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May 08, 2013

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Clark Dunlap

Pink is Greatness!

eric

Yes and No,
No, if the original Greek doesn't say Believers.
We don't have the right to rewrite scripture.

Yes, If he is taking the liberty to make the point that Christ Died for Believers. Christ death was final and absolute as the substitute for the sins of believers (in the whole world).

Christ did not cover the sins of those who "die in their Sins" or else all would be saved.

Lydia

"Here's Arthur W. Pink, strict Calvinist1 and famed Reformed Baptist author, in his rendition of John 3:16:

“For God so loved believers, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”2
"

Explain to me how this makes sense. Jesus is telling what is also composed of unbelievers that "believers" (who he knows while he as speaking were chosen before Adam sinned) and that these believers he has already chosen (his weeping over Jerusalem was a farce then)will have enternal life. Why does he have to say "whoever believes in Him" when it is already a done deal from before Adam sinned?

Anyone see how this makes Jesus into a bit of a fraud?

It is truly amazing to me how people get sucked into the blackhole of Calvinism. I know I did for a while but such things kept nagging at me, including the history of this doctrine which is a bloody mess.

I did read Pink's book, Sovereignty of God. Scary man.

I credit NOT getting totally sucked into Calvinism to those precious people who taught me in my childhood SBC and drilled certain important concepts into my head. But for a while, I really thought Calvinism explained the evil behavior I saw in the seeker mega world. Now I know they both view grace from the same side of the coin: lawlessness. For the seeker gurus they can sin all they want because grace covers it and they are doing great things for God. For the Calvinist, imputed righteousness means they remain totally depraved and Jesus obeys for them.

Either way, a mockery is made of Jesus' precious blood and his resurrection which proves we can become new creatures in Christ with the indwelling Holy Spirit.

peter lumpkins

Hi Clark,

How rewriting verses to suit one's theology makes for "greatness" is a subject I may pursue on another blog...

Eric,

No one has hermeneutical right of "taking the liberty to make the point" when a point is not only not found in the text itself, but also changes the text into saying something it most certainly does not say.

joe

ITs kind of a dumb question. Christ died for those whom the Father has given Him. Unbelievers are just that...unbelievers. They have no part in the program no matter how you define the word "world"

peter lumpkins

So Joe, it's a dumb question to query whether a person is justified in literally changing the actual meaning of a particular word in a biblical text? Got it!

Perhaps you need to come to our aid the next time a Calvinist complains about monkeying around with say, the "all things" of Ephesians 1:11.

Tony

It's absurd to think the "world" of John 3:16 is believers. In the context, the sin-bitten "world" needs to look to the lifted up Son in order to be saved (3:14), not that they are already saved. Some sin-bitten sinners look to him and are saved (3:15), but others perish. The "world" needs to be saved (3:17), not that it already is saved. Some come out of the world through faith and are not condemned, but others remain in the lost condition and are judged, having not believed (3:18). The "people" that constitute the "world" love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil (3:19). They fear the exposure of the Light (3:20). Believers come out of the world and enter the Light (3:21).

In short, the "world" of John 3:16 is the same "world" of 1 John 5:19. They are that group of unregenerate individuals on the earth who are still under the sway of the wicked one that are distinguished from the "children of God", i.e. believers.

Neither does the "world" mean such abstract notions as either 1) all the class of the elect who will ever exist, or 2) everyone who will ever exist. The "world" are simply existing individuals on the earth who abide in sin and who still remain under the condemnation of God, but who may yet be saved if they believe. They are not believers, for they are set off in distinction from the world (1 John 5:19).

See my chart here (click) to understand these various classes. It shows that the "world," properly considered, is the subset of living humans who are in unbelief, or group C2 in the chart.

I have shared these careful distinctions with Dr. David Allen, and he makes the point that the "world" of 1 John 2:2 is the "world" of 5:19 in a commentary on 1 John that will soon be released (click).

