Hello again. I hope this proves to be a fruitful discussion. Before I delve into it, I'd like to say a couple things up front. Firstly, this kind of web-based discussion format is not the best format for me, since I pay a per-minute charge to be connected to the internet. An e-mail based discussion would be better (such as yahoogroups), but I'm willing to post in this format, realizing the advantages of it (e.g., people can come in on the discussion whenever they want). Secondly, for the reasons stated above as well as other obligations I have, I'm not the kind of person who gets on the web every day. Sometimes I can only get on the web on weekends, and sometimes not even then. So please bear with my slowness. Just because I haven't responded to something doesn't mean I'm avoiding it. Please be patient. And if I haven't answered a question that you really want answered, give it some time, and then if I still haven't answered it, I don't mind being reminded.
To start out, I'd like to just make some brief responses to what has been posted thus far on this thread. I'm not going to be getting into a lot of detail, but as I read through what has been written thus far, I thought some things needed to be commented on. So here goes ...
<<And then there are the Calvinist' who say Jesus didn't die for all people as in"limited atonement". Calvinism is so confusing. They don't seem to know who is me.>>
My response: I don't know anyone who calls himself a "Calvinist" who would say that Jesus died for all people.
<<Have you ever noticed that most "cults" tend to claim they're the only ones going to Heaven? By "only ones", i mean in their very specific version or brand of "Christianity".>>
My response: I've heard the "cult" accusation many times with no proof of this slander. I'm not a cult leader. I'm not a leader of a "movement." I'm an ordinary Christian who is proclaiming the gospel and exposing false gospels. As far as "their very specific version or brand of 'Christianity,'" are you saying that everyone who calls himself a Christian is going to Heaven? If not, what differentiates professing Christians who are unregenerate from professing Christians who are regenerate? Is Roman Catholicism just another legitimate "brand" of Christianity? How about Arianism? Campbellism? Russellism? Docetism? Paul talked about "another Jesus" in 2 Corinthians 11:4, meaning that a "Jesus Christ" was proclaimed, but something about the DOCTRINE that these people taught made it a FALSE "Jesus" as opposed to the TRUE "Jesus." Jesus said that there are people who call Him "Lord" who will be fully expecting to enter into heaven, but He will say to them that He never loved them and will send them to hell (Matthew 7:21-23). Would you then say that Paul and Jesus were cultic because they said that their very specific version of Christianity was the only right one?
<<Marc Carpenter is not unlike many of the HYPER Calvinists which seem to be so commonly found on Paltalk. How can one reject Calvin and call theirself a Calvinist? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!>>
My response: Of course it makes absolutely no sense. I do not call myself a Calvinist. I guess that solves that issue right there, doesn't it? As far as hyper-calvinism goes, we can discuss this further if you'd like. The definition of hyper-calvinist depends on the one defining it.
<<However, i also happen to believe that having a perfect mental grasp of theology is NOT a requirement for salvation...in fact, people can and do die shortly after their conversion. Not only that, but especially in times past, people had very limited resources and funds for education in theology. These days many people simply lack the time or motivation to get incredibly involved in the specifics of theology. Now people of all theological persuassions will argue that the Spirit will lead us into the truth...but clearly all of those people with differing interpretations cannot be correct at the same time and in the same sense...and that is the part most people find extremely frustrating, myself included. i expect there will be MANY an Arminian in Heaven...whether they are theologically consistant or whether i'm theologically consistant is not the issue, the issue is whether a person has saving faith in Jesus Christ.>>
My response: First of all, NOTHING a sinner does or is enabled to do is a requirement for salvation. Not knowledge, not belief, not anything. NOTHING is a prerequisite or condition of salvation. Secondly, I have never claimed that a Christian must have a perfect mental grasp of theology. You'll never find that in anything I have written. This is yet another false accusation. What I have said is that when God regenerates someone, He gives that person a knowledge and belief of THE GOSPEL. A knowledge and belief of the gospel is a necessary fruit of regeneration. It is not a prerequisite or condition of regeneration. Now the gospel is not some "higher theology" that only seminarians can understand and belief. It is not a matter of education. Every believer believes the gospel. That must be established, or else this discussion is moot. All who do not believe the gospel are unregenerate (Mark 16:16). Arminianism vs. Christianity is not a matter of inconsistent believers vs. consistent believers. Arminianism and Christianity do not differ in DEGREE; they differ in KIND. Arminianism is not merely an inconsistent form of true Christianity; it is a different religion altogether. You said that "the issue is whether a person has saving faith in Jesus Christ." What does it MEAN to "have saving faith in Jesus Christ?" Is it merely to profess "I believe in Jesus Christ?" Of what does faith in Christ consist? Does a person who has faith in Christ know about the person and the work of Christ? Or can a person have faith in Christ who is ignorant of the person of Christ and/or the work of Christ? That's the crux of the matter.
<<Haven't looked at your
links (thanks bro!), but let me spank you a little and say, why do we so
quickly "poison the well" and make Marc a "cultist"? Let's
take him on.
