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RightNation.US: God Makes Uselful that Which is Useless - RightNation.US

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Yeah, it’s Wisefool again, and Chris is still apparently in need of inspiration, so feel free to send him a top of the line electric guitar autographed by Metallica. Or if you are a brother or sister in Christ, prayer works (and is cheaper). But in all honesty, since Easter is here (He is risen!) and watching the classic “The Ten Commandments” is almost a given, it got me thinking about a problem people often have with the Exodus; namely the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.

The LORD instructed Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, make sure you do all the wonders before Pharaoh that I have put within your power. But I will harden his heart so that he won’t let the people go.”
- Exodus 4:21

I have talked with more than a few people over the years who hold these verses as proof that the Christian/Jewish God is somehow petty, or is a bully; at the very least they view this as an immoral act and therefore “proves” He cannot be all good as He claims to be. So do these claims hold any water, or are they like most secular questioning of the Bible in that they really aren’t honest inquiries, but rather self-justifications of one’s own beliefs to provide an easy way out?

The word “harden” (chazak in the Hebrew) in these instances literally means to “strengthen, make stronger, fortify, and to make courageous.” In all of these instances, it is only a case of making something that is already there stronger. When you fortify a position, the defenses are already there, you are only adding to them; making them stronger. In which case it is a bit difficult to argue that God did something out of order; He only took Pharaoh to his logical (and self-chosen) end.
But translational issues aside, what if we take it at face value, that God really did abridge Pharaoh’s free will? I still find this case lacking as well, simply because it’s a case of taking something useless and making it useful. Let me put it this way; I have talked to and interacted with people who have essentially admitted that there is no miracle that they could witness that would furnish enough proof for them to believe in God. Simply put, if God were to arrange the stars to spell out “I EXIST” there are people who would not believe it. They would assume they are hallucinating, delusional, or that an extra-dimensional being of great power (who is definitely not the God of the Bible) was at work; in short that unless God would abridge their own freewill there would be no possibility of them acknowledging Him.

These then are the Damned; those who shut themselves off from God and to whom God (being good) preserves their wishes and grants them separation from Himself; i.e. Hell. God is indeed being good because He does not treat His creation as an ends to a means, but rather honors the values and desires they wanted in their lives – even if this causes them everlasting misery. Therefore if God so chooses to use someone, who is already damned, for His own glory and good work, does that make Him wrong in doing so? Personally I don’t see where such an argument has a leg to stand on, or do such people really think God should take away their own freewill and make them think “right?”

My Mind is Clean
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16 Comments On This Entry

None of us would of our own volition would ever follow God, His Gospel or His Christ. Those who do, only do because He has intervened on their behalf, chosen them and granted them a new spirit and a renewed mind. Left to our own devices and our own human nature, we worship and follow Satan and his kingdom and not God's (although we think we are following God). If God were not gracious to do this for us, no one would ever choose to seek after Him. God's Bible boldly proclaims that Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior. Take a moment to think through that means and what that encompasses.

1 John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.

Romans 3:10 – 18
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.13
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes
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rogerg, on 28 March 2016 - 03:09 PM, said:

None of us would of our own volition would ever follow God, His Gospel or His Christ. Those who do, only do because He has intervened on their behalf, chosen them and granted them a new spirit and a renewed mind. Left to our own devices and our own human nature, we worship and follow Satan and his kingdom and not God's (although we think we are following God). If God were not gracious to do this for us, no one would ever choose to seek after Him. God's Bible boldly proclaims that Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior. Take a moment to think through that means and what that encompasses. 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.Romans 3:10 – 1810 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:17 And the way of peace have they not known:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes

I believe you are right to a point, but do not count me as one who believes in any form of strict Calvinism. I believe focusing on the Scriptures that back a Calvinist view does so at the expense of dozens of opposing Scriptures, as well as sound reasoning and even diminishes the glory due to God.

It also goes against what I witness within the body of Christ and those who are being added to it.

Though it might surprise you to know that I hold to both predestination and human freewill to be true. Of course this cannot be reconciled by human wisdom or logic, but it is plain to see that the Scriptures point to both. And I hold to this because it is plain to see that God occupies a place/dimension far exceeding our own. In much the same way something that is absolutely impossible in a 2D universe is easily accomplished in a 3D universe, holding both views through faith is probably the best option.
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I guess what I was trying to say is that if Christ is really the Savior, then by definition He had to have achieved EVERYTHING necessary to bring about salvation for an individual regardless of what the individual may do or not do. I do not think it logically possible for two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation. Therefore, were we required to make any contribution to the salvation transaction, even to the smallest degree,we would then be co-saviors along with Christ. – which we could never be, and which the Bible just will not allow. I realize numerous verses exist within the Bible that on the surface, seem to indicate an action of some type or the other is required of us, but upon deeper examination,those apparently contradictory verses can (and should) be harmonized and reconciled unto an affirmation that Christ alone brings salvation. If it is truly impossible for that harmonization to occur, then how could God ever expect us to grow in the knowledge of, and faith in, His Bible ? We as Christians have every right to expect perfect consistency of a book who’s contents claims for itself to have been God breathed. If it is really inconsistent,then we as Christians would have every right to discard it and look elsewhere for divine spiritual guidance.Remember though, that God has warned us in the Bible that He on purpose did not chose to write it to be easily understood.
Please don’t interpret this reply to mean that I’ve been able to harmonize everything I’ve read because I haven’t, however, I have reached the point where I realize the fault is with me and not with the Bible.
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rogerg, on 29 March 2016 - 10:22 AM, said:

