Amillennialist

Twisting Divine revelation to in order to make YHWH a monster

In Calvinism, Justification, Trustworthiness of Scripture on May 25, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Just like the prophet from hell Mohammed/Mohammad/Muhammad.

Another odd and hostile comment from someone enamored with Calvin’s capricious and malevolent deity (must have struck a nerve!), this time from Go Share Your Faith (the author did not leave a link; I assume that is his/her site. If not, let me know, and I’ll fix it).

He/she writes:

It would be nice if your bias was a little less severe so that you could quote scripture accurately:

“I longed to gather you like a hen gathers her chicks, but you were not willing.”But it’s actually:

“I longed to gather your children like a hen gathers her chicks, but you were not willing.”what’s the difference?

One is a false proof text taken out of context.

The other is Jesus rebuking the pharisees for their behavior and pronouncing woe’s upon them…no mention of Him weeping over their ability to “resist his attempts at saving them”

You accuse others of bias but you have a streak of bias a mile wide and it’s showing.

The woes precede the lament.

Here is Matthew 23:37 according to the English Standard Version:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!”

Jesus said, “I longed to gather your children . . . but you were not willing.”

You make Christ a liar.

If you want to make a distinction, what is the difference between “Jerusalem” and “your children” in this verse?

Jesus said, “the city” murdered prophets. How? Parking fines?

Cities don’t kill prophets, people do.

(Would its “children” be suburbs?)

Or are you claiming that the Pharisees and their fellow hypocrites are “Jerusalem”? If so, when Jesus warns the “Daughters of Jerusalem” to weep for themselves and their children, is He actually calling them, “Daughters of the Pharisees”?

If you limit Jesus’ comments to the hypocritical religious authorities He was condemning, who are their “children”? The people of Jerusalem, or just their converts — “twice the children of hell”?

Even under that misinterpretation, Christ longed to gather the Pharisees’ proselytes, but the Pharisees were not willing. (The Pharisees were able to disbelieve for their converts?)

Does not “Jerusalem” here represent the people of Israel in general?

The point of my citing that verse is that YHWH longed to save unbelievers, but they refused.

And that’s why you don’t like the passage.

You and your buddy John Calvin are like the older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. You think that you alone deserve Heaven, and you’re mad that anyone else is going to be there.

God’s mercy should not be a source of anguish for you. His love extends to all people. Christ died for all. He is the atoning sacrifice not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world.

In trying to prove that God creates people for hell, you twist an expression of God’s grace into an expectation of perdition.

You make Gospel into Law and His words meaningless.

Just like Rome. Just like much of Evangelicalism.

Just like . . . the Pharisees.

In your zeal to make God a monster, you jump to conclusions regarding the verse not necessarily supported by the rest of Scripture.

You are correct that here in Matthew, the preceding verses have Jesus pronouncing condemnation against the religious authorities opposing Him (the condemnation brought on them by their own refusal of His “gathering,” not “divine” whim!).

But what do you do with Luke 13?

Here the same lamentation follows a number of different topics, including Christ’s teaching and preaching.

Rather than a series of woes, the last part preceding the lament is a comment intended for Herod. Notice its conclusion:

At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Luke 13:31-35)!

An observation about Israel’s tradition of murdering God’s messengers is followed by an expression of the sorrow that that God feels for (even) His rebellious people.

Jesus takes Herod’s bloodlust (and the Pharisees’ warning) as an opportunity to foreshadow His own Passion and the events of Holy Week, which leads into His lament for those whom He longed to save and for whom He was about to die.

But that’s not good enough for you. You have to make this about Christ creating on a whim people for destruction.

In your effort to defend your heresy, you make the Son of God a son of hell.

So, I have a question for you: According to your theology, how do you know whether or not you’re going to Heaven?

For if Calvin’s god arbitrarily chose before the foundation of the world some for Life and some for Hell, how can you know of which group you are a part? You know that some will be sent to destruction who worked in Christ’s name, to which defense He will reply, “I never knew you.”

You can’t be good enough, you can’t try hard enough, you can’t resist sin enough or do enough good works to know that you’ve been picked, because you still sin.

The Scriptural answer to my question is this:

Christ has died for the sins of the whole world, so I know that He died for mine, too.