Maybe we're all the cultists. Innocent until proven guilty perhaps?(even though we're all guilty apart from Christ). You know what I mean. So maybe he is a hyper. Or maybe he is another animal altogether.
I'm just exploring. But I still must confess, that while I like so many people here on Tweb (and I really do), that doesn't mean that I always feel comfortable calling them brethren in Christ. I'm trying to sound that out and find my own "lines to be drawn" so to speak.>>
My response: Hey, thanks for not jumping to the "cultist" conclusion. It's really an easy cop-out. You don't have to discuss the real issues, you just have to call people names. That happens when people can't refute arguments. So you're not always comfortable calling everybody on Tweb brothers in Christ, eh? Why not? Don't they all fit under the category of "Christian"? Are you "narrowing the gospel" like you said I'm trying to do? Hmmmm...
<<Mr. Carpenter doesn't seem to realize that many an arminian believes in limited atonement but places very little emphasis on predestination and election. When i was an Arminian, i believed in limited atonement, specifically that Christ died for the sins of everyone, but not EFFECTIVELY for everyone, in other words, there were certain conditions involved, not that salvation is based on works, but that one must RESPOND to the Gospel by acknowledging their sinful nature and repenting of their sins (and i mean in a life changing way), and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and make a conscience decision to follow Him the rest of their days, for better or worse....and i havn't changed too much in that reguard except that now i believe only the elect will respond and i acknowledge God in salvation before i responded, before i turned to Him, He opened my eyes to what i had become, and He knew i would respond...maybe that is why He spared me, whereas many others are clean for awhile only to return to their vomit.>>
My response: EXCELLENT synopsis of how a God-hating Arminian turns into a God-hating Calvinist! First, you said that when you were an Arminian, you believed that there were certain conditions involved. You then went on to say that this was not salvation based on works - but it IS! Salvation conditioned on the sinner in any way to any degree is salvation based on works! So you believed in conditional salvation. Then you made the profound statement: "and I haven't changed too much in that regard"!! EXACTLY!! I couldn't have put it better myself! The reason you do not believe that Arminianism is a false gospel and that universal atonement advocates are unregenerate is that you STILL believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner! You STILL believe the SAME gospel you believed when you were an Arminian, with a couple little changes! Very good! You wrote that when you were an Arminian, you believed that "Christ died for the sins of everyone." Could you please explain this belief further? What does "died for" mean? Does it mean that Christ was punished for the sins of everyone without exception? And what else does "died for" entail?
<<One only needs to dig up the biblical proof texts often quoted in favor of universal atonement, and quotes from Calvin's commentary to prove Marc guilty. i think the biblical approach should include the proof texts used in favor of universal atonement and the proof texts used in favor of limited atonement, and how one reconciles them together as the original writers intended. i personally think the problem is that Marc is putting TULIP before Christ! That is...he's saying that one must become a full-fledged five pointed Calvinst in order to be one of the elect...and i strongly disagree with him!!! God knows those who are His, and those who are His know Him, and i know that election is in God's hands, and He knows the hearts and minds of people.>>
My response: This one is packed full of unproven assertions. Let's see ... How would "digging up the biblical proof texts often quoted in favor of universal atonement and quotes from Calvin's commentary" prove me guilty? You said that I'm saying "one must become a full-fledged five pointed Calvinist in order to be one of the elect." This is just a flat-out lie. Is this your m.o., Apologist4Him? I totally deny that one must become a full-fledged five-point Calvinist in order to be one of the elect. That is totally ridiculous. One is elect from before the foundation of the world. There are no conditions a person has to meet in order to be one of the elect. And even after the elect come to faith in Christ, he may have never heard of Calvin or Calvinism or the "five points." That's not the point at all. The point is this: Does he believe THE GOSPEL? Yes, of course he does. From the babe in Christ to the most mature in Christ, all believe the same thing about the person and work of Christ revealed in the gospel. You said that I am "putting TULIP before Christ." Quite the statement. Quite an unproven statement of slander. Yet you show your colors in such a statement. You try to separate Jesus Christ from the DOCTRINE of Jesus Christ, which is impossible. One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without believing in the DOCTRINE of Jesus Christ. Would you accuse me of putting the GOSPEL before Christ? That would be ridiculous, wouldn't it? The gospel is about Christ and His Work. There is no separating Christ from the gospel.
<<Why should people of either theological persuassion make that assumption? i certainly do not. It's not like the differences are MAJOR...you know, like the difference between worshipping Satan and worshipping Jesus Christ. Now that is a MAJOR difference. Calvinists and Arminians are brothers in Protestantism>>
My response: You cannot be more wrong. The differences are MAJOR. The differences concern the very HEART of the gospel. It is VERY MUCH like the difference between worshipping Satan and worshipping Jesus Christ. You cannot see it because you still believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner. God has not opened your eyes to see the truth. If God ever regenerates you, you will easily be able to see that those who believe that Christ died for everyone without exception are just as unregenerate as the Muslims, Mormons, Hindus, and Buddhists. You still do not understand the gospel wherein the righteousness of God is revealed. You do not understand the gospel that shows how God is just to justify the ungodly based on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. I pray that God will open your eyes.