Chris Roberts

Peter,

It is worth noting plainly - not subtly in a footnote - that you did not quote Pink, you wrote words and attributed them to Pink even though he did not say your quote.

So, fair readers, take note: what Lumpkins attributes to Pink is actually Lumpkins, not Pink. Pink gave no such rendition of John 3:16. Interpreting a passage is not rewriting a passage. What Lumpkins has done is instead to rewrite Pink and represent him falsely.

Nor is Lumpkins even correct in his footnote. Pink does not argue that "‘“Kosmos” is used of believers only" as Peter claims. Rather, Pink says that "It is used in quite a number of different ways." Pink's argument is that there are times when, in the range of meaning available to kosmos, the word means believers, not that the word always means believers. At times, Pink notes that it means universe, at times the earth, at times world systems, at times the whole human race, at times humans minus believers, at times gentiles rather than Jews, and finally, at times believers only. The passages noted by Peter in his footnote are the only places where Pink says the word means believers.

Pink concludes, "Has then God used a word thus to confuse and confound those who read the Scriptures? We answer, No! nor has He written His Word for lazy people who are too dilatory, or too busy with the things of this world, or, like Martha, so much occupied with “serving,” they have no time and no heart to “search” and “study” Holy Writ!"

For shame, Peter, for shame.

Andrew Barker

"Christ did not cover the sins of those who "die in their Sins" or else all would be saved."

I'm never quite sure of the logic behind this statement. You hear it enough but why would universal provision inevitably lead to universal salvation? Is there Biblical support for this assertion?

Here in the UK we have a national health service (NHS) which is provided free of charge at the point of delivery. (We know it's not free, but it is paid out of general taxation). If I choose not to avail myself of its provisions, for whatever reason, does that mean that I can fairly say the NHS doesn't provide for me? Just thought I'd ask. Seems to obvious to me really, but you never know.

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Get a handle on yourself. Take a breath...eat a piece of pie...drink an espresso...

I'll be back in a minute...

peter lumpkins

O.K. Chris. I’m back. Hope you’re feeling better. Your words are emboldened:

Chris says: “It is worth noting plainly - not subtly in a footnote - that you did not quote Pink, you wrote words and attributed them to Pink even though he did not say your quote.” Well, no I did not “subtly” do anything. Your friend Joshua Breland “subtly” recorded Argile Smith in a private conversation if you’d like nuance closer to “subtly”.  My footnote was standard literary protocol which most people appreciate (except you, curiously). What’s more the footnote was a mere two lines below my inference of Pink’s rendition of John 3:16. Hardly something to be implicated as "subtly" presented.

Chris says: “So, fair readers, take note: what Lumpkins attributes to Pink is actually Lumpkins, not Pink. Pink gave no such rendition of John 3:16. Interpreting a passage is not rewriting a passage. What Lumpkins has done is instead to rewrite Pink and represent him falsely.” And, just what do you think a rendition is, Chris? You claim Pink gave “no such rendition.” May I point you to a standard thesaurus which gives as the first definition of rendition “explanation” and the second as “interpretation.” Then in the list of main synonyms for “rendition,” what do you suppose we find? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two do not count. Time’s up! “Interpretation.” Hence, what I wrote was my inference from Pink’s rendition (i.e. interpretation of “world” in John 3:16). So, no, I didn’t “rewrite” Pink as you falsely claim. Nor did I misrepresent him unless you’d like to argue Pink did not suggest “world” in John 3:16 should be understood as “believers.”

