"Seven Reasons NOT to Ask Jesus into Your Heart"

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Turgonian
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#241

Post by Turgonian » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:07 pm

Ttoews, thanks for your support! You cleared some things up for me. ;) I totally agree with you!
A minor issue...if you're going to shorten my name, please call me 'Turgy', because I think 'Turg' sounds like an Orc-name. :lol:

Jac, I started talking about Calvinism because I saw it offered a solution to the problem you brought up. But very well, back to topic.
JP Holding wrote:Nevertheless, it is not lack of hearing the Gospel that causes condemnation; it is sin that causes condemnation, and it is not hard to arrive at a deduction that sin is offensive to whatever powers one may suppose to be at hand (indeed, the religious history of sacrifice and penance suggests a broad awareness of this!) and that there needs to be some connection or bridge in order to achieve a reconciliation. Even the Greeks knew that when Zeus said to jump, they were to ask how high if they didn't want to end up turned into a donut.
Apparently even the Greeks knew they had to obey the god they served. When someone (John in this case) would go telling them, 'Your old gods are dead, you have to believe in mine', why would they suddenly change their thinking about what belief in a god demanded of a man? (They had heard the stories about what happened to Agamemnon when he insulted Artemis and the priest of Apollo... Hybris was a well-known concept, and it was not encouraged. And an omnipresent, omnipotent God would be even more awesome than the finite gods of antiquity.)

Hmm, I read some essays on sanctification, and my cautious position is that the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the capability of producing good works. In other words, He destroys the domination of sin. It is possible to grieve the Spirit...but according to progressive sanctification, He will use that to teach you a lesson and will not allow that you continue in sin.
So, as a wise man told me,
Jac wrote:Believers are called to submit to the Lordship of Christ. If they do, there are rewards. If they don't, there is discipline.
Only we differ on what 'believers' are, and when the discipline will take place (I'm not saying only on earth, but there too).
Jac wrote:I would also say that you can't argue "But we have to take the whole Scriptural witness into account" unless you want to admit that there are contradictions in the Bible.
I hadn't expected this from a wise man. :roll: I'm not saying that Jesus is contradicting the rest of the Bible; but if the rest of the Bible contradicts your interpretation of the parable, you'd better change it.
The plants that didn't land in good seed DIE. They don't bear fruit. From a distance it may seem that they are thriving, but they are not rooted in good earth, so they are useless. You know what happens to dead plants that never bore fruit? They're uprooted and burned...

Believers are the adopted sons of God -- all of them. They all 'inherit'. Those that do not inherit do not enter either. See Matthew 25:14-30. And what is your explanation of Matthew 7:21?
Matthew wrote:"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Paul isn't saying that works bring salvation. Man is not capable of 'sowing into the Spirit' by himself; only saved believers are. And the fact remains that destruction is here contrasted with eternal life.

You are saying that 'save your souls' (James 1:21) doesn't refer to eschatological salvation, but to physical death?
As to 'comparing it with Wisdom literature', Holding compares it to the teaching of the rabbis, and this is what he arrives at:
JP Holding wrote:This passage demands the natural results of true loyalty: Adherence to designated strictures (here, the moral admonitions)and deeds fitting to belief (in other words, if you believe X in truth, you will do Y as a result). Someone who truly believes in the lordship of Christ (that is, who receives the engrafted word) cannot continue in activities that do not glorify or serve Christ, their religion is vain, a mere veneer. It is like thinking you can believe in gravity but also not fall when you jump off a cliff. James' sentiments are similar to those expressed by rabbis as well as pagan sages who emphasized the need to "practice what you preach."
(Source: http://www.tektonics.org/gk/jamesstudy.html.)

I wonder how you could transform the rhetorical question 'Can such faith save him?' to 'Can such faith stave off his physical destruction?' (Anyway, what of the wicked who live to see a very old age? What of the ex-Christians who do?)

I notice you haven't dealt with the text from Galatians 5,
Paul wrote:Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
And what do you make of Matthew 16:16?
Quoting Jesus, Matthew wrote:Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#242

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:05 pm

Turgonian wrote:I have to think about your post. However, I wouldn't agree that 1 John is only about tests of fellowship. What about 1 John 3:6-10?

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

'To be of God', does that mean 'to be saved but going to be disciplined for not following commands'?
This is a great passage. Notice a few things:

1) Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Now, what does it mean to "abide"? Does that mean simply "whoever is in Him"? That is, does it mean "whoever is a believer"? No. It means what it says. To abide in Christ is to live in Him, to walk in Him, to have intimate fellowship with Him. If you abide in Him, you do not sin. If you do not abide in Him, you sin.

