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Username: Taluur

Post Number: 126
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 3:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jesus said: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:44)

The word "draw", used in John 6:44, is taken from the Greek word "helkuo", which means literally, "to drag." The very same word is used in Acts 16:19, where it is translated "dragged" in the NKJV, Amplified Version, NASB, and the NIV. When the Holy Spirit draws sinners, He literally drags them. Before salvation sinners are dead in trespasses and sins. A dead person is lifeless and not able to do anything. If you wish to move a dead person without any assistance, from one end of a place to another you must drag him. That is exactly what the Holy Spirit has to do to sinners to bring them to salvation. The Holy Spirit regenerates the unregenerate by turning a spiritually dead will that is in rebellion against God to one that is spiritually alive and willingly accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord. Thus, salvation is all of God and not of man in any way, shape, or form. He deserves all the credit, praise, and glory.

"All" (Greek pas) in Scripture does not necessarily mean every person on the face of the earth. (Matthew 3:5, 10:22; John 3:26; Colossians 1:23) Paul uses the word 22 other times in 1 Timothy and in many of these references it does not refer to "all existing examples of". "All" in 1 Timothy 2:4 does not refer to every person who has or will live. It refers to all kinds of people.
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 167
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 5:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We can discuss this for a long time ... and probably not come to agreement, and I am OK with that. It is easy for both sides of the debate to misrepresent the other ... I still hold that we need to recognize God's sovereignty in salvation AND man's responsibility to repent and believe the gospel ... not just one or the other, EVEN IF THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE LOGICALLY.

So, I don't disagree with the Arminian on what they affirm. My disagreement is when the willing and choosing of man is held over and above the willing and choosing of God.

As God is greater than man, his prerogatives as God come first ... the elect are primarily the people that God chose (Mark 13:20), rather than primarily the people who chose God.

Asurprise ... Adam and Eve had a truly free will until they sinned, after their fall they were slaves to unrighteousness and the king of darkness. Jesus said in John 8, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." All of us are born slaves of sin, and we are unable to break that bondage; only the Son can truly set us free from that slavery.

Salvation is the story of God freeing his people from a powerful master, who had brainwashed them into hatred toward and rebellion against their Creator.

The redemptive work accomplished by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit could only be performed by divinity. Our humanity is just too impotent to claim any victory in this battle. Thus the Reformation motto, "Soli Deo Gloria" - all glory belongs to God.
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 168
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Friday, December 01, 2017 - 5:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I gave my heart to Christ at 16, I would say it was a free and voluntary act. I didn't feel as if I were dragged or coerced. Yet, I at the time knew there was no other choice for me ... a Godless existence did not hold any appeal, and though I was at a point of crisis, I knew that the Lord had been working in my life and that I needed him.

It was a couple decades later that I realized that I was seeing salvation from only one side, the human side.

The Scriptures teach that there is another side to salvation that is hidden from our experience ... that we are not the center of this plan, but that God saves us primarily to make us examples of his mercy throughout eternity:

"[By grace you have been saved, so] that in the ages to come [God] might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:7)

We should always be in wonder at the grace of God that included we who believe in this great plan. Yet, we equally wonder why he sovereignly decides to leave others in their sins.

"What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory[?] (Romans 9:22, 23)

We can not question God's wisdom in the decisions he has made; God is the potter, we are the clay.

"You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?" (Romans 9: 19-21)

God does not have to damn anyone for them to be lost; in our natural unbelief we are "condemned already" (John 3:18).

To challenge the way that God does his work, measuring his ways by the yardsticks of democratic rule and humanist egalitarianism, is just not right. In the end, our opinion of God does not count ... it is the truth of God that is paramount and that will silence all other opinions.

So, I believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation, because the Bible teaches it; and it forms a God-centered reference for my soteriology.

Nevertheless, I still experience salvation from my limited human point of view ... that I need to continually place my trust in what Christ has done on Calvary, that I must be faithful to God to "make my election sure".

