects and consummates it. I confess that the mind of [animalis] a natural and carnal man is obscure and dark, that his affections are corrupt and inordinate, that his will is stubborn and disobedient, and that the man himself is dead in sins.

"And I add to this, That teacher obtains my highest approbation who ascribes as much as possible to Divine Grace; provided he so pleads the cause of Grace, as not to inflict an injury on the Justice of God, and not take away the free will to that which is evil."

(The Works of Arminius, Vol. II, p. 700-701, Baker Book House, 1986 edition.)

Though we do not agree on the issue of regeneration preceding faith, we certainly do agree on the absoulte necessity of the grace of God if anyone is to believe in Christ.

God bless.

Billy

Mitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitch said...

Perhaps some here will find this as useful as I have in explaining and seeing the difference in how grace is perceived. This was written by TurretinFan and here is the link

It is easy to see that even the Classical, Reformational Arminianism denies the sufficiency of grace

Praise be to God

Strong Tower said...

Thanks for your gracious return, billy. Honestly!

I understand the similarity between Classical Arminianism and Calvinism. And we do part company. Though I suggest it owes more to a misunderstanding of terms such as faith used diversely by us, so that we do not speak the same language.

I would contend that the divide comes here: "And I add to this, That teacher obtains my highest approbation who ascribes as much as possible to Divine Grace; provided he so pleads the cause of Grace, as not to inflict an injury on the Justice of God, and not take away the free will to that which is evil."

That it is God who both wills and works in us the willing and the doing according to his purpose, eliminates the LFW to choose to do otherwise. Unless of course, though Arminius would never admit it and would quake at the thought, that it is God who wills in us the doing of evil. I simply cannot see the mind of Christ choosing to do evil.

William Birch said...

ST,

That's fair enough.

But just so you understand, I get just as angry at the Oprah's and the Osteen's and the Schuller's and the Graham's as you do. And I think John MacArthur was right! He was spot on. I could not agree with him more.

But could we please call those heresies what they are, without linking them with Arminianism? I'm quite sure Arminius is turning over in his grave . . .

Peace and Grace,
Billy

Gordan Runyan said...

After reading this (finally) I am bummed that I've not had a chance to do so earlier. Now that I'm here, all the bullets have stopped flying already.

Billy, just to understand where you are coming from, a couple questions:

1. Is Prevenient Grace universally applied, so that everyone who hears the gospel has a fair chance at receiving it?

2. What, in your mind, separates this person FUNCTIONALLY from the natural man that Pelagius envisioned (morally neutral, able to will to do righteousness, etc.)?

3. Is Prevenient Grace itself a work of monergistic grace that supercedes the fallen man's will, or must God get the person to agree to this preliminary work? If the answer is that the fallen man would never agree to Prevenient Grace, and so it is a work done by divine fiat, how is this not a violation of man's free will?

Not firing the guns yet; just seeking to know where you're coming from.

Oh, and, another thing. It does irritate me a bit to have you come on here and complain that "we" don't understand classic Arminianism when the plain fact is that only a tiny fraction of those who claim to be defending Arminianism know more about it than we do (in terms of what they've actually taken time to read.) I would suggest that what you really need to do is find all these i-apologists who know not what they defend and first rebuke them for misrepresenting your case. What they really are in most cases are home-grown synergists of a wide variety of flavors, who are each re-inventing the wheel. This is why no progress ever seems to be made in the debates, because Calvin vs. Arminius must begin at square one with each new synergist who thinks he's the first one to read his Bible correctly.

Sorry for the above rant, Billy. I don't blame you for that, as you've obviously taken time to read the material. It's just a pain, being rebuked for misrepresentation when so many anti-Calvinists out there wouldn't recognize real Arminianism if it bit them in the ass. (Donkey, I mean.)

Gordan Runyan said...

Note of clarification: The rather ignorant sort of individualistic synergists I ranted about above do NOT include our mostly-friendly rivals, JC Thibodaux (who knows where he departs from Arminianism, and does not claim to be defending the classic version) and Ben/Kangaroodort (who does try to get it right historically.)

Gordan Runyan said...

Strong Tower,

I do think we are all reckoned as guilty sinners in Adam. I kind of side with Charles Hodge in terms of what the results of that reckoning are.

Meaning, Adam's sin earned the punishment of death, and because we are reckoned with him, this is the reason why we are born corrupt (both spiritually and physically) and subject to disease and death even from the womb.

So, because we are guilty in Adam we are born

a) spiritually dead

b) physically dying

c) unable to do anything other than sin from the get-go (as a function of A above.)

A-C are themselves the punishment for Adam's guilt.

Where I depart from some Reformed brothers is this. Some of them will go on to say that the spiritual corruption mentioned above is itself a thing worthy of hell, even from the womb. I kind of demur at that point. To me, that seems to be a sort of Double Jeopardy, where you have infants being punished two separate times for Adam's sin. They're punished once with spiritual corruption, and then they're punished again precisely for that corruption, even before the corruption causes them to sin.

To me it sounds like, "Your punishement is that you must live in New Mexico!" And then later, "How dare you let me find you living in New Mexico!"

I don't think this view allows for a "time of innocence" or anything like that, but I know that a lot of Reformed would disagree with it.

Gordan Runyan said...

Strong Tower,

I do think we are all reckoned as guilty sinners in Adam. I kind of side with Charles Hodge in terms of what the results of that reckoning are.

Meaning, Adam's sin earned the punishment of death, and because we are reckoned with him, this is the reason why we are born corrupt (both spiritually and physically) and subject to disease and death even from the womb.

So, because we are guilty in Adam we are born

a) spiritually dead

b) physically dying

c) unable to do anything other than sin from the get-go (as a function of A above.)

A-C are themselves the punishment for Adam's guilt.

Where I depart from some Reformed brothers is this. Some of them will go on to say that the spiritual corruption mentioned above is itself a thing worthy of hell, even from the womb. I kind of demur at that point. To me, that seems to be a sort of Double Jeopardy, where you have infants being punished two separate times for Adam's sin. They're punished once with spiritual corruption, and then they're punished again precisely for that corruption, even before the corruption causes them to sin.

To me it sounds like, "Your punishement is that you must live in New Mexico!" And then later, "How dare you let me find you living in New Mexico!"

I don't think this view allows for a "time of innocence" or anything like that, but I know that a lot of Reformed would disagree with it.

William Birch said...

Gordan,

"I would suggest that what you really need to do is find all these i-apologists who know not what they defend and first rebuke them for misrepresenting your case."

FINALLY! Someone who understands me :)

We both believe in Prevenient Grace; it's our definitions that differ. For you, please correct me if I'm missing the mark, God lovingly graces His elect in His soevereign time, by "graciously" regenerating him. This Prevenient Grace (regeneration) brought him to life so that he may have faith in Christ Jesus. Without this Prevenient Grace, he would have never had faith in Christ.

For us, God graces those who hear the Gospel, setting him free from his bondage to sin, in order to freely choose Christ Jesus (but of course, as you know, this grace is not irresistible). It is easy to see the urgency in getting the gospel to the unreached places on earth, because God works in and through the Gospel (Rom. 1.16; 10.14; John 16.8-11).

