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2011.02.04

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Chris Gilliam

Peter,
Thanks for the post and indeed we pray for Byron. You make some interesting and much needed commentary about the social media fellowship. Agree, the church, even as bad as she gets, is ground zero for connection and spiritual health. Not to go off topic to far...do you see a connection with the social peer dependence and the one world interface--Perhaps another blog post.
Again, we are sad by the news and appreciate the way you reported it for the benefit of both the prayer and prayee.
Cheers,
Chris

Brendan Burnett

I was made aware of this post by the Soceity of Evangelical Arminians of which I am a member. We are all praying for Bryan. God bless you all.

B. P. Burnett.

Tim Rogers

Brother Peter,

Will certainly be praying for Byron.

Blessings,
Tim

selahV

Peter, Thanks for letting us know about this post by Byron. It hurts to know he has reached such a state of pain. Few of us behind our keyboards can see the depth of another's heartache. I pray God sends someone his way to befriend him and care for him and love him...And soon, very soon.

Social networking has its place in our ability to connect with one another. I know, for me, that when you got me started blogging after I lost Chad, that it was literally life-saving. Yet, the people in my church were the ones who touched my pain and hugged me, and cried with me and had coffee with me, and held my hand and prayed with me. The fellowship we have in a church family is so vital. Byron has struggled with finding that fellowship. I pray the people who know him will reach out and help him and see his need right now. May God give us all the words to say to help him. selahV

Eric Opsahl

"First, being a strong Calvinist holds no advantage whatsoever in either guaranteeing one's spiritual health".

Greetings Brother,
First off, I'm not trying to pick a fight with my question.

Can I infer from your point that you think those in the Reformed camp think they have an advantage in guaranteeing their spiritual health? If so, thats not true.

As a reformed person, I don't know of anyone who thinks the same. (though some folks do have wrong thinking)How did you come to this thinking? I would think we agree that Spiritual health (true faith) is not by means of a religious system.

Would you think my reasoning askew when I say that this man is an example of Gods sovereignty. That no matter how much one tries to be "Christian", Unless God changes a man's heart from stone to flesh and grants him faith, he will not believe.

Later

peter lumpkins

Eric,

Thanks. Did you happen to take a look at the link for Mohler? I think his words pertaining to the "necessary" structures of "Reformed thinking" which protects "the gospel" are indicative of my thinking on this, Eric. Couple that with Mohler's iconic status of the Calvinist resurgence, and it's difficult not to come to the conclusion I have.

Trusting your Lord's Day a good one.
With that, I am...
Peter

Barry D. Bishop

Christianity is not simply an intellectual assent to a set of propositions--demons have a good grasp of who Jesus is and what the scriptures say--but a humble trust that comes at the level of the heart or conscience.

I have noticed that Reformed theology (which I appreciate and agree with in part) sometimes draws followers who are more analytic, systematic, and organized. There's nothing wrong with these characteristics but if someone is "won" to Christianity by the intellect alone, then they will fall away when their mind is convinced intellectually by something else.

An intellectual friend of mine from college, professed Christ, got baptized, read the whole Bible, served in church and by all appearances looked to be a Christian. But like seed on rocky ground, he had no root and fell away. He told me one day he was no longer a Christian and that he decided there was something to Wicca. In hindsight, I realized that he had been showing signs of pride all along and never humbled himself (cf. the Pharisee & the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14).

Byron, if you are out there, I am praying for you and also warning you. You are not walking away from something you had. You need to repent of your pride and put your faith in Jesus for your forgiveness. When you do that you will be born again.

Eric Opsahl

No, i didnt read Mohler, I'll do that.

Enjoy the bowl game if your watching.

Don Johnson

Eric,

I don't know Byron and do not wish to put words in his mouth.

Do you think it's possible Byron departed from the faith because he discovered some of the errors of Mr. White's Reformed theology?

I notice you gave one of Mr. White's most oft repeated errors: "Unless God changes a man's heart from stone to flesh and grants him faith, he will not believe."

The Bible clearly teaches one has faith before the heart is changed from stone to flesh. Mr. White has it backwards.

Again, I don't wish to speak for Byron, but is the aforementioned a possibility for his departure?

Eric Opsahl

Greetings Don,
Agreed, we can't know Byron's heart or motives.

No, I do not think it possible, he never "left the faith" One cant truly leave the faith. Jesus told a parable about his state.

I would argue that your disagreement with Elder White is really a disagreement with God. Those of us in the reformed camp clearly see it taught in scripture.

You know some in your camp (if I may use that term), would call me a heretic for believing in Gods sovereignty in salvation. You may have very strong opinions against me as well. Please keep in mind our common faith and practice.