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

"Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-11

So, at the end, I will agree with the opening title of this thread; we do have a part to play if we wish to spend eternity in God's kingdom, but it is God who supplies everything that we need for this endeavor.

We do not work to be saved, because salvation is by grace. Yet, in order to be saved, we must make that move to come to Christ; we need to put forth effort to follow his ways out of obedience, to continually reject the sin that entices us, and to draw near to God through reading, prayer, and public worship. God will not do this for us ...

(Message edited by leifl on December 01, 2017)
Registered user
Username: Taluur

Post Number: 127
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Friday, December 01, 2017 - 1:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Registered user
Username: Honestwitness

Post Number: 1307
Registered: 7-2005

Posted on Friday, December 01, 2017 - 8:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leifl, you wrote: "...we do have a part to play if we wish to spend eternity in God's kingdom, but it is God who supplies everything that we need for this endeavor."

Then you said, "God will not do this for us."

Phil 2:13 says:

"...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

This verse states that is ***IS*** God who does this in us.

How can God work in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure, if ***HE*** is not the One doing both the willing and the working?

We can't have it both ways.

We're back to square one here. Just how much credit can I take for my salvation? Is it .01%? Or is it ZERO percent?

Do I have ANYTHING that was not GIVEN to me by God?

If I have a ***free*** will, who gave me that free will in the first place? If it was a gift from God, how can I take any credit for obtaining it?

If God is the one who is working in me both to WILL and to DO, how can I take any credit for either the willing or the doing?

If I take even .01% of the credit for my good willing or my good working, I'm taking some of God's glory for myself. I'd rather give all the glory to Him, because it's much safer, when faced with eternity.

If God wants to give me back some of the glory, well, He has every right to do so. But, I choose to let Him be the one to decide whether I deserve any credit or any glory. I'm casting my crown at His feet.
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 169
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Friday, December 01, 2017 - 10:14 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Honestwitness: This becomes tricky when we try to walk so fine a line without falling off either side ... as they say, there are two miles of ditch for every mile of road.

There is a difference between God doing something "in us" or "for us". God will produce saving faith IN his people, but he will not believe FOR them. "He who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him."

Read my last two posts carefully. We do experience salvation from our human perspective, and in that, we see ourselves struggling and pushing onward. But we do not save ourselves; Christ saved us on the cross; he has done all the work necessary for our justification and acceptance in God's presence. We can never add to that, or take away from that. Our obedience does not count toward our justification one iota, it never can; everything that comes from us is polluted by sin and unacceptable to God (without the sacrifice of Jesus). Please don't misunderstand me on this point.

I know some folks in the Dutch Reformed tradition, who discourage their children from giving their lives to Christ, because (in their view) it is humanly impossible to do anything toward their salvation. Many of them grow up and are baptized, but never seek the new birth, and never partake of communion. They know that they are lost (even though church members), they are taught that they will know if they are the chosen, and if that "choosing" does not fall on them, there's nothing they can do about it; they are hopelessly damned. This is a fatal error.

If we wish to be saved, we must come to Christ and accept his free gift. If you hear the invitation to come to Jesus in the gospel, you are responsible for accepting - the preaching of the gospel is accompanied by a divine power to receive it.

Salvation is full and free, proceeding from the mercy and grace of God through the sacrifice of the Son of God who gave himself for me. We can rest in Jesus because he has already accomplished our salvation, past, present and future.

But let's not confuse spiritual rest with spiritual apathy ... I think many will be in heaven that did not achieve, but only believe, because the cross is a powerful event, and the promise is to ALL who believe. But still, it was required for those who are saved to come to Jesus, to believe and receive, and that's all I'm saying. But the accepting of Christ is not a meritorious work, just a the step necessary in the transaction (and of course even this is prompted by the Holy Spirit) in order to receive the promise of eternal life.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
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Username: Honestwitness

Post Number: 1308
Registered: 7-2005

Posted on Saturday, December 02, 2017 - 6:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leifl, I agree with you that the Dutch Reformed doctrine you presented is a fatal error. Thank you for warning me to be wary of that.