Thanks be to God!

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  1. Greetings Amillenialist!
    I found your web-site linked from the Jihad Watch web-site.

    You have many interesting facts on Islam and history and the USA and the Christian faith. Most of what you write of what I have read, is very good and finds a place in my heart.

    I used to believe (and respond) as you do about Calvinism; so I understand your reactions to it. It is a reaction to something that is actually not taught by Calvinism. God is pure and holy and good and wise; and He is also completely sovereign.

    In the last 16 years, since 1994; I began to see that the Scriptures really were teaching the Sovereignty of God; but that God is in no way the author of sin.

    I would like to encourage you to read Martin Luther's The Bondage of the Will. ( I am guessing you are Lutheran, so you should enjoy this book; it was his very best.)

    The best book that helped me get over the problems that you are having (and you are not alone; those are the common objections that everyone has to what they think is "Calvinism" )

    is IMHO :

    Joni Eareckson Tada (who has suffered with being a quadriplegic for years and has a sweet and powerful testimony)and Steve Estes, When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings matter to the Almighty.
    (Zondervan, 1997.)

    She carries a lot of authority because she has lived the realities of suffering and asking God "why?"; and yet she believes in God's sovereignty and goodness in allowing these trials. The appendices in her book are very helpful.

    Also, John Piper, is very good at explaning Calvinism, and he is passionate for prayer and holiness and evangelism and missions; as all true Calvinists are. ( Charles Spurgeon, George Whitfield, William Carey, Samuel Zwemer ("the apostle to Islam"); Henry Martin, William Miller ( Presbyterian Missionary to Iran for 40 years); D. James Kennedy (author of "Evangelism Expolosion". He would be very glad for your articles on the USA Christian prinicples that founded our country, by the way.)

    check out John Piper's website:
    http://www.desiringGod.org and his sermons and writings on the subject. Give the issue time and listen all the way or read to the end of an argument before responding.

    Anyway, I wish you peace and grace and keep up the good work here on your website.

    Are you really in "Constantinople" (Istanbul) ??

    Sincerely,
    Ken Temple

  2. Greetings Amillenialist!
    I found your web-site linked from the Jihad Watch web-site.

    You have many interesting facts on Islam and history and the USA and the Christian faith. Most of what you write of what I have read, is very good and finds a place in my heart.

    I used to believe (and respond) as you do about Calvinism; so I understand your reactions to it. It is a reaction to something that is actually not taught by Calvinism. God is pure and holy and good and wise; and He is also completely sovereign.

    In the last 16 years, since 1994; I began to see that the Scriptures really were teaching the Sovereignty of God; but that God is in no way the author of sin.

    I would like to encourage you to read Martin Luther's The Bondage of the Will. ( I am guessing you are Lutheran, so you should enjoy this book; it was his very best.)

    The best book that helped me get over the problems that you are having (and you are not alone; those are the common objections that everyone has to what they think is "Calvinism" )

    is IMHO :

    Joni Eareckson Tada (who has suffered with being a quadriplegic for years and has a sweet and powerful testimony)and Steve Estes, When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings matter to the Almighty.
    (Zondervan, 1997.)

    She carries a lot of authority because she has lived the realities of suffering and asking God "why?"; and yet she believes in God's sovereignty and goodness in allowing these trials. The appendices in her book are very helpful.

    Also, John Piper, is very good at explaning Calvinism, and he is passionate for prayer and holiness and evangelism and missions; as all true Calvinists are. ( Charles Spurgeon, George Whitfield, William Carey, Samuel Zwemer ("the apostle to Islam"); Henry Martin, William Miller ( Presbyterian Missionary to Iran for 40 years); D. James Kennedy (author of "Evangelism Expolosion". He would be very glad for your articles on the USA Christian prinicples that founded our country, by the way.)

    check out John Piper's website:
    http://www.desiringGod.org and his sermons and writings on the subject. Give the issue time and listen all the way or read to the end of an argument before responding.

    Anyway, I wish you peace and grace and keep up the good work here on your website.

    Are you really in "Constantinople" (Istanbul) ??

    Sincerely,
    Ken Temple

  3. Hello, Ken,

    Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

    It is my understanding that TULIP is what Calvin taught. Do you have a source that shows he did not? That Calvinism does not?