I guess what I was trying to say is that if Christ is really the Savior, then by definition He had to have achieved EVERYTHING necessary to bring about salvation for an individual regardless of what the individual may do or not do. I do not think it logically possible for two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation. Therefore, were we required to make any contribution to the salvation transaction, even to the smallest degree,we would then be co-saviors along with Christ. – which we could never be, and which the Bible just will not allow. I realize numerous verses exist within the Bible that on the surface, seem to indicate an action of some type or the other is required of us, but upon deeper examination,those apparently contradictory verses can (and should) be harmonized and reconciled unto an affirmation that Christ alone brings salvation. If it is truly impossible for that harmonization to occur, then how could God ever expect us to grow in the knowledge of, and faith in, His Bible ? We as Christians have every right to expect perfect consistency of a book who’s contents claims for itself to have been God breathed. If it is really inconsistent,then we as Christians would have every right to discard it and look elsewhere for divine spiritual guidance.Remember though, that God has warned us in the Bible that He on purpose did not chose to write it to be easily understood. Please don’t interpret this reply to mean that I’ve been able to harmonize everything I’ve read because I haven’t, however, I have reached the point where I realize the fault is with me and not with the Bible.

It is great to hear that you have reached the point that you realize that the fault is with you and not the Scriptures – I too believe as much! However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone.

Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty.

Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth.

And if I were to be honest, I believe that you have over-thought this; when someone is drowning and yells for help to someone who is in a position to save them, we never think they are a co-savior or co-rescuer. In fact the medal always goes to the one who accomplished the deed. You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ.
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wisefool, on 30 March 2016 - 01:16 PM, said:

rogerg, on 29 March 2016 - 10:22 AM, said:

I guess what I was trying to say is that if Christ is really the Savior, then by definition He had to have achieved EVERYTHING necessary to bring about salvation for an individual regardless of what the individual may do or not do. I do not think it logically possible for two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation. Therefore, were we required to make any contribution to the salvation transaction, even to the smallest degree,we would then be co-saviors along with Christ. – which we could never be, and which the Bible just will not allow. I realize numerous verses exist within the Bible that on the surface, seem to indicate an action of some type or the other is required of us, but upon deeper examination,those apparently contradictory verses can (and should) be harmonized and reconciled unto an affirmation that Christ alone brings salvation. If it is truly impossible for that harmonization to occur, then how could God ever expect us to grow in the knowledge of, and faith in, His Bible ? We as Christians have every right to expect perfect consistency of a book who’s contents claims for itself to have been God breathed. If it is really inconsistent,then we as Christians would have every right to discard it and look elsewhere for divine spiritual guidance.Remember though, that God has warned us in the Bible that He on purpose did not chose to write it to be easily understood. Please don’t interpret this reply to mean that I’ve been able to harmonize everything I’ve read because I haven’t, however, I have reached the point where I realize the fault is with me and not with the Bible.
It is great to hear that you have reached the point that you realize that the fault is with you and not the Scriptures – I too believe as much! However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone.Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty. Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth.And if I were to be honest, I believe that you have over-thought this; when someone is drowning and yells for help to someone who is in a position to save them, we never think they are a co-savior or co-rescuer. In fact the medal always goes to the one who accomplished the deed. You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ.

"Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty. "

Wisefool,
Actually, I think the Bible clearly and authoritatively tells us everything we need to know, and what there is to know, regarding salvation. I would humbly submit that the Bible must be understood as fully complete, by, and within, itself -- needing no further qualification outside of itself. Otherwise, how could God justly judge anyone guilty if some of the laws and rules they are to be judged by are unknown, unknowable or missing? A law book where laws can evolve or be added to, or a law book that is missing declarations, is not a law book at all -- this is one of the factors that makes the Bible so wonderful, trustworthy and terrifying - that it is self-contained, and, having a defined beginning and end, its laws are eternally unchangeable.

Please observe the following:

2 Tim 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

please notice that Timothy under inspiration of the Holy Spirit clearly tells us that the Bible, and the Bible alone, makes one wise unto salvation. He did not say "but there are factors of salvation we cannot know or understand".

Romans 1:6
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

(please notice that the gospel of Christ itself, and alone, as contained within the Bible, is the "power of God unto salvation").

"However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone."

Yes, I can understand your point of view and sometimes I think that too. However, God did choose to have His thoughts and plans regarding salvation put into a book. So when I'm perplexed and/or frustrated I often fall back on the understanding that the answer has to exist somewhere in the Bible or He wouldn't have written it in the first place.

"Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth."

I believe that God moved the Apostles to put into the Bible exactly what He wanted included -- nothing more, nothing less and I believe the Bible clearly tells us that. I do not perceive the Bible to be just the documentation of the thoughts the prophets just happened to have at a point in time -- I perceive it as being completely God's book, and as such, He remained in complete control of its contents. If He wasn't in control, He sure went to a lot of trouble to ensure its message, allegory and symbolism remained consistent over thousands of years of time, numerous scribes and the spanning of 66 books, not to mention the historical allegory that He used to depict spiritual truth. As to what to believe in Scripture? Well, that's an easy one -- we are to believe everything from beginning to end. Oddly enough, God graciously provided in the Bible two overriding landmarks to keep us on track and to keep us from becoming lost or confused:

Hebrews 10:7
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

John 6:39

And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.