2) Whoever is born of God does not commit sin . . . he cannot sin. Well, how do you take that? I've seen so many attempts to explain this away it's sad. Usually, people appeal to the present tense and want to translate it "sin continually." However, there is a reason that the more recent commentaries have abandoned this view - it is a good example of special pleading. We can walk through the details later, if you like. I take this exactly like it says: the one born of God does not and cannot sin. It is impossible for him to do so. I am saying that the saved man is absolutely perfect. But, I'm clearly not perfect, and I do sin, so what am I getting at? I am saying that in every believer there is both the new man and the old man. The new man cannot sin. He doesn't have that desire because His seed remains in him. When we sin, it is never an expression of the new nature, but always an expression of the old.

The general context of First John is the question of who is in fellowship with God: the false teachers or John and his followers? You can recognize, John says, false teachers because they teach an antinomian doctrine (among other heresies). These men are antichrist. They have no fellowship with God. Thus, the book serves two purposes: first, it gives us a view on recognize false teachers (what is their doctrine?), and second, it tells us how to maintain fellowship with God.

Hopefully that should help a bit . . .
ttoews wrote:I note G Archer holds the position that the basic theme of Micah is "that the necessary product of saving faith is social reform and practical holiness based upon the righteousness and sovereignty of God." (a Survey of Old Testament Introduction p.359)
He does hold that, and wrongly, I suppose. What is true about Micah (and Archer would agree here) is that if the people followed the Law (and they were not), then social reform and practical holiness would be the necessary result. And why? Because that was the purpose and function of the Law! And, there is no question that many people were unregenerate, which helps explain why the Law was held with such contempt. However, in the end, eschatological salvation of individuals is not the theme of Micah anymore than it is the theme of the Old Testament. We find the idea, certainly, but anyone who has even given a cursory reading of that library knows that God spent far more time talking about national salvation than He did personal salvation from Hell!
ttoews wrote:Combine that understanding with the concept of Totality that Turgonian referenced and with what the TWOT states about OT "faith" and then I think one has the proper understanding of what the OT authors meant by "faith" .....
Before we go further with this, we need to note that there is a difference between a lexical discussion and a theological discussion. Archer can tell us what a word means and then turn around and apply it incorrectly. The TWOT is a lexicon. Archer is making factual statements. This isn't the case with his pronouncements on themes of books (or, for that matter, authorship, date, etc.). That's a matter of personal interpretation of the data. It is the data that is objective. The definition of aman (and pistis) is objective - and objectively it runs counter to your definition. His understanding of the application of that knowledge is subjective, and while his opinion is to be respected, his opinion does not change the definition of the word.
ttoews wrote:So from the TWOT we have the following wrt the OT concept of faith (as quoted by you)
.
.
.
As such, when the OT talked about faith it was talking not about simple belief, but was talking about a profound belief where one totally relied on God and unavoidably evidenced that belief by obedience....to which David adds in Psalms 51:.....15 Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. So yes, I very much agree that when Jesus tells Nic that he must believe in order to be saved, Nic, b/c of his familiarity with the OT understanding of "faith" would not have thought Jesus was talking about a mere simple belief....but Nic (like the other Jews who heard Christ's words) would have known that Jesus was talking about a "belief" that would necessarily result in obedience.
I've bolded the part in question: this is an unsubstantiated claim. The definition of aman is to considerable someone trustworthy, and this in an absolute sense. It is spectulation as to how the Jews did or did not view the results of this trust. However, even if I conceded this point - and there is no reason for me to - it still stands in contrast to your own arguments, because it requires absolute certainty.

My problem with your theology, ttoews, is that you cannot have absolute certainty. If it were possible (some people do, after all, believe contradictory ideas) to have absolute assurance of their salvation and at the same time believe that good works, repentance, and continued faith are necessary results of salvation, then more power to them. However, that position is self-contradictory, because you don't know that you have the kind of faith that will produce those things until it actually produces them!

