Sunday, March 25, 2007

General Response To Manuel Culwell

Manuel Culwell said:

I think you know exactly what was being said Mr. Cleary in the way of “vacuum isolation”

Since I have never seen nor heard this expression used, then no, I don't know what it means. Nor do I care to speculate on it's meaning since it is unwise to assume definitions of unfamiliar terminology especially when it appears to be made up.

This is the consistent way Calvinists interpret the scriptures, they take one sometimes two passages to showcase a ceratin hard passage in isolation and then psychoanalyze words and phrases of said passages excluding many others that deal with the same doctrine, allow me to give an example of another Calvinist. Edward Dalcour writes...

Here, Manuel proceeds to make an assertion regarding the Calvinist methodology of interpreting scripture. He then cites a snippet from Eddie Dalcour to prove his point. The problem with Manuel's quoting of Dalcour is that Manuel provides no citation or link to Dalcour's full argument which makes it impossible to assess what Dalcour's methodology was. All we see is Dalcour performing a word study on a particuliar greek term. Thus, in order for Manuel to substantiate his assertion, he will need to provide specific citations that can be cross checked. Otherwise, there is no reason to accept Manuel's charicature of Calvinistic methodology. Furthermore, Manuel's complaint about "psychoanalyzing" is quite interesting. I can only assume that Manuel is complaining that Calvinists perform word studies in order to derive meaning from a given text which, by the way, is what Dalcour was doing in the quotation that Manuel provided (the reader should notice that Manuel does not bother to interact with Dalcour's argument). If this is the case, how else is exegesis to be performed? I mean, if one is to draw out the meaning of any given text, are we not to be sure that the words within that text mean what we think they mean?

There is a little more that Manuel says about Dalcour's word study but I'll hold commenting on it for the time being. I will be posting a second response to Manuel in the near future that deals more with exegetical issues surrounding certain verses that Manuel constantly refers to.

...I posted my response to you for a reason and that was to get you to deal with certain arguments so I could deal with your own arguments.

Manuel here states that the reason he posted on my blog was so that he could deal with my arguments on certain issues. The problem is that Manuel did not present specific arguments or issues. He merely posted a very generalized and broad ranging screed against Calvinism to which I responded appropriately. If Manuel wants to deal with specific points of dispute, then he needs to submit specific arguments.

Mr. Cleary I already explained that these good folks on this your blog responded to your “vacuum trap”(I did not.) It could be seen from a mile away. You only submitted two passages to isolate your “sugar stick” that being John 6:44 you set up your trap to the exclusion of other passages yes you submitted (John 12:32) But I saw what you were trying to do, all I needed was one or more passages that you not so much even eluded to that being (James 4:8, and John 6:45)

So besides "vacuum isolation", we now have something called a "vacuum trap". Again, I have never seen this phrase used before so I won't speculate on what Manuel means by it. However, he does appear to be referring to the previous post I did on John 12:32. But yet again, Manuel fails to actually deal with what was written there. Instead, he chooses to dismiss my arguments by throwing out made up terminology along with some nonsense about sugar sticks. Furthermore, if my posts on this blog are as obviously defective as Manuel asserts, then it should be an easy matter for him to refute them. But, it appears that no such refutation is forthcoming.

Yep! No problem…God predestined the salvation of an elect group (the church) to which all maybe added conditioned upon their faith in obedience to the Gospel.

Here, Manuel is responding to my mention of Ephesians 1:5. But the reader should note that nowhere in Ephesians chapter 1 does it state anything about predestination being conditioned on faith. Moreover, what Manuel is alluding to here is the concept of "class election". Yet, the mere mention of this concept is not an argument and arguments are what we are here to consider. Thus, if Manuel wants to argue for the concept of class election, then he is free to do so if and when he responds.

Mr. Cleary thinks individuals are p-r-e-d-e-s-t-I-n-e-d. Find me the passage please that says so?

Well, that would be the aforementioned Ephesians 1:5. Y'know, the verse that states "He predestined us..."?

Now, it's at about this point in Manuel's post that he attempts to answer my mention of Acts 13:48. Sadly however, Manuel's response doesn't interact with the actual wording of that text. In fact, it's not even mentioned at all! Instead, Manuel chooses to go off to the book of Romans where he makes a number of assertions. Needless to say, this leaves Acts 13:48 untouched and the Calvinistic interpretation unrefuted. On top of this, Manuel's assertions in regards to Romans are not really argued. He seems content to sprinkle those assertions with citations and leaving it at that.

the elect are not simply individuals chosen by God while other are simply rejected but the elect refers to those individuals colectively that make the Body of Christ while we are in him which took place through the preaching of the gospel, the drawing of God. We are chosen in him from the foundation of the world as the elect body, the church .

This is Manuel's response to my mention of 2Thessolonians 2:13. Let the reader again notice that Manuel does not interact with the actual wording of that text. He is again content with making an unsupported assertion in lieu of an argument. As it is, I can just as easily assert that the elect are indeed individuals chosen by God unto salvation as stated in 2Thessolonians. Consequently, the rest of mankind is passed over and left to the sin that they love since it is a fact that not all will be saved. Further, the idea that the church as a corporate entity is what is predestined to salvation instead of the individual is fallacious on the grounds that groups consist of individuals and that there is no exegetical reason that can be gleaned from any given text to support the notion of corporate election.

You completely ignored my post and simply added your snide comments and remarks while ignoring the passages I submitted.

To say that I "completely ignored" Manuel's post is beyond inaccurate; it's dishonest. Further, if Manuel wants to complain about the tone of my responses, then perhaps he should not have set that tone to begin with. That is, since I believe in answering folks on their own grounds, then Manuel should be focusing on the tone of his own posts.

Also, I am not obligated to respond to prooftexting. It is enough to point it out for what it is and leave it at that. When Manuel provides exegetical demonstrations for his submitted passages and why they contradict Calvinism, he'll then get a response.

Here in is the problem. You care to much what Calvin had to say, I am not talking to Calvin, I am talking to you,...

Here, Manuel completely dodges a previous challenge to one of his comments. If the reader will remember, Manuel stated that men were robots according to Calvin. I then challenged Manuel to direct us to where Calvin ever said such a thing. Instead of backing up his claim, Manuel chooses to employ a smoke and mirrors tactic of redirecting the reader's attention to me supposedly caring too much about what Calvin had to say. So let the reader be aware that Manuel cannot show where Calvin ever said what Manuel claims. Furthermore, I will now challenge Manuel to substantiate his assertion that I care too much about what Calvin had say. If Manuel's accusation has an ounce of merit, then it should be an easy matter for him to expose my reliance on the words of Calvin. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Manuel will dodge this challenge as well. This is because a brief scan thru the entries on this blog would reveal that Manuel's accusation is completely baseless. Off the top of my head, I know of only one blog entry in which I even mentioned Calvin. Furthermore, I own only one of Calvin's works (and it isn't his Institutes.) These are odd facts indeed for someone who supposedly cares too much about what Calvin had to say!

...I neither care what Calvin, Arminus, Tertullian, the pope, Arius, or anyone else had to say in so called church history or otherwise unless it was the Lord Jesus Christ or the Apostles and brethren from scripture...I really don’t care what Arminius or Calvin had to say about anything, they have no hold or claim on scripture what so ever.

Well, if it's true that Manuel doesn't care about what anybody says other than what's written in God's word, then how can he possibly care about what I say? What's he doing here arguing against my beliefs if he does not in fact care about what I say or write? Further, no Calvinist or Arminian with whom I am familiar has ever made the claim that John Calvin or Jacob Arminius had some sort of "hold or claim on scripture" so I have no idea what Manuel is going on about.

Do you , or do you not believe you are made a believer beyond your will?

That depends on what Manuel means by "beyond your will". If he means that God forces men to believe against their sinful and fallen natures, then no. If he means that God changes the very nature of man by granting him spritual rebirth so that he can now choose according to his new nature, then yes.

Please be a little more forth coming with what you believe so that everyone can distinguish the two doctrines?

This is the first in a series of accusations that I'm trying to hide what I believe as a Calvinist. I'll address most of these accusations below but there are a few points I would like to make here and now:

1) I am not obligated to list and elaborate on the five points of Calvinism in each and every blog entry I write.

2) Just who is it that I'm supposedly hiding my doctrine from? For the non-Calvinist, it should be quite easy to deduce what my doctrine is from the very title of my blog. But, most of the folks who comment on this blog are, themselves, Calvinsts. Is Manuel suggesting that I'm hiding my doctrine from them?

3) If Manuel is asserting that I'm hiding my doctrine from himself, then I will again point out that Manuel's first post here was not an attempt to discern definitional standards. There were no questions asked in regards to what I believe. Rather, it was an all-out attack on my faith.

4) And just for the sake of putting this nonsense to rest, I will briefly lay out my cards for all to see. I am a five point Calvinist with Supralapsarian leanings. My Eschatological preference is Amillinialism with historic pre-mil sympathies. I reject Dispensationalism in favor of Covenant theology. And last (but certainly not least), I am a Trinitarian. Now, if anyone out there doesn't know what any of these positions are then I would be happy to direct them to the appropriate resources or I'll do my best to answer any honest and direct questions.

There is nothing stated in scripture anywhere of “compatibilistic free will.”

The fact that the word 'compatiblism' is not found in scripture is not evidence against it. If it were, then such evidence would prove too much. That is, the term 'libertarianism' is likewise not found in the bible. Thus, Manuel's argument, if true, would disprove his own position on man's will. Indeed, since 'oneness pentacostal' is not found in the bible, Manuel's entire belief system would likewise be falsified if this horribly flawed reasoning were accepted.

Not even one example, it is based on bad interpretation of scripture...

On the contrary, there are many examples of compatiblism within holy writ. For instance, Genesis 50:20 states that both God and Joseph's brothers sent Joseph into slavery. Then there is Ezra 1:1 where God causes Cyrus to issue the proclamation. And who can forget Acts 4:27,28 where God predestined the actions of all those who participated in Christ's crucifixion? Others could be cited but these should suffice. The reader should note that in each instance, both man and God willed the exact same thing but with differing purpose. Man does what he wants to do but simultaneously fulfills God's will. This is the essence of compatiblism.

...you do believe in “inherited sin.”

Actually, I believe in the doctrine of 'original sin'. I make this distinction because there is no way to know what Manuel means when he uses the term "inherited sin" since he does not elaborate on it.

...all five points rest upon each other...

True.

...you seem to be hiding what it is you believe.

Since I affirm the doctrine of original sin along with the fact that the five points of Calvinism flow logically from one point to the next, what can I possibly hiding?

You believe mankind is born dead from Adam onward and so some are chosen to salvation while others are doomed to hell not because of being drawn of God by the gospel being preached .

Yes, I believe that man is dead in sin. This belief is based on Paul's teachings in Romans 5 and Ephesians 2. It is also based on Jesus' own teaching about spiritual rebirth in John 3. Further, if men are in fact "doomed to hell", then they are doomed because of their love for sin.

It can be seen from Mr. Cleary’s response that he is trying very hard to hide what it is he actually believes...Is it,or is it not your belief God supernaturally turns “individuals” He has predestined to salvation?