<<Let's see, how about the deity of Christ for starters. Like...umm...is the son of a carpenter more than a mere man? There are MAJOR differences between Christianity (which Calvinism and Arminians both fall under) and Judaism. No, the concept of God in Calvinism and Arminianism is essentially the same...the difference...i think...as far as the concept of God is concerned...is mainly in the points of emphasis. i've been an Arminian, and for a long time, and when i decided to change theological camps, my concept of God did not change...my emphasis changed, and my perspective changed, but God didn't change, and i have believe in the same God.>>
My response: Another great example of God-hating Calvinism! You sure are an Apologist, but not for the true Jesus Christ! You do not see that the concept of God is different between Calvinism and Arminianism. You see it as only a difference in emphasis. You said that your concept of God did not change when you went from Arminianism to Calvinism. That is completely true. You were worshipping a false god in Arminianism, and you continue to worship a false god in Calvinism. Your concept of God hasn't changed one bit. You just "decided to change theological camps" without changing Gods. There we go. I encourage you to read "The Damnable Heresy of Arminianism" at www.outsidethecamp.org/heresyarmin.htm to show you the difference between the God of Christianity and the idol of Arminianism.
<<On to the topic, I COMPLETELY disagree that Calvinists and Arminians are worshiping different Gods. They both believe in the exact same exhaustive set of properties that make God god.>>
My response: I agree with this statement if you define "Calvinists" as those who claim to believe the doctrines of grace but who also consider Arminians to be their brothers in Christ. These "Calvinists" and Arminians are not worshipping different gods. They believe in the same god - a false god of human imagination.
On the other hand, CHRISTIANS and Arminians ARE worshipping different Gods. Christians and Arminians DO NOT both believe in the exact same exhaustive set of properties that make God God. Christians believe that God does not show one of His attributes at the expense of another attribute. For example, Christians believe that God does not show love at the expense of His justice. Christians believe that God does not send people to hell whom He loves. Christians do not believe that God sends people to hell for whom Christ died, and they believe that all whom Christ represented on the cross must be saved, because they believe that God is both a just God and a Savior; both just and Justifier. That is a BIG difference in the set of properties that make God God. The article by Chris Duncan on Romans 10:1-4 really shows this well. I'll try to get it posted here soon, the Lord willing.
<<I think you may have read the op too fast. Mr. Carpenter calls the god and christ of Universal Atonement, false. He is hardly a universalist. He declares that anyone who believes Christ paid for everyone's sins is unregenerate.>>
So, GoBahnsen and Apologist4Him and the other tolerant Calvinists in this discussion: What do you think of universalists - those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone AND everyone will go to heaven? Are there regenerate universalists? If not, why not? By the way, the universalists are much more consistent than the Arminians. At least they believe that the atonement of Jesus Christ was EFFECTUAL for all whom Christ represented. They're actually closer to the true gospel than the Arminians are.
<<GB, it's a term I've heard quite often on Paltalk by Calvinists. Quoted from thesoundofgrace "Doctrinal Regeneration" would be a good label for the brand of Calvinism that insists only five point Calvinists are truly saved. In reality these people give correct theology the same power that the Arminian gives to his decision. ... I get the impression from the things you've quoted that Carpenter does hold to that view.>>
My response: I DO NOT hold to that view. I and all Christians DETEST doctrinal regeneration. Those who believe in doctrinal regeneration believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner. Yet we are sometimes accused of this very heresy. We do not believe that right doctrine forms any part of the ground of a sinner's salvation. Doctrine is not a prerequisite to or condition of regeneration. So what is the place of doctrine? The gospel is made up of doctrine. Belief of gospel doctrine is a necessary and immediate FRUIT of regeneration. Are we Calvinists who insist that only five point Calvinists are truly saved? NO on two counts. First of all, we are not Calvinists. Secondly, since we are not Calvinists, how would it make sense that we believe that only Calvinists are truly saved? That would be saying that we're not truly saved because we're not Calvinists! For an article on doctrinal regeneration, please see www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm .
<<Of course, I view the Gospel as simply the truth of Christ's Sacrifice for mankind, not his brand of Calvinism.>>
My response: I don't believe in any brand of Calvinism. Now your definition of the gospel is "the truth of Christ's Sacrifice for mankind." By mankind, I assume you mean everyone without exception, since you claim to be an Arminian. With that in mind, a few questions: Of what does this sacrifice entail? Did this sacrifice satisfy the demands of God's law and justice? Did this sacrifice actually accomplish anything? Does this sacrifice make the only difference between salvation and damnation for all for whom Christ was sacrificed?