"Chris says again: “Nor is Lumpkins even correct in his footnote. Pink does not argue that "‘“Kosmos” is used of believers only" as Peter claims. Rather, Pink says that "It is used in quite a number of different ways." Pink's argument is that there are times when, in the range of meaning available to kosmos, the word means believers, not that the word always means believers.” Yes, and where did I imply that all Pink said about what “world” means is believers, Chris? I gave the quote precisely as it’s written in Pink’s document. I neither edited it nor left out anything germane to my point of discussion—namely, John 3:16. John 3:16 and world is what the post is about, remember? It's not relevant what Pink thought world meant in any other passage. Thus, if anything, I included more than necessary to demonstrate the point, for Pink suggests not only is “world” to be understood as “believers” in John 3:16, but “world” also should be understood as “believers” in John 1:29; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47; 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19 as well, an absolutely astounding claim. But none of this is really germane to my point about John 3:16 (except maybe John 3:17 in Pink's list)

Chris says: “The passages noted by Peter in his footnote are the only places where Pink says the word means believers.” Well, those are not passages noted by me. Those passages are a direct quote from Pink where he suggests “world” should be understood as “believers” rather than any broader human category. A direct quote, Chris, a direct quote. I quoted precisely what Pink wrote. Nothing more. Once again, here is Pink's wording for "world" (i.e. kosmos) as applicable to John 3:16:

“Kosmos” is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 6:33; 12; 47; 1 Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19. We leave our readers to turn to these passages, asking them to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of “the world” in each place’ (//link)

Now, if you’d like to argue Pink’s point linguistically, you’re welcome to put the Greek you learned at Beeson to good use here and tell us how linguistically-hermeneutically “world” really means “believers.” We’re all ears. 

Chris quotes Pink: ‘Pink concludes, "Has then God used a word thus to confuse and confound those who read the Scriptures? We answer, No! nor has He written His Word for lazy people who are too dilatory, or too busy with the things of this world, or, like Martha, so much occupied with “serving,” they have no time and no heart to “search” and “study” Holy Writ!"’ And, just what relevance does this offer us, Chris? Pink suggests “world” in John 3:16 and other places should be understood as “believers.” So am I lazy if every single Greek lexicon, dictionary, and word study tool says nothing of the sort? Or, should I believe A.W. Pink that I’m just too dilatory and busy with the things of this world? Help me out here. I’m drowning! 

Chris says: “For shame, Peter, for shame.” Well, no shame here, Chris. Unless you can come up with a bit more reasonable response, I’m afraid I’m not the one who should be sporting a red face. I realized Pink was an icon among many Baptist Calvinists, but I didn’t realize they’d become so emotionally connected, they'd log such an embarrassing analytic meltdown.

What a Georgia hoot! Ya'll are just too fun this week...

Scott Shaver

Drowning in a dead calvinist's nuance of twisted interpretation.

This is news worthy?

Peter, if you could break down scripture as detailed as as you have Chris's comment, you may well become a Calvinist when you grow up.

Tony

One of the things driving Pink's interpretation of John 3:16 and related passages is his a priori belief that there is no sense in which God loves the non-elect. As Iain Murray wrote (in The Life of Arthur W. Pink [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2004], 328), "Pink never withdrew from his belief, stated in the 1929 text [of The Sovereignty of God], that the only love in God is love for the elect."

That fundamentally flawed premise, along with others, caused his manifestly system-driven interpretations of a number of passages; but, Pink did change in the right direction in some of interpretations, as Murray notes. "He [later] repudiated his earlier hyper-Calvinist interpretation of such texts as Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 23:37 and Luke 19:41" (Ibid., 327). It is unwise, to say the least, to issue blanket statements that say, "Pink is Greatness!" Pink was significantly flawed in his understanding of the history and theology of Calvinism, particularly in his continued hyper-Calvinistic denial of God's benevolent love for all men.

Contrary to Pink's radical views, and over against many high Calvinists, Ezekiel Culverwell (who was in the trajectory of James Ussher and John Davenant) wrote: "I profess I cannot find any one clear place where [the World] must of necessity be taken for the Elect only." Similarly, a modern exegete such as Carson boldly said, "Do not let people deceive you into thinking that 'world' there [in John 3:16] means the elect."

Scott Shaver

So Pink understood the mind of God well enough to declare that the written record of His self-disclosure was not intended for folks who are "dilatory and busy with the things of this world"?

