Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Just some questions...

How far did we fall when we fell at the Fall? (say that ten times fast)

Are we wounded or dead?

Are we in need of a life-helper (doctor) or a life-giver (Jesus)?

Do we have the freedom (may we) to believe the Gospel?

Do we have the ability (can we) to believe the Gospel?

Are we slaves to sin?

Are we free to do as we want?

Do we want to love God?


chris said...

1. Really far

2. Dead

3. Uh...both right? I'm mean we're not Scientologists :)

4. Yes

5. No

6. Before Regeneration yes

7. Yes

8. Naturally no.

Daniel Mann said...

Outside of Christ/ In Christ

1)fallen from Grace/redeemed

2)Dead /Both

3)life giver first/ then both

4)no /yes

5)no /yes

6)yes /no

7)no /limited

8)no /yes

I can give you corresponding verses if you.

Julianne said...

Daniel: On #8 you put no that we (outside of Christ) are not free to do what we want. Are you sure? Aren't we free to do what our inclinations and wants are?

Also, we do have the freedom to believe the Gospel. We are not only given permission, but we are commanded.

Julianne said...

I'm sorry, that's #7, not #8.

philosapologist said...

9) Do you have a clue?

Antonio said...

1) We fell. All the way down.
2) Ask Cornelius and the Bereans if they were wounded or dead. By the way, dead people don't sin, so how can they be accountable? I have heard some very ridiculous and absurd things when Calvinists try to illustrate their "dead" doctrine.
4)yes. Man, as created in the image and likeness of God, has the constitutional ability to believe. At least is this conceded? If it is not, does any act of faith on the part of a man a direct gift from God? When my boss says that my paycheck is in the upstairs file, and I believe her, is that faith supernaturally imposed on me from God? Faith is the constitutional ability of man, and to say it is not would go against both reason and scripture.
5)John 8:34
"Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin." unsaved and saved alike can be slaves of sin, but to say this does not preclude someone believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life.
6)A person is free to do that which, and only that which, he, by his constitution, is able to. Can an unsaved man do righteous deeds? Well, Cornelius did, and God rewarded him. I see unsaved do righteous acts. Sinners love with agape love. No one can be sinless, nor can a man save himself from hell.
7)Is love of God a requirement to go to heaven? Before I was saved, I was a Catholic and I had a love for God, a devotion and affection for Him. It seemed as though Cornelius did as well. But it is a moot point in that love is not a condition for eternal life. Faith apart from works in Jesus Christ is the only intermediate agency that receives eternal life.


Daniel Mann said...

Julianne: I am confused, do you believe in free will? (togue n cheek) Outside of Christ they are #6 slaves to sin. They are not "free" but in bondage to sin, the world, their sinful nature, and the devil. Yes they do (will) to follow their evil inclination, but not free to do other wise. It would not be propper, to say that they are (free) to sin, since sin connotes lack of freedom (bondage) thus #6. Is #7 opposed by #6? Are they free and a slave?

Julianne you said: Also, we do have the freedom to believe the Gospel. We are not only given permission, but we are commanded.

I am not sure what you mean by "freedom to believe" and "given permission". "Freedom connotes being able to choose to believe or not to believe. Free yes.

I would say the we (Christians) are made free to believe the gospel. Thus His commandments are made sweet to us, and He gives us the enablement to obey the gospel. Sorry, I don't know what you mean by "given permission". All men, with-out exception, are commanded to obey the gospel.
I hope this adds clarification.
God bless you

Jason said...

In your answer to #4 Belief is deferent than salvation James 2:19 "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe and shudder." Then in your paycheck analogy are you saing that we relate to God the same way we relate to fellow man? And ware in scripture do you come up with faith being the constitutional ability of man?

Jason said...

To clarify, are you posing these questions to someone unsaved? By saying "we" you are referring to us before our salvation right?

Also could you reword question number four please. With #4 and #5 are you trying to say a yes we may but know we can't kind of thing? Because as they are written I would answer no to both. For how can someone who is a slave to sin, also have the freedom to believe?

Maybe I'm trying too hard to understand what you meant in these questions. Rather than just answering them as they are written.

