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What is a Jew?

Posted by truthtalklive on July 1, 2008

On today’s show Stu interviews Dr. Michael Brown with ICN Ministries Dr. Brown is also the host of The line of fire radio show heard each weekday at 7pm til 8pm on The Truth Radio Network. We have another question for you What is Gods plan for Jewish people? Check out this website for more information

 http://www.inspiration.net/thinkitthru/index.cfm/page/2/video/1272150871 also please check out this link http://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/sayings.html#top

 

Other great sites about Dr. Brown

www.icnministries.org

http://lineoffireradio.wordpress.com/

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125 Responses to “What is a Jew?”

  1. jAsOn said

    Looking forward to the show…just hope the subsequent blog discussion doesn’t prove to be a string of slanderous remarks against A-millennialism. 🙂

  2. ADB said

    Jason, I think you and all the other gazillion folks who deny a literal thousand year reign of our Lord and Savior seven years after the glorious rapture should be burned at the stake for your rank heresy. Those who’ve already died in this awful heresy, should be exhumed and post-humously burned at the stake. I’ll begin gathering the dry kindling as soon as put this computer down.

  3. jAsOn said

    Its a good thing that God has raise up a small minority (when one considers all of church history) of believers nearly 1800 years after Christ’s life on Earth who see it that way, in order to save His church from that old heresy.

    🙂

  4. Maz said

    How can anyone read Romans 11 and not see what Paul is saying there about his people the Jews.
    And how can people spiritualise so much that should be taken literal.
    And if God cast off His people for crucifying the Lord, then we should all be cast off forever because Jesus was crucified for all of us, Jew and Gentile alike, we all crucified Jesus, our sin crucified our Savior. How dare anyone who calls themself a child of God presume that all the promises made to Abraham now belong to the Church and not the Jewish people. I have a Jewish ancestor. I love the Jews, and they are still Gods people….and they still have a future. They are a nation again, after 2500 years. No nation has ever come back from the dead like that. This is prophesy fulfilled…..which proves that God is still deaing with His people the Jew.

  5. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    You don’t understand what A-milleniallism teaches.

    I believe there is a “future for the Jewish people, but you can’t go to Rom 11 alone and determine the nature of the millenium.

    You said, “How dare anyone who calls themself a child of God presume that all the promises made to Abraham now belong to the Church and not the Jewish people.”

    First of all, Amils dont say that the promises dont belong to Jews…of course they belong to Jews and gentiles alike, read Eph. 2:”11Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

    Gal. 3:”29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

  6. jAsOn said

    It is the perennial criticism that dispy premils make of amils, that we “spiritualize” passages, and that they take the bible “literally”, but as far as debate goes, this statement alone only amounts to “poisoning the well” so to speak, and doesn’t really speak to the issues at hand.

    It is true that we all have hermeneutical presuppositions, and one of the amillennialist is that the OT scriptures must be read and understood in light of the New, not the other way around. There certainly is a grammatical/historical interpretation of OT prophesies and an understand of that prophesy in the time of its prophesy (many times it was misunderstood by the majority until revealed in the writings of the NT), but much of the time, the full interpretation of prophesy is not limited to that, and it is through the process of progressive revelation that we come to understand the spiritual aspects of things prophesied in the OT.

  7. Maz said

    Jason: I never mentioned anything about ‘A-mills’. I’m speaking against the unscriptural teaching that the Church has replaced Israel. It’s called Replacement Theology.
    Jew and Gentile become one new man in Christ….the Body of Christ, but the Jewish people who still have to believe in Yeshua their Messiah will see the One Whom they pierced and weep, and they will be saved.

  8. pork fried rice said

    In the Church – there is no Jew, nor Greek, neither male nor female.

    Dr. Brown needs to quit calling himself a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah. The Scriptures now call Dr. Brown a Christian, part of the body of Christ.

    Messianic Judaism is nothing but a division separating the body of Christ. Is Christ divided? He is if there is a distinction between the Jewish believer and the Gentile believer. Did not Paul rebuke Peter openly before all for this very thing?

  9. pork fried rice said

    And I am a dispensational premill adherent. Paul said to give no offense to the Jew, to the Greek nor to the Church. Three distinctions there. What makes them distinct from each other? The Lord Jesus Christ. The Jew rejects him as the Messiah, or else they would cease to be Jew and be “church”. The Greek/Gentile knows not the God of creation, or else they would cease to be Gentile/Greek and be “church”. The church is the blood bought believers from every tribe, tongue, nation.

    It’s not really an issue of replacement theology or a- pre- post milenial veiw points. It’s an issue of what does the Scripture say a Jew who has accepted Christ as Saviour be called. I say Christian.

  10. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    You must know that the term Replacement Theology has largely been used as a pejorative against Amils, right? You made a connection between the term and those who believe that “all the promises made to Abraham now belong to the Church”. I know you also added the phrase, “and not to the Jews”, but I ask, who believes that? Do you mean that RT refers to someone who believes that God has discarded ethnically Jewish persons and now only embraces gentiles? Who in your opinion holds to RT?

    Also, I don’t understand what your last sentence means, or what you were establishing by it.

  11. jAsOn said

    It happened much quicker than I thought, within the first 120 seconds of the show, Stu pulled out the RT term. Stu, if you’re not careful you may alienate those in the Reformed community who listen to your show and blog here.

    Stu,

    I for one don’t appreciate the carelessness with which the term RT is thrown around. It only adds fuel to the already white hot fire of the debate between Covenant Theologians and Dispensationalists; the very least you guys could do is use the academic term, “Supercessionism”. You would also do well to actually have a competent A-millennarian of the educational caliber of Dr. Brown on to present A-millennialism, and perhaps the same for other views of the millennium (or the future of Israel) so your listeners to make an informed decision about such issues.

  12. pork fried rice said

    I agree with Jason. Truth talk live needs to promote equality, meaning there sould be equal coverage for the differing views of end of time prophecy and the difference between Reformed, Covenant, and Classical Dispensationalism.

    You have Sproul, Wiles, Demar, Hannagraff, etc. promoting Covenant and Reformed theology. Yet, where are the dispensational teachers? Kroll is about it….

  13. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    I’m not really talking about general programming, but that the historic premil, amil and postmil views be better represented in the content of TTL shows, particularly when these issues arise. I think that this would help prevent such “poisoning of the well” so to speak, with the use of pejorative (and I dare say unnecessary) terms such as RT.

  14. Kerry said

    PFR: It seems to me that the majority of speakers on WTRU are Dispensational: Erwin Lutzer, Chip Ingram, Greg Laurie, John MacArthur, David Jeremiah, James MacDonald, Michael Youssef, Woodrow Kroll, Jack Graham, Adrian Rodgers, Charles Stanley, Tony Evans, Chuck Swindoll, Elwood McQuaid, and Jimmy DeYoung – and those are just the ones I’m certain of. I’m glad for the non-Dispies that WTRU airs, but they are by far the minority.

    I often haven’t listened TTL because of things like the non-Reformed bias of it. I’m glad that DeMar and Wiles host from time to time, however, because those shows I enjoy.

    Jason: Maz and I have been debating eschatology over on the “Should we mix faith & politics?” post. If you haven’t checked out that conversation, you might find it interesting. I myself am a postmillennialist, of sorts.

    ADB: Why the hostility, brother? C’mon, build a bridge.

  15. jAsOn said

    I’ll have to check that out Kerry.

    I thought ADB was being facetious, was I wrong ADB?

  16. Pork Fried Rice,

    I must take issue with your post, beginning here: “Dr. Brown needs to quit calling himself a Jew who believes Jesus is the Messiah. The Scriptures now call Dr. Brown a Christian, part of the body of Christ.”

    So, since Paul said that there is neither male or female in the Messiah, should men no longer call themselves men or women call themselves women? And why then does Paul write specifically to men and women in his letters?

    And if there is no Jew or Gentile in the way that you claim, why does Paul address the Gentile believers in Romans 11 as Gentiles?

    And what does James mean in Acts 21:20 when he speaks of tens of thousands of Jews who believe? Why not call them Christians? And why is the term “Christian” found just three times in the entire New Testament?

    As for your statement about Messianic Judaism — and by the way, I’m the leader of a church, not a Messianic congregation — if you don’t want to be divisive, why do you worship on Sunday rather than Saturday, the way the first believers did? And why do you celebrate Easter rather than Passover (if, in fact you do)? Remember that in Acts 15, the question was not could you be Jewish and believe in Jesus but rather could you be Gentile and believe in Jesus!

    I would urge you to go back to the Word without preconceptions and start reading through the relevant passages again. You might be in for a big surprise.

  17. ADB said

    Kerry,

    Sorry you missed my point. I was being facetious! I tend to be sort of a-millenial I guess, but that is because it seems to have fewer problems than the others. You are right that the popular voices Christian broadcasting treat pre-trib, pre-mil as an article of faith not to be questioned.

  18. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    You said, “As for your statement about Messianic Judaism — and by the way, I’m the leader of a church, not a Messianic congregation — if you don’t want to be divisive, why do you worship on Sunday rather than Saturday, the way the first believers did? And why do you celebrate Easter rather than Passover (if, in fact you do)? Remember that in Acts 15, the question was not could you be Jewish and believe in Jesus but rather could you be Gentile and believe in Jesus!”

    The NT clearly calls us to worship on the first day of the week, b/c we are no longer bound to keep the OT sabbath, but this NT sabbath instead.

    We celebrate the Messiah come, died, resurrected and ascended, we are no longer looking forward to His coming in a typilogical feast.

  19. Maz said

    Jason: #10, someone else on this site on another blog believes that.

  20. Maz said

    Jason: ‘Supersessionism” ”Replacement Theology”….words. They mean the same thing. Thre is a portion of the Church that believes th Church has REPLACED Israel. I also have many Christian friends that believe this, and I have had many a discussion with them from the scriptures about why I believe it is tollay UNscriptural.
    Jehovahs Witnesses (an I know they are a false cult) believe they are the Chosen and also have sinilar beliefs to Calvinism. They believe we are already in the Millenium.

  21. Maz said

    Kerry: I thot you didn’t believe in a LITERAL reign of Christ on the earth?

  22. Maz said

    Dr. Browne #16: Couldn’t have said it better myself. I would say though that I have met with Messianic Jews and they worship on Saturday but sadly the Church where hey worship meets on a Sunday. This has obviously come about because of the difference in opinion a to which day we should meet for worship. As the Church has by and large been actually ‘Gentilised’ it is the Jews that find themselves worshipping in a separate hall or place. I find this sad indeed.

  23. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    #19 (from #10): what I mean is that Jews to the individual, are all together excluded from receiving the promises…is that what the person you spoke of believes?

    Maz,

    You said, “‘Supersessionism” ”Replacement Theology”….words.” You don’t appear to be as familiar with this debate as you seem to think that you are. WORDS have meanings, historical, and common, and careless use of them can turn a debate into an argument and so cloud the air with unnecessary emotions and missunderstandings that it’s then difficult to present differing opinions.

    Your comparison of Calvinism and “RT” to that of JW’s isn’t helpful in this debate, and neither proves nor disproves anything…would you really like to review all the divergent (some even heretical)teachings that have been a result of dispensationalism, or the cults that hold to pre-millenialism, that wouldn’t help in this debate either.

    Again,

    Keeping the OT Sabbath in the form of a specific day of worship only helps to undo the work of Christ at a subconscious level.

    The change of the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday has absolutely nothing to do with the gentilization of the church! It was done because the OLD sabbath was only a picture of the NEW and after Christ fulfilled it in the place of believers, we now have rest on the first day and THEN 6 days of work, but before it was 6 days of work and THEN a day of rest. Not to mention that Christ was raised on the first day of the week. If the church has been gentilised, then it is a direct result of Paul…the Jew. Furthermore, believing Jews who separate themselves from a body of believers because that body meets on Sunday would do will to reread Acts 15 and Galatians 2.

  24. Maz said

    When I go onto Jason (listed on the right side of the page) do I get a link about A-milleniumism?

  25. Maz said

    I should have said ”Why do I get the link….”?

  26. Maz said

    Jason #23 (#19…#10) That was Kerry, she is on here so you could ask her, I can’t remember if she said.
    It is actually the first time I have ever heard the word ”Supersessionism” so I am speaking from ignorance ;-), but I understand what I mean by ”Replacement Theology”….so enlighten me, what is Supersessionism?

  27. Jason,

    You wrote, “The NT clearly calls us to worship on the first day of the week, b/c we are no longer bound to keep the OT sabbath, but this NT sabbath instead.” Are you serious? Please support your opening statement! I don’t know a single NT scholar in the world that would make the claim that “The NT clearly calls us to worship on the first day of the week.” I am truly curious to know what support you find for this in the Scriptures.

    I have no problem with meeting on the first day of the week — or any other day, for that matter — but I challenge the scriptural basis of your statement.

    Dr. Brown

  28. jAsOn said

    Briefly, Supercessionism means:

    God’s redemptive plan has always been to save a people from every tribe tongue and nation. He made an unconditional covenant w/ Abraham which promises of land and rest, etc were temporally fulfilled in the inhabitation of the promised land under Joshua, and God made a conditional covenant with Moses to which the obedience of the stipulations would maintain the nation in the promised.

    All the OC (or OT) rituals such as feast, new moons, sabbaths, and sacrifices were to point the people to Christ. And the promise of land also has a spiritual fulfillment in the new Heavens and new Earth. The nation of Israel too is a temporal typoe or shadow of the “true Israel of God” which is the body of believers from every age, and every tribe tongue and nation. Eph 2:11-22 very clearly show us that the OC is fulfilled in the New by having gentiles grafted into the same tree (Romans 11) and being brought near to the promises.

    When Christ cam, He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. I shy away from saying that the church “replaces” physical Israel, b/c, as believers we are made a part of spiritual Israel, and this body (which includes every Jewish believer from the OC – the remnant) is the fulfillment of the nation…not its replacement. The Invisible Church (the body of the elect from all ages) has existed since Adam, regardless of any differences in its manifestation in the OC and the NC.

    Hope this helps.

  29. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    Have you ever read “The Perpetuity and Change of the Sabbath” by Edwards?

  30. Kerry said

    Jason, ADB: Yeah, I missed the sarcasm there. I thought maybe ADB was a John Hagee devotee or something. Glad to know I was wrong.

    Maz: It depends on what you mean by a “literal” reign. Christ is literally reigning right now, but He is physically in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. His physical presence on earth is by the Holy Spirit working through His Church. That’s a literal reign. But what you mean is a “physical” reign, to which the answer is no. By the way, I’m a man, not a woman.

    And just explaining what I believe, since Maz has been attempting to represent me… I believe that any Jew who trusts in Jesus Christ can and will be saved. But I don’t believe the view that says that Jews still have a separate set of promises apart from Gentiles or from the Church. We are now all one in Christ, and the promises made to Israel which are yet to be fulfilled belong to all of us. Any attempt to return to the Old Covenant set-up is a denial of the work of Christ.

    And jumping into Jason & Dr. Brown’s discussion: There have been numerous Reformed scholars who have contended that Scripture clearly teaches us to observe the Sabbath in the New Covenant era on the first day of the week. Immediately coming to mind are Westminster Confession of Faith ch. 21, Westminster Larger Catechism #116, and Westminster Shorter Catechism #59. In more recent scholarship, O. Palmer Robertson’s book The Christ of the Covenants comes to mind.

  31. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    Why Sunday?

    Acts 20” 7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.”

    1 Cor. 16:” 1Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”

    Its not necessary to point to one particular verse that says, “…and now I want you to gather on Sunday instead of Saturday”. It is necessary to look at biblical theology, and systematic theology, and come to that conclusion. The NT as a whole testifies to the gathered worship of believers on the first day of the week.