These two verses form the whole foundation of the Bible. All other verses are in support of these.

"You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us;
I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would"

Nothing in the Bible is to be taken at face value. God in His graciousness has placed within the Bible the rules by which the Bible is to be read and understood:

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

2 Peter 1:19 & 20
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

"You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ."

Predestination in no way makes it difficult for someone to come to Christ. Just the opposite in fact because it is God who does it all. Those whom God has predestined to salvation WILL become saved in spite of themselves and will come to Christ as a bi-product of that salvation -- should someone truly desires to come to Christ (so to speak), and falls on the mercy of Christ in the knowledge that they are desperate sinners unable to make restitution for their sins and unable initiate their own salvation, they have in all probability already been become born again by God and that awareness was the result of it.


I really hope this made sense and that I have addressed all of the points in your reply. I'm a little tired right now but I would like to reread later, and if necessary, will repost with updates.

Thanks
Roger
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rogerg, on 30 March 2016 - 06:05 PM, said:

wisefool, on 30 March 2016 - 01:16 PM, said:

rogerg, on 29 March 2016 - 10:22 AM, said:

I guess what I was trying to say is that if Christ is really the Savior, then by definition He had to have achieved EVERYTHING necessary to bring about salvation for an individual regardless of what the individual may do or not do. I do not think it logically possible for two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation. Therefore, were we required to make any contribution to the salvation transaction, even to the smallest degree,we would then be co-saviors along with Christ. – which we could never be, and which the Bible just will not allow. I realize numerous verses exist within the Bible that on the surface, seem to indicate an action of some type or the other is required of us, but upon deeper examination,those apparently contradictory verses can (and should) be harmonized and reconciled unto an affirmation that Christ alone brings salvation. If it is truly impossible for that harmonization to occur, then how could God ever expect us to grow in the knowledge of, and faith in, His Bible ? We as Christians have every right to expect perfect consistency of a book who’s contents claims for itself to have been God breathed. If it is really inconsistent,then we as Christians would have every right to discard it and look elsewhere for divine spiritual guidance.Remember though, that God has warned us in the Bible that He on purpose did not chose to write it to be easily understood. Please don’t interpret this reply to mean that I’ve been able to harmonize everything I’ve read because I haven’t, however, I have reached the point where I realize the fault is with me and not with the Bible.
It is great to hear that you have reached the point that you realize that the fault is with you and not the Scriptures – I too believe as much! However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone.Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty. Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth.And if I were to be honest, I believe that you have over-thought this; when someone is drowning and yells for help to someone who is in a position to save them, we never think they are a co-savior or co-rescuer. In fact the medal always goes to the one who accomplished the deed. You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ.
"Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty. "Wisefool,Actually, I think the Bible clearly and authoritatively tells us everything we need to know, and what there is to know, regarding salvation. I would humbly submit that the Bible must be understood as fully complete, by, and within, itself -- needing no further qualification outside of itself. Otherwise, how could God justly judge anyone guilty if some of the laws and rules they are to be judged by are unknown, unknowable or missing? A law book where laws can evolve or be added to, or a law book that is missing declarations, is not a law book at all -- this is one of the factors that makes the Bible so wonderful, trustworthy and terrifying - that it is self-contained, and, having a defined beginning and end, its laws are eternally unchangeable. Please observe the following:2 Tim 3:15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. please notice that Timothy under inspiration of the Holy Spirit clearly tells us that the Bible, and the Bible alone, makes one wise unto salvation. He did not say "but there are factors of salvation we cannot know or understand". Romans 1:6For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.(please notice that the gospel of Christ itself, and alone, as contained within the Bible, is the "power of God unto salvation"). "However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone."Yes, I can understand your point of view and sometimes I think that too. However, God did choose to have His thoughts and plans regarding salvation put into a book. So when I'm perplexed and/or frustrated I often fall back on the understanding that the answer has to exist somewhere in the Bible or He wouldn't have written it in the first place. "Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth."I believe that God moved the Apostles to put into the Bible exactly what He wanted included -- nothing more, nothing less and I believe the Bible clearly tells us that. I do not perceive the Bible to be just the documentation of the thoughts the prophets just happened to have at a point in time -- I perceive it as being completely God's book, and as such, He remained in complete control of its contents. If He wasn't in control, He sure went to a lot of trouble to ensure its message, allegory and symbolism remained consistent over thousands of years of time, numerous scribes and the spanning of 66 books, not to mention the historical allegory that He used to depict spiritual truth. As to what to believe in Scripture? Well, that's an easy one -- we are to believe everything from beginning to end. Oddly enough, God graciously provided in the Bible two overriding landmarks to keep us on track and to keep us from becoming lost or confused:Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.John 6:39And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.These two verses form the whole foundation of the Bible. All other verses are in support of these."You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would" Nothing in the Bible is to be taken at face value. God in His graciousness has placed within the Bible the rules by which the Bible is to be read and understood:1 Corinthians 2:13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.2 Peter 1:19 & 20We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ."Predestination in no way makes it difficult for someone to come to Christ. Just the opposite in fact because it is God who does it all. Those whom God has predestined to salvation WILL become saved in spite of themselves and will come to Christ as a bi-product of that salvation -- should someone truly desires to come to Christ (so to speak), and falls on the mercy of Christ in the knowledge that they are desperate sinners unable to make restitution for their sins and unable initiate their own salvation, they have in all probability already been become born again by God and that awareness was the result of it. I really hope this made sense and that I have addressed all of the points in your reply. I'm a little tired right now but I would like to reread later, and if necessary, will repost with updates.ThanksRoger

I can’t help but notice that you haven’t countered anything I’ve said, rather you have circled the proverbial wagons around your own theology. I never once implied that I do not believe that the Bible is in any way incomplete, or lacking; quite the opposite actually.