Here's an example: suppose I go to the store and buy a bag of apple tree seeds. I plant them. Now, I "know" that in a few year I will have apple trees, don't I? Actually, I don't. I am really, really sure of it. However, until that tree sprouts, I don't know that I have such a seed. For all I know, I could have been sold orange tree seeds (I can't tell the difference in looking . . . maybe you can?). You can tell me all day long that you "know" you are saved, and I hope you do, but I doubt it. Turgonian has talked about false professors. Do you believe there are people who are false professors, ttoews? Don't you think that there are people who really do think they are saved and in reality are not? How do you know that in ten years you will still be believing, repenting, doing good works, etc? How do you know that you aren't one of the seeds that fell in the shallow ground? Perhaps this faith you've had for only a couple of decades is temporary, shallow faith. Maybe it will prove itself to be worthless when real trials come. You can say, "I know I will keep believing because I know I am saved!" But that is exactly backward logic. If you aren't saved, then you won't keep on believing. How do you know you haven't deluded yourself? Your works? The evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life? But aren't there really "nice" atheists? If you had looked at a Pharisee, would you have had any idea he wasn't saved? Do you think every single Pharisee, without fail, was arrogant? Don't you think there were some who were genuinely pious, but simply wrong in their belief that their good works assured them of their salvation? What about Mormons? These are some of the nicest, most God-fearing, gentle, and peaceable people on the face of the planet. How do they know that their "fruit" isn't the fruit of the Spirit, and if they can't know (beyond their false doctrine), how can you? If you - or anyone - has believed a false doctrine for salvation, and thus are not really saved - isn't it then obvious that good works/fruit/"assurance" from the Holy Spirit serve absolutely no evidence to the contrary? Again, think of the Mormons.

Now, your position is still unsubstantiated. What I have proven is that "faith" means/requires absolute assurance/certainty. It's up to you to figure out how to fit that into your theology of "faith necessarily produces good works," a concept not supported by Scriptures.
ttoews wrote:In looking at your comments to Turg, it seems that you want to have things both ways. Wrt the concept of assurance you want to argue that the OT concept of belief entailed complete assurance and therefore the NT concept of belief would entail complete assurance b/c the NT concept flowed from the OT concept. On the other hand, wrt totality (that works will accompany belief) you want to argue that the OT concept of belief (if totality is right) was different from the NT concept of belief (which is only simple belief) and so the NT concept of belief doesn't flow from the OT concept. Well, what is it? Does the NT concept of belief follow from the OT concept, or not? I note that you base your claim for saying it doesn't on the fact that the audience for the NT was greek and not hebrew. That argument, if it works (and I don't think it does) would mean you can't import the OT concept of assurance into the NT concept of belief. The obvious problem with the argument is that the gospels record Jesus talking to Jews (mainly) and not gentiles. Likewise the epistles are not addressed only to gentiles....so your argument which goes:
Jac3510 wrote:As to faith and works, it does little good to appeal to a Semitic worldview when Paul and John were both preaching to Gentiles especially. You can argue that they had a "faith that produces works" concept in their own mind, but you can hardly argue that Hellenistic Gentiles would have received their words the same way.
....misses the point....cuz I want to argue that Jesus had a "faith that produces works" concept in His mind, and that is the way His Jewish listeners would have received His words.
Well, for what it is worth, I don't think Holding is right in his analysis of Semitic Totality. However, that wasn't the point I was trying to get at with Turgonian. I was pointing out that it didn't help his position.

There is a basic difference in the way I approach discussion as compared to most people. Most will line by line posts and disagree with every place possible to try to find a weak spot. I don't have any interest in disagreeing. What good does that do? When you disagree, what you are saying is, "We don't have the same idea on this." I'm not going to change your mind, and you aren't going to change mine, so what is the point of that discussion? It's far better to find common ground and then start discussing the implications from there. Thus, it doesn't do me any good to assert that faith means absolute assurance, because you don't agree. However, you do agree (I suppose) that if the lexicon says something, we have to operate within those parameters. Therefore, I offer you something you agree with me on (the definition of the word) and then we move on to the logical implications. If they don't support your position, that's your problem, not mine.

Now, that means that I don't have to point out everything I disagree with. I can agree with much I disagree with for the sake of getting to common ground. In Turgonian's case, there was common ground in the idea that the Jews looked at the world holistically. I disagree with his usage of that, but why go there? It's much more effective to simply demonstrate why it doesn't help his argument one way or the other. In other words, I'm saying, "Even if everything you say is true, this still doesn't help your position." That doesn't mean I concede the point as being true.

My argument is much simpler that you describe it above. I have no interest in the Jewish worldview, because it is not anymore inherently correct than the Greeks'. My argument is lexical. The Hebrew word aman has a certain meaning. The Greek word pisteuw is used to translate that word in the LXX. Therefore, the words are synonomous and convey the same meaning. If one means assurance, so does the other. In all this, you find no evidence of commitment as part of either "real" aman or pistis. I'd also like to point out that it looks more to me like you are trying to have it both ways here. You use Archer's definition in TWOT, combine it with Holding's ideas, and use that try try to support your position. As for Archer, you appeal to his theological position as being similar to yours. However, in doing so, you concede the primary point I am making, which is that faith = certainty. That's Archer's lexical position. In accepting that, you are proving my point.