    Part of the beginning of Edwards’ essay,

    “It is the mind and will of God that the first day of the week should be especially set apart among Christians for religious exercises and duties.
    That this is the doctrine which the Holy Ghost intended to teach us, by this and some other passages of the New Testament, I hope will appear plainly by the sequel. This is a doctrine that we have been generally brought up in by the instructions and examples of our ancestors, and it has been the general profession of the Christian world, that this day ought to be religiously observed and distinguished from other days of the week. However, some deny it. Some refuse to take notice of the day, as different from other days. Others own that it is a laudable custom of the Christian church, into which she fell by agreement and by appointment of her ordinary rulers, to set apart this day for public worship. But they deny any other original to such an observation of the day, than prudential human appointment. Others religiously observe the Jewish Sabbath, as of perpetual obligation, and that we want a foundation for determining that that is abrogated, and another day of the week is appointed in the room of the seventh.
    All these classes of men say that there is no clear revelation that it is the mind and will of God, that the first day of the week should be observed as a day to be set apart for religious exercises, in the room of the ancient Sabbath, which there ought to be in order to the observation of it by the Christian church as a divine institution. They say that we ought not to go upon the tradition of past ages, or upon uncertain and far-fetched inferences from some passages of the history of the New Testament, or upon some obscure and uncertain hints in the apostolic writings. But that we ought to expect a plain institution, which they say we may conclude God would have given us, if he had designed that the whole Christian church, in all ages, should observe another day of the week for a holy Sabbath, than that which was appointed of old by plain and positive institution.”

  32. pork fried rice said

    There are many who hide under the cloak of dispensationalism. Yet, are they really adhering to classical Dispensationalism – that of Darby, Chafer, etc.?

    Here is an easy way to determine whether they are true dispensationalists or mixing dispensationalism and covenant theology:

    Does the Christian teach paying a tithe?

    The answer determines if they truly adhere to classic dispensationalism.

  33. pork fried rice said

    If one is bound to the ceremonial observance of Saturday as the day of worship, wouldn’t that also bind them to all the laws associated with Judaism?

    Again, seems Paul in addressing the Galatians dealt with such matters, especially relating to gentiles converted to Christ.

    Is a Jewish convert to Christ still called to observe the feast days and laws of Moses? Also, why would a Jew want to be reminded of a system that didn’t work(not because of the law, but because of the people) by observing the Jewish day of worship. It is clear in the Scriptures that Jesus Christ rose again on the 1st day of the week. Or should I say sometime between sundown on Saturday evening and sunrise on Sunday morning.

    Regardless, I am not bound by the law of Moses, nor am I called to keep the Jewish holy days. It was for freedom that Christ has set us free – to worship in the beauty of Holiness, to worship Him in spirit and in truth.

  34. Jason,

    Hang on for a minute. You stated that “The NT clearly calls us to worship on the first day of the week” and then for support you bring Acts 20 and 1 Corinthians 16. I don’t want to sound demeaning, but you can’t be serious.

    Acts 20 speaks of a meeting they were having that could have just as well referred to Saturday night — the first day of the week on the Jewish calendar — since it speaks of Paul speaking past midnight. Many scholars recognize this. But even if it refers to Sunday, it refers to Sunday night — and the early believers met day and night in all kinds of settings. This is clear proof?

    As for 1 Corinthians 16, it tells the believers to put money aside at the beginning of every week, period. It doesn’t even hint that there is a public gathering.

    As for the Edwards’ statement, it is outrageous given the Jewish background of Jesus and the apostles. You might as well as espouse Catholic dogma once you disregard the clear testimony of the Word. Check out Church history and find out when Sunday was declared to be the new Sabbath. It had nothing to do with biblical precedent but rather with later Church dogma.

    It is clear from Acts that the believers still observed the seventh-day Sabbath, that Ananias was a devout man according to the Torah, that tens of thousands of Jewish believers in Acts 21 were still zealous for the Torah, that it hadn’t occurred to Peter as of Acts 11 to eat non-kosher food, that Paul could say of himself in Acts 23 that he was a Pharisee. These men all lived as Jews, and it never dawned on them that the Sabbath, which was a gift from God to the Jewish people, would be changed to a Sunday.

    If you’ve never read Samuel Bacchiochi’s “From Sabbath to Sunday : A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity,” I would strongly suggest that you take the time to read it. You may find it quite eye-opening.

    Now, to repeat: I have no issue with Christians worshiping on Sundays (I do, for the most part), and it is clear that in the NT, God never commanded Gentiles to set aside the seventh-day Sabbath. But to deny this gift to the Jewish people or to claim that Jesus by fulfilling Torah actually changed the Sabbath to Sunday is quite outrageous.

    Please re-read your email carefullly, since you basically say, “I don’t need biblical support since I can support this theologically.” That, my friend, is quite tenuous, to say the least.

  35. Typo: I meant Acts 10, of course, not Acts 11 with reference to Peter.

  36. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    CT doesn’t teach the requirement of a tithe, and instead of saying that some present day dispys have mixed wiht CT, I would say they have mixed with non-dispy theology. Now, persons like Bock, Blaising, Saucy, Macarthur and others, have kinda done what you said, b/c they think that some of the promises made to Israel in the OC were fulfilled in the church.

    Ryrie says that the sine quo non of dispensationalism is the distinction between Israel and the Church, but he (and others like him) have actually departed from the teachings of Chafer, Scofield, and Darby in other ways.

    Unless you simply say that it is whatever Darby (maybe Macintoch [SP])says it was, finding a clear definition of the boundaries of dispensationalism is very difficult.

  37. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    It is quite arrogate to look at the whole of church history and say, I don’t care, and that, my friend is basically what you have said.

    I don’t think that historical theology trumps the scripture and i haven’t suggested it as you seem to think. I find it highly offenceive that you would say, “You might as well as espouse Catholic dogma once you disregard the clear testimony of the Word.”

    To suggest that, because I appeal to historical theology and the “meta-narrative” of redemptive history, and simply b/c I cant proof text my way to a conclusion, I have discarded the testimony of the word” is scandalous at best.

    Surely you would not take the relativistic route of “…its just me and my bible in the woods, I don’t need any other help but the direct influence of the Holy Spirit.”.

    Again, have you read Edwards’ essay?

  38. jAsOn said

    As for the sabbath as a “gift to the Jews”, you Dr. Brown are helping raise back up the dividing wall between gentile and Jewish believers.

  39. Maz said

    Jason: I do not believe the Church is the ”true Israel”of God. Neither is Israel a ”shadow” of the Church. The Church is the Church, made up of believers from all tongues and nations, including the Jew. But God still has a plan for Israel as a nation which will be fulfilled literally in the future. (And we aren’t made up of 12,000 of each tribe either, listed in Revelation. This is obviously to do with Israel not the Church).

    This subject encompasses many doctrines to do with the Second Coming of Christ, including the Rapture, the Great Tribulation, the rise of the Anti-Christ, the Millenium, and the End Times, and to be honest, I feel ill equipped to carry on this discussion. This does not mean that I don’t know enough about what I believe, it just means I havn’t got the inclination to go into it all here. I could quote from books and any studies that I have done in the past 36 years but I have decided not to.

    Kerry: I too was mistaken as a man at the beginning.
    God still has plans for the physical nation of Israel. There are promises and prophecies still to be fulfilled concerning them. Their regathering to their own land is a very timely fulfilment right now. That is not a going back to anything, that is going forward into Gods plans and purposes for all of us. And I ditto what I said to Jason above.

  40. Jason,

    Loud sigh. 🙂 I don’t want to engage in rhetoric here, but I remind you that you made a strong statement supposedly based on the NT, then when challenged, you could not back it up, then instead you must rely on Church history. So then, are you in submission to the Pope? Do you worship Mary? If not, are you not ignoring Church history when it deviates from Scripture? Well so I am.

    As for your statement that recognizing the Sabbath as a gift for the Jewish people — just as did Paul and Peter and John and countless others in NT times — is to put up a dividing wall is mind-boggling to me. Since we know that the Jewish believers did, in fact, keep the Sabbath in the NT, then how is this erecting a dividing wall? And how do you reconcile your statement with the liberty Paul writes about in Romans 14?

    So, let’s go back to your first statement about the NT clearly calling us to worship on Sunday. Please back up your statement.

    As for Edwards’ essay, I’d be happy to read it. In fact, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll read Edwards if you read Bacchiochi – but then we agree that the Word itself is our ultimate authority.

    As for your meta-narrative arguments, you can be assured that there meta-arguments against it. 🙂

  41. ADB said

    As far as why Christians have traditionally worshipped on Sunday we could add this from the Didache (circa 100 A.D.)“On the Lord’s Day, the day instituted by the Lord, come together, break bread, and hold eucharist so that your offering might be pure.” In the middle of the 2nd century Justin Martyr refers to the norm of worshipping on the first day of the week. “The day of the sun is the day in which we hold our common assembly, because on this day God began his creation, separating light from darkness and Christ rose from the dead.”

    With all due respect, Dr. Brown, it is quite a leap from worshipping on Sunday to worshipping Mary don’t you think. I’m sure that Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli would have been surprised to learn that they worshipped Mary. For the sake of argument, I’ll grant you your interpretation of the texts from Acts and 1 Corinthians, but still Christians have been worshipping on Sunday for 1900 years. That’s far longer than there were popes, Mary worship, transubstantiation, purgatory, or the other excesses of Catholic dogma and practice. Even granting your point, within decades of when those Biblical texts were written Christians were worshipping on Sunday so its still a very ancient practice that one should respect.

    Regarding the Sabbath you are of course correct that in scriptures it was never moved from Saturday to Sunday. We would also do well to remember the words of Hebrews regarding Jesus being our Sabbath.

    Clearly, this must be an issue where reasonable people can disagree. If you prefer to worship on the traditional Sabbath, go for it. It does not affect me in the least, and I will by no means part fellowship over that issue. However, I would encourage you to grant the same charity to those of us who follow what we believe to be NT precedent and 1900 years of practice.

    In Christ,
    A curmudgeonly pastor:)

  42. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    I’ll read it, can you find Bacchiochi’s work online?

    You said, “you could not back it up, then instead you must rely on Church history.”

    I did back it up, I just didn’t proof text to do it.

    I never claimed that church history was infallible, just necessary to check our interpretations.

    As for “meta-arguments” against the principle of: looking at the whole of redemptive history as recorded in scripture and seeing the word as the story of God redeeming the world unto Himself, I’d like to hear yours.

    Please point out where Paul and Peter, and John, and countless others recognized the Saturday Sabbath as a gift for the Jews as though it should still be kept even today.

    As for Saturday being referred to as the first day of the week in the NT:

    Matt. 28:”Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.”

  43. Brad said

    Jason,

    You seem a bit on the legalistic side, though I couldn’t say for sure without knowing you, but that’s the way it comes across to me. Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Friday – which day is the 7th day? Which should be considered Sabbath? Does it matter, in light of our salvation, Jason? Does it really matter to our salvation?

    A, Pre, Post – do any of these really matter as it relates to our salvation? Sure, we can all have different viewpoints, and we can all base these viewpoints on what we consider to be a correct interpretation of Scripture, but in the end, do they matter as far as our salvation is concerned?

    If you say yes, then you have put requirements on salvation that aren’t in Scripture. If you say no, then we can agree that these are non-essential doctrines that people can agreeably disagree on.

    Are “Jews” saved by the same way that “Gentiles” are? Would be curious to know your answer to that question. I say they are, b/c Scripture doesn’t say they’re saved by any other way. There’s not 2 ways to salvation, there’s only one – John 14:6 clears that right up. If you don’t have that way, then you aren’t saved and won’t be in Heaven – Jew or Gentile.

  44. jAsOn said

    though I have very strong views regarding the topics that have been presented in this thread, and how those who are not “reformed” or covenental in their hermeneutic, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m beginning to question the edifying nature of this conversation and my involvement in it at all. Perhaps I should back out of it so as not to cause myself or others to sin.

  45. jAsOn said

    Brad,

    If I’ve come off legalistic b/c, with Edwards, I find it convincing that the Holy Spirit intended us to worship corporately on Sunday in light of Christ’s resurrection, then something has gone a rye, either in my presentation or others understanding.

    Secondly, b/c I hold firmly to one doctrine and not its opposite makes no one a legalist, just jealous to understand what God would have us believe and do.

    Of course Jews are saved the same way.

    In the end, all those who repent and believe will enjoy eternity w/ God forever, so in that sense, nothing else really matters, but I think that you, Brad, have underestimated the importance of other doctrines.

    I don’t believe anyone here, neither Dr. Brown nor myself would add correct thinking on any other doctrine to the gospel for someone to be saved.

    Though I have very sharp disagreements with Dr. Brown, Maz and others, I have no reason to think that they are not my brother and sister in Christ, even though we each consider our differences important.

  46. Maz said

    Jason; I was feeling that way aswell.

  47. ABD,

    May I ask you how you know that “the Lord’s day” refers to Sunday in the Didache? It might, but there are arguments that can be raised against it. As to the Justin Martyr quote, I have no issue with the fact that as early as the late first or early second century, Christians came together before or after work to worship on Sundays. And I have no issue with that at all today. But are you aware that: 1) Sunday was not considered the Sabbath at that point; and that: 2) many of the Church Fathers continue to attest to the fact that Jewish Christians continued to keep the Saturday Sabbath and the holy days for at least the first four centuries of this era?

    As for the comments about Luther, etc., I don’t follow you there. If you care to expand on that, please do. My point to Jason was simply that we don’t necessarily follow everything that developed in Church history or dogma, a point on which we all agree.

    Jason,

    I hate to beat a dead horse here, but you claimed that the NT clearly taught something and then could not adduce any solid evidence to back that up. This is not a personal battle between us — in fact, once again, time requires me to drop out soon from here — but please do step back and recognize your error, at least in making the claim you did. As for the Matthew 28 citation, I think you wrote Saturday for Sunday, otherwise your point is completely off. If you meant Sunday, yes, we agree that Sunday is the first day of the week — who argues with that? — but in Jewish reckoning, that began (and still begins) Saturday night.

    As for my contention about Peter and the other Jewish believers in Acts, just read through all of Acts and note how all the Jewish believers followed the Torah. If you need specific references, check out what I already cited.

    You can order Bacchiochi’s book from Amazon, and I would strongly encourage you to do so. It really will open your eyes to lots of things you may not have been aware of.

    Should these discussions divide us? God forbid! Therefore it is all the more important that you NOT make the erroneous claim that by Jewish believers keeping the seventh day Sabbath that they are putting a wall of division.

  48. jAsOn said

    It does seem funny that we seem to have gotten hung up on this one nuance of the hermeneutics that highlight our differences Dr Brown.

    Anyway, you don’t consider my reasoning (which by no means is complete) for the Sunday sabbath as solid evidence, and I suppose we will probably never agree on that point, b/c we have completely different hermeneutical presuppositions.

    As for the Matt 28 quote, I was responding to the claim you made that the NT references to the “first day of the week” might NOT mean Sunday.

    I would like to know what you mean by “follow the Torah”.

    Lastly, when I mentioned the dividing wall being raised up again, one of the instances I was critiquing was that, if Jewish believers separated themselves from a Christian congregation b/c they wanted to worship on Saturday nights instead, that is divisive.

  49. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    Could you explain what “anti-missionaries” are?

  50. Jason,

    A quick comments:

    1) My hermeneutic is based on the principle of Scripture interprets Scripture, following the historical-grammatical sense of the text. What is yours?

    2) My comment about the text in Acts 20 was that Sunday began on Saturday night, and that if a Jewish reckoning was involved, then the believers met on Saturday night (which is different than Sunday morning). I did not intend to say that Sunday was not the first day of the week according to the NT.