I merely pointed out that Scriptures that seem to be pit freewill versus predestination need not have one favored over the other. Further, I pointed out that what we know in light of physics and the creation at large, that it is at least plausible that both could be true and therefore caution needs to be taken in such matters.

There is a principle in apologetics that is taught; “Never read a Bible verse.” This principle is foreign to a lot of brothers and sisters, but once explained it truly opens the Scriptures. The principle simply means that to read any single Bible verse is to snatch it out of its context. Each of the sixty-six books of the Bible were written in context of both the times and situations the authors were in and as the Spirit moved them to write. Man may have wrote the Bible, but God wrote the man, and therefore we can say with certainty that there is no variance between what the author wrote and what God meant to convey. However, to appropriate every verse as a person instruction or encouragement is to do violence to the Scriptures themselves!

The Pharisees were guilty of forming their own theology by elevating some Scriptures above others, and we are warned to avoid their leaven. I avoid Calvinistic predestination for three reasons:
1. It makes God the author of evil. Human logic and reason dictate that if man cannot choose, then neither can he be held accountable for his failings. There simply is no way around this. Sin affected the “heart” or seat of will; we still have the ability to choose, but there are none who will choose a now invisible God over earthly desires.
2. It reduces the grace given from believers to non-believers. The Westbro Baptist Church is a prime example of this; their theology excuses them from the hate and vitriol that they constantly spew.
3. It produces a fatalism in the education of fellow believers. Many people who fall into this short themselves in every manner of learning, which only hinders their mission. We live in a post-Christian America now, and therefore anyone who takes the Bible seriously is probably already in Christ, others will merely poke light-hearted fun at “those silly Christians.” And honestly, if in our hearts we think “go on let the snicker and they will burn in Hell!” then desperately need to examine our own hearts, for surely they are far from God at that point.
We are to work out our faith in fear and trembling, remaining humble at all times least pride overtake us.

Aside from all of this, we are going very far off my intended topic, which was by use of human reasoning we can prove God’s innocence of any perceived wrongdoing in the case of Pharaoh.
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wisefool, on 31 March 2016 - 01:35 PM, said:

rogerg, on 30 March 2016 - 06:05 PM, said:

wisefool, on 30 March 2016 - 01:16 PM, said:

rogerg, on 29 March 2016 - 10:22 AM, said:

