John UK wrote: you wish to teach me something, you will need to be teaching me something with a gracious and loving spirit, because if you hate me without a cause, I will, most certainly, not listen to anything you say.
1. What do you know of my character and how do you conclude that I am not a Christian? 2. What do you know of my work for the Lord or it's efficacy? 3. How is seeking honesty in gospel preaching unloving, trollish or seeking only to argue? 4. Since you've not shown biblically that I am wrong what right do you have to conclude that my doctrine is bad doctrine? And since I agree with Dr Masters, would you now say that he also holds to bad doctrine? 5. Where have I been ungracious or unloving to you during our conversation? 6. You accuse me of hating you without a cause. Please quote where I have done this? 7. Your last para. shows the difference between us viz. your theology is built on your personal experience whereas I seek to build mine on the Bible. If it had been easy to prove your case, why would you have launched a personal attack? Maybe it's your character to do so when you run out of valid arguments?
John UK wrote: Acts 17:26-31 KJV (26)¬† And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; (27)¬† That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: (28)¬† For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (29)¬† Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. (30)¬† And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (31)¬† Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. v26...all men v27...they should seek the Lord; every one of us v28...in him we (all of us) live v29...we (all of us) v30...all men everywhere (every creature) v31...the world (everyone); unto all men (everyone) God is clear. Men are cloudy. That is, all men are cloudy.
John UK wrote: The apostles never had any problem with calling on all men to repent.
You're changing the subject! The source of repentance and faith is not in dispute. The subject under discussion was whether it is right and truthful to ever say to any individual sinner that God loves them in a saving way and still be consistent in one's adherence of the doctrines of grace. I am suggesting that to be consistent one would have to speak of God's love for sinners or for the love of God to any person who comes to Him in sincere repentance and faith. To do otherwise is to inject lies in the gospel message. To think that lying for God is a way to secure his blessing is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Would you be happy for the arminian to tell sinners that Christ died for them? If not how is your message of God's saving love to them any different?
Explain to me how proclaiming the gospel in this way is indicative of my trying to prevent the reprobate from hearing it?
I have no issues calling upon all to repent and believe, but show me once instance in the NT where any individual is assured of the saving love of God apart from repentance and faith.
What a curious manner of responding. The gentleman from Devon is spoken of with disdain and set up as an example of how fatal it is not to be able to lie to sinners, and yet you then end your post pointing to Dr Masters who adheres to the same approach and commending him for being an instrument under God for the conversion of a great many since the 60's. Talk about a garbled message.
John UK wrote: Mike, as you know, I do not accept double predestination. I can show you scripture where God talks about his election; but you can't show me scripture where God talks about his non-election. It is a figment in the imagination.
If from the mass of humanity God chooses some to salvation and passes over others, how can one avoid the charge of double predestination? His predetermined passing over of some is surely a predestination to hell?
John UK wrote: If you don't individualise it, you will get few converts.
In other words you're saying that if we take away from the preacher the ability to lie to an individual (whom God may have pre-determined to pass over) that God loves them as an individual then we will see no conversions? Curiouser and curiouser.
John UK wrote: 2. There is grace, and there is saving grace. The grace of God given to all men does not guarantee he will also save them. The problem you have in practical outworking of all this, namely in evangelistic work, is that you have to preach to sinners (every sinner) the good news of the gospel which, by its very nature, expresses the love of God for sinners, and his willingness to save all that come to Christ for pardon and peace. Herein lies your particular difficulty. I have no such problem.
It is true that the love of God has reached out to sinners as a class, but the gospel is a call to repentance and faith, with assurance of God's saving love only to any who will obey.
And that is the problem with speaking of the saving love of God to an individual apart from obedience when they may be one of the one's that God may have predetermined to pass over.
It is better to speak of God's love to sinners as a class rather than individualize it and in the process potentially lie to the hearer. If individualizing then fetter it to obedience to the call to repent and believe.
I am of course assuming that integrity and faithfulness are important to the preacher/evangelist. Sadly, in my experience that is rare these days.
John UK wrote: if you would care to give the answer to your own rhetorical question, I will look in later and see if you have got it right. It is not a difficult question,
How very unusual that you should refer the question back to me, when it certainly wasn't rhetorical. It was a serious question given what you have already conceded in terms of your understanding of the doctrines of grace.
Unless one believes that God is capable of an ineffectual saving love (which frankly is an oxymoron because it wouldn't be a saving love) then the only proper answer is that God does not savingly love those that he passes over.
If this analysis is correct, then one wonders what saving love there is that one should proclaim to those who will perish because they will be passed over?
I hope that that was plain enough for you.
Now I shall look forward to being corrected by you since you consider the question easy.
I do hope that you will restrict your consideration to God's 'saving love' which is what is being declared in the gospel. If you still maintain that God savingly loves those that will yet be passed over (because the utter contradiction passes you by) then the question is why are they not saved?
John UK wrote: There can be no greater motivation for evangelism than the love of God for sinners, and the surety of success of the gospel of God's grace, which thing is immensely powerful, being attended by none other than the Holy Ghost, who applies redemption to whomever God chooses.
What saving love does God have towards those that he has predetermined to pass over?
James Thomas wrote: It is difficult for sure but I like your analysis earlier regarding starting with a clan slate. Being open to being wrong about our preconceived notions is a good thing. I think Mike gave some good insight on working through the verse John 3:16. Here's a start... "For God so loved the world...." In looking at the "so", we see it is from the Greek word houto and is an adverb meaning "after this manner". One other example we see the same usage is 1 John 4:10-11. And We see that God's love for the world is conditioned on what follows: "that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." To sum it up I think John 3:16 speaks of God's conditional love for the world only in a positive sense to whosoever believeth in Him.
Notice how John UK dances around this simple analysis subjectively; oh how dreadful that we can't lie to the non elect that God loves them.
John Lee wrote: Let's think about how Jesus does this, when he attends a synagogue, even a synagogue where he is unknown. Let's think of him in Horeb Synagogue, for example. Is there a paid teacher there? Just one who teaches and the others just listen? And this one takes the entire 'service', announcing psalms, reading scriptures, teaching the word, and so on? Not in my reading of the Bible, it never happened like that. And it never happened like that when the converted apostles attended the synagogues for many, many years after Pentecost. Think about it.
You clearly have no idea how synagogue worship was conducted.
John Lee wrote: Can I take it then, that you disagree with Connor on this? If he = Taught and Johnny Mac = Teacher, he reserves the right to analyse Johnny's teaching (and correct him) and proclaim himself higher in knowledge than Johnny, because he as Connor knows far more than Johnny Mac and ought himself (Connor) to be in the Teaching position and Johnny Mac can be in the Taught position. Do you see the problem? And then, you can take two highly respected Teachers of the Bible, and they can hold opposite views on certain subjects, which they will teach to their adherents, and at least one of the groups will be hearing something untrue. Would you like some examples of this?
I have no issue with anyone challenging teachers. I do have an issue with your constantly insinuating that there is some sort of artificial divide between clergy and laity. The fact is that the teacher/taught divide is biblical, but you just don't like it.
John Lee wrote: Hi Connor, are you also saying that pulpit/pew or teacher/taught is somewhat fundamentally wrong? I would be interested to know how you go about telling Johnny Mac he is wrong, in order to edify the body, in what I call a clergy/laity divide system.
Would you have challenged the apostles in the same manner? Did they not start this so called divide that you so strongly object to? Are all teachers? (1 Cor 12.29) is a rhetorical question to which the obvious answer is no. So if there are spiritually gifted teachers and they function as such, is the teacher/taught divide unbiblical?