<<Ok Marc, I have a question. Why is it that you believe that a regenerate person will not struggle with technicalities about the atonement? Such as the extent of the atonement?>>
My response: Hmmm ... "technicalities" about the atonement?? Such as ... did the atonement actually ATONE? The extent of the atonement is defined by the ACCOMPLISHMENT of the atonement. That's why I don't like the term "limited atonement." "Effectual atonement" or "efficacious atonement" is much better. THAT'S the issue at hand. Was the atonement EFFECTUAL for all whom Christ represented? If it was not EFFECTUAL, then was it an ATONEMENT? This gets to the very heart of the gospel. When Christ died on the cross, did He actually accomplish atonement, propitiation, redemption, for all whom He represented, or was it just a general amnesty that actually secured the salvation of no one? This is no small matter! It goes to the very heart of the gospel, which is the work of Christ! If you get the work of Christ wrong, you get the gospel wrong! I know this is a very short answer, and we can hash this out, but this is really the crux of the matter!
<<So..umm...using your logic, John Calvin is a child of Satan?!? ...and you call yourself a Calvinist?!?>>
My response: To answer the first question: John Calvin was a child of Satan when he espoused universal atonement. I do not know if God saved him later on in his life, so I do not know if he is currently a child of Satan. To answer the second question: NO, I do NOT call myself a Calvinist. How's that for logic?
Okay, enough for now. I think I'm all caught up (unless someone has posted something while I've written this off-line).
Please take time to think about the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. What did it accomplish? Whatever one believes makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation is what one glories in.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
Whoah! Eleven pages of discussion! It took me an hour just to read all of the posts. I really don't know if I can handle doing this with all my other responsibilities. You guys must just live on the net! I have a wife and six children, and we're in the process of moving, and there's a new issue of Outside the Camp that's coming out soon, the Lord willing, and on and on ... I know some of you are going to see this as a cop-out, but there's nothing I can do about that. I'm only going to be able to sporadically post. Sorry. But I think Chris Duncan (and maybe other Christians who decide to join the discussion) can do a good job with the day-to-day stuff.
One thing I wanted to address was what some Arminian (I think it was Xavier) said regarding universal atonement. He said something like, "I don't believe in universal atonement." Something like that. Anyway, this is for any of you Arminians out there who say you don't believe in universal atonement. I have some questions for you.
First of all, in the acronym TULIP, the "L" stands for "Limited atonement." Are you saying you agree with the L in TULIP? The opposite of Limited Atonement is Unlimited Atonement. The opposite of Particular Redemption is Universal Redemption. Are you saying you believe in Particular Redemption? I find that very hard to believe.
I checked out some Arminian web sites to see what they had to say about the "L" in TULIP, and they all said that they disagreed. They all said they believed in UNLIMITED atonement. So either you're not in line with your Arminian brethren, or you're just not being honest.
Check out some of the Arminian sites that talk about the "L":
I think you'd have to agree that these Arminians despise Limited Atonement and believe and promote the opposite of Limited Atonement, which is Unlimited or Universal Atonement.
Now if you're still insisting you don't believe in universal atonement, my response is this: okay, let's grant that for the sake of this discussion. Now let's go to some Scriptures that talk about Christ's work on the cross. None of these have the word "atonement" in them, but they have other words that speak of the work of Christ. If you don't want to use the word "atonement," fine - let's look at what God's Word says in those passages that Arminians twist to their own destruction, and then answer the questions after each passage.
"On the morrow, John sees Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!" (Joh 1:29)
Do you believe that Christ was taking away the sin of everyone without exception?
What does "taking away the sin" mean?
"For the love of Christ constrains us, having judged this, that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to the One having died for them and having been raised." (2Co 5:14-15)
Do you believe that Christ died for everyone without exception?
What does "died for" mean?
"as, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not charging their trespasses to them, and having put the Word of reconciliation in us." (2Co 5:19)
Do you believe that God in Christ was reconciling everyone without exception unto Himself?
What does "reconciling" mean?
Do you believe that God in Christ was not charging the trespasses of everyone without exeption to them?
What does "not charging their trespasses to them" mean?
"the One having given Himself a ransom on behalf of all, the testimony to be given in its own time." (1Ti 2:6)
Do you believe that Christ gave Himself a ransom on behalf of everyone without exception?
What does "ransom" mean?
"for to this we also labor and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Savior of all men, especially of believers." (1Ti 4:10)
Do you believe that Christ is the Savior of everyone without exception?
What does "Savior" mean?
"but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death was made a little less than the angels, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for all." (Heb 2:9)
Do you believe that Christ tasted death for everyone without exception?
What does "taste death" mean?
"But false prophets were also among the people, as also false teachers will be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, and denying the Master who has bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves." (2Pe 2:1)
Do you believe that Christ bought everyone without exception?
What does "bought" mean?
"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for all the world." (1Jo 2:2)
Do you believe that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of everyone without exception?
What does "propitiation" mean?
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
<<"On the morrow, John sees Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!" (Joh 1:29) Do you believe that Christ was taking away the sin of everyone without exception?>>
Marc: Then what does "the world" mean in John 1:29?