Yes, there is something required of us created beings. I absolutely agree with that. Jesus says, "You MUST be born again." He says, "I stand at the door and knock." I know I MUST open the door.

If I do something that God says I MUST do...believe and receive...it's the same thing as the creation of the sun and the stars in Genesis 1. God said, "Let there be light." He spoke them into existence. Can the light take any credit for coming into existence?

It is God's Word that creates the universe and it is God's Word that speaks into being my faith to receive Him. Can I take any credit for producing that faith?

It is in the actual speaking that God brings things into being...the universe, my existence, and my faith to believe.

God says I MUST. God puts those words in front of my eyes and speaks them into my ears. It is in that very action of speaking that God brings my faith to life. If God didn't speak it into being by commanding it from me, it wouldn't exist.

God uses the printed page and the spoken word. God uses people and things to accomplish this work of His. God tells me to preach the gospel to every creature, which is His method for calling into being the faith of those who listen. If I feel compelled to preach, it is because God put that compelling force within me. If I speak, it is because God gave me a mouth and a brain to operate it.

Yes, I must do something...repent, believe, confess, accept, etc; and if God tells me I must...he also enables me to perform. I know you agree with me on this.

I am created. My faith is a gift. I can't take credit for the faith within me, any more than I can take credit for the fact that I exist. I was born the first time, because God created me. I was born the second time, because God recreated me.

Every time I am tempted to boast that "I" accepted Christ, I am reminded immediately that I was only able to accept Him because He worked that in me.

The reason I keep pushing back on this is that I have seen “will worship” in action in so many different churches. People take their focus off of God and put it on themselves. We fall into this trap so easily. I want to avoid even the germ of this kind of arrogance.

To me, believing that I have .01% part to play in my own salvation is the very germ that can blossom into the full-blown virus of works-based theology. I am compelled to stamp out that germ any time I detect its presence in a conversation.

I apologize for being such a fanatic.
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Username: Colleentinker

Post Number: 15547
Registered: 12-2003

Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 - 5:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe that both are true: God does 100% of everything necessary for our salvation. He elects, chooses, predestines, calls, and gives us new birth and adopts us.

We are commanded to believe. God gives us the faith to believe. God never takes the blame for human's refusal to believe; people are lost on the basis of their refusal to believe.

Can I reconcile these two things? No. I just know that both are true...and that my believing is completely the work of God because I, in my natural state, could never believe. (Rom. 3:9-17).

There is a tension here that is necessary for the truth of the gospel. We can't explain it. I suspect that in eternity, these things will appear far less opposed and will somehow be reconciled in a way that makes sense. Inside of time and space, however, they look opposed...and both are true. We are asked only to believe when we hear the word of truth.

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Username: Jonasaras

Post Number: 66
Registered: 9-2012
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 7:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The problem with Calvinism is that if a person is unable to obey God's moral demands because God willed that to be the case then it is a logical impossibility to hold man accountable. So if one posits a good, moral God, the only possible logical outworking of Calvinism is universalism. That logic is 100% air-tight. It totally explains why Rob Bell and his ilk have arrived to where they are today.

Much of modern-day Calvinism was never taught by Calvin and it is largely based on eisegesis, not exegesis, and much of it is based on reasoning rather than rxplicit scriptural statements.

Theologian Jack Cottrell spells out his case here: QUESTION: Can you give me a concise summary of what is meant by “Calvinism”? Also, can you tell us briefly why these teachings are erroneous? What Bible verses would show this?

ANSWER: Okay, this is a challenge; but here I will identify the main doctrines of Calvinism, and identify the key Bible passages that refute them.

ONE. The OMNICAUSAL SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD. In Calvinism, divine sovereignty means that God CAUSES everything, to the smallest detail. Whatever happens is simply the outworking of the DIVINE DECREE (essentially a nearly-infinite computer program or blueprint), defined as eternal, comprehensive, unconditional, and efficacious. The practical result is that there is NO (truly) FREE WILL.