Are you, then, conceding that faith actually does imply absolute certainity? Are you going to change your mind on that now?
ttoews wrote:BTW I have no problem with stating that assurance accompanies profound belief...it is just not the "objective" assurance that you think exists.
The problem is that I don't state that "assurance accompanies profound belief." I say that assurance is belief. Faith (belief) is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen. Who said that again? (hahaha, get it?? ;))

So, I'll say all this again: I can know as an objective fact whether or not I believe something. You cannot know it, but I can. If I do not have that objective assurance that I have believed in Jesus to raise me on the Last Day, then I have not believed in Jesus to raise me on the Last Day.
Turgonian wrote:Apparently even the Greeks knew they had to obey the god they served. When someone (John in this case) would go telling them, 'Your old gods are dead, you have to believe in mine', why would they suddenly change their thinking about what belief in a god demanded of a man? (They had heard the stories about what happened to Agamemnon when he insulted Artemis and the priest of Apollo... Hybris was a well-known concept, and it was not encouraged. And an omnipresent, omnipotent God would be even more awesome than the finite gods of antiquity.)
Children know they should obey their parents. Sometimes they don't. Does that prove they are not really their parents children? Secondly, what did John mean by "believe in God"? Very simply, he meant "believe in Jesus Christ to raise you up on the last day." You can do that without following Him in repentance. If you say that simply believing in Jesus for everlasting life isn't enough - that you have to have the type of belief that produces good works - then you are saying that faith alone isn't enough. That, my friend, is a heresy, and the one who teaches it is under a curse (Gal. 1:8-9).
Turgonian wrote:Hmm, I read some essays on sanctification, and my cautious position is that the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the capability of producing good works. In other words, He destroys the domination of sin. It is possible to grieve the Spirit...but according to progressive sanctification, He will use that to teach you a lesson and will not allow that you continue in sin.
Where does the Bible say that we are not able to continue in a particular sin? I agree that we can't continue without discipline, but where are we no longer able to commit a particular act? Scripture, please?
Turgonian wrote:I hadn't expected this from a wise man. I'm not saying that Jesus is contradicting the rest of the Bible; but if the rest of the Bible contradicts your interpretation of the parable, you'd better change it.
The plants that didn't land in good seed DIE. They don't bear fruit. From a distance it may seem that they are thriving, but they are not rooted in good earth, so they are useless. You know what happens to dead plants that never bore fruit? They're uprooted and burned...
I'm sure you understand the concept of interpreting difficult Scripture with clear Scripture? When Jesus Himself interprets a parable, that should be taken as absolute and simple. The rest of the Bible should be interpreted in THAT light, not vice versa. Again, this is not MY interpretation. It's Jesus'. He said that the first seed does not believe and thus is not saved. The rest believe, only for a short time, except the last. Thus, all the rest are saved, unless you want to tell Jesus He was wrong ;)

As for the plants dying and being burned, how does that equal damnation? Are you aware that fire is symbolic of judgment long before it is symbolic of eternal separation from God? What exegetical basis to you have for believing this refers to these people's being cast into Hell?
Turgonian wrote:Believers are the adopted sons of God -- all of them. They all 'inherit'. Those that do not inherit do not enter either. See Matthew 25:14-30. And what is your explanation of Matthew 7:21?
All believers will be adopted someday. Not all sons will receive the same reward. You certainly don't believe that every person in the Eternal State will have the same position, do you? And on what basis do you argue that those who do not inherit do not enter?

As for Matt. 7:21, I've explained that in very deep detail in this thread. It was the first major passage that ttoews and I discussed. It is a strong passage in favor of my position - it teaches that just because someone does works in the name of Christ does not mean that they have actually believed. These are people who have trusted their own works/goodness to earn heaven. They are condemned. Why? Because they never simply believed.
Turgonian wrote:Paul isn't saying that works bring salvation. Man is not capable of 'sowing into the Spirit' by himself; only saved believers are. And the fact remains that destruction is here contrasted with eternal life.
The believer is capable of sowing into the Spirit. He is also capable of sowing into the flesh. If the former, he reaps eternal life (qualitively). If the latter, he reaps corruption (qualitively).

Or perhaps I should just ask you, is a Christian capable of "sowing into the flesh"?
Turgonian wrote:You are saying that 'save your souls' (James 1:21) doesn't refer to eschatological salvation, but to physical death?
As to 'comparing it with Wisdom literature', Holding compares it to the teaching of the rabbis, and this is what he arrives at:
JP Holding wrote:This passage demands the natural results of true loyalty: Adherence to designated strictures (here, the moral admonitions)and deeds fitting to belief (in other words, if you believe X in truth, you will do Y as a result). Someone who truly believes in the lordship of Christ (that is, who receives the engrafted word) cannot continue in activities that do not glorify or serve Christ, their religion is vain, a mere veneer. It is like thinking you can believe in gravity but also not fall when you jump off a cliff. James' sentiments are similar to those expressed by rabbis as well as pagan sages who emphasized the need to "practice what you preach."
(Source: http://www.tektonics.org/gk/jamesstudy.html.)