    3) By follow the Torah I mean that the first Jewish believers understood that Yeshua did not come to abolish but to fulfill, and so the biblical holy days were infused with new meaning (such as Passover) rather than abolished. At the end of the Gospels, the women only go to the tomb after the Sabbath so as not to violate it; Peter and John followed the Jewish custom of prayer in Acts 3 (because it was the communal thing to do); Paul frequented the synagogues on Sabbath and took a Nazarite vow in Acts 18 (with no coercion); the Jewish believers in Acts 15 understood that they would follow the Torah — not for salvation but as part of their covenantal calling — but did not feel that Gentiles needed to; Peter had never eaten “unclean” food as of Acts 10; and the testimony of James in Acts 21 is quite strong. I ask you: Are Jewish believers in Jesus not free to follow certain Torah laws as they feel led to? Are they not free to abstain from eating pork unless a gospel witness is at stake?

    4) Perhaps the Christians stating that Sunday is the Sabbath are being divisive? Actually, I say this tongue in cheek, but you are thereby not allowing Jewish believers in Jesus to live as Jews and to be witnesses as Jews in their community. Are you aware of the horrors of anti-Semitism in Church history? Are you aware even of Luther’s horrific writings, used by Hitler himself? Many unsaved Jews would not set foot in a church building, but they will attend a Messianic congregation meeting on Saturday morning. You are saying they should not do this?

    For me, I find unity in the diversity, also in keeping with what Paul wrote in Romans 14 about our liberty in terms of what day we set aside as holy. I remind you that I am not a member or leader in a Messianic Jewish congregation but rather of a congregation that meets on Sunday mornings and is called a “church.” My issue is with the statements you made in your posts, which, I believe, have lost sight of the Jewish roots of the faith. It would be my joy to send you as a gift my book Our Hands Are Stained with Blood. If you’d like a copy, just email my website and give us your address and the request will quickly get to me for approval.

    Thanks for the dialogue here!

  51. Brad said

    Secondly, b/c I hold firmly to one doctrine and not its opposite makes no one a legalist, just jealous to understand what God would have us believe and do.

    Again, I don’t know you, which is why I can’t say, I’m just saying that our worship on a Saturday vs. a Sunday, or our views of pre vs. post vs. a-millenialism, have no bearing on our salvation. We need to be careful how critical we might be of others, relating to these views.

    Of course Jews are saved the same way.

    Then we agree. As such, while God certainly does speak of Israel as His chosen people, we need to remember that in the end, they either make it to Heaven or not based on the same way non-Jews make it – through Christ alone. Sometimes people who think of Jews or Israel as “God’s chosen people” can forget that.

    In the end, all those who repent and believe will enjoy eternity w/ God forever, so in that sense, nothing else really matters, but I think that you, Brad, have underestimated the importance of other doctrines.

    It’s not that I don’t think they’re important to us individually, Jason, just be careful how much you press the issue. They are irrelevant to salvation. This is where you do need to be careful about being legalistic, i.e. “it must be done this way or it’s wrong”. Your statement basically says they aren’t important, but that they also are. Depends on your viewpoint. Important to salvation? No. Important to understand them? Yes. Is there one correct interpretation? I believe there is. But just b/c people don’t agree on that, doesn’t need to be divisive. Just be careful how hard you press the issue. As it is said, in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity. It’s the liberty we sometimes forget.

    Though I have very sharp disagreements with Dr. Brown, Maz and others, I have no reason to think that they are not my brother and sister in Christ, even though we each consider our differences important.

    Perfect. I agree.

  52. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    1) One of my hermeneutical presuppositions is the “analogy of faith”, that scripture must be used to interpret scripture. A subset of that is allowing the NT interpretation of an OT text guide us in understand what that OT actually means, and has meant. In that way, the gram/hist interpretation is subservient to the fuller interpretation provided by the NT. The application of this can occur as a NT writer provides an interpretation of a specific OT prophecy (a fantastic resource for this is “Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament” by Beale and Carson) and also by having in mind the overarching story of redemption when we go to interpret the OT and NT holistically (a great resource on this level is Mike Horton’s “God of Promise”).

    2) Noted

    3) You said, “biblical holy days were infused with new meaning”, and I would say that their FULLEST meaning had been revealed. Following the Jewish custom of prayer…no problem. As for the vow, I don’t see this as a contradiction.

    You said, “the Jewish believers in Acts 15 understood that they would follow the Torah — not for salvation but as part of their covenantal calling”. Acts 15:10 “10Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.””

    This indication of burdensome duty to the ceremonial Law of Moses was for both the Jew and the gentile. Of course Jewish believers are free to abstain from eating pork, or follow certain laws from the Torah (I must ask, why just certain and not all?), but why place yourself under a typological Law which you cannot keep; is it just as a custom or as a means of sanctification? The ultimate purpose of the Law (and it is good) has always been to show us just how sinful we are, NEVER is it to be used as the measure of a man’s righteousness, only a measure of his wickedness, and the gospel is the news of Christ’s perfect obedience of that Law on the behalf of believers.

    Gal. 3:”1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? 7Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” Does this passage not refer to both Jews and gentiles? We gentiles, “just as Abraham”, and “along with Abraham” are given the same instruction here, that after having believed and regenerated (by the Spirit), why then would we try to be sanctified by the works of the Law? My point is, that the Jews are no longer called to covenantal obedience to the covenant at Sinai; that is no longer their covenantal calling, it is the same covenantal calling that men from all nations have, that Christ obeyed the covenantal stipulations on our behalf, and we inherit the same promises together in Him. Heb 8:”7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

    8For he finds fault with them when he says:

    “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
    9not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
    For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
    10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
    I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
    and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
    11And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
    12For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

    13In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

    4) You said, “you are thereby not allowing Jewish believers in Jesus to live as Jews and to be witnesses as Jews in their community”. I just think this may be an occasion of over-contextualization. The principle of abstainance by non-offense is not for the believer to not offend the non-believer, but for the strong brother not to offend the weaker brother…they are both saved. As a matter of fact, Paul publicly rebuked Peter for separating himself from the gentiles and joining the Jewish abstainers b/c it was an offense to the gospel. Gal 2:”11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?” 15We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. 17But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”

    I’m saying, the last thing Christians should separate over is the day of worship, and that the weaker argument is the one that relies on the OLD Covenant feast (which was a shadow) of the NEW Covenant feast of the Lord’s Supper, and the stronger argument is the consistent practice of New Covenant believers for the last couple thousand of years. Maybe that precedent would shed light on who is the divisive party. You say, I have forgotten the Jewish roots ofo my faith, and I say that you have not recognized the fulfillment that Christ made of the Old Covenant when He inaugurated His Kingdom during His incarnation.

    You said, “Are you aware of the horrors of anti-Semitism in Church history? Are you aware even of Luther’s horrific writings, used by Hitler himself?” Regarding Luther and Christian Anti-Semitism, here are the words of Dr. Sam Waldron taken from one of his responces to Barry Horner’s “Future Israel”:

    “It is not Supercessionism that leads to Anti-Judaism. It is Constantinianism. What do I mean? Augustine and Luther were both under the spell of sacralism. This is the idea that the civil state is also and necessarily a religious entity. This leads directly to the idea that there can be only one religion in the state. The toleration of more religions than one undermines the integrity of the state. This idea dominated all pre-Christian states including the Judaic state of the Old Testament. It came to dominate Christianity for almost a millennium and a half through the accession of the “Christian” Constantine to the throne of the Roman Empire. If you had been a Christian at the time living under the terrible persecution that preceded Constantine’s reign, you would have probably thought that the accession of Constantine was a very good thing. If there had been a vote for emperor, Constantine would have carried it by wide margins! Constantinianism may have been a good thing short-term for Christians. Long-term, however, it proved to be a very bad thing for Christianity. Constantine and the succeeding emperors brought with them to the throne certain assumptions. They brought with them the sacral assumption of one religion for one state. They brought with them the assumption that they should be the earthly leader of that religion. These assumptions led inevitably to the outlawing of non-Christian religions and then to the outlawing of non-Catholic Christian religions. This is what I mean when I speak of Constantinianism.

    The Donatists in the 5th Century were a rival Christian sect opposed to the Catholic churches in North Africa. Augustine’s crusade against them may have been motivated by legitimate theological concerns, but it was aided by the Imperial government and its armed forces. Augustine, in other words, notwithstanding all the wonderful things he did and wrote, was dreadfully wrong when it came to the separation of church and state.

    To speak shortly, we may say the same thing about Luther. He was also dominated by the Constantinian ideal of sacralism. This is why he subjected the Lutheran churches in Germany to its civil rulers and princes. This is also why he called on them to reform the churches within the bounds of their respective domains. He was also still under the spell of sacralism.

    Now sacralism introduces a poisonous element into the discussions of the most legitimate Christian doctrines. One only needs to read the horrible and rancorous debates and politics of the early councils dealing with the person of Christ to see abundant evidence of this. The rancor and politics were largely due to the intrusion of imperial authority into the affairs of the church.

    This is the true explanation of the Anti-Semitism that scars the face of the Christian tradition. When Constantine embraced Christianity, but failed to give up at the same time his sacral understanding of society and the presumption of a right to rule his empire’s religions, this politicized Christianity and theology. This politicizing of Christian theology would straightforwardly turn a divine judgment on the Jews by God into a civil persecution of the Jews by the “Holy” Roman Empire. A sacral mindset assumes that the government has the duty to back up with outward force everything God does and says. If God judged the Jews and drove them from the promised land, then sacralism assumes that it is the duty of the government and its citizens to reinforce this judgment by themselves persecuting the Jews. It is this vicious idea that mistakes divine judgment for civil law that leads to Anti-Semitism in Christians. This—not Amillennialism and not so-called Supercessionism—is the true, sufficient, and efficient cause of the persecution of the Jews by Christians.”

  53. pork fried rice said

    Since we’re in the business of recommending books, Dr. Brown, I’d like to recommend a book to you concerning Messianic Judaism. It can be read online at: with Christ dot org
    titled Dispensational Decline

    It is a Jewish believers traditions that keeps them adhering to Mosaic Law, not Christian liberty. Christ came to fulfill all righteousness – that He completed on the cross. Now, therefore the law is fulfilled in Him. The Law being a shadow of the more excellent Way. We, now are governed by the Law of Liberty in Christ Jesus.

    We, gentiles have been grafted in to the olive tree. Is it not one olive tree? Has God set up two systems inside His Church? One for ethnic Jewish believers, and one for all the gentile believers? Is Christ divided?

    If as you imply that there is one way for Jews to worship Christ and another for gentiles, then yes His body is divided.

    Saturday, Sunday, Pre-Post-A milinial doesn’t matter. What is at issue is division of the body of Christ based on a covenant that was done away with in Christ Jesus. Is not this the “age of the gentiles”?

    How can a gentile believer in Christ Jesus provoke a Jew to jealousy if by your admission we worship on the wrong day and do not adhere to Mosaic regulations? Would not our “disobedience” be a stumbling block to the Jew? Not an enticement.

  54. jAsOn said

    Brad,

    You said, “have no bearing on our salvation. We need to be careful how critical we might be of others, relating to these views.”

    I agree.

    You said, “They are irrelevant to salvation.”

    More accurately, they are not essential to our justification, but nevertheless, relevant b/c they are part of the truth God has revealed; understanding His word clearly is part of our sanctification. You can’t just take doctrines like one’s view of the nature and timing of the millennium out of the context of our total understanding of scripture and say that they aren’t important enough to debate over, b/c they are not isolated doctrines, they are reflexive b/c they are caused by other beliefs, and they in turn cause beliefs themselves.

    I don’t think you are using the term “legalistic” correctly, b/c in this thread I am not adding the belief of Amillennialism to what must be believed for one to be saved, that is what legalism is.

    You said, “in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity. It’s the liberty we sometimes forget.”

    I agree

  55. Brad said

    Jason,

    Your post illustrates my prior points about what you need to be careful of.

    Thanks.

  56. jAsOn said

    How is that Brad?

  57. pork fried rice said

    Jason,
    I came out of a legalistic denomination. In salvation, they were orthodox. The legalism came into play after initial salvation in regard to their warped sense of “obedience” and “sanctification”.

    Legalism is imposing a set of rules/beliefs on someone that 1)you yourself do not keep 100% of the time, and 2)are not in accordance with Scripture.

    Example: Declaring that all women wear a dress that does not come above their knees. And NO pants!! on a woman. Nah, a better one is no long hair on a man, yet every (idol)picture of their representation of Christ has a long haired blue eyed beauty 🙂

    Most churches were formed because of legalism on someone’s part. This person legalistically upheld the KJV1611, so a church was formed. This person upheld the TULIP, so this church was formed. this person upheld pelagianism, so this church was formed. Etc, etc…

    Obviously the body of Christ is indeed divided. And over non-essentials. then again, who determines what is an essential and what is a non-essential? I uphold 1 Cor. 11 in regard to the headcovering on a woman during worship. I believe it to be an essential Christian practice for all believers in all churches. Yet, obviously there are those who say it is a nonessential cultural thing.

  58. Zerxil said

    Deuteronomy
    Chapter 5

    22
    “These words, and nothing more, the LORD spoke with a loud voice to your entire assembly on the mountain from the midst of the fire and the dense cloud. He wrote them upon two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
    23
    But when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, you came to me in the person of all your tribal heads and elders,
    24
    and said, ‘The LORD, our God, has indeed let us see his glory and his majesty! We have heard his voice from the midst of the fire and have found out today that a man can still live after God has spoken with him.
    25
    But why should we die now? Surely this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the LORD, our God, any more, we shall die.
    26
    For what mortal has heard, as we have, the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of fire, and survived?
    27
    Go closer, you, and hear all that the LORD, our God, will say, and then tell us what the LORD, our God, tells you; we will listen and obey.’
    28
    “The LORD heard your words as you were speaking to me and said to me, ‘I have heard the words these people have spoken to you, which are all well said.
    29
    Would that they might always be of such a mind, to fear me and to keep all my commandments! Then they and their descendants would prosper forever.
    30
    Go, tell them to return to their tents.
    31
    Then you wait here near me and I will give you all the commandments, the statutes and decrees you must teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’

    WE ARE AFRAID OF LISTENING TO GOD, he might kill us, Moses go up there & listen. lol, So God gives them more laws…

    p.s. is Eli Stone, the tv show, heretical?

  59. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    Without trying to deny the fluidity of language, “Legalism is imposing a set of rules/beliefs on someone that 1)you yourself do not keep 100% of the time, and 2)are not in accordance with Scripture.” is a popular definition today, but historically speaking, the definition of legalism is the imposition of addition of acts to belief and repentance for salvation. Your #1 is actually the definition of hypocrite. I do find it sad that you would include “TULIP” in the list with KJV onlyism and pelagianism. I think its clear from protestant church history that those who didn’t uphold Calvinistic soteriology are the ones who separated themselves, i.e. the semi-pelagian Remonstrants. This is why historic creeds are so very important. Otherwise, I agree with you on refraining from the imposition of extra-biblical laws.

  60. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    On the ICN website under “Answers to Objections”, you wrote,

    ” Objection: 3.8. “The Scriptures clearly tells us that, ‘To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice’ (Prov. 21:3).”

    Answer: “Amen! Who would argue with Scripture? Elsewhere the Bible teaches that obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:23). But these passages do not denigrate the importance of sacrifices, as some anti-missionaries would claim. Rather, throughout the Bible God opposes religious hypocrisy and formal, outward observance of religious rites. He would rather have our simple obedience than our lengthy prayers or costly sacrifices if our hearts are not right with him. And he would prefer that we just do what he says rather than that we sin, repent, and bring a sacrifice for our sins. The sad fact is that we all sin grievously and we all need atonement for our sins, a subject that Scripture clearly affirms and teaches.” (See Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, vol. 2, pp. 69-71.)”

