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May 09, 2013

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Max

Re: Jesus' words "the world" vs. Turretin's opinion "the elect of every nation", I'll go with Jesus every time!

I've often thought that the warning given in Revelation 22:18-19 about adding and/or removing words from that book ought to be at the end of every book of the Bible. Jesus also warned us not to forsake the commandments of God for the teachings and traditions of men.

Herein frames our debate: "Is that what God said?" Human intellect will never answer that question - we must build our faith on revealed truth, not the words of mere men. I fear there is more indoctrination of young minds going on in SBC ranks than Holy Spirit education ... there is a big difference!

Les Prouty

Peter,

As I said the other day, I see no reason, as a proponent of LA) to try and nterpret "world" as the elect. I think the case for LA can be made on it's own merit in other ways and places.

But I have a question. What role do you see the so-called "analogy of faith" (AF) or "analogy of scripture" playing in our understanding of this passage? Any?

Theopedia says of AF, "The analogy of faith was a key principle of interpretation taught by the Reformers which which teaches that Scripture should interpret Scripture. This principle is stated in the Westminster Confession (1.9) in this manner: "The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.""

It seems to me that the general atonement (GA) folks and the LA folks (those such as me and for instance DA Carson) end up needing to marshall other scriptures to help us each deal with what can seem to be conflicting texts. i.e. some texts seem to say Christ died for all. Other texts seem to indicate Christ died only for some.

Since I can't footnote as a commenter, here is some of what Carson said:

"Every view of the Atonement “limits” it in some way, save for the view of the unqualified universalist. For example, the Arminian limits the Atonement by regarding it as merely potential for everyone; the Calvinist regards the Atonement as definite and effective (i.e., those for whom Christ died will certainly be saved), but limits this effectiveness to the elect; the Amyraldian limits the Atonement in much the same way as they Arminian, even though the undergirding structures are different."

and...

"I argue, then, that both Arminians and Calvinists should rightly affirm that Christ died for all, in the sense that Christ’s death was sufficient for all and that Scripture portrays God as inviting, commanding, and desiring the salvation of all, out of love (in the third sense developed in the first chapter). Further, all Christians ought also to confess that, in a slightly different sense, Christ Jesus, in the intent of God, died effectively for the elect alone, in line with the way the Bible speaks of God’s special selecting love for the elect (in the fourth sense developed in the first chapter)."

So, I'm asking whatever John 3.16 means by world, we each must interpret it in light of all of scripture, particularly what the scriptures say about the nature and extent of the atonement, right?

Les

Scott Shaver

I think likewise I will go with Christ and no further with man-made confessional statements about scripture than Article 1 of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message: "The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ."

Rats, John Gerstner called Turretin "the most precise theologian in the Calvistic tradtion". Yet Turretin is no more help for me on the "kosmos" of John 3:16 than Pink or Owen. I understand that Puritans were fond of him however.

Christiane

Cosmos is God's Creation:
all that is seen and unseen . . . ALL generally means ALL

I think people have to understand that IF humankind fell through the first Adam,
then humankind could be saved through the second Adam, Our Lord

Calvinists have the one teaching that is a part of their whole thought system that doesn't line up with the Incarnation. We may not understand the mystery of the Incarnation, but we know this:
God in the Second Person assumed full humanity in the Incarnation without 'blending' His Divinity and His Humanity together, and neither did His Divinity contradict His Humanity. Our Lord through the Incarnation was fully God and fully Man. There is no mention of His only assuming the kind of humanity that was 'elect' . . . it's just not there.

It isn't there in Scripture.

Les Prouty

Sorry,

I should have also included what Carson said about love which he refers to:

"But recall for a moment the outline I provided in the first chapter on the various ways the Bible speaks about the love of God: (1) God’s intra-Trinitarian love, (2) God’s love displayed in his providential care, (3) God’s yearning warning and invitation to all human beings as he invites and commands them to repent and believe, (4) God’s special love towards the elect, and (5) God’s conditional love toward his covenant people as he speaks in the language of discipline. I indicated that if you absolutize any one of these ways in which the Bible speaks of the love of God, you will generate a false system that squeezes out other important things the Bible says, thus finally distorting your vision of God."

And a source (at least one source). http://theologymatters.blogspot.com/2006/02/d-carson-on-extent-of-atonement.html

peter lumpkins

Hi Les,

Not to dismiss all you wrote, and you wrote a lot, but the real kicker you penned at the end as a question: "I'm asking whatever John 3.16 means by world, we each must interpret it in light of all of scripture, particularly what the scriptures say about the nature and extent of the atonement, right?"

No, we do not interpret words based upon preconceived theology, Les. Have we lost all sense of the histrio-grammatical approach to the biblical text? The text in John 3:16 informs one's understanding of the nature and extent of the atonement. It's not there as a wax nose to be molded and shaped by what one thinks one knows. Recall what I wrote in the footnote if you read it. Turretin said without the least hesitation, "It forms no objection to this [that is, his theological argument] that God is said “to have so loved the world..." Sweet heavens! Not even Jesus' words can inform his preconceived ideas about the extent of atonement?

Thus, theology cannot and must not overturn sound exegesis. And, if that goes contrary to what you cite as the "analogy of faith" then so be it, Les. What we derive from the text--truth embedded in the text--always precedes what we derive from theological deduction.

Jim G.

Hi Les,

Even though you and I are on opposite sides of the Reformed fence, we will surely both agree that election and atonement occur "in Christ."

Let me ask a question: who exactly is "in Christ?" Is it the elect only, or all humanity? Now the phrase "in Christ" should not be taken in a monolithic manner from Scripture, as even Calvin himself saw at least three different shades of meaning in the saving union. Is there any sense in which the non-elect are "in Christ" at all? I think this would shed some light on the extent of the atonement.

Jim G.

Les Prouty

Peter,

"No, we do not interpret words based upon preconceived theology, Les. Have we lost all sense of the histrio-grammatical approach to the biblical text? The text in John 3:16 informs one's understanding of the nature and extent of the atonement."

I did not mean, or did not mean to imply, that "we...interpret words based upon preconceived theology." If that's what you got then I am not communicating well.

I mean this. There are other scriptures that speak to the atonement, correct? Should we not look across other passages and what they say about the atonement and bring those to bear on any one verse or passage (such as j316)?

That's all I'm saying. Hodge said, "Hence Scripture must explain Scripture. If a passage admits of different interpretations, that only can be the true one which agrees with what the Bible teaches elsewhere on the same subject."