<<"For the love of Christ constrains us, having judged this, that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to the One having died for them and having been raised." (2Co 5:14-15) Do you believe that Christ died for everyone without exception?>>
<<What does "died for" mean?>>
<<Nailed to a Cross and DIED... What do you think it would mean?>>
Marc: Oh, really? That's what "died for" means? So everyone who was nailed to a cross and died DIED FOR everyone without exception? Obviously, you don't believe that. So what does "died for" really mean? It doesn't just mean "nailed to a cross and died." There's the word "FOR" in there. You say that Christ DIED FOR everyone without exception. What does that mean? What does the "FOR" mean? If He died FOR everyone without exception, what did that death accomplish? Was it a substitutionary death? Did He die IN THE PLACE OF everyone without exception? Did He endure God's wrath for the sins of everyone without exception? Did He make satisfaction for the sins of everyone without exception?
<<"as, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not charging their trespasses to them, and having put the Word of reconciliation in us." (2Co 5:19) Do you believe that God in Christ was reconciling everyone without exception unto Himself?>>
<<No. However, this scripture does bring about an interesting dilemmia that simply cannot be dealt with in the Calvinist position. What is "all the world"? Or "everyone"? See the 1 John passage later.>>
Marc: Why don't you answer that question for us? What does "the world" mean in this passage?
<<"the One having given Himself a ransom on behalf of all, the testimony to be given in its own time." (1Ti 2:6) Do you believe that Christ gave Himself a ransom on behalf of everyone without exception?>>
<<What does "ransom" mean?>>
<<Same as most of the other words floating around...>>
Marc: This is not helpful at all. What other words? Does it mean redemption? Atonement? Propitiation? If you believe that Christ gave Himself a RANSOM on behalf of everyone without exception, what does that RANSOM mean? What did that RANSOM do for everyone without exception?
<<"for to this we also labor and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Savior of all men, especially of believers." (1Ti 4:10) Do you believe that Christ is the Savior of everyone without exception?>>
<<He COULD be the Saviour of everyone.>>
Marc: But that's not what the passage says. It says that God IS the Savior of all men, not COULD BE. What does "Savior of all men" mean in this passage? But, of course, this betrays your heresy. According to you, Christ COULD be the Savior of everyone, if only everyone would LET Christ be their Savior. The poor weakling christ, wishing he could save everyone but thwarted in his wishes by man, who is more powerful than the blood of Christ.
<<"but we do see Jesus crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death was made a little less than the angels, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for all." (Heb 2:9) Do you believe that Christ tasted death for everyone without exception?>>
<<What does "taste death" mean?>>
<<He physically died.>>
Marc: But what did Christ's tasting death ACCOMPLISH? He tasted death FOR people. What does FOR mean? Did He do it just as an example, as some say? Did he just die to show his love for everyone? Or was his death a propitiatory, expiatory SACRIFICE? If it was a SACRIFICE, was it a sacrifice for everyone without exception? Did this sacrifice expiate, propitiate?
<<"But false prophets were also among the people, as also false teachers will be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, and denying the Master who has bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves." (2Pe 2:1) Do you believe that Christ bought everyone without exception?
<<That's a tough one... I'm going to pass on that one.>>
Marc: Really? So you're not so sure that there are blood-bought sinners in hell? Study up on the word RANSOM. But in this passage, would you not say that Christ's blood BOUGHT those false teachers who brought in destructive heresies?
<<"And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for all the world." (1Jo 2:2) Do you believe that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of everyone without exception?>>
<<What does "propitiation" mean?>>
<<That one who takes place of...>>
Marc: Oh no it doesn't. It means APPEASEMENT. It means CONCILIATION. To PROPITIATE means to APPEASE, to PACIFY, to ASSUAGE. Christ's atoning death FULLY APPEASED God's wrath for EVERYONE for whom Christ died. The blood of Christ MADE PEACE between God and all for whom Christ died. But YOUR god is a LIAR and an UNJUST FRAUD. Your christ supposedly propitiated for everyone without exception, yet some for whom your god's wrath was supposedly appeased end up suffering for those SAME SINS in hell. Those sins weren't punished after all on the cross, were they? God wasn't appeased after all, was he? Christ didn't actually ransom all for whom he died, did he? The death of your christ accomplished N O T H I N G for everyone for whom he died. Not a SINGLE THING. It merely gave them a chance to "accept" what this christ had supposedly "done" for them. Xavier, your god and my God are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BEINGS. They have DIFFERENT attributes, and they do DIFFERENT things. Your christ and my Christ are TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BEINGS. They have DIFFERENT attributes, and they do DIFFERENT things. My Christ ACCOMPLISHED COMPLETE SALVATION for ALL whom He represented. What did YOUR christ do? YOUR christ is like the Baal of old in Elijah's day, whose worshipers cried from morning until noon and did not answer (whom Elijah mocked, by the way). You pray to a god who cannot save. Your god and your christ are idols of your own vain imagination. Oh, Xavier, can't you see it? Can't you see the difference? And all you "Calvinists" who would call Xavier your brother in Christ - can't you see it? Can't you see it, GoBahnsen? It is SO CLEAR! I am just so amazed at the incredible blindness of both the Arminians and tolerant Calvinists! But I pray to God that He will use this forum to bring His unregenerate elect to Himself!