    Again, what are “anti-missionaries”?

  61. pork fried rice said

    Ok, Calvinism is not the Author and finisher of our faith.

    It is obvious throughout church history, not just protestant, that there were many many believers in Jesus Christ who we would not consider in agreement with the TULIP.

    The bickering continues between the Calvinists and the Armenianists. Yet, those of us who adhere to neither are in the middle saying “Is there a Biblical common ground?”

    We believe in the perseverence of the saints – just not the Calvinistic interpretation.
    We believe in total depravity of man – just not the Calvinistic interpretation.
    We do reject limited atonement, yes the Calvinistic interpretation.
    We do reject the Calvinistic teaching of irresistable grace.
    And the “U” is so unimportant that I can’t think of what it is right now 🙂

    Don’t feel bad Jason 😦

    We also reject the Arminian concept of free will.
    We reject the Arminian concept of conditional security.
    We do agree with the Arminian concept of Christ’s death sufficient for all sin.
    We reject the pelagian teaching denying original sin.

    Yet, the Arminian gives us an either or ultimatum. And the Calvinist gives us an either or ultimatum. As if your interpreation(began by a fallible man) is more correct than the other. When both have their flaws and contradictions.

  62. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    I don’t think this thread is the place to begin yet another debate over the theology of the reformed faith, and its historical representation, so I won’t. But if you are still interested in talking about it, perhaps we can find another forum, if not, then that’s fine too. 🙂

  63. Jeff42 said

    Dr. Brown,

    There is a very important question directed to you at the end of the “Is revival happening today?” thread. Could you go there and give an answer. Thanks!

  64. Jeff42,

    I’ll take a look and try to answer ASAP. You’re welcome!

    Jason,

    I’m about to respond to your longer (and very helpful) post, but to answer your short question, anti-missionaries (or, counter-missionaries) are rabbis and Jewish leaders who work against the missionaries — meaning us! — who try to bring Jews to faith in Jesus. Some of the best known groups are Jews for Judaism and Outreach Judaism, with major blogs like Messiah Truth being representative.

  65. Kerry said

    Re: Samuel Bacchiochi’s book… I haven’t had a chance to keep up with the discussion here in any significant way. But since Dr. Brown kept citing Dr. Bacchiochi’s book (I would like to hear from Dr. Brown of another source supporting the same theory before I begin taking it seriously), I decided to search for it on Amazon. The following quote from Paul Bradshaw’s book, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, turned up. He says, “The New Testament contains only three texts (Acts 20.7-12; 1 Corinthians 16.2; and Revelation 1.10) which may allude to the Christian observance of Sunday, and even their meaning is a matter of some dispute. Nevertheless, scholars have not generally accepted the thesis of the Seventh-Day Adventist Samuele Bacchiochi that Sunday observance only began among Christians in the second century. Instead, many have tended to believe that the first Christians chose Sunday as their Sabbath day in order to differentiate themselves from other Jews, and furthermore that during the first century the Christian Eucharist was usually celebrated on Saturday evening, after the Sabbath was over and as Sunday began according to the Jewish reckoning of the day.” (pg. 178) Bradshaw goes on to discuss other theories by various scholars on the origins of Sunday worship. If as eminent a scholar as Paul Bradshaw says that most scholars don’t accept Bacchiochi’s (who I’ve never heard of until this discussion) theory, then I feel more comfortable accepting the theories of those I’ve read.

    On top of this, I don’t necessarily think I need to go back and find what the early church was doing in order to justify my current practice. There are two views at work here. One is Restorationism, which requires that we figure out the exact way that the early church believed and did things, and copy them exactly. Then there is Biblical Christianity, which allows for generation after generation to learn things from Scripture which their forefathers in the faith missed. Dr. Brown might have tried to use the red herring of Rome in addressing those who hold to Sunday as the Sabbath, but if he insists on finding an early church tradition by which to justify his beliefs and practices, then he is the one using Rome’s hermeneutic. I regard Sunday as the New Covenant Sabbath because I believe it is in Scripture by good and necessary consequence, and while it is important that Sunday has been observed as the Lord’s Day since the time of Christ, and church history is important as an example, I ultimately don’t care if nobody has regarded it as the Sabbath, because the evidence in Scripture is enough for me.

    It seems to me that many of Dr. Brown’s objections based on his interpretations of Acts could be easily addressed by taking into account the fact that things weren’t solidified in the practice of the church immediately after Pentecost. Dr. Brown doesn’t seem to consider the factor of the temporary nature of the early church set-up, centered around the fact that within one generation Jerusalem was to be destroyed, as Christ foretold. Then again, Dr. Brown is a Dispensationalist, and 70 AD doesn’t usually seem to matter to Dispensationalists. I would address this further, but it’s late, and this comment is already too long.

  66. Kerry said

    Make that page 178.

  67. Kerry,

    What in the world made you think I’m a dispensationalist? I have rejected that teaching for more than 30 years. I am a classical premillenialist.

    As for citing Bacchiochi, I’m not trying to engage in a scholarly discussion here on a blog relating to a popular radio show, but suffice it to say that Carson and Bauckham edited a whole volume just to respond to his work, because of its importance. If you really find it necessary for me to cite five or ten more books before you’re willing to take the time to buy a good book and read it, I’ll find a minute to do so, but that kind of thinking does put me off.

    On another point, I find zero scriptural support for cessationism, yet much of Church history rejected the pattern of Acts and the epistles. So what do I do? I reject the errors of Church history and follow God’s Word.

  68. Jason,

    Thanks for your lengthy post, which I found helpful in getting a more full grasp of your position.

    A few very quick notes, not corresponding to your order:

    1) Yes, the Beale-Carson book is terrific, and my academic writings on the subject are in harmony with the position espoused there.

    2) Where do you find a reference to a “ceremonial law” in Acts 15? Peter is talking about a legalistic approach to Torah and to the mentality that we are justified by the works of the Law as opposed to referring to a so-called “ceremonial law,” a concept that basically did not exist in the first century.

    3) Acts 15 makes clear that it had not dawned on Peter and other Jewish believers that as Jews, they should not follow the Torah; rather, the question had to do with Gentiles.

    4) I fully affirm our new covenant liberty, and I would have no problem with eating pork every day of my life if I chose to, just to give one example. But where does the new covenant argue for Sunday worship as opposed to Saturday (let alone Sunday as the Sabbath)? Where does it say celebrate Christmas rather than Tabernacles?

    5) As for the Constantine quote, I strongly disagree. For two centuries before Constantine, Jews were being dehumanized and demonized by some of the Church Fathers, a fruit of their failing to hear Paul’s very clear warnings in Romans 11. For a good resource on this, see Dan Cohn-Sherbok’s The Crucified Jew. As for Barry Horner’s book, I found it to be quite useful.

    Again, I’ve written extensively on some of these points and it’s tough to rehash them here in limited time and space, hence my recommendation that you delve into some of my related writings.

  69. Kerry said

    Dr. Brown,

    Your support for the idea of a division between Jews and Gentiles sounded like Dispensationalism to me and unlike any Classical Premillennialist I have ever known. I am glad you aren’t a Dispie, but with the points we are discussing here, the difference is nil so far as I’m concerned.

    If you have time and other books supporting the position Bacchiochi takes, I’d like to hear of them. If you don’t have the time, don’t worry about it. What Carson and Bauckham book are you referring to? I’d recommend you check out Joseph Pipa’s book on the Sabbath, called “The Lord’s Day”, and the section on the covenant of creation in O. Palmer Robertson’s book “The Christ of the Covenants” for a defense of the New Covenant Sabbath.

    I’m not sure how you’re using the term “cessationism”. Where I come from, the term refers to ending of certain spiritual gifts upon the completion of the canon of Scripture. I wasn’t alluding to that at all. I was referring to the idea that some of the practices you cite as being continuing “Jewish priviledges” can be easily explained by the fact that the years following Christ’s death and leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD were a time of transition. If what you mean by “cessationism” is the idea that God has ended His work with Israel and is now working through the church, then I can understand that. I grew up Dispensational, and couldn’t see anything else for a long time. And the fact that you are Jewish would have a little something to do with your view, I’m sure. Nonetheless, I don’t see how an honest appraisal of the New Testament can yield any other view. Jason cited some important verses from Galatians above on this. Galatians, Romans, Ephesians… it’s impossible to get away from it in the New Testament. If you’re not open to it, however, then you aren’t going to see it.

  70. PFR said

    Jason#62,

    Seems you throw out your mantra of Calvinism, then when rebuked you throw up “this isn’t the thread for discussing theology.”

    Well, quit throwing up that Calvinism is the perfect interpretation of Scripture, the “historical” means of understanding God, etc….. For it is neither perfect nor historical. It is just one of several means of interpreting the Scriptures. Calvin was a fallible man, so was Augustine. They are not to be compared to Jesus Christ nor Paul the apostle. You cannot trace the TULIP back to Paul as some reformed adherents would boast.

    I’ll end my response to the faulty system of Calvinism with a quote: concerning non-elect infants “Original guilt is sufficient to condemn men..and those infant children who are taken from this life before they could display any works of faith because of their age..some born in Jerusalem pass thence to a better life, while those of Sodom to the forecourt of hell…” – Concerning Eternal Predestination, John Calvin.

    Now compare Calvin to Paul the apostle “for the children being not yet born, neither having done good or evil”. Calvin’s predisposition to Augustinianism leads him to believe that God even sends “non-elect” unborn babies and infants into hell, just because they are non-elect. His supporting verse is “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Which is taken out of context because later on it reads “the elder shall serve the younger”. Yet, did Esau serve Jacob? Or was it referring to their descendants? If so, then does that mean God hated all the Edomites and all Edomites were non-elect and hellbound? Now read Genesis 25:23, and see if God elected Jacob to eternal salvation and Esau to eternal hell or if it was the election concerning physical?

    This is just one of many problems that I have with Calvin and Calvinism.

    A false premise always leads to a false interpretation of the text. I don’t care if it is Calvin, Luther, or Augustine. Unless their words are within the 66 books of the Bible, they are just fallible men with limited knowledge prone to error.

    And TULIP adherents have the nerve to call Darby and Chafer confused and unBiblical. Dispensationalism isn’t perfect, but I don’t see it casting babes into hell just because “the Sovereign Lord” either did elect them to hell or didn’t elect them to heaven(depending on if you are a single or double predestination adherent).

    So, Jason, I won’t say any more about Calvinism, reformed theology, the TULIP or even Covenant theology. But only if you stop promoting it as the be all end all of perfect exegesis of Scripture.

  71. Maz said

    PFR: I’m glad someone is speaking against this awful Calvinist teaching. I would agree with all you said, but as I get so frustrated and quite angry at the theology of predestination to Heaven or Hell, I don’t get involved with discussing it….just wanted to say, I’m glad your on board!

  72. Kerry said

    Jumping into someone else’s conversation again…

    PFR: There is a strain of Reformed theology that holds the view that those who die in infancy are therefore to be regarded as elect, irrespective of their status in regard to the covenant. Princeton theologian B. B. Warfield was one such advocate of that view. I don’t personally agree with that view, but I offer that to say that rejecting Calvin’s view of how God deals with infants isn’t good enough reason to reject the entire doctrine of God’s sovereignty.

    So far as Romans 9 is concerned, on your theology, Paul’s answering in vs. 20 of the opposition to his doctrine in vs. 19 wouldn’t need to occur. God is the potter, and has made some vessels for glory, and others for destruction (vs. 23). Now whether or not you want to accept that is between you and God. But rationalizations from one or two verses that ignore the larger whole of the passage (as you did above) won’t excuse you for not accepting it.

  73. stu's #1 fan!!!!!!!! said

    well Jesus was a jew and his parents were both jews but they believed that Jesus is the Savior. You can be a jew by blood but not believe in what they believe. They believe that Jesus was not the Savior and He was just another preacher sent by God.

  74. Maz said

    Kerry: This is a debate for all, we all have our freedom to say what we want to when we have a point to make.

  75. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    ????

    You’re the one who mentioned TULIP in a list with pelagianism, not me. I am MORE than willing to engage in a discussion with you about Calvinism if you decide to change your tone.

  76. Kerry,

    Only a few minutes here, so the response is quite brief.

    1)The Carson volume is, “From Sabbath to Lord’s Day.” For an interesting volume that will give you good insight into some Messianic Jewish positions, published by Zondervan, see How Jewish Is Christianity, edited by Louis Goldberg. The contribution of John Fischer in particular will be helpful in this context, although I don’t totally agree with John.

    2)Remember: I lead a ministry that has a church that meets on Sunday, not Saturday. My point was to respond to Jason’s misstatement that for Jewish believers to worship on Saturday or celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday is to re-erect a wall of division. Such thinking would have been totally foreign to Paul, who encountered many of his Gentile converts in the synagogues! For me, this is a matter of diversity within the Body, and God never gave any sort of NT command that we were called to worship on Sunday and not do that would be go backwards. This is, sadly, a reading of Christianity that massively discounts its Jewish roots. Anyway, challenge yourself. Read Bacchiochi for a start. I always read stuff that I don’t agree with.

    3) As for cessationism, I was using that as an example of something very major that much of the Church abandoned, in large measure, for most of Church history, yet the continuity of the gifts and power of the Spirit is undeniably grounded in Scripture and, thankfully, being restored to this day. That was my point: Church history is often off base, in particular, when it severed itself from its Jewish roots.

    4)I have no issue with the years leading up to the destruction of the Temple being transitionary, but I also know that Jewish believers continued to celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday and were demonized by some of the Church leaders because of it. And I know that there is no explicit NT foundation for saying that the Sabbath is now Sunday. I have no problem at all with believers setting aside Sunday as the Sabbath, but I also have no problem with believers, especially Jewish believers, setting aside Saturday as the Sabbath, and I’m sure the NT gives liberty here.

  77. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    It’s attitudes like that (#71) which charge debates with so much emotion that the truth can’t be discerned with in them.

    more later…

  78. Maz said

    Jason: I cannot help how I ‘feel’ about this subject, I cannot imagine God choosing some to go to Heaven and some to go to Hell without a reason. God does things with a purpose. He loved the whole world (cosmos) so much He sent His Son to die for it. If that is not emotive enough I don’t know what is.

  79. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    I feel very strongly about this topic as well, but I just don’t think it’s helpful to say, “this awful Calvinist teaching”, it’s just unnecessary, not to mention that we are called to speak the truth in love.

    Further, neither can I imagine God choosing some to go to Heaven and some to go to Hell without a reason! And no Calvinist worth his salt believes that; of course God makes all His choices with a reason and purpose, even if He chooses to pass over some and let them have what they want. I don’t want to say that flippantly, b/c I don’t claim to understand why God has not chosen to save everyone. We had this conversation before on another thread (which one escapes me right now), but I felt like you really didn’t want to pursue it anymore b/c you refused to answer some of the questions I asked.

  80. Maz said

    Jason: You have to understand how I feel about this subject, but I also have to tell you that I have some lovely Christian sisters and brothers who believe it. I love them with the love of the Lord, and we have had countless discussions about Predestination and Calvinist teaching, and I have also worshipped in their Church. Even with our differences, it hasn’t spoilt our relationship in the Lord, and I don’t feel any animosity to anyone on here personally either, I just find Calvinism…….an awful teaching. I spoke the truth of how I felt and that is why I don’t particularly like getting involved. My post to PFR was to encourage and support him.

  81. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    You said, “Yes, the Beale-Carson book is terrific, and my academic writings on the subject are in harmony with the position espoused there.”

    I’m not sure there is a monolithic position espoused in it, I just meant for the NT’s use of the OT, that is quite the exhaustive resource. Have you heard of Horton’s book?