I guess what I was trying to say is that if Christ is really the Savior, then by definition He had to have achieved EVERYTHING necessary to bring about salvation for an individual regardless of what the individual may do or not do. I do not think it logically possible for two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation. Therefore, were we required to make any contribution to the salvation transaction, even to the smallest degree,we would then be co-saviors along with Christ. – which we could never be, and which the Bible just will not allow. I realize numerous verses exist within the Bible that on the surface, seem to indicate an action of some type or the other is required of us, but upon deeper examination,those apparently contradictory verses can (and should) be harmonized and reconciled unto an affirmation that Christ alone brings salvation. If it is truly impossible for that harmonization to occur, then how could God ever expect us to grow in the knowledge of, and faith in, His Bible ? We as Christians have every right to expect perfect consistency of a book who’s contents claims for itself to have been God breathed. If it is really inconsistent,then we as Christians would have every right to discard it and look elsewhere for divine spiritual guidance.Remember though, that God has warned us in the Bible that He on purpose did not chose to write it to be easily understood. Please don’t interpret this reply to mean that I’ve been able to harmonize everything I’ve read because I haven’t, however, I have reached the point where I realize the fault is with me and not with the Bible.
It is great to hear that you have reached the point that you realize that the fault is with you and not the Scriptures – I too believe as much! However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone.Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty. Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth.And if I were to be honest, I believe that you have over-thought this; when someone is drowning and yells for help to someone who is in a position to save them, we never think they are a co-savior or co-rescuer. In fact the medal always goes to the one who accomplished the deed. You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ.
"Epistemologically speaking, I am afraid neither you nor I can say whether it is impossible for “two fundamentally contrary spiritual doctrines to form a single cohesive path to salvation.” In fact, in light of the Scriptures and what we know about physics, we cannot even say if they are fundamentally contrary to one another! Do you know what time looks like outside the construct of time itself? I certainly do not, and much like the triune nature of God, we can guess, make our cozy little diagrams, and offer conjecture, but in the end it is just too far from our own experience to speak with any certainty. "Wisefool,Actually, I think the Bible clearly and authoritatively tells us everything we need to know, and what there is to know, regarding salvation. I would humbly submit that the Bible must be understood as fully complete, by, and within, itself -- needing no further qualification outside of itself. Otherwise, how could God justly judge anyone guilty if some of the laws and rules they are to be judged by are unknown, unknowable or missing? A law book where laws can evolve or be added to, or a law book that is missing declarations, is not a law book at all -- this is one of the factors that makes the Bible so wonderful, trustworthy and terrifying - that it is self-contained, and, having a defined beginning and end, its laws are eternally unchangeable. Please observe the following:2 Tim 3:15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. please notice that Timothy under inspiration of the Holy Spirit clearly tells us that the Bible, and the Bible alone, makes one wise unto salvation. He did not say "but there are factors of salvation we cannot know or understand". Romans 1:6For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.(please notice that the gospel of Christ itself, and alone, as contained within the Bible, is the "power of God unto salvation"). "However, where I stop is believing that I will ever be able to harmonize everything in Scripture. God may be my Heavenly Father, but He is also an incalculable majestic Being who exists far outside of the time-space He created, and as such I have too much reverence to think that as a mere human I will ever be able to know how He has accomplished certain actions (my own salvation included), my faith is based on the reality of Christ and His love alone."Yes, I can understand your point of view and sometimes I think that too. However, God did choose to have His thoughts and plans regarding salvation put into a book. So when I'm perplexed and/or frustrated I often fall back on the understanding that the answer has to exist somewhere in the Bible or He wouldn't have written it in the first place. "Certainly the Apostles never were bothered that there were mysteries that they could not answer in the Scriptures. They simply had faith that what they didn’t know, they didn’t need to know and that love would cover what they missed. Between knowledge and love, love must win. As Augustine said, “If you what to believe and what not to believe in the Scriptures, then it is not the Scriptures you believe in, but yourself.” And where I see the most division in the body of Christ is when someone fills in what they believe are gaps in the Scriptures, or elevates one thing above another and demand those things be recognized as Truth."I believe that God moved the Apostles to put into the Bible exactly what He wanted included -- nothing more, nothing less and I believe the Bible clearly tells us that. I do not perceive the Bible to be just the documentation of the thoughts the prophets just happened to have at a point in time -- I perceive it as being completely God's book, and as such, He remained in complete control of its contents. If He wasn't in control, He sure went to a lot of trouble to ensure its message, allegory and symbolism remained consistent over thousands of years of time, numerous scribes and the spanning of 66 books, not to mention the historical allegory that He used to depict spiritual truth. As to what to believe in Scripture? Well, that's an easy one -- we are to believe everything from beginning to end. Oddly enough, God graciously provided in the Bible two overriding landmarks to keep us on track and to keep us from becoming lost or confused:Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.John 6:39And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.These two verses form the whole foundation of the Bible. All other verses are in support of these."You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would" Nothing in the Bible is to be taken at face value. God in His graciousness has placed within the Bible the rules by which the Bible is to be read and understood:1 Corinthians 2:13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.2 Peter 1:19 & 20We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."You admit that there are numerous verses in the Scriptures that say something is required of us; I simply take them at face value, as do I with the verses that indicate predestination. How is it possible to do otherwise? In the end my greatest worry is that I do not end up making it difficult for those who would come to Christ."Predestination in no way makes it difficult for someone to come to Christ. Just the opposite in fact because it is God who does it all. Those whom God has predestined to salvation WILL become saved in spite of themselves and will come to Christ as a bi-product of that salvation -- should someone truly desires to come to Christ (so to speak), and falls on the mercy of Christ in the knowledge that they are desperate sinners unable to make restitution for their sins and unable initiate their own salvation, they have in all probability already been become born again by God and that awareness was the result of it. I really hope this made sense and that I have addressed all of the points in your reply. I'm a little tired right now but I would like to reread later, and if necessary, will repost with updates.ThanksRoger
I can’t help but notice that you haven’t countered anything I’ve said, rather you have circled the proverbial wagons around your own theology. I never once implied that I do not believe that the Bible is in any way incomplete, or lacking; quite the opposite actually.I merely pointed out that Scriptures that seem to be pit freewill versus predestination need not have one favored over the other. Further, I pointed out that what we know in light of physics and the creation at large, that it is at least plausible that both could be true and therefore caution needs to be taken in such matters.There is a principle in apologetics that is taught; “Never read a Bible verse.” This principle is foreign to a lot of brothers and sisters, but once explained it truly opens the Scriptures. The principle simply means that to read any single Bible verse is to snatch it out of its context. Each of the sixty-six books of the Bible were written in context of both the times and situations the authors were in and as the Spirit moved them to write. Man may have wrote the Bible, but God wrote the man, and therefore we can say with certainty that there is no variance between what the author wrote and what God meant to convey. However, to appropriate every verse as a person instruction or encouragement is to do violence to the Scriptures themselves!The Pharisees were guilty of forming their own theology by elevating some Scriptures above others, and we are warned to avoid their leaven. I avoid Calvinistic predestination for three reasons:1. It makes God the author of evil. Human logic and reason dictate that if man cannot choose, then neither can he be held accountable for his failings. There simply is no way around this. Sin affected the “heart” or seat of will; we still have the ability to choose, but there are none who will choose a now invisible God over earthly desires.2. It reduces the grace given from believers to non-believers. The Westbro Baptist Church is a prime example of this; their theology excuses them from the hate and vitriol that they constantly spew.3. It produces a fatalism in the education of fellow believers. Many people who fall into this short themselves in every manner of learning, which only hinders their mission. We live in a post-Christian America now, and therefore anyone who takes the Bible seriously is probably already in Christ, others will merely poke light-hearted fun at “those silly Christians.” And honestly, if in our hearts we think “go on let the snicker and they will burn in Hell!” then desperately need to examine our own hearts, for surely they are far from God at that point.We are to work out our faith in fear and trembling, remaining humble at all times least pride overtake us.Aside from all of this, we are going very far off my intended topic, which was by use of human reasoning we can prove God’s innocence of any perceived wrongdoing in the case of Pharaoh.