In your view, God's grace is effectual, but limited to the elect. In our view, God's grace is conditioned upon receiving Christ Jesus (John 1.12) and placing faith in Him in order to be saved and justified (Rom. 4.5; 5.1), and is open to all who hear the Word.

But man still did not "do" a work in order to believe on Christ, for faith is not a work (Rom. 4.5); it was not of his own doing, since it took the Gospel, the Spirit of God in conviction, and God the Father in drawing the individual to Christ, setting him free from his bondage to sin; without this, no one could be saved.

Gordan, there is no way we will agree on this. We both will consider the other wrong until Christ returns. But I do think we need to represent our "opponent" well; and I'm sure you agree. And, we need to keep in mind that no matter our disagreements, the other is still our brother in Christ (as long as he has truly been born again). It is all too easy to get caught up in our pet docrtines (me included!) and start caricaturing another's views in order to make our opinions seem superior. I know because I've done it. I've been called out on it as well and am trying to learn to order my life differently.

As always, God bless you all.

Billy

Strong Tower said...

Gordan,

Frankly, I don't know the disposition of the "innocents". It is not defined in Scripture. I tend to side with the confessions such as the 1689 that simply say that the "elect" who die, infants and those who likewise are incapable of responding are regenerated. The key word being "elect". At that, it is a compromise, for we just do not have enough biblical evidence to say.

Possession is action, passive, but an action none the less. The mere possession of the nature is an act, chosen or not, and bears its own consequence. That was imputed to us in Adam, for in him we all sinned. It is not condemnation because of the state we find ourselves living in, though. It is that we are accounted as having committed the act itself. We sinned, already and brought about the corruption. Whether we consider the possession as an act, or a condition, Scripture declares that we have already acted before we were born. Therefore, possession is not passive condemnation as if we had nothing to do with it, but active self reprobation. The construct is the anti-type, Adam being that first type of the imputation of Christ's righteousness including both passive and active obediences, which is by grace trough faith and which is not of ourselves in any sense, but accomplished for us by another. It is not passive alone, but is active also in that the fruit of what has been done will be realized in the believer. It is slight of hand to put condemnation at the age of accountability or after any action by the individual by willful intent. That is not how we are saved, and not how we were condemned. If allowed to live, and we are all prolife, aren't we, we will procede to actualizing the reality within just as in our salvation. In both cases we are considered to have acted in the past through the actions of another. (I know this sounds Presbyterianesque, but then we can remember our Reformed Baptist roots without slidding into a strict convenantalism, can't we?) Scripture defined the age of accountability as in Adam, not in us. We are condemned in Adam, period, no matter how one defines the method of imputation. The willful decisions that are the result of the maturation process are not what condemn, but are wholly enough to do so. They merely confirm that which is already done. Just as in salvation, repentance and trusting in Christ reflect that which is the finished work of Christ in us.

The point of this post can be boiled down to one thing. Any attempt at steadying the Ark is condemned. The Ark represents the finished work of another, and will get to its destination without the assistance of man's surety. When a man sets his hand to the work of God he is condemned. The Pelagian error is that and it does not matter at what level, for in all cases it is man who from a postition of neutrality chooses which way he will go. In the final analysis, grace is defined differently by Arminianisms than it is by the Reformed and in doing so they deny its sufficiency.

Here is some good listening posted today.
. It kinda goes along with this.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Twitchell,

Yes, we inherited Adams guilt also, and not just his depraved nature: "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" it is a done deal. All men sinned in Adam.

For starters, read it again, it simply says that it was through Adam's sin that sin came in the world, and by that all sinned. Such does not imply inherited guilt, but that all men sin, which springs from Adam's sin, which is accomplished by the sinful nature he passed on to us. My beliefs have no conflict with Romans 5:12, so even your own proof-texts won't lend you any support. And no, we've not sinned through Adam automatically; such an assertion would require that those not even born to have already committed sin through Adam, which is plainly ridiculous. So what I said before is plain then, the scriptures say nothing about inherited guilt.


As James White understands, synergism falls back upon some form of Pelagianism as the Thib has demonstrated.

Lol. Do tell, exactly how are my beliefs 'Pelagian?'


But it does. There is only one way, and that is a monergistic work of the H.S.. If you propose that man adds some level of his own machinations, you are no different than any other who would propose another way.

Interesting that you can cite no solid scriptural or logical reasons to back such a crazed assertion. Nothing short of a whiny, paranoid slippery-slope with no correlation to reality.


But, thanks for letting us know again that you reject orthodox Christianity.

Lacking any scriptural evidence, the new test of orthodoxy apparently now involves complete and total agreement with the opinions of Thomas Twitchell. You really need to get over yourself.

Mitch said...

J.C.

Do you believe that you are born an enemy of God or that you become an enemy of God once you start sinning?

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

I believe men are born with Adam's sin nature, and are by that nature depraved children of wrath, literally hell-bent on opposing God; so I guess one could say that we're born the enemy of God in the sense that we are born in sin and will inevitably fall into willful sin as we grow. As far as being God's enemies in the sense that we have committed trespasses against Him, the scriptures state,

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled. (Colossians 1:21)

We are His enemies not by a wicked work (as if by Adam's sin alone), but by wicked works which we ourselves commit.

Mitch said...

J.C.

What I read you saying is that all are born with a sin nature, but that in and of itself will not condemn them. Only when they sin will they be condemned. Would this be a correct reading of what you are saying?

If the answer is yes, then would they have need of a Savior while in such a state? It would appear to me that since they are not born condemned already, but only become condemned when they sin that they have no need for a Savior. Also, when you wrote that they “will inevitably fall into willful sin as they grow” are you implying that it is only *willful* sin that will condemn them?

If you be so gracious to allow two more question, would you say that if all we had was Adam’s sin nature and had not committed any wicked works that we would stand righteous before God? Or would just having Adam’s sin nature be enough to stand condemned before God?

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

Yes, that is correct. For the latter questions, taking a case example, an infant or unborn who dies, I do not believe that the infant has any sins he or she has committed to atone for, and hence they are not condemned for not believing. Though still having a corrupt nature from conception, I believe it stands to reason that Christ's death was necessary to cleanse them.


Also, when you wrote that they "will inevitably fall into willful sin as they grow" are you implying that it is only *willful* sin that will condemn them?

It would be rather inane to condemn the children sacrificed to Molech for being involved in a pagan worship ritual, or a woman who was raped for sexual immorality. True rebellion against God proceeds from the heart.

As an aside, your assertion that Reformation Arminianism denies the sufficiency of grace is fallacious, since if grace were insufficient, then no one could be saved, yet people are saved in the Reformation Arminian view.

Mitch said...

J.C.

Since these people do not have any sins to atone for then Christ’s atoning work is not applicable to them. They then can stand before God in their own righteousness. That is a very foreign belief to me, I will have to try and chew on if for awhile.

As for my assertion, while it was written by another I wholeheartedly agree with it. Surely you admit that Arminianism denies that grace is sufficient? One can be saved in that system, but it is done by God’s grace alone and not by God and man. While the Arminian agrees to the necessity of initial grace you part ways from the Reformed view in denying the sufficiency of grace, it goes back to monergism vs. synergism. If you truly believed that grace was sufficient then you would not be a synergist:)

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

They then can stand before God in their own righteousness.