    2) “Where do you find a reference to a “ceremonial law” in Acts 15? Peter is talking about a legalistic approach to Torah and to the mentality that we are justified by the works of the Law as opposed to referring to a so-called “ceremonial law,” a concept that basically did not exist in the first century.” The distinctions between civil, ceremonial, and moral law had not been worked out at that time, right, but the point I was making was that in Acts 15:10-11 was that the Apostles didn’t believe that their forefathers could live up to what you call a “covenantal calling”, so they said don’t impose it on anyone. I know you’re not imposing it, and I agree that persons are free to celebrate those things, but what I think is wrong is when you have a theology of premillennialism that leads to the belief that the Jewish believers should remain in it…what else could I conclude when you refer to it as a covenantal calling? Surely then, it must been part of their sanctification, right?

    3) “Acts 15 makes clear that it had not dawned on Peter and other Jewish believers that as Jews, they should not follow the Torah; rather, the question had to do with Gentiles.”

    Maybe not in Acts 15, but by the time of the close of the NT writings, I think that it is clear that the early church would see the OC rituals and practices as fulfilled in Christ, thus unnecessary for edification, particularly with Paul’s presentations regarding how to do things in order and the book of Hebrews. If what you say is true about their understandings in Acts 15, and that understanding persisted, then why would the Holy Spirit lead Paul to set up a very different polity for the church?

    5) “As for the Constantine quote, I strongly disagree. For two centuries before Constantine, Jews were being dehumanized and demonized by some of the Church Fathers, a fruit of their failing to hear Paul’s very clear warnings in Romans 11. For a good resource on this, see Dan Cohn-Sherbok’s The Crucified Jew. As for Barry Horner’s book, I found it to be quite useful.”

    I don’t think Waldron was intending to say that antisemitism was non-existent prior to Constantine, just that Luther was a victim of an environment, and even that I don’t think would cause Waldron to dismiss antisemitic words as acceptable. As for Horner’s book, it’s premises are highly unsubstantiated, as Waldron (and they are actually good friends) has been very jealous to point out in his review of it…helpful is the very last thing I would call it. 🙂

    I’ve gotta go for now, but I’ll finish later.

  82. Jason,

    There are so many points that I presuppose that seem foreign to you (not because you are ignorant but because of a different paradigm, it appears), and therefore you take statements that I make to mean one thing (e.g., with regard to covenantal calling) whereas I mean something else. And, given the constraints of time, it’s slightly frustrating to try to hash things out in this context.

    May I suggest that you educate yourself a bit more in this area, perhaps by reading the watershed volume by Dan Juster entitled Jewish Roots? At least you’ll understand more of where my MJ friends are coming from. (And I remind you once again: I am not a member of a MJ congregation, so when you read what I’m posting here, you must factor that in.)

    Blessings on you!

  83. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    I’ll have to look into Juster’s volume, but I must agree with Kerry about Samuele Bacchiochi. Surely there’s got to be a representation of your position on the topic from an orthodox source.

    Regarding your type of pre-millennialism, and its name, unless you make a distinction between historic pre-mil, and what you called classic pre-mil, it appears on the surface that you would be in a minority among hist/premils regarding the topics we’ve addressed on this thread. Below are the words of GE Ladd, the foremost proponent of historic premillennialism in the 20th century,

    “The central thesis of this book [The Presence of the Future] is that the Kingdom of God is the redemptive reign of God dramatically active to establish his rule among men, and that this Kingdom, which will appear as an apocalyptic act at the end of the age, has already come into human history in the person and mission of Jesus to overcome evil, to deliver men from its power, and to bring them into the blessings of God’s reign. The Kingdom of God involves two great moments: fulfillment within history, and consummation at the end of history.”

    Historic premillennialism shares in common with amillennialism, basically everything except that they hold to a literal 1000 year period at the end of this age wherein the consummation of the Kingdom will occur, all of the Jews living at that time will be saved, but God will not be glorified in the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple or the reinstitution of Old Covenant worship practices.

  84. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    You said, “Seems you throw out your mantra of Calvinism, then when rebuked you throw up “this isn’t the thread for discussing theology.”

    Like I said before, I’m definitely not trying to back out of this discussion, but I don’t find a “rebuke” in any of your words.

    You said, “Well, quit throwing up that Calvinism is the perfect interpretation of Scripture, the “historical” means of understanding God, etc…..For it is neither perfect nor historical.”

    I really don’t think that’s what I’ve been doing here, and what exactly do you mean by Calvinism not being historical?

    You said, “It is just one of several means of interpreting the Scriptures. Calvin was a fallible man, so was Augustine. They are not to be compared to Jesus Christ nor Paul the apostle. You cannot trace the TULIP back to Paul as some reformed adherents would boast.”

    I know Calvin and Augustine were fallible, and no one I know is comparing them to Jesus or Paul. Furthermore, outside the expiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul too was a fallible man, just not in the writings of the NT. And, along with basically the entire history of the reformation, I couldn’t disagree with you more about tracing TULIP back to scripture. Certainly, the concepts of Calvinism where not arranged in exactly that way in the first century, but the Bible is replete with the concepts…that’s one of the reasons why the beliefs have been so prevalent in church history. I don’t think you really understand how the form, TULIP came into existence. The followers of Jacob Arminius (the Remonstrants) had believed and been teaching aberrant doctrines. The formed a document with five points which delineated their disagreement with Reformational teaching. At the Synod of Dort, the orthodox presentation was eventually formed in the acrostic, TULIP, and was a response to the group’s false teachings. The synod of Dort ended in 1619, and Calvin died in 1564…he never formulated the 5 points of what we call Calvinism, but their rose quite clearly from his teachings.

    After the Calvin quote you said, “Now compare Calvin to Paul the apostle “for the children being not yet born, neither having done good or evil”. Calvin’s predisposition to Augustinianism leads him to believe that God even sends “non-elect” unborn babies and infants into hell, just because they are non-elect. His supporting verse is “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Which is taken out of context because later on it reads “the elder shall serve the younger”. Yet, did Esau serve Jacob? Or was it referring to their descendants? If so, then does that mean God hated all the Edomites and all Edomites were non-elect and hellbound? Now read Genesis 25:23, and see if God elected Jacob to eternal salvation and Esau to eternal hell or if it was the election concerning physical?”

    Are you actually suggesting that we have no guilt before we are born? David testified that we were formed in iniquity, and Paul tells us that none are good, no, not even one. So, I ask you, can you make a convincing case from scripture that every child who dies in the womb is one of the elect and will go to Heaven? I certainly want to believe that, but I cannot be absolutely dogmatic about it, b/c scripture doesn’t give us enough information. Suppose it were true that every infant who dies goes to Heaven, would abortion really be all that terrible? Really, their earthly life would be stolen from them, but they would spend eternity in Heaven, and isn’t that that what is really important?

    You said, “This is just one of many problems that I have with Calvin and Calvinism.”

    Like Kerry pointed out, not all Calvinists believe that God has not elected all infants who die.

    “A false premise always leads to a false interpretation of the text. I don’t care if it is Calvin, Luther, or Augustine. Unless their words are within the 66 books of the Bible, they are just fallible men with limited knowledge prone to error.”

    I agree that all men are falible and prone to error, look at you, and me, and Jacob Arminius, Darby, and Chafer etc.

    You said, “And TULIP adherents have the nerve to call Darby and Chafer confused and unBiblical. Dispensationalism isn’t perfect, but I don’t see it casting babes into hell just because “the Sovereign Lord” either did elect them to hell or didn’t elect them to heaven(depending on if you are a single or double predestination adherent).”

    Here you really are confusing two different debates: Calvinism/non-Calvinism, and Dispensationalism/Covenant Theology. I recognize that historically, Calvinism is associated with Covenant Theology (and I myself am both), but we cannot in the 21st century assume that combination.

    You said, “So, Jason, I won’t say any more about Calvinism, reformed theology, the TULIP or even Covenant theology. But only if you stop promoting it as the be all end all of perfect exegesis of Scripture.”

    Yes it is true, I do think that the right exegesis of scripture leads to Calvinism, but you clearly have imposed on me a false agenda within this thread.

  85. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    I forgot one thing, I wanted to ask you what Amil writers you have read in describing their own position.

  86. Jason,

    What in the world makes you think I differ with what Ladd wrote? I fully concur with those words and have not penned a syllable here that differs.

    I’m also a bit surprised by your statement, “Surely there’s got to be a representation of your position on the topic from an orthodox source.” Orthodox in what sense? Holding only to Sunday as the Sabbath? What makes that “Orthodox”? And if that is, in fact, a test of orthodoxy from your viewpoint, than I deeply challenge if your orthodoxy is based on the Word of God as your final authoritative source.

    In any case, as I mentioned in a previous post, time doesn’t permit my continued writing here, but by all means expand your horizons a bit and read the books I’ve cited.

  87. jAsOn said

    Dr. Brown,

    Regarding Ladd, I wasn’t sure whether or not you believed what he had written b/c you used the term, “Classical premil”, which which I was not as familiar, that’s why I threw those out.

    Regarding Mr. B’s book on the sabbath, I was indicating that he was not orthodox as a Seventh Day Adventists.

  88. jAsOn said

    Orthodox actually means that one conforms to the conventional, establish doctrines of Christianity (in this case). This usually means the established doctrines across history, and not just

    Doctrine # 18 from the statement of faith at adventist.org says,

    “One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.”

    #22 “Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures.”

    “24. Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary:
    There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent.”

    In these ways, the SDA church is, at best, heterodox, and at worst (regarding their view of the atonement), heretical. You challenged me that my orthodoxy may not come from the Word as the final authoritative source, but you commended the work of a SDA to support your view of the Sabbath, I think that is why (at least Kerry and I) have been confused by your suggestion. I assure you that I firmly embrace sola scriptura. 🙂

    Anyway, we may have exhausted the benefit of this portion of tour discussion 🙂

  89. Jason,

    A few closing comments:

    1) Did I say this was my view of Sabbath, or did I challenge your view that the NT clearly calls us to worship on Sunday? You still are missing my point.

    2) I could care less if Bacchiochi was an SDA or an atheist. He did good scholarly work that challenges lots of traditional thinking and is therefore worth reading. Really, this mentality of not wanting to read stuff that is “outside of the fold” is very surprising to me. How could I do Jewish apologetics without immersing myself in the literature of those who reject Yeshua? How can you reach Mormons effectively without reading their literature? And how can we test the foundations of our orthodoxy without reading the works of those who differ? Have we anything to fear?

  90. jAsOn said

    No, Dr. Brown, nothing to fear, and apparently I missed the point of your suggesting reading Bacchiochi ‘s book. I fully agree that we need to read the works of those who oppose Christ so we can present the gospel more effectively, but it is another thing to say that because non-Christian X has done extensive work on topic Y, then that is the source we should use to verify the validity of topic Y. Instead, I think we should use a resource on topic Y from Christian Z, assuming that it exists. I don’t see the problem with mine and Kerry’s requirement of an orthodox Christian resource regarding the continuation of a Saturday sabbath, unless there isn’t one. If Bacchiochi’s view isn’t yours, why did you recommend it?

    When I said that the NT clearly testifies to the practice of Sunday sabbath, perhaps I have overstated my case. Instead, I think that I should have said that, due to Christ’s fulfillment of the OC it’s clear to see why the early church would have made the decision to do so.

  91. PFR said

    Kerry #72,
    It is Calvin’s quote that I used. It is Calvin that people associate the TULIP with. It is Calvin who taught that some infants are predestined to hell by God’s sovereign election. And it is Scripture that flies in the face of that false teaching.

    The verses that I mentioned had nothing to do with eternal salvation or damnation. The verses were speaking, in context, to different nations and God’s plan on earth for them. Esau(hated), Jacob(loved) – Neither you nor Jason dealt with that.

    When a Calvinist reads saved/salvation/elect, it appears that the Calvinist always interprets that as eternal salvation. Yet, context rules and these words do not always refer to the spiritual.

    My point was that Jason always gets defensive when someone even mentions his view of Scripture. Yet, if we are brothers in Christ and belief in Calvinism isn’t what saves, then we can have differing views on this issue. I am neither Calvinistic nor Arminianistic. There is a Biblical middle ground that neither Calvinists nor Arminianists have found.

    Jason, I have not confused the issue. All dispensationalists that I know(those that adhere to Classical or Traditional) are also non-Calvinists. The heart of dispensationalism disagrees with covenant theology and Calvinism. And David surely believed that we were formed in original sin. That is clear. But he also knew that he would see his son again in glory. Not that his son would come back to earth but that David would eventually go to him. I guess David knew his son was elected to heaven. I guess Moese knew Pharoahs 1st born son was elected to hell?

    Face it. The Tulip is flawed at best, heretical at worst.
    Have a great Lord’s day 🙂

  92. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    Actually, Kerry did deal with that, Paul’s objection makes no sense if you believe he was referring only to the nations that Jacob and Esau represented.

    If you can point out where I have gotten “defensive”, and elaborate on that meaning, then I will consider your objection, however, you never dealt with the critique I made of your tone in this discussion…that’s what has been offensive.

    You say there is a biblical middle ground, please refer to the five points of the Remonstrants and show where you differ…that would be helpful.

    I agree with you that Calvinism and Covenant Theology are contrary to “Classical/Traditional Dispensationalism, that is why some have compromised dispensationalism to fit it with a compromised version of the other two. One could actually agree that Ryrie, Walvood, Pentecost and others have also modified Dispensationalism to fit into their own opposing views.

    I agree that persons who die in infancy are elect and go to Heaven, but I cannot find enough biblical evidence so as to die for that belief as I can find for the Trinity, or sola fide, etc. You don’t have to believe that infants who die go to heaven in order to be saved either.

    You say Calvinism is heretical at worst, you do realize that w/o it you never would have had the Reformation?

  93. Jason,

    I appreciate your acknowledgement about overstating the Sunday-Sabbath statement in terms of NT evidence. My own view is that there is liberty in terms of the day on which we gather to worship and whether or not we set aside a special Sabbath day, and at the same time I recognize that many Jewish believers feel led of the Lord to set aside Saturday for Sabbath and worship. I see a number of good scriptural reasons for doing this, although it has not been my personal, historic preference.

    As for Bacchiocchi, I recommended his book as the best statement I was aware of regarding the Sabbath, and he does write from a basic Christian perspective rather than a specfically SDA perspective.

    That’s it for me here on this thread. Blessings and grace!

  94. jAsOn said

    Blessings to you too Dr. Brown.

  95. Kerry said

    Gentlemen,

    I had decided to drop out of the conversation a day or so ago, as it seemed there was no progress being made in the discussion at the present time. I see no flaw in the positions I hold regarding the present topics, and I am sorry to see that those who stand opposed to my views don’t seem particularly open to the idea that they may be incorrect. I see the conversation has carried on, but appears to be winding down. One or two last notes as we conclude.

    PFR: As Jason said, I did address your statements. You simply aren’t open to what I said, or otherwise you didn’t understand my response. As far as who is getting defensive, I haven’t gotten the impression from what he has written that Jason was getting defensive. So far as you are concerned, however, the vitriol is dripping off of the computer screen. I was once as offended at the idea of God’s sovereignty as you are now. I pray one day that you will see past your preconceived notions to deal with the questions honestly. For now, I would recommend you try to put your emotions on the back burner when dealing with the Scriptures on this and other topics. Not that I expect you to heed my recommendations. I, after all, am just an evil Calvinist.