Manuel makes this statement in response to my comments on Matthew 13. Yet, nowhere does Manuel demonstrate a contradiction between my comments and the text itself. Neither does he elaborate on how Calvinism in general contradicts the aforementioned text. Manuel is simply content to continue with his accusations that I'm hiding something. And as for the "God supernatually turns individuals" comment, it depends on what he means. If Manuel is asserting that God forces men against their will to come to Christ, then no, this is not what I believe. To elaborate on what I have stated previously, I believe God grants spiritual life to whom He will. This results in an acceptance of Christ as savior whereas before, there was no spiritual life in the individual making it impossible to accept the things of God.

Only because Mr. Cleary is hiding what it is he actually believes, he is trying to make it as simplistic as possible without revealing his true colors which will be exposed soon enough.

So Manuel is going to expose me, eh? And just what is it that he's going to reveal I wonder? Is he going to reveal the carefully guarded secret that I'm a Calvinist who has a blog that defends Calvinism!? Really folks, if ever there was a time for one of those "LOLS" that Manuel uses to mock the beliefs of others, this would be it.

Why not, if in fact you believe these things, come out and just tell us what they are?

Why didn't Manuel just ask in the first place? Why did he not inquire as to what my particuliar views as a Calvinist were before attacking them?

all you have to do is just tell us

And all Manuel had to do was ask.

The elect were once sinners (Ephesians 2:3), but God regenerates themIn response to the gospel being preached(1 Peter 1:18-25), which is for all people everywhere. It is not how the Calvinist at all explains.

Yes, it is true that the elect were once sinners and that God regenerates them when they hear the gospel being preached. Also, I would agree that the gospel is indeed for all people. But where I differ with Manuel is that the gospel serves a dual purpose. That is, it brings in God's elect while simultaneously confirms and hardens the reprobate.

Not much said here by Mr. Cleary because he is not being very forth coming with what he really believes.

This was because Manuel did not elaborate on why the phrase, "the gospel is for all mankind" contradicts my beliefs. As I pointed out above, I can agree with that statement as written. Thus, Manuel's continued charges of me hiding my doctrine continue to have no merit whatsoever.

Is it because God predestinates individuals to be saved?

Yes, God predestines individuals to salvation.

That is what he really believes.

Yep, ol' Manuel is right on top of things!

God to the Calvinist is a partial unloving God dooming some to hell and some to eternal life...

If, by this Manuel means that Calvinists reject the notion of 'omnibenevolence' as defined by such men as Ergun Caner, then this is true. A Calvinist cannot accept the idea that God loves all men equally and without exception when scripture explicitly states that God does indeed hate men. The Calvinist finds support from such scriptures as Psalm 5:5, 11:5, and Romans 9:13. In each of these, it is stated that God hates either particuliar individuals or sinners in general.

...it is of men’s choices that doom them,...

As written, I can agree with this. Calvinism teaches that men choose to sin and that this is why they are damned.

salvation however is available to all men, it is not God’s will that any should perish(2nd. Peter 3:8)

Manuel is here proceeding on an assumed meaning of 2Peter 3:9 (not 3:8). And since there is no exegetical demonstration (again) of Manuel's assertions in regards to this verse, there is nothing for me to respond to.

Do you believe he is the Lord over all without exception?

Yes, I believe that Jesus is Lord over all. God does not need the consent of His creatures for the establishment of His authority. Calvinists believe in the sovereignty of God, and not the presidency of God.

Mr. Cleary also assumes there is such thing as the “compatible will” of Calvinism.

On the contrary, it has been Manuel that has done all the assuming in regards to man's will. That is, Manuel believes that his view of libertarianism is the only possible explanation of man's will. But this is patently false. Anyone who has familiarized themselves with the discussions on man's will knows that there are differing views on how a man comes to make a choice. Thus, if Manuel wishes to continue acting as if his is the only viable viewpoint, he will be engaging in gross intellectual dishonesty.

Now, he finally reveals his Calvinism , God does” will it,”...

This is how Manuel chooses to dodge the point I made about him not establishing his view of libertarianism. He just continues right along with his accusations that I'm hiding something.

That is exactly what I am pointing out, is God the Lord over all without exception?

Yes, God is Lord over all without exception. As I stated above, God's sovereignty is not hinged on man's consent.

There is no fact that all or any refers to the Calvinist idea that all kinds of men are individuals somehow dragged against their wills supernaturally when others are not, this is the real issue I feel Mr. Cleary is not being so forthcoming.

Here, Manuel lights up a straw-man that he's been setting up all throughout his post. He states that it is the Calvinist's idea that men are "dragged againsts their wills" to salvation. But, again, this is patently false. This is not a Calvinist idea at all. We do not believe nor teach it. See folks, this is what happens when someone is unable to deal honestly and accurately with what Calvinists actually believe. They set up straw-men and gross charicatures and proceed to attack them. When challenged with the facts, they resort to saying that we aren't being forthcoming with our beliefs. Needless to say, this tactic is most disingenious.

What Mr. Cleary means by:” the willing cannot be forced.” Is that God supernaturally makes you willing and others he does not. This is completely diametric to the teaching of the NT.

Is it really? Then where are Manuel's exegetical refutations to the verses that Calvinists use to support their doctrine? As I look thru Manuel's posts on my blog I cannot find a single exegetical refutation of a single verse used by Calvinists to support the doctrine of man's inability and deadness in sin.

Again, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Where does this passage say what the Calvinist is saying? He is purposely avoiding these areas of his doctrine.

Yes, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Calvinists affirm this. Thus, a better question to ask is, how does this verse specifically contradict what Calvinists believe and teach? Or perhaps the question should be, where has any Calvinist ever stated that men are regenerated apart from the preaching of the gospel? If Manuel fails to address such questions, then it is he who is avoiding things.

...when does God remove the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh?

At some point after the man first hears the gospel. The precise moment of regeneration is unknown.

The gospel is the supernatural power of God(Romans 1:16) to save through our own faith from the heart...

Romans 1:16 says nothing about man being saved through his own (libertarian) faith. It merely states that the gospel is "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...". The verse, as written, does not contradict anything in Reformed theology.

what I failed to do is break down all the intricacies and nuances of your doctrine that you are so trying to hide for the sake of being exposed for what you really believe...

In other words, Manuel is indeed failing to accurately represent the Calvinistic position on all the issues that have been brought up.

I do indeed believe the Calvinist preacher is a “false prophet” and has been led astray by a false tradition doctrine of the Reformed passed down through the years by philosophical ideas based on difficulties from the scriptures...

Yet another dodge. Manuel was asked if he specifically believes that Calvinists are not Christians. He stops just short of saying so in his response to the question. But it can be deduced from what he has stated thus far that Manuel does not believe that Calvinists are Christians. But to be sure, I will pose the question again; does Manuel believe that Calvinists are not Christians? Yes or no? If he dodges again, what then of his constant whining that I'm hiding what I believe?

It is the Calvinist that is not consistent, they will back up and say All means all when God is Lord over all but the scripture cannot mean all men but only the elect or all kinds of men, is God the Lord of only all kinds of men, Which would causes the scriptures to contradict itself?

Here, Manuel appears to be complaining that Calvinists will sometimes use the term "all" universally while sometimes they do not. This is quite true but not for the reason that Manuel would have folks believe. Calvinists do not take the meaning of one word and then assume that that same word means the exact same thing in every single instance it appears in scripture. Rather, we allow context to determine meaning. No more, no less. One fine example of this is how the Apostle John uses the term 'world' in his gospel. It is acknowledged by folks on both sides of the Calvinism debate that 'world' is used in several different ways by the Apostle. Thus, when Manuel complains about this, he is again complaining against cold hard facts.

Now, this ends my general response to Manuel. As I'm sure Manuel will point out, there are parts of his post that were not addressed. This was due in part to an upcoming exegetical response to what he has written here so far. The response will deal with several verses that Manuel refers to most often when he argues against Calvinism.

9 comments:

Turretinfan said...

Nice work! I hope Manuel will take the detailed rebuttal to heart and provide a similarly detailed response!

May God's blessing rest on you,

-Turretinfan

Patrick said...

Salvation is always the ending of the minds fascinated identification with the dead and unchanging image of what it was. It is the complete reversal of the
"natural" order of things a METANOIA - the Greek word for repentance, meaning precisely a turning around of the mind, so that it no longer faces into the past, the land of the shadow of death, but into the Eternal Present.
So long as the mind is captivated by memory, and really feels itself to be that past image which is "I" it can do nothing to save itself; it's sacrifices are of no avail, and it's Law gives no life.
After years of therapy, I had a metamorphosis - I asked Jesus to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. He delivered me from my inequities. Praise the Lord!!

Peace Be With You
Michael

mlculwell said...

Once again, thank you for your reply Mr. Cleary, I will be answering your posts very soon.

J. Matthew Cleary said...

Tf,

Wow, you actually read thru all that? I figured that nobody except perhaps Manuel would read thru it due to it's length. At any rate, I always appreciate a good pat on the back!

Manuel,

Looking forward to it.

mlculwell said...

Manuel Culwell said:

I think you know exactly what was being said Mr. Cleary in the way of “vacuum isolation”

Mr. Cleary:
Since I have never seen nor heard this expression used, then no, I don't know what it means. Nor do I care to speculate on it's meaning since it is unwise to assume definitions of unfamiliar terminology especially when it appears to be made up.

This is the consistent way Calvinists interpret the scriptures, they take one sometimes two passages to showcase a ceratin hard passage in isolation and then psychoanalyze words and phrases of said passages excluding many others that deal with the same doctrine, allow me to give an example of another Calvinist. Edward Dalcour writes...

Mr. Cleary:
Here, Manuel proceeds to make an assertion regarding the Calvinist methodology of interpreting scripture. He then cites a snippet from Eddie Dalcour to prove his point. The problem with Manuel's quoting of Dalcour is that Manuel provides no citation or link to Dalcour's full argument which makes it impossible to assess what Dalcour's methodology was.

mlculwell: Would you like for me to submit all of Mr. Dalcour's Emails?

Mr. Cleary:
All we see is Dalcour performing a word study on a particuliar greek term. Thus, in order for Manuel to substantiate his assertion, he will need to provide specific citations that can be cross checked. Otherwise, there is no reason to accept Manuel's charicature of Calvinistic methodology. Furthermore, Manuel's complaint about "psychoanalyzing" is quite interesting. I can only assume that Manuel is complaining that Calvinists perform word studies in order to derive meaning from a given text which, by the way, is what Dalcour was doing in the quotation that Manuel provided (the reader should notice that Manuel does not bother to interact with Dalcour's argument).

mlculwell: certainly did interact with Dalcour's argument you must have missed it.

Mr. Cleary:
If this is the case, how else is exegesis to be performed? I mean, if one is to draw out the meaning of any given text, are we not to be sure that the words within that text mean what we think they mean?