Here all do just that, (if written to somebody unsaved).

1. All the way, from perfection to a sinfull life you don't get much worse than that.

2. Dead

3. Life giver Jesus

4. No

5. No

6. Yes

7. Again I could answer both ways.
No (because slaves are not free)
Yes (but only within our sin

8. No

Julianne said...

Daniel: In our state of sinfulness, we are free to sin in ways we choose. Is being free in our state of bondage to sin the same as being free in our state of bondage to Christ? We are never truly free. However, in each state, we are free to act, choose, think in wats that that state (or nature) allows.

Daniel and Jason: it is one thing to say we are unable to or lack the ability to do something and quite another thing to say we are not allowed to do something. I guess that is what I was getting at. We have been going through the Amazing Grace DVD and they brought up this point: that we may believe the Gospel, but cannot believe the Gospel.

Jason: Yes, this is from the unregenerate perspective.
#4 (reworded). Are we given permission to believe the Gospel?

This may sound persnickety or over analytical, however, it is important that we don't elude to the point that we MAY not believe the Gospel. This would not be consistent with Scripture.

Jason said...

Answer to reworded question
4. Yes

I agree Juli, Yes we (unregenerate) may believe the Gospel, but no we can't because we by our selves don't have the ability.

Rand said...

How about answering with Scripture... that's a novel idea isn't it?

1- 1 Corinthians 15:21-22. The human race died spiritually in Adam. Total separation from God. I'd say that's falling pretty much all the way.

2- Matthew 8:22; Ephesians 2:1 and 5; Colossians 2:13. Unregenerate man is dead. Not wounded or injured. He's dead. Guys like Antonio love playing around this verse, but the fact of them remains.

3- Ephesians 2:1 and 5; Colossians 2:13; Matthew 9:12. Both, but we need the life first.

4- Romans 3:10-11; 1 Corinthians 2:14. The unregenerate man has no desire or ability to receive the Truth of the Gospel. The regenerate man, on the other hand, is fitted to not only receive the Truth, but to live by the Truth.

5- John 8:34; 1 John 3:8. Unregenerate man is a servant of sin, and by extention a servant of the devil. Saints who sin are no such thing, for their sin, past, present and future have been paid in full by the work of the Cross.

6- All the verses above. When we consider all the Scripture references in my comment so far, it is clear that man does NOT have some kind of INDEPENDANT FREE WILL (a will that is outside the control of God). Rather, he is a free agent. He has the ability to do what he wants, within the confines of his spiritual state. If he is unregenerate, he cannot receive the things of God and will spend all his time serving sin. If he is saved, he will seek God and continue to do so until his life ends.

7- Psalm 2:1-3; Romans 3:10-11; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 1 John 5:2. Unregenerate man hates God and hates anything and everything that has to do with God. If there is any question in your minds on this, just watch your TV shows tonight.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Romans 11:33-36)

stephen said...

Darnit! I hate these surveys!

Anonymous said...

Just a little note about what you said with Calvinists and their point on being "dead". You said dead people can't sin. You're kind of missing the point. The Bible says that people are dead IN sin. They're scripturally synonymous. If you're dead... all you can do is sin (Rom 8). You might want to keep that in mind as you seek to rightly refute Calvinism (which, I think, can't be done).

Julianne, been to Centuri0n's blog lately? That guys has some serious Santa issues... : D

torn_aclu said...


Concerning your response to number 4, according to Ephesians 2:8, faith(and salvation and grace) is the gift of God. So if scripture is against your position, then what is left with reason? Your only counter-argument is that, well reason goes against this principle. But if you begin to use a foreign concept of reason to destroy any passage you don't like, well then there is a problem. Man is dead and sin, therefore God had to give him faith.


Antonio said...


your view of "faith" being the gift of eph 2:8 has been fatally reproved so many times that I wonder why anyone would insist to consciously continue to propogate that error.

And I see that noone wants to answer the question about faith being the constitutional ability of man in each and every other instance. When man exercises faith and believes things other than biblical, is this his constitutional ability or is this too a direct gift form God?

Antonio said...

