Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yet Another Fine Example Part Two

Chris said:

This will be my final comment because it is clear that you have the gift to justify whatever you do or say, by the way which is a huge indicator of pride.

I find it odd that Chris would say that I'm trying to justify what he calls sarcasm while he paints his own rhetoric as "true feelings". He then goes on to intimate that on top of being hateful, I'm now being prideful. So let me get this straight; if someone defends their theology from attack then they're being prideful? If someone defends themself against ad hominum then they're being prideful?

My comments do reflect my sincere feelings. It's very wrong of you to judge them as anything other than just that,my sincere feelings...

Okay, so everything Chris says is his sincere feelings and I am wrong to judge them. Fine. But if this is the case then it is equally wrong for Chris to judge my response to him as sarcasm because I too was sincere in what I stated. So by his own standards, Chris is wrong in calling my comments sarcasm and his jab about me being prideful is equally wrong for the same reason.

I just don't understand how angels can rejoice over one lost soul receiving Christ when it was predetermined.

Well, Calvinists believe in predetermination and we don't have a problem rejoicing when we see a lost soul saved. Thus, It would seem that Chris' difficulty here is due to his theological presupposition of libertarianism. To a Calvinist, God is simply saving creatures that do not deserve anything other than damnation.

Let me ask you a question... Have you ever said something, knowing what you meant but it was misconstrued by someone else?

Here, Chris is still trying to justify Falwell's prayer that God not let anyone say no to His will. But if I have misconstrued what he meant (which I haven't since I am aware of what Falwell's soteriological stances are), so what? It is irrelevant as to what Falwell meant to say for the simple reason that what he actually said is inconsistent with his own theology. Thus, my statement that he tripped over his own tongue is still accurate.

So, in essence what you are saying is, you've never missed the will of God.

No, that is not what I'm saying. My acceptance of His word is by His grace and power and not of my own wisdom and understanding. No more, no less.

Sin is not the will of God but you do it anyway.

Was it God's will for Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery? Was it God's will that the Assyrians plunder and destroy Israel? Was it God's will for men to crucify our Lord Jesus? If Chris says yes to any of these, then he effectively dismisses his own statement here. That is, each of these events were done according to God's will yet each of them involved sinful actions on the part of men. Reformed theology can account for this. Can Chris' theology do the same?

When you fail it is by your own consent, not God's.

Yes, but so? Who is claiming otherwise? Is Chris suggesting that we Calvinists believe that God "forces" men to choose the things that he does? If so, Chris has alot more studying to do.

What about David who was a man after God's own heart... was it God's will for him to fall?

Again, if Chris knew as much about Reformed theology as he should in order for him to successfully attack it, then he wouldn't need to ask this question.

I know this, Rom. 8:28 says He'll take our sin and use it to fulfill His perfect plan. That doesn't mean the sin we commit is His will it means that there is provision made.

This might be what Chris thinks Romans 8:28 means but it isn't what the verse says. The verse states that "...God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose." At best, Chris' statement is an unsupported assertion regarding the meaning of the verse. Moreover, is Chris aware that this verse is one of Calvinism's prooftexts? If not, then, again, Chris has a lot more studying to do if he wishes to successfully critique Reformed theology.

It is really cocky to portray one's self as a man who just never has missed the Lord's direction for his life.

So along with "hateful" and "prideful", I'm now "cocky". Chris' ad hominum's are starting to pile up. At any rate, this latest jab at my character is based on a misunderstanding of a previous point made (see above) thus nothing more need be said here.

My only concern is that we don't miss what's really important, winning the lost no matter the cost!

While I can appreciate Chris' zeal for evangelism, is Chris really willing to "win the lost no matter the cost"? Does this include sacraficing sound doctrine? Has Chris ever heard the saying that "what you win them with is what you win them to"?

I suppose the term "Hyper-Calvanist" would be a term that has been given to those who believe that some were created to populate Hell with absolutely no chance for redemption.

What Chris is saying here is that anyone who agrees with election and reprobation is a hyper-Calvinist. But this is so ridiculously wrong that it's almost humorous. I suppose Chris got this notion from listening to men like Ergun Caner who, despite his position at Liberty University, doesn't have a clue as to who is a hyper-Calvinist and who isn't. Indeed, I suspect that Ergun Caner doesn't care one way or the other and simply uses the term to spite Calvinists. At any rate, Chris would do well to follow this link and read up on what constitutes true hyper-Calvinism.

That doctrine makes the crucifixion a sideshow.

And Chris can only make this statement by first assuming without benefit of argument that the substitutional atonement of Christ was made for all men without exception. But this is just more question begging.