THE Atonement whereby Jesus Christ, the God-man mediator, as a representative and substitute for His people, in His bloody death on the cross, accomplished full pardon, full redemption, full propitiation, and full reconciliation for everyone whom He represented, is the very essence, the very heart, the very core, the very foundation, the very cornerstone, the very crux of the gospel!!!!!! Anything less is a damnable false gospel!
REPENT of believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner and BELIEVE the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ ALONE!
To God ALONE be the glory,
<<Then what does "the world"
mean in John 1:29?>>
<<You're the one who thinks it doesn't... Explain it me. (Yes, the answer was a trap.)>>
Marc: Since your answer was a trap, does that mean you believe that "the world" in John 1:29 DOES mean everyone without exception? (i.e., you were lying?) If so, this would mean that you believe that Jesus Christ TAKES AWAY the sin of everyone without exception, right?
<<They are ALL synonyms for the SAME action, sir. How do you go about reconciling YOUR view with the numerous mentions of "the World" or "All" or other synonyms???>>
I certainly don't do it the way many"Calvinists" do it by talking about "sufficient for all but efficient for the elect." That's just the Calvinist's way of universalizing the atonement.
The "world" does not mean "every human being without exception." Examples:
"The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him." (John 12:19)
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:19)
"But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." (1 Corinthians 11:32)
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (1 John 3:1)
"Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you." (1 John 3:13)
"They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them." (1 John 4:5)
"And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." (1 John 5:19)
Obviously, "world" does not mean "every human being without exception." Now what does "world" mean in passages like John 3:16? In John 3:16, Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, a self-righteous Pharisee who believed that God's love was confined to the Jews only. Jesus told him this astounding thing -- that God's love was not confined just to the Jews, but was also manifested toward the Gentiles. God so loved the world -- both Jews and Gentiles -- that He gave His only begotten son. The Jews knew exactly what this meant. The Jews knew that Jesus was not talking about every individual without exception. When the Jews talked about the "world" in contrast with "us," they meant "Jews and Gentiles." John again talks about this in 1 John 2:2. He says that Jesus is not the propitiation for the Jews only, but the whole world, including the Gentiles. This is the mystery about which Paul speaks in Ephesians 3: "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery ... That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel" (Ephesians 3:3-6; also see Colossians 1:25-27). The mystery that was hidden from ages and generations that is now revealed is that Jesus saves the world -- both Jews and Gentiles.
This is what the "world" means in passages talking of Christ's work.
How about the "all men" passages? For example, I Timothy 2:3-6 says," ... this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator also between man and God, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time."
1 Timothy 2:1 uses the term "all men," and verse 2 explains who the "all men" are. They are all KINDS of men. They are not all men without exception; they are all men without distinction. Those who use this to try to prove Arminianism must believe in a god who cannot fulfill what he desires, since he desires that all men be saved, but he cannot actually do that which he desires.
Now in the passage where it says that God is the Savior of all men, especially those who believe, that's not even talking about soteriology at all. "Savior" here means PRESERVER. Notice that it does not say that CHRIST is the Savior of all men; it says that GOD is the Savior of all men. It is talking about God the Father's preservation of His creatures, with special preservation of those who believe.
<<My Christ isn't weak as he went into a world that wasn't programmed from the get-go. It was reactive based on the needs of his creation.>>
A god who reacts to his creation! Not the true God who is the Creator and Controller of His creation. How much clearer can we get? These are TWO DIFFERENT GODS!
<<But what did Christ's tasting death ACCOMPLISH?>>
<<You didn't ask that...>>
Marc: Okay, now I'm asking. What did Christ's tasting death ACCOMPLISH? Did Christ's death do ANYTHING in and of itself, WITHOUT the help or cooperation of sinners?
<<Christ's atoning death FULLY APPEASED God's wrath for EVERYONE for whom Christ died.>>
<<No. It fully appeased those who asked for the gift. Just like in Calvinism.>>
Marc: Are you talking about MY views, or are you talking about Calvinism? SO WHAT if your views and Calvinism agree. I'm comparing your views to CHRISTIANITY. You speak of straw men - here's one of your own. You keep trying to say that your view is the same as Calvinism, thus trying to say that your view is the same as mine. If I haven't made it clear, let me make it VERY clear: MY VIEWS ARE NOT THE SAME AS CALVINISM. So there's no need to bring up Calvinism, because you're not debating a Calvinist.
<<Those sins weren't punished after all on the cross, were they?>>
<<Again, not everyone believes that analogy for the atonement.>>
Marc: Are you saying that you believe that NO SINS were punished on the cross? Are you saying that Jesus Christ DID NOT endure God's wrath as punishment for the sins of certain people?
<<God wasn't appeased after all, was he?>>
<<For some... Just like in Calvinism.>>
So what about Calvinism. The TRUTH is that God's wrath was FULLY APPEASED for EVERYONE for whom Jesus Christ died. God was FULLY SATISFIED with Christ's work on the cross. Christ's work is called THE SATISFACTION. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead because God was FULLY SATISFIED with His Son's work that FULLY ENSURED the salvation of EVERYONE whom He represented on the cross. THAT'S Christianity. If Calvinists say something different, they're not Christians. If you say something different, you're not a Christian.
