Friday, August 22, 2008

Pelagius' Island

RC Sproul give us a good account of the refuge of the lost; the prison island of autonomous free will.



John Hendryx defines for us the difference between Classical Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism. As has been discussed here before and as R.C. and John make clear, on that little island, no matter how small, the "resetting" of man to neutral, is nonetheless, Pelagianism. Whether it is a neutral beginning, or grace which enables some residual neutrality, or some gift given to reset the neutrality; whether Pelegian, semi-pelagian or semi-semi-pelagian, it results in a return to that little isla de muerta of self-righteousness where the individual is the resolving sacrifical high preist of his own salvation -his own justification and sanctification- and not Jesus Christ, the true God and Savior.

Welcome to the world of the real.

46 comments:

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Once again you display your raving ignorance of Christian doctrine, Twitchell. You demonstrate quite succinctly what I pointed out before: you have no clue as to what the word 'Pelagian' even means; you toss the term around heedlessly, using it as a tar-brush to spuriously incriminate Christians who dare to disagree with you.

Pelagianism and Semipelagianism were not condemned for being synergistic, they were condemned as heresy because they denied the necessity of grace (The Canons of the Council of Orange, Canon 5); the very same canons affirmed that men are saved by aid from and cooperation with Christ.

Synergism as employed in Classical Arminianism and similar beliefs in no way makes one "his own justification and sanctification," or "the resolving sacrifical [sic] high preist [sic] of his own salvation," despite your laughable pretensions. If we were our own High Priest, righteousness, or justification, then it would follow that we would not need Christ to be so. A sinner, by the grace of God, can turn to Christ -- but the essence of righteousness is not in the act of turning (dispelling the "island of righteousness" myth published by some Calvinists), but in Who is turned to. Thus our receiving Christ is nothing apart from the reality of what His death, resurrection, and intercession accomplishes, which firmly establishes the need for Him as both Mediator and High Priest. Were it otherwise, as you claim, then the logical corollary would be that we believe we have to die to atone for our own sins, which is plainly false, and shows the fraudulent nature of your inane accusations.

Mitch said...

The Calvinist say that we are saved by grace, the Arminian side says we are saved by grace *IF*. Oh that wretched two letter word, they give themselves every reason to boast over another. They can say that they cannot boast till they are blue in the face, but by adding that two letter word in front of grace they cheapen the work done by Christ and make empty the true meaning of grace.

May God open their eyes to their monstrous error.

Praise be to God!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Oh that wretched two letter word, they give themselves every reason to boast over another.

Jesus said to him, "*If* you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." (Matthew 19:21)

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "*If* anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." (John 7:37)

Yep, that horrible 'if' sure makes one's theology boastful and man-centered, doesn't it? 8-|

Or haven't you read?

"Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" (Luke 17:9-10)

If simply doing what God commands is not a thing commendable or meritorious in His sight, then how can anyone with even a modicum of understanding say there is room to boast in it?

Mitch said...

It is nice to know that you believe that man can do all that is commanded by God to do. No wonder grace means so little and you have no problem emptying it of all its meaning. You would have all believe that with man all things are possible, when it is written that … With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. {Matthew 19:26}

May we continually look upon Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Praise be to God!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

I didn't say men could obey God of their own power. Rather, since it is by grace that we can obey the gospel, then the synergist view fits perfectly with the concept that, 'With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible,' since grace is of God.

This fact coupled with what I cited above destroys both your bogus charges against me as well as your "reason to boast" charade. You should be more careful what you accuse people of.

Mitch said...

You say you cannot boast to God, but what about towards your fellow sinner? After all, YOU were somehow wiser, more humble, more anything… YOU are the difference in salvation. Even the faith and repentance you have comes from some innate power from within YOU, in the end YOU made the choice that your fellow sinner did not. YOU improved upon the grace and made the key difference in salvation.

Not only is it a wretched two letter word, but it is also a wretched theology that supplants Christ and makes man the key to salvation.

I do enjoy reading Scripture verses, even when taken out of context to try and uphold a wretched view, and thank you for taking the time to type them in.

Praise be to God!

Mitch said...

accuse people of and didn't say men could obey God of their own power

I merely point out that you hold to a wretched view of grace that cheapens it and makes it null and void.

Yes I know, in your theology grace cannot save unless man improves upon what Christ has done. Oh what a wretched doctrine.

Praise be to God!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

You say you cannot boast to God, but what about towards your fellow sinner?

One could equally boast to a sinner that he was elected by God from eternity past, such a boast in either case is unsubstantiated and dumb. Next superficial objection please.


After all, YOU were somehow wiser, more humble, more anything… YOU are the difference in salvation. Even the faith and repentance you have comes from some innate power from within YOU,

Again you speak falsely, as repentance and faith are only by grace. It's true that men must receive the gospel by this grace, but this doesn't make salvation by us any more than the children of Israel were their own salvation by marching around Jericho.

in the end YOU made the choice that your fellow sinner did not.

Which is what is commanded, not meritorious as has already been pointed out.

YOU improved upon the grace...

??

...and made the key difference in salvation.

'The' key difference? Such an assertion is silly considering the fact that salvation is impossible apart from Christ. Our abiding in Him being necessary in no way detracts from that fact:

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)


Not only is it a wretched two letter word, but it is also a wretched theology...

Even though Christ used it with reference to salvation? Sad.

...that supplants Christ and makes man the key to salvation.

And how would that be if the object of our faith is Christ?


I merely point out that you hold to a wretched view of grace that cheapens it and makes it null and void.

Again, you only make hollow and biblically unfounded accusations. Your naive assumption that my view 'makes grace null and void' does not change the fact that the accusations you level against me of believing 'with men all things are possible' and 'you have reason to boast' are plainly false, and if you hold to them despite the clear evidence to the contrary, dishonest.

Lastly, man does not 'improve' on what Christ has done (what, do we need to travel back in time and help Him suffer on the cross?), but receives it.

Mitch said...

How do you differ from the sinner that does not receive the Gospel?

When you answer that truthfully, you will see that you do indeed cling to a wretched doctrine that empties grace of all meaning.

Or as the Apostle Paul wites

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou dist receive? now if thou didst receive it, why does thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? I Corinthians 4:7

Again, if the Spirit guides you as you read this verse you will see just how wretched your doctrine is.

Praise be to God!

Mitch said...

I apologize for my carelessness in writing Scripture down. It should read

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

I apologize for any inconvenience that my error may have caused to any reader.

Praise be to God for giving us His Word faithfully and without error.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

How do you differ from the sinner that does not receive the Gospel?

After I received the gospel, I was washed from my sins, that is how He who has caused us to differ has caused us to differ. 1 Corinthians 4:7 speaks of us receiving from God: the key is that the word for 'receive' (elabes) is the the active, indicative form of lambano -- not passive. What we have in Christ was not "irresistibly thrust upon us," but actively received through grace. The point Paul is then pressing is not that that we had no part in receiving the goodness of God (which idea contradicts his very wording), but that what we did receive came from God, for the glory is not to him that receives provision, but to Him that gives it. And since we are not sufficient of ourselves, you guessed it, there is no adequate reason for anyone to boast.

Mitch said...

You wrote

After I received the gospel, I was washed from my sins, that is how He who has caused us to differ has caused us to differ.

Thanks for not answering the question, why did you *receive* the Gospel and not another? You are quick to jump to After I received, but reluctant to answer how you received it. Again, if you answer that question truthfully you will see just how wretched your doctrine truly is. You do not want to look into your heart for the answer and I don’t blame you. The point that Paul makes is all they have (hint- including their faith and repentance) came from God. In the end you would be compelled to say that why/how one receives the Gospel is some innate quality in the sinner themselves. So the reason you differ from another is… YOU.

What your wretched view does is make grace dependent on some innate quality that natural man possesses. So you give yourself reason to boast in that you have this innate quality and in that you were able to use this innate quality that you added to grace to come to salvation. Your whole wretched theology can be summed up into one three letter word

YOU


Lord uphold us with Your free Spirit!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

Thanks for not answering the question,

But I did answer your question, you asked, "How do you differ from the sinner that does not receive the Gospel?", which I plainly answered in relation to the context of the passage in question. If you wanted to ask, "why did you *receive* the Gospel and not another?" you should have just said so.


You are quick to jump to After I received, but reluctant to answer how you received it.

Again you jump to nonsensical conclusions, I answered the question very clearly in a debate with a certain net theologian.

The short answer is that while the sinner's will is in bondage to his sin, with God's grace, he may freely receive or reject Christ. When the theologian I debated with pressed as to why one by grace receives yet another with the same grace imparted does not, I responded,

If one Christian falls into sin and another does not, despite the fact that God provides them both a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), then what makes the difference? It is a matter of the will that has been freed by the grace of God through Christ. The power of sin's bondage being lifted, man is then freed to follow the grace of God in Christ; but freedom also implies the power to go contrary as well.

To which I've never heard or read a substantial answer to from anyone who denies all contrary choice.


The point that Paul makes is all they have (hint- including their faith and repentance) came from God.

Through the grace of God yes, but to say that men have no part in actually receiving what is given goes directly against the wording Paul uses ('receive' in this context being active --equivalent to 'laid hold upon'), as I've already pointed out.


In the end you would be compelled to say that why/how one receives the Gospel is some innate quality in the sinner themselves.

Your claim is easily proven absurd: If receipt of the gospel is due to some 'innate quality in the sinner,' then nothing external the sinner (such as prevenient grace) would be necessary.


What your wretched view does is make grace dependent on some innate quality that natural man possesses.

So you give yourself reason to boast in that you have this innate quality and in that you were able to use this innate quality that you added to grace to come to salvation. Your whole wretched theology can be summed up into one three letter word

YOU


You excel at painting subjectively distorted pictures, but art class is over. The entire premise to your infantile smear is backwards: I do not believe that we have an 'innate quality' that we 'add to grace,' but rather it is only through grace that one can receive Christ at all. In other words, a contrary choice to, "choose you this day whom ye will serve" is contingent upon prevenient grace. Salvation, yes, is dependent upon us thus receiving Christ through grace.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.... (John 1:12)

The fact that men can choose to reject Him changes nothing concerning salvation being by grace.