I believe the scripture teaches
1. all are born in sin.
2.all will die in their sins without Christ.
3. all men must repent and put their faith in Christ to receive eternal life.
4. I am to call all men to repentance, to evangelize all men.
5. Those who do believe, do so by Gods sovereignty.
6. All who don't believe are responsible.

I assume you agree with all but #5. You would say that man believes the moment before God saves him. I say Man believes the moment after God saves him. Is this really a point for some to break fellowship?

I have a good friend who is a Presbyterian pastor who baptizes babies. Over the years we have discusses the issue. I absolutely disagree with his position, I don't think it is Biblical. However, I do see how he came to think he is Biblically correct. As incorrect as I think he is, I do not think he is a heretic, I do not break fellowship with him.

We both believe that one must have faith in Christ to be saved. I give God all the sovereignty, praise and glory. Is this really a reason for some to label me a heretic?

Don Johnson

Eric,

"I would argue that your disagreement with Elder White is really a disagreement with God. Those of us in the reformed camp clearly see it taught in scripture."

1. Is Mr. White God's official spokesman so that he can't be wrong?

2. You made the statement: "Unless God changes a man's heart from stone to flesh and grants him faith, he will not believe." Can you show me where that is "clearly taught" in Scripture? I don't believe you can, nor can Mr. White.

3. Again you wrote: "I say Man believes the moment after God saves him." Are you sure that's what you believe? I think you meant to say after God regenerates him, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

4. I don't think you are a heretic.

Eric Opsahl

Don,
1. No, Elder White is not infallible. I'm don't know him and am not his apologist, though I suspect he would be the first to say he is very fallible.

2 Several clear passages are the following but not limited to them:
See Eph 3:1-21

John 6:44 "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 6: 63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
64 "But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.
65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father."
66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.
67 Jesus said therefore to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?"

Acts 13:48 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

3. I'm not schooled in theology (just a pew sitter), so I may not be theologically correct when I think that when God regenerates someone, that's the same as saving them. I'll check that out.

4. Regardless of our different "camps", I do pray that we would be excited and passionate about proclaiming Christ to all those who God brings our way, calling all men to repentance and faith in Christ.

5. I would respectfully ask many in this forum to examine their "apparent" distaste of Elder white. There are many who teach the same as him like John MacArthur, and the thousands of unknown elders out yonder. I simply don't understand the unchristian charity thrown his way. I've said this before on this forum. How great it would be for those who need to reconcile, to make a simple phone call and love one another as brothers in Christ. I don't think God gives us any alternative. I'll dont say "agree to disagree", we can passionately argue our position, and as long as it doesn't compromise the gospel, remain brothers.

Don Johnson

Eric,

I'm not here to pick on Mr. White. I have enough problems of my own. I should not be looking for problems with others though my flesh gets the best of me at times. Probably more often than I care to admit. You seem to wonder why Mr. White gets the treatment he does from some. Well, all I can say is I assume you haven't listened to him much. We'll leave it at that.

I don't know what your referring to in Eph. 3. Usually, Calvinists use Eph. 1 to try to make their case.

You listed Acts 13:48. In order to understand the verse one must first ask why God is not mentioned in the verse. I believe you are trying to infer God into the text. Am I correct on that assumption?

Also, you give most of the famous John 6 verses. You may be interested to know these are Mr. White's favorite verses with respect to "Sovereign Grace." Actually, John 6:37,44,65 not only DO NOT support "Sovereign Grace" but in fact actually refute it.

I'm guessing you believe me to be in error, so here's what I'll do. Because you were willing to dialogue with me I will send you a copy of my book And the Petals Fall if you will agree to read at least the chapter on John 6. Just go to andthepetalsfall.com then to the contact page and give me your mailing address and I'll send you a complimentary book. Even if you are not interested in taking me up on the offer, yes I agree we remain brothers in Christ.

Casey

It seems the ACTS29/B21 Emergent group is soooooo dependent on 'methodology' in fact crafting new words that are meant to impress. However, if spending time to figure out culture is so important what do you do when culture changes? In fact, if followed it makes you a 'cultural' or 'fad' chaser. I'd suggest the 'culture chasing' and 'fad chasing' crowd would be better to spend their time in the Word. Are we so unsure of the strength Supremecy and authority of Scripture that we have to figure out every nit-picking detail of human behavior before we can 'minister'? With only 24hrs in a day....where can your time be best spent? Seek Him and His Word while he may be found.

Eric Opsahl

Thankyou,
That is a kind offer.

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