Such a quick-fix strawman you employ, since people in such condition have no innate righteousness either, for they've done neither good nor evil, thus the cleansing of their nature is still by God's grace.


Surely you admit that Arminianism denies that grace is sufficient?

It would be rather dumb to say that. Grace is sufficient, if grace were insufficient then by definition it could not save anyone.


...it goes back to monergism vs. synergism. If you truly believed that grace was sufficient then you would not be a synergist:)

You are equivocating the term 'sufficient' with 'monergistic.' Something can be both sufficient and synergistic. You state,

One can be saved in that system, but it is done by God’s grace alone and not by God and man.

If one can be saved in that system, then you've already conceded that it is in fact sufficient to save, thus defeating your own assertion. 'Grace alone' does not denote grace without cooperation any more than it denotes grace without faith, the term refers to grace without the works of the law.

Mitch said...

J.C.

Sufficient means that God’s grace alone saves not grace plus an act of man that he mustered up with the help of grace.

When I say that one can be saved in that system, I’m saying that even with faulty knowledge of how salvation works they can still be saved. I did not mean to imply that such a system in itself saves; rather they are saved by grace through faith. So even though they may be ignorant of how it works they are still saved despite their lack of knowledge. To make it simple, grace is sufficient to save and just because your belief system goes counter it does not mean that you cannot be saved. If God has elected you then in His time the Spirit will apply Christ’s redemptive work to you.

It seems that you believe that one is neither in Adam nor in Christ, what other state is there and could you point me to it in Scripture I would like to study it myself?

I think the point that ST was making was that we are all condemned already, yet you claim that all are not condemned until and unless they commit willful sin.

When you wrote Such a quick-fix strawman you employ, since people in such condition have no innate righteousness either, for they've done neither good nor evil, thus the cleansing of their nature is still by God's grace.

The last thing I want to do is build up straw-man, but please help me understand this better. We are talking about living, breathing people here – not un-born babies for the moment. Is it your contention that these living, breathing, active people (however young they may be) do neither good nor evil? When exactly would they start doing either good or evil?

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

Sufficient means that God’s grace alone saves not grace plus an act of man that he mustered up with the help of grace.

Only if you arbitrarily redefine 'sufficient' to serve your needs; your refusal to acknowledge as much does not change the fact that you've already defeated your own objection.


It seems that you believe that one is neither in Adam nor in Christ, what other state is there and could you point me to it in Scripture I would like to study it myself?

When did I state any such thing? Your attempts at putting words into my mouth betray faulty argumentation and a propensity to read more than what is stated.


I think the point that ST was making was that we are all condemned already, yet you claim that all are not condemned until and unless they commit willful sin.

And I point out again that scripture never states the first thing about us being guilty by nature, but states that 'all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,' not that we fall short by merely having Adam's nature. Contrary to ST's claims, 'sinned' in Romans 3:23 is active, not passive, putting the burden of proof on him to show how, in spite of the the wording in scripture, sin is a state rather than an action.


The last thing I want to do is build up straw-man, but please help me understand this better. We are talking about living, breathing people here - not un-born babies for the moment.

Why are the unborn suddenly excluded? Is there something about birth that mystically makes one sinful? That would make an interesting theological case for C-sections; or is it perhaps that your view cannot hold when such a prevalent case is examined?


Is it your contention that these living, breathing, active people (however young they may be) do neither good nor evil? When exactly would they start doing either good or evil?

I would say that very young children are not capable of willful sin until they come to an age of understanding right and wrong; when God's law (inclusive of conscience) is understood, sin becomes active and slays one spiritually.

Mitch said...

J.C.

Sufficient - enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end, that is the definition that I am working with when I use the term.

Perhaps I read more into your comment than I should, if so please forgive me. If you agree that we are either in Adam or in Christ then would you agree that ALL in ADAM are condemned and that ALL in CHRIST are made righteous. If you agree, then would you say that the young or ones that have not committed a willful sin are to be considered in Christ? If you disagree then would that mean that you posit another state for one to be in?

When Scripture tells us that ALL HAVE SINNED does all mean all? It appears that you would qualify that all too only include those who have come of age and have sinned willfully.

The reason I wanted to talk of live people rather than in the womb was because of what you wrote about having “done neither good nor evil”. I have no problem if you want to include the un-born. When you say that sin becomes active and slays one spiritually, does that mean that all people are born spiritually alive?

I also wonder how or why you re-define sin to be willful. Perhaps you could cite a verse that states that sin is not sin if not done willfully.

BTW, thank you for the gracious interaction. It is always interesting to hear/read other people’s view on some of these things.

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

J.C.

Sufficient - enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end, that is the definition that I am working with when I use the term.

Then if it is capable of producing the desired result in a synergistic scheme (which it does in the synergistic scheme), then it is by definition sufficient, n'est pas?


Perhaps I read more into your comment than I should, if so please forgive me.

No prob.


If you agree that we are either in Adam or in Christ then would you agree that ALL in ADAM are condemned and that ALL in CHRIST are made righteous.

Quite simple, it says 'in Adam, all die [present active],' not 'in Adam all are dead.' We are born in Adam, yes, but all who are in Adam are dying because of sin passed on from him.


When Scripture tells us that ALL HAVE SINNED does all mean all? It appears that you would qualify that all too only include those who have come of age and have sinned willfully.

Oh come now, a Calvinist arguing against contextual limitations for the word 'all?' I'd check the consistency of that argument.


The reason I wanted to talk of live people rather than in the womb was because of what you wrote about having 'done neither good nor evil'. I have no problem if you want to include the un-born. When you say that sin becomes active and slays one spiritually, does that mean that all people are born spiritually alive?

It would be difficult indeed for sin to kill what was not alive.


I also wonder how or why you re-define sin to be willful. Perhaps you could cite a verse that states that sin is not sin if not done willfully.

That is derived from Christ's words,

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'.... (Matthew 15:18-20a)

Can't get much plainer: Sin proceeds from the heart. Along with the overt examples I cited above. The case of a woman being raped not being held accountable for committing sexual immorality is reflected in Deuteronomy 22:25-27. Though the physical action that occurs is identical to adultery, the motive behind it makes the difference; hence the wronged party is not guilty of sin in such a circumstance, which should be fairly obvious....

BTW, thank you for the gracious interaction. It is always interesting to hear/read other people’s view on some of these things.

You're welcome, and thank you as well.

Mitch said...

J.C.

In a synergistic scheme grace is not sufficient to meet the needs of the situation. What is needed is for man to do his part. So while grace is necessary more is needed to meet the need of the situation.

I did not say that “in Adam all are dead”, I said that in Adam all are *condemned*. So if one is in Adam then he is condemned and if he is in Christ then he is made righteous. So again, would you say that people who have not willfully sinned are in Christ or in Adam or in X?