So, grant that "world" means all the world. Not the elect only. Now, what does it mean that God loved the world in such a way that He gave His son? Did He die for them all? Did He atone for their sins? Even granting world does not mean elect, there are different interpretations of what "God giving His son for the world" means. Carson for example, unless I misread him.

Has it occured to you that you could possibly be allowing your theology to influence your understanding of the passage? Again, what is the nature of the atonement must be considered.

Steven

Peter:

I am a Calvinist, but I don't think that there is a "united voice of strict Calvinism which in one accord proclaims 'God so loved the elect He gave His only Son.'" Undeniably there are some prominent and not so prominent theologians throughout history and even to this very day that misinterpret the Greek word "KOSMOS" as elect. But I don't believe from that fact that you can conclude that it is a "united voice" or a universal absolute.

Phil Johnson, Dr. John MacArthur's right-hand-man has stated that Pink's position "is not historic mainstream Calvinism." Johnson goes on to point out that John Calvin even wrote with regard to John 3:16 that "He has used a general term ["whosoever"], both to invite indiscriminately all to share in life and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such also is the significance of the term 'world' which he had used before. For although there is nothing in the world deserving of God's favour, He nevertheless shows He is favorable to the whole world when he calls all without exception to the faith of Christ, which is indeed an entry into life."

Additionally, our friends over at Founders Ministries, in some of their notes on this passage stated that "to make good sense of this passage, we must interpret the expression world in 16 and 17 as broadly as we understand the same word in 19. Clearly the word world has a universal and corporate aspect that envelops more than just the elect alone. God’s love is for the world in general, the human race, all humanity."

Here are two ready examples of Calvinists that reject the misinterpretation that you ascribe to all Calvinist “which in one accord proclaims God so loved the elect.” I would not be surprised if there were other prominent Calvinist that reject the "world=elect" formulation. Are there some that affirm this formulation: unequivocally, yes. However, that does not mean that ALL Calvinist agree with it. In these brief examples I think that you see Calvinists who "without theological presuppositions imposed upon the biblical text" interpret this word in scripture very much as you do.

Steven

Lydia

"Turretin said without the least hesitation, "It forms no objection to this [that is, his theological argument] that God is said “to have so loved the world..."

Special knowledge?


Scott Shaver

Peter, here again is one of my rubs with reform Calvinism. I would be willing to peacefully coexist, work and worship with folks who hold the views Les holds.

That is until they start publicly insisting and coercing folks rather than silently and privately preferring that "all Christians confess in a slightly different sense, Jesus Christ in the intent of God, died effectively for the elect alone".

Until we know whether or not the "elect alone" theological argument has any earthly value, and we won't this side of the veil, I will go with the words of Jesus and the context of the passage as far as any superimposed rendition of "kosmos" is concerned.

Additionally, I fail to see how such a historical- grammatical approach strays far from what Les says he prefers in terms of allowing scripture to interpret scripture. The only difference is one spends less time chasing down proof texts to buttress his or her own pet system of theology.

Les Prouty

Hello Jim G.

I'll be happy (as time allows) to respond to your view of the "in Christ" question.

Scott,

"Peter, here again is one of my rubs with reform Calvinism. I would be willing to peacefully coexist, work and worship with folks who hold the views Les holds."

Thanks I think. Really though, I would hope so. Unless you consider my views outside Christian orthodoxy. I have a Christian ministry in Haiti and would welcome you to come along and join in, Reformed or not. Our main partner there is not Reformed as far as I know. It hasn't come up. And I don't really care if they are or not.

peter lumpkins

Les,

First, you write: "There are other scriptures that speak to the atonement...Should we not look across other passages and what they say about the atonement and bring those to bear on any one verse or passage? It's not that a verse stands in isolation, no; of course not. But neither do we allow other Scriptures to actually change the grammatical content of a verse. Please offer some particular examples in other doctrines where one is forced to actually correct the grammatical meaning of a verse of Scripture. Then I'll understand your point.

Now, I'm asking you, does KOSMOS mean in John 3:16 what strict Calvinists routinely declare or does it mean what Greek lexicons universally affirm? Simple question Les. Very simple.

And, whatever Hodge says, if he meant Scripture corrects Scripture--which is what one is arguing if one suggests KOSMOS means "world of the elect," then he is abusing the so-called "analogy of Scripture" so far as I am concerned.

Now, as far as what the implications are if "world" is granted rather than "elect", I defer to Turretin, Pink, and Owen for they believe much of the strict Calvinistic system so far as Limited Atonement is concerned is forfeited.

Finally, have you not kept up? For Carson, other Scriptures on the atonement cannot and do not and must not overturn the grammatical meaning of world in John 3:16. He flat denies world means "world of the elect." So what is your point, Les? I'm beginning to get confused as to what you're actually wanting to accomplish in the exchange.

peter lumpkins

Steven,

Please read more closely my proposition: I specifically noted three strict Calvinists--Pink, Owen, Turrentin--Calvinists we've assembled thus far which stand as the united voice on KOSMOS as "world of the elect." Moreover, I'm quite sure many strict Calvinists such as yourself concede world does not denote "world of the elect". I cataloged three of them in the post I ran Monday including D.A. Carson and John Calvin himself. Thus your conclusion is unwarranted that I attributed to "all Calvinists" as being in "one accord" that "God so loved the elect.”

So, on the one hand some popular strict Calvinists maintain textual integrity (Carson, Calvin) by not playing footsies with the grammatical rendering of the biblcial text while others (Owens, Pink, Turretin) visibly appear to allow their theological commitments to override their commitment to the biblical text.

Les Prouty

Peter,

Sorry you are confused. I'm sure it's my fault. I have already said that "KOSMOS" in J316 does not mean "elect." It does not need to measn that for one to hold to LA. If I need to make that clearer, I'll type it a 3rd or 4th time. I'm losing count.

"For Carson, other Scriptures on the atonement cannot and do not and must not overturn the grammatical meaning of world in John 3:16. He flat denies world means "world of the elect.""

Yes, I think I've kept up. Hey, I'm the one referring to Carson as one who holds LA AND doesn't think KOSMOS means "elect."

All I am asking, going back to the beginning, is does the analogy of scripture enter into the discussions of what is meant by J316? NOT what KOSMOS means. I'm not arguing against you on KOSMOS.

But I'm asking if you see the analogy of scripture playing a role in what J316 means by God giving His son to the KOSMOS. i.e. You will see in that verse an atonement for the sins of every individual (i think that's your position) and that Calvinists are undone by this verse. Right? Calvinists such as Carson will grant KOSMOS does not mean elect and disageee with you on an "atonement for the sins of every individual."