I wonder how you could transform the rhetorical question 'Can such faith save him?' to 'Can such faith stave off his physical destruction?' (Anyway, what of the wicked who live to see a very old age? What of the ex-Christians who do?)
Yes, I am saying that James is talking about physical death. The word "soul" is the exact same word as "life." As for Holding's comment, I have no problem that there is a need to practice what you preach. However, just there being a need does not mean that there is always the proper response.

And as for the rhetorical question, the question is "Can faith save him"? The "such as" is probably not the best translation - at best, it is highly debatable, although grammatically permissable. I think the KJV has it right here. But, regardless, it doesn't affect my argument. The question is, "Save him from what"? You assume he means from Hell, but based on what? Are the Proverbs about being saved from Hell, Turgonian?

In fact, you seem to misunderstand wisdom literature as a genre. It is sad how many parents have been turned away by pastors who teach that if you raise your child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord that they will always turn out right in the end. That passage is giving, as all the Proverbs are, a general rule of thumb - divine advice, if you will. James is doing the same thing. If you say you are a Christian, live like it. You will be happier, and God will bless you. Evil brings about death. And, in general, that is true, isn't it? Are there exceptions? Of course, but the book is not meant to give hard and fast divine rules for the way God always operates anymore than Proverbs was meant to do that. It's wisdom literature. That is what it does.

So, what about evil people and "former Christians." The former usually live life fine. If they get into excessive sin, they suffer the consequences. If they live a generally moral life, they live a relatively stable life. Former Christians have it much harder, because they will receive discipline for their sins. Sometimes that includes death, but not always.

Really, it's all very practical . . .
Turgonian wrote:I notice you haven't dealt with the text from Galatians 5,
Uhm, yes I did . . .
I wrote:In Galatians, as in the rest of the NT, to "inherit" the Kingdom is not the same as to "enter" the kingdom. The former talks about rewards.
Turgonian wrote:And what do you make of Matthew 16:16?
Do you think baptism is necessary for salvation, too?

Anyway, the verse you are quoting is from Mark 16, not Matt. 16, and the passage is not part of the original manuscripts. In other words, the verse you quoted isn't part of God's Word.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#243

Post by Turgonian » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:47 am

OK, food for thought again. But as to the end of your post: the text from Gal. 5 doesn't talk about 'inheriting' anywhere -- that's from Gal. 6. The former text says that believers have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.

As for the necessity of baptism, see Is Baptism (Or any Work) Required for Salvation?

Sorry about confusing Matthew with Mark. Anyway, it is very likely that Mark 16:8 was not the original ending. See here.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#244

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:37 am

Turgonian wrote:OK, food for thought again. But as to the end of your post: the text from Gal. 5 doesn't talk about 'inheriting' anywhere -- that's from Gal. 6. The former text says that believers have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
You sure?
  • The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Paul is talking about inheritance. And believers have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires, but that only means that it is no longer in control of us. We now have a choice to walk in the Spirit, which is exactly what Paul tells us to do in the next verse. And the purpose? We do this so that, among other things, we will inherit the Kingdom.
Turgonian wrote:As for the necessity of baptism, see Is Baptism (Or any Work) Required for Salvation?
So if a person doesn't get baptized (if the understand it's signficance), then they didn't really believe . . .
Turgonian wrote:Sorry about confusing Matthew with Mark. Anyway, it is very likely that Mark 16:8 was not the original ending. See here.
Fair enough, but I'll stick with Metzger. I'd suggest you pick up a copy of his commentary on the NT text. It's relatively inexpensive and he lays out all the arguments for all the different textual variations. It's a great tool to have.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#245

Post by ttoews » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:57 pm

Jac, it appears to me that your argument runs (as you have presented it) as follows:

1) A lexicon presents factual statements as to the meanings of words, therefore the TWOT must be correct/must be free from opinion wrt the meaning of "believe/aman"

2) according to the TWOT the OT concept of belief (aman) is a faith that possesses full certainty vs. our modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain

3) The NT Jewish audience was familiar with the OT concept of faith as described by TWOT and therefore that audience would have understood Christ's remarks wrt "believe in me" in a way consistent with the OT concept and Christ would have meant those remarks in that way such that
"believe in me" = "have full certainty in me".