We are told that by the offence of one all men are condemned; let me ask if you believe in Adam being the Federal Head of natural man? When Adam sinned, he being your representative brought condemnation on you as well as him. It was through one man’s disobedience that many were made sinners. It says were made sinners, not will become sinners when they willfully transgress God’s law. Mankind has already transgressed God’s law in Adam that is why we are all justly condemned.


Grace & Peace

Machine Gun Kelley said...

[Just a side note, not trying to interupt JC and Mitch]

Concering Romans 5:12, the non-Calvinist John Wesley commented:

"As by one man - Adam; who is mentioned, and not Eve, as being the representative of mankind. Sin entered into the world - Actual sin, and its consequence, a sinful nature. And death - With all its attendants. It entered into the world when it entered into being; for till then it did not exist. By sin - Therefore it could not enter before sin. Even so - Namely, by one man. In that - So the word is used also, 2Co_5:4. All sinned - In Adam. These words assign the reason why death came upon all men; infants themselves not excepted, in that all sinned."

For what it's worth,

RK

Mitch said...

Thank you for that information RK. It made me go look at Wesley again and what he said about these verses in Scripture. For this discussion I see that his notes on Romans 5:19 would also apply and help perhaps to clarify what I’m trying to say.

As by the disobedience of one man many (that is, all men) were constituted sinners - Being
then in the loins of their first parent, the common head and representative of them all. So by the
obedience of one - By his obedience unto death; by his dying for us. Many - All that believe. Shall
be constituted righteous - Justified, pardoned.
John Wesley’s note on Romans 5:19.

I will gladly stand on the shoulder of the great Wesley in this regard, all men (including infants) were constituted sinners by Adam’s sin since he was our head and represented us ALL.

Praise God for His Mercy and Grace

Machine Gun Kelley said...

Another good Whitehorse Inn episode that's somewhat relevant as well as interesting:

http://tinyurl.com/5cn8ek

RK

Strong Tower said...

JCT- Still not quite getting it, huh? Even if I gave you the Scripture, you have proven repeatedly to reject the clear understanding of it. Since you ask: "For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification." Throughout Romans five the context is justification in Christ juxtaposed with the condemnation in Adam. It is not in any sense about what the descendants of Adam do to bring in condemnation. What is without dispute is that the condemnation is post judgement of the one trespass committed by Adam. There is no way to make that one trespass the first of a series of trespasses by individuals for the text clearly states that the descendants trespasses were not of the type of Adam's first. Theirs do not bring condemnation. His did. The one trespass is Adam's that brings condemnation to men, though theirs are still enough to condemn, so that Christ came for both. But, as I said, possession of the nature is as much as the actions that will proceed from it. That is a foregone conclusion for the fruit is no different than the root and if one is condemned, then both. This is what makes you and I different on this whole discussion. For you would have us believe that regeneration follows the action of faith. What kind of act of faith is it that procedes from an unregenerated heart, however? Can the defiled nature produce righteousness? Can an evil root produce a righteous confession and repentance? Can the defiled mind be truly convicted of truth or is the doubleminded man unstable in everything and wicked? Is a mixed cup a pure drink? Your postition is that the person is not dead, yet this very passage in Romans declares him so. You believe that a person is only "mostly dead". My contention is that by saying so you effectively make man neutral and only in need of an infussion of grace to be able to choose either virtue or vice, to save himself or condemn himself. Contrary to that practical Pelagianism which presupposes that the will is an instrument of choice, the Scripture declares that unless a man is born again he cannot understand in a salvific sense, period, let alone make a righeous choice in favor of it. Will is not the action, rather it is what the action defines. Though you reject Edwards I repeat, the will is simply the mind choosing. Like time being the word used for the measurement of an object traversing space. Your view separates will from mind and nature as if they were tripartite, discetely. Mine does not. They are one, will being that which expresses the relationship between the other two.

But I digress. Answer Mitch. You have beat around the bush long enough. Stand up and admit it, Mitch is right, the position you take is that man is X. And for lack of better definition, neutral.

The next post was dedicated to you The cure is a chocolate covered pill that will help you animate the residual life of the old Adam in you. Unfortunately, fairy tales cannot save. Unless a man is born from above, he will not enter in to the kingdom.

This post was not necessarily about the inherited guilt of Adam, though. Primarily, it was again the reality that to maintain the error the Scripture must be denied as BG, Osteen and Warren do. All found their theology upon works and necessitating God's respect of man generated virtue (choice) rather than the virtue and virtues of Christ as imputed to us by God's blessing even to the point of denying that Jesus is the only way. They simply cannot concieve of a God who has chosen a particular revelation in a particular people as Romans nine speaks to. What they fail to understand is the sufficiency of grace in God's elect, for they must account man's efforts not as gifts already accomplished and given in the One, Jesus the Messiah. They almost get it, but darn, if something is not in their control it cannot be true and they will have nothing to do with it. At that point where they require control, is that point at which they declare themselves morally neutral able to save themselves by choice. But moral neutrality does neither good nor evil. Romans one delcares that men are already under wrath and suppress the truth in unrighteousness and Paul never relinquishes the logic of his epistle beginning to end even recognizing that we are all guilty before God from the beginning of it.

In my weird little illogical world, I see the moral neutrality approach that is required in free will virtue getting, no matter at what juncture it occurs, as Pelagian. I stand by what I say, too, even when others remain recalcitrant.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

In a synergistic scheme grace is not sufficient to meet the needs of the situation.

Oh yes it is, grace can only be insufficient if and only if it has a 0% effectiveness rate, since it does not by the synergistic view, then it stands as sufficient.

What is needed is for man to do his part. So while grace is necessary more is needed to meet the need of the situation.

Irrelevant. That does not affect its status as sufficient. Your basic error is equating 'sufficient' with 'the only thing required.' Sufficient does not, I repeat not mean that it is the only thing required, such equivocation defies even basic usage of the word. If a platoon of soldiers is told to hold off an opposing force of similar size for a certain amount of time, their supply of ammunition is sufficient for the task if it is equal to or greater than the necessary average amount used by the soldiers divided by the time they are to perform their task. By the definition you propose, if the platoon just sat there and let the enemy breach their lines of defense without firing a shot, it would be due to insufficient ammunition, because the ammunition itself didn't just up and repel the enemy without being fired. Such an unprecedented and silly definition cannot square with logic, reality, or the English language. In short, dependence upon other factors is a non-issue, to show that grace is insufficient in the synergist view you have to prove that it is effective exactly in exactly 0% of all cases, else your assertion is completely dashed to pieces by simple algebra and basic linguistics.


We are told that by the offence of one all men are condemned;

No one is arguing that Adam's sin didn't cause condemnation as an eventuality, in that all who sin because of Adam's sin are condemned. Not hard to understand.

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


When Adam sinned, he being your representative brought condemnation on you as well as him.

The context of scripture indicates no such thing, Adam's sin brought sin to the rest of the world by which the rest of the world was condemned (for their own sin, as cited in vs 12 above -- not Adam's). You are trying to make the root cause out to be the sole cause. We are condemned for our own sins, not Adam's; if you disagree then please cite exactly where scripture mentions us being guilty of his sin.


It was through one man’s disobedience that many were made sinners. It says were made sinners, not will become sinners when they willfully transgress God’s law.