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (Luke 7:30)

"You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. (Acts 7:51)

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34)

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.... (Hebrews 2:1-3)

(There's that 'wretched if' again)


By the clear testimony of scripture then, it's fairly easy to see that one cannot follow Christ apart from the grace of God, but that it is also possible for men to refuse Him and spite the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:29), which no amount of arbitrary insistence about how 'wretched' you think it sounds is going to change.


You do not want to look into your heart for the answer and I don’t blame you.

Thanks for the psychic reading about the inner workings of my heart Miss Cleo, but in the face of solid evidence I must again conclude that it's baloney.

Mitch said...

You can claim that you believe salvation is done wholly by grace, but your argument proves the opposite.
What you believe in is OPPORTUNITY, what grace does is give man the opportunity for salvation. *IF*, there is that wretched word again, he uses his innate quality.

As for the I Corinthians 10:13 verse, perhaps you could clarify this a little more for me. Are you applying this verse to non-Christians?

You - Your claim is easily proven absurd: If receipt of the gospel is due to some 'innate quality in the sinner,' then nothing external the sinner (such as prevenient grace) would be necessary.

This is where your side claims to move away from outright Pelagianism. You say that grace is mandatory and/or necessary, the Pelagian says no it’s not. Yet you both put salvation in man’s hands. So the reason that you believe over another sinner lays inside of YOU.

Your wretched view has all equally enabled to believe, so if one believes and another does not then the difference between the two comes from something inside of them. Somehow you were able to muster up enough obedience to fulfill the *IF* factor that you impose on grace.

I point you to the Council of Orange Cannon 6 since you have used them,

If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or
the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of
grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).


I thank God though that you seem to be truly convinced that you did not differ one bit from the un-repentant sinner and give all glory and honor to God. I will pray that the Spirit guide you and reveal to you this wretched view that you are holding to at this time.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

You can claim that you believe salvation is done wholly by grace, but your argument proves the opposite.

What is done through grace is by grace, hence a choice that can only be made through grace is by grace. Not that difficult to grasp.


What you believe in is OPPORTUNITY, what grace does is give man the opportunity for salvation.

That's pretty much why it's offered to all men. The kingdom of heaven is indeed a wondrous and gracious opportunity offered to all men, an opportunity that leads to salvation for all who receive Christ, an opportunity one would be foolish to pass up, this is why it's compared to the pearl of great price (Matthew 13).


Your wretched view has all equally enabled to believe,

For starters, I never stated as much. Secondly, why you find it so 'wretched' that God would give opportunity to so many is beyond me.


Somehow you were able to muster up enough obedience to fulfill the *IF* factor that you impose on grace.

'Somehow??' The means by which we believe is in fact grace, for their is no possibility to be saved apart from grace. You plainly continue to miss the point.


I point you to the Council of Orange Cannon 6 since you have used them,

If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or
the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of
grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).


As I commented on that canon once,

Again, true. We have nothing in us apart from what God has given us. Synergistic doctrine makes no claim that man has some innate good in him that enables him to receive God's forgiveness apart from His grace, but that man may resist or comply with the grace and power of God upon him.

The impartation of prevenient grace is, as they say, not dependent upon our humility/obedience/etc. I agree that the ability (not compulsion) to follow it is a 'gift of grace itself,' which is what I've been telling you for several posts now. Though the men who wrote these canons mistakenly held baptism to be the means of impartation of prevenient grace, they in some respects had the right idea, still affirming synergistic doctrine:

According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. (Canons of Orange, Conclusion)

Oh yes, and they also go on to condemn the idea that God foreordains anyone to evil.


This is where your side claims to move away from outright Pelagianism. You say that grace is mandatory and/or necessary, the Pelagian says no it’s not. Yet you both put salvation in man’s hands. So the reason that you believe over another sinner lays inside of YOU.

To say I, "put salvation in man’s hands" is only half true, for while God does not apply grace so that we have no choice but to follow, and does indeed allow us to judge ourselves unworthy of eternal life,

Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:46)

there is also no denying God's sovereignty and primacy, since salvation cardinally hinges upon grace that He chooses to impart.


I also feel compelled to point out your repeated error, you insisted,

It is nice to know that you believe that man can do all that is commanded by God to do...You would have all believe that with man all things are possible....

Even the faith and repentance you have comes from some innate power from within YOU....

When I plainly stated,

...repentance and faith are only by grace.

and,

Rather, since it is by grace that we can obey the gospel, then the synergist view fits perfectly with the concept that, 'With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible,' since grace is of God.

then later,

Your claim is easily proven absurd: If receipt of the gospel is due to some 'innate quality in the sinner,' then nothing external the sinner (such as prevenient grace) would be necessary.

I do not believe that we have an 'innate quality' that we 'add to grace,' but rather it is only through grace that one can receive Christ at all. In other words, a contrary choice to, "choose you this day whom ye will serve" is contingent upon prevenient grace.

Despite the clarity of my position, you still fall back on the same thoroughly debunked, slanderous tirade,

In the end you would be compelled to say that why/how one receives the Gospel is some innate quality in the sinner themselves.

What your wretched view does is make grace dependent on some innate quality that natural man possesses. So you give yourself reason to boast in that you have this innate quality and in that you were able to use this innate quality that you added to grace to come to salvation.

*IF*, there is that wretched word again, he uses his innate quality.

so if one believes and another does not then the difference between the two comes from something inside of them.

Are you simply not reading my responses? I've made it clear numerous times that the ability to receive Christ is not inherent within a man apart from grace, but is rather instilled by grace; yet you continue to blindly insist that I believe to the contrary. You either are not paying attention to my responses, or have simply resorted to dishonest ploys. Such does not speak well of your beliefs if you rely on portraying your opposition misleadingly.


As for the I Corinthians 10:13 verse, perhaps you could clarify this a little more for me. Are you applying this verse to non-Christians?

Let's look at it again with the part that answered your question before you even asked it bolded this time for clarity,

If one Christian falls into sin and another does not, despite the fact that God provides them both a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), then what makes the difference? It is a matter of the will that has been freed by the grace of God through Christ. The power of sin's bondage being lifted, man is then freed to follow the grace of God in Christ; but freedom also implies the power to go contrary as well.

The fact that we are not under compulsion to sin, that God makes a way of escape from every temptation for a believer, taken with the fact that believers sometimes do sin, necessarily establishes a contrary choice provided by God's grace. One could whine about "you say you chose right due to something inherent within you!", or, "that's reason to boast!", or, "it's God that causes you to differ by making you choose right!"; but the fact is that God gives both he who falls into sin and he who avoids it the grace to avoid the temptation: there is no 'I could not have chosen but to sin.' It is nothing meritorious, boastworthy, nor due to inherent qualities man's fallen nature by which we can obey God's word and overcome temptation; it is by grace -- yet one may choose to comply with or reject it. Likewise it is nothing worthy of us receiving glory, nor of our inherent abilities that we lay hold on eternal life; it is by grace, which we again may embrace or neglect.

Mitch said...

What is the reason that you accept and another rejects the gospel? Why do you turn to God, repent and believe and the next man doesn’t turn, repent or believe? How is it that you understand the gospel, but the other doesn’t? (These are pretty much the same questions, just stated differently- you have yet to give a coherent answer)

What makes you differ??? You would answer ME!ME!ME!.

You try to sugar coat your poison by saying “Without grace no one would be saved”, but poison is all it is for you just give lip service to grace. In the end the thing that makes you differ from another is YOU. When our Lord said

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

To which you would say, “I know whence the Spirit cometh and goeth, it cometh when I accept.” It is no longer grace, but a meritorious event. You have successfully turned the Gospel into a works salvation under your wretched view.

Since you apply 1 Corinthians 10:13 to believers it is not germane to this topic.

I am fully aware that you say that

the ability to receive Christ is not inherent within a man apart from grace

That is why I pointed out that you as an Arminian say that grace is necessary for salvation, but more is needed or as you would say when I pointed out that you put salvation in man’s hands is only half true. No matter what then salvation is not all of grace, but some sort of hybrid of grace and man. That is wretched doctrine and clearly un-biblical.

When we get to the rich young ruler you would have our Lord tell the disciples that *IF* only the young man worked with the grace that he was enabled with he would be saved.

Stating that repentance and faith are only by grace is not the same as saying that they are from God. When you write that the “impartation of prevenient grace is, as they say, not dependent upon our humility/obedience/etc.” you miss the central issue. Of course prevenient grace is not dependent on that (most Arminians would say that prevenient grace is universal and hence not dependent), instead the central issue is that you make SALVATION dependent upon humility/obedience/etc. This is you trying this slight of hand nonsense to point to a non-issue to take the focus of your wretched doctrine and belief.

You make salvation dependent on MAN. All this huffing and puffing and you still cannot escape that truth. Man is at the center of your wretched theology and that is why it is wrong.

Praise be to God!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

What is the reason that you accept and another rejects the gospel? Why do you turn to God, repent and believe and the next man doesn’t turn, repent or believe? How is it that you understand the gospel, but the other doesn’t? (These are pretty much the same questions, just stated differently- you have yet to give a coherent answer)

Why are you speaking falsely again Mitch? I've already answered you, you apparently have just not been reading.

The short answer is that while the sinner's will is in bondage to his sin, with God's grace, he may freely receive or reject Christ.

What we have in Christ was not "irresistibly thrust upon us," but actively received through grace.

Since grace can overcome even the hardness of an enslaved will, those to whom God imparts grace are free to receive Christ. The difference in that respect between one who comes to Christ and one who does not is that one through His grace hears and receives Him, the other, though given grace, chooses to reject His goodness.