There is a little more that Manuel says about Dalcour's word study but I'll hold commenting on it for the time being. I will be posting a second response to Manuel in the near future that deals more with exegetical issues surrounding certain verses that Manuel constantly refers to.

mlculwell: Mr. Cleary states above that :” Manuel does not bother to interact with Dalcour's argument”. Then why did you withhold answering to what was stated by me until later? It was clearly an argument to his faulty word study, I did not have to spend a bunch time with such an faulty argument.




...I posted my response to you for a reason and that was to get you to deal with certain arguments so I could deal with your own arguments.
Mr. Cleary:
Manuel here states that the reason he posted on my blog was so that he could deal with my arguments on certain issues. The problem is that Manuel did not present specific arguments or issues. He merely posted a very generalized and broad ranging screed against Calvinism to which I responded appropriately. If Manuel wants to deal with specific points of dispute, then he needs to submit specific arguments.


mlculwell: The specific dispute and point is your interpretation of (John 6:44) in which I gave my arguments against the Calvinist (Not the Bible‘s ) interpretation.




Mr. Cleary I already explained that these good folks on this your blog responded to your “vacuum trap”(I did not.) It could be seen from a mile away. You only submitted two passages to isolate your “sugar stick” that being John 6:44 you set up your trap to the exclusion of other passages yes you submitted (John 12:32) But I saw what you were trying to do, all I needed was one or more passages that you not so much even eluded to that being (James 4:8, and John 6:45)

Mr. Cleary:
So besides "vacuum isolation", we now have something called a "vacuum trap". Again, I have never seen this phrase used before so I won't speculate on what Manuel means by it. However, he does appear to be referring to the previous post I did on John 12:32. But yet again, Manuel fails to actually deal with what was written there. Instead, he chooses to dismiss my arguments by throwing out made up terminology along with some nonsense about sugar sticks.

Mlculwell: “Vacuum isolation” is not a term that I will be removing from my list of descriptive adjectives of methods used by the reformed anytime soon. The Calvinist Reformed wants to ridicule me for using made up terminology? Please Mr. Cleary I can submit all kinds of terms you use for folks that are not of the same persuasion as you, you believe those terms you employ fit certain ones, you are entitled to your opinion just like everybody else it does not mean it is the truth until it is proven so, my observation fits very well concerning your methods used to draw your conclusions which you call exegesis.

Mr. Cleary
Furthermore, if my posts on this blog are as obviously defective as Manuel asserts, then it should be an easy matter for him to refute them. But, it appears that no such refutation is forthcoming.

mlculwell: You want me to deal with your post you submitted on John 12:32? Why? It is a non issue. I dealt with the drawing of God and that is through the preaching of the word. I do not see my arguments being dealt with ,(You state they are for another post) so this post is just for things you take personal, most of it has to do with my observations of Calvinism so this is kind of a waste of my time, we should be dealing with arguments. But okay I am glad to deal with anything you want talk about, you are trying, as you say, to hold me accountable for my remarks, that’s fine, but you will not accept them.




Yep! No problem…God predestined the salvation of an elect group (the church) to which all maybe added conditioned upon their faith in obedience to the Gospel.

Mr. Dalcour:
Here, Manuel is responding to my mention of Ephesians 1:5. But the reader should note that nowhere in Ephesians chapter 1 does it state anything about predestination being conditioned on faith. Moreover, what Manuel is alluding to here is the concept of "class election". Yet, the mere mention of this concept is not an argument and arguments are what we are here to consider.

Mlculwell: Is it, or is it not, the famous Calvinist argument:” no one can remove me from the body because I have become the finger of Christ etc.” Concerning the arguments you use for once saved always saved or the preservation of the saints?(Romans 8:38-39) There are no individuals any longer in the Body of Christ, the “us” refers to individuals collectively who make the one body of Christ.(the will is not listed as removing us from the love of Christ)…. (The reader will note the made up terminology:” class election” that I did not employ but rather J Matthew Cleary to describe that which he thinks I teach. It is the Bible that teaches the body of Christ and not individuals are destined to glory. As for your comment on whether or not Eph..1:5 teaches it is conditioned upon our faith, of course that passage does not teach such others do though (Acts 5:32) he gives the Holy Ghost to them that obey him through belief and repentence in response to the Gospel preached the drawing of God.


Mr. Cleary:
Thus, if Manuel wants to argue for the concept of class election, then he is free to do so if and when he responds.

Mlculwell:
Mr. Cleary thinks individuals are p-r-e-d-e-s-t-I-n-e-d. Find me the passage please that says so?

Mr. Cleary:
Well, that would be the aforementioned Ephesians 1:5. Y'know, the verse that states "He predestined us..."?

Mr. Cleary:
Now, it's at about this point in Manuel's post that he attempts to answer my mention of Acts 13:48. Sadly however, Manuel's response doesn't interact with the actual wording of that text. In fact, it's not even mentioned at all! Instead, Manuel chooses to go off to the book of Romans where he makes a number of assertions. Needless to say, this leaves Acts 13:48 untouched and the Calvinistic interpretation unrefuted. On top of this, Manuel's assertions in regards to Romans are not really argued. He seems content to
sprinkle those assertions with citations and leaving it at that.



Mlculwell: First of all Mr. Cleary I never made an attempt to answer (Acts 13:48) period, it’s another one of those hard passages Calvinists twist to their own destruction. notice the Following:
ordain( Greek tasso 5021 Strongs A prol. Form of a prim. Verb.Which later appears only in certain tenses) to arrange in an orderly manner, ie assign or dispose to a certain position(Acts 13:46-47) Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.” To the Jew first and also to the Greek( Romans 1:16) God sets the order and again the Calvinist is completely wrong and bunk in their interpretation by simple reading of context of passages instead of their famous vacuum isolation of sugar stick passages a patented made up term from yours truly.
To be fair let’s see what others have to say about the verse of your persuasion, particularly Mr. James white from his book which I have titled:
· The potter’s freedom.* The following quotation is of course a comment toward Mr.Norman Geisler’s from James white concerning Acts 13:48 I will exclude Geisler’s comment as I am only concerned with what Mr. White has to say. Mr white Comments:
“ We commend Dr. Geisler for his very conditional presentation of this argument.it is clear that he is well aware that this viewpoint has a mountain of argumentation going against it. First and foremost is the fact that the passage is not translated as made ready or were disposed to in any of the major modern translations.” Then Mr. White list them but I will not, it is irrelevant because he isolates the passages to highlight his doctrine he does not submit that it was the Gentiles that God had turned the gospel that being the gentiles were ordained or ordered to eternal life. Classic example of vacuum isolation by Mr. White to highlight his doctrine. References quoted from James White’s The Potter’s Freedom pages 187 and 188.


Here is Tyndale’s translation instead half scriptures submitted by Mr. white.

48 The gentyls hearde and were glad and glorified the worde of ye Lorde and beleved: eve as many as were ordeyned vnto eternall lyfe.

Mr. White then submits Acts 22:10 to try and prove his point concerning the word “appointed”: 10: And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. That being an Apostle, to be a member of the body, one trained in the only word of God, a Pharrisee(Confess Angels , spirits , and the resurrection(Acts 23:3) at that time and one seeing the mighty power of God personally. (Acts 22: 21) Depart:I will send thee unto the gentiles.(Acts 26:16) I have appeared unto thee to make thee a minister and a witness(To the Gentiles verse 17)



Mlculwell:
the elect are not simply individuals chosen by God while other are simply rejected but the elect refers to those individuals colectively that make the Body of Christ while we are in him which took place through the preaching of the gospel, the drawing of God. We are chosen in him from the foundation of the world as the elect body, the church .

Mr. Cleary:
This is Manuel's response to my mention of 2Thessolonians 2:13. Let the reader again notice that Manuel does not interact with the actual wording of that text. He is again content with making an unsupported assertion in lieu of an argument. As it is, I can just as easily assert that the elect are indeed individuals chosen by God unto salvation as stated in 2Thessolonians. Consequently, the rest of mankind is passed over and left to the sin that they love since it is a fact that not all will be saved. Further, the idea that the church as a corporate entity is what is predestined to salvation instead of the individual is fallacious on the grounds that groups consist of individuals and that there is no exegetical reason that can be gleaned from any given text to support the notion of corporate election.

Mlculwell:
2nd.Thessolonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.

Mr. Cleary, How in the world is the above passage supposed to be an argument ? I will tell you how, by him again isolating verse 13 from verse11 and 12 and the passage immediately after, verse 14 and him hoping I don’t call him on it.

Verse 11- 12 and for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Verse 13
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.

Verse 14 whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I really don’t know how you missed the keywords and phrase” Bound to give thanks always to God. Let us not forget, God will send them a strong delusion. God allows them to continue in their delusion without intervention because they love their unrighteousness more than the truth they have heard Verse 10.


Mlculwell:
You completely ignored my post and simply added your snide comments and remarks while ignoring the passages I submitted.

Mr. Cleary:
To say that I "completely ignored" Manuel's post is beyond inaccurate; it's dishonest. Further, if Manuel wants to complain about the tone of my responses, then perhaps he should not have set that tone to begin with. That is, since I believe in answering folks on their own grounds, then Manuel should be focusing on the tone of his own posts.

Mlculwell: I am not worried about your tone Mr. Cleary, I should get answers to your doctrine, not remarks, you are also complaining about me not answering you on key issues but let me explain something, I never reveal all of my arguments in a discussion in one sitting you have complained my posts are too long, they would be a lot longer, there is plenty of time to answer you.

Mr. Cleary:
Also, I am not obligated to respond to prooftexting. It is enough to point it out for what it is and leave it at that. When Manuel provides exegetical demonstrations for his submitted passages and why they contradict Calvinism, he'll then get a response.

Mlculwell : I didn’t know we were having a formal discussion, neither of us are obligated to do anything for that matter, we made no agreements, I can walk away and never answer you again, do you want me here or not? If so, then you should reciprocate.


Here in is the problem. You care to much what Calvin had to say, I am not talking to Calvin, I am talking to you,...

Mr. Cleary:
Here, Manuel completely dodges a previous challenge to one of his comments. If the reader will remember, Manuel stated that men were robots according to Calvin. I then challenged Manuel to direct us to where Calvin ever said such a thing. Instead of backing up his claim, Manuel chooses to employ a smoke and mirrors tactic of redirecting the reader's attention to me supposedly caring too much about what Calvin had to say.

Mlculwell: The smoke and mirror tactics are coming from you Mr. Cleary. You will notice I am not defending anyone’s doctrine, I am not here defending Arminianism most of what I know of him is by hearing and reading from Calvinists . My comments are my paraphrase of hearing of your doctrine, it is not for me to represent your doctrine correctly that is up to you(I am not being dishonest that is my understanding until you correct it, so far you have not done that) folks do it all the time, allow me to give you an example of your own folks specifically again Mr. Edward Dalcour.

Examining the Oneness Claim that Jesus is His Own Father
The above heading from is Mr. Edward Dalcour’s Department of Christian defense site.
We make no such claim that Jesus is his own father. The title is somewhat misleading,. but it is Dalcour’s prerogative to make such a claim according to his understanding of what we teach, that being Jesus is God the father according to his deity and son according to his humanity but the son as to his humanity did not exist until he was born at Bethlehem the father as spirit always existed Jesus being both father (Spirit) and son could make claim to pre-existence. I tried very hard to get him to have a discussion but he kept insisting I made no attempt at exegesis so that he would not debate me, now mind you not on this particular issue but rather concerning John 1:1 but we surely would have gotten to this because I would have steered it there. There are many more examples I could give but I believe this will suffice.