    I do not diminish anyone's sufferings, yet Christians around the world today suffer horrendous persecution.

    I wonder how many would trade their daughters being gang-raped for Allah in front of them for paralysis.

    What is "Istanbul," but another trophy for jihad?

    Constantinople, Jerusalem, the mountains of Al-Andalus — we need to remember our fellow Christians everywhere who suffer(ed) at the hands of Allah.

    Peace be with you,

    Amillennialist

  4. Hello, Ken,

    Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

    It is my understanding that TULIP is what Calvin taught. Do you have a source that shows he did not? That Calvinism does not?

    I do not diminish anyone's sufferings, yet Christians around the world today suffer horrendous persecution.

    I wonder how many would trade their daughters being gang-raped for Allah in front of them for paralysis.

    What is "Istanbul," but another trophy for jihad?

    Constantinople, Jerusalem, the mountains of Al-Andalus — we need to remember our fellow Christians everywhere who suffer(ed) at the hands of Allah.

    Peace be with you,

    Amillennialist

  5. A quick follow-up, Ken:

    From Modern History Sourcebook:
    John Calvin: On Double Predestination:

    "In conformity, therefore, to the clear doctrine of the Scripture, we assert, that by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once for all determined, both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction. We affirm that this counsel, as far as concerns the elect, is founded on his gratuitous mercy, totally irrespective of human merit; but that to those whom he devotes to condemnation, the gate of life is closed by a just and irreprehensible, but incomprehensible, judgment. In the elect, we consider calling as an evidence of election, and justification as another token of its manifestation, till they arrive in glory, which constitutes its completion. As God seals his elect by vocation and justification, so by excluding the reprobate from the knowledge of his name and the sanctification of his Spirit, he affords an indication of the judgement that awaits them."

    Calvin taught (and so do all Calvinists who teach and defend TULIP) that God predetermines who goes to Heaven and Hell ("U"), that Christ died for only some, not all, people ("L"), and that God's grace is irresistible ("I") which, if true, means that God does not shower His grace on all.

    All make YHWH a capricious monster.

    All are rank heresy straight from the pit of Hell.

  6. A quick follow-up, Ken:

    From Modern History Sourcebook:
    John Calvin: On Double Predestination:

    "In conformity, therefore, to the clear doctrine of the Scripture, we assert, that by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once for all determined, both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction. We affirm that this counsel, as far as concerns the elect, is founded on his gratuitous mercy, totally irrespective of human merit; but that to those whom he devotes to condemnation, the gate of life is closed by a just and irreprehensible, but incomprehensible, judgment. In the elect, we consider calling as an evidence of election, and justification as another token of its manifestation, till they arrive in glory, which constitutes its completion. As God seals his elect by vocation and justification, so by excluding the reprobate from the knowledge of his name and the sanctification of his Spirit, he affords an indication of the judgement that awaits them."

    Calvin taught (and so do all Calvinists who teach and defend TULIP) that God predetermines who goes to Heaven and Hell ("U"), that Christ died for only some, not all, people ("L"), and that God's grace is irresistible ("I") which, if true, means that God does not shower His grace on all.

    All make YHWH a capricious monster.

    All are rank heresy straight from the pit of Hell.

  7. I was hoping you would read the 2 books and Piper's website before you, "go for the jugular" kind of argumentation.

    On the quote from Calvin, I don't doubt that, but it would be nice to have the exact reference. (probably from the Institutes)

    No one goes to hell unjustly; that is the point that Calvin is making; although I think it can be said better.

    The Bible does not teach a Double Predestination in an equal way for both sides.

    God predestines and elects some from all nations (Rev. 5:9) for salvation, (Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 9) but leaves the rest justly in their sin.

    Those vessels of mercy were "prepared beforehand" (chosen before the foundation of the world; Ephesians 1:4-5) – Romans 9:24; but the vessels of wrath were "prepared for destruction" (the Greek word "pro" (before or in advance is not there for the reprobate side). They are justly left in their sin; so election and predestination is one sided, not a double equal predestination; it is God's justice to punish us all because of our sin. If only by justice and wrath and holiness; we would all go to hell by fault of our own sinful self. God out of mercy and grace chooses some to be saved; and that is what is so amazing.