If you still want to posit your objections, then I repeat my question: Why does one with grace to endure temptation overcome it and another falls? The fact is that while both had grace enough to give them ability, one chooses to the other does not. The human response then is a factor, but still contingent upon God's grace, hence perseverance and sanctification while having a human element of compliance with God's grace are still by grace, so it's not incongruous to say that conditional salvation is also by grace.

I might add that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is of utmost importance and relevance to the topic, since it establishes the nature of grace and the ability to respond to it once imparted, stands as a powerful testament against total determinism, clarifies what the term 'by grace' constitutes, proves that synergism is a God-honoring and God-centered concept, demonstrates that two men under the same grace can make differing decisions, and concisely destroys your false "me! me!/man-centered theology" charges; hence it hits at the very heart of the discussion.


That is why I pointed out that you as an Arminian say that grace is necessary for salvation, but more is needed or as you would say when I pointed out that you put salvation in man’s hands is only half true. No matter what then salvation is not all of grace, but some sort of hybrid of grace and man. That is wretched doctrine and clearly un-biblical.

Again you distort my views: receiving salvation is partially upon us, and can hence be rejected; the work of salvation itself is of God (i.e. we receive Christ through grace, Christ solely atones for us). Such a view is perfectly in line with scripture as I've repeatedly demonstrated from Luke 7 and 13, Acts 7, Luke 13, et al. For all your whining about how wretched 'if' and 'you' are, the writers of scripture and the Lord Himself apparently had different ideas, since they put much emphasis on our response to His grace by employing those very words in relation to salvation.

...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Why do you think it warns us, "how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him...."? The 'if' and 'you' are all over scripture (the various warning passages through scripture also confirm this idea), and won't go away for any amount of wishful thinking or complaining that such terms are 'wretched.'


Stating that repentance and faith are only by grace is not the same as saying that they are from God.

Yes it is, since grace is from God. Something being from God does not necessitate irresistibility.

When you write that the "impartation of prevenient grace is, as they say, not dependent upon our humility/obedience/etc." you miss the central issue.

I was addressing the Canons of Orange that you brought up, which I agree are not the central issue.

...instead the central issue is that you make SALVATION dependent upon humility/obedience/etc.

Which are by grace, and hence from God.


The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

To which you would say, "I know whence the Spirit cometh and goeth, it cometh when I accept."


What in the world are you going on about? And why are you conflating 'where' and 'when?'


Quite frankly Mitch, I'm appalled by the amount of malevolence and dishonest accusation you've displayed thus far. I've addressed the false allegations you made repeatedly above, of note here is when you state,

You make salvation dependent on MAN.

God has required that men respond to His grace for them to be saved. Hence the salvation of a sinner requires both God's grace and man's hearing and receiving of His word. Since man cannot believe apart from God's grace, then it is a misnomer to say that it is 'dependent upon man' while excluding its cardinal dependence upon God.

All this huffing and puffing and you still cannot escape that truth. Man is at the center of your wretched theology and that is why it is wrong.

This is quite obviously false. It's silly to argue that man is at the center of my theology when I plainly acknowledge that while man has a choice in salvation, it is the object of my faith, God, who specially grants him such a choice, and hence even receiving salvation is primarily contingent, and therefore centered, upon God.


It is no longer grace, but a meritorious event.

The scriptures have already established that obedience to the commands of God is nothing meritorious or praiseworthy (Luke 17:9-10, cited above). Why do you not believe them?


You have successfully turned the Gospel into a works salvation under your wretched view.

And how exactly is receiving Christ a 'work?' Explain/substantiate your heresy charges if you can.


You try to sugar coat your poison by saying "Without grace no one would be saved", but poison is all it is for you just give lip service to grace.

Ah yes, you now jump into trying to judge my motives, and accuse me of just giving 'lip service' to grace. Completely untrue, evidenced by the fact that I consider Pelagianism to be a very dangerous heresy for denying the necessity and primacy of grace in salvation. Tell me Mitch, are such unfounded charges and presumption to judge another Christian's motives really that integral in defending your brand of Calvinism?

Mitch said...

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9)

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7)

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

This says it all and I will leave it at that.

Praise be to God!

Mitch said...

Here is a good treatment of 1 Corinthians 10:13 for any interested readers

Strong Tower said...

After I received the gospel, I was washed from my sins So, the act of receiving the gospel is a sinful act? God will receive your sin as righteousness? Or, do you mean that you are making your plea to God from the island of death but he has preveniently suspended his justice and granted you neutrality?

elabes- from what I understand, and you're right I am utterly ignorant compared to your erudition, is actually in the second aorist and is simply a statement of fact. A related verb is eulabe, to hold firmly as devout. The key is not that there is active participation or even passive in the getting, but the fact that it is being held as received, either way. The act of receiving itself, that is the means of conveyance may be either passive (as in being birthed by another) or active (as the one being birthed), but that is not what is being indicated here. "I was born" can mean either of the above, and it can also indicate the existing state and the same can be the case in the Corinthian's passage. Simply it is that it is held. But, does it mean in this case that which is bestowed, and not that which is taken? It seems to go along as fitted with the entire message in Corinthians, namely that the foundation, which is our faith, is laid by Christ, not us. As Hebrews says, it is he, and not we, who is the beginning and perfecter of our faith. It does not originate in us and since it is he who perfects it, it cannot be said that we initiate nor have the fulfilling work to do. Paul's point is that they have received it, then boasting that they had not is not wise because that is to deny the faith, and his argument would make little sense if indeed they were active in it, that is, not having received it passively but having done some active work in obtaining it. That all have the same mind, Ch. 2, by the same operation of the Spirit, is the point at which we enter understanding. The context is believers and the comprehension of the Gospel as given, unless what Paul has previously said is untrue; unless what Christ said was untrue and the message was given to all if they would just work at understanding it for themselves. No, what Paul is saying is what Jesus said, the understanding came with the mind of Christ given by the Spirit in regeneration. As John also testifies that it is ony by the Spirit that testifies of Christ in us, its a testimony that cannot precede the receiving of it. If the Corinthians had anything, what they had was a gift that they had been given which had nothing to do with what they did for it was not of themselves or gained by any action of theirs nor theirs alone but belonged to other believers as well, and it was not that which can be found out, for it was not available to unbelievers or that would contradict Christ's own words and Paul's as well. It needs to be remembered that these boasters were claiming spiritual superiority by the works of their own hands (building upon the only truth, Christ), which Paul contrasts with the work of Christ as Paul being an instrument of it and not instrumental to it. Paul boasted only in Christ and did not assign to himself even the least act of receiving as himself doing the work.

If one Christian falls into sin and another does not, despite the fact that God provides them both a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), then what makes the difference? It only makes a difference if you presuppose that by application of spiritual prowess (the boasting of the earlier passage) you can do what Paul would say is not yours to will. And if of course you deny that Christ's body and blood in the next verses is the means of escape. And, if of course you believe that Christ is the same as idols who must be placated by some action on your part, the preceding verses. Of course you would say that it is grace with which the person cooperates to escape, but the grace of the law never saved anyone, 1 Cor 13: 13-22. If you make your obedience the sacrifice it is no different than the food offered to idols. And of course, this goes the real issue with you, because you at first believe that your flesh is able if aid is given to make a righteous choice, but that both denies Romans 7 and Galatian 5:17, which of course you are going to say has nothing to do with your will, when in fact that is exactly the subject. God in fact prevents us from your kind of pride through the use of our failure, for his grace is made perfect in our weakness, to teach us that it has nothing to do with self-sacrifice. You I am sure will answer, no one but yourself can offer the final sacrificial decision.

Tell us can a man lose his salvation? That is right isn't it? You believe that the will is so inviolable that a saved person can choose to lose, right? Your website said so. So not only do you deny the orthodox understanding of grace as sufficient for all things salvific including right dispostion of mind and nature which determine will in initial sanctification, you deny the orthodox view of salvation altogether in that you would say to Christ that he is not able to save you from yourself (Romans 8 37-39, includes you), unless you cooperate, right? That little island of Pelagian self you live on it is truly the Isla de Muerta and you just keep returning to it.

So tell us again how you're not Pelagian in the end? Tell us, is it you who makes the decision from neutrality or from a sinful nature and mind? Prevenient grace does just that, doesn't it? It resets your innocence, not your righteousness, for you have repeatedly said that it is not until after you make your decision that you are cleansed from sin. So, it must be that by innocence you mean neutrality in some sense, in some island of reality. Surely you do not mean that God will hear a sin-filled plea, that is, a not altogether true confession of repentance, do you?

who specially grants him such a choice...since it establishes the nature of grace and the ability to respond to it once imparted, stands as a powerful testament against total determinism, clarifies what the term 'by grace' constitutes, proves that synergism is a God-honoring and God-centered concept, demonstrates that two men under the same grace can make differing decisions, and concisely destroys your false "me! me!/man-centered theology" charges; hence it hits at the very heart of the discussion. Just what "same grace" are they under, neutrality? So you admit that your theology is Pelagian in that God's grace, in your synergistic view, is the power of contrary choice which can only be made from the position of neutrality. It is not the singular choice given as God's grace. In other words, you claim that it is not man centered, then you make the final arbiter man and you do that by claiming that God has set before you sin, and righteousness, and that you from your little island do what? Since when is it that God tempts man with sin? Again, your confusion as to the nature of God comes through. You make him the tempter. No need to deny it, that is exactly what you do and Mitch is correct you make him coequal with man. So we have you saying that you are sinful, then that your god gives you grace which either allows you to escape your sinfulness temporarily (for you really cannot believe that God will accept an unclean sacrifice) to some neutral atoll, or that he returns you to your neutral island, just as Pelagius would claim is the native state of man. Whether Pelagian, semi-pelagian or what ever qualifications you want to put on it, it remains the same, a denial of grace, no matter how you redefine it.