No. Adam. I get their supposed point. Yet in many of their illustrations of such they equivocate and use illegitamate correspondences. "dead" is a figure of speech obviously as used by Paul, no? But Calvinists love to incorporate illustrations about physically dead people trying to do things. Yet they all end up in absurdity.

And it obviously cannot be shown in the context that it is used that Paul's sense of man being "dead" in sins and trespasses means that they are inable to believe in Jesus for eternal life. That is a notion brought whole-heartedly into the text.

Paul is speaking as to the separation in relationship between God and the unregenerate. But Paul makes abundantly clear in verse 2:8 that faith is the intermediate agency that brings life.

The affinity for bringing theology into the text of the bible never ceases to amaze me from those who practice reformed traditionalism.


Puritan Belief said...

Wonded or dead:
Dead unless made alive.

life - helper or a life giver:
We are in need of first the life giver Jesus and secondly one to chasten us and renew us day by day (Jesus)

Freedom to believe the Gospel:
Everyone is given the freedom to believe the gospel. No one that comes to the Father will be cast away. In saying this it is this freedom that the sinner never comes that condemns them to hell yet it was Christ that draws his Sheep to himself.

Are we slaves to sin?
Yes until we partake in the Lords death and then we are slaves to Christ.

Are we free to do as we want?
Yes everyone does what they want. Do you think the Pharasees really wanted to come to Jesus? Of course not they were free to do as they please and they did it. How many sinners that go to hell are doing anything other then what they want? Yet given a new heart we are now free to do the will of Jesus which we do by His Spirit in us.

Do we want to love God:
Well the sinner loves to Hate God. They do this from their conception. Likewise the Christian wants to love God and they do this from their conception namely the new birth.

torn_aclu said...

"your view of "faith" being the gift of eph 2:8 has been fatally reproved so many times that I wonder why anyone would insist to consciously continue to propogate that error."

LOL are you serious? Maybe you should read my post more clearly cause I originally said it was all three, but I am assuming too much with you cause you assumed I knew nothing of Hodges b/c no one who actually reads Hodges would disagree with him even though in two instances wiht you I gave you the benefit of the doubt cause I knwo you. What is the "it" then? Faith? Can't be cause faith is feminine and the "it" is neuter. What about grace? Feminine also. Salvation? Darn it's masculine! Well maybe Paul screwed up and used the wrong pronoun? I tend to agree with MacArthur most of the time, but he is dead wrong on this issue. Even though faith is the closest noun to "this" faith ALONE is not the "this." Salvation, grace, and faith is what Paul is intending to include as a gift of God. One package. One idea. But don't you dare excluse faith cause it doesn't fit your theology. Oh and I missed my fatal error? Heck even thologians at Dallas come to this conclusion (Wallace and Hoehner)

So what on earth do you think the "this" is and I am dying (he- he) to know my fatal error? Maybe Hodges and his 25 years of Greek expertise can set me straight?


torn_aclu said...

I meant I have given you the benefit of the doubt in the past cause I DON'T knwo you, but I somehow missed the don't.

It's my birthday! Who cares?


Anonymous said...

Jeremy, I've never studied the verse in depth myself, and I might agree with you (even though I am a student at MacArthur's school... *gasp*). Nevertheless, I thought I would clarify something for others: MacArthur does affirm that all of the above (everything mentioned in Eph 2:8-9) is directly from God, and he argues for precisely what every reformed theologian places emphasis on (that faith is actually from God). He says that the "that" in this passage refers solely to faith because it would be redundant if referring to "For by grace you have been saved...". Thus, MacArthur possesses reformed soteriology in every sense, even though his interpretation of this specific verse is a little different than that of some reformed theologians. Just thought I would clarify!

In any case, Antonio's confident affirmations are seriously flawed.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you just commented? Happy B-day!!!

Julianne said...

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!!!

torn_aclu said...