    "so then, it does not depend on the man who wills or runs, but on God who has mercy." Romans 9:16

    Calvin himself did not articulate the "L" of Limited atonement; that was left for others later upon deeper theological reflection.

    The "L" is not a good term, granted. A Particular, effective atonement is better. An atonement that actually saves and purchases us out of sin. Rev. 5:9 "out of every tribe and tongue, and people and nation, You have purchased (arorist, past, already purchased in the past) by Your blood."

    If you would take time to first look at those sources, and don't react with "capricious monster" and "rank heresy" comments, that would be better.

    Are you Greek Orthodox or Lutheran? just curious.

    Regarding Istanbul: I admit that the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453 because they were following real, consistent, doctrinal Islam, Muhammad's Islam, which is Jihadist, and similar to Al Qaedah, Wahabis, Taliban, Shia Iranian government, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.

  8. I was hoping you would read the 2 books and Piper's website before you, "go for the jugular" kind of argumentation.

    On the quote from Calvin, I don't doubt that, but it would be nice to have the exact reference. (probably from the Institutes)

    No one goes to hell unjustly; that is the point that Calvin is making; although I think it can be said better.

    The Bible does not teach a Double Predestination in an equal way for both sides.

    God predestines and elects some from all nations (Rev. 5:9) for salvation, (Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 9) but leaves the rest justly in their sin.

    Those vessels of mercy were "prepared beforehand" (chosen before the foundation of the world; Ephesians 1:4-5) – Romans 9:24; but the vessels of wrath were "prepared for destruction" (the Greek word "pro" (before or in advance is not there for the reprobate side). They are justly left in their sin; so election and predestination is one sided, not a double equal predestination; it is God's justice to punish us all because of our sin. If only by justice and wrath and holiness; we would all go to hell by fault of our own sinful self. God out of mercy and grace chooses some to be saved; and that is what is so amazing.

    "so then, it does not depend on the man who wills or runs, but on God who has mercy." Romans 9:16

    Calvin himself did not articulate the "L" of Limited atonement; that was left for others later upon deeper theological reflection.

    The "L" is not a good term, granted. A Particular, effective atonement is better. An atonement that actually saves and purchases us out of sin. Rev. 5:9 "out of every tribe and tongue, and people and nation, You have purchased (arorist, past, already purchased in the past) by Your blood."

    If you would take time to first look at those sources, and don't react with "capricious monster" and "rank heresy" comments, that would be better.

    Are you Greek Orthodox or Lutheran? just curious.

    Regarding Istanbul: I admit that the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453 because they were following real, consistent, doctrinal Islam, Muhammad's Islam, which is Jihadist, and similar to Al Qaedah, Wahabis, Taliban, Shia Iranian government, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.

  9. Some other good books:
    The Potter's Freedom, by James White
    Calvary Press, 2000.

    The Sovereignty of God , by Arthur Pink. 1930; reprinted, 1996 by Mt. Zion Publications.

    but again, it is better to start with Joni Eareckson Tada's book on Suffering and Evil and Luther's bondage of the will and then go to these two.

    Another very helpful book is Chosen for Life by Samuel Storms.

    The Justification of God (exegesis on Romans 9), by John Piper is also very good. search for it at his web-site, http://www.desiringGod.org; I think it is in e-book form.

  10. Some other good books:
    The Potter's Freedom, by James White
    Calvary Press, 2000.

    The Sovereignty of God , by Arthur Pink. 1930; reprinted, 1996 by Mt. Zion Publications.

    but again, it is better to start with Joni Eareckson Tada's book on Suffering and Evil and Luther's bondage of the will and then go to these two.

    Another very helpful book is Chosen for Life by Samuel Storms.

    The Justification of God (exegesis on Romans 9), by John Piper is also very good. search for it at his web-site, http://www.desiringGod.org; I think it is in e-book form.

  11. Hello again, Ken. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these things with you.

    I have a few thoughts to share . . .

    I realize now that "God's Sovereignty" is code for "I'm a Calvinist."

    I did not intend to "go for the throat;" I got the sense that you were someone who was perhaps Lutheran and had moderated your original views on Calvin's doctrines. Apparently, you have crossed over fully into Calvinism.