I was going to type up a lengthy point by point response to your post, but then it occurred to me that it all came down to this: Jesus Christ is Savior. What does it mean that He is the Savior ? Ponder and unravel that question and you'll understand what I've been trying to say
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rogerg, on 01 April 2016 - 01:25 PM, said:

I was going to type up a lengthy point by point response to your post, but then it occurred to me that it all came down to this: Jesus Christ is Savior. What does it mean that He is the Savior ? Ponder and unravel that question and you'll understand what I've been trying to say


I rather find it astounding that I don't know what it means that Christ my Lord is the Messiah. Indeed, He has saved me from a debt that I could never pay, my sins are washed away in His blood, as are all who call Him by His name:

"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
- John 7:37 - 38
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Respectfully, if our belief is that we can bring about our salvation by accepting Christ, or by taking any actions which are within our power, our trust would be in ourselves and our own works and not in those of Christ. But... a Savior, to be Savior, must be the only one capable of saving, and saving to the uttermost, regardless of (or in spite of) what those He chooses to save may do or believe.
Since the Savior must be the one who alone accomplishes EVERYTHING, I am convinced the Bible does not allow the possibility that some sort of space-time continuum warp exists where both our actions and God's can occur simultaneously, and yet somehow still be based upon each other (if I correctly understanding your point).
My previous question to you was in no way intended to be a question of your relationship to Christ or whether you have become saved – in that regard, I have enough worries about myself to point at someone else. What I was trying to convey (and what was not phrased well) is that we should continually reexamine our understanding of what the title Savior means. To know that Christ is Savior is one thing (and a very important thing indeed), but to comprehend the (for lack of a better word) characteristics of a Savior, is as equally important and is the second half of the same equation
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rogerg, on 04 April 2016 - 10:31 AM, said:

Respectfully, if our belief is that we can bring about our salvation by accepting Christ, or by taking any actions which are within our power, our trust would be in ourselves and our own works and not in those of Christ. But... a Savior, to be Savior, must be the only one capable of saving, and saving to the uttermost, regardless of (or in spite of) what those He chooses to save may do or believe. Since the Savior must be the one who alone accomplishes EVERYTHING, I am convinced the Bible does not allow the possibility that some sort of space-time continuum warp exists where both our actions and God's can occur simultaneously, and yet somehow still be based upon each other (if I correctly understanding your point). My previous question to you was in no way intended to be a question of your relationship to Christ or whether you have become saved – in that regard, I have enough worries about myself to point at someone else. What I was trying to convey (and what was not phrased well) is that we should continually reexamine our understanding of what the title Savior means. To know that Christ is Savior is one thing (and a very important thing indeed), but to comprehend the (for lack of a better word) characteristics of a Savior, is as equally important and is the second half of the same equation

The problem is that you have used sound reasoning to convince yourself that your theological take on the Scriptures is correct, and that by doing so you must also accept any holes that the exact type of reasoning you used exposes – they must be answered.

I have pointed out three of the biggest flaws I see in your argument (and there are more lesser ones), and by way of the same reasoning they need to be addressed. The strongest of all three is that by holding to your point of view, God is indeed the author of evil; for if man has no choice in his denial of God, then he cannot be justly held to account of his actions. Of course God does hold humanity accountable for its actions – most of the Scriptures testify to that fact. The Apostles certainly thought people could be persuaded to Christ (their veracity in explaining the Scriptures in light of Christ is testified by their numerous beatings and jailings), and in fact, Steven was in the midst of a good apologetic argument when he was stoned to death.

And no, I do not believe in some sort of space-time warp, that is a mis-classification of physics; time simply doesn’t exist outside our universe. Time itself is a construct of our universe; God doesn’t exist along an infinite path of time, He exists outside of it altogether! Knowing this by way of mathematical certainty leads me to believe that both free-moral agency and God’s divine will, can both plausibly be true. We simply cannot understand it, much like the Trinity because our minds can’t think that way. It is a bit like asking someone to prove that they aren’t insane; because if the mind that produces their thoughts is broke, so their thoughts will be also! This is why I urge caution on such matters of theology that can only divide and not unite.

Yes, Christ is my Savior, but He is also my everything; for out of Him flows a grace that has reshaped my world and given me a love for those I formerly never would have loved. And honestly, like the Apostles so long ago, I am going to worry about making it hard for people to come to the Truth – especially over some minor theological point.
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I don't understand the connection you make that if Christ is fully and completely the Savior, then He is the author of evil. Sorry but I'm just not smart enough to connect those dots. Also if you believe that those who are to become saved need to first contribute to their salvation, then in effect you're saying that your belief is actually in the individual's works and is not in grace for salvation because even our faith is a work. So if you would, please explain which actions you think are necessary on our part to become saved.