Mr. Cleary:
So let the reader be aware that Manuel cannot show where Calvin ever said what Manuel claims. Furthermore, I will now challenge Manuel to substantiate his assertion that I care too much about what Calvin had say.

Mlculwell: The very fact you are making such a big deal about it proves my point. You will not admit it, we have a saying about you Calvinist’s you care very much about JC John Calvin.


Mr. Cleary:
If Manuel's accusation has an ounce of merit, then it should be an easy matter for him to expose my reliance on the words of Calvin. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that Manuel will dodge this challenge as well. This is because a brief scan thru the entries on this blog would reveal that Manuel's accusation is completely baseless. Off the top of my head, I know of only one blog entry in which I even mentioned Calvin. Furthermore, I own only one of Calvin's works (and it isn't his Institutes.) These are odd facts indeed for someone who supposedly cares too much about what Calvin had to say!

Mlculwell: why would it be a challenge? You would simply deny it that is all it takes there is no way for me to prove because you have made one blog entry or because you own Calvin’s works or you do not it is irrelevant ( I own none) all I need is the bible for this discussion and me bringing the accusation should not bother you ,I hear all kinds of accusations concerning what I believe.


...I neither care what Calvin, Arminus, Tertullian, the pope, Arius, or anyone else had to say in so called church history or otherwise unless it was the Lord Jesus Christ or the Apostles and brethren from scripture...I really don’t care what Arminius or Calvin had to say about anything, they have no hold or claim on scripture what so ever.

Mr. Cleary:
Well, if it's true that Manuel doesn't care about what anybody says other than what's written in God's word, then how can he possibly care about what I say? What's he doing here arguing against my beliefs if he does not in fact care about what I say or write? Further, no Calvinist or Arminian with whom I am familiar has ever made the claim that John Calvin or Jacob Arminius had some sort of "hold or claim on scripture" so I have no idea what Manuel is going on about.

Mlculwell: What either of us says or writes will not change God’s truth period, that includes the so called “apostles creed” which is false and anyone else that writes, it should be compared to the word of God before it is called truth, which the reformed assume it is, all writings of men should be tested as truth and compared to the only truth we know, that being God’s word what we know as the 66 books of the bible, that is what was meant by me concerning Calvin’s writings or anyone else’s, I care what you say because I will defend the word of God through discussion, Calvin cannot do that, but he helped popularize that doctrine in which others as well as yourself quote his works be it as little as you do in defense of a doctrine, you believe you are defending the word of God, I am here to test that.


Do you , or do you not believe you are made a believer beyond your will?

Mr. Dalcour:
That depends on what Manuel means by "beyond your will". If he means that God forces men to believe against their sinful and fallen natures, then no. If he means that God changes the very nature of man by granting him spritual rebirth so that he can now choose according to his new nature, then yes.

Mlculwell: Then you are wrong are on both counts! God justifies the ungodly Gentiles where they should repent and turn to God(Acts 26:15-20,Romans 5:6-10) 6: For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7: For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9: Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Our strength comes through the power of the Holy Ghost to no longer follow our flesh but the spirit of God, we don’t get that at initial belief or faith through hearing, it is progressive (Acts 19:1-6) Even when we were dead in sins he quickened us (Made us alive) Together(Eph. 2:5)


Please be a little more forth coming with what you believe so that everyone can distinguish the two doctrines?
Mr. Cleary:
This is the first in a series accusations that I'm trying to hide what I believe as a Calvinist. I'll address most of these accusations below but there are a few points I would like to make here and now:

1) I am not obligated to list and elaborate on the five points of Calvinism in each and every blog entry I write.

Mlculwell: Please find where I have you asked you to do so? I want you to be forth coming on what we are speaking of if that includes two points that highlight your doctrine then you should be able to do that. I have never asked you to submit all five points anywhere in this discussion.


Mr. Cleary:
2) Just who is it that I'm supposedly hiding my doctrine from? For the non-Calvinist, it should be quite easy to deduce what my doctrine is from the very title of my blog. But, most of the folks who comment on this blog are, themselves, Calvinsts. Is Manuel suggesting that I'm hiding my doctrine from them?

Mlculwell: Of course not! I suggest you are hiding from non Calvinists, I can get what you actually believe from other Calvinists, the reason I am asking, you don’t seem to be agreeing with others of your persuasion concerning the same points if so tell me you differ?


Mr. Cleary:
3) If Manuel is asserting that I'm hiding my doctrine from himself, then I will again point out that Manuel's first post here was not an attempt to discern definitional standards. There were no questions asked in regards to what I believe. Rather, it was an all-out attack on my faith.

Mlculwell: Of course I am attacking your doctrine (Not your faith) which by the way came from God through the word albeit misapplied and misplaced through hand me down tradition taught through the centuries. You made arguments to trip folks up of different persuasions to show how superior your doctrine was to anyone else’s, I challenged that! That is all.


Mr. Cleary:
4) And just for the sake of putting this nonsense to rest, I will briefly lay out my cards for all to see. I am a five point Calvinist with Supralapsarian leanings.

Mlculwell: Impressive, I guess to other supralapsarians. I will save the LOL!


Mr. Cleary:
My Eschatological preference is Amillennialism with historic pre-mil sympathies. I reject Dispensationalism in favor of Covenant theology.

Mlculwell: I am also an Amillenialist but that is because I am Preterist but that’s irrelevant to this discussion and don’t tell me I got it from the Reformed because I didn’t, I received this understanding way back in 1991 while in the UPC or so my wife tells me because I can’t seem to remember exactly when anyhow I am now independent Apostolic.

Mr. Cleary:
And last (but certainly not least), I am a Trinitarian. Now, if anyone out there doesn't know what any of these positions are then I would be happy to direct them to the appropriate resources or I'll do my best to answer any honest and direct questions.

Mlculwell: And of course I am the dreaded non-Trinitarian(Oneness) and very happy with that fact thank you very much!

There is nothing stated in scripture anywhere of “compatibilistic free will.”

The fact that the word 'compatiblism' is not found in scripture is not evidence against it. If it were, then such evidence would prove too much. That is, the term 'libertarianism' is likewise not found in the bible. Thus, Manuel's argument, if true, would disprove his own position on man's will. Indeed, since 'oneness pentacostal' is not found in the bible, Manuel's entire belief system would likewise be falsified if this horribly flawed reasoning were accepted.

Mlculwell: But that was not at all what was stated by me Mr. Cleary, why would you not get what was stated above but understand below? The thought was one complete thought.


Not even one example, it is based on bad interpretation of scripture...

Mr. Cleary:
On the contrary, there are many examples of compatiblism within holy writ. For instance, Genesis 50:20 states that both God and Joseph's brothers sent Joseph into slavery. Then there is Ezra 1:1 where God causes Cyrus to issue the proclamation. And who can forget
Gen. 50: 20: But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Ezra1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
2: Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.

Neither passage proves compatiblism…

Mr. Cleary:
Acts 4:27,28 where God predestined the actions of all those who participated in Christ's crucifixion? Others could be cited but these should suffice. The reader should note that in each instance, both man and God willed the exact same thing but with differing purpose. Man does what he wants to do but simultaneously fulfills God's will. This is the essence of compatiblism.

Mlculwell:
27: For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
28: For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

(2 Timothy 2:19-21).If a man therefore purge himself from these he shall be a vessel unto Honor, sanctified, and meet for the masters use, and prepared unto every good work.

(Luke 7:29-30) 29: And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
30: But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.




Acts 7:51). 51: Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Are these examples of your take?



Mlculwell:
...you do believe in “inherited sin.”

Mr. Cleary:
Actually, I believe in the doctrine of 'original sin'. I make this distinction because there is no way to know what Manuel means when he uses the term "inherited sin" since he does not elaborate on it.

Mlculwell:
Man inherits the original sin of Adam instead of man being accountable to God for his own sin, you Know exactly what I mean, I believe neither terms inherited sin or original sin are biblical….


...all five points rest upon each other...

Mr. Cleary:
True.


...you seem to be hiding what it is you believe.

Mr. Cleary:
Since I affirm the doctrine of original sin and the fact that the five points of Calvinism flow logically from one point to the next, what can I possibly hiding?

Mlculwell: I pointed it out in our last posts


You believe mankind is born dead from Adam onward and so some are chosen to salvation while others are doomed to hell not because of being drawn of God by the gospel being preached .


Mr. Cleary:
Yes, I believe that man is dead in sin. This belief is based on Paul's teachings in Romans 5 and Ephesians 2. It is also based on Jesus' own teaching about spiritual rebirth in John 3. Further, if men are in fact "doomed to hell", then they are doomed because of their love for sin.

Mlculwell: And their love for sin is because God did not supernaturally cause them to stop loving their sin. My paraphrase of your doctrine since you will not tell us anything more about it.

to be continued
The rest I will answer in another post as you will see nothing will be ignored by me....

Manuel L Culwell

J. Matthew Cleary said...

Manuel,

"Would you like for me to submit all of Mr. Dalcour's Emails?"

If you are going to base a point on something that another person has written, then you are obligated to provide info on where that written material can be viewed and evaluated. This insures that the source material is being handled honestly and accurately.

"certainly did interact with Dalcour's argument you must have missed it."

Well, if you are talking about this...

"The same Greek word is used of both passages. It is an “inward compelling” as a response to the gospel being preached that is how God draws not as the Calvinist claims."

...then this is not a refutation of Dalcour since you are merely agreeing with him on the meaning of the greek word in question. That is, you quote Dalcour performing a word study, agree with him that the word in question means "an inward compelling" and you then jump to the conclusion that Dalcour is being deceptive. How is that a refutation?

"Mr. Cleary states above that :” Manuel does not bother to interact with Dalcour's argument”. Then why did you withhold answering to what was stated by me until later? It was clearly an argument to his faulty word study, I did not have to spend a bunch time with such an faulty argument."

Here, you are saying that you disagree with Dalcour's word study. But in what way? In your previous comments you appear to be agreeing with him about an "inward compelling". So which is it? Do you agree with Dalcour about the meaning of 'draw' or not?

"The specific dispute and point is your interpretation of (John 6:44) in which I gave my arguments against the Calvinist (Not the Bible‘s ) interpretation"

Again Manuel, you have not submitted arguments, only assertions and prooftexting. And in regards to John 6, your way of arguing against the Calvinistic interpretation of v.44 is to read v.45 back into it while completely ignoring v.35-43. The Calvinistic understanding of v.44 depends as much on the context of 6:35-45 as it does on the actual wording of v.44. In short, your methodology has been to isolate verses 44 and 45 from their immediate context and interpret v.44 in light of 45. This is simply faulty methodology that is acutally fairly common for those who argue against Calvinism. Needless to say, your methodology is simply unconvincing because the entirety of the Calvinistic argument isn't being touched.