If we were our own High Priest, righteousness, or justification, then it would follow that we would not need Christ to be so. Such a towering intellect as yourself knows this does not necessarily follow. Your theology does not need to deny Christ. As others who simply relegated him to a subordinate roll, you just need to subjugate Christ to your choices. He can still be the high priest you claim you need, but only as your co-high priest, and that at your beckon call.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Twitchell,

[I stated]After I received the gospel, I was washed from my sins

So, the act of receiving the gospel is a sinful act?


No, it doesn’t follow to say that before I was cleansed from my sins, absolutely everything I did was sin. A sinner receiving Christ is not acting sinfully in doing so.


elabes- from what I understand, and you're right I am utterly ignorant compared to your erudition, is actually in the second aorist and is simply a statement of fact.

I was speaking of the voice of the verb (active, which indicates it was performed by the subject of the verb), not the tense. ‘Born’ as you try to cite for counter-example (looking at John 1:13 for instance) is passive (indicating action performed on the subject).


Simply it is that it is held. But, does it mean in this case that which is bestowed, and not that which is taken? It seems to go along as fitted with the entire message in Corinthians, namely that the foundation, which is our faith, is laid by Christ, not us.

There is no conflict between Christ offering to us and we receiving what He offers, nor God working in us to draw us to Him and we following.


As Hebrews says, it is he, and not we, who is the beginning and perfecter of our faith. It does not originate in us and since it is he who perfects it, it cannot be said that we initiate nor have the fulfilling work to do.

Of course we don’t initiate or perfect faith, if you recall, this was the error of Pelagianism which you continuously and blunderingly equate with historical Synergism. Our receiving of the faith of Christ in no way means that it originates in or is sustained by us, though I do believe that it is man’s responsibility to hold to faith.


Paul's point is that they have received it, then boasting that they had not is not wise because that is to deny the faith, and his argument would make little sense if indeed they were active in it, that is, not having received it passively but having done some active work in obtaining it.

The argument makes perfect sense if they actively received it, because receipt necessarily implies that it was given, and hence was not of them, and thus is no grounds for boasting. Then there’s the laughable “receiving the gift is a reason to boast too” argument, the silliness of which is readily apparent. The fact that you arbitrarily insist that ‘receive’ must be passive despite the fact that its voice is active in all 3 instances in the passage shows very pointedly that your beliefs cannot square with scripture.


Concerning 1 Corinthians 10:13, your raving is all but completely incoherent.

It only makes a difference if you presuppose that by application of spiritual prowess (the boasting of the earlier passage) you can do what Paul would say is not yours to will.

What are you talking about?


And if of course you deny that Christ's body and blood in the next verses is the means of escape.

That doesn’t follow logically or from the text.


And, if of course you believe that Christ is the same as idols who must be placated by some action on your part, the preceding verses.

That makes no sense whatsoever. The preceding verses mention idolatry, but say nothing about placating them, much less whatever lunacy it is that you’re driving at.


Of course you would say that it is grace with which the person cooperates to escape, but the grace of the law never saved anyone, 1 Cor 13: 13-22.

‘Grace of the law’?? The grace by which we resist temptation is saving grace.

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age…. (Titus 2:11-12)


If you make your obedience the sacrifice it is no different than the food offered to idols.

More vain and factually inaccurate babbling. My obedience is not a sacrifice for sins, nor did I ever claim as much.


And of course, this goes the real issue with you, because you at first believe that your flesh is able if aid is given to make a righteous choice, but that both denies Romans 7 and Galatian 5:17, which of course you are going to say has nothing to do with your will, when in fact that is exactly the subject.

If aided by the grace of God, yes, one who is unregenerate can receive Christ. It is perfectly in line with Romans 7; since in the flesh nothing good dwells, then hence grace is altogether necessary for fallen men to be saved. Galatians 5:17 indicates that the unsaved cannot live a life that is wholly pleasing to God, but in no way implies that they cannot come to faith in Christ.


You I am sure will answer, no one but yourself can offer the final sacrificial decision.

Umm, how exactly would a decision be ‘sacrificial’ in your scripturally/factually/coherently-challenged system of theology?


So tell us again how you're not Pelagian in the end?

Because I believe that grace is altogether primary and necessary in salvation. Not sure how you can miss something so basic….


Tell us, is it you who makes the decision from neutrality or from a sinful nature and mind?

While a sinner, I believed, and Christ saved me.


Prevenient grace does just that, doesn't it? It resets your innocence, not your righteousness, for you have repeatedly said that it is not until after you make your decision that you are cleansed from sin.

Prevenient grace allows one who is steeped in sin to believe in Christ. It is only after one believes that he is cleansed from sin, for righteousness and forgiveness of sins is through faith in Him.

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”
(Romans 4:5-8)

So then it is through belief that we obtain forgiveness by the atoning power of Christ’s blood.

…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26)


So, it must be that by innocence you mean neutrality in some sense, in some island of reality. Surely you do not mean that God will hear a sin-filled plea, that is, a not altogether true confession of repentance, do you?

I never mentioned ‘innocence’ in relation to prevenient grace. God will hear a sincere cry for help from a sinner, which from the sinner’s corrupted heart alone is impossible, but with God all things are possible.


Just what "same grace" are they under, neutrality? So you admit that your theology is Pelagian in that God's grace, in your synergistic view, is the power of contrary choice which can only be made from the position of neutrality.

Newsflash: God’s grace allowing choice between good an evil is not Pelagianism. Pelagianism’s central, defining tenet is that men can choose and perform good apart from the grace of God – quite the opposite of what I’m saying. That’s why your mouth-foaming and deranged accusations are little more than paltry smokescreens that are easily cut through.


It is not the singular choice given as God's grace. In other words, you claim that it is not man centered, then you make the final arbiter man…

While faith on the part of men is necessary for their salvation, since it is only by the grace of God, and the object of that faith is God, then it is by necessity completely God-centered, as I’ve already pointed out.


…and you do that by claiming that God has set before you sin, and righteousness, and that you from your little island do what? Since when is it that God tempts man with sin?

Ah yes, and the delirious ranting just continues….

Again, your confusion as to the nature of God comes through. You make him the tempter. No need to deny it, that is exactly what you do….

And how exactly would God making a way of escape from evil make Him the tempter? Again, you show yourself completely and totally incoherent.


…and Mitch is correct you make him coequal with man.

Again, no evidence, and no basis in truth. The accuser of the brethren must be proud.


So we have you saying that you are sinful, then that your god gives you grace which either allows you to escape your sinfulness temporarily (for you really cannot believe that God will accept an unclean sacrifice) to some neutral atoll, or that he returns you to your neutral island, just as Pelagius would claim is the native state of man.

God gives me grace that allows me to believe, my belief is not a sacrifice for my sin as you so blitheringly insist, but the condition for partaking of Christ.


Whether Pelagian, semi-pelagian or what ever qualifications you want to put on it, it remains the same, a denial of grace, no matter how you redefine it.

Completely anti-Pelagian, and it’s a total affirmation of the grace of God according to scripture.


[I stated] If we were our own High Priest, righteousness, or justification, then it would follow that we would not need Christ to be so.

Such a towering intellect as yourself knows this does not necessarily follow.


Yes it does, since by definition there can be only one high (i.e. singular, supreme) priest within a single scope (unless of course, you subscribe to the Catholic ‘multiple-one-mediator’ logic); or do you not understand such fundamental principles? It doesn’t take a strong or towering intellect to see that.

Your theology does not need to deny Christ. As others who simply relegated him to a subordinate roll, you just need to subjugate Christ to your choices.

I assume you mean ‘role;’ in which case I’ve not attempted to put Him in a subordinate role, since He is Lord and Savior. He is not subjugated to my choices, He did not need my consent to do anything, but I rather depend fully upon Him.

He can still be the high priest you claim you need, but only as your co-high priest, and that at your beckon call.

(“Beckon call”?) You’re not making any sense at all Twitchell, Christ acting as High Priest only to those who believe does not place Him at our ‘beck and call;’ but rather He as a gracious Lord has chosen to make intercession for all who will trust Him.

“Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." (John 13:8b)


Paul boasted only in Christ and did not assign to himself even the least act of receiving as himself doing the work.

Oh please Thomas, don’t you even read your Bible?

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:27-29)

Receipt of Christ and what He did is plainly active. I suppose you’ll argue next that ‘lay hold on eternal life’ actually means to just ‘passively receive,’ or perhaps that ‘laboring’ by believing in Christ is ‘works salvation.’


Tell us can a man lose his salvation

I believe one may forfeit it.


So not only do you deny the orthodox understanding of grace as sufficient for all things salvific including right dispostion of mind and nature which determine will in initial sanctification, you deny the orthodox view of salvation altogether in that you would say to Christ that he is not able to save you from yourself (Romans 8 37-39, includes you), unless you cooperate, right?

*YAWN* Hashed this one out before: Grace is sufficient, else it would be utterly incapable of saving anyone. ‘Sufficient’ does not imply that it is the only necessary factor (What, since it’s ‘sola gratia,’ does that mean we’re supposed to exclude the ‘fide?’ Ridiculous.). As far as me not being ‘orthodox,’ you’ll find no support from scripture to back such a claim. Romans 8 does not indicate that one cannot fall away: one who does not abide in Christ in the end does not cut himself off from salvation, but as Christ said,

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)

But since you’re so insistent that I’m not ‘orthodox,’ I’ll point out the fairly obvious fact that scripture warns the redeemed in numerous places against falling away to perdition. No matter how hard you or some farcical synod insist otherwise, it is quite orthodox to believe God when He warns us of danger. Does my acceptance of such warnings come across as too ‘man-centered’ or as ‘works salvation’ in your scripturally-benighted paradigm? Or are you also going to screech that it makes sinners into their own co-high priests when the God states, “But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38)?

It may not fit in your sad, fanatical, little worldview; you may consider it miserable and try to tune it out with colored glasses or selective rationalization, but is what the Bible says and I believe it. I’m eager to hear how you interpret that as ‘unorthodox.’

Mitch said...