Paul in Romans completely closes the door on the possibility that grace and (our) works can co-exist or can have can part with each other for salvation

Please observe:

Romans 11:5 - 6
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
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I would call recognizing your condition "a work" a bit of a stretch, but again I don't wish to draw this out since you are robbing it of its apologetic power.

The reasoning remains sound on my part:

If man can only recognize non-God (evil) and never has the power to recognize God (good), the he cannot justly be charged with wrongdoing; that charge would fall upon the one who made him that way, and hence cannot declare itself to be good. And that's just using the same logic you used to define your theology.

As for me, I in no way shape or form believe that about Chist Jesus! In fact, because the Scriptures explicitly state that man is wholly responsible for his condition, AND that God must initiate salvation, I believe there must be more at play than mere human logic can deduce. This is why I error on the side of freewill and yet do not make it a litmus test for identifying other Christians.
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wisefool, on 05 April 2016 - 08:06 PM, said:

I would call recognizing your condition "a work" a bit of a stretch, but again I don't wish to draw this out since you are robbing it of its apologetic power.The reasoning remains sound on my part:If man can only recognize non-God (evil) and never has the power to recognize God (good), the he cannot justly be charged with wrongdoing; that charge would fall upon the one who made him that way, and hence cannot declare itself to be good. And that's just using the same logic you used to define your theology.As for me, I in no way shape or form believe that about Chist Jesus! In fact, because the Scriptures explicitly state that man is wholly responsible for his condition, AND that God must initiate salvation, I believe there must be more at play than mere human logic can deduce. This is why I error on the side of freewill and yet do not make it a litmus test for identifying other Christians.


"If man can only recognize non-God (evil) and never has the power to recognize God (good), the he cannot justly be charged with wrongdoing; that charge would fall upon the one who made him that way, and hence cannot declare itself to be good. And that's just using the same logic you used to define your theology."

Since we both see the Bible and the Bible alone as the sole word of God, just out of curiosity then, where exactly did you find that rule written in it? In fact, my understanding is the Bible is replete with verses which state just the opposite -- that until being born again, we are spiritually blind to a knowledge of Christ and the Gospel, so we are incapable of choosing Him of ourselves.

2 Corinthians
4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

4:6
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Above as clearly as could have been stated, we see that we have been spiritually blinded by the "god of this world" (Satan) before becoming born again. It is God alone who must give the knowledge of the glory (the mercy) of God. Therefore, unless God has chosen to give it to someone, they can never find it
on their own.

"As for me, I in no way shape or form believe that about Christ Jesus! In fact, because the Scriptures explicitly state that man is wholly responsible for his condition, AND that God must initiate salvation, I believe there must be more at play than mere human logic can deduce. This is why I error on the side of freewill and yet do not make it a litmus test for identifying other Christians."

Sorry, but I still don't quite get how it is that you don't see that connection? Man (Adam & Eve) was responsible for it and God in His graciousness paid the price for it. Yet, as I'm sure we can both agree, not everyone will become saved. But... if Christ had paid for everyone's sin, then how is it that not everyone becomes saved, because either their sins have been paid or they haven't? If He paid for everyone, then everyone MUST become saved -- hence no free will here. If He didn't, then for whose sins did He pay -- they are the ones then who MUST become saved -- hence no free will here either. In either case, no free-will. My contention is, and I believe the Bible supports this, that those who are to inherit salvation are those whom God has specifically chosen. Salvation is a result of Christ having paid for their sin. It is NOT the result of its recipients having first done something to earn or to acquire it . Make sense ?


Please, read these verses very carefully:

John 6:37 - 40

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me

And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Ephesians 1:1 -
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

(the "us" are the "saints which are at Ephesus and the "faithful in Christ Jesus". According to verse 1 above.)

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

" I believe there must be more at play than mere human logic can deduce. This is why I error on the side of freewill and yet do not make it a litmus test for identifying other Christians. "

Yes, I understand your point, but according to Scripture ITSELF, the Bible tells us that it has already informed us of all there is to know about salvation. Please observe:

2 Timothy 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 1:9 & 11
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
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Like you, I thought about providing a point-by-point breakdown of what I perceive as shortcomings in your logic, but my guess is that we will continue to speak over each other. Thus allow me to end my participation in the thread I started by pointing out the obvious:

Will the world know we are one of His disciples by our doctrine? Will our correct theology overcome a multitude of sins? The Pharisees also had their theology perfected; honed by Greek logic and philosophy, sharpened by centuries of tragic persecution by their own inability to keep the Law, they had both memorized the entire volume of what we call the Old Testament, along with the volumes of sayings of the elders, yet they missed God in it all. Likewise, churches that lean heavily on predestination and correct theology often do so at the expense of the greater parts of the Law; love, grace, charity and forbearance. They also always seem to never find time for missionary ventures – small wonder! No one will stop you from your theological circles, not even the Spirit of God who resides inside you (I certainly call that freewill).
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wisefool, on 07 April 2016 - 10:59 AM, said:

Like you, I thought about providing a point-by-point breakdown of what I perceive as shortcomings in your logic, but my guess is that we will continue to speak over each other. Thus allow me to end my participation in the thread I started by pointing out the obvious:Will the world know we are one of His disciples by our doctrine? Will our correct theology overcome a multitude of sins? The Pharisees also had their theology perfected; honed by Greek logic and philosophy, sharpened by centuries of tragic persecution by their own inability to keep the Law, they had both memorized the entire volume of what we call the Old Testament, along with the volumes of sayings of the elders, yet they missed God in it all. Likewise, churches that lean heavily on predestination and correct theology often do so at the expense of the greater parts of the Law; love, grace, charity and forbearance. They also always seem to never find time for missionary ventures – small wonder! No one will stop you from your theological circles, not even the Spirit of God who resides inside you (I certainly call that freewill).