    Dr. Brown: Since you have dropped out of the thread, I don’t expect you will be back to read this. Nonetheless, here is a quick response. I am sorry that you aren’t particularly willing to question your own position. I’ve done that already, having moved from a position similar to your own earlier in my life to where I am now. I’ve asked all the questions, and I now affirm Sunday to be the Christian Sabbath. There are always new things to learn, but I am fairly convinced of the view I hold now. As you have made it clear that until now you lacked a knowledge of the historic Reformed view of the Christian Sabbath, I would hope you would consult some of the works that Jason and I recommended to further your understanding here. I don’t gather from the responses you’ve given that you’ll be doing much of that. As for Bacchiochi, other responsibilities will probably keep me from getting his book for now. That Carson had to write a book to respond to him isn’t a sign of the correctness of the book so much as it is a sign of the impact of the book on a select number of scholars. Lots of time has been spent by scholars responding to John Shelby Spong, and he is a pretty sorry excuse for a scholar considering the number of books he’s sold. But people love radical new ideas, no matter the credibility of them.

    So long as you allow for any group that proclaims itself to be Christian to hold to the Old Covenant Sabbath, I still maintain that you are in essence allowing others the possibility of denying the work of Christ in their practice. Whether or not your church worships on Sunday is irrelevant to the position you are promoting. Paul was living in a different time than we are, a time that was a period of transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. It is improper exegesis and application to take everything that went on in prior to 70 AD and allow for its replication in our time. Judaism officially became a false religion from 70 AD onward. You say that this is a denial of “our Jewish roots”. We affirm quite adamantly our Jewish roots. We just don’t believe that one can take those roots and make them limbs, which is what you’re allowing for the possibility of.

    Cessationism, properly speaking, is a Modernist construct. So far as I’ve been able to determine, there has always been an allowance of the continuation of miracles. One can’t read Catholic and Eastern Orthodox hagiography without coming to that conclusion within the first couple of pages. What about, for instance, the possibility of the attainment of the stigmata? I personally believe at least some of the so-called miracles, such as the stigmata, are false, but this doesn’t eliminate all miracles. I am currently at a stalemate on the question, but don’t fully consider myself a cessationist. So it seems your statements are clearly wrong concerning church history. No one here doubts that mistakes have been made by the church through history, or that some of those mistakes have come about due to the church being severed from its Jewish roots. Dispensationalism is one such mistake. It seems to me that, while you aren’t a Dispensationalist, you suffer from the same problem that many Dispensationalists (and other Premillennialists, at times) suffer from, and that is an obsession with Judaism and all things Israel. Thanks to decades of war in the Middle East and American interests that masquerade as a real concern for the Jewish people, most citizens of the U.S. think that Israel can do no wrong. We’ve ended up with a screwed up foreign policy and political support for a faulty eschatology. Now you are Jewish, and it is right that you love and honor your heritage. But to make it the cornerstone of your hermeneutics will throw the whole building off kilter. It would be like a Irishman being Catholic just because he’s Irish, irrespect of the rightness or wrongness of the Catholic Church. I would suggest you take your cultural blinders off and try reading Scripture in a new way. Let Scripture guide you, not just a modern understanding of what Judaism once was. And if you’d like to talk to someone who is Jewish, and yet holds a more Reformed understanding of Scripture, I’d recommend you contact Steve Schlissel, pastor of Messiah’s Congregation in Brooklyn, New York.

    So much for dropping out of the conversation. I have grown more verbose than I intended. I welcome any responses from those who would like to comment.

  96. PFR said

    Ok Jason and Kerry,
    If you interpret Pauls use of Jacob and Esau as God electing Jacob to salvation and Esau to damnation, then you are also saying that God elected all of Jacob’s decendants to salvation and all of Esau’s decendants to damnation?????? That is the context in which you are putting your preconceived notions into. And if that be true, then God is racist. Condemning a certain genealogical line just because He is “sovereign” and it is His divine will? That flies in the face of John chapter three and a host of other Scriptural verses. You are lumping God’s sovereign plan for the nations into the same mold of God’s sovereign plan for individuals. Much like the salvation issue mentioned previously. There are multiple meanings, all depending on context.

    I have no issue with the sovereignty of God. But what Calvinism teaches goes against the attributes of God, specifically Just and Righteous. Also, is sovereignty an attribute?

    God’s hatred of Edom doesn’t mean that individual Edomites can’t be saved, any more than His love of Israel means that individual Jews don’t need to be saved. And, did Esau ever serve Jacob?

    Please don’t try to make me either a Calvinist or an Arminianist. I believe what the Scriptures teach in context, allowing the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament.

    Honestly, we will not agree on this. We do not even agree on the meaning of eternal security. Neither would an Arminian agree with me on eternal security.

    See, the issue isn’t if there is a millinial reign or a rapture. The issue is does God elect some to heaven while bypassing the rest, or if you are double predestination, does God elect some to heaven and most to hell. Or, is there a Biblical answer that is contrary to Calvinism? Can God elect some to heaven and some to hell? Surely He can! But does Scripture say that He has? Surely not, or in KJV God forbid!

    And Jason, if you’d like to list the tenants of Remonstrants, I’ll address them.

  97. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    In what way do we not agree on eternal security?, and if, like you say, “we will not agree on this”, then we are waisting our time in this conversation, thus it is entirely unprofitable! So if what you said there is the case, don’t bother to answer any of the following questions I’ve written or even to read it, just say so again and don’t bring it up.

    Romans 9: “8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.””

    The immediate context here is one of individual salvation “children of promise” over against the “children of the flesh”, Paul mentioned that “they” the individuals, Jacob and Esau had not done good or evil, and so Paul illustrates God’s purpose of election (which from verse 33 of chapter 8, and through out this chapter the meaning is election of individuals on the basis of promise and not works).

    Paul continues, ” 14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.”

    The objection above carries very little weight in the minds of those reading Paul’s words in the first century if the only meaning of Jacob and Esau is that of two nations. What’s further is, if the context demands that Jacob and Esau represent nations, then it would also demand that Moses and Pharaoh only represent nations as well. Couched in this example is the answers to the questions you ask Calvinists regarding God’s justice if He elects some and passes over others…you are the hypothetical objector to whom Paul address in verse 14.

    And then this, “19You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

    Another hypothetical objection to which Paul answers, it is not the right of the pot to question the Potter’s freedom, but the Potter has freedom over the vessels He has created.

    Actually, it is your interpretation of this passage that demands you to believe God has damned Esau’s offspring and elected Jacob’s, b/c you claim that their mention is only to represent nations. Furthermore, you introduce a logical fallacy (red herring) when you claim that the Calvinistic God must be a racist.

    Actually, unless you affirm the Reformed or Calvinistic view of sovereignty in salvation, then you have necessarily rejected the idea of sovereignty. Regarding the sovereignty of God, I think a definition is in order. I, and those concerned with the definition within biblical categories, would refer to sovereignty as a word of totality such as the words: unique, pregnant, dead, and alive. Those words describe absolute states of being in which there are no varying degrees. When one is dead, there is no variation between them and the other dead body beside them. One cannot be any more or less dead than a comparable specimen; one either is or is not dead. Furthermore, in that condition or state of being, one does not become deader. Once one is no longer alive, then they are dead; one exists either in one state or the other, there are no varying degrees. One moves so immediately from one state to the other that it may approach irrationality to speak of such a transition in reference to time and space at all. As another example of a word of totality, or an absolute word: one either is or is not pregnant; no degrees of pregnancy exist. A woman does progress further along in her pregnancy as the baby grows and is eventually delivered, but she is no more pregnant as state of being on the day preceding her delivery date than on the day conception took place. The same thing applies to the word sovereignty, but because we have a finite perception of the infinite God we see that, at the same time, God has ordered our paths and yet He appears only to be responding to our choices. God cannot choose to limit His sovereignty, at the very point He has done so (you might suggest the point of the innate human ability to choose Him or reject Him) then He, by definition, is no longer sovereign over that portion of human history, and if not sovereign over even the smallest part, then He is not sovereign at all.

    You said, “The issue is does God elect some to heaven while bypassing the rest, or if you are double predestination, does God elect some to heaven and most to hell.”

    What is your definition of election, and where did you get it, specifically? double predestination isn’t the correct term, the distinction is between symmetrical and asymmetrical predestination. Symmetrical is that God has to positively influence the non-elect in order that they will not believe, and that He has to influence by grace, the elect so as to insure their belief (which no Calvinist believes). Asymmetrical (which is the Calvinistic view) says that God does graciously lay His hand on the hearts of the elect and regenerate them, but with those He has not elected to salvation, those He has passed over, He does not have to influence them not to believe, for they (because of original sin) are dead in their trespasses and will otherwise (like all of us except for His grace) never believe. God electing some to heaven and “most” to Hell is really not part of either system.

    The reason why I mentioned the Remonstrants is because you claim to have some system of beliefs that are in the middle, but if history serves me rightly, we will find that you actually have far, far more in common with the Arminian than with the Calvinist, and that you are not actually in the middle at all, but I’ll post the 5 points of the Remonstrants later, that is if you don’t prove that this discussion is unprofitable.

  98. Kerry said

    Just adding my own perspective to what Jason already said…

    PFR: One thing you’re going to have to do if you’re going to deal with Reformed theology is to address it on its own terms. That means your going to have to stop the whole jumping-to-conclusions thing you’re doing. Nobody in Reformed theology would say that every last descendent of Esau was damned to hell. If they repented and trusted in the God of Israel, they would be saved. For God to be a racist, He would have to hate people because of their race. And since God is no respecter of persons, we know that isn’t the case. That, in fact, is the point of Acts 10:34, from which that phrase comes.

    And that, in fact, is the point of Romans. (Jason and I may differ on this to some degree.) Paul is writing to Romans, not Jews. The idea is that, since the Jews rejected Christ, possibly God is entirely done with the Jews and they can’t be saved. But that, Paul says, isn’t the case. Paul is writing, in part, to say that there is now one body, made up of both Jews and Gentiles. In fact, it has always been this way. There have always been those who weren’t ethnically related to Abraham included in the covenant. Abraham even circumcised those who were servants in his household and not of his lineage in Genesis 17. The issue isn’t, and has never been, one of race.

    That’s where Dispensationalism gets it wrong. The issue is covenantal unity, not racial unity. But Dispensationalism emerged out of a long history of missing this point, particularly the 19th century’s error in this regard, other examples of which include racism in Darwinian theory and, later on, Aryan nationalism. There is no such thing as racial purity. We’re all ultimately mutts.

    I would agree that groups of people are in view here. But Paul uses individuals to illustrate what he’s saying. We’re talking about both eggs and omelets here, not either-or. God chooses certain individuals to salvation, as He has throughout history.

  99. jAsOn said

    Kerry,

    I concur.

  100. jAsOn said

    In Romans 9, Paul’s comments are largely focused on the the objection that God’s hasn’t kept His promises b/c all the Jews haven’t believed the testimony of the Apostles about Christ, and it is in that discussion that a tangential one arises regarding God’s ability to do as He pleases, with His choice of nations and with His election of individuals – neither topic can rightly be excluded from the interpretation of this text.

    That being the case, perhaps a discussion of John 6 would be more profitable as we discuss Calvinism, election, and predestination.

  101. PFR said

    Jason,
    We’d have to discuss John 3 before we could venture into John 6. And there is that one verse “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not only ours but for the whole world.”

    Yes, I know Calvinism’s definition of “world” is different than the Greek, much like Calvinism’s definition of “all”. But, we must face the fact that Christ died for all of humanity’s sin.

    That flies in the face of limited atonement. Like I said, context is everything to proper hermeneutics and exegesis of Scripture. I find that a Calvinist reads into the Scriptures a Calvinistic interpretion of any mention of election, predestination, etc. But, like I said, it is no different than how an Arminianist does the Scriptures.

    Take for example 1 John 1:9 – there are at least 4 different interpretations of that one verse. All depending on the readers theological slant. Yet, the context is there and the rest of the New Testament is there as well.

    We have ventured off course from the topic at hand. I am still a non-Calvinist & still a non-Arminianist. By the way Jason, I did look up the 5 points of the remonstrants. Like I said, there is a Biblical middle ground.

    Kerry,
    I have no idea what you are talking about in regard to racial purity? My point was that Esau never served Jacob. Thus it had to be their physical descendants in reference. Calvinism says that God elected Jacob to eternal salvation and elected Esau to eternal damnation. The context speaks of physical nations and physical blessing, not eternal salvation or eternal damnation. If the Calvinistic interpretation is correct, then all of Esau’s descendants were/are eternally elected to damnation. Contextually speaking that is.

    You are right in one regard however. We, non-Calvinists, need to make sure we understand what a Calvinist means when they say something. Example: all doesn’t necessarily mean all. God did elect some to damnation. Well, God didn’t elect some to damnation, He just passed by them as non-elect. The elect to salvation are only truly elect if they never waiver and continue in the faith until their last breath. You are eternally saved, but you don’t know it unless you persevere in the faith until the end.

    Yep, I see how confusing it can be when you have to juggle so many definitions and twists on Calvinism.

    Thank God there is a Biblical middle ground without all the Calvinistic word plays and twists.

    I would like to recommend a website that has helped me to somewhat get a balanced view on all the slants of Calvinism – Bible dot org. Has some excellent articles and even some streaming video dealing with all the big “theological” words we so often hear Calvinist teachers such as Sproul and Wiles throw out.

    The sad thing is that when I talk with a Mormon or Jehovah’s witness, I also have to understand their definition of a word before I can understand what they mean when they say “Christ” or “Salvation” or “Church”, etc. See all the confusion that arises when we make things so complicated?

  102. Kerry said

    PFR,

    I can’t explain it to you any clearer. You need to read more carefully. You’re still allowing yourself to be led by an illogical prejudice against what you perceive Calvinism to be rather than actually dealing with the arguments we’re offering you. Let me remind you that if you’re going to deal with Calvinism, you’re going to have to actually deal with Calvinism, rather than a straw man that you’ve stuffed yourself. I beginning to doubt you have the ability to do that.

    I was addressing your accusation that the Calvinist position on Romans 9 naturally leads to racism. Go back and read what you wrote in post # 96 again, and then what I wrote in post # 98 again, and if you still don’t get it, then I can’t help you. I don’t disagree that nations are in view there. Part of my point was that just because nations are in view here, it doesn’t mean that individuals aren’t. You would have known that if you had read my post carefully, but apparently you didn’t.

    Why don’t you deal with the verses we’ve brought up? Could it be because you don’t have an answer for them? Wait, let me answer that for you – yes, it’s because you don’t have an answer.

    Or do you? Come on now, be a man! Quit being a pansy and deal with the verses! If you have an answer, let’s hear it! Stop pretending you know what you’re talking about, or else go find something else to do. Or do you just want to continue to throw out ridiculous and false accusations? Of course you do. You don’t want to deal with the truth.

    Tell you what. I’ll put the verses up where you can see them, and you tell me what they mean, if you have the courage. Here they are:

    19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What is God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory – 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

    Now here they are. It isn’t that complicated. You can either give an answer that actually deals with these verses, or wuss out, like you’ve been doing so far. Which is it going to be?

  103. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    Please read my post #97 and answer my exegesis of Romans 9, what sovereignty really means, and also, what is your definition of election, and where did you get it, specifically?.

    The only thing you really touched on was eternal security and how we may differ, you said, “The elect to salvation are only truly elect if they never waiver and continue in the faith until their last breath. You are eternally saved, but you don’t know it unless you persevere in the faith until the end.”, and thus you once again have misrepresented the Calvinistic doctrine of perseverance of the saints. That doctrine basically says that once someone is saved, their faith in Christ persevere to the end, and that to many varying degrees, the redeemed of God will bear fruit. Do you disagree with that? We do NOT say that the elect “never waiver”, besides what does that even mean? Do you actually believe that one who has apostatized (oops that’s a big theological word for deciding that you don’t believe anymore)was actually saved?