<<Xavier said: "Sacrifice sufficent for all, Effective for the Elect... And not everyone believes that particular view of atonement theology."
GoBahnsen says:This is what most of the Calvinists I know believe.>>
Marc: Yep, and this is why Xavier is right: Calvinists like you and Arminians like him believe the same thing - sufficient for all, effective for the elect. This is the Calvinist version of Arminianism. This is the Calvinist version of universal atonement. The TRUTH is that Jesus Christ's sacrifice was ONLY INTENDED FOR THE ELECT and was ONLY SUFFICIENT FOR THE ELECT. Every drop of blood was for the elect only. There is no hypothetical "if the reprobate would believe, then Christ's blood would be sufficient to save him" junk.
<<Where's that??? What objection haven't I answered yet? Thus far, we've had strawman after strawman, and finally arrived at the conclusion that we both believed almost the same thing on the Atonement.>>
Marc: No we don't. We don't believe even close to the same thing on the atonement. Your christ died for those who are burning in hell! Your christ's death did not secure the salvation of everyone for whom he died! Your christ's death is not what makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation! What a WORLD of difference!
<<Because Arminians do not believe that the atonement is effective until the believer accepts the sacrifice on his behalf. The Elect are those who accept the sacrifice and thus are the only ones effectively covered by the atonement.>>
Marc: Salvation conditioned on the sinner! The atonement is made effectual NOT by Christ but by the SINNER! This is damnable blasphemy!
<<Arminians find that God's grace is resistable. We believe that God has allow man to exercise his will to accept or reject God.>>
Marc: Conditional grace! Conditional covenant! It's all conditioned on what MAN does!! Can you see it, GoBahnsen?
<<If it were not for Marc's making the "extent" of the atonement an essential Christian doctrine in which we can know who is in the faith and who is not based on ones position on it, then I'd say OTC does a good job of cornering the Arminians into a place of no good escape.>>
Marc: Here again you do not get to the main issue. The main issue is the EFFICACY of the atonement. You talk about "extent," but it needs to be focused on EFFICACY. What did Christ's death ACCOMPLISH for EVERYONE for whom He died? If it did not accomplish FULL SALVATION, then Christ's blood is WORTHLESS without the help of man!
Another question for you, Xavier: You still insist that you believe in a limited atonement. Okay - what do you think of those who call themselves Arminians who say they believe in an unlimited, universal atonement - that Jesus Christ's blood ATONED for everyone without exception, including those in hell? Would you say that they are unregenerate?
By the way, in response to NSMinistries telling us not to judge: I guess NSMinistries can't obey God's command to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, since he/she is not to judge who the unbelievers are. Go read www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm .
To God alone be the glory,
<<OK, so if I'm following your train of thought, we're justified by what we think of Christ and not by what He did. That's a different Christianity than I've been exposed to. ... And being a Christian is conditional upon what we say or don't say? That seems to disagree with your first statement. You seem to be saying that when we think correctly about who Christ is, at that point we become Christians. Are you an Armenian?>>
Absolutely wrong. See the article entitled "Doctrinal Regeneration" at www.outsidethecamp.org/doctregen.htm . Justification is not by what we think of Christ. Salvation is not conditioned on thinking correctly about who Christ is. It is not conditioned on correct doctrine. It is not conditioned on anything the sinner does or thinks or is enabled to do or think. It is conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. But when God saves a sinner, He gives that person a KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING of the GOSPEL as an IMMEDIATE and NECESSARY FRUIT of salvation. Get it? Not a CONDITION -- a FRUIT. Belief of the gospel of Christ's person and work is not a prerequisite of salvation; it is an immediate and necessary fruit of salvation.
Let me show you and others how absurd your position is. Suppose I say that all Jehovah's Witnesses are unregenerate, as shown by the fact that they do not believe in the deity of Christ. Using your logic, you would then say, "It sounds like you're conditioning salvation on what someone believes about Christ." Get it? And this can go for Mormons, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc., etc.
When God saves someone, He CHANGES their thinking. He CAUSES them to believe the gospel, which includes the DOCTRINES of Christ's PERSON (God-Man Mediator) and Christ's WORK (establishing a righteousness that ensures and demands the salvation of everyone whom He represented).
<<The Philippian jailer probably had a pretty scant knowledge of Jesus when he came trembling before Paul. He just knew he owed his life to these these two Christian missionaries and he wanted their Savior too. Paul told him to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved, with his house.
I doubt this guy walked away that day understanding all the nuances of the faith. Maybe he had NOT even come to know that Jesus was God the Son 2nd person of the Triune Godhead. I think he just knew he needed Jesus and that Jesus was from God.>>
Oh, how the God-haters love to go to the Philippian jailer to try to prove their heresy! Well, guys, it won't work. Why won't it work? Because, in spite of their attempts to mention Acts 16 verse 31 by itself, the very next verse (which they very conveniently leave out) is: "And they spoke THE WORD OF THE LORD to him, and to all those in his house." The Philippian jailer was an unregenerate man when he asked Paul what he must do that he might be saved. Had Paul told the jailer to bow down before an idol, that jailer would have done it. He had no idea of salvation. Then Paul and Silas spoke THE WORD OF THE LORD to him and his household, and he was saved.