God gives me grace that allows me to believe

Ok, so you are now allowed to believe because of grace… still what makes you different from another? It’s plain that grace is not the answer. If grace is not the answer then YOU are the answer and you go counter 1 Corinthians 4:7

My obedience is not a sacrifice for sins

Maybe, but you do make salvation dependent on your obedience.

Of course we don’t initiate or perfect faith

Right, we just improve upon it with our obedience.

I might add that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is of utmost importance and relevance to the topic, since it establishes the nature of grace and the ability to respond to it once imparted, stands as a powerful testament against total determinism, clarifies what the term ‘by grace’ constitutes, proves that synergism is a God-honoring and God-centered concept, demonstrates that two men under the same grace can make differing decisions, and concisely destroys your false “me! me!/man-centered theology” charges…

That is some verse, amazing how you construct your whole theology on that verse. Yet when stripped of all the presuppositions and the eisegesis that you bring to it, it falls right in-line with all of Scripture. Perhaps you could lay aside your hatred for Scripture and just read it for what it is, rather than impose this man-centered theology that you bring into the text.

Praise be to God!

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

"...still what makes you different from another? It’s plain that grace is not the answer."

The difference 1 Corinthians is speaking about is that we are saved, which we received from God (I've already answered this).


[I said] My obedience is not a sacrifice for sins

Maybe, but you do make salvation dependent on your obedience.


'Obedience' in terms of being obedient to the gospel through believing in Christ?

...in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:18)

Most definitely.

And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.... (Hebrews 5:9)


[concerning 1 Cor 10:13]

That is some verse, amazing how you construct your whole theology on that verse.

Funny, I seem to have cited substantially more than that in support of my beliefs on this thread alone; that particular passage simply carries extremely compelling evidence and implications.

Mitch said...

I see, 1 Corinthians is only speaking about salvation.

I know obedience comes from your wretched corrupt heart that is at war with God. I know- you somehow were able to understand the things of God while still dead in your sins and that you confessed Jesus as Lord without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It’s also plain that what makes you differ from another sinner is you and not grace. No need to boast over the sinner who was enabled just as much as you, but just couldn’t muster up the obedience and faith that you did. After all, that’s not your fault. He just didn’t take advantage of the golden opportunity that was presented. He just couldn’t see the worth that you saw. You are like a Super Christian. If we could only bottle up your innate ability we could reap a great harvest for you, ah I mean the Lord.

Again, once we take away all the garbage that you bring to 1 Corinthians 10:13 we see that it does not substantiate your view at all. I have provided a link for all to read if they so choose to see what the verse actually does mean.

Praise be to God

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

I know obedience comes from your wretched corrupt heart that is at war with God.

That's why grace is called 'amazing.'


I know- you somehow were able to understand the things of God while still dead in your sins and that you confessed Jesus as Lord without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

I believe you're confusing 'indwelling' of the Spirit with the Spirit's work in the sinner prior to salvation. The Holy Spirit doesn't dwell within the heart of one who does not yet believe.


Again, once we take away all the garbage that you bring to 1 Corinthians 10:13 we see that it does not substantiate your view at all.

Really now? I've merely pointed out the clear implications of God's faithfulness to give believers a way of escape from all temptation, as the passage plainly states, which lends much support to my beliefs, and to which you thus far have presented nothing against in terms of evidence.

Mitch said...

lol

At first I thought you just like to argue, now I think that you don't even realize when you show your own belief system to be in error and un-biblical. If you don't see it when you defeat your own arguement, then you will not see it when another defeats your arguement.

Grace & Peace to you my friend.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Sorry Mitch, I don't follow what you're trying to say.

arminianperspectives said...

Sorry Mitch, I don't follow what you're trying to say.

I think he is saying that his position just got soundly refuted but he is hoping no one will notice. Seems to me like he is backing out while trying to sound victorious. That's how I see it anyway.

God Bless,
Ben

Mitch said...

Truly sad that neither one of you sees that you are in error. Let me try to walk you through this with the very word of God.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9) and how is man able to do that- Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor. 12:3)

Now you seem to believe that when the Apostle writes For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what has thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (1 Cor. 4:7) that he is only talking about salvation, yet another writer tells us-

But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision. (1 Chron. 29:14-19)
I suppose under your wretched theology this is also just referencing salvation.

When it comes to your all encompassing verse of 1 Cor. 10:13 I think the link provided dispels your bastardized interpretation rather nicely. You just cannot bring yourself to say that YOU are the difference in salvation.

It is rather telling that you are quick to boast and revel in your glory, rather than sincerely try to reason and instruct. You seem to just want to add another notch to the belt, but it is fitting since your theology is completely man centered. After all it is all about YOU, YOU, YOU, no thought of bringing glory to God. You are sad little men that argue just to argue, its all about tearing another down with you guys. So forgive me if I do not want to play along.

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

When it comes to your all encompassing verse of 1 Cor. 10:13 I think the link provided dispels your bastardized interpretation rather nicely.

Not at all, I read it and it doesn't even address the necessity of contrary choice that I raised.


You just cannot bring yourself to say that YOU are the difference in salvation.

That doesn't follow: It's true that I responded to the grace of God, but without God's mercy to me in spite of my sinful deeds and the work of Christ on the cross, such a response is worthless, hence it is God who made me to differ from those lost in the world. I have no reason to boast on my own behalf, since I have nothing except what I've received from Him.


It is rather telling that you are quick to boast and revel in your glory, rather than sincerely try to reason and instruct.

Revel in my glory? What in the world are you talking about? You also never finished your thought, you claimed that I 'defeat[ed my] own argument,' yet provided no support for such a claim; and no, a string of childish judgments of motive and quick-fix arguments is not evidence.

Mitch said...

Contrary choice is something that you bring to the text. The link gives a good interpretation of what the verse says and how it applies to us.

You write-

…it is God who made me to differ from those lost in the world.

Yet it is clear that God does not make you differ; rather it is you that make yourself differ from another sinner. You say out of one side of your mouth that God does it and that all things come from him and out of the other side of your mouth you claim that it is by your obedience that you bring to the table that you are saved with the assistance of grace. Yours is a works based salvation, my salvation is only because of Christ and what he did. It is Christ that purchased salvation for me and that includes obedience and faith.

You would rather tear someone down, than to build them up. You are looking for a victory, instead of trying to instruct and teach another of your views. I used Scripture itself to show how you are wrong and how you defeated your own argument. Perhaps you should read the verses and understand the point first, and then, if you still choose, you can come out with your scorched earth style. It seems clear to me though that you guys are more into claiming victory and boasting of your man made arguments.

Grace & Peace

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

Contrary choice is something that you bring to the text. The link gives a good interpretation of what the verse says and how it applies to us.

Incorrect, it's an inescapable implication of the text since God never allows us to be tempted to the point where there is no choice but to sin.


Yet it is clear that God does not make you differ; rather it is you that make yourself differ from another sinner.

The difference is that we are cleansed by the blood of Christ and renewed by the Holy Spirit. While God holds sinners to the stipuluation of receiving Christ, the salvific works themselves are accomplished by God, not the sinner. It's not going to turn into works-based salvation no matter how long or hard you bellow it.


...you claim that it is by your obedience that you bring to the table that you are saved with the assistance of grace.

But I hold that obedience is by grace as well (albeit not irresistible grace), and hence also of God.


I used Scripture itself to show how you are wrong and how you defeated your own argument.

But I agree fully with all of the passages you've cited. How does that constitute me contradicting my own arguments?


You would rather tear someone down, than to build them up. You are looking for a victory, instead of trying to instruct and teach another of your views.

In case you haven't noticed Mitch, you're the one who's been hurling all sorts of accusations and charges of heresy at me.

Mitch said...

You completely abuse 1 Cor. 10:13, the link shows what the verse says and means. Let’s look at it again-

No trial has taken you except what is human. Now, faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried above what you are able, but, together with the trial, will be making the sequel also, to enable you to undergo it. Concordant Literal Version

You seem to think that this proves contrary choice, ok where? Again, the link does a much better job of explaining what the verse says and means and how it applies to us than your interpretation that is laced with presuppositions that you bring into it.

When you write-

But I hold that obedience is by grace as well (albeit not irresistible grace), and hence also of God.

It clearly shows our differences and proves that it is not all of grace or God that saves in your view. No matter how hard you deny you then have a works righteousness salvation. It is YOUR power to stay faithful, obedient, etc. that separates you from another.

I love to learn, engage, interact with others and would never knowingly hurl accusations at a person; if you feel that I have done that then I am truly sorry. I view these as opportunities to grow and strengthen my own views; you seem to view them as debates and want to win at all costs.

I’ve said all I will on this and leave you to the last word, feel free to declare victory and put another notch on your belt if you so desire.

Grace & Peace

Strong Tower said...

"But I hold that obedience is by grace as well (albeit not irresistible grace), and hence also of God."

And you still haven't answered, have you. How did you not resist the obedience of receiving that grace? From a previous prevenient grace and how far back does this go, all the way the Pelagius Island? From what inner sanctum were you able to do that? From what neutral ground do you make the obedience pay off? And if that ground is all of grace, how do you say that it is not irresistable? And, if it is not irresistable grace, how does it differ from the position that you were in when you initially chose the receive that grace. God didn't have your permission, did he, to bestow it? Does he bestow it upon all men equally so that all are able, equally, neutrally fitted to choose for themselves? Surely, you are not denying the Corinthians passage that you received the grace, unless of course you are saying that you didn't but some how out of yourself took that grace upon yourself seeing that you did not at first have such grace to be able to take it, are you? Or, are you saying that grace in not something you have to receive and therefore the grace that bestows whatever it is you call grace is irresistable?

You are so confusing and self-refuting as Mitch contends.

The reality is that you do not understand Dort. The definition of grace that you offer up is exactly the kind of grace that denies grace.

"Once again you display your raving ignorance of Christian doctrine, Twitchell. You demonstrate quite succinctly what I pointed out before: you have no clue as to what the word 'Pelagian' even means; you toss the term around heedlessly, using it as a tar-brush to spuriously incriminate Christians who dare to disagree with you."