    Further, please enlighten us as to specifically how you differ with the five points of the Remonstrants. So far (couched in arrogance) you have only managed to attack what you think Calvinists believe, and when you have been corrected about your misunderstanding you have neither admitted your fault nor addressed that corrected concept. Maybe we can redeem this conversation if you would present what you actually believe about election, predestination, and the atonement. I for one don’t like to guess what you believe and shoot at it.

    By the way, what makes you think that we HAVE TO discuss John 3 prior to John 6? That statement alone makes me think that you really haven’t considered the implications of John 6.

    But I will humor you and discuss John 3. You said, “Yes, I know Calvinism’s definition of “world” is different than the Greek”, please document how that is true.

    John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

    1) In the Greek (which you so adamantly assert that Calvinists misunderstand) the phrase, “hina pas ho pisteuo” is translated into English by the SINGLE word, “whosoever”. The Greek phrase actually means, all of those in a group, so the verse could actually be translated, “For God so loved the world th he gave his only Son, that all of the ones who believe in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    2) This verse is not even addressing the extent of the atonement (whether it be limited or not).

    3) Of course God loves the entire world, He created in, and all His human creatures bear His image, but this word here is not (by context or grammatically) limited to mean all persons who have ever or will ever live. Nor does this verse contain a positive statement on the universal capacity of all persons who ever exist to believe.

    You mentioned, 1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    You must understand that Calvinists do believe that there are two was in which the atonement covers the whole world, 1) that the grace that is common to all, the grace that bought every breath that someone would will never end up believing, was purchased on the cross; the rain that falls even on the wicked…that was bought on the cross. Any humanitarian and horizontally “good” deed done by a child of the devil was provided for on the cross. 2) When Christ returns to judge the world, He will make the Heavens and the Earth NEW, and in that way He died for the world…His creation.

    Let me ask you this, do you believe that everyone will be saved? In 1 John 2:2, he uses the word “propitiation” which means to satisfy. So, I ask you, if Christ’s death on the cross satisfied the wrath of God for “ALL” men who ever did or ever will exist, then how can He judge any of them for unbelief? Didn’t Christ’s death propitiate the sin of unbelief on the cross? Or would you limit the atonement by saying that Christ’s death didn’t atone for unbelief, in which case, no one would be saved.

    Regarding the word, “all”,

    Romans 7:8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead.

    Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

    What is the definition of the “all”s in these two passages?

  104. pFr said

    Kerry,
    I don’t like your unChristian attitude in your last post. Name calling(pansy, wuss) is not productive to “iron sharpening iron”. Yet, that is the typical, normative Calvinist offense whenever someone objects to the TULIP. Thank God that Sproul, White, nor any of the other Calvinist debaters resort to your tactics. You have a nice day little kiddy and when you can conversate like a mature adult, then maybe I’ll answer you 😉

    Jason,
    We would definately disagree on more than you think. I can give you a quote from RC Sproul that sheds light on the Calvinist perserverence of the saints. One that would shed light on why I do not agree with it and makes perserverence of the saints seem the same as the Arminianist conditional security. Of course that is only Sproul and as you and Kerry have shown, it appears that there are numerous degrees of Calvinism. Thereby, yes I am confused as to what your particular brand of Calvinism believes
    😦

    Please understand that I listen to some of the top Calvinist of our day on the radio almost daily. And, yet, I am not a Calvinist. Sproul, MacArthur, Wiles, Begg. Even requested Sprouls teaching on total depravity and MacArthurs teaching on Calvinism.

    “You must understand that Calvinists do believe that there are two was in which the atonement covers the whole world, 1) that the grace that is common to all, the grace that bought every breath that someone would will never end up believing, was purchased on the cross; the rain that falls even on the wicked…that was bought on the cross. Any humanitarian and horizontally “good” deed done by a child of the devil was provided for on the cross. 2) When Christ returns to judge the world, He will make the Heavens and the Earth NEW, and in that way He died for the world…His creation.”

    I understand that that is what Calvinist’s believe. Heard ole Roger W. speak on it plenty of times. Yet, is that what John 3:16 is referring to? Context doesn’t say that. And 1 John 2:2 says that He is the propitiation, which is beyond the O.T. atonement, for the whole world. The O.T. sacrifice didn’t extend to the whole creation but to sinful humanity. I do not disagree that Christ will come again and make all things NEW. Yet, He died for the sins of man, all mankind. That is propitiation.

    No, I do not believe everyone will be saved. That is universalism(ooops, a big theological word for everyone will be in Heaven regardless) 🙂 I do believe that all of mankinds sins have been dealt with forever on the cross by Jesus Christ. Thus, my reference to 1 John 1:9 earlier. Yet, what is it that sends a man to hell? Election? Passing over? John 3 says that those who believe not on the Son of God do not have eternal life. Unbelief sends one to hell. For God to be just and the justifier of those who believe. He also has to be just in sending unbelievers to hell. If they have no choice because God either passed them over or truly elected them to hell, then their unbelief is caused by God. ie, God is the Author, Maker, Cause of sin – unbelief is sin. Surely, Calvinism doesn’t teach that. Or does it?

    Regarding the passages in Romans, context determines the definition of all, as noted in John 3 above.

    For the record, just because a dispensationalist….let me rephrase that, just because a non-Calvinist is a non-Calvinist doesn’t mean they’re ignorant Bible thumpers or unbelievers.

    And, for the record, just because someone is not a Calvinist doesn’t mean that a Calvinist can lump the non-Calvinist into the box of Arminianism. No matter how hard the Calvinist tries or how bad the Calvinist wants to, it just won’t be so.

    I’ll be gone for a while, got stuff(ooopps, a hillbilly slang word for stuff) to do. Maybe another pansy/wuss/non-seminiarian will take up the torch………………..

  105. Kerry said

    You’re calling me a little kiddy, and I’m the one behaving in an unchristian manner? There’s a fancy word for that – “hypocrisy”. I’ve been conversing like an adult. You’ve been the one hurling insults. I simply decided to call your bluff and respond in kind. Since you were conversing like a child, I decided maybe you would understand me better if I stooped down to your level. Apparently, I didn’t stoop low enough. If you can’t take a little challenge without getting your knickers all twisted, then you shouldn’t be in this debate.

    And as you continue to prove, you don’t have an answer. You’re still being a wuss. Offer a substantial response, or else stop pretending you have an answer. Real men give answers, or else admit that they don’t have them. Pansies like you blow smoke, as you’ve been doing the whole time. Yes, I called you a wuss and a pansy again. You can consider it an insult if you like. But it’s actually a description of your behaviour.

    What does the passage I cited teach? Just like I said. You don’t have an answer.

    Come on now, I dare you. Exegete the passage. Making a general statement about “context” isn’t an answer. Take the passage, verse by verse, just like Jason did, and tell us what it means. Show me where I’m wrong. If you can convince me, I’ll change my position. I’ve done it before on numerous issues. I moved out of your position to become a Calvinist. I grew up believing what you believe. I’m all ears, if you can show me where I’m wrong.

    I was once a Dispensationalist like you, and no matter how much I argued, I didn’t have answers either.

    The thing is, you don’t want to be of any help to me. You’re not interested in “iron sharpening iron”. You just want to throw around lies about what I believe. You’ve done this repeatedly throughout this discussion. Go study Galatians 5:22-23 some. When you think you can manifest that in a conversation here, then come on back. Until then, then it’s probably best that you don’t participate.

    As far as my “unchristian attitude” goes, my attitiude isn’t unchristian just because your overly sensitive feelings were hurt. Jesus spent alot of time ticking people off to make a point. Some got the point. Others, like you, didn’t. I’m sorry you haven’t.

    And I’m sorry you still don’t have an answer. But your real problem isn’t me. Your problem is with the God of Scripture. And as it has become evident through this discussion, your have problems that are personal in nature and beyond the question of Calvinism.

    You can duck out of the conversation if you want. And you can run all you want, but the truth will find you out.

  106. Maz said

    PFr: I’d love to be able to support your effort here against the Calvinist stance, but I get too emotionally involved with it. There are far too many scriptures that speak of the ‘whole world’ and all sinners being able to receive salvation if they repent and believe, for Romans 9 to invalidate them. And the greek in John 3 v 16 in no way can mean what they would like it to mean.

    Kerry: Sorry, I’v butted in again havn’t I, but as I said before this is a free debate for all, I am lending what tiny moral support I can to PFr as he has you and Jason to contend with.

    PFr: Contend for the faith brother….I’m sorry I cannot do more, but I’v been down this road too many times before.

  107. Kerry said

    Maz: You’re welcome to contribute. Anybody is welcome to contribute. I’m just trying to get PFR to give a substantial response. To do that would require the careful, detailed discussion of the passage, which PFR is unwilling to do. He’d rather create a straw man of Calvinism than deal with the real thing. I’m able to have discussions with those who disagree with me all the time on subjects like this. But you have to give answers that have substance to them for the discussion to be profitable.

    As far as the use of the word “world” goes, it simply doesn’t have as limited a semantic range as the person who denies unconditional election would like it to have. Words in Greek just don’t work that way. English, for that matter, functions in the same way. Words carry a variety of meaning, based upon context and the intent of the author. The Greek word for “world” in this passage is “kosmos”, and it doesn’t specifically have individual people in view at all. God loved the universe, inanimate objects included, and so he sent His Son to save those who would believe in Him, thereby saving the entire universe (vs. 17). This understanding of the use of the Greek word “kosmos” is generally recognized by those who have neither an Arminian or a Calvinist ax to grind.

  108. Maz said

    Kerry: ”The Greek word for ‘world’ in this passage is ‘kosmos’, (John 3 v 16?) and it doesn’t specifically have individual people in view at all.”
    I have been told by Calvinists that their interpretation of the word for ‘world’ meant ‘beievers only’…..that sounds very specific to me? Which means that ”God so loved the world (the whole world) that He gave His Only Son” for that whole world. God sent His Son into the world….that the world might believe…not believers only.

  109. Maz said

    Kerry: Just to add another scripture about how God loved and sent Jesus to be the Savior of the WORLD (the whole world).
    1 John: 2 v 2, ”And He is the propitiation for our sins, AND NOT FOR OURS ONLY, but ALSO for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.”

    Jesus BECAME SIN on the cross, there was no sin that was left out, He bore SIN, for us and for the whole world.

  110. Kerry said

    Maz: It’s been a while since I’ve read other Calvinists’ interpretations on this verse, so I can’t really respond as to what the normal treatment of John 3:16 is. So far as I understand them, however, it would be an oversimplification to say that “world” = “believers only”. (Has Jason addressed this in his comments? I don’t recall.) There are a variety of approaches to the passage. You can say that “world” = “non-jews”, in which case the contextual matter that Jesus is saying these things to a Pharisee, a Jewish leader, is important. In that case, the word “world” couldn’t mean “every last person that has lived or will ever live”, because Jewish people would be excluded from the outset. And yet that is one legitimate reading of the Greek word “kosmos”.

    Scholars generally recognize that the word “kosmos” at times means “the Roman Empire”, depending on the context. This would exclude those parts of the world not part of the Roman Empire (say, ancient Japan, for instance). But while it is true that God loved the Roman Empire, the context makes it clear that that translation isn’t a possible one here. Another similar and possible translation is “the known inhabited world”. This would also exclude parts of the earth such as what is now the United States, where Native Americans were probably already living at this time. But this is also an illegitimate translation here, based on the context. Nonetheless, scholars, even non-Calvinist ones, recognize that these are sometimes the correct translation of the Greek word “kosmos”, and these necessarily conflict with the idea that “kosmos” has to equal “every person who has ever lived or will ever live”.

    I’m taking a different approach to the word “kosmos”. I’m translating it in such a way as to include both humans and non-humans. The Greek word “kosmos” is the root for our English word “cosmos”, and nobody limits it to mean “human beings” when they use it. In fact, “cosmos” is used to mean “universe”, and conceptually would be even if no human beings existed (it’s an impossible hypothetical, but you get the point). This meaning of the word “kosmos” is not just a modern one, for it was in use this way even in Jesus’ day. This is my own approach, based on how I know Greek words functioned and specifically on the range of meaning in the word “kosmos”. If I’ve read others take this approach, I don’t recall it.

    But while Calvinists agree broadly on their interpretation of Scripture, our unity in doctrine doesn’t depend on the interpretation of one or two verses. We don’t even agree on every point of doctrine. Some Calvinists are Premillennial, some are Amillennial, and some are Postmillennial, for instance. We agree on certain broad topics that we believe are important, and then recognize others as open for debate. Some of the secondary issues are more important than others. Jason is an Amillennialist and I’m a Postmillennialist. I imagine he and I would disagree on a number of other things, too. Yet we’ve been in a Bible study together on a couple of occasions and have gotten along just fine. Calvinists disagree on many things, but so do non-Calvinists. I learned this growing up in a non-Calvinistic, Dispensational Bible church. People disagreed on their interpretations of different passages all the time. It didn’t prevent them from worshiping together on a regular basis, unless the disagreement was serious enough to separate from one another. That didn’t happen very often. Sometimes, sadly, people do go off the deep end and embrace serious heresy (like, denying the Trinity). At that point, fellowship has to be broken off. But outside of that, the Christian community should be able to accept the fact that disagreement is a part of conducting life in a fallen world.

  111. Kerry said

    Maz: The previous post was intended as referring to John 3:16. So far as 1 John 2:2 goes, some of what I wrote above already applies. The semantic range of the word doesn’t require it to mean “every last person who has ever lived or will ever live”. The question is, who is the “our” referring to? Just like the possible interpretation for John 3:16, it very well could mean “us Jews”. Since we don’t know who John was writing to in the original letter, we don’t know for sure. That should make us hesitant about trying to build a case for a doctrine off of one verse, which is something we shouldn’t do anyway.

    Language just doesn’t function in such a neat, clean, scientific way. If I went to a rock concert here in town and later on you asked me how it was, and I said, “man, it was neat. Everybody was there!”, you might be tempted to think that I meant “every last person who has lived or will ever live was there.” But, manifestly, you weren’t there, because you’re asking me how the concert was. If you knew my mother, you would know she wasn’t there, because she would go to a rock concert over her dead body. In a similar vein, we are told that “all” of Judea and “all” of Jerusalem went out to John to be baptized in the wilderness (Mark 1:4-5). Did that include the man who had been an invalid for 38 years that Jesus healed (John 5), who had been laying by the pool of Bethesda “for a long time” (vs. 6). Did he hobble out to the wilderness to be baptized by John, or did somebody carry him? The fact that he had been in this state for 38 years and that he had been there a long time implies that he had not, in fact, been to the wilderness to be baptized by John. For that matter, what about babies who were born and died within a few days, not living long enough to be carried out into the wilderness to be baptized by John? For that matter, what about babies in general? If you don’t believe in baptizing infants, then obviously the “all” of Mark 1 doesn’t include babies, and therefore “all” doesn’t mean “all”, as we commonly assume.

    All-encompassing terms aren’t always used in an all-encompassing manner, as I just demonstrated. And this is an aside from the fact that the term “kosmos” doesn’t even mean “every last person who has ever lived or will ever live”.

  112. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    What Calvinists have said that “world” means “only believers”, b/c I’ve never read or heard any who have said that.

    When considering the “all” and “world” passages, in addition to our exegesis, we must also take into account the systematic and biblical theological approaches to this topic as well. In the story of redemption God is not only about redeeming individuals, He is also about the business of redeeming His whole creation; He makes us new creatures and soon He will make His universe the New Heavens and the New Earth.