If you are still confused, then I'll give up and bow out.

Les

peter lumpkins

Les & Scott

I'm not sure Scott meant by working together the overseas mission work but I may be wrong. I think he meant church and church, pastor and pastor as in the same denomination. Scott, Les is a Presbyterian Christian. He often comments here (which is no problem, of course). Unfortunately, many take Les' words as if Les is speaking as a Southern Baptist Calvinist.

Les Prouty

Oh, and I'm on leave from a computer for several hours going forward. If I do not respond very quickly, I plan to be back later tonight.

peter lumpkins

Ok, Les. Since you've said now for the third (or is it fourth?) time you don't believe KOSMOS is "world of the elect" what are you actually asking? You're posting a lot of digital ink but the question is why? And don't respond about what, Les? (assuming you're referring to the exchange with me). I got no beef with you if you accept KOSMOS in its grammatical sense not in a plastic, theological sense imposed upon the text.

Scott Shaver

Les:

Both this side and the other side of Heaven, do you think God is as nervous as you are about whether folks have properly systematized their thoughts on the nature of the atonement? Is He as nervous as you apparently seem to be about the possible bad earthly outcomes of a "flawed theology which squeezes out other things"?

Or will the fire of God's glory burn away such concerns and cut straight to essence of what the individual did with the following two claims irrespective of his or her theological prowess?

(1) I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me. (2) For God so loved the world He gave his only begotten son; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I would speculate that not all of God's "elect" spend their lives and every waking hour in the study of theology and church history.

If the work of regenerative grace is, as our Calvinist friends claim they believe, the work of God alone from beginning to end, why not be satisfied simply to proclaim Christ crucified, resurrected and coming again while letting the chips fall where they may in regard to God's ongoing work in the lives of others?

With that I am not Peter.

peter lumpkins

Btw, Steven

After reading your comment further, I want to make a couple more responses. First, it's hard to imagine a more popular High Calvinist than A.W. Pink. He may be the most popular author amongst the masses (older author at least). Second, it's very difficult to accept that Founders generally would deny John Owens and F. Turretin's view. Hence, you've sparked in me a bit of an urge to do some rummaging around.

Thanks for your contribution...

Scott Shaver

Les:

I'm sorry for having misidentified you as a SBC Calvinist. Presbyterians in my experience have been much easier to talk with about these matters. Look forward to talking with you more later.


Les Prouty

Peter,

Quick comment. Regarding my questions, I do as I said and bow out. Thanks for bearing with me.

Scott, be back later to respond when I have more time.

Eman

Peter,

You refuse to deal with the greater commentary on John 3:16 which transcends Pink, Turriten, Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, Calvin, Beza, Augustine, or any other figure of church history. The greater commentary is the Word of God.

The "world" of John 3:16 is absolutely a reference to the elect from all people groups on planet earth through history. For instance, it is impossible to reconcile the Word of God together through your Arminian interpretation.

Romans 8:28-30 speaks of glorified believers as ONLY those who have been justified. But further, it also states that the glorified believers are ONLY those who have been elected. Any person who has been elected and predestinated by God WILL be justified through the means of gospel preaching and WILL be glorified.

In Matthew 1:21 Jesus is said to be coming to earth through the womb of Mary to "save His people from their sins."

If Jesus loved all people in the same way - we have some serious questions to ask about the following:

1. The people in hell at the moment Jesus died and said "It is finished."

2. The Pharaoh of Exodus and Romans 9.

3. The Esau who was more "moral" and the firstborn, but was rejected by God who instead chose Jacob.

When you interpret world as intended - "all people groups on planet earth" you see the plan of God in Jesus Christ as He reconciled a people from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation. That is the picture of how God closed out the Word - Revelation 5!

Deal with the Scriptures rather than running to commentaries to prove your point....

Scott Shaver

After a second and third review of Les and Pete's ongoing conversation, I think Les has conceded or at least singled out some strict Calvinists who do not believe that the "kosmos" of John 3:16 is a reference to "the elect".

He goes on after making this concession however to keep posing the question of whether or not our interpretative conclusions on 3:16 should nevertheless be filtered through the exercise of "scriptural analogy".

In my opinion, Les, Peter implies that he has no problem with allowing scripture to interpret scripture in situations where the text is inherently problematic, but he does offer a qualifier in such situations. "It's not that a verse stands in isolation, no; of course not. But neither do we allow other Scriptures to actually change the grammatical content of a verse."

I cannot speak for Pete at this point but here is my take. John 3:16 when read in its full historical-grammatical context is not problematic as far as deriving an understanding of Christ's meaning through the biblical writer's use of the term in question (i.e. kosmos).

Earlier in this thread Pete stated the word "kosmos" in 3:16 is not a wax nose that we are free to mold and shape by whatever we think we know.

Additionally, you are correct that there are other passages which speak to the subject of the atonement. Some of them more detailed about the mechanics of atonement than others. This passage, in my opinion, speaks primarily to the unfathomable potential of God's offer in Christ.

Sadly, not everyone who is exposed to the message and offer of salvation in Christ will effectually receive it. It doesn't really matter at that point whether their final spiritual condition was the result of being elected or rejected through the foreknowledge of God,they will be finally and ultimately condemned for having not appropriated God's offer of salvation through faith in Christ.

I think you are a tad off base in your assumption that Pete or myself for that matter) see an "atonement for the sins of every individual in this passage." We do however see unlimited potential for the grace of God to work through Christ in the redemption of man.

With all due respect Les, I would rather wait until after the Great White Throne than speculate in advance the number, identities, or preordination status of the non-elect.

Fair enough?

Les Prouty

Scott,

"Both this side and the other side of Heaven, do you think God is as nervous as you are about whether folks have properly systematized their thoughts on the nature of the atonement? Is He as nervous as you apparently seem to be about the possible bad earthly outcomes of a "flawed theology which squeezes out other things"?"

Well, To the extent that I may be nervous, no. God is not nervous about anything. I don't think I am either...except that I always try to stay aware that my theology has holes in it. I just don't know where they are. I truly want to get it right. I know I don't always so that grieves me.

"Or will the fire of God's glory burn away such concerns and cut straight to essence of what the individual did with the following two claims irrespective of his or her theological prowess?

(1) I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me."

Of course I wholeheartedly affirm this.

(2) For God so loved the world He gave his only begotten son; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.""

And this as well.