    As for what Calvin taught and Calvinism teaches, I did not invent, “TULIP.”

    With Total Depravity (“T”), I have no problem (the teaching, not the condition!), since Scripture says that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We are dead in our trespasses and sin.

    With that Luther would agree, I think.

    Perseverence of the Saints (“P”), though contrary to Scripture, does not make God a monster.

    It is with the heart of Calvinism (the center of "t U-L-I p") that I have a problem. It contradicts the Word of God and perverts His nature. (That's the nicest way I can say that without lying by omission.)

    With respect to Unconditional Election (“U”), yes, Scripture states that God predestines believers to eternal life, and yes, It does make clear that those who end up in Hell deserve it (as do we all).

    But judging from the Calvin quote I offered previously — according to the Modern History Sourcebook, "from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated by John Allen" (sorry, no page number), found here: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/calvin-predestin2.html — it does not seem that he is saying what you are saying he's saying.

    Calvin states that God "exclud[es] the reprobate from the knowledge of his name and the sanctification of his Spirit."

    God does not say that He “justly leaves us in our sins” (your words). Christ came to save “the world.”

    Jesus puts the lie to Calvin's claim by observing, “many are called, but few are chosen.” How many is “many,” according to the context? Those who were invited refused, so the King's servants were commanded to go out into the streets and "invite . . . as many as you find." They “gathered all whom they found.”

    Not “some” of whom they found. All were invited. All were called.

    No one was "justly left in their sin," alone and helpless.

    Similarly, with regard to Limited Atonement (“L”) you wrote, "An atonement that actually saves and purchases us out of sin."

    Jesus actually saves. Christ is – “actually” — the atoning sacrifice not only for our sins, but for the sins of “the whole world.” God was actually reconciling “the world” to Himself in Christ's body on the cross.

    Not “some” of the world.

    Jesus did not lament, "I longed to gather only 'some' of you." Nor did He declare that His mission was to save "only some." Christ came to seek and to save “the lost.”

    Not “some” of the lost.

    Lastly, concerning Irresistible Grace (“I”), if God's grace is “irresistible,” then – as Calvin observes above – God does not send His Holy Spirit to those “many” who end up in Hell, or they wouldn't be there.

    You call that, "justly leaving people in their sin."

    Calvin's god creates people for Hell.

    Calvin's god died for only some people.

    Calvin's god denies the Holy Spirit to many.

    Calvin's god justly leaves many in their sin, helpless and alone.

    Christ opened the kingdom of Heaven to all people, but Calvin and his god shut it in people's faces.

    They are "denied the knowledge of God and His grace." They are "justly left in their sin."

    The justice of God is not how a holy and righteous God punishes sin, but how the merciful God justifies all in Christ: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . . ."

    Regards,

    Amillennialist

  12. Hello again, Ken. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these things with you.

    I have a few thoughts to share . . .

    I realize now that "God's Sovereignty" is code for "I'm a Calvinist."

    I did not intend to "go for the throat;" I got the sense that you were someone who was perhaps Lutheran and had moderated your original views on Calvin's doctrines. Apparently, you have crossed over fully into Calvinism.

    As for what Calvin taught and Calvinism teaches, I did not invent, “TULIP.”

    With Total Depravity (“T”), I have no problem (the teaching, not the condition!), since Scripture says that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We are dead in our trespasses and sin.

    With that Luther would agree, I think.

    Perseverence of the Saints (“P”), though contrary to Scripture, does not make God a monster.

    It is with the heart of Calvinism (the center of "t U-L-I p") that I have a problem. It contradicts the Word of God and perverts His nature. (That's the nicest way I can say that without lying by omission.)

    With respect to Unconditional Election (“U”), yes, Scripture states that God predestines believers to eternal life, and yes, It does make clear that those who end up in Hell deserve it (as do we all).

    But judging from the Calvin quote I offered previously — according to the Modern History Sourcebook, "from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, translated by John Allen" (sorry, no page number), found here: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/calvin-predestin2.html — it does not seem that he is saying what you are saying he's saying.

    Calvin states that God "exclud[es] the reprobate from the knowledge of his name and the sanctification of his Spirit."