1 Corinthians 2:12: "But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US BY GOD."
Everyone who has the Spirit from God KNOWS the things that are FREELY GIVEN TO THEM BY GOD. Everyone who has the spirit of the world DOES NOT RECEIVE the things of the Spirit of God (v. 14). Everyone who has the Spirit from God (who knows the things of God, vv. 11-12) has the MIND OF CHRIST (v. 16).
To God alone be the glory,
<<Oh I get it, so when Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved" he was just lying to the jailer. What he meant to say was, "Let's go to your house where I can explain OTC doctrine to you and once you understand it then you can be saved and your house">>
Nope. Paul told the jailer the truth - "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." He then explained to them what it MEANS to BELIEVE on the LORD JESUS CHRIST and be SAVED. He explained to them the PERSON and the WORK of this LORD JESUS CHRIST.
But then again, you don't believe that all regenerate people believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. You said that regenerate persons do "not necessarily" believe that Jesus is God "the instant they are justified." Wow. At least you're honest - gotta give you that. And GoBahnsen wrote, "But like Trout has brought up, how much time shall we give a newly converted Mormon, to renounce all his erroneous Joseph Smith junk? Can't a Mormon get converted to real Christianity and hold on to Kolob for a season? I think so. Over time he will finally dump all the Mormon nonsense." Wow. And how do you know he will "finally dump all the Mormon nonsense"? Why can't a regenerate person go his whole regenerate life believing Mormon nonsense? Or JW nonsense? Or Roman Catholic nonsense?
<<You want to explain what you mean there Marc?>>
Here's what troutk13 is asking me to explain:
<<What is more wicked:
(1) Two homosexuals in a gay bar singing homosexual songs
(2) A married Arminian couple (man and wife) who have always been faithful to each other sitting in an Arminian church singing hymns?
Lost religionists have no idea that BOTH of these are an abomination in the sight of God. They do not realize that ALL who are going about to establish a righteousness of their own (which includes ALL Arminians) are lost. They do not believe the gospel of salvation conditioned SOLELY on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ. They are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel (Romans 10:3). They are haters of God. They are just as filthy and wicked as those who are engaged in open, gross immorality.>>
Sure, I'll explain it. Both the immoral bar-going perverted homosexual couple and the faithful, church-going, hymn-singing Arminian couple are haters of God. Both lack a righteousness that answers the demands of God's law and justice. Both are bringing forth dead works and fruit unto death. Both are wicked and evil. In fact, Jesus Christ said it would be MORE TOLERABLE for the sodomites in the day of judgment than for the moral self-righteous religionists who reject Christ (Matthew 11:24). Clear enough?
<<Don't you remember that you said, "Come on Marc, just say Grace+Doctrine"?>>
<<Yes I remember, it was in reference to Marc's claim that OTC atonement belief is a necessary fruit of salvation. Get it? . . .necessary. . .Grace and. . .get it?>>
So, according to you (correct me if I'm wrong), a necessary fruit of salvation is the same as salvation by grace plus doctrine, which is salvation by grace plus works. Now if that's the case, then you must believe one of two things: You either believe that (1) there are no necessary fruits of salvation, or (2) there are necessary fruits of salvation and thus salvation is by grace plus works. Which one is it?
<<I had asked Nahum this earlier (and I think he missed my post #274), how come God allows Christians (the elect) to be wrong in eschatology, but God supernaturally makes sure they get the Gospel right? Or pick your subject. You have said that it is ok to be wrong on the non essentials, but why is that? Why not have the elect be right (without error) on the whole of the Christian faith? Seems strange that God would implant the right view on the essentials into the elect, and then let the elect flounder with other important doctrines.>>
Let me ask some questions to answer your questions: (1) Why would God make sure a regenerate person doesn't believe in the Muslim gospel or the Buddhist gospel or the Hindu gospel or the Pelagian gospel? Why doesn't He just save them and let them remain a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Pelagian? What would be wrong with that? (2) Why would God regenerate a person and then have him continue to sin? Why not have the regenerate person be totally sinless the moment of regeneration?
Now think hard about the answers to these questions, and I think you'll find in them the answers to your questions. (Hey, now I'm getting you to THINK a little bit! Scary!)
By the way, troutk13 and others: Go ahead and laugh and make fun and ridicule. I praise God for it. (Matthew 5:10-12)
A former God-hating tolerant Calvinist saved by grace,
"So says Jehovah, Do not let the wise glory in his wisdom, and do not let the mighty glory in his might. Do not let the rich glory in his riches. But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am Jehovah, doing kindness, justice and righteousness in the earth; for I delight in these, says Jehovah." (Jeremiah 9:23-24 LITV)