How then can any who have not signed confessions and abstracts and obtained degrees from YRR approved divinity schools and seminaries ever possibly hoped to be saved?

We are undone!

peter lumpkins

This is news worthy?

Admittedly, I got neither time nor stomach to go that far in most comments. But when somebody like Roberts comes on here popping off about how I'm misrepresenting an author's words and only "subtly" trying to document my source, my beans get burned in a hurry. Strict Calvinists like Chris Roberts, Joshua Breland, J.D. Hall, James White and many others with whom I've contended through the years have systematically made personal jabs at writers (not just me but writers in general) their preferred focus rather than contending for or against the ideas the writer logs. Consider what Roberts did. He didn't defend the beloved Pink's linguistic conclusions (he's studied Greek and therefore knows; so one could easily assume the reason he did not was because he could not); rather he chose to make it about my alleged dishonesty in dealing with Pink.

Many of these guys have gotten clean away for a long time pulling this stuff on many unsuspecting people (many of whom have no theological training whatsoever). But when they come here popping off about how I misrepresent, twist, or imply I employ dishonesty toward an author or his or her work to make my point, time or no time, stomach or no stomach, I'm going to thoroughly respond.

Patrick

"Hence, what I wrote was my inference from Pink’s rendition"

You're exactly right, you wrote your inference from Pink's rendition. However, for me the problem is that in the original post, what you stated was,

"Here's Arthur W. Pink, strict Calvinist1 and famed Reformed Baptist author, in his rendition of John 3:16" That implies a quote of Pink's rendition...and one only finds out that they're not really reading Pink's rendition until they see the footnote.


I'll spare you the trouble, Peter...you can write me off as an imbecile just like Chris.

peter lumpkins

Patrick

I'm afraid your "imbecile" remark is not warranted from the comment I left for Chris.

As for your critical remark, please. If you guys can't deal with ideas don't come here making these toothless criticisms which mean virtually nothing. What I quoted was Pink's rendition of "world" in John 3:16! It was his rendition. Believers was his rendition. Thus, I inferred the quotation of John 3:16 per his rendition of world.

Sweet Georgia peaches, guys. Why don't some of you log on and offer something to legitimately contribute?

Scott Shaver

Imbecile or no imbecile, there's no need for Patrick to get mad and RUNOFT. Just serve us up another 5-point icon who is capable of convincing us that "kosmos" is the linguistic equivalent of believers in John 3:16

Scott Shaver

"Whosoever surely meaneth me ... surely meaneth me" I always liked that hymn.

peter lumpkins

BTW, Patrick,

Footnotes are given sometimes for optional information and sometimes for necessary information with not the slightest hint between the two. Hence to suggest as do you readers won't understand "until they see the footnote" is innocuous to the core. Nor are you correct in suggesting readers won't know it's not Pink's "rendition." To the contrary, again believers is his rendition. How many times must we clearly say this?

Patrick

Duuuuhhhhhh...well sweet Rocky Mountain oysters! I be just an imbecile, but Patty be cornfused:

"Hence, what I wrote was my inference from Pink’s rendition"

"What I quoted was Pink's rendition "

peter lumpkins

Patrick,

Well let's unconfuse you then:

--"Hence, what I wrote was my inference from Pink’s rendition"--that would be John 3:16 [i.e. my inference] coupled with Pink's rendition [i.e. "believers" replacing "world"]

--"What I quoted was Pink's rendition" [i.e. partial statement]--that would be the "believers" replacing "world"

And, we can now put it all together in a nice summary statement I gave you in the comment above; you know the one you only half-quoted:

"What I quoted was Pink's rendition of "world" in John 3:16!"

Now I trust your confusion is cleared up. Believe me. I know I am an awfully confusing writer. I promise I'll try to do better!!

Eman

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

God sent His Son in order that "those who believe" would not perish. So, it's quite evident that His love is different for His children (those who believe) than it is for the entire world.