Talk about your sophomoric question begging...you do realize of course that 'being made a sinner' is perfectly in line with the concept of inheriting sin nature and acting on it, right? Such reasoning as you present has already been defeated by the fact that scripture plainly states that it is by our actively sinning that we fall short of God's glory,

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)

Being made sinners by committing our own sin due to the nature passed down from Adam fits perfectly with the scriptures; the idea of us being innately guilty of Adam's sin conflicts directly with the fact that we fall short of God's glory by committing sin.


I did not say that “in Adam all are dead”, I said that in Adam all are *condemned*.

Then you are divorcing the scriptural term from its context, for spiritual death and condemnation are fully equated in Romans 5,

And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (Romans 5:16-18)

So if justification is equated with life, then condemnation can be nothing but death; your attempt to isolate one from the other is gross decontextualization. So the counter-question for you then is are there people who are condemned, yet not spiritually dead?

J.C. Thibodaux said...

ST,

Not much worth refuting, but here goes,

There is no way to make that one trespass the first of a series of trespasses by individuals for the text clearly states that the descendants trespasses were not of the type of Adam's first. Theirs do not bring condemnation. His did.

Where does it state that the difference between the transgressions was condemnation? Didn't think so....


What kind of act of faith is it that procedes from an unregenerated heart, however? Can the defiled nature produce righteousness?

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27)

One word: Grace.


Your postition is that the person is not dead, yet this very passage in Romans declares him so. You believe that a person is only "mostly dead".

And the false accusations just continue. You really need to rope in that tongue.


In my weird little illogical world, I see the moral neutrality approach that is required in free will virtue getting, no matter at what juncture it occurs, as Pelagian.

Then you are ignorant as to what 'Pelagian' means.

Mitch said...

J.C.

No one is arguing that Adam’s sin didn’t cause condemnation as an eventuality

Here in lies our difference brother, you import a different meaning by using the word *eventuality*. Throughout this section Paul tells us that the *the sin* brought condemnation on all people. Read these verses again and you will see 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous


A T Robertson sums up verse 12 saying Constative aorist active indicative of hamartano, gathering up in this one tense the history of the race Coupe that with the Wesley quotes already provided and you see that Adam was our Federal Head, he represented ALL OF US and brought condemnation through *the sin*. We are condemned because of the sin by Adam. Death came not by sins, Paul is telling us here that death came by *the sin*. We once being wicked were estranged from the womb and went astray as soon as we were born. We sin because we are born sinners; you seem to think that we are sinners because we sin. These verses prove that you are wrong on your thinking on this. You seem to be against imputed sin, how do you feel about imputed righteousness?

Again, you said you agree that we are either in Adam or in Christ, if that be true then your view is that people are saved in Christ (thank the Lord for His mercy and grace that would save sinners like us), but your view also would be that some are saved in Adam… do you not see the error in that belief???

As for “sufficient”- sufficient means that grace is enough to meet the needs of the situation. Since we are dealing with salvation here it would mean that grace is enough to meet the need of salvation. In the synergistic schemes grace is not sufficient in and of itself to meet the need of salvation. So just like above, we are either in Adam (condemned) or we are in Christ (made righteous). Grace is either enough to meet the need of salvation or grace is not enough to meet the need for salvation. You want to add more to it by saying that sufficient does not exclude other factors being involved, yet it does. It either is sufficient by itself to meet the need or it needs other factors to meet the need and in all synergistic schemes grace needs other factors to meet the need of salvation.

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,


Here in lies our difference brother, you import a different meaning by using the word *eventuality*.

Not really, it's rather apparent from the context.


Throughout this section Paul tells us that the *the sin* brought condemnation on all people.

Of course, because it caused sin to be passed on to others which led to them sinning as well. But just to humor you, I'll show how such a view holds throughout the passage.

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Many are dead through Adam's sin, that is what passed sin on to us, which caused us to die spiritually.


16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

Certainly the offense of Adam resulted in the condemnation of his descendents (because they sinned), so Christ's death brings justification to those who believe.


17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Notice the term used here, death reigns by Adam's offense, so it is spiritual death that his sin brings upon us, albeit by means of our own sins, as I'll touch on briefly.


18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

And again, through one man's sin, judgment came upon the rest of us because it caused all of us to have a sinful nature as well.


19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous

Same thought as above, his disobedience made for a disobedient nature in us, and hence we are all sinners because of it.

The key is the underlying reason that Adam's sin makes us sinners and that death reigns because of it, which Paul states a few verses prior, starting with verse 12:

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

The spiritual death (a necessary corollary to his condemnation) that Adam incurred passes to his descendents because they commit sin, which sets the context for the rest of the passage that you quote.

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Also note that imputation of sin (which incurs spiritual death) is through the law.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Even for people who do not commit the same sin as Adam, death reigns because of Adam's sin nature passed to them. Of further note is the fact that sin kills us spiritually, if it were automatically imputed from Adam to all of his descendents, then we would never have been alive for sin to kill us through the law.


A T Robertson sums up verse 12 saying Constative aorist active indicative of hamartano, gathering up in this one tense the history of the race Coupe that with the Wesley quotes already provided and you see that Adam was our Federal Head, he represented ALL OF US and brought condemnation through *the sin*.

Not so, since the voice of hamartano again in verse 12 is active, not passive, then it is clear that the sins by which we die spiritually are committed by us, not thrust upon us. Hence, my view agrees with and supports the entirety of Romans 5.


We are condemned because of the sin by Adam.

Yes, I agree that is the result of it.


Death came not by sins, Paul is telling us here that death came by *the sin*.

Of course, Adam needed to commit only that sin to pass it on to us. And all sins by nature condemn and bring death, not just one.

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (Romans 7:5)

or how about,

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

We are not in Adam's sin, but our own sins if our faith is vain. Adam's sin brought those about, as Romans 5 indicates, but each man dies for his own sin. The scriptures are very clear that people are not 'dead in a single sin' (as if by Adam alone), but 'dead in sins,' numerous wrongs committed individually.


We once being wicked were estranged from the womb and went astray as soon as we were born. We sin because we are born sinners;

No, we sin because we are born depraved.


you seem to think that we are sinners because we sin.

Yeah, can't imagine why I'd think that. ;)


These verses prove that you are wrong on your thinking on this.

At what point? Thus far I agree with them fully.


You seem to be against imputed sin, how do you feel about imputed righteousness?

The latter does not follow from the former.


Again, you said you agree that we are either in Adam or in Christ, if that be true then your view is that people are saved in Christ (thank the Lord for His mercy and grace that would save sinners like us), but your view also would be that some are saved in Adam… do you not see the error in that belief???

Where do you get that idea? What exactly would they be saved from?


As for “sufficient”- sufficient means that grace is enough to meet the needs of the situation. Since we are dealing with salvation here it would mean that grace is enough to meet the need of salvation. In the synergistic schemes grace is not sufficient in and of itself to meet the need of salvation.

And here's where your error lies, you redefine 'sufficient' as 'sufficient in and of itself,' as if to make it irresistible or not requiring any cooperation from those to whom it is imparted. In other words, Arminianism/Synergism denies what you WISH sufficiency meant, not what it actually means, for grace is sufficient to save those who receive it, and so by definition is sufficient to save, since the task is performed.