Well I sure don't know why MacArthur didn't subscribe to the view I talked about since faith is included. If Paul wanted to say that faith alone is the "this" then why didn't get use the feminine "this." Well then his writers might have thoguht that Paul meant grace and faith, both feminines, as one idea since Paul used the singlular "this." But Paul uses the singular "this" in 3:1 and earlier in chapter 1 to talk about a previous idea by using a singlular pronoun. Regarless, Paul meant to include faith as one of the gifts of God. Many non-Reformed folk think (Dave Hunt and others) keep on thinking that when Reformed people believe faith is a gift of God that we only think of faith as the gift of God in Ephesians 2:8 when we don't ONLY think of faith as the gift, but salvation (a verbal noun here) and grace.

Antonio what do you think of what I have been saying?

The Birthday Boy

Antonio said...


Wallace is not the first Calvinist to allow his theology to color his interpretation, and I can only suppose he will not be the last. The fanciful and clever tactics people use to read their theology into the text rather than extract it from the text never cease to amaze me. But I guess I ought not to be so shocked. The Reformed Traditionalists have been doing it for some time.

Eph 2:8(,9)
From a merely cursory reading of this verse, it would appear to some that the relative pronoun "that" (v 8b) has faith (v 8a) as its grammatical antecedent. However, in its Greek construction "that" is a demonstrative pronoun with adverbial force used in an explanatory phrase.

This particular construction uses a fixed neuter singular (not plural!) pronoun (that) which refers neither to faith, which is feminine in Greek, nor to any immediate word which follows. (See Blass, Debrunner, Funk, 132, 2.) What all this means is that the little phrase "and that" (kai touto in Greek) explains that salvation is of God's grace and not of human effort. Understood accordingly, Ephesians 2:8 could well be translated: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, that is to say, not of yourselves, it is the gift of God."

Moreover, there is a parallelism between not of yourselves in v 8b and not of works in v 9. This parallelism serves as a commentary to v 8a ("For by grace you have been saved through faith") which speaks of salvation in its entirety. It is difficult to see how faith, if it is the gift of God, harmonizes with not of works of v 9. It is concluded, then, that in Ephesians 2:8 salvation is the gift of God.

You have a happy birthday, and be safe.


torn_aclu said...

The pronoun "this" must refer to something and I am afraid that your theology won't allow you to come to the right conclusion. A singular "this" can refer to a whole made up of parts (ie 3:1). If you think that salvation (masculine) is what is referred to by "this" (neuter), you are allowing your theology to color your interpretation along the lines of MacArthur or Paul not particularly good at Greek grammar. That is why I came to the conlcusion that a neuter "this" is referring to salvation, grace, and faith because Paul wants to refer to them as one idea, thus he uses a singular. But if you are going to say that Paul is just referring to salvation as a word alone, then why did he not use the masculine pronoun? Read my post: Paul uses a singular neuter to refer to a masculine and feminine as one idea. I don't understand how you think Paul is referring to salvation here without also including faith and grace. It has to be all of them.


ajlin said...

antonio said:
"And it obviously cannot be shown in the context that it is used that Paul's sense of man being "dead" in sins and trespasses means that they are inable to believe in Jesus for eternal life."

Paul goes on to say that we who were dead in our sins in trespasses were made alive with the Messiah by God even though we were dead in trespasses (cf. Eph. 2:4-5).
And we must be given spiritual life before we can come to Christ in faith, because in our natural state- our state of being dead in our trespasses and sins- we are certainly unable to come to faith in Him, as Jesus Himself taught:

"No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44 KJV)

And He said, “Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” (John 6:65 KJV)

As we all learned in grade school when asking if we can sharpen our pencils, "may" refers to permission, but "can" refers to ability. Our teachers all said, "I'm sure you can sharpen your pencil, the question is, may you sharpen your pencil?" Well, in the discussion concerning whether people can come to Christ without receiving a special work of grace, the question is not may sinful Man come to Christ or should sinful Man come to Christ, but, rather, can sinful Man come to Christ?
And what is the answer that Jesus gives to this question? Clearly, He declares that no person can come to Him unless the Father draws him. But how do we know that the Father is not drawing all men? I submit that in the context of the Gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus' statements would be meaningless if He were not referring to a special work done in the life of some people and not others.

(see: http://alindsey4.blogspot.com/2005/08/that-no-christian-really-believes-in.html)