Commentary:

1 Timothy 4:10 - For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Questions for Peter:

1. Regarding 1 Corinthians 2:14 - can a natural man believe the gospel on his own without a special convicting power that comes through the power of the Holy Spirit to repent and believe the gospel?

2. Regarding Ephesians 1:3-6 - what does it mean that God "chose" "us" in Him before the foundation of the world?

3. Regarding Ephesians 2 - what exactly does "dead in trespasses and sins" mean? If man is "dead" - how does he merely "believe" the gospel?

Scott Shaver

If we don't get some more dead calvinists other than Pink and Owen thrown into this thread pretty soon ....I'm going to RUNOFT :)

peter lumpkins

Hi Eman,

First, I don't think you actually addressed what John 3:16 says. In fact you imply something totally different to John 3:17:

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved"

You say"God sent His Son in order that "those who believe" would not perish." But Jesus says God sent His Son that the world might be saved. There's that pesky little word "world" again. Ummm...

Even so, you make a theological assertion which you claim is self-evident but John 3:16 says nothing of this. It says God so loved the world He gave His Son. Are you suggesting "world" means "believers"? If so, congrats! You're a genuine Pinkite! Care to linguistically inform us how you get to your conclusion?

Second, none of the other questions are remotely relevant to whether "world" = "believers" in John 3:16 or elsewhere. Thus, I'm just not interested in answering your every query on the points of Calvinism.

Alex Guggenheim

I want to point out a common Calvinist fallacy in this post by eric:
______________________
Yes and No,
No, if the original Greek doesn't say Believers.
We don't have the right to rewrite scripture.

Yes, If he is taking the liberty to make the point that Christ Died for Believers. Christ death was final and absolute as the substitute for the sins of believers (in the whole world).

Christ did not cover the sins of those who "die in their Sins" or else all would be saved.

Posted by: eric | May 08, 2013 at 08:51 AM
_________________________

Christ dying for someone's sins does not, in and of itself, save them, they still have to believe the gospel. Hence, the claim that Christ cannot have died for all humanity otherwise they would be saved ignores the fact even using Calvinism's terms, still the elect have to believe to be saved. Christ dying for them does not save them unless they believe.

Now to Pink. Bad exegesis but where one has been taught to have their exegesis driven by their theology and not their theology by their exegesis this is to be expected. This is rather par for the course for most Calvinists, hyper or regular when it comes to the TULIP which seems to infect a number of others things but not all their doctrine.

Lydia

Sheesh Chris! I suggest you eat your wheaties first next time. Eeen I, a pew peasant, have read enough Pink to know how he interpreted John 3:16. You were trying to catch Peter on a technicality that did not hunt.

This is why so many are sick of conversing with YRR folks and are not buying the "unity" shitck. You were "indoctrinated" not educated. There is a big difference.

Alex Guggenheim

And now to another post with a question from Eman:

_________________

2. Regarding Ephesians 1:3-6 - what does it mean that God "chose" "us" in Him before the foundation of the world?
_________________

Have you ever diagrammed the passage? If not I wrote a blog essay on the passage and it has 2 very detailed diagrams and my own, simplified, for the main point:

https://thepedestrianchristian.blogspot.com/2012/07/gods-election-of-what-decoder-ring-to.html

What the grammatical structure (the sentence diagram and word properties) reveals is that Paul is saying, "God chose us...to be holy and blameless in Christ". Which is followed by a repetition of this "in Christ" context by Paul in which he reveals all of the things God preordained for anyone who comes to be "in Christ".

And the first thing is that it is "in Christ" God chose that we would be made holy and blameless, in others words our means of justification! That is what was chosen.

And then beyond that God chose our blessings in Christ, our portfolio of invisible assets.