    Also along those lines, the idea that God can actually propitiate (which means to satisfy) the sins of everyone who will ever exist, including the sin of their unbelief, logically demands that you be a universalist. You just need to think that through. If God’s wrath for individual X was propitiated by Christ on the cross, then God would be unjust in punishing X for the sin of unbelief for which He had already punished Christ in his place. If you say that Christ propitiated God’s wrath for all sins of all men except the sin of unbelief, then no one would be saved because God’s justice demands that a punishment be made for the unbelief that men have, either Christ, or the individual. If God’s wrath for every sin (including unbelief) has been propitiated by Christ on the cross, yet some still die in unbelief and are eternally punished for that unbelief, then what of those who do belief and do stand before God, whose garments of righteousness do they wear in order for God to call them just, is it Christ’s righteousness established by His life or is it the virtue of the individual’s belief? I recall posing a very similar question ( in the form of a John Owen quote which basically says what I have above)to you in a former thread but I think at this point you said something like, “…well, there are somethings about the atonement (or God) that we just can’t understand.” But I suggest that, when the logical implications of our beliefs contradict other beliefs we hold, then is not to time to back out of the discussion but to investigate further the consistency of what we believe.

  113. jAsOn said

    PFR,

    Please present the Sproul quote.

    For your sake, I hope you do not adhere to the view of sanctification promoted by such men as Zane Hodges.

    You said, “…it appears that there are numerous degrees of Calvinism. Thereby, yes I am confused as to what your particular brand of Calvinism believes.”

    Here is where your categories are wrong, when we consider the subject of “Calvinism:” today, we are specifically discussing the five points which discuss soteriology so, one who doesn’t believe that they are the correct systematic teaching of Scripture on the topic of salvation, isn’t a Calvinist. Not that we don’t want them “in the club” or something, just that, Calvinism has a specific historical meaning, and you either fit that or not. So to refer to “brands of Calvinism” is to manifest a real misunderstanding of the issues.

    You know, I’m glad that you listen to Sproul Begg, and Wiles, I just pray that you continue to try to understand what they believe and attempt NOT to misrepresent them…that should be the goal of us all.

    You said, “I understand that that is what Calvinist’s believe. Heard ole Roger W. speak on it plenty of times. Yet, is that what John 3:16 is referring to? Context doesn’t say that.”

    Prove it.

    You said, “And 1 John 2:2 says that He is the propitiation, which is beyond the O.T. atonement, for the whole world. The O.T. sacrifice didn’t extend to the whole creation but to sinful humanity. I do not disagree that Christ will come again and make all things NEW. Yet, He died for the sins of man, all mankind. That is propitiation.”

    No, actually that is not the function of the OT sacrifices, they were a shadow of the sacrifice Christ came to provide. I cannot see anywhere as the NT interprets the OT that the distinction between OT sacrifices and Christ’s sacrifice was that the OT ones were for sinful humanity alone, and Christ’s included all creation. If the OT sacrifices had propitiated sinful humanity, then why did Christ have to die?

    “No, I do not believe everyone will be saved. That is universalism(ooops, a big theological word for everyone will be in Heaven regardless) 🙂 I do believe that all of mankinds sins have been dealt with forever on the cross by Jesus Christ. Thus, my reference to 1 John 1:9 earlier. Yet, what is it that sends a man to hell? Election? Passing over? John 3 says that those who believe not on the Son of God do not have eternal life. Unbelief sends one to hell. For God to be just and the justifier of those who believe. He also has to be just in sending unbelievers to hell. If they have no choice because God either passed them over or truly elected them to hell, then their unbelief is caused by God. ie, God is the Author, Maker, Cause of sin – unbelief is sin. Surely, Calvinism doesn’t teach that. Or does it?”

    You still have not presented what you actually think election means, why is that, do you only know what you do not believe?

    Refer to my post # 112. But you are wrong to say that it is just unbelief that sends persons to Hell. You are right to say that those who die in unbelief do go to Hell. Ultimately, God is justified in punishing a person in Hell b/c that person inherited Adam’s sin, but perhaps you deny the doctrine of original sin.

    I never said that a person “has no choice”; they most certainly do, but those who are dead in their trespasses and sins do not choice (nor do they want to) choose to believe and repent. You say that Calvinists have a dilemma when they believe that God positively elects some to receive His merciful grace and passes over others so they remain in their desires for self and eventually receive God’s justice, b/c then that makes God the author of their unbelief. But you have the same problem unless you are an Open theist or a Molinist. If you believe that God knows the future perfectly,then He knows all those who will never believe, if He knows that for certain, then that mean that they have no chance to believe, they will certainly never believe. Furthermore, either God has the power to save all, but chooses not to, or He doesn’t have the power to save all and thus He is not God b/c He would not be omnipotent. My guess is that you would say that He has chosen to limit Himself by providing all with a preveinient grace so all can either choose to believe or not to believe, thus turning any reasonable meaning of the word election on its head.

    You said, “Regarding the passages in Romans, context determines the definition of all, as noted in John 3 above.”

    Neither you nor Maz has answered my rendering of the greek in John 3:16, please do so.

    You said, “For the record, just because a dispensationalist….let me rephrase that, just because a non-Calvinist is a non-Calvinist doesn’t mean they’re ignorant Bible thumpers or unbelievers.”

    I never called you those things.

    You said, “And, for the record, just because someone is not a Calvinist doesn’t mean that a Calvinist can lump the non-Calvinist into the box of Arminianism. No matter how hard the Calvinist tries or how bad the Calvinist wants to, it just won’t be so.”

    Except regarding eternal security (and the Remonstrants hadn’t determined whether or not a believer could stop believing) you have still failed to provide any evidence of believing differently than they (the followers of Arminius’ teaching) did.

  114. Maz said

    Kerry: John 3 v 16 has been written that way for nearly 400 years, and the translator at the time (KJV) I’m sure would have translated it from the original greek as precise as possible so no misunderstanding could be made. Also 1 John 2 v 2 who’s author is the same person. And the translator also the same person. If our translations are not clear in the basic salvation message then there are millions not just today but in the past who have misread and misquoted and misunderstood both John 3 v 16 and 1 John 2 v 2 (among dozens of other verses which could be cited). If another meaning should have been conveyed then it would have been written that way.

    Jason: I had a long and rather frustrating discussion with a Calvinist on another site (of his own) some time ago. He believed John 3 v 16 meant ”believers only” and not ”the world”. His attitude changed drastically the deeper we got into discussion and I found it a little disturbing and distasteful. So I quit. I enjoy a good discussion when people can talk reasonably, but when abuse enters in, however mild, that is when I bow out. It is unecessary to the debate.

  115. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    I’m not personally sure what bearing this has on the discussion of the word translated “world” from Greek to English, but there there are two sets of manuscripts from which English translations of the bible have traditionally been taken, the majority texts (MT) and the early manuscripts, so it is not from just one written record that the KJV translatorS derived the English text of John 3:16. Likewise, if you look at such translations that were taken from the MT, you will find that they include the variation of the Johannine Comma” which is 1 John 5:7-8. So to suggest that, “I’m sure would have translated it from the original greek as precise as possible so no misunderstanding could be made” is a bit presumptuous. Granted, no major doctrine is affected by any of the textual variations, but we must remember that the words that God expiated and men wrote down by the leading of the Holy Spirit are the original languages; the transmittion of scripture is not inspired.

    I agree that we should talk reasonable about issues on which we disagree and that we should not be abusive, but I think you should point that finger at PFR.

    Who was this Calvinist? What is his website? Do you realize that he is in the minority on this interpretation? When we engage in a debate of this sort, as Christians, we are called to figure out and critique the best of what our “opponents’ have produced; if we just pick some marginal teaching that supposedly represents the system or position of the ones with whom we disagree, and we try to refute that position, then we will likely end up committing the straw man fallacy or we will often be tempted to introduce a Red Herring argument.

    Also, you didn’t address my presentation of the Greek in John 3:16.

    You must know that it is also frustrating when the information I present in critique of other’s interpretations is never dealt with, when new (but related) topics are raised without completing a discussion of those already introduced, and when fallacious argumentation is abundant, then I too get rather frustrated.

  116. ADB said

    Jason and Maz,
    About the Greek texts- the KJV (as well as the NKJV) were translated from Erasmus’ Greek edition from the early 1500s, commonly known as the Textus Receptus. Most modern translations use the Nestle-Aland and/or the United Bible Society scholarly edition of the Greek Text. The NA and UBS have the advantage of using older mss evidence behind it. For as sound a scholar as Erasmus was, he was limited by the mss he had available to him. In the 500 years since he did his work many older mss have been found that are probably closer to what was originally penned by the Biblical authors. This is why I don’t understand the folks who insist on KJV only. The translation philosophy was excellent, and it is hard to rival it in terms of poetic language, but its age limits it. Jason, you are exactly right that these textual variants are very minor for the most part and really do not affect doctrine at all. In the case of “world” from John 3:16, there’s no variant here, everything has “kosmos” Probobably the two most famous and significant of these variants are the ending of Mark and John 7:53-8:11. Anyway, I’ll let y’all get back to Calvinism.

    Best Wishes

  117. jAsOn said

    Thx ADB

  118. Maz said

    Jason: As the debate I had with this Christian was a few months ago, I have no record of his site, and neither do I rememeber his name. I originally found his site and encouraged him in what he was doing and started discussing things that we had in common. That was until I discovered that he had Calvinistic beliefs and we debated for a while about it.

    I believe I have dealt with the greek in John 3 v 16.
    I do not particulalry want to get involved with a debate on Calvinism again.
    I hope you will respect my feelings on this.

  119. Kerry said

    Maz: I wasn’t saying that there was anything wrong with the translation in the KJV or in any other translation. The word “world” works fine for “kosmos”. But neither mean “every person who has ever lived or will ever live”. You’re assuming that’s what it means. But that isn’t what it means.

    People misunderstand Scripture all the time. But my understanding of John 3:16 and of 1 John 2:2 isn’t substantially different than yours. If you want to boil it down to “believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved”, then we would both agree on that.

    Translators also make mistakes. That’s just reality. That’s why we have so many translations. Each new one is trying to deal with mistakes made by previous translators. That doesn’t mean that the basic message is so obscure in the translations we have that a person can’t be saved or live the Christian life based off of Scripture. But translators are always gaining a better understanding of the Scripture, and that affects how they do their jobs.

    I know you think you’ve dealt with the text, but you haven’t. You really didn’t address what I wrote. You didn’t show me where I was wrong. You told Jason you believed you had dealt with the Greek. But you haven’t. My impression is more that you haven’t understood what we’ve said. If you haven’t, that’s fine, just say so. Ask questions, if we aren’t being clear.

    You’ve said you don’t want to discuss this anymore, and I do respect that. If you need to bow out, I understand. But you don’t need to bow out on studying this subject.

  120. Maz said

    Kerry: I cannot believe that we had the KJV for nearly 400 years full of errors that mislead us to believe that ‘God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believed in Him should not perish but have everlassting life’, and numerous other verses that say the same thing about the ‘whosoever will may come’. And the words by Jesus, ”you WILL NOT COME that you might have eternal life”, which would be saying that they had the will but CHOSE not to come.
    The whole teaching of God loving the whole world, and that the whole world could be saved if they believed in Jesus the Savior ”of the world”, is indisputable in the KJV. I will say now that I did not like the NIV when it came out, and altho I read the Living Bible, that was only a paraphrase, and the Good News Bible also, altho helpful for me at the time, was (to me) not a correct trandslation. There are literally hundreds of translations going around now….why?
    I’v always wondered why we need so many, when the original Hebrew Bible has remained the same for centuries. They wouldn’t dare change the script. To them, it is Gods Holy Word.
    I believe the 1611 translation is one of the best we have, even with the few errors it may have, it in no way changes the way of salvation and who can be saved.

    All one translator needs is to be in touch with the Holy Spirit to translate the Bible….I believe the original translators had that inspiration. I doubt, with all these translations having to correct earlier ones that any of them were fully inspired, otherwise we wouldn’t need SO MANY translations. Doesn’t this just add to the confusion, which is what the devil loves to do!
    We all read, study and accept different translations…..I feel this is divisive, and that’s what the devil likes to do too.

    All I can say about the Greek in John 3 v 16, is that, to me, it shows clearly that God so loved the whole world…the whole system of human kind…the cosmos…(if he meant only believers, or only chosen ones, the word would have been ‘pistos’ and not ‘cosmos’).
    Also 1 John 2 v 2 speaks of ‘us’ and then the whole world ASWELL. I don’t think we are going to get anywhere with this, so I’m going to leave it at that.

    I’m bowing out, as I know you wouldn’t change your beliefs on this, and neither will I, so it would be better to agree to disagree.

    For me, Jesus died for the whole world, ”the ungodly”, He gave His all for all sinners. That just makes me feel so priveledged and so awed by His great love and sacrifice for me and for all mankind, whether they accept it or not.

  121. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    You keep bowing out but you continue to speak to the topics at hand.

    Wow, I am totally shocked that you are a KJVO.

    To actually suggest that TRANSLATORS are inspired, certainly not in the same way that the Holy Spirit inspired the original authors…you certainly cannot be suggesting that!

    You don’t seem to have a very good grasp on the doctrine of inspiration and the history of transmission, I suggest you look into it more thoroughly.

    You said, “And the words by Jesus, ”you WILL NOT COME that you might have eternal life”, which would be saying that they had the will but CHOSE not to come.”

    You said, “I cannot believe that we had the KJV for nearly 400 years full of errors that mislead us to believe that ‘God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believed in Him should not perish but have everlassting life’, and numerous other verses that say the same thing about the ‘whosoever will may come’.”

    The word “whosoever” in John 3:16 is translated from the Greek PHRASE, hina pas ho pisteou. How many times will I have to point that out before you actually respond to it? The phrase literally means, “all of those in a group”, so the text actually means (as God inspired it in the original language) “all of the believing ones”, or “all of those who believe”; in other word, the portion of John 3:16 could accurately be rendered, For God so loved the world that all of those who believe shall not perish but have eternal life. The verse says nothing about the extent of the atonement nor of the capacity of the NATURAL man to chose God.

    Like wise, “And the words by Jesus, ”you WILL NOT COME that you might have eternal life”, which would be saying that they had the will but CHOSE not to come.” says nothing about the innate ability of man to choose God in his natural state. The fact that you say,”that they had the will” is definitionally eisegesis; you import the idea of capacity into the context. What in the immediate or entire biblical context would make you think that persons in an unregenerate (dead) state would ever be willing to come?

    Kerry never suggested that the KJV changed salvation or who can believe, and your statements in support of the 1611 (based on the TR) show your ignorance of the concept of the transmission of the Scriptures in history.

    You said, “We all read, study and accept different translations…..I feel this is divisive, and that’s what the devil likes to do too.”

    Are you actually suggestion that we should force the adoption of one translation in favor of unity? Which one would it be, the KJV, why not the NKJV or the ESV or the NASB? At least the last three were derived from the earlier mss.

  122. ADB said

    Kosmos, translated “world” here and elsewhere in its normal usage can mean several related things. It can refer simply to the earth, to the entire created order, or to all people on earth. IMHO a text such as Romans 9 is a far stronger argument for a pre-destinarian position than John 3.

    Best Wishes

  123. Maz said

    Jason: I’m bowing out….now! 8)

  124. Kerry said

    Maz: There’s nothing wrong with the KJV translation of John 3:16. That wasn’t my point. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ will be saved, as you said. I don’t disagree with one bit of it. And the fact that you’re citing these verses indicates that you don’t really understand the Calvinism you say you disagree with.

    Everything I could say at this point either Jason or I have already said. This isn’t so much a matter of disagreeing, though we do disagree. The real issue is that you don’t understand what Jason and I are saying. I would highly recommend that you take some time and study this doctrine of Calvinism that you say you disagree with it. If you’re going to disagree with something, you’d better make sure you understand what you say you’re disagreeing with.

  125. Tripp said

    Let’s lighten the mood a bit, shall we?

    http://www.jibjab.com/originals/matzah

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