Monthly Archives For May 2008

1 John 2:12-14; A Devotional

, posted by Ron C. Fay

I am writing to you, little children, that your sins would be forgiven you through his name. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have known it from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. 14 I wrote to you, children, because you have known the Father. I wrote to you, fathers, because you have known it from the beginning. I wrote to you, young men, because you are mighty and the word of God remains in you and you have overcome evil.

Let me say first that the juxtaposition of tenses in the verbs here denotes a stylistic issue and nothing more. The entire set of verses is a poem, with a structure made clear for the reader. Verses 12 and 13 parallel 14. The little children, fathers, and young men are essentially the same people, with the differences one of maturity rather than necessarily one of age.

The little children have begun their walk and follow God, they have been forgiven, but not much more can be said.

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A Premised Question Easily Addressed

, posted by A.M. Mallett

While readying myself this morning I was browsing through a couple of blogs and a discussion board and came across an inquiry of sorts that seems to beg an entire issue rather than just a question. “Can anything come to pass that God has not first ordained and predestined”?

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Regeneration Precedes Faith, and Faith is the Gift of God?

, posted by WilliamBirch

In his book How to Be Born Again, Billy Graham states, “Jesus said that God can change men and women from the inside out. It was a challenge -a command. He didn’t say, ‘It would be nice if you were born again,’ or, ‘If it looks good to you you might be born again.’ Jesus said, ‘You must be born again’ (John 3.7).”

The most controversial aspect of the teaching that Regeneration precedes Faith in Christ (that one must first be born again in order to exercise faith in Christ) actually comes from Jesus’ own statement to Nicodemus that a person must be born again in order to “see” and “enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus did not say that a person must first be born again in order to have faith in Him, but in order to “see” and “enter the kingdom of heaven.”

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Why Divine Foreknowledge Does Not Determine the Future

, posted by arminianbaptist

by
James M. Leonard
arminianbaptist.blogspot.com

Robert E. Picirilli, in his excellent work Grace, Faith, and Free Will, broaches the subject of Divine Foreknowledge of future events. (See his JETS article here: http://evangelicalarminians.org/files/Picirilli.%20Foreknowledge,%20Freedom,%20and%20the%20Future_0.pdf )

He’s very clear on the subject, and convincing. He draws from Arminius himself and from Richard Watson, although he admits that the 19th century theologian’s style is belabored. I’m not sure what is original either to Dr. Picirilli or to his sources.

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Is God’s Knowledge the Cause of All Things?

, posted by Eric Landstrom

There is a common argument that says God’s knowledge causes all things. It goes like this: If God foreknows that something (x) is going to occur, then something else (non-x) cannot occur. If something (x) does not occur, then God’s knowledge was false. Curiously since they make strange bedfellows, this argument is used by theological determinists like Calvinists as well as those holding to process theology and Openness against orthodox Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and orthodox non-Calvinist Protestants. The argument is used by theological determinists to show that God must determine all things before they come to pass and alternatively, by those who hold that God cannot know the future for free will to be actual and not mere rhetorical sophistry.

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What Are Those Arminians Thinking?

, posted by Eric Landstrom

How does your perception of what is and is not Arminian theology dovetail into the following true story that relates to mans’ sin nature?

    The great Wesley scholar, Albert Outler was once giving a lecture on original sin in which he was trying to explain the debate between Augustine and Pelagius. A very angry student (who Outler termed as a “West Texas Pelagian”) stormed into his office and said, “Look, if what you’re saying is right and we don’t have the natural ability simply to choose between right and wrong, then God help us!”

    Outler replied, “That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to help you to see! We can’t do it on our own, so we need God’s help. You’ve betrayed yourself into orthodoxy!”

I’ll put the basics of Outler’s argument into a syllogism:

    1) If people were naturally good, then they would naturally be able to fellowship with God.
    2) But people cannot naturally fellowship with God, they are in need of a Mediator between our Lord and ourselves.

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On Regeneration

, posted by Eric Landstrom

Is regeneration a work of God and are the results of regeneration (e.g. repentence, confession) the works of God?

By way of survey regeneration is the inward quickening of the repentant and believing sinner. It is also referred to as the point of transition from being dead to God to being a child of God.

The Greek New Testament uses the Greek equivalent of regeneration (palingensia), meaning “new birth,” or “born again”) only once in regards to conversion (Titus 3:5) but the same idea is expressed using different terms elsewhere (cf., Eph. 2:1; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23). The term is also used by Jesus when he spoke to Nicodemus and the listening crowd when he said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee [Nicodemus], ye [all those listening in the crowd] must be born again.” This idea of being reborn was not a new teaching to the Jews as the prophets of old had foretold of it (Ezek. 36:26, for example).