The Biblical view is that divine sovereignty is God’s absolute LORDSHIP over all things, understood not in terms of causation but in terms of control (being in control). God’s decision to create free-will beings was a sovereign act of self-limitation. God exercises complete control by causing some (not all) things to happen, and by permitting the rest. By his own choice he permits us to use our free wills even when we go against his own will for us. Some key Bible texts are Matt. 23:37; John 7:17; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9. Compare John 5:21 & 5:40.

An important application: the idea that “there is a reason for everything” is FALSE. This is a Calvinist idea.

TWO. TOTAL DEPRAVITY. (We are now turning to the T-U-L-I-P doctrines.) Calvinism teaches that, by God’s design, Adam sinned, and the entire human race came under the curse of original sin. (To prove this they use their interpretation of Romans 5:12-19.) Original sin includes inherited total depravity, the essence of which is the bondage of the will, which involves a total inability to respond to the gospel call. This is how “dead in your trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) is understood. The fallen world is a graveyard.

The Biblical view says that the key text that refutes this doctrine is—guess what—Romans 5:12-19! Properly understood, the main point of this text is not original sin but ORIGINAL GRACE! Christ intercepts and erases the (potential) effects of Adam’s sin for EVERY HUMAN BEING.

An important application is that all babies are born redeemed (with no need for infant baptism to take away original sin). Depravity is an acquired condition, and it is never total but always partial.

THREE. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION. This is the Calvinist version of predestination. It says that since the entire human race is born totally depraved and unable to respond to the gospel, God himself must unilaterally and unconditionally decide who will become a believer and thus be saved, and who will never believe and thus go to hell. He does this as part of his eternal decree; it was settled even before the creation occurred. Human beings thus have no say in their eternal destinies.

In the Biblical view, predestination (election) IS of course a Bible teaching; but it is very different from the above. In some Biblical texts God is seen as predestining certain individuals and even groups to SERVICE in His plan of redemption, e.g. Israel as a nation (Rom. 9:1-29; Eph. 1:1-14), the apostles (John 15:16), and Jesus himself (Acts 2:23). However, it is true that some individuals are predestined to go to heaven (not to become believers) based on God’s foreknowledge of who will use their free will to meet his stated conditions. (Calvinism gets it backwards, saying God foreknows because he predestines, instead of vice versa.) Thus predestination (to heaven) is conditional, not unconditional. The key texts are Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:1-2.

FOUR. LIMITED ATONEMENT. Calvinism says Jesus died ONLY for the elect. The cross of Jesus Christ was never meant to apply to those whom God had already determined would be lost in hell forever.

In Biblical teaching, because Jesus was infinite in his divine nature, and because he suffered the penalty for sin especially in his divine nature, the atoning power of his death was by nature UNLIMITED (i.e., infinite). It is thus, by God’s intention, sufficient to save all human beings. I.e., the atonement is unlimited in purpose and efficacy (power). Only the application of the atonement is limited, and that limitation results from the fact that some who hear the gospel make the free-will choice to refuse to believe and accept it. Key texts are John 3:16; 2 Peter 2:1ff., 12-22; 1 John 2:2.

FIVE. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE. As Calvinists see it, at a time of God’s sovereign choice, the hearts (souls, spirits) of those who have been unconditionally predestined to believe are supernaturally and irresistibly changed by a direct act of the Holy Spirit. This change is called regeneration, and includes the unilateral gift of faith. The two main ideas here are (1) that faith is a gift, and (2) that regeneration precedes faith. Two things make this a necessity: first, total depravity makes any human response (i.e., faith) impossible, and second, omnicausal divine sovereignty rules out any uncaused human response.

The Biblical view says that faith is a gift only in the sense that God gives the opportunity to believe through the preaching of the gospel. See Acts 5:31 and 11:18. God does draw sinners (John 6:44) but he draws them through the gospel (John 6:45; Rom. 10:17). This gospel drawing is powerful (John 20:31; Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12), universal—not selective as in Calvinism (John 12:32), and resistible—not irresistible as in Calvinism (Matt. 23:37; Acts 7:51). A key verse is Colossians 2:12, which shows that faith must precede regeneration.