Some how, you seem to personalize this. Now, if you would care to go and read the articles I referenced, then you can take your argument up with RC and John and defuse the personal attacks you hurl.

Mitch is correct, you display the very thing with which you are accusing others. Your braggadocio is sickening. Put it to rest.

"‘Sufficient’ does not imply that it is the only necessary factor (What, since it’s ‘sola gratia,’ does that mean we’re supposed to exclude the ‘fide?’ Ridiculous.)."

No were supposed to include faith as that which was given, but you do no include it in grace. Interesting definition of sufficient as insufficiency you propose. You of course offer that fide is not part of the grace, right? And argue that Ephesians points to grace as the gift and not that fide is the grace that is given. That grace is some talisman that helps you exercies faith? What then is your definition of faith? Are we graced with it. It is your definition of grace as a working power God gives you to do something with what you call faith that distorts the very meaning of it. Try and explain how it is that you do not do work. Are you compelled? Drawn along? Do you come to the table dressed in your own clothes or are you dressed by the groomsman? You have previously confessed that it was from a heart of sin that you entered and that only afterward were you cleansed? Which is it, you are saved by a belief and confession from an unclean spirit, or, as Mitch said, was it that you were already cleansed and by the Spirit already in you, you confessed Jesus as Lord?

You need to read Scripture, Paul most assuredly excluded himself as the power and the will that worked whatever power and will that was in him. He took nothing to himself as a boast, as you do. You turn it around and distort what Paul said as you do, alot.

You are Pelagian, no matter how you look at it, no matter how often you offer up excuses or your forceful claims that you are saved by grace. What you call grace is Romanish works and not grace at all. It falls dead. Just admit it. You must apply the blood of Christ to yourself in some way, usurping his roll. And yes Gordon is spelled Gordon, that was put there for your benfit knowing how you love to put yourself first as the correcter of all. You do make Jesus subservient to your call, "spinkle me". Yes you make yourself a high-priest.

Answer the question. Is it you who chooses Christ, or is it him? And why you, and not another if that is the case?

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

You completely abuse 1 Cor. 10:13, the link shows what the verse says and means. Let’s look at it again-

No trial has taken you except what is human. Now, faithful is God, Who will not be leaving you to be tried above what you are able, but, together with the trial, will be making the sequel also, to enable you to undergo it. Concordant Literal Version

You seem to think that this proves contrary choice, ok where?


The text states that God will make with each temptation a 'way of escape' (Gr. ekbasis, 'out-stepping'), so that we will be able to endure it.

No temptation hath taken you -- except human; and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able, but He will make, with the temptation, also the outlet, for your being able to bear [it]. (1 Corinthians 1:13, Young's Literal)

The fact that Christians always have a way of escape to endure temptatation clearly shows that there is no temptation we experience in which we 'could not have done anything but sin.' But the fact remains that Christians sometimes do fall into sin, which evinces that such grace to endure, while always present, is not irresistible on the part of the saint. Since we always have the grace so that we can endure sin, but do not always follow through in doing so, then some degree of contrary choice is logically necessary.


[I wrote]
"But I hold that obedience is by grace as well (albeit not irresistible grace), and hence also of God."

It clearly shows our differences and proves that it is not all of grace or God that saves in your view.


As far as receiving salvation, we are indeed required to acceede to the grace of God and receive Christ; as far as the redemptive work itself, that is all of God.

No matter how hard you deny you then have a works righteousness salvation.

This is a false heresy charge that you level again, since receiving Christ is not a 'work.'

It is YOUR power to stay faithful, obedient, etc. that separates you from another.

If I can only be faithful and obey through grace, then it by definition is not simply 'by my power' as you inaccurately allege. One is saved or damned based on whether they receive Christ or not, such a concept is plainly scriptural; but the separation from the world that we have through redemption isn't ours to boast of because it comes from God.


I view these as opportunities to grow and strengthen my own views; you seem to view them as debates and want to win at all costs.

Sorry Mitch, but such insinuations are very subjective, and from my understanding, inaccurate. What exactly have I said that would suggest trying to 'win at all costs?' Is there any logical or objective evidence upon which you base such an assertion?









Twitchell,

And you still haven't answered, have you. How did you not resist the obedience of receiving that grace?

By being freed by the grace of God to believe; but one who is free to choose is also free to reject. I have answered this several times.


From a previous prevenient grace and how far back does this go, all the way the Pelagius Island?

That makes no sense, how can you equate prevenient grace with self-righteousness? If you'll recall Twitchell, Pelagius didn't believe in the necessity of prevenient grace for salvation.


And, if it is not irresistable grace, how does it differ from the position that you were in when you initially chose the receive that grace.

God didn't have your permission, did he, to bestow it?

No.

Does he bestow it upon all men equally so that all are able, equally, neutrally fitted to choose for themselves?

I never stated anything along those lines.

Surely, you are not denying the Corinthians passage that you received the grace, unless of course you are saying that you didn't but some how out of yourself took that grace upon yourself seeing that you did not at first have such grace to be able to take it, are you?

If you'll recall what I've been stating throughout this thread, it is only by grace which God imparts to us that we are able to receive Christ. Please try and keep up.


You are so confusing and self-refuting as Mitch contends.

Only to someone who doesn't take time to read what I've written and is blindgly eager to pass condemning judgment.


[I wrote] "Once again you display your raving ignorance of Christian doctrine, Twitchell. You demonstrate quite succinctly what I pointed out before: you have no clue as to what the word 'Pelagian' even means; you toss the term around heedlessly, using it as a tar-brush to spuriously incriminate Christians who dare to disagree with you."

Some how, you seem to personalize this. Now, if you would care to go and read the articles I referenced, then you can take your argument up with RC and John and defuse the personal attacks you hurl.


Pointing out that you don't understand the definition of the slanderous terms you toss around isn't a 'personal attack;' it's rather the refutation of one. I've already read Hedryx and Sproul's assertions some time back, they're fairly laughable, and I've already addressed Sproul's accusations directly here. Sorry, equating all Synergism with Semipelagianism requires more logical connection than, 'they kinda look the same to me.'


Mitch is correct, you display the very thing with which you are accusing others. Your braggadocio is sickening. Put it to rest.

What? Where have I been bragging? Care to cite any specifics?


No were supposed to include faith as that which was given, but you do no include it in grace.

Not everyone who receives grace comes to the faith.

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:
"In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you."
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
(2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

Salvation being by grace does then not imply that there is no possibility of ultimately rejecting that grace.


Try and explain how it is that you do not do work.

Because receiving Christ is not a work.


Which is it, you are saved by a belief and confession from an unclean spirit, or, as Mitch said, was it that you were already cleansed and by the Spirit already in you, you confessed Jesus as Lord?

I've already answered this, while I was a sinner, through the grace of God I believed in Christ, and He cleansed me of my sins, for God does not purify our hearts before faith, but by faith in Christ.

And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:9)

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.... (1 Peter 1:22)


You need to read Scripture,

As do we all.


Paul most assuredly excluded himself as the power and the will that worked whatever power and will that was in him.

It's God that works within us to do His will, such a concept does not contradict the fact that we may comply with His working or reject it, as I've already pointed out from 1 Corinthians 10:13.

He took nothing to himself as a boast, as you do.

Upon what basis do you say that I'm boasting in anything?


You are Pelagian, no matter how you look at it,

You demonstrate once again your willful ignorance of theological terms and history. How am I a Pelagian? Where is your evidence that I believe the things Pelagius taught?


What you call grace is Romanish works and not grace at all. It falls dead. Just admit it.

Wow, you're really reaching now.


You must apply the blood of Christ to yourself in some way, usurping his roll.

'Roll?' No, I receive Christ, the Father applies Christ's blood to me.


And yes Gordon is spelled Gordon, that was put there for your benfit knowing how you love to put yourself first as the correcter of all.

My correction there was meant to be humorous Twitchell... [slaps forehead]


You do make Jesus subservient to your call, "spinkle me". Yes you make yourself a high-priest.

Oh give me a break. That sentence doesn't even approach making sense.


Answer the question. Is it you who chooses Christ, or is it him? And why you, and not another if that is the case?

God elects men from the foundation of the world according to His foreknowledge; through which He knows that by His grace some will receive Christ and some will not. No one decides to follow Jesus apart from being chosen of God. I've already answered the latter question.

The short answer is that while the sinner's will is in bondage to his sin, with God's grace, he may freely receive or reject Christ. When the theologian I debated with pressed as to why one by grace receives yet another with the same grace imparted does not, I responded,

"If one Christian falls into sin and another does not, despite the fact that God provides them both a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), then what makes the difference? It is a matter of the will that has been freed by the grace of God through Christ. The power of sin's bondage being lifted, man is then freed to follow the grace of God in Christ; but freedom also implies the power to go contrary as well."

To which I've never heard or read a substantial answer to from anyone who denies all contrary choice.

Strong Tower said...

One is saved or damned based on whether they receive Christ or not, such a concept is plainly scriptural...

And you still have not answered. How is it you received?

Yes Pelagius did not advocate prevenient grace. But, that is not the issue, which you have missed over and over and over again, which is, where does prevenient grace put you if not back on Pelagius Island?

"God elects men from the foundation of the world according to His foreknowledge; through which He knows that by His grace some will receive Christ and some will not. No one decides to follow Jesus apart from being chosen of God. I've already answered the latter question."

In which you impose your definition of foreknowledge and that weird concept that you have that God gains knowledge somehow outside of time. Does he know it because he decrees it, or does he know it because he sees it? Do you hold to some form of Open Theism, as all Arminians must, or, some other bizarre outlook? Or, do you accept that God has always known eternally and that without temporal necessity?

Are you saved, not by your choice? That is, not by your accession first, but because you were chosen, you acceded?