Why would Christ have died if the Lamb's book of Life were already filled out?

Upon reading this, one wonders if Chris has read Revelation 13:8 and 17:8. Both these verses explicitly state that the Book of Life had been written "from the foundation of the world". Now, that certainly sounds to me like it had indeed already been filled out.

Why would God send His son to suffer at the hands of His chosen people if salvation was predetermined?

Well, simply put, God has ordained the ends along with the means to those ends. Again, if Chris had done his homework before coming here to attack Calvinism, he wouldn't be asking these kinds of questions.

My theology says, like Christ, whosoever will may come.

So does my theology. Yet again, Chris is not aware of the real issue here. The real issue is *how* and *why* men come to Christ. Throwing out the above means that Chris must first assume that because men choose to come, it must mean by default that their decision was not predetermined. But this is just more question begging.

Once you've said yes, you are eternally secure.

So just how does that work in a libertarian theology? Does Chris really believe that you have the "free-will" to get yourself in a relationship with God but afterward you don't? To put it another way, if man can choose Christ of his own "free-will", why can't man then reject Christ of his own "free-will" afterward? Does Chris really believe that before you say "yes" you have free-will but afterwards you don't?

J. Matthew's theology says only a select few may come therefore making it a club.

Chris just can't resist reiterating his rhetorical nonsense about "clubs". At any rate, John 6:44 states that only those drawn to Christ may come to him and that those same ones will be raised to life. These individuals constitute the bride of Christ. If Chris wishes to keep refering to the Son's bride as a "club" then that's fine me as I won't be the one answering for it later on.

Even though I am eternally secure, I know my sin matters because it breaks the heart of God and reaps consequences.

Chris misses the point here. That is, to those who do not hold to eternal security, Chris' sin does not matter because it doesn't determine ultimate destiny after spiritual rebirth. This is why his theology is susceptible to this criticism that he leveled earlier at Calvinism. Thus, if sin doesn't matter to Calvinists, it doesn't matter to Chris' theology for the same reason.

J. Matthew's theology is really a strike against the preached word because as in his own words, "In my theology, God wills it and it is so." Wouldn't this mean that all of those who were meant to be saved would just automatically come to Christ?

Yet again, if Chris had studied up on Calvinism before attacking it, he would know that this just doesn't wash. As I pointed out above, God has ordained the means along with the ends. This means that the preaching of the word is an ordained method to bringing in God's elect. Thus, the preaching of the word becomes a necessity in bringing those to Christ who God has predestined for glory.

"Of course, Chris assumes without benefit of argument that the "old old story" is one of Arminian libertarianism and autonomy. Can anyone say, "question begging"?"

Makes no sense.

Here, Chris dodges a point I made previously about his habit of question begging. Actually, this is the second of two dodges but I'll let the first one slide in favor of time considerations. Now, Chris stated earlier that Calvinism "sucks the hope out of the old old story". But as I rightly pointed out, Chris can only say this by first assuming that his theology is correct. But the problem for him is that he is a long way from proving this. Thus, he begs the question by making such statements because he has yet to show that the "old old story" is about human autonomy.

You're exactly right about one thing. My theology does say that grace and mercy not extended to every soul defeats the purpose of grace and mercy.

Chris here admits that his theology places obligation on grace and mercy which now causes him no end of problems. Grace is defined as "the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God." The question that Chris must answer is, how can grace be both obligated and freely given at the same time? Indeed, if grace is obligated, then God owes it to man and it is no longer freely given. Grace, then, is no longer grace.

Yes I do affirm God's foreknowledge. He is Omniscient. What I do not affirm is that it was not His choice that John T. Sinner reject His son.

Here, Chris sidesteps the point regarding God's foreknowledge. So I'll reiterate. If God knows that Mr. Sinner is going to reject Him from the beginning of time, then history is somehow fixed. This means that when Mr. Sinner is actually born in time, he will live and die with no more than an illusory choice of where his eternal destiny lies. It cannot be any other way than what God knew it to be from the point of creation itself. It is this same dilemma that caused men such as Clark Pinnock, John Sanders, and Gregory Boyd to embrace open theism yet Chris refuses to even acknowledge the problem.

I'll leave this to you and all of your friends. I have a ministry to oversee and really don't have the time you have to spend on this type of thing.

Here, Chris states his intention of leaving this discussion because he simply has no time for it. Yet, Chris has commented on my blog several different times now since writing this and has even stated that he'll respond if there is anything that he would apparantly deem worthy responding to. So which is it? Will he continue this discussion or leave it? Has the restraints that his ministry places on him suddenly dissappeared or is Chris reserving an out for himself? I suppose we will have to wait and see.

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