Grace is either enough to meet the need of salvation or grace is not enough to meet the need for salvation. You want to add more to it by saying that sufficient does not exclude other factors being involved, yet it does.

Really? Exactly what about the word 'sufficient' (etymology, usage, etc) excludes other factors of differing scope (besides arbitrary, monergist redefinition)?


It either is sufficient by itself to meet the need or it needs other factors to meet the need and in all synergistic schemes grace needs other factors to meet the need of salvation.

The ridiculous redefinition you postulate cannot stand up to any sort of real-world testing or application: since I had sufficient gas to get to work this morning (if I hadn't, it's evident that I could not have made the drive); but by the logic you propose, since the gas was sufficient to get me here, then the car must be an unnecessary agent in the whole affair. Hence I've twice demonstrated that your unbacked assertion as to what the term means simply cannot and does not work. It's rather basic vocabulary, I'm seriously surprised that you refuse to grasp it.

Mitch said...

J.C.

What exactly would they be saved from?

Even with all you have written so far I still do not know if you believe in another state, are we in Adam – are we in Christ- are we in X? Tell me, are ones that have not committed willful sin considered to be in Adam, in Christ or in X? it should be simple to answer, after all there are only three choices to choose from.

Getting to the heart of our disagreement, the case that Paul makes here is that the sin of Adam was the judicial basis for condemnation of all he represented. All in Adam were constituted sinners in the legal sense, just like we in Christ are constituted legally righteous by the righteousness of Christ; just as the death of Christ was legally and effectively our death, the sin of Adam was legally and effectively our sin. Adam was our representative head, just as Christ is our representative head, so as the one sin of Adam was the reason for our condemnation so is the righteousness of Christ our reason for justification.

The whole point of these verses is that Paul is making a comparison between the righteousness of Christ which is our reason for justification and the sin of Adam for our condemnation. Your view completely destroys that comparison and makes it null and void. It is also telling that you go against most theologians from all camps that agree that this is speaking to imputed sin and imputed righteousness. I’m not familiar with your training in Greek, but I’m familiar with Robertson’s and will tend to side with his understanding of this.

You may also want to look at Psalm 58:3 in dealing with our wickedness.

Sufficient in logic would be defined- such that its existence leads to the occurrence of a given event or the existence of a given thing. Now in all synergistic schemes grace would not be sufficient (the existence of grace does not lead to the occurrence of being saved, but more is required). What you have in Arminianism is the belief that grace is necessary for salvation, but that it’s not in itself sufficient for salvation. This should not be that hard to grasp, but seeing your complete disregard for the inspired text in Romans I guess I should not be surprised.

Grace & Peace

Mitch said...

Here is an excellent summary of the pertinent verse

By one man sin entered into the world, or men were brought to stand as sinners before God; death consequently came to everyone because, on account of the offense of that one man, they were all regarded and treated as sinners. That this is really the case is plain, because the execution of the penalty of a law cannot be more extensive than its violation, and consequently, if all are subject to penal evils, all are regarded as sinners in the sight of God. This universality in the infliction of penal evil cannot be accounted for on the basis of the violation of the law of Moses, since men were subject to such evil before the law was given. Nor can it be accounted for because of the violation of the more general law written on the heart, since even those who have never personally sinned at all are subject to this evil. We must conclude, therefore, that men are regarded and treated as sinners on account of the sins of Adam.
He is, therefore, a type of Christ. The cases, however, are not entirely analogous. For if it is consistent with the divine character that we should suffer for what Adam did, how much more may we expect to be made happy for what Christ has done! Besides, we are condemned for one sin only, on Adam’s account; whereas Christ saves us not only from the evils consequent on that transgression, but also from the punishment of our own innumerable offenses. Now, if for the offense on one, death thus triumphs over all, how much more will they who receive the grace of the Gospel not only be saved from evil but reign in life through Christ Jesus!
Therefore, as because of one man condemnatory sentence has been passed on all the descendants of Adam, so because of the righteousness of one man, free justification comes on all who receive the grace of Christ. For as we are regarded as sinners because of the disobedience of the one, so because of the obedience of the other we are regarded as righteous.
(Romans by Hodge, Alister McGrath & J.I. Packer Series Editors, 1993)

Sums it up rather nicely:)

Seeing as I must catch a plane I will make this my final comment. Thank you again for the gracious tone and for the stimulating back and forth.

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,


Tell me, are ones that have not committed willful sin considered to be in Adam, in Christ or in X? it should be simple to answer, after all there are only three choices to choose from.

You've not answered my counter yet, "are there people who are condemned, yet not spiritually dead?"


Getting to the heart of our disagreement, the case that Paul makes here is that the sin of Adam was the judicial basis for condemnation of all he represented.

Not stated in the text.


All in Adam were constituted sinners in the legal sense, just like we in Christ are constituted legally righteous by the righteousness of Christ; just as the death of Christ was legally and effectively our death, the sin of Adam was legally and effectively our sin.

Merely assumed, and ignoring the contextual basis of verse 12, that death passed to all because all sinned, not solely because one sinned.


The whole point of these verses is that Paul is making a comparison between the righteousness of Christ which is our reason for justification and the sin of Adam for our condemnation. Your view completely destroys that comparison and makes it null and void.

You have yet to demonstrate how this would be so, especially since I've shown that I do agree with the scriptural data that it is because of Adam's sin (i.e. because it is passed on to us) that we are condemned.


It is also telling that you go against most theologians from all camps that agree that this is speaking to imputed sin and imputed righteousness.

And other theologians disagree with them. Big deal.


I’m not familiar with your training in Greek, but I’m familiar with Robertson’s and will tend to side with his understanding of this.

He really didn't cite any evidence in the quote you provided that would necessitate his view, merely an opinion; but hey, scholars are allowed to have opinions too.


You may also want to look at Psalm 58:3 in dealing with our wickedness.

What does that have to do with imputation of one person's sin to another?


Sufficient in logic would be defined- such that its existence leads to the occurrence of a given event or the existence of a given thing. Now in all synergistic schemes grace would not be sufficient (the existence of grace does not lead to the occurrence of being saved, but more is required). What you have in Arminianism is the belief that grace is necessary for salvation, but that it’s not in itself sufficient for salvation.

Ah, but you are equivocating the secondary definition of the term employed in formal logic ('necessarily causes') for the primary used in the common vernacular ('able to perform,' e.g. 'My grace is sufficient [to suffice, to be enough] for you') as my examples have demonstrated; in that context the occurence is that a person be able to be saved (which grace does of necessity provide), not that they be irresistibly saved. So for establishing the sufficiency of grace,

('!' denotes 'not')

For factor x and task y, if y is completable if and only if x is sufficient to do so, and x being sufficient necessarily makes y completable, then,
y = completable <-> x = sufficient

the corollary being,

For factor x and task y,
y != completable <-> x != sufficient

Relating this to salvation, salvation can be achieved if and only the grace imparted by God is sufficient to do so (we all agree that grace is absolutely necessary for salvation, as opposed to the Pelagians, Twitchell), and likewise if the grace given by God is sufficient for salvation, then it logically demands that salvation be completable where grace is concerned, therefore the x, y relation holds for the sufficiency of grace and completability of salvation.