    God does not say that He “justly leaves us in our sins” (your words). Christ came to save “the world.”

    Jesus puts the lie to Calvin's claim by observing, “many are called, but few are chosen.” How many is “many,” according to the context? Those who were invited refused, so the King's servants were commanded to go out into the streets and "invite . . . as many as you find." They “gathered all whom they found.”

    Not “some” of whom they found. All were invited. All were called.

    No one was "justly left in their sin," alone and helpless.

    Similarly, with regard to Limited Atonement (“L”) you wrote, "An atonement that actually saves and purchases us out of sin."

    Jesus actually saves. Christ is – “actually” — the atoning sacrifice not only for our sins, but for the sins of “the whole world.” God was actually reconciling “the world” to Himself in Christ's body on the cross.

    Not “some” of the world.

    Jesus did not lament, "I longed to gather only 'some' of you." Nor did He declare that His mission was to save "only some." Christ came to seek and to save “the lost.”

    Not “some” of the lost.

    Lastly, concerning Irresistible Grace (“I”), if God's grace is “irresistible,” then – as Calvin observes above – God does not send His Holy Spirit to those “many” who end up in Hell, or they wouldn't be there.

    You call that, "justly leaving people in their sin."

    Calvin's god creates people for Hell.

    Calvin's god died for only some people.

    Calvin's god denies the Holy Spirit to many.

    Calvin's god justly leaves many in their sin, helpless and alone.

    Christ opened the kingdom of Heaven to all people, but Calvin and his god shut it in people's faces.

    They are "denied the knowledge of God and His grace." They are "justly left in their sin."

    The justice of God is not how a holy and righteous God punishes sin, but how the merciful God justifies all in Christ: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus . . . ."

    Regards,

    Amillennialist

  13. Ken,

    I found The Justification of God only for sale at Piper's site.

    I do intend to read his sermon on it.

    Regards,

    Amillennialist

  14. Ken,

    I found The Justification of God only for sale at Piper's site.

    I do intend to read his sermon on it.

    Regards,

    Amillennialist

  15. Hi, again, Ken,

    I had a chance to read the sermon. Piper quotes Jonathan Edwards:

    "the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, in choosing whom he would to eternal life, and rejecting whom he pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in hell."

    "in God’s shewing mercy to whom he will show mercy, and hardening whom he will."

    You (plural) are taking Paul's rhetorical argument — a hypothetical — and making out of it a doctrine that contradicts the rest of Scripture.

    That hardly seems wise.

    Piper says that "Romans 9 is an explanation for why the word of God has not failed even though God’s chosen people, Israel, as a whole, are not turning to Christ and being saved."

    He claims that the reason for their not turning to Christ is "God's sovereignty."

    But Paul says it is because of unbelief in Christ:

    "but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame" (Romans 9:31-33).

    Piper's misunderstanding of Romans 9 comes from his misidentifying "Israel." They do not have "conditions they must me[e]t to be the 'children of promise.'"

    Paul is making the point in Romans 9 that it is by faith — not works — that both Jew and Gentile become a part of the true Israel.

    This chapter is not about God denying His grace to anyone — justly leaving people in their sin — it is about how a person receives the forgiveness of sins and eternal life: Faith in Christ.

    Piper concludes by asking:

    "Are all Israel the "children of promise" or only some? If only some, what makes one person a child of promise and another not?"

    Paul answers — God answers: "Faith in Christ" — which is "the gift of God" — makes a person a child of the Promise.

  16. Hi, again, Ken,

    I had a chance to read the sermon. Piper quotes Jonathan Edwards:

    "the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, in choosing whom he would to eternal life, and rejecting whom he pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in hell."

    "in God’s shewing mercy to whom he will show mercy, and hardening whom he will."

    You (plural) are taking Paul's rhetorical argument — a hypothetical — and making out of it a doctrine that contradicts the rest of Scripture.

    That hardly seems wise.

    Piper says that "Romans 9 is an explanation for why the word of God has not failed even though God’s chosen people, Israel, as a whole, are not turning to Christ and being saved."

    He claims that the reason for their not turning to Christ is "God's sovereignty."

    But Paul says it is because of unbelief in Christ:

    "but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame" (Romans 9:31-33).