"I would speculate that not all of God's "elect" spend their lives and every waking hour in the study of theology and church history." Agreed.

"If the work of regenerative grace is, as our Calvinist friends claim they believe, the work of God alone from beginning to end, why not be satisfied simply to proclaim Christ crucified, resurrected and coming again while letting the chips fall where they may in regard to God's ongoing work in the lives of others?"

Well that's what I try to do. I try to proclaim that Jesus is the only way one can see heaven and that men, women, boys and girls should repent and turn to Christ, crying out to Him to be saved from their sin. There is no other way. My role is to proclaim. God's role, if you will, is to save. On that we can agree, right?

As to "Presbyterians in my experience have been much easier to talk with about these matter," well, Peter may disagree since with a lot of digital ink spilled by me I wasn't able to communicate very well. But we keep trying.

Maybe I should ID myself as currently a Presbyterian (PCA) ruling elder. I could call myself "Ruling Elder Les" or such and tweak Lydia at the same time. :)

Blessings to you brother. I Look forward to talking with you more later as well.

Les

peter lumpkins

Les,

"well, Peter may disagree since with a lot of digital ink spilled by me I wasn't able to communicate very well." Perhaps you weren't connecting because you really didn't disagree with me about 'world' but somehow managed to drone on and on about it. And, I think if you or others go back thru the comments, they'll see some of the pointlessness of our exchange. Sorry, but my time is limited, brother.

Andrew Barker

I see that kosmos is now redefined as "the elect of all people groups on planet earth"!

Makes interesting reading when you substitute it into 1 John 5:4 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the elect of all people groups on planet earth; and this is the victory that has overcome the elect of all people groups on planet earth-- our faith.

Is this the same John? And has he any idea of the trouble he has caused because he was deficient in his use of language. I mean, didn't he know the word for elect?


peter lumpkins

 

Eman,

Glad you returned even if you returned on the wrong thread. Know I need to thank you. Your contribution serves as the quintessential model of preconceived, incorrigible theology trumping biblical exegesis, a model for which all may observe and from which all may learn.

First, you claim of me that I supposedly “refuse to deal with the greater commentary on John 3:16” which you identify as the “Word of God.” Well, Eman, I have no problem per se in viewing Scripture as a whole or as a “commentary” so to speak on a smaller corpus of revelation. What I have profound difficulties with, however, is one verse correcting the text of another verse  which is what you’re suggesting. No thanks. I’ll let you and whoever else is bold enough to pursue that line of interpretation have at it.

What is more, the questions you asked on the Pink post are questions which dealt with a) 1 Cor 2:14 - can a natural man believe; b) Ephesians 1:3-6 and what being “chosen” means; c) Ephesians 2:1ff about being “dead” in sin. So, I’m supposed to really believe you that these passages constitute a “commentary” on what the word KOSMOS literally means in John 3:16?  Unconditional Election and Total Depravity are commentaries on John's recording of Jesus’ word, world?

I’d say that’s a perfect example of just how far strict Calvinists go down the pike in allowing their theological presuppositions to dictate what the Word of God must mean. A simple question crashes the Calvinist hermeneutical plane you're flying into the jagged rocks below: how is it you come to your surefire conclusion that Paul’s letters take precedence over Jesus’ words? Why cannot John 3:16 take precedence over Ephesians and Corinthians? Or, why cannot John 3:16 correct the Calvinist’s understanding of Ephesians and Corinthians? Or, to use your word, serve as a “commentary” on Ephesians, Corinthians, or any other biblical text for that matter? I personally know why "world" in John 3:16 is interpreted in light of Ephesians and Corinthians, and you do too, as did Turretin, Owen, and many many other strict Calvinists (not ALL). If the textual meaning of world in John 3:16 is conceded, much of the strict Calvinist’s systematic theological real estate must be auctioned off. Of course, that’s why you’re so rigidly opposed to world in its lexical sense rather than a manufactured theological sense being imposed from without (more on this later).

In addition, you end up making of Scripture what J.H. Hinton said of many in his day who

“press one class of passages to an extreme signification, inconsistent with the natural and obvious meanings of others, so that the latter remain as difficulties…to be evaded than as sources of instruction to be explored” (Works, 1864-1865, p.368).

Similarly, the way you handle the straight-forward personal words of Jesus to Nicodemus is more of an objection to overcome than an inspired insight to be understood. I want no part of this rigid, incorrigible theological notion overlayed onto all of Scripture. The Church of Christ (denomination) has its five proof texts for being “BAPtized” so that our sins will be remitted, texts serving as colored lens through which to judge the entire NT plan of salvation; and extreme, unbalanced Calvinism which you seem to embrace has its lens as well, a lens which can be spelled in five letters—t-u-l-i-p.

Second, you non-negotiably claim ‘the "world" of John 3:16 is absolutely a reference to the elect from all people groups on planet earth through history.” Care to document that with a Greek lexicon? Dictionary?  Other credible language tool?  We’re all ears here, Eman. Show me to be the theological fool you apparently think I am and document your claim from reputable scholarly sources. I’ll post it as an original post if you can muster scholarly linguistic support for your claim. If you cannot, it’s obvious we may reasonably assume you’re making non-biblical, theological assertions without the faintest bit of scholarly support.

At least the Jehovah's Witnesses quote some scholarly support for their contention on John 1 and the eternal LOGOS (they obviously fail in their attempt to solicit sufficient scholarly sources to establish their case but they attempt nonetheless). But you just pull a rabbit out of the hat and unequivocally claim ‘the "world" of John 3:16 is absolutely a reference to the elect from all people groups on planet earth through history.' So, educate us, Eman. Please educate us poor “Arminians” about the textual meaning of KOSMOS in John 3:16.

Third, you claim even more emphatically that not only is world in J316 “absolutely a reference to the elect” you further declare it to be “impossible to reconcile the Word of God together through [my] Arminian interpretation.” Really? Tell this to D.A. Carson, E. Hulse, J.C. Ryle, and John Calvin just to name a few who embrace the term world in its textual, lexical sense precisely as do I. Are they Arminian interpreters too?

Fourth, you claim “Romans 8:28-30 speaks of glorified believers as ONLY those who have been justified.” Yes, and what exactly does this have to say about Jesus in J316 when He said God so loved the world?  You’re in Paul referring to believers and I’m in John referencing the world. And, this is supposed to be Calvinist hermeneutics? No thanks, Eman. I’d rather stick with the Arminians if that’s what Carson, Hulse, Ryle and Calvin are.