Basic premise: In the Synergist/Arminian view, people can be saved, therefore,

For y being salvation,
y = completable

so for grace being x, relating to y,

y = completable -> x = sufficient

people able to be saved by grace necessitates that grace is sufficient in the Arminian view


if this were not the case, and for the Arminian view,

x != sufficient, (as you claim)

then since,

x != sufficient -> y != completable

then to say that the sufficiency of x is denied is to necessarily say that the completability of y is also denied,

Only if no one can be saved in the Synergist view (y != completable) can it be shown that we believe grace is not sufficient (x != sufficient). In other words, you'd have to prove that we actually believe that no one can be saved to show that we deny the sufficiency of grace.

QED


This should not be that hard to grasp, but seeing your complete disregard for the inspired text in Romans I guess I should not be surprised.

Lol.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

In address to the statements from Packer & company,

By one man sin entered into the world, or men were brought to stand as sinners before God; death consequently came to everyone because, on account of the offense of that one man, they were all regarded and treated as sinners.

Negative, it says, 'for all sinned,' not, '[all were] treated as sinners,' as they imagine.


That this is really the case is plain, because the execution of the penalty of a law cannot be more extensive than its violation, and consequently, if all are subject to penal evils, all are regarded as sinners in the sight of God. This universality in the infliction of penal evil cannot be accounted for on the basis of the violation of the law of Moses, since men were subject to such evil before the law was given. Nor can it be accounted for because of the violation of the more general law written on the heart, since even those who have never personally sinned at all are subject to this evil. We must conclude, therefore, that men are regarded and treated as sinners on account of the sins of Adam.

Ignoring the fact that one can receive a temporal punishment based on the sin of an authority, yet not be personally guilty of committing the sin. Look at 2 Samuel 24,

And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. (vs 17)

But while the effects of a leader's sin may be felt by those below him (and are in fact, very often felt), nowhere in scripture do we see anything about people being imputed the personal guilt of those over them,

Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. (Psalm 106:37-38)

The children sacrificed weren't imputed the guilt of their parents or leaders for performing the sacrifice, else theirs would hardly have been 'innocent blood,' and we'd be stuck with the ridiculous conclusion that they had it coming because they were guilty! Indeed, nowhere in scripture is such a concept relayed. Rather, Romans 3 establishes exactly why the world is guilty before God:

9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one."
13"Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit."
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."
14"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
15"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16ruin and misery mark their ways,
17and the way of peace they do not know."
18"There is no fear of God before their eyes."

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.


Two observations,

1.) Being 'under sin' is described as actually performing practices which are sinful, not being accountable for a sin committed long ago

2.) The law (which speaks against such practices) is written so that the whole world is held accountable before God, which comes into serious conflict with the idea that we are already accountable for someone else's sin apart from the law.


H/A/M/P continue,

He is, therefore, a type of Christ. The cases, however, are not entirely analogous. For if it is consistent with the divine character that we should suffer for what Adam did, how much more may we expect to be made happy for what Christ has done! Besides, we are condemned for one sin only, on Adam’s account;

Patently false, men are dead in their own sins and trespasses, not a singular transgression by an anscestor.


whereas Christ saves us not only from the evils consequent on that transgression, but also from the punishment of our own innumerable offenses.

And why exactly would be be saved or need to be saved from the punishment of our own sins if only Adam's sin condemned us?


Now, if for the offense on one, death thus triumphs over all, how much more will they who receive the grace of the Gospel not only be saved from evil but reign in life through Christ Jesus! Therefore, as because of one man condemnatory sentence has been passed on all the descendants of Adam, so because of the righteousness of one man, free justification comes on all who receive the grace of Christ. For as we are regarded as sinners because of the disobedience of the one, so because of the obedience of the other we are regarded as righteous.

But since the two are not entirely analogous (as they've already conceded), then it doesn't follow that righteousness being imputed apart from works means that sin must be imputed in like manner -else it would imply "It's not by works of wickedness which we have done, but according to His wanting to gig us for someone else's actions He condemned us."

But the Bible says nothing of the sort, instead it tells us,

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.... (Colossians 1:21)

Alientation comes through men's wicked works, not a singular work.

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (Romans 7:5)

Spiritual death is not by imputation of Adam's sin, but rather by its effects on the nature, it produces sin which is what bears fruit unto death.


In conclusion, the scant implications of inherited guilt they attempt to glean fall far shy of countering the clear and unmistakable scriptural evidence that men are guilty of and spiritually ruined by their own sins, not Adam's. For it is not written,

For Adam sinned, and all fall short of the glory of God

but rather,

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.... (Romans 3:23)

Machine Gun Kelley said...

Let is now permit Arminius himself to weigh in on this matter:

Works of Arminius

DISPUTATION 7
ON THE FIRST SIN OF THE FIRST MAN

XVI. The whole of this sin, however, is not peculiar to our first parents, but is common to the entire race and to all their posterity, who, at the time when this sin was committed, were in their loins, and who have since descended from them by the natural mode of propagation, according to the primitive benediction. For in Adam "all have sinned. (Rom. v, 12.)

Wherefore, whatever punishment was brought down upon our first parents, has likewise pervaded and yet pursues all their posterity. So that all men "are by nature the children of wrath," (Ephes. ii, 3,) obnoxious to condemnation, and to temporal as well as to eternal death; they are also devoid of that original righteousness and holiness. (Rom. v, 12, 18, 19.)

With these evils they would remain oppressed forever, unless they were liberated by Christ Jesus; to whom be glory forever.

http://www.godrules.net/library/arminius/arminius25.htm

Mitch said...

J.C.

I said the last comment was my last, but I feel compelled to address some things after reading your reply.

Pelagius believed that these words meant that all have sinned in themselves, that death has passed on all men because all have actually sinned. This seems to be your view, if I’m reading you correctly. Yet I think a straight and fair reading of the text will quickly dispel such thinking. When we read that all men die because all sinned we see that it is in the aorist tense. This brings us to Robertson who makes it clear that this is a simple historical tense; it expresses momentary action in the past. This is not saying that all men “do sin” or “have sinned” or “are accustomed to sin”, rather it says that ALL sinned in Adam (Federal Head that he was/is), of course Robertson is not alone in this and a host of Greek scholars can be summoned to testify to this same truth. It is clear from the text that Paul is stating that it was Adam’s sin that was/is the cause for death, since all sinned when Adam sinned. This seems to be your main stumbling block. Yet this is something that most of Christendom has acknowledged, even ones that do not hold to Reformed beliefs interpret the verses in this matter, some distinguished theologians have already been pointed out on this thread, of course more could be supplied. I doubt that would do anything though, you seem to shrug of acknowledged experts and think that your view is correct even if all are against it.

What your reading says is that all men die because they personally sin, yet throughout these verses Paul makes the exact opposite case, he is distinguishing between Adam and Christ, not between Adam and mankind. If your reading were true then he would also be saying that all men live because of their own personal righteousness. Another consequence of your understanding is that you make the Apostle Paul a liar. How so you may ask? Easy he says that all die because of sin, yet not all have committed personal sin and yet they still suffer the penalty for Adam’s transgression.