At no place and at no time does it say anywhere anything about God choosing either who would be in Christ or that we would be in Christ but that "in Christ" we would be made holy and blameless, i.e. justified. The we or us is anyone in Christ. Therefore, if you are outside of Christ no decision has been made for you but when you believe on Christ and become in Christ, you are made holy and blameless, thus a decision was made for you.

Max

Scott Shaver writes "Whosoever surely meaneth me ... surely meaneth me" I always liked that hymn."

Scott, you may not know yet that LifeWay's 2008 revision of the Baptist Hymnal doesn't include that great old hymn. Songs referring to Christ's death as an atonement for everyone and not just the elect - like "Whosoever Will" and "Whosoever Meaneth Me" didn't make the cut. Neither did "Oh What a Wonder It Is", with its "all who would believe in Him, He'd save them every one" or "Holy Bible, Book of Love", which proclaims that Christ "died for everyone."

I'm sure the revision committee was just trying to provide a theological balance, as had been done earlier with BFM2000 ... the reformed amongst us may even miss some of their old favorite hymns, too. Or perhaps the revision team needed to make room for more contemporary hymns. Whatever. But, I sure miss seeing those hymns when I visit a church with the newest hymnal from LifeWay ... perhaps traditionalists need to hang on to the 1991 or earlier issues of the hymnal ... just put some duct tape on them.

Lydia

Max, I was looking through some of the Lifeway magazines they publish and are given out free at church. I saw a subtle theme: God's Sovereignty. Now who could have a problem with that? But it is constant and overrides any focus on our responsibility in sanctification. Couple that with The Gospel Project with the same focus and then the Hymnals and our entities with Mohler loyalists and you have a recipe. They have had lots of patience as this has taken years but the brash YRR they bred may still blow it for them yet.

My guess is that the word Calvinism will go away quietly and be replaced with "conservative".

Scott Shaver

Oh Snap: Thanks Max. I guess I haven't really had the opportunity to notice the recent revisions. Our church uses the hymnal to keep dust out of the hymnal rack ...quit using them a long time ago.

I miss, and the generation behind me will never know the experience of actually reading the words and import of that stuff. I miss the organ and pulpit and quite a few other things which serve to reveal my age. Oh well, at least we don't have a mosh pit.

I would never miss, however, the absence of SBC/Lifeway comittees and subcommittess "providing a theological balance"to the documented history of Christian thought and expression.

My Calvinism is coming out. If the business really is "theology", Why not let the God of the study work in his own way in his own creatures in his own time via the indwelling Holy Spirit. I think he is certainly Sovereign enough to accomplish such a thing.

Max

Lydia writes "My guess is that the word Calvinism will go away quietly and be replaced with 'conservative'."

Yes, that would be the more Bapti-politically correct term these days. While I made my conservative stand for inerrancy during the CR days, I had my concerns back then that some of the brethren really viewed "C" more as a Calvinism Resurgence, rather than Conservative Resurgence.

peter lumpkins

All

Just to show how some of the aggressive Calvinists operate, allow me to post a link to Chris Roberts’ tweeting how I allegedly am “misrepresenting” and “falsely attributing” notions to Arthur W. Pink on John 3:16 after he logged on here and left his emotional meltdown above. Interestingly, I fully answered his strange criticism without so much as a peep back from him.

Even so, this is the type of dirty tricks aggressive Calvinists routinely pull in blogdom. When they cannot make a legitimate criticism, they go nasty and accuse, accuse, accuse.

CHRIS ROBERTS’ TWEET that I’m “misrepresenting” and “falsely attributing” notions to Arthur W. Pink.

Scott Shaver

Since when has their sanctification via TULIP and Calvin ever been enough to stop their lying? Have they eyes but see not, ears but hear not? Trying to reason with Roberts from what I saw is like trying to play chess with a braying jackass.

Scott Shaver

Max:

By way of contrast, I took a "moderate" stand against the agenda of the CR during my years as a pastor based on the same feeling you described (i.e. Calvinism as opposed to conservative).

Looks like we both lost brother :)

I really appreciate your posts.

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