Fifth, you claim by way of a hypothetical syllogism “If Jesus loved all people in the same way - we have some serious questions to ask” and go on to cite people in hell, Pharaoh, Esau being hated, and concluding your sermonette with an exhortation: “Deal with the Scriptures rather than running to commentaries to prove your point.”

In response, your hypothetical remark appears to assume Jesus did not love all people in the same way. Argumentative to the core, I’d say. Not only is the onus yours to demonstrate that a so-called dichotomy in God’s love exists and demonstrate it from Scripture not theological assertion, you seem to assume no serious questions would follow if you manage to make your case.

Even so, the truth is, if you managed to make your case from Scripture not raw theological assertion, for my part, it really wouldn't matter about the difficult questions it raised, be it qualitative or quantitative. At that point I’m kind of a deontological interpreter rather than a teleological interpreter. Whether that makes me more of an Arminian interpreter I've not really considered just to be honest. What the hey; call me an Arminian!—an Arminian interpreter right along with Carson, Hulse, Ryle, and poor, poor old Calvin.

Finally, you rightly charge not only me but us all to deal with the Scriptures rather than running to commentaries to prove our point.

Granted.

We can begin with the Apostle John’s Gospel, third chapter, and sixteenth verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” Hold it right there! The text says, God loved the world….world…What does the term “world” mean? Let’s exegete that term and see what it literally means. Care to weigh in on the Greek understanding of the biblical term world?

   

Scott Shaver

Imam:

That method of interpretation may fly well with your fellow mullahs and at their conferences. It will go over like a lead balloon in here where "Arminians" hold a much higher regard for the infallibility of Scripture.

Les Prouty

Peter,

Sorry for droning on. Yes I didn't disagree with you on kosmos. Actually I was asking a tangential question related to the verse. Should have stayed on topic. Maybe another time.

Reling Elder Les

Les Prouty

Oops. Ruling Elder Les.

Patrick

Eman said, "In Matthew 1:21 Jesus is said to be coming to earth through the womb of Mary to "save His people from their sins."

In context, it would be that Jesus came to save the people of Israel. I guess the Calvinistic interpretation of this changes Israel to the elect from a reformed understanding. I would rather take the interpretation of Paul who says the gentiles are grafted in together with Israel in Romans 11:17.

"If Jesus loved all people in the same way - we have some serious questions to ask about the following:"

Jesus lamented over Israel in Matthew 23:37-39. He must have cared about the people perishing in Jerusalem to desire to gather them, but they would not.

Scott Shaver

Les:

You've obviously been bouncing from site to site so much that you've forgotten to check your spelling but I prefer to with the first title you ascribed to yourself "Reling Elder Les".

Reling is German for "rail". Verb meaning to "complain or harshly criticize, also used similarly with word "wail"

Have it your way. "Elder Rail" it is :^)

Les Prouty

Scott,

Well I'm not sure what sites you're referring to where the name fits. "Complain and harshly criticize" and/or "wail?" Perhaps you've been reading what others have said about my comments on other sites.

And thanks. I think I will have it my way, as Ruling Elder, unless of course someone who comments here often decides to give me back my nickname Skippy. :)

Les

Scott Shaver

Can't help you with that one rail, you would have to speak to another figment of Pete's imagination :)

Lydia

Hey Les, someone pointed me to daily bleat comments. Nice going encouraging Joshua Breland. Glad to know presbyterian ruling elders have the best "spiritual" interests of young men in their hearts. Was how Joshua handled all that really the best thing for him? Where ARE the true elders today?

Sheesh! And you wonder why you are not trusted in certain circles.

Jim G.

Hi Les,

Have you thought any more about the "in Christ" question? I see time has allowed you to respond to some other folks. I'll ask it again, is there any sense in which the non-elect are "in Christ" at all, and if so, what sense are they in him?

Jim G.

Les Prouty

Hi Jim G.

I did respond above thusly: "I'll be happy (as time allows) to respond to your view of the "in Christ" question."

Les

Les Prouty

Lydia,

Glad "someone" is keeping up with my commens elsewhere. My where do they get the time?

Encouraging Josh. Hmmm. Is that a bad thing to do? Actually here's what I said (knowing you have led us off topic a bit):

"Josh, wow! It is obvious that he threatened you...and not in a debate sort of way. I pray that you and the others who have risked so much will be able to move on from this fiasco that has become LC and find much fruit in ministry in SB life. And that God will richly bless you and your wife when you get to see this little one in a few weeks. SDG!"

No regrets on that comment. "Was how Joshua handled all that really the best thing for him?" Not sure. I was speaking to one aspect of that LC business. I suspect there are ways he could have handled things better. It's rare that one doesn't look back on difficult times and have some regrets. But, off topic. Sorry.

"Sheesh! And you wonder why you are not trusted in certain circles." No, don't wonder at all. I'm fairly certain there are some of these C/NC circles where I'm not trusted. And I'm pretty sure that's the same for you.

Ruling Elder Les

Scott Shaver

Rail loves to see himself in print and that in the language of Zion regardless of the company he keeps or the behavior he condones. It's a narcissistic kind of thing like Miller over at Pravda.

Let him keep posting this stuff and remember it. Think I'll refrain from further comment on the virtue of his graciousness to Breland and company until a more full and less one-sided picture of the Louisiana story is revealed.

An old sailor told me one time that "rats are the first to leave a sinking ship."

Scott Shaver

Pete:
Got any more dead Calvinists who might be able to help us out with 3:16?

Les Prouty

Scott,

You yesterday, "I'm sorry for having misidentified you as a SBC Calvinist. Presbyterians in my experience have been much easier to talk with about these matters. Look forward to talking with you more later."

What's changed brother? And brother, where did you obtain this ability to judge my motives )"Rail loves to see himself in print and that in the language of Zion regardless of the company he keeps or the behavior he condones. It's a narcissistic kind of thing like Miller over at Pravda?")

And, "until a more full and less one-sided picture of the Louisiana story is revealed," Well an incomplete picture of all things LC certainly hasn't stopped a whole bunch of people on both sides of the aisle from commenting about it.

Ruling Elder Les

peter lumpkins

Scott,

In fact, I do. I'll put another up next week...

Scott Shaver

Rail:

One last response to you and I'm done until we can get back to the subject of the thread.

"What has changed?". My mind. Especially about you fitting into a category of Presbyterians "easy to talk to" heretofore referenced by me.

As to where I obtained my ability to make personal judgments about your motives up to this point? ...observation.