Let’s look at how Paul interprets verse 12, we know that he took a detour and resumes his thought in verse 18 – 19. It should be readily apparent that in these verses Paul is teaching that judgment came on all because of the offense of one man. Again your view completely destroys the argument that Paul is making when he compares our standing in Adam to our standing in Christ. Its rather telling that you can not answer if one is in Adam or one is in Christ, I’m starting to think that it doesn’t matter in your thinking if one is in Adam or in Christ. As the Apostle Paul makes his case for why one can be counted as righteous by the act of another by stating that one is counted condemned by the act of another you would say that even he is wrong and that you will not have any part of it. If you will not listen to the inspired author of this letter then I know that I cannot convince you of it either. I pray that the Spirit will guide you in this as you study it more.

Some loose ends, the curse of Canaan fell on his posterity; the Egyptians perished for the sins of Pharaoh; the Moabites & Amalekites were destroyed for the transgressions of their fathers; the leprosy of Naaman was to cling to Gehazi and his descendants forever; the blood of all the prophets was exacted, says our Lord, on the men of his generation. God solemnly declares himself to be a God who “punishes the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation” (Romans Hodge, McGrath & Packer 1993)

When looking at Romans 3:23 we again see it in the aorist tense indicating a simple past action, so the sinning of each man is presented as an historical fact. It could be read as “All have sinned (and are sinners),” or simply “all sinned”. Again, by your reading we must conclude that Paul is either wrong or a liar for not all have sinned. This only strengthens the case for imputed sin that Paul makes in chapter 5. And just like above a host of Greek scholars and theologians from all sides can be called to witness to this truth, but just as above it would be futile to do so for you would just shrug it off as no big deal. For you to see this truth the Spirit will have too illumine your mind and convict you of His teaching.

My grace is sufficient for you… true. Notice that nothing else is needed, God’s grace is sufficient for Paul to endure his thorn in the flesh. Yet in synergism something else is needed. Lol

Not wanting to become a thorn for the operators of this site I will bow out of this discussion (for real this time:). While we may not agree on this I do pray that our Lord keep and bless you in your everyday walk with Him.

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

I'd like to see what rule in Greek grammar necessitates the aorist tense applied to 'sin' meaning that we have all sinned merely by being related to Adam. Again, this may be the opinion of many scholars, but the solid evidence to clinch such an assertion thus far has proven lacking.


What your reading says is that all men die because they personally sin, yet throughout these verses Paul makes the exact opposite case, he is distinguishing between Adam and Christ, not between Adam and mankind.

Which comes into no conflict with the fact that Adam's sin causes all people to sin - it states absolutely nothing about imputed guilt.


If your reading were true then he would also be saying that all men live because of their own personal righteousness.

I haven't the foggiest what you are talking about.


Let’s look at how Paul interprets verse 12, we know that he took a detour and resumes his thought in verse 18 – 19. It should be readily apparent that in these verses Paul is teaching that judgment came on all because of the offense of one man.

Sure, because his sin cause a sinful nature to be upon his descendants; I believe I've already clarified that point more than once.


Again your view completely destroys the argument that Paul is making when he compares our standing in Adam to our standing in Christ.

If it's so obvious, then why don't you cite specifically where I'm being inconsistent with his argument? In Adam, all die; in Christ, all are made alive.


Its rather telling that you can not answer if one is in Adam or one is in Christ, I’m starting to think that it doesn’t matter in your thinking if one is in Adam or in Christ.

You are mistaken, I have a view on the subject, but you have repeatedly neglected to answer my question, hence yours is ignored. Sorry, this is not Dordt (statement subject to your correction, Rhett), you will be at a severe disadvantage if you won't play fair.

Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. (Matthew 21:27)


As the Apostle Paul makes his case for why one can be counted as righteous by the act of another by stating that one is counted condemned by the act of another you would say that even he is wrong and that you will not have any part of it.

But he never states the latter point at all, which my exegesis of the passage demonstrates. If he unequivocally states as much, then just cite it already.


Some loose ends, the curse of Canaan fell on his posterity; the Egyptians perished for the sins of Pharaoh....

I guess you didn't read when I stated,

But while the effects of a leader's sin may be felt by those below him (and are in fact, very often felt), nowhere in scripture do we see anything about people being imputed the personal guilt of those over them....

Oh well....


When looking at Romans 3:23 we again see it in the aorist tense indicating a simple past action, so the sinning of each man is presented as an historical fact. It could be read as “All have sinned (and are sinners),” or simply “all sinned”. Again, by your reading we must conclude that Paul is either wrong or a liar for not all have sinned.

And again you are discounting the contextual limitations on the word 'all.' The meaning is that all people commit sin, and thus merit condemnation, the very voice of the word implies as much.


I doubt that would do anything though, you seem to shrug of acknowledged experts and think that your view is correct even if all are against it.

I've never been one to subscribe to argumentum ad populum. But the weakness to their case is fairly evident. You state,

When we read that all men die because all sinned we see that it is in the aorist tense.

Which reflects the view largely held by the 'condemned by Adam's sin' crowd. So then you attribute spiritual death to the fact that we all sinned, but contend that we have all sinned by being accounted guilty because of Adam from birth. It's evident that such thinking is fallacy, simply because of Paul's words in Romans 7:

9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. (Romans 7:9-11)

Paul does not state that he merely thought he was alive or some such nonsense, but that he was alive apart from the law, and that sin through the law is what killed him -not merely his relation to Adam. As I'd stated before, it would be hard indeed for sin to slay what was not alive. So let the "experts" who want to yell 'spiritually dead from the womb' (or while still in the womb, pick your poison) shout it to the heavens, the inspired writings of Paul unmistakably say otherwise. I'll stick with what the scriptures say, thank you.


My grace is sufficient for you… true. Notice that nothing else is needed....

Merely a presupposition read into the text, strangely still rooted in the error in terminology I just pointed out.

Machine Gun Kelley said...

(This is not Dordt..)

Now for an editorial:

I have a hunch that not too many people have their minds changed one way or the other through combox exchanges, so for those who are interested in looking at this subject in more detail the following resources may be helpful:

Counted Righteous in Christ, by John Piper especially pg 90 to around pg 103.

Pierced for Our Transgressions by Jeffery, Ovey, and Sach. especially p 241-249

I've read that the following book is good also, but I don't own it:

The Imputation of Adam's Sin by John Murray

JCT is welcome to post any available rescources that support his view -other than the works of Pelagius that is. ;) LOL!

Machine Gun Kelley said...

The Imputation of Adam's Sin by John Murray

Update: I now own a copy, but it has not arrived yet! :)

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Interestingly enough, Pelagius would likely have hated my view more than Calvin: he taught that Adam's sin had no effect on the human nature of his descendants. Cassian would have had similar feelings, in that he thought the taint was not so great as to require God's grace to seek Him (partial depravity). So the view of total depravity combined with personal responsibility is apparently unpalatable to both the Pelagian/Humanist and Classical Reformed/Roman Catholic camps.