"My correction there was meant to be humorous Twitchell... [slaps forehead]"

Yes, and my oh my, I knew that, but you missed the humor, really. What is laughable about it is that you really do think you're right. And I will accept that in you if you will answer the question, honestly. Does Jesus choose you because you have chosen him or despite your choosing? If you say that it is because of your choosing, why? What virtue is there in it? Especially, if you were doing so as you say from the sin of your flesh which cannot do so for it is impossible for it to submit itself. Does the grace of God prevent the flesh from expressing itself (pro or con it would be wickedness), that is make the commandment irresistable, or, does the grace of God not empower the flesh at all, but rather kills it while at the same time creating in you a new nature and gifting you with the Mind of Christ which is always obedient.

If you say that it is merely empowered sin that chooses Christ, fine, then what makes you different from your neighbor? Is it because before you were born, God saw something worthy in you? Your choice? Or, is it because before you did anything good or bad, God chose you? In other words, is it because of your good choice you were saved (which as I said is impossibile for the sin nature to do) or is it that as Ezekial has God saying, that he puts a new heart in you and causes you to follow his commandments, or as Isaiah would have God saying, "Return to me for I have redeemed you."

You decide for yourself, did Christ's blood redeem you and that is why you turn to him, or did it not redeem you and it is in reality your own high-priest sacrifice that does the job.

If you can answer without evasion, then you're welcome to continue, but if it is just to continue arguing without "really" answering, then why bother, except that it is as Mitch says, you just like to?

Strong Tower said...

"If one Christian falls into sin and another does not, despite the fact that God provides them both a way of escape from every temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), then what makes the difference? It is a matter of the will that has been freed by the grace of God through Christ. The power of sin's bondage being lifted, man is then freed to follow the grace of God in Christ; but freedom also implies the power to go contrary as well."

To which I've never heard or read a substantial answer to from anyone who denies all contrary choice."

What you mean by a will that is freed is exactly the point. If it infers a power to either obey or not, then you have stated quiet sucinctly the Pelaian dilema. What you would choose then is up to you, whether it be good or evil and you position the will in neutral, there on Pelagius island.

Just thought I would through that in. No wonder no one answered it to your satisfaction, it is a self contained contradiction. It is God who works both the willing and the doing so that you do not do as you will, or so says the Scripture. As I said you make something other than Christ the way of escape. It depends upon your will and not the grace of Christ as to which way you will take and you make the way of righteousness some deed such as the right choice, rather than the sacrificed of Christ. What you say is that he sets before you both and gives you enough grace to loose the noose from you neck, or enough grace to hang yourself. And again, you're back to Pelagius Island.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Twitchell,

And you still have not answered. How is it you received?

I was freed to receive by grace.


Yes Pelagius did not advocate prevenient grace. But, that is not the issue,

But it is, if I don't believe Pelagius' doctrine, then I'm by definition not a Pelagian as you so blusteringly persist.


which you have missed over and over and over again, which is, where does prevenient grace put you if not back on Pelagius Island?

It puts us at a point where we may receive or reject Christ, there is no scriptural or logical mechanism which can equate this with 'self-righteousness,' as the slanderously inaccurate assertions by a great many reformed theologians has repeatedly shown. The burden of proof is on you, the accuser, to demonstrate that it does constitute heresy that is contrary to scripture, which you've proven quite lacking in doing so thus far.


In which you impose your definition of foreknowledge and that weird concept that you have that God gains knowledge somehow outside of time. Does he know it because he decrees it, or does he know it because he sees it?

He foreknows what people will freely choose.


Do you hold to some form of Open Theism, as all Arminians must....

Lol. Yep, you don't have a clue....


Or, do you accept that God has always known eternally and that without temporal necessity?

I accept that God has known from eternity past all that will be.


Are you saved, not by your choice? That is, not by your accession first, but because you were chosen, you acceded?

God has foreknown the future in the context of His grace, and predestined unto eternal life those who will believe in Christ. God's knowledge precedes, which election is based upon, and according to which men believe.


Yes, and my oh my, I knew that, but you missed the humor....

Not many people lace humor with accusations of heresy, Twitchell.


If you say that it is because of your choosing, why? What virtue is there in it?

There is nothing in my believing in Christ that makes me innately worthy of eternal life, this is simply the condition that God has set for salvation.


Especially, if you were doing so as you say from the sin of your flesh which cannot do so for it is impossible for it to submit itself.

Through grace it is possible.


Does the grace of God prevent the flesh from expressing itself (pro or con it would be wickedness), that is make the commandment irresistable, or, does the grace of God not empower the flesh at all, but rather kills it while at the same time creating in you a new nature and gifting you with the Mind of Christ which is always obedient.

It neither makes the commandment irresistible nor the mind always obedient, even under grace, even after one is saved, it is possible to fall short and disobey God. I don't believe in temporal perfection.


If you say that it is merely empowered sin that chooses Christ, fine,

And even more incoherence....


...then what makes you different from your neighbor?

One hears and believes, the other does not. The One who makes me differ as far as granting salvation to me after I believed is God.


Or, is it because before you did anything good or bad, God chose you? In other words, is it because of your good choice you were saved (which as I said is impossibile for the sin nature to do) or is it that as Ezekial has God saying, that he puts a new heart in you and causes you to follow his commandments, or as Isaiah would have God saying, "Return to me for I have redeemed you."

Did you not follow that receiving a new heart and spirit is through repentance?

"Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord God. "Therefore turn and live!" (Ezekiel 18:31-32)


You decide for yourself, did Christ's blood redeem you and that is why you turn to him, or did it not redeem you and it is in reality your own high-priest sacrifice that does the job.

I suppose you consider picking one of two wrong options to be 'really answering.' Feh. Both answers are incorrect, I received the sacrifice which Christ alone performed. The scriptures plainly show that righteousness (an integral part of redemption) comes through faith, not before it:

...even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference... (Romans 3:22)

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin."
(Romans 4:5-8)

As I've already pointed out.


What you would choose then is up to you, whether it be good or evil and you position the will in neutral, there on Pelagius island.

Simply taking the point where a person may have a contrary choice between believing Christ or rejecting Him, and arbitrarily renaming it 'Pelagius' Island' with no actual connection to Pelagius isn't evidence.


No wonder no one answered it to your satisfaction, it is a self contained contradiction.

You've not explained how this would be a contradiction, nor can you get around the very clear libertarian implications of 1 Corinthians 10:13.


It is God who works both the willing and the doing so that you do not do as you will,

Yes, I know; that doesn't that He does so irresistibly.


As I said you make something other than Christ the way of escape. It depends upon your will and not the grace of Christ as to which way you will take and you make the way of righteousness some deed such as the right choice, rather than the sacrificed of Christ.

How absurd, if the way of escape from temptation required no cooperation on the part of the saints, then we would never fall into sin.


What you say is that he sets before you both and gives you enough grace to loose the noose from you neck, or enough grace to hang yourself. And again, you're back to Pelagius Island.

Funny, I don't see Pelagius anywhere here...but keep up the incoherent rants, it's possible you'll will him into existence eventually.


What you mean by a will that is freed is exactly the point. If it infers a power to either obey or not, then you have stated quiet sucinctly the Pelaian dilema.

Baloney. Pelagius believed the power of a completely free will was of man's natural faculties, not of grace.


You need to read Scripture, Paul most assuredly excluded himself as the power and the will that worked whatever power and will that was in him.

Which I've already answered, and you have simply passed over and continued your ignorant charges:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12)

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:27-29)

Receipt of Christ and what He did is plainly active. I suppose you’ll argue next that ‘lay hold on eternal life’ actually means to just ‘passively receive,’ or perhaps that ‘laboring’ by believing in Christ is ‘works salvation.’


It's pretty obvious that your 'man doesn't actively participate in receiving salvation' doctrines simply can't reconcile with scripture; all you have is inane philosophical conjecture, theological misnomers, and abominably false charges that you disgracefully hurl at other Christians.

Mitch said...

Let’s try to simplify this as much as possible.

Pelagian’s say that man does not need grace in order to choose between righteousness or un-righteousness, that man still has the innate ability to choose by their own power.

J.C., being close to Arminianism, says that grace is absolutely necessary for man to be able to choose between righteousness and/or un-righteousness, that man does not have the innate ability to choose with their own power.

Here is where it gets a little nuanced. J.C., believes that God’s grace puts man in the position to where he has the ability restored to choose again. And since man is a self-determining agent at that point while under grace then he is placed in the state that Pelagian’s think they are naturally.

That should be the gist of it, the issue then is still what makes you differ. We have established that without grace no one would be saved, but to the question of what makes you differ the answer is the individual. Since man is a self-determining agent the decision of salvation is in his hands. So the reason one is saved and not another is man. Both are under the same grace that enables them to choose, but one sees and hears while the other doesn’t. Since God is not the effectual agent in salvation it falls to man. What God does is provide the offer and opportunity, man then either uses his freed ability to either accept or reject. So the charge by ST is valid, you have God tempt man by evil. Of course that goes counter to Scripture, but your whole philosophy goes counter to Scripture so this is no big deal for you.

One hears and believes, the other does not. The One who makes me differ as far as granting salvation to me after I believed is God.

Notice the slight of hand, what makes you differ and accept??? The One who makes me differ as far as granting salvation to me after I believed is God. LOL

You just move the question back and hope that it goes unnoticed. So the reason that the One grants you salvation is because of YOU. Somehow once you were freed and enabled to choose you saw the value and worth and the other didn’t.

Gordan Runyan said...

I was just about to try and summarize what I see going on in this comment thread, but Mitch beat me to it.

Joshua,

1. I really don't think the "Pelagius Island" thing is a broad brush meant to slander you or anyone else. It is simply the observation that Prevenient Grace schemes have the effect of bringing fallen man to the place Pelagius said they were at in the first instance. (i.e. Having the unfettered ability to choose to be righteous, or to continue in sin.)

In most Arminian schemes (maybe not yours personally)everyone who hears the Gospel has been previously brought back to this state of neutrality. So that, effectively, the Gospel never encounters anyone other than the man who stands on Pelagius' Island.