Les Prouty

Scott,

"One last response to you and I'm done until we can get back to the subject of the thread."

I'll be happy to get back to the subject of the post if I see something else calling ut to me for a comment.

"As to where I obtained my ability to make personal judgments about your motives up to this point? ...observation."

You should market that brother. So far I've only heard of and known One who can do that.

Ruling Elder Les

Lydia

"Glad "someone" is keeping up with my commens elsewhere. My where do they get the time?"

Probably the same place you found it to post? Not sure it was "keeping up" with you, Les. More like "came across it" while "keeping up" with the LU situation.

So you really do think Joshua was "threatened"? As in how? Physically? Hmmm. Perhaps LU could respond that Joshua "threatened" to burn LU down? Perhaps it would have been more "elderish" to suggest he tone it down and stop the esculation and manufacturing drama?

peter lumpkins

Though this is not the thread where this should be discussed, one who listens to the conversation and comes away thinking "threat" surely is not taking the words of the conversation seriously. I know what a "threat" is. Believe me. And that ain't no threat--at least so far as the words themselves are concerned. One could say it was brassy...perhaps out of character from administrative faculty, etc but a "threat"? Hardly.

What I find interesting about Les is, he appears to care not an iota that Breland secretly recorded the conversation and publicly posted it, and that, after assuring Smith he was not in the business of posting private conversations! Downright shady and underhanded. Nope. Les logs on and wants to encourage Joshua to hang tough during all the persecution he's gone through.

I'm being told a whopper of a story is breaking very, very soon in a major paper that may blow some socks off about the LC fiasco, and perhaps offer a bit of vindication. We'll see...

Les Prouty

Peter,

I agree this is not the place. Anyway, definitions are important as Lydia is wont to say.

Threat by Webster: 'an expression of intention to inflict evil, injury, or damage."

Now I don't think for a minute that the threat was to inflict evil (whatever that means from Webster) or injury (bodily). I heard a threat to cause damage to Joshua as an administrative head can certainly do to a student. You may not want to see it as a threat. But clearly it was and any unbiased person should be able to see that.

As to me appearing "to care not an iota that Breland secretly recorded the conversation and publicly posted it, and that, after assuring Smith he was not in the business of posting private conversations!" Well appearances can be deceiving when one makes assumptions about what one hasn't spoken about. My silence to date about the propiety of the secret recording cannot tell you or anyone else what my opinion is about the recording event. I don't speak to everything I know about, as neither do you.

Les

peter lumpkins

Well, Les, Smith said 3 times he was coming after Breland. On the first two, he made no commentary. On the last one he did. He said, "I'm coming after you and...and we're going to have a discussion." Why you'd not think he meant that also in the other two makes little sense. I don't know Smith from Adam. But I do know there's no need at all to make it into a threat, and do so against at least a partial explanation of what he meant offered in the third statement. So, no, it most clearly was not a threat.

And your statement on the secret recording is nothing more than a pathetic sidestep. "My silence to date about the propiety [sic] of the secret recording"... Yes, and undoubtedly you'll remain silent, Les (they're your buds after all). But again, that's been your style since you showed up here. You come here and freely play and go elsewhere popping off about us here, many times in a most insulting way. And, please don't try to deny this, for I'll just post the links which show the duplicity you routinely display. Links like this---http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/captured_screen_shots/mark%20lamprect%20and%20les%20prouty.JPG

Les Prouty

Well Peter, "I'll come after you" is a threat, not mitigated by "We're going to have a discussion." A threat it was. Makes perfect sense to most people.

"And your statement on the secret recording is nothing more than a pathetic sidestep." Well of course it is Peter to you. Call it what you will brother.

"Yes, and undoubtedly you'll remain silent, Les (they're your buds after all)." Perhaps I will remain silent. Neither here nor there. And my buds? Ha ha.

"You come here and freely play and go elsewhere popping off about us here, many times in a most insulting way."

Insulting? Brother my remarks are insulting? Check a certain regular commenter here to see examples of insulting people.

And if your first link to my words "Good tweet" is any indication of my duplicity, then search, copy, link and paste away. Knock yourself out. Then compare my comments elswhere to your regular commenter here and see which is insulting.

Mary

Oh Les you coward just say my name already. I haven't been around for days and here you are dragging me into the conversation. What an absolute joke you have shown yourself to be. You somehow think you can remain silent about your ill' buddy's unethical behavior and then try to lecture Peter about "insulting" comments? How many times have you taken it upon yourself to lecture us here about our behavior? How often have you participated in the holier than thou attack blogs like Pravda's recent attack against Norm Miller and yet you have nothing to say about a Christian secretly taping a Christian. You are nothing but a two faced hypocrite Les as you have shown time and time again. Run on back to Pravda and maybe Dave Miller can attack Traditionalist or maybe he'll again post some ridiculous nonsense about holding his side responsible when he has proven as you have proven Les that you all about attacking those who disagree with you while pretending to have some moral high ground. You and people like Dave Milker are absolutely fake so why you think anybody anywhere should listen to you is mind boggling.

Scott Shaver

Copy, link and paste sounds like the interpretive approach to Scripture that Les was questioning your decision not to swallow in the beginning Peter.

Mary

Oh barf! Pravda's throwing around words like integrity. I'm sure Les will enjoy piling on with the others today about all the people lacking integrity.

Lydia

"Well Peter, "I'll come after you" is a threat, not mitigated by "We're going to have a discussion." A threat it was. Makes perfect sense to most people. "

Well, nevermind all of Joshua's blog posts. Or the fact he lied to the guys face the whole time he was recording his words. Nevermind that.

One thing about Calvinists they have been very consistent about (not their doctrine, btw) but in behavior is they goad, goad, goad...insult, insult, insult.... people and then when someone responds to the constant bullying, the person who responds is the one who is villifed as being in sin by the Calvinist. They have no ability to see themselves. There is almost a mass delusion of sociopathy or narcissism to it.

What is funny is that from my reading of the behavior of Calvin, Luther and many Puritans this sort of thing is very typical. I chalk it up to being elect means you are always right no matter what. You have a higher standard for others than you have for yourselves. It gets old and more folks are catching on to it. Don't worry, I don't expect them to see it. They had just better hope people are willing to pay them for that sort of behavior, indefinitely.

Peter, sorry for getting it off topic. It was totally my fault. The hypocrisy in that movement is astounding sometimes. The trust factor is going to be a big problem for them.

Les Prouty

Mary,

You have illustrated my point way better than I could possibly have stated it. Thanks.