4) therefore, regarding matters of religious faith, one can either believe (that is have full certainty) or not believe (have less than full certainty)

5) therefore, one can have objective assurance of salvation b/c one can know objectively if one has believed or not.

I must be missing something...b/c there are just too many problems with the above. Please correct my above 5 point summary so that I don't waste time ripping apart a straw man (but if possible keep it in the 5 point format as it is easier to respond to in that format)

thanks.

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#246

Post by B. W. » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:58 pm

We can argue endlessly is faith simple, or is it complex, or even simply complex, and get nowhere fast.

What you have faith in shapes what you do and how you live. Simple faith makes more sense as described in Mathew 18:1-6. Jesus clarified the type and kind of faith that saves and this was what was understood by many, including Nicodemus, John 3:3-21.

Complex faith is what the religious leaders taught back in the first century. It was a faith in law and works. All this did was produce the knowledge of sin and the knowledge that one needed a savior.

This simple faith is far from easy believism. Remember this, we live what we believe. A Child has that simple faith to believe and learn. That is the faith that saves and restores.

When one grows up and becomes adult — what you believe in shapes what and how you live. This shapes a person. For example, some have learned that love betrayed them when parents split up and live life shaped by this. Others were abused and thus their belief is shattered causing all types of havoc they live out.

Some believe in atheism, fascism, and communism and thus shape their world by what they believe. Others believe in themselves and learn to be confident or not and live according to how they believe. The list is endless and the effects are countless.

There is only one that can save and restore a person to believe in God, to restore a severed relationship which brings healing and life back into life. People spend time seeking and believing in things that never can fulfill, bring real life, or restore. People are shaped by what they believe.

We need to become like little children and believe in Jesus and thus learn to live a new and different life course. Jesus restores our faith in God that will see us through no matter what is tried to shatter this faithful relationship.

Maybe you will agree or not with this statement: the work salvation restores a living relationship with the Lord. We learn from the Lord. What we believe in shapes us. Only by a restored relationship can we learn from our Heavenly Father and live what we believe. John 14:20-23 and John 17:1-3, John 17:20-26. That takes simple faith and that is all the Lord asks of us — he will do the rest. Do you believe?
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#247

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:56 pm

1) A lexicon presents factual statements as to the meanings of words, therefore the TWOT must be correct/must be free from opinion wrt the meaning of "believe/aman"
Eh, we could tweak this . . . "free from opinion" is too strong of a statement. But, the point is the same. The lexical definition of "believe" in both Greek and Hebrew conveys the idea of absolute certainty, as per the TWOT here (and others, if you need them).
2) according to the TWOT the OT concept of belief (aman) is a faith that possesses full certainty vs. our modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain
Our modern concept of faith is simply not the same thing as the biblical concept. In fact, our concept of "hope" is very, very different. The Greek word here is elpis, and it refers to a firm expectation (read, certainty) of a future blessing. When I say I have a hope of heaven, I am not saying that I would really like to go there, but I'm not quite sure. I am saying that I know I will be there. Thus, again, Heb. 11:1

Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen. Two words that both mean certainty . . .
3) The NT Jewish audience was familiar with the OT concept of faith as described by TWOT and therefore that audience would have understood Christ's remarks wrt "believe in me" in a way consistent with the OT concept and Christ would have meant those remarks in that way such that "believe in me" = "have full certainty in me".
The people would have understood "believe in Me" in the sense of absolute trust or full reliance upon. Specifically, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, and He offered them eternal life - they simply had to believe in Him for it. The idea was conveyed just as easily to the Greeks, only there had to be an explanation of the resurrection, forgiveness of sins, etc. In other words, they had to know what to believe in Christ FOR. The Jews knew that because of their culture.
4) therefore, regarding matters of religious faith, one can either believe (that is have full certainty) or not believe (have less than full certainty)
Why do you say "religious faith"? That's part of my general point, ttoews. Faith (pistis) is something we have every day in all kinds of things. There is no "religious faith." There is faith. There is belief. Do you, then believe (put that faith that you have) in Christ's promise of everlasting life. Do you regard absolutely His promise as true, or do you not? Do you believe He is able to do what He says or not, and more to the point, have you trusted Him to do what He said He will do for you? Again, this isn't "religious" faith . . . you can put your faith in all kinds of people and things for all kinds of things. The faith that results in everlastling life is the one that considers Jesus' promise to be true and relies on it.
5) therefore, one can have objective assurance of salvation b/c one can know objectively if one has believed or not.
Yes. I can know whether or not I have trusted Christ for everlasting life. I can have full knowledge of whether or not I have relied upon Christ. I just do not see why that is so hard to believe. It is an objective fact. Have you believed in Christ for everlasting life? If so, you have everlsting life. If not, you do not have everlasting life. Both of these statements are true absolutely regardless of future behavior or doubts.