SIX. PERSEVERANCE (PRESERVATION) OF THE SAINTS, or “once saved, always saved.” Calvinism teaches that the unconditionally chosen and irresistibly changed person will never thereafter be lost. This is simply the logical implication of the U and the I of T-U-L-I-P. Just as there was no free will involved in becoming saved, so there is no free will in staying saved.

In the Biblical view, true Christians (who by nature have free will) can lose their salvation if they stop trusting in Jesus for their salvation. Key texts are Luke 15:11-32; Rom. 11:17-23; 1 Cor. 15:1-2; Gal. 5:4; Col. 1:22-23; Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Peter 2. Faith can die in three ways: sudden (spiritual) suicide; slow (spiritual) starvation; and
strangulation by sin. A Christian who becomes lost again in one of these ways CAN repent and return and be saved again. See Romans 11:20-24; see especially the correct interpretation of Heb. 6:4-6.

CONCLUSION: Do not over-react to Calvinism. Reject universal, omnicausal sovereignty, but not true divine sovereignty. Reject total and/or inherited depravity, but not acquired, partial depravity. Reject unconditional predestination, but not predestination as such. Reject irresistible, selective grace, but not grace as such. Reject regeneration before faith, but not Holy Spirit regeneration in baptism. Reject “once saved, always saved,” but not true assurance of salvation.
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 176
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Friday, December 15, 2017 - 5:15 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For those of us with an Adventist background, both the name and teachings in the previous post are very familiar.

Jack Cottrell is a theologian from the Churches of Christ. This movement grew out of the Restoration Movement and the Second Great Awakening, as did Adventism. Also,there are prominent leaders of the Cottrell family in Adventism, past and present. Their gospel is really no different ... a form of Arminianism that shoots far to the left of more orthodox Arminians such as John Wesley.

What the Restoration Movement and Second Great Awakening brought to the table was an entirely new (and anthropocentric) view of salvation ... applying the American democratic principle as a biblical hermeneutic.

We have a member of this movement in our Baptist church (he attends because the Church of Christ in our area closed). He has been bringing up these issues for years ...

Where these folks err is not so much in what they affirm, but what they deny. Most of the seasoned Calvinists of today are compatibilists, as was Charles Spurgeon, who wrote:

"The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once.

I am taught in one book to believe that what I sow I shall reap: I am taught in another place, that “it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”

I see in one place, God presiding over all in providence; and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions to his own will, in a great measure.

Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism.

That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other.

If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other.

These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring."

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon from his sermon “Sovereign Grace and Man’s Responsibility,” originally delivered Sunday morning, August 1, 1858, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens, London.

Jack Cottrell and Seventh-day Adventist teaching of the gospel err by insisting that there is only one line ... and spend a lot of energy trying to deny that the other line exists ...

It pushes them to make statements that should cause any Evangelical Christian to shudder, such as "Depravity is an acquired condition, and it is never total but always partial."

The ancient church rejected this as Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism.

(Message edited by leifl on December 15, 2017)

(Message edited by leifl on December 15, 2017)
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 177
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Friday, December 15, 2017 - 9:49 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Actually, Cottrel's statement that I quoted is pure, unvarnished Pelagianism.

Please don't flame me for stating this fact: it is not Christianity but a heresy, denounced by the Christian church in the 5th century shortly after the heresy of Arianism was denounced.


I'm not sure if you folks (such as Jonasaras) are aware of the evolution and history of Christian doctrine, but it would do you a great service to ground yourselves in solid, small "o" orthodox Christian doctrine.

The swirl of do-it-yourself religious ideas since the Second Great Awakening is indeed pleasant to our natural ears, but unfortunately is damning error.

Please I mean no offense or hurting of people's feelings, you are free to believe whatever theories of salvation you like ... but please learn to at least understand what the Christian church has held as truth for centuries. I would have the same reaction if you were in favour of Arianism ... and, by the way, I once was a historic Adventist, complete with a full fledged Arian and Pelagian theology.

I'm not going back to that, by the grace of God.