Les

Scott Shaver

That is McFadden on Pravda talking about integrity, Mary. He's one of the three Calvinist professors whose contracts were not renewed at LC.

So far in the story, he, the two other professors and Quarles (i.e.whistleblower) are the poor persecuted calvinists, not renewed in their contracts because they've been falsely accused and branded as hypercalvinists by mean and evil men without integrity (i.e. LC Administration, LBC Board, LBC Executive Director).

Joshua Breland,Drew Wales, and unnamed other "former" students (so far in the story)have dispersed under duress from Louisiana to escape the clutches of these corrupt and evil men and to reconcile in their theological treatises (much like McFadden's post on Pravda today) how this network of evildoers must be stopped or figuratively "burned to the ground". Breland says LBC and LC leaders must be purged in a figurative sense by fire, McFadden stops short of that analogy by suggesting they be replaced by men of integrity.

They seem to be encouraging Baptist folks still in the state of Louisiana to take the kind of actions against "evil" they themselves could not stick around,initiate nor see through.

I guess they were all (Quarles, McFadden, Lister, Hyles, Breland, Wales etc)so guileless and spiritual that their own integrity just couldn't stomach the stench and corruption of Louisiana Baptists.

And even though Quarles, the professors and their dispersed friends have finally escaped the clutches of these mean, evil and desperately wicked people,they just can't stop encouraging others to courageously stand against the foe which is still partially hidden by the cloud of dust they kicked up in their departure.

Heavens to Murgatroyd, exit stage left.

I would like to hear the testimony of "evil and wicked" men before anybody starts clanging church bells.

Mary

Les, you've sung that song before when your hypocrisy has been exposed.

Lydia, Rick Patrick better be careful or he's going to be getting one of Dave Miller's infamous nasty emails for pointing out the inconsistency of trying to hold LU to a different standard than Southern. And the fact is that it is not the same thing for Southern one if our national institutions to discriminate vs what state schools are doing. LU can do whatever they want and they are accountable to the Baptist in Louisiana but Southern is supposed to accountable to the SBC at large. Of course what the Calvinists are demonstrating is that Calvinists can do whatever unethical thing they want and then portray themselves as victims an no one calls them on it. Calvinists like those at Pravda live in the world of double standards.

Scott Shaver

Would also like for Miller at Pravda to answer my question which for some reason remains in "awaiting moderation" status even though he's been posting responses to others for the last two hours.

In response to McFadden's article Miller states "I agree strongly with all of your points."

Listed by McFadden with his 3rd point in the article is the following statement: "The problem at Louisiana College is not a lack of integrity in the professors who are leaving. I have worked hand in hand with these colleagues for the past three years. They are not sinless, but they are people of integrity. The problem at Louisiana College is a remarkable lack of integrity among the leadership of the college and the leadership of Louisiana Baptist Convention."

McFadden thus holds up himself up along with his two colleagues and by inference Chuck Quarles as "men of integrity" while referring to a "remarkable" lack of integrity among those LC administrators remaining in Pineville as well the sitting Executive Director of the LBC and the entire Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board.

Dave Miller so far has yet to answer my question of whether or not this is among the points of McFadden that he is "100 percent in agreement with."

Go figure.

Scott Shaver

Final rabbit in the bushes: McFadden has testified publicly on his own behalf and on behalf of his boss (Quarles)and his two colleagues (Ryan and Lister)that they are "men of intergrity".

Wonder if he feels the same way about the integrity and modus operandai of his admiring students (i.e. Breland, Wales, lies, hidden tape recorders etc)?

Before conceding to the purity McFadden claims for himself and his colleagues, I for one will reserve right to consider the possibility of an acorn not falling far from the tree in some of these professor-student relationships at LC.

Simply not enough information at this point to do anything else.

Lydia

Ok, color me confused.

First we are told it is all about Calvinism at LU. Then we are told it has nothing to do with Calvinism but corruption. Then as the story emerges, we find Calvinists in other positions popping up all over LU so wondering how it could be about Calvinism soley. Now we have one of those who did not have his contract renewed implying on a blog it is about Calvinism. (Howell makes a great point that this guy does not say whether Calvinism is 1, 2 or 3rd tier issue so his entire blog post is moot)

But in the middle of all this, we have Chitwood, Mohler's loyalist, writing about Campbellsville in veiled language those of us here recognize as threatening Campbellsville to withhold funds for not renewing the contract of a known Calvinist professor. (but Chitwood called it conservative and intimated that there were flaming libs there teaching non biblical things) Seems Chitwood has backed off after the meeting?

Mohler has had a nice run without any real obstruction and was able to consolidate his power in the entities with loyalists and send out many angry young men to tell us we do not know ther real Gospel. Those glory days are over. People are starting to push back on the bullying. The problem is how to deal with "Christian bullies" without being a doormat like they expect you to be? Bullies never hold themselves to the same standard they have for others.

Les, Mary has proven that she does not play deceptive games about her standing on issues. You know where she stands and she is known for being very blunt and direct. She does not play both sides and try to act like she is something she is not. Try it sometime. It is more 'real' and less fake.

peter lumpkins

Les writes, "Insulting? Brother my remarks are insulting? Check a certain regular commenter here to see examples of insulting people." Well, look closely at my point, Les. It concerned your duplicity.

To my knowledge, you're the only one who is a regular commenter here who, almost without exception, gets a "free ride" so to speak, so far as commenting is concerned (and, you're neither shy nor reluctant to email me if you think your comment has not gone up quickly enough. I can't think of a time I've ever denied it), yet once leaving here, you morph into a creature who is just as apt to hurl insults back at us--me especially.

Now you apparently don't think the "great tweet" fits the category of slur I indicated which displays your duplicity. Fine. For me, it simply demonstrates even more your duplicity, Les. The "great tweet" was a link to an anonymous website profiling me as a liar, a slander, a gossip, only speaking "half-truths."

Now I've known about this site just as I've known about a round half-dozen others which have cropped up over the last several years. It comes with the territory. We live with it. One of the differences in this one and most of the others is, however, it anonymously indicts me as a liar and slanderer while most of the others I actually thought were quite funny. One was up I wish was still going! It was an hilarious spoof. But being a liar and a slanderer is quite a different animal than being spoofed.

What do you do? Promote it. And, what were you promoting, Les? That I am a liar, a slanderer, a bearer of half-truths.

Of course, it's one thing to write that on an anonymous blog. It's quite another to personally show it--here or elsewhere.