Before closing down, perhaps you'd be willing to answer with specificity the simple question below because it is that which everything else hinges upon. And being a Christian, I feel sure you'd be more than eager to share the basis of your faith with us.

When the Bible declares Jesus Christ SAVIOR, what does it mean ?
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rogerg, on 09 April 2016 - 02:37 PM, said:

wisefool, on 07 April 2016 - 10:59 AM, said:

Like you, I thought about providing a point-by-point breakdown of what I perceive as shortcomings in your logic, but my guess is that we will continue to speak over each other. Thus allow me to end my participation in the thread I started by pointing out the obvious:Will the world know we are one of His disciples by our doctrine? Will our correct theology overcome a multitude of sins? The Pharisees also had their theology perfected; honed by Greek logic and philosophy, sharpened by centuries of tragic persecution by their own inability to keep the Law, they had both memorized the entire volume of what we call the Old Testament, along with the volumes of sayings of the elders, yet they missed God in it all. Likewise, churches that lean heavily on predestination and correct theology often do so at the expense of the greater parts of the Law; love, grace, charity and forbearance. They also always seem to never find time for missionary ventures – small wonder! No one will stop you from your theological circles, not even the Spirit of God who resides inside you (I certainly call that freewill).
Before closing down, perhaps you'd be willing to answer with specificity the simple question below because it is that which everything else hinges upon. And being a Christian, I feel sure you'd be more than eager to share the basis of your faith with us. When the Bible declares Jesus Christ SAVIOR, what does it mean ?

Aside from the issue that many might consider it rude to demand questions be answered without yourself first answering questions that have been asked of you, I will again give an answer for your question:

If we take the literal definition in English it means, “Someone who saves a person or group from danger or harm.” Now while that is certainly true of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, etc. It also means everything the Old Testament promised that has been fulfilled, and is yet to be fulfilled. Our disagreement is not over who the Savior is, or what He does, but of the nature of man himself.

Now, taking predestination, it solely puts God in a role of less than what we could call a “Maximally Great Being,” and thus fails the Ontological Argument. I say this because, is a being that can create and hyper complex computer program (which is good analogy to the universe is fatalism is true) in which every little detail is worked out before the cosmic “run” button is pushed, really better than one who creates a universe full of free moral agents and who works out His will through their free choices? The answer is rather obvious, and this leaves aside the huge problem of fatalism making God the author of evil instead of merely creating the possibility of it, as St. Jerome said; “God thought it better to create a universe where good was brought out of evil, rather than a universe which had no possibility of evil.” Are we an ends to a means – and if so, can that be called “good?”

Aside from that, we are explicitly told in the Scriptures that among other things, God is love (1st John 4:8 and elsewhere). Now if you could create the perfect robot, as close to human as you can imagine, but still a slave to its programing, could you love it? I certainly couldn’t, though I might be able to delude myself to be fond of it, but the last thing I would accuse the Lord God of is being delusional!

In addition to the above, if people cannot sense their need for God and some sort of salvation, why are there over 4,200 religions in the world today (and more and more added every day)? You see, I am not disputing that God sees His Salvation as the first clause, but here on our side of eternity how does that look? And what necessitates it?

But let us not continue down this path, for it is pointless. I endeavor as St. Augustine said; “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” And unfortunately, I find many of my brothers and sisters who have retreated solely into the monastery of the Scriptures ill equipped to be the light and salt of the world.
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World's Shortest Movie Reviews
American Sniper: Bradly Cooper=Best Actor
The Arroyo: Had a Pureflix feel to the acting, but well shot. Great conservative movie.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: As usual, the third installment is the best--having an ending really helped.
The Maze Runner: The perfect metaphor for moving to Detroit.
Dumb and Dumber To: More jokes. Cruder jokes. Someone gets hooked on crack.
Snowpiercer: Joe Biden's idea of heaven. Everyone on the Earth living on a train. Captain America admits he was going to eat Billy Elliot.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire: This is what the world would look like without college football.
Interstellar 2001:A Space Odyssey with a soul. You will get very thirsty, so hydrate before viewing.
When the Game Stands Tall Proves my theory that it's worse when you win.
Guardians of the Galaxy Make a fun adventure movie about space and make a ton of money. Who knew? I mean, besides that Lucas guy.
Blended I don't get the "Billy Madison is genius, Blended is crap" review. It's as good as any other Sandler movie.
Mom's Night Out Hilarious. You will laugh unless you drive a black BMW and watch sunsets at the golf course.
The Amazing Spiderman 2 This series is still better than the Toby McGuire one. I actually cared if Gwen Stacy died.
Odd Thomas I understand the critics who didn't like the uneven tone. Way uneven. Still worth watching on Netflix.
Star Trek Into DarknessGood movie. Please, for the love of tribbles, let old Spock die.
Grown Ups 2 Critics, attack. Whatever you want to say about this one, I'm okay with it.
Thor: The Dark World Still very, very good. But I'd like an entire Thor movie set just in Asgard.