    Piper's misunderstanding of Romans 9 comes from his misidentifying "Israel." They do not have "conditions they must me[e]t to be the 'children of promise.'"

    Paul is making the point in Romans 9 that it is by faith — not works — that both Jew and Gentile become a part of the true Israel.

    This chapter is not about God denying His grace to anyone — justly leaving people in their sin — it is about how a person receives the forgiveness of sins and eternal life: Faith in Christ.

    Piper concludes by asking:

    "Are all Israel the "children of promise" or only some? If only some, what makes one person a child of promise and another not?"

    Paul answers — God answers: "Faith in Christ" — which is "the gift of God" — makes a person a child of the Promise.

  17. By the way, Ken, I thought this discussion important enough to post on the front page.

    I hope you don't mind.

    In case you do, I left your name off of that main post. If you'd like it there, please let me know.

    Peace,

    Amillennialist

  18. By the way, Ken, I thought this discussion important enough to post on the front page.

    I hope you don't mind.

    In case you do, I left your name off of that main post. If you'd like it there, please let me know.

    Peace,

    Amillennialist

  19. I don't mind, even if you put my name up there; that is ok.

    I understand your objections to 5 point Calvinism; I really do; I had the same aversion and objections to it for about 15 years.

    John Piper is very helpful and has lots of material. He is evangelistic and has a missionary heart and is passionate and believes in prayer and is not "dry" or "a frozen chosen".

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/EssentialResources/

    He can do a better job than I can; for I just don't have time to exhaust this issue on your blog.

    Yes, I noticed that his book on Romans 9 (The Justification of God) is one of his few books that is not offered for free as an "on-line book". Oh well.

    Again, Joni Eareckson Tada's book is even better with the appendices.

    I like everything else I have seen at your web-site.

    I may comment later on some of the things you said, but I just have to do my work now and don't have any more time. Read and listen to Piper and Tada; they are helpful.

  20. I don't mind, even if you put my name up there; that is ok.

    I understand your objections to 5 point Calvinism; I really do; I had the same aversion and objections to it for about 15 years.

    John Piper is very helpful and has lots of material. He is evangelistic and has a missionary heart and is passionate and believes in prayer and is not "dry" or "a frozen chosen".

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/EssentialResources/

    He can do a better job than I can; for I just don't have time to exhaust this issue on your blog.

    Yes, I noticed that his book on Romans 9 (The Justification of God) is one of his few books that is not offered for free as an "on-line book". Oh well.

    Again, Joni Eareckson Tada's book is even better with the appendices.

    I like everything else I have seen at your web-site.

    I may comment later on some of the things you said, but I just have to do my work now and don't have any more time. Read and listen to Piper and Tada; they are helpful.

  21. Hey Amillennialist,
    My name is Bob, my post is the one you've cited at the beginning of this entry.

    I think if you check the actual context of the passage you'd find that there is no weeping involved. The passage cited comes at the end of a long and very harsh discourse; Jesus rebuking these rulers; these "experts in the law" for what they've done. he begins by pronouncing all kinds of woes on them, calling them blind guides, hypocrites, and saying that they restrict others from coming. That is the context for the passage of Matthew 23:37. When he says:
    "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, YOU who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent TO YOU. How often I've long to gather YOUR CHILDREN together…but YOU were not willing.

    He's speaking TO these blind guides about their actions in reference to another group.

    If you're basing the whole "jesus weeping" thing on the word longing; you've completely ignored the context. The pronouncement of woes is before this and after this passage; he continues:

    "Look! Your house is left desolate! you will not see me from now until you say "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

    No weeping at all.

    As far as all of the other things you've stated; God creating people on whimsy, God capricously sending people to Hell..

    Those are straw men and you know it.

    You don't have to like Calvinism, but at least represent what the doctrines say accurately; that's only fair.

    The fact is; God IS sovereign…yes, even in the matter of one's salvation and your anger at it doesn't change that.

    If you want to be taken more seriously in the future; you'd be better off to lose the Ad Hominems and misreprestation of Calvinism.

  22. Welcome, Bob.

    My reply to your comments here will be up on the main page as soon as I complete it.

    Thanks for visiting,

    Amillennialist

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