Again, your promoting a website which anonymously assassinates me as a liar, a deceiver, and a slanderer--all synonymously used of Satan in Scripture--may strike you as no big deal. Fine. I accept that. But do not be surprised if some of us think you're being duplicitous when you do.

Scott Shaver

To be honest, Prouty has created a greater concern in my heart than I previously held for orphaned Haitian children.

Scott Shaver

By the way. Dave Miller did get around to answering my question at Pravda and gave a good fair response. He stated that due to lack of information (i.e. a full awareness of the situation at LC)that he could not affirm or deny the accuracy of McFadden's charges against LC Administrators, LC Trustees, LBC Executive Director and LBC Board of Directors.

peter lumpkins

Les argues, "I'll come after you" is a threat which is not mitigated by "We're going to have a discussion." Well, how so, Les? You say it makes sense to most people. But I ask how is it a "threat" to say, "I will come after you and we are going to have a discussion?" Does a discussion imply destruction? Does it imply bodily harm? (Oops. You've already conceded it doesn't imply physical harm.). Does it imply professional harm? If so, in what way?

Suppose Smith had said, "I'll come after you and will have a discussion with certain people." Perhaps you then could infer from the "certain people" with whom his discussion took place, he intended a threat to Breland to harm him professionally and/or academically. However, how is having a discussion with Breland and not others am actual threat, Les? Please inform us. For I want to make perfect sense along with most people.

Second, of my dubbing your encouraging statement to Breland rather than speaking to his secret recording as nothing more than a "pathetic sidestep," you seem to think it's only what would be predictable from me. Well, perhaps. And, perhaps, it was just that--a pathetic sidestep in dealing with the moral elephant in the room; namely, Breland's morally absurd behavior of secretly recording a conversation with someone only to later post on the internet with one, singular purpose in mind: severely hurting Argyle Smith, hoping to cause him enough embarrassment that it would unsettle enough people in a church that was looking to call him as Interim Pastor to so view him in a negative light that they would vote against him.

That's the moral white elephant in the room, Les, the moral elephant you pathetically sidestepped, and are still side-stepping similarly as do you sidestep so many of the harder issues put to you. Jim G. has twice asked you a particular question and has patiently waited for a reply. What do you do? Fluff him off pretending you don't have time. Well, you've had plenty of time to answer, Les. Plenty.

Now, please understand. You're not required to answer all questions put to you here or anywhere else no more than I answer all questions put to me here or anywhere else. I deny many questions for many reasons.

Truth is, sometimes I just don't feel like answering a particular question (and sometimes I won't answer a question(s) because it either is irrelevant or I think the person may be attempting to change the subject on me or the question is just not suitable for the thread. I get this a lot with Calvinists who want to argue about T in TULIP when I'm focusing on P.), either emotionally or physically (I'm slowing down to a crawl typing nowadays due to physical reasons).

So, you don't have to answer all questions. But please do not string somebody along saying you don't have time when it obviously appears you've got plenty of time. Dr. Gifford deserves more respect than you've given I'm afraid. But, hey: if you don't want to answer, don't. But either give him a straight answer or leave the thread until another one appears. Either option is better than stringing someone along.

Jim G.

Hi Les,

I see you have found time to quibble over LC but have not had time to deal with my question.

I don't blame you. If I believed in limited atonement, I would avoid that question like the plague and pretend it did not exist. If you answer yes, that the non-elect are in Christ in some way, then you have quicksand as support for LA. If you answer no, they are not in Christ, well, you don't even want to go there, do you?

Jim G.

Les Prouty

Scott, "orphaned Haitian children." Thanks for saying that,

Peter,

"That's the moral white elephant in the room, Les, the moral elephant you pathetically sidestepped, and are still side-stepping similarly as do you sidestep so many of the harder issues put to you."

As I've said before on this, see above.

"Jim G. has twice asked you a particular question and has patiently waited for a reply. What do you do? Fluff him off pretending you don't have time. Well, you've had plenty of time to answer, Les. Plenty."

Time is not the issue as of yet. Twice I have responded. Here is what I said, " "I'll be happy (as time allows) to respond to YOUR VIEW of the "in Christ" question." (ALL CAPS added for the pertinent part of my answer) So I have not side stepped Jim. I have said I would respond (as tie allows, not knowing when he will respond and to what extent my reply will consume my time. I'm still waiting on Jim to put forth his view.

So, I'm not stringing him along, see?

Les

Les Prouty

Jim G,

See my response to Peter at 9:24pm. Perhaps you didn't get the intent of my previous responses to you on the question. Thus the pertinent words are all caps.

Les

Jim G.

Hi Les,

I did not see Peter's response to you before I typed mine. My apologies.

My view is out there. It's been published for a year and a half now. You can buy it and contribute to my slowly growing retirement fund. :0)I think it (the fund) is at about $60 now.

Since my view is out in the print world in black and white, and probably can even be found on google books (though I have not tried), what say you on my question? Is there any sense in which the non-elect are in Christ at all? If you want my view, you can read it and critique it. I'm just interested to see how a person who holds to LA answers it. I think you have pitfalls either way, but you may have a third option I have not yet considered. Iron sharpening iron, brother - in both directions.

Jim G.

peter lumpkins

Les,

Let me be perfectly clear: Please don't you ever come back here again and pull a stunt like what you just pulled with Dr. Gifford. Jim asked you a very simple question. And, in fact he did tease his understanding out about "union in Christ" by suggesting what Scripture would not allow and by alluding to Calvin albeit it was intentionally thin. So, all you had to do was ask him to tease it out just a little more so you would have a better understanding about what he meant. That's all.

Instead you strung him along not once but twice, for when asked a second time, suggesting to you "I see time has allowed you to respond to some other folks" you didn't mention anything about waiting on him to respond. Nor did you again make it clear and apparent you'd wanted his view posted to which to respond. Rather you logged an innocuous, "I did respond above thusly: "I'll be happy (as time allows) to respond to your view of the "in Christ" question" without an iota of commentary when you knew well Dr. Gifford was thinking "time" not that you were somehow waiting on him to post "your view."

This is one frustrating game, brother. And you're not going to play it here.

Jim,

My brother, you have nothing for which to apologize. I'm not sure how Les is supposed to have thought you would know he was waiting on your view to be posted when he surely did not make that plain. And, he certainly could have told you the second time round rather than just posting his comment again. It was obvious you had no idea that's what he was waiting on. Nor did I which is why I brought it up. For my part, it's very easy to view this as a game of string-a-long. This is the kind of stuff that makes blogging the most frustrating.

Grace, brother...

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