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1 John 2:8-11; A Devotional

, posted by Ron C. Fay

Beloved, I do not write a new command to you but an old command, which you have from the beginning. The old command is the word which you heard. 8 Yet I write a new command to you, which is true in him and in you, that the darkness is passing away and the true light already is shining. 9 The one who says he is in the light and is hating his brother is still in the darkness. 10 The one who is loving his brother remains in the light and there is no stumbling in him. 11 But the one who is hating his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

John begins this section be reiterating a command from Jesus but phrasing it in a new way, hence it is both and old command and a new command. John does not give the command here, instead he elaborates on the implications.

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Arminius on Justification

, posted by WilliamBirch

James Arminius underwent a barrage of accusations during his public ministry by strict Calvinists who were not adverse to taking their doctrines farther than even Calvin himself. Article XXV against Arminius charged him as teaching:

“The whole of that which we appear before God justifies us: But we appear before God, not only by Faith, but also by Works: THEREFORE we are justified before God, not only by Faith, but likewise by Works.” What follows is his reply.

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Recovering a Sense of Incredulity over Calvinism

, posted by arminianbaptist

James M. Leonard arminianbaptist.blogspot.com http://arminianbaptist.blogspot.com/2008/04/recovering-sense-of-incredulity-over.html I have a couple friends of mine who are preparing for ministry and working on advanced theological degrees. However, in their prior studies they had been quite insulated from the…

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Non-Calvinist Audio Links

, posted by Kevin Jackson

If you have tried to search for Arminian audio resources and sermons, you know that they can be quite difficult to find. Here are some helpful links. Not all of the speakers listed would accept the label “Arminian.” Some prefer to be called “non-Calvinistic” or even “moderately Calvinistic.” Regardless of the label, they all have in common a rejection of 5 point Calvinism, particularly the ULI in TULIP.

Independent Methodist Arminian Resource Center: IMARC has some great Arminian mp3 links, including: John Wesley (sermons read by Rev. D. Crossman), Dr. Vic Reasoner (editor of The Arminian Magazine), and others. “Calvinism and the Wesleyan Message” by Jerry Walls (co-author of “Why I’m not a Calvinist”) is a must listen.

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Arminius on the Atonement

, posted by WilliamBirch

Once again, Arminius’ accusers charged him as teaching something which they considered heresy, that Christ has died for all men and for every individual. To which he replied:

“This assertion was never made by me, either in public or private, except when it was accompanied by such an explanation as the controversies which are excited on this subject have rendered necessary.

“For the phrase here used possesses much ambiguity: Thus it may mean either that ‘the price of the death of Christ was given for all and for every one,’ or that ‘the redemption, which was obtained by means of that price is applied and communicated to all men and to every one.’

“(1) Of this latter sentiment I entirely disapprove, because God has by a peremptory decree resolved that believers alone should be made partakers of this redemption.

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Arminius on Faith

, posted by WilliamBirch

Arminius’ accusers charged him of believing and teaching:

FAITH is not the pure gift of God, but depends partly on the grace of God, and partly on the powers of Free Will; that, if a man will, he may believe or not believe. To which he responded:

“I NEVER said this, I never thought of saying it, and, relying on God’s grace, I never will enunciate my sentiments on matters of this description in a manner thus desperate and confused.

“I simply affirm that this enunciation is false, ‘Faith is not the pure gift of God;’ that this is likewise false, if taken according to the rigour of the words, ‘Faith depends partly on the grace of God, and partly on the powers of Free Will;’ and that this is also false when thus enunciated, ‘If a man will, he can believe or not believe.’

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1 John 2:6; A Devotional

, posted by Ron C. Fay

The one who claims he remains in him ought to walk even as that one walked. (author’s translation)

This verse is just incredible. John challenges the reader in a way like only “Be perfect” can. This sentence simply means that each person who claims to be in Jesus must live exactly like Jesus.

Again, note the present tense. If you claim to currently be in Jesus, then you need to be living just as He lived. Now, this does not mean you need to become a carpenter or a traveling teacher, rather this means the kind of life He lived with respect to living the gospel.

Do people know you are a Christ-follower because of your life?
If you never spoke a word, could you be convicted of being a Christian?
Does God shine through your eyes?
Does God work through your hands?
Does the Holy Spirit reside in your tongue?
Does Scripture pour from your mouth?
Are you willing to confront sin in believers?
Are you willing to grant mercy to unbelievers?

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