2. From what I can tell, your answer to the question of what makes you differ from the unbeliever is that God has graciously given both you and them the power of contrary choice.

And that answer seems to us on this side of the aisle like nothing more than a re-statement of the question. That's why Mitch is pulling his hair out. You seem to be answering the question by merely re-asserting the problem.

For the sake of argument, if we GIVE you that men have the power of contrary choice, then what is it that causes one man to have faith and another to disbelieve when confronted with the same gospel?

We see two options. Maybe you can give a third? Those two are:

A. God makes the difference for His own good pleasure and purposes. In which case, you have Calvinism. Or,

B. The different choices are the result of native differences in the men involved. From a position of neutrality they choose differently based on stuff that's going on in them, as God leaves them to themselves to make this choice.

If this is how it works, then the one who chooses rightly out of himself surely has something of which to boast, over the one who fails to choose rightly, even though gifted with all the same graces.

If the same grace of God results in different outcomes, then the deciding factor is the man, and not the grace.

Have I mistated the issue, Joshua?

If these are, in fact, the issues, then maybe you could answer them directly and some progress could be made.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Mitch,

So the charge by ST is valid, you have God tempt man by evil.

I already destroyed that dumb argument some posts back.

And how exactly would God making a way of escape from evil make Him the tempter? Again, you show yourself completely and totally incoherent.

Try and keep up, and please, at least make an attempt at intellectual honesty.


Notice the slight of hand, what makes you differ and accept???

We freely accept by grace. Nothing 'makes' us accept. I qualified my statement because there is more than one way in which men can differ.




Gordan,

The scripture they are citing, which states,

For who maketh thee to differ from another?

I believe this passage is speaking about salvation itself, i.e. God has separated us from the world through redemption, and hence we have nothing to boast of because we have nothing which we did not receive from Him (of which I noted that receipt is active, not passive), which I state pretty thoroughly above.


Two men have the same grace, one chooses, another rejects, yes the difference between them would then lie in their decision to receive or reject Christ; for if one rejects it it isn't due to deficiency with God's grace, but the man willfully choosing to be obstinate.


then the one who chooses rightly out of himself surely has something of which to boast

I would have to disagree. Luke 17:9-10 (cited above) thoroughly dispels such a notion.

Strong Tower said...

Gordan,

He is not going to answer the question. His tactic is to leap off the cliff into the abyss of infinite regress and deny he is in freefall.

We dumb, intellectually dishonest, raving ignoramuses are not like him. We hurl insults and invectives and can only make our appeals from darkness. Oh, that we would just bask in the same light.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Twitchell,

I did answer his question, scroll up a little bit.


Gordan,

I must also take issue with the "Pelagius' Island," as it is a dreadfully factually and historically inaccurate slander. It's a very cheap attempt at associating the opposition with a known 'bad guy,' not dissimilar to the childish 'Argumentum ad Hitlerum.' He's not just making some vague association, he actually is accusing me of being a Pelagian. Some of his quotes:

So tell us again how you're not Pelagian in the end?

So you admit that your theology is Pelagian in that God's grace, in your synergistic view, is the power of contrary choice which can only be made from the position of neutrality.

You are Pelagian, no matter how you look at it, no matter how often you offer up excuses or your forceful claims that you are saved by grace.

Yet has admitted,

Yes Pelagius did not advocate prevenient grace.

Which plainly displays his incoherence. If I don't believe the primary points of doctrine that Pelagius taught, then I cannot be a Pelagian, despite his dishonest insistence to the contrary. Additionally, Twitchell's rhetoric is both absurd and hateful, he states in one of the posts above,

So we have you saying that you are sinful, then that your god gives you grace which either allows you to escape your sinfulness temporarily....

Not-so-subtly trying to paint me as believing in a false god. You know that I've never accused any of you of believing in false gods or blaspheming the real God (nor do I believe anything like that about you); it's not fitting behavior between Christians.

Strong Tower said...

It is incoherent to you as you are fixated upon yourself. And, if I am deliberately labeling you, it is because you deserve it. I am not alone and if you took the time to read or listen to the commetaries I have provided, it is not me alone.

This is the deal Thib, you want your theology to be considered as an equal orthodoxy. It is not going to happen. What is it that you want, really? Our repentance? If Paul could accuse Peter of bearing a false gospel, and by association, the gospel of a foreign god, don't whine. When you offer the same works gospel, it is not me who makes you who you are. It is you.

Take your fight to Spoul, or Horton, Hendryx. What you do not understand is that I was you a few years ago, teaching my daughter the open theism of Arminianism. It was what I had been taught by my mentors. I knew no better. If you ask around you will find many like me who resisted the conclusions of our own beliefs by offering the same excuses that you do when we were introduced to the DoG.

If I have been harsh, forgive me, if you have the grace to. Or, don't. But, I will not apologize unless you can get Paul to do so.

I have scrolled up, Thib. You have never answered the question, "What is it that makes you to differ?" If you, then you did not receive it. If grace, then you did. If the choice you made was not the gifting of God, that is his grace, you did not receive it. Then why not boast? For if you have nothing but what you received then the right choice was also the gift of God and not of yourself. But if you did not received the right choice, boast away. That is why I say that throughout this entire conversation you continue to return to Pelagius' Island, where it is not what God has given you, but what he has not that saves you. Though you claim that he has assisted you, it remains you that made it the right choice and not that that right choice itself is the free gift of God.

You can jump if you want to the temptation passage. But beware, you have said that it must be yours to resist. If you jump there, then jump to Galatians, and see what it means that you do not do as you will. There the word is thelo. Any thing that we do is either by the gift of the Spirit, or his witholding of such grace and is not dependent upon our obedience, but his righteous pleasure. Or, go to what Paul has said: "For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship." And since you are fond of the Greek, check out aàkwn (akon). It is against the will. Just as in Galatians where thelo is used in Paul's declaring that that our responsibility is to the Spirit and not the flesh as he does in Corinthians and in Romans. You can walk by your flesh all that you want, or you can walk by the Spirit. Your dilema arrives then in this one place, that you think that you do anything of yourself, which Paul clearly contradicts. In the end you will have to decide which side you are on.

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Twitchell,


Take your fight to Spoul, or Horton, Hendryx.

Already have to two of those three, one by article, the other by email; never read much by Horton on the issue.


This is the deal Thib, you want your theology to be considered as an equal orthodoxy. It is not going to happen.

By you maybe, I don't recall your opinion being the test of such. I abide by scripture, and no amount of railing accusation by you or anyone else will change that.


"What is it that makes you to differ?" If you, then you did not receive it.

Salvation through Christ is what makes me differ, which I did actively receive through grace; I've answered this numerous times now.


Then why not boast?

Because doing what God requires of us is nothing to boast about, as scripture has already established:

"Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" (Luke 17:9-10)


For if you have nothing but what you received then the right choice was also the gift of God and not of yourself.

A choice isn't something 'possessed,' but made, just as receipt of a thing itself is an action performed, not thrust upon us. You are misapplying the passage.


That is why I say that throughout this entire conversation you continue to return to Pelagius' Island, where it is not what God has given you, but what he has not that saves you.

If my free choice in the matter hinges upon God's grace, then even that is dependent upon what He has given me. Far from "Pelagius' Island", your goofiness is more akin to "Gilligan's Island."


Though you claim that he has assisted you, it remains you that made it the right choice and not that that right choice itself is the free gift of God.

But since such a choice can only be by God's grace, then it follows that it is of God. Such logic as you employ doesn't follow: Just because God required obedience and cooperation from the children of Israel does not contradict the idea that it was God who brought them out of Egypt (Exodus 7:5, 12:51, 13:9, and so on).


You can jump if you want to the temptation passage. But beware, you have said that it must be yours to resist. If you jump there, then jump to Galatians, and see what it means that you do not do as you will. There the word is thelo. Any thing that we do is either by the gift of the Spirit, or his witholding of such grace and is not dependent upon our obedience, but his righteous pleasure.

That doesn't follow at all, Galatians 5:17 describes the state of men apart from the grace and Spirit of God, and in no way contradicts the inescapable libertarian implications of 1 Corinthians 10:13.


Or, go to what Paul has said: "For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship."

Yes, it was laid upon him by God who works in us to do his will, but it wasn't some irresistible compulsion, but rather a stewardship he was responsible for, else the issue of him not preaching it would hardly be of relevance.


And since you are fond of the Greek, check out aàkwn (akon). It is against the will. Just as in Galatians where thelo is used in Paul's declaring that that our responsibility is to the Spirit and not the flesh as he does in Corinthians and in Romans. You can walk by your flesh all that you want, or you can walk by the Spirit. Your dilema arrives then in this one place, that you think that you do anything of yourself, which Paul clearly contradicts.

I never stated anything about the flesh being able to do anything spiritual, temptation can be resisted only by walking in the Spirit. If it is with grace, it is not 'of myself' as you assert; yet the work of the Spirit in sanctification is synergistic, evidenced by the that Christians can and do resist Him and fall into temptation.


If I have been harsh, forgive me, if you have the grace to.

I hold no grudge against you Thomas; I think you say some dumb and very unchristian things, but I love you as a brother. But the fact is that your accusations are very hateful and untrue. You've accused me of things and "making God out to be" stuff that never even entered my mind, and with no basis in scripture or sound logic to back them up. You say, It is incoherent to you as you are fixated upon yourself, yet you have accused me to my face of being a Pelagian without evidence, and implied that I worship a false god. Is your case so weak that you can't make it without slandering someone?


In the end you will have to decide which side you are on.

Funny, I thought you were arguing that God would have to decide which side I'm on.

Mitch said...

I take it then that you agree that the form of prevenient grace that you advocate for is the grace that puts you in the position that Pelagians think they are naturally? It would also seem that you would agree that what God does is give man the opportunity to be saved and is not the effectual agent for salvation. Since man is a self-determining agent in your view then the reason one accepts and another rejects is due to something inside man.

BTW, could you please explain how the 1 Corinthians passage only applies to salvation?

Grace & Peace