I can know whether or not I have believed. On the assumption I am being honest, you can know whether or not I have believed! Of course, you can assume I am lying, and thus, you do not know, but assuming I am telling the truth (or with a bit of prodding as to WHAT I claim to have believed), you can know objectively about my state of belief.

Now, I really am interested in your response to this:
I wrote:Here's an example: suppose I go to the store and buy a bag of apple tree seeds. I plant them. Now, I "know" that in a few year I will have apple trees, don't I? Actually, I don't. I am really, really sure of it. However, until that tree sprouts, I don't know that I have such a seed. For all I know, I could have been sold orange tree seeds (I can't tell the difference in looking . . . maybe you can?). You can tell me all day long that you "know" you are saved, and I hope you do, but I doubt it. Turgonian has talked about false professors. Do you believe there are people who are false professors, ttoews? Don't you think that there are people who really do think they are saved and in reality are not? How do you know that in ten years you will still be believing, repenting, doing good works, etc? How do you know that you aren't one of the seeds that fell in the shallow ground? Perhaps this faith you've had for only a couple of decades is temporary, shallow faith. Maybe it will prove itself to be worthless when real trials come. You can say, "I know I will keep believing because I know I am saved!" But that is exactly backward logic. If you aren't saved, then you won't keep on believing. How do you know you haven't deluded yourself? Your works? The evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life? But aren't there really "nice" atheists? If you had looked at a Pharisee, would you have had any idea he wasn't saved? Do you think every single Pharisee, without fail, was arrogant? Don't you think there were some who were genuinely pious, but simply wrong in their belief that their good works assured them of their salvation? What about Mormons? These are some of the nicest, most God-fearing, gentle, and peaceable people on the face of the planet. How do they know that their "fruit" isn't the fruit of the Spirit, and if they can't know (beyond their false doctrine), how can you? If you - or anyone - has believed a false doctrine for salvation, and thus are not really saved - isn't it then obvious that good works/fruit/"assurance" from the Holy Spirit serve absolutely no evidence to the contrary? Again, think of the Mormons.
This really gets at the heart of my objection to your position, ttoews. The moment you say salvation necessarily produces works, you deny the ability to KNOW that you are saved.

1) Salvation necessarily produces good works
2) I have not yet produced good works,
3) Therefore, I do not know yet that I am saved.

1) Salvation requires knowing that you are saved,
2) John, having not yet produced good works, does not he is saved,
3) Therefore, John is not saved.

Have at it.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#248

Post by ttoews » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:24 pm

Jac3510 wrote:....Have at it.
thanks for the clarifications...I suspect it'll be a week before I can have at it.. but hopefully it'll be worth the wait.
cheers

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#249

Post by ttoews » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:54 pm

sorry this took so long...
Hi Jac, here again is the quote from TWOT that you would like to focus upon:
This very important concept in biblical doctrine girves clear evidence of the biblical meaning of "faith" in contradistinction to the many popular concepts of the term. At the heart of the meaning of the root is the idea of certainity. And this is borne out by the NT definition of faith found in Heb. 11:1.

The basic idea is firmness or certainity. In the Qal it expresses the basic concept of support and is used in the sense of the strong arms of a parent supporting the helpless infant . . . In the Hiphil, it basically means "to cause to be certain, sure," or "to be certain about," "to be assured." In this sense the word in the Hiphil conjugation is the biblical word for "to believe" and shows that biblical faith is an assurance, a certainity, in contrast with modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
-emphasis added by ttoews
I love the irony here Jac. I don't know how many posts we spent going through modern dictionary definitions and modern usages of "believe". I tried to convince you that modern dictionaries and usages understood "believe" to include the view that something is possible, hopefully true, but not certain. You refused to be convinced....so you can imagine my surprise when you quoted the above passage from TWOT with approval. Can I presume that you now agree with my view that the meaning of "believe" as used today includes the concept of something that is possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
Now, let's take a walk on the wild side and assume that you are right with your soteriology. What you must keep in mind is that your audience (when you preach the gospel) is a modern audience with a modern concept of "believe".....so you had better be very careful to not just say "believe":, but you had better be very careful to explain that Jesus meant "believe in me with absolute certainty" when He said "believe in me".
:
1) A lexicon presents factual statements as to the meanings of words, therefore the TWOT must be correct/must be free from opinion wrt the meaning of "believe/aman"

Eh, we could tweak this . . . "free from opinion" is too strong of a statement. But, the point is the same. The lexical definition of "believe" in both Greek and Hebrew conveys the idea of absolute certainty, as per the TWOT here (and others, if you need them).