"You want me to deal with your post you submitted on John 12:32? Why?"

Because you claim that it's obviously wrong. But this begs the question. You need to interact with an argument instead of dismissing it if you wish to prove anything.

"It is a non issue."

Hardly. My post on John 12:32 is very relevant because this verse is very often brought up to counter the Calvinistic understanding of John 6:44. In fact, 12:32 is a primary text used by folks who argue against Calvinism. Thus, my argument in regards to 12:32 is very much relevant.

"I dealt with the drawing of God and that is through the preaching of the word."

Yes, I've noticed that you think that the mere mention of God drawing men by the preaching of His word negates Calvinism. But Calvinists affirm that God draws in this way. Thus, the mere mention of this fact proves nothing.

"I do not see my arguments being dealt with ,(You state they are for another post)..."

That's because you have not submitted arguments. And what I stated was that other parts of your previous posts would be specifically addressed in an upcoming blog entry. So it is inaccurate to say that I'm only going to respond to (supposed) arguments then.

"...so this post is just for things you take personal, most of it has to do with my observations of Calvinism so this is kind of a waste of my time, we should be dealing with arguments."

If you think that this is a waste of your time, then why bother? Why go out of your way to respond to everything that I say if you believe that it is a waste of time to do so? Oh, and I would certainly agree that we should be dealing with arguments. But again, you have submitted assertion and prooftexting and little else.

"But okay I am glad to deal with anything you want talk about,..."

If this was the case, then you would have been glad to deal with the arguments that I've already submitted on this blog. But again, you have not so forgive me if I doubt you here.

"Is it, or is it not, the famous Calvinist argument:” no one can remove me from the body because I have become the finger of Christ etc.”"

It probably is not seeing as how nothing I have read has stated that we are "fingers of Christ". Again, if you are going to quote people, please provide a reference so that everyone will know what you are going on about.

"Concerning the arguments you use for once saved always saved or the preservation of the saints?(Romans 8:38-39) There are no individuals any longer in the Body of Christ, the “us” refers to individuals collectively who make the one body of Christ.(the will is not listed as removing us from the love of Christ)… ... It is the Bible that teaches the body of Christ and not individuals are destined to glory."

Manuel, this is exactly what I have been talking about. This statement by you is just one long assertion. There is nothing here that establishes what you are saying.

"...(The reader will note the made up terminology:” class election” that I did not employ..."

I did not make up "class election". It is the term used to describe the position you are trying to advance. Just because you don't use it (others who advocate the position do in fact use it) or are unfamiliar with it doesn't mean that I made it up.

"As for your comment on whether or not Eph..1:5 teaches it is conditioned upon our faith, of course that passage does not teach such..."

Thank you for admitting that you have treated Ephesians 1 eisegetically. Now if you would only be so forthcoming with all the rest of your assertions...

"...he gives the Holy Ghost to them that obey him through belief and repentence in response to the Gospel preached the drawing of God."

Case in point: this is just an assertion regarding Acts 5:32. There is no exegetical demonstration that this verse agrees with your theology over and against mine. Nor does it lend to your eisegetical handling of Ephesians 1. On what basis do you interpret Ephesians 1:5 in light of this verse? Why can't a Calvinist simply do the reverse and interpret Acts 5:32 in light of Ephesians 1?

"First of all Mr. Cleary I never made an attempt to answer (Acts 13:48) period,..."

If this is indeed the case, then why quote it as if you were going to address it? That is, if you intended to ignore it, you shouldn't have quoted my mention of it as if you were offering some sort of response.

"God sets the order and again the Calvinist is completely wrong and bunk in their interpretation by simple reading of context of passages..."

And here again, you present a common non-Calvinist argument. Unfortunately, you do an awful job of presenting it. You quote Strong's Concordance on the greek word 'tasso' but you do not demonstrate how this advances your assertions. Furthermore, your quotation is jumbled in that I cannot tell where Strong's ends and your comments begin. In fact this is a big problem with each of your posts here. You need to take more time to make sure that whatever points you are trying to make are being presented clearly. Your comments on James White are equally unclear. What points are you trying to make? I mean, I know you think White is wrong but how you come to that conclusion is just not clear. I own the book you are referring to and I can tell you that your comments, as written, do not do justice to White's argument. In fact, you are ignoring most of White had to say. White's comments on Acts 13:46-48 start on page 186 and end on page 190. Do you really think that your breif and unclear comments here are going to persuade anyone that White was as wrong as you suggest?

On top of all this, how Acts 13:46,47 somehow negates the actual wording of v. 48 is not successfully argued by you. You (again) simply say that it does. The fact that the jews rejected the gospel first does not contradict Calvinism. The doctrine of total depravity states that this is what men will do unless God intervenes effectually. So where is the contradiction?

"...instead of their famous vacuum isolation of sugar stick passages a patented made up term from yours truly."

Again, thank you for your admission that you are employing made-up terminology. This effectively dismisses your comments that I should have known what you were talking about.

"Mr. Cleary, How in the world is the above passage supposed to be an argument ?"

It wasn't intended to be. If you'll remember Manuel, I mentioned 2Thessolonians in response to you spelling out certain words from certain verses. I simply responded in kind to show you the fallacious nature of such tactics. Thus, for you to question how my mention of 2Thessolonians can be an argument in and of itself actually goes toward refuting much of what you have posted on my blog. That is, a mere mention of a verse is not an arguement. So we can expect you to stop prooftexting then?

"I really don’t know how you missed the keywords and phrase” Bound to give thanks always to God."

That would be because I haven't. Moreover, where is your explanation of how this phrase contradicts Reformed theology?

"Let us not forget, God will send them a strong delusion. God allows them to continue in their delusion without intervention because they love their unrighteousness more than the truth they have heard Verse 10."

And Calvinism affirms everything you just stated. God does indeed send strong delusion. He does indeed allow men to stay within the sin that they love. So yet again, what is your argument?

"I am not worried about your tone Mr. Cleary,..."

Then don't complain about it as if you do care.

"I should get answers to your doctrine, not remarks,..."

If you want answers Manuel, you need to ask questions. Also, if I give remarks about what I believe, then I am not in fact hiding what I believe as you have asserted.

"...you are also complaining about me not answering you on key issues..."

No, I have complained that you are ignoring arguments that have already been presented on this blog while simultaneously claiming that I have not presented any.

"I didn’t know we were having a formal discussion,..."

We aren't. But you are claiming to be refuting Calvinism by your prooftexting and assertions which is fallacious. If you want to refute another's viewpoint, then you are in fact obligated to do more.

"...neither of us are obligated to do anything for that matter,..."

But as I just stated, if you are here for the purpose of refuting my viewpoints, then you are obligated to presenting arguments that go beyond quoting a verse or set of verses and leaving it at that. If you submit a verse, you are obligated as to why this verse contradicts the viewpoints of others. This requires exegetical demonstration and accurate statements of the viewpoints of those whom you are trying to refute.

" we made no agreements,..."

So?

"I can walk away and never answer you again,..."

That would be just fine with me since you didn't come here with the intention of having an honest, and friendly dialogue. Your initial screed doesn't come close to an attempt at such dialogue.

"...do you want me here or not?"

No, not really. I prefer friendly, intramural discussion. Our exchange thus far has been anything but.

"If so, then you should reciprocate."

And what do you mean by this? Reciprocate how?

"The smoke and mirror tactics are coming from you Mr. Cleary."

And this is nothing but hot air until you provide the book and page number where Calvin said that men were robots. Your only other way out is to admit that you were wrong to attribute something to Calvin that he never said. This, as another commenter here has pointed out, would be the Christian thing to do.

"My comments are my paraphrase of hearing of your doctrine, it is not for me to represent your doctrine correctly that is up to you..."

Wow, you just shredded any credibility you had left. What you are saying here is that you do not have to accurately represent the viewpoint you are attacking. How is anyone supposed to take you seriously after making such a statement?

"...folks do it all the time, allow me to give you an example of your own folks specifically again Mr. Edward Dalcour."

It is irrelevant as to whether or not Dalcour misrepresented your beliefs for the simple reason that it does not justify you doing it as well. All it does is make you just as wrong as Dalcour (if he did in fact misrepresent your beliefs to begin with).

"The very fact you are making such a big deal about it proves my point."

It does nothing of the sort. My asking you to prove your baseless assertion only proves that I require proof for accusations leveled against me. As it is, you cannot show that I depend on Calvin rather than the scriptures for my viewpoints and arguments. But, to drive home the ridiculous nature of your accusation and how you choose to justify it, I say that your free-will theism is derived from Arminius. And like you, I require no proof for my assertion. If you object in the slightest, you will prove my point. How's that?

"You will not admit it, we have a saying about you Calvinist’s you care very much about JC John Calvin."

Nor will you admit that your theology is derived from Jacob Arminius. We Calvinists have a saying about you guys and that is, "you free-will theists care way too much about Jacob Arminius". (how do you like your own medicine Manuel?)

"why would it be a challenge? You would simply deny it that is all it takes..."

Of course I deny it. It is not the truth. And you are right that it is enough for me to deny it. This is because the burden of proof does not rest on my shoulders but rather yours. That is, you are the one making the accusation thus, you are obligated to prove it. Would you really argue Manuel, that people are not obligated to prove their accusations!?

"...there is no way for me to prove[it]..."

I again thank you for your admission. Since you cannot prove that I "care too much" about what Calvin said, then you are admittingt that your accusation is baseless and there is no reason why anyone should accept it.

"...all I need is the bible for this discussion..."

Really? Then why do you continue to quote Eddie Dalcour and James White? Why have you quoted Augustus Strong? Why must you supplement your assertions with the words of these men if all you need for this exchange is the bible?

"...and me bringing the accusation should not bother you ,..."

Then neither should you care if I level the accusation that you follow Arminius (or any other accusation that I might happen to throw out). Remember, if you object at all, you prove my point.

"I hear all kinds of accusations concerning what I believe."

Again, so? What does that have to do with me?

"...Calvin cannot do that, but he helped popularize that doctrine in which others as well as yourself quote his works be it as little as you do in defense of a doctrine,..."

You here state that I quote Calvin in defense of my doctrine. Where? When? Find me one instance on this blog where I have quoted Calvin. Just one Manuel...

"Please find where I have you asked you to do so? I want you to be forth coming on what we are speaking of if that includes two points that highlight your doctrine then you should be able to do that. I have never asked you to submit all five points anywhere in this discussion."

Nice try Manuel, but your banter gets you nowhere in regards to justifying your accusations that I'm hiding my beliefs. In each instance, you imply that I'm obligated to provide definitional standards to your remarks. But where no request for such standards are made, no obligation exists. I answered your remarks appropriately. If you make a statement that doesn't contradict my beliefs as written, then it's enough for me to point it out and leave it at that. The burden of proof rests with you to demonstrate a contradiction.

"I suggest you are hiding from non Calvinists,..."

Then you are wrong.

"...you don’t seem to be agreeing with others of your persuasion concerning the same points if so tell me you differ?"

In order to tell you where I might differ with other Calvinists, I will need specific examples of what you are asserting. That is, since you think I differ, then who am I differing with and with what point?

"Of course I am attacking your doctrine..."

Thank you for proving the point you are addressing here.

"...You made arguments to trip folks up of different persuasions to show how superior your doctrine was to anyone else’s, I challenged that!"

You have done no such thing. That is, you did not interact with a single entry that I have posted here despite the fact that you posted your initial response to three or four different entries. And you continue to dismiss those arguments out of hand. All you've done thus far is rant against my beliefs.

"Impressive, I guess to other supralapsarians. I will save the LOL!"

Yet more mockery in lieu of anything substantive. You are trying to divert attention away fromt the fact that your assertions about me hiding my beliefs are in fact baseless.

"But that was not at all what was stated by me Mr. Cleary, why would you not get what was stated above but understand below? The thought was one complete thought."

And as I was saying above, you aren't very clear in what you say. If I misunderstand a point you are trying to make, then you cannot point an accusatory finger at me. I responded appropriately to what was written.

"Neither passage proves compatiblism…"

Mere assertion.

"Are these examples of your take?"

And this is another example of what I just said about your lack of clarity. What does, "examples of your take" mean?

"Man inherits the original sin of Adam instead of man being accountable to God for his own sin, you Know exactly what I mean,

No, I did not know exactly what you meant. I don't presume to know what you think my beleifs are.

"I believe neither terms inherited sin or original sin are biblical…."

And I believe that they are biblical.

"And their love for sin is because God did not supernaturally cause them to stop loving their sin. My paraphrase of your doctrine since you will not tell us anything more about it."

No, they love their sin because they are sinners. Sinners love to sin. Sinners do not love their sin because God refuses to turn them. In fact, your statement makes no sense. How can God's refusal to turn a man away from his sin be the cause of that man's love for his sin?

And again, what am I hiding Manuel?

mlculwell said...

Manuel,

"Would you like for me to submit all of Mr. Dalcour's Emails?"

Mr. Cleary:
If you are going to base a point on something that another person has written, then you are obligated to provide info on where that written material can be viewed and evaluated. This insures that the source material is being handled honestly and accurately.

Mlculwell:
It is in personal emails which I will put up on my yahoo group for your veiwing. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Trinity_vs_Oneness_Debate/

"certainly did interact with Dalcour's argument you must have missed it."

Mr. Cleary:
Well, if you are talking about this...
Mlculwell: you claimed I did not interact with Mr. Dalcour, as can be seen I most certainly did interact with his argument. Here again is his argument:
Edward Dalcour writes’ “ Jesus sets the condition of coming to Him:
“unless the Father . . draws him.” The verb translated “draws” is from
elkw.(1670 strongs *my own addition for clarification) The drawing is more than a wooing or mere encouragement.
Lexicographically, this word means, “to compel by an inward power, irresistible
superiority.”
And what was Mr. Dalcours point he stated? Jesus sets the condition for coming to him. What would that condition be? UNLESS THE FATHER DRAWS HIM. He stated it means to be dragged by a supernatural power irresistibly, I vehemently deny that! I then stated and submitted strongs and the following passage from James :
Draw(1670 strongs Greek) nigh to God and he
will draw(1670 ) nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners, purify your
hearts ye double minded.(James 4:8)

Notice how Mr. Dalcour tried to pull the wool over my eyes with what he submitted . Just like you by not dealing with all of my post no matter how silly you thought it was, I posted my response to you for a reason and that was to get you to deal with certain arguments so I could deal with your own arguments. The same Greek word is used of both passages. It is an “inward compelling” as a response to the gospel being preached, that is how God draws not as the Calvinist claims.
We are no way in agreement! The same Greek word is used of both passages but I guarantee Mr. Dalcour would not state the drawing nigh of yourself toward God was because of a supernatural irresistible compelling, this condition is upon yourself drawing near to God again as an inward response to the Gospel, in other words your heart stings being pulled upon by hearing the preaching of the Gospel. Mr. Dalcour’s view ridiculous..
Mr. Cleary:
...then this is not a refutation of Dalcour since you are merely agreeing with him on the meaning of the greek word in question.
Mlculwell: I am in no way agreeing with him. He as do you, believes that God supernaturally draws mankind against their willl… You stated I did not interact I most certainly did .
Mr. Cleary:
That is, you quote Dalcour performing a word study, agree with him that the word in question means "an inward compelling" and you then jump to the conclusion that Dalcour is being deceptive. How is that a refutation?

mlculwell: Mr. Cleary I am being serious, I think you have comprehension problem. Of course it means an inward compelling but not in the way he means it. And compare the two passages, the one he submitted and the James 4:8 passage I submitted.

"Mr. Cleary states above that :” Manuel does not bother to interact with Dalcour's argument”. Then why did you withhold answering to what was stated by me until later? It was clearly an argument to his faulty word study, I did not have to spend a bunch time with such an faulty argument."

Here, you are saying that you disagree with Dalcour's word study. But in what way? In your previous comments you appear to be agreeing with him about an "inward compelling". So which is it? Do you agree with Dalcour about the meaning of 'draw' or not?

Mlculwell: Yes I agree with the meaning but I do not agree it means to be dragged against our will. I have explained that.


"The specific dispute and point is your interpretation of (John 6:44) in which I gave my arguments against the Calvinist (Not the Bible‘s ) interpretation"

Mr. Cleary:
Again Manuel, you have not submitted arguments, only assertions and prooftexting. And in regards to John 6, your way of arguing against the Calvinistic interpretation of v.44 is to read v.45 back into it while completely ignoring v.35-43. The Calvinistic understanding of v.44 depends as much on the context of 6:35-45 as it does on the actual wording of v.44. In short, your methodology has been to isolate verses 44 and 45 from their immediate context and interpret v.44 in light of 45. This is simply faulty methodology that is acutally fairly common for those who argue against Calvinism. Needless to say, your methodology is simply unconvincing because the entirety of the Calvinistic argument isn't being touched.

Mlculwell: What? I will submit John 6:35-45
35: And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36: But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39: And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
41: The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42: And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43: Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45: It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Every man that hears and learns of the father (Through the preaching of the word Romans 10:14-15) that is the drawing and the way mankind comes to God. The Calvinist view is completely unwarranted. I don’t care if you go back even further it still does not prove your point.


Mlculwell:
"You want me to deal with your post you submitted on John 12:32? Why?"

Mr. Cleary:
Because you claim that it's obviously wrong. But this begs the question. You need to interact with an argument instead of dismissing it if you wish to prove anything.

mlculwell: If I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me.
I claim it’s wrong? I do not claim Jesus was wrong, I do not claim what he stated was wrong , our initial argument was over the all men being drawn, Remember? I agreed that the * all * was limited, but not at all how the Calvinist claims. The all men being drawn are those who respond to the Gospel message, that means those who do not respond are not drawn, it does not mean some are predisposed to being already drawn and others are not.

"It is a non issue."

Mr. Cleary:
Hardly. My post on John 12:32 is very relevant because this verse is very often brought up to counter the Calvinistic understanding of John 6:44. In fact, 12:32 is a primary text used by folks who argue against Calvinism. Thus, my argument in regards to 12:32 is very much relevant.

mlculwell: well, I would like to know what your argument is? It is as big a non argument as much as your argument from John 6:44 is a non argument for Calvinism.


"I dealt with the drawing of God and that is through the preaching of the word."

Mr. Cleary:
Yes, I've noticed that you think that the mere mention of God drawing men by the preaching of His word negates Calvinism. But Calvinists affirm that God draws in this way. Thus, the mere mention of this fact proves nothing.

mlculwell: But that is not your argument! You believe men respond because they are predisposed to do so. In other words they do it because god already determined they would do it. There is nothing in scripture or from John 6:44 or John 12:32 that proves your so called argument.

"I do not see my arguments being dealt with ,(You state they are for another post)..."

Mr. Cleary:That's because you have not submitted arguments. And what I stated was that other parts of your previous posts would be specifically addressed in an upcoming blog entry. So it is inaccurate to say that I'm only going to respond to (supposed) arguments then.

Mlculwell: You have not submitted any arguments what so ever Mr. Cleary.


"...so this post is just for things you take personal, most of it has to do with my observations of Calvinism so this is kind of a waste of my time, we should be dealing with arguments."

Mr. Cleary:
If you think that this is a waste of your time, then why bother? Why go out of your way to respond to everything that I say if you believe that it is a waste of time to do so? Oh, and I would certainly agree that we should be dealing with arguments. But again, you have submitted assertion and prooftexting and little else.

Mlculwell: We shall see …..

"But okay I am glad to deal with anything you want talk about,..."

Mr. Cleary:
If this was the case, then you would have been glad to deal with the arguments that I've already submitted on this blog. But again, you have not so forgive me if I doubt you here.

Mlculwell:
I first want to see some arguments.
.

"Is it, or is it not, the famous Calvinist argument:” no one can remove me from the body because I have become the finger of Christ etc.”"

Mr. Cleary
It probably is not seeing as how nothing I have read has stated that we are "fingers of Christ". Again, if you are going to quote people, please provide a reference so that everyone will know what you are going on about.

Mlculwell: I am speaking of the passage in (Romans 8:38-39) you know exactly what passage and scenario you Calvinists Quote.


"Concerning the arguments you use for once saved always saved or the preservation of the saints?(Romans 8:38-39) There are no individuals any longer in the Body of Christ, the “us” refers to individuals collectively who make the one body of Christ.(the will is not listed as removing us from the love of Christ)… ... It is the Bible that teaches the body of Christ and not individuals are destined to glory."

Mr. Cleary
Manuel, this is exactly what I have been talking about. This statement by you is just one long assertion. There is nothing here that establishes what you are saying.

Mlculwell:
I have submitted what I have learned, knowing by personal experience coming from a Calvinist Church and that being the first Baptist church of Springdale Arkansas, pastor Cliff Palmer in 1985 where thank God, I heard the truth and was baptized in Jesus name and Filled with the Spirit the next year.
The following is from one of your own Calvinists
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 KJV AV1611)
“If you really think about it, the Lord Jesus Christ would have to mutilate himself to cast you off into hell if you could lose your salvation. We are His body, a living organism (1 Corinthians 12:13,27; Ephesians 5:30; Colossians 2:11; 1 Peter 2:4-7 KJV AV1611). The Lord would actually be cutting himself up, casting himself into hell if we could lose our salvation! If He did do that or if our salvation depended on us the Lord would only be a Head with no body. “
Jody Adair a Calvinist
He is nobody really but one of yours admitting what I had stated your reformed churches teach your flock.




"...(The reader will note the made up terminology:” class election” that I did not employ..."

Mr. Cleary
I did not make up "class election". It is the term used to describe the position you are trying to advance. Just because you don't use it (others who advocate the position do in fact use it) or are unfamiliar with it doesn't mean that I made it up.

Mlculwell: You didn’t make it up but somebody did and it does not mean that what I have stated about being in the Body of Christ is wrong ,we are saved by being in union with Christ.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of world.(Eph.1:4)
(Col. 3:15) and let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body.
For by one spirit are we all Baptized into one Body (1st. Cor.12:13)


"As for your comment on whether or not Eph..1:5 teaches it is conditioned upon our faith, of course that passage does not teach such..."

Mr. Cleary:
Thank you for admitting that you have treated Ephesians 1 eisegetically. Now if you would only be so forthcoming with all the rest of your assertions...

Mlculwell: I made no such admittance. I will have more to say on the subject though…

"...he gives the Holy Ghost to them that obey him through belief and repentence in response to the Gospel preached, the drawing of God."

Mr. Cleary:
Case in point: this is just an assertion regarding Acts 5:32. There is no exegetical demonstration that this verse agrees with your theology over and against mine. Nor does it lend to your eisegetical handling of Ephesians 1. On what basis do you interpret Ephesians 1:5 in light of this verse? Why can't a Calvinist simply do the reverse and interpret Acts 5:32 in light of Ephesians 1?

Mlculwell: I Don’t interpret Eph. 1:5 in light of that verse! I gave neither exegetical or eisegetical handling of the passage. I made a true statement in which you denied the statement, it is now up to me to prove it and that would not be done by isolating the passage in a vacuum that would be done by either using other passages concerning salvation in the same context of the passage or relating passages so of course Eph 1: 5 did not say what I stated, your lost because of your faulty methods of study
I had already stated before that (John 44-45) the preaching of the word is the “drawing of God,” but it is not God supernaturally drawing us and making us believe and obey being predestined for certain individuals to do so, (that is what you believe.) I made the statement because of the following passage(Romans 10:8-15)… Faith comes in response to the Gospel being preached, when you have faith you are obedient to the word. There was not any one passage that prompted me to make my statement and it certainly was not “eisegesis “..

8: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9: 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.
10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14: How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15: And how shall they preach, except they be sent?
4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Election to eternal salvation is through our union with Christ (Ephesians 1:3-6)
The us are those in Christ as the Body, being adopted into that body according to the good pleasure of His will .. You look at it at as though it pleased him for this individual or that through random predetermined choosing before it ever happened like someone would pick out green M&M’s from Red M&M’s or visa –versa and then gives those individuals the ability to believe and obey( the reason you do not like what was said bu me of Acts 5:32) but that is not how the passage should be read, you will not say what you believe about the passage so I’ll do it for you until you correct me. Actually God predestined to have his body the church made up of individuals through our union with Christ as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)



"First of all Mr. Cleary I never made an attempt to answer (Acts 13:48) period,..."

Mr. Cleary:
If this is indeed the case, then why quote it as if you were going to address it? That is, if you intended to ignore it, you shouldn't have quoted my mention of it as if you were offering some sort of response.

Mlculwell: Tell ya what, submit where I made the attempt? I did no such thing as attempt to answer it.

"God sets the order and again the Calvinist is completely wrong and bunk in their interpretation by simple reading of context of passages..."


Mr. Cleary:
And here again, you present a common non-Calvinist argument. Unfortunately, you do an awful job of presenting it. You quote Strong's Concordance on the greek word 'tasso' but you do not demonstrate how this advances your assertions. Furthermore, your quotation is jumbled in that I cannot tell where Strong's ends and your comments begin. In fact this is a big problem with each of your posts here. You need to take more time to make sure that whatever points you are trying to make are being presented clearly. Your comments on James White are equally unclear. What points are you trying to make? I mean, I know you think White is wrong but how you come to that conclusion is just not clear. I own the book you are referring to and I can tell you that your comments, as written, do not do justice to White's argument. In fact, you are ignoring most of White had to say. White's comments on Acts 13:46-48 start on page 186 and end on page 190. Do you really think that your breif and unclear comments here are going to persuade anyone that White was as wrong as you suggest?

Mlculwell: Where would it end? I was trying to be fair by submitting the crux of his(James White’s) unscriptural argument, but of course you were not satisfied, you wanted me to submit more. The crux of his argument, and he only submitted half the passage of three or four different translations of Acts 13:48 to highlight the keyword and phrase (Ordain to eternal life) you Calvinist’s favorite argument. Look it up for yourself on page 187 he writes half of the passage : and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed . that is all that is needed to prove your doctrine nothing else matters. I rest my case.



Mr. Cleary:
On top of all this, how Acts 13:46,47 somehow negates the actual wording of v. 48 is not successfully argued by you. You (again) simply say that it does. The fact that the jews rejected the gospel first does not contradict Calvinism. The doctrine of total depravity states that this is what men will do unless God intervenes effectually. So where is the contradiction?

Mlculwell: But the doctrine of “total depravity” is bunk or false doctrine, the very terms “re-generate” and born* again * bring to question “total depravity” being born is newness and freshness of life. When one sins (notice: I mean commits the act of. by omission(to do that which is right) or commission (doing that which is wrong.) and babies do neither, they are born innocent rather than depraved. Then when one does have the capacity of knowledge of wrong and right and chooses evil and no longer innocence, then that person is in need of a new birth or regeneration. A * RE * generation state back to the innocence that God provides, I know all the passages you use to try and prove your doctrine….
As for Acts 13:46-48 I thought you stated I had no argument? Your argument is God already had in place what was going to happen by use of the term “ordain” (that is your argument) but that is not what the passage says! I successfully pointed out by context and Strong’s definition of tasso the meaning and context is that God has now turned to the gentiles and the word “ordained” means in order, the Jew first and also to the Greek, the doctrine of “total depravity” says nothing relevant but only to Calvinist’s

"...instead of their famous vacuum isolation of sugar stick passages a patented made up term from yours truly."

Mr. Cleary:
Again, thank you for your admission that you are employing made-up terminology. This effectively dismisses your comments that I should have known what you were talking about.

mlculwell: Your welcome! But the fact that I use the terms in describing your doctrine makes it no less true, every word or term came from somebody who made it up somewhere …..


"Mr. Cleary, How in the world is the above passage supposed to be an argument?"

Mr. Cleary:
It wasn't intended to be. If you'll remember Manuel, I mentioned 2Thessolonians in response to you spelling out certain words from certain verses. I simply responded in kind to show you the fallacious nature of such tactics. Thus, for you to question how my mention of 2Thessolonians can be an argument in and of itself actually goes toward refuting much of what you have posted on my blog. That is, a mere mention of a verse is not an arguement. So we can expect you to stop prooftexting then?
Mlculwell:
I did not merely” proof text” by submitting a passage I submitted passages in explaination but you missed it.


"I really don’t know how you missed the keywords and phrase” Bound to give thanks always to God."

That would be because I haven't. Moreover, where is your explanation of how this phrase contradicts Reformed theology?

"Let us not forget, God will send them a strong delusion. God allows them to continue in their delusion without intervention because they love their unrighteousness more than the truth they have heard Verse 10."

The whole thing anyhow was in reference to his submission of 2nd Thessolonians 2:13 as an argument to try and prove His take on predestination( his Calvinist Veiw)
2nd.Thessolonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.

Mr. Cleary, How in the world is the above passage supposed to be an argument ? I will tell you how, by him again isolating verse 13 from verse11 and 12 and the passage immediately after, verse 14 and him hoping I don’t call him on it.

Verse 11- 12 and for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie that they all might be damned who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Verse 13
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.

Verse 14 whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
our Lord Jesus Christ.
-------------------------

I really don’t know how you missed the keywords and phrase” Bound to give thanks always to God. Let us not forget, God will send them a strong delusion. God allows them to continue in their delusion without intervention because they love their unrighteousness more than the truth they have heard Verse 10..
Mr. Cleary:
And Calvinism affirms everything you just stated. God does indeed send strong delusion. He does indeed allow men to stay within the sin that they love. So yet again, what is your argument?

Mlculwell: I was being facetious Mr. Cleary, I don’t believe anything I just stated above, I was highlighting the absurdity and contradiction of your doctrine.
"I really don’t know how you missed the keywords and phrase” Bound to give thanks always to God."

"Let us not forget, God will send them a strong delusion. God allows them to continue in their delusion without intervention because they love their unrighteousness more than the truth they have heard Verse 10."
Note the robotic Phrase” Bound “as in God the great puppet master binds us to continually give thanks to him and the misunderstanding and misapplication that you jumped at concerning God forcing a strong delusion.




"I am not worried about your tone Mr. Cleary,..."

Mr. Cleary:
Then don't complain about it as if you do care.

Mlculwell: I assure you Mr. Cleary I am not worried about your tone.

"I should get answers to your doctrine, not remarks,..."

Mr. Cleary:
If you want answers Manuel, you need to ask questions. Also, if I give remarks about what I believe, then I am not in fact hiding what I believe as you have asserted.

"...you are also complaining about me not answering you on key issues..."

Mr. Cleary:
No, I have complained that you are ignoring arguments that have already been presented on this blog while simultaneously claiming that I have not presented any.
Mlculwell: I have ignored nothing and you don’t have any arguments. We are not in agreement on anything why don’t you come out and talk more about those differences instead acting like we have some sort of agreement in our doctrines.

"I didn’t know we were having a formal discussion,..."

Mr. Cleary:
We aren't. But you are claiming to be refuting Calvinism by your prooftexting and assertions which is fallacious. If you want to refute another's viewpoint, then you are in fact obligated to do more.

Mlculwell: Proof texting is a start, context is a start, other related passages are a start, word studies are a start. What you do is isolate a passage that seemingly proves your point to the exclusion of other passages and call it exegesis.( John 6:44) does not prove God draws the way a Calvinist teaches, that being you were predestined to be drawn. No sir God draws by the Gospel being preached.

"...neither of us are obligated to do anything for that matter,..."

Mr. Cleary:
But as I just stated, if you are here for the purpose of refuting my viewpoints, then you are obligated to presenting arguments that go beyond quoting a verse or set of verses and leaving it at that. If you submit a verse, you are obligated as to why this verse contradicts the viewpoints of others. This requires exegetical demonstration and accurate statements of the viewpoints of those whom you are trying to refute.

Mlculwell: Just what are you calling exegetical? Taking a passage to the exclusion of others in critical explanation? I call that vacuum isolation.

" we made no agreements,..."

Mr.Cleary:
So?
Mlculwell: I am simply pointing out there have been no agreements made between us for discussion and your answer is:” so “ Okay….


"I can walk away and never answer you again,..."

Mr. Cleary
That would be just fine with me since you didn't come here with the intention of having an honest, and friendly dialogue. Your initial screed doesn't come close to an attempt at such dialogue.

Mlculwell: I most certainly did Mr. Cleary.

"...do you want me here or not?"
Mr. Cleary:
No, not really. I prefer friendly, intramural discussion. Our exchange thus far has been anything but.

mlculwell: I am not going anywhere unless you somehow ban me.

"If so, then you should reciprocate."

Mr. Cleary:
And what do you mean by this? Reciprocate how?

Mlculwell: One gives an argument the other answers Etc.


"The smoke and mirror tactics are coming from you Mr. Cleary."

Mr. Cleary:
And this is nothing but hot air until you provide the book and page number where Calvin said that men were robots. Your only other way out is to admit that you were wrong to attribute something to Calvin that he never said. This, as another commenter here has pointed out, would be the Christian thing to do.

Mlculwell: Sorry, it is my estimation of the absurdities and contradictions of his teachings.


"My comments are my paraphrase of hearing of your doctrine, it is not for me to represent your doctrine correctly that is up to you..."

Mr. Cleary:
Wow, you just shredded any credibility you had left. What you are saying here is that you do not have to accurately represent the viewpoint you are attacking. How is anyone supposed to take you seriously after making such a statement?

Mlculwell: I did no such thing! You want me to represent your doctrine? I believe your doctrine is false. I am not talking about lying about your beliefs, I am talking about pointing out the absurdities and contradictions of your doctrine, it would be dishonesty not to point out those contradictions and absurdities .


"...folks do it all the time, allow me to give you an example of your own folks specifically again Mr. Edward Dalcour."

Mr. Cleary:
It is irrelevant as to whether or not Dalcour misrepresented your beliefs for the simple reason that it does not justify you doing it as well. All it does is make you just as wrong as Dalcour (if he did in fact misrepresent your beliefs to begin with).

mlculwell: No it is not irrelevant. I did not give an example of Dalcour because I believe he did it to purposely misrepresent my beliefs as I am not purposely misrepresenting yours, it is my understanding and I think it seems rather silly , but you should be more than happy to fix by explanation they way I see your doctrine .


"The very fact you are making such a big deal about it proves my point."

Mr. Cleary:
It does nothing of the sort. My asking you to prove your baseless assertion only proves that I require proof for accusations leveled against me. As it is, you cannot show that I depend on Calvin rather than the scriptures for my viewpoints and arguments. But, to drive home the ridiculous nature of your accusation and how you choose to justify it, I say that your free-will theism is derived from Arminius. And like you, I require no proof for my assertion. If you object in the slightest, you will prove my point. How's that?

Mlculwell:You talk about Smoke and mirrors Mr. Cleary, You sure have put up a bunch of it. One can clearly see whose likeness is on this Blog

"You will not admit it, we have a saying about you Calvinist’s you care very much about JC John Calvin."


Mr. Cleary:
Nor will you admit that your theology is derived from Jacob Arminius. We Calvinists have a saying about you guys and that is, "you free-will theists care way too much about Jacob Arminius". (how do you like your own medicine Manuel?)
Mlculwell:I never heard of Him or his name ever spoken in a UPC church! I learned about Arminius through Calvinists, But I did hear a whole lot of preaching about the only supreme God (JC) That being the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, by the way, I say Jesus is the Only supreme God, what do you say?


Mlculwell:
"why would it be a challenge? You would simply deny it that is all it takes..."

Mr. Cleary:
Of course I deny it. It is not the truth. And you are right that it is enough for me to deny it. This is because the burden of proof does not rest on my shoulders but rather yours. That is, you are the one making the accusation thus, you are obligated to prove it. Would you really argue Manuel, that people are not obligated to prove their accusations!?

Mlculwell: There is a picture on your blog of a gentlemen, who might that be Mr. Cleary?


"...there is no way for me to prove[it]..."

Mr. Cleary:
I again thank you for your admission. Since you cannot prove that I "care too much" about what Calvin said, then you are admittingt that your accusation is baseless and there is no reason why anyone should accept it.

Mlculwell: No, I am admitting you will not accept what I submit, but all one has to do is take a look at the likeness on your blog to see who your hero is (JC.)

"...all I need is the bible for this discussion..."

Mr. Cleary:
Really? Then why do you continue to quote Eddie Dalcour and James White? Why have you quoted Augustus Strong? Why must you supplement your assertions with the words of these men if all you need for this exchange is the bible?

Mlculwell: I submit Eddie Dalcour and James White to show how unbiblical their arguments are, The submitting of Strong’s is for you not for me.


"...and me bringing the accusation should not bother you ,..."

Mr. Cleary:
Then neither should you care if I level the accusation that you follow Arminius (or any other accusation that I might happen to throw out). Remember, if you object at all, you prove my point.

Mlculwell: level everything you have but Just whose face is it on your blog again? Let me see, that would be John Calvin !You can go to any of my sites and you will not find Arminius’s likeness, like I said, I never knew who he was until I heard the name through Calvinists .



"I hear all kinds of accusations concerning what I believe."

Mr. Cleary:
Again, so? What does that have to do with me?

Mlculwell: I hold you accountable for your brethren.

”Calvin cannot do that, but he helped popularize that doctrine in which others as well as yourself quote his works be it as little as you do in defense of a doctrine,..."

Mr. Cleary:
You here state that I quote Calvin in defense of my doctrine. Where? When? Find me one instance on this blog where I have quoted Calvin. Just one Manuel...

Mlculwell: you said yourself you submitted a single blog entry that was what I was talking about.

"Please find where I have asked you to do so? I want you to be forth coming on what we are speaking of if that includes two points that highlight your doctrine then you should be able to do that. I have never asked you to submit all five points anywhere in this discussion."

Mr. Cleary:
Nice try Manuel, but your banter gets you nowhere in regards to justifying your accusations that I'm hiding my beliefs. In each instance, you imply that I'm obligated to provide definitional standards to your remarks. But where no request for such standards are made, no obligation exists. I answered your remarks appropriately. If you make a statement that doesn't contradict my beliefs as written, then it's enough for me to point it out and leave it at that. The burden of proof rests with you to demonstrate a contradiction.

Mlculwell:What in the world are you talking about? Here is what I originally wrote in response to your question which you did not submit : You tried and make it look as though I was responding to something totally different, Nice try indeed!

1) I am not obligated to list and elaborate on the five points of Calvinism in each and every blog entry I write.

Mlculwell: Please find where I have asked you to do so? I want you to be forth coming on what we are speaking of, if that includes two points that highlight your doctrine then you should be able to do that. I have never asked you to submit all five points anywhere in this discussion.
I never asked you anywhere to elaborate on the five points of Calvinism.




"I suggest you are hiding from non Calvinists,..."

Then you are wrong.

"...you don’t seem to be agreeing with others of your persuasion concerning the same points if so tell me you differ?"

Mr. Cleary:
In order to tell you where I might differ with other Calvinists, I will need specific examples of what you are asserting. That is, since you think I differ, then who am I differing with and with what point?

mlculwell: My understanding of your doctrine is that God is a puppet master, who has already worked out from the foundation of the world who is going to heaven and who is going to hell, of course you are going to deny that


"Of course I am attacking your doctrine..."

Mr. Cleary:
Thank you for proving the point you are addressing here.

Mlculwell: What exactly is your point? I do not deny attacking your doctrine to test it to see if it is truth.

"...You made arguments to trip folks up of different persuasions to show how superior your doctrine was to anyone else’s, I challenged that!"

Mr. Cleary:
You have done no such thing. That is, you did not interact with a single entry that I have posted here despite the fact that you posted your initial response to three or four different entries. And you continue to dismiss those arguments out of hand. All you've done thus far is rant against my beliefs.

Mlculwell: I had already explained to you in an early post I could not figure out how to operate posting my messages, I apologized in my beginning post for the multiple messages(look it up) I had no real intention of answering you on (John 12:32) I was more interested in (John 6:44)


"Impressive, I guess to other supralapsarians. I will save the LOL!"

Mr. Cleary:
Yet more mockery in lieu of anything substantive. You are trying to divert attention away fromt the fact that your assertions about me hiding my beliefs are in fact baseless.

Mlculwell: No Mr. Cleary I am still accusing you , otherwise we would be in agreement on most of everything, the fact is we are not.
Mlculwell:
"But that was not at all what was stated by me Mr. Cleary, why would you not get what was stated above but understand below? The thought was one complete thought."

Mr. Cleary:
And as I was saying above, you aren't very clear in what you say. If I misunderstand a point you are trying to make, then you cannot point an accusatory finger at me. I responded appropriately to what was written.

Mlculwell: Fair enough, because I can understand how both of us can be misunderstood in our getting across points that are written.


"Neither passage proves compatiblism…"

Mr. Cleary:Mere assertion.

Mlculwell:
"Are these examples of your take?"
The examples are missing!

Mr. Cleary:
And this is another example of what I just said about your lack of clarity. What does, "examples of your take" mean?

Mlculwell: Examples of your take” Your take on things” or the way you see things. I then submitted passages that seemingly contradicted compatibilism which you failed to answer , I don’t see the passages so I will resubmit them, maybe since you have had more time to think on them you can answer what they mean to you? Here they are again:
(2 Timothy 2:19-21).If a man therefore purge himself from these he shall be a vessel unto Honor, sanctified, and meet for the masters use, and prepared unto every good work.

(Luke 7:29-30) 29: And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
30: But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Acts 7:51). 51: Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

I then wrote:
”Are these examples of your take?”


Mlculwell:
"Man inherits the original sin of Adam instead of man being accountable to God for his own sin, you Know exactly what I mean,

Mr. Cleary:
No, I did not know exactly what you meant. I don't presume to know what you think my beleifs are.

Mlculwell: Mr. Cleary, I believe Babies are born innocent and not stained by inheriting Adams original sin. Then you are not properly representing me in this discussion so you are not being Honest and you lack credibility and should not be taken serious. This is silly, but it is Same argument you gave me because and then further you admit:” not to presume of what I think your beliefs are .” Exactly Mr. Cleary

"I believe neither terms inherited sin or original sin are biblical…."

Mr. Cleary:
And I believe that they are biblical.

mlculwell: I know the passages you use to make the claim but it is not a biblical doctrine it is foolishness. We both made the dreaded claim without passages that you were so crying for and claiming I was eisegeting so that must be what you


are doing. Pay attention to detail Mr. Cleary I did say “neither terms” are biblical and you know they are not.
(Ecclesiastes 7:29) "Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes."


mlculwell:
"And their love for sin is because God did not supernaturally cause them to stop loving their sin. My paraphrase of your doctrine since you will not tell us anything more about it."

Mr. Cleary:
No, they love their sin because they are sinners. Sinners love to sin. Sinners do not love their sin because God refuses to turn them. In fact, your statement makes no sense. How can God's refusal to turn a man away from his sin be the cause of that man's love for his sin?

Mlculwell: I am making sense because I am being facetious, God predestines sinners to sin , that is how I view your doctrine, it is nonsense, Come on Mr. Cleary, again, it is not up to me to clarify your doctrine, that is for you to do, we are in this discussion because we represent two opposing views, I have a view of your doctrine and you say it is not correct then correct it.

And again, what am I hiding Manuel?
Mlculwell:
You know, usually when someone misrepresents my doctrine I try and correct that person, you make no attempts to correct me with passages that would help in understanding , it makes me suspicious of you and your doctrine.

J. Matthew Cleary said...

Manuel,

"mlculwell: I am not going anywhere unless you somehow ban me."

Then consider yourself banned. Your last post has conclusively demonstrated to me that this exchange is a waste of my time and since you aren't willingly going to leave then I'm forced to show you the door. But as a final courtesy, rather than ignore your last post, I'll go ahead and respond to it. Also, I will also post a seperate blog entry explaining that I have decided to ban you and why. This will take the place of that second blog entry I planned on writing.

Celeste said...

Good post.