(Message edited by leifl on December 15, 2017)
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 178
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 7:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The most comforting doctrine in Christianity is the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God in all things. That Sovereignty extends to the knowledge that my own salvation does not hang on the weakness of my fallen, carnal, feeble, human will - and this is good news! Jesus has saved me by his grace, and he will not let me go. Martin Luther said:

"I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want "free-will" to be given me, nor anything to be left in my own hands to enable me to endeavour after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground ; but because even were there no dangers. I should still be forced to labour with no guarantee of success.¦ But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. Furthermore, I have the comfortable certainty that I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favour promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God." - Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1957), 313-314.

Many of us were taught to believe in the "doctrine of the sovereignty of Satan", who is almost treated as an equal with God in the "great controversy" theory. Here is a video of some Christian theologians in a discussion about some of these issues:

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Username: Honestwitness

Post Number: 1309
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Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 11:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Leifl, thanks for recommending that Youtube video. I started watching it and am already deeply moved, even after watching only the first 15 minutes.
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 179
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Posted on Saturday, December 16, 2017 - 7:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Honestwitness: I'm glad you found the video to be a blessing. R.C. Sproul passed away a couple days ago ... I heard him speak on several occasions and visited St. Andrews for a Michael Card concert. He will be missed by many.

R. C. was like a modern-day Martin Luther, with a grasp of Christian theology and philosophy unlike probably any other living theologian (at least in the English language).
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Username: Honestwitness

Post Number: 1310
Registered: 7-2005

Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 7:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OH! I hadn't heard about R.C. Sproul's passing! He was the one who finally made clear to me what the scriptures teach about predestination and being dead in our sins, yet brought to life by the Lord.
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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 183
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 11:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


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Username: Jonasaras

Post Number: 67
Registered: 9-2012
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2017 - 9:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cotrell is not Pelagian or semi-Pelagian. He is simply not a Calvinist.

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Username: Leifl

Post Number: 184
Registered: 3-2014

Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2017 - 8:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Jonasaras,

I respect that we see things differently on this issue, and will not pursue it further here, as I have said enough to clarify my position. It was also not my intent to cause controversy or call names.

I will restate that Mr. Cottrell's views about grace differs greatly from Protestant teaching about the gospel, and the positions of the early church, though he already acknowledges that.

Though we disagree, I certainly don't wish to judge anyone who understands differently than I do. For many years I would have probably been in close agreement with Mr. Cottrell.

It has been a good discussion. Merry Christmas.
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Username: Doc

Post Number: 805
Registered: 2-2003

Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - 9:09 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I still come down on the non-Calvinist side of the debate. If anyone is interested in examining soteriology from a non-Calvinist perspective, but with a thorough theological approach, I would suggest a couple of sites:

Soteriology 101, podcast, facebook or YouTube channel, by Prof. Leighton Flowers, a Southern Baptist and former Calvinist. I had to listen a few times to "get it", but now I consider his explanations of say, Romans 9, John 6, to make far more sense than the Calvinist ones. He is also gracious and kind when others are nasty to him, a positive trait I feel.

You could start with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuJDj90FZyc&t=67s

Then there is Steve Gregg, who does not come to quite the same conclusion, but he is also thorough and gracious. His site is "The narrow path"


Scroll down to "God's sovereignty and man's salvation"

Happy Boxing day! (what is left of it)
Registered user
Username: Asurprise

Post Number: 3552
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 - 3:56 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't believe in Calvinism either, but I do believe in the preservation of the saints - the P in TULIP. The verses that support the preservation of the saints are far clearer than the verses that people use to argue against it. For example Hebrews 6:4-6 is sometimes used to say that a saved person can be lost. However, this passage is written to unsaved people who have only TASTED the heavenly gift, but not gotten saved. It was VERY tempting to the Hebrews to not follow through when they heard the gospel because of the severe economic sanctions that would be leveled against them. This passage is warning them not to just "taste" but stop short of "eating" - (getting saved), because then they would grieve the Holy Spirit away.

Furthermore, Jesus said that there is only ONE unforgivable sin, and that is grieving away the Holy Spirit Who is drawing people to believe on Him!

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