2) according to the TWOT the OT concept of belief (aman) is a faith that possesses full certainty vs. our modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain

Our modern concept of faith is simply not the same thing as the biblical concept. In fact, our concept of "hope" is very, very different. The Greek word here is elpis, and it refers to a firm expectation (read, certainty) of a future blessing. When I say I have a hope of heaven, I am not saying that I would really like to go there, but I'm not quite sure. I am saying that I know I will be there. Thus, again, Heb. 11:1

Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen. Two words that both mean certainty .
I agree that in the OT saving faith is a faith that is full of certainty. The same is true of the NT and, of course, the same is still true today. That, in part, is why I call saving faith a profound faith and not a simple faith. Certainty is also not the only characteristic of this saving faith. What you must keep in mind is that just b/c scripture describes saving faith as a faith with full certainty, does not mean other types of faith (lesser faiths) don't exist...in fact, scripture clearly talks about belief/faith that does not save and of levels of faith. I have given these examples before where Christ and the apostles speak of various levels of faith:

1.Luke 17: 5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, 'Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

note that the apostles view faith as something that may be increased, which if one substitutes in your concept of absolute certainty, then one has the apostles asking the Lord to, "Increase our absolute certainty." ...this doesn't exactly make sense.

2. Mk 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Matt 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mt 14:31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Mt 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.


so to repeat myself, note the progression that one can observe....no faith, little faith with doubt, faith w/o doubt and great faith. Such a progression in absolute certainty is not possible....as such, it appears to me that there is no way to avoid the notion that "faith," or "to believe" means to "rely on" in a sense that includes the notion that various levels of assurance/confidence exist. It is saving faith that possesses full certainty.....and so one in the free grace school of thought should still be asking himself, "Did I or do I believe with full certainty.?...Did I believe strongly enough?"

You want to say that one either has faith or that one doubts and that there is no middle ground, but what you should be saying is that one has saving faith or that one doesn't have saving faith and that there is no middle ground.


3) The NT Jewish audience was familiar with the OT concept of faith as described by TWOT and therefore that audience would have understood Christ's remarks wrt "believe in me" in a way consistent with the OT concept and Christ would have meant those remarks in that way such that "believe in me" = "have full certainty in me".

The people would have understood "believe in Me" in the sense of absolute trust or full reliance upon. Specifically, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, and He offered them eternal life - they simply had to believe in Him for it. The idea was conveyed just as easily to the Greeks, only there had to be an explanation of the resurrection, forgiveness of sins, etc. In other words, they had to know what to believe in Christ FOR. The Jews knew that because of their culture.
given that one school of Jewish thought didn't believe in a resurrection, I find it hard to accept that the Jews immediately understood Christ's remarks...Nicodemus certainly needed help following along. In any event, earlier I had said, "when the OT talked about faith it was talking not about simple belief, but was talking about a profound belief where one totally relied on God and unavoidably evidenced that belief by obedience". You replied that this claim was unsubstantiated. That claim however is substantiated by the Totality concept. Further, at this point I don't believe that you have answered my challenge and pointed out an OT example of a fellow who had "aman" in God, but never obeyed God. Perhaps you could refer me to the Jew in Christ's audience who understood circumcision to be an option, who thought sacrifices were not required or who thought that the commandments were merely suggestions that one could choose to follow or not? Until you do, why should I think that the 1st century Jew thought that obedience could be divorced from faith? .....Contrary to your claim, it would seem that my claim has some substantiation and stands unrefuted.
:
4) therefore, regarding matters of religious faith, one can either believe (that is have full certainty) or not believe (have less than full certainty)

Why do you say "religious faith"?
cuz I wanted to give your position the benefit of such a restriction
That's part of my general point, ttoews. Faith (pistis) is something we have every day in all kinds of things.
agreed, and such was the case for the OT Jews...I am inclined to think that they (like us) would have believed that if they a)put some wheat seeds in the ground and b) watered them, that c)wheat would grow. It seems that you want to say that they didn't "know" that wheat would grow and so they didn't "aman" that wheat would grow, b/c "aman" requires complete certainty. I kinda think the OT Jews were just like us....that is, they said that they believed things (such as wheat growing from seeds) even if absolute certainty wasn't there....however, I am inclined to believe, that wrt to saving faith/religious faith, the OT Jews understood such faith to be profound and not passive or casual.


5) therefore, one can have objective assurance of salvation b/c one can know objectively if one has believed or not.

Yes. I can know whether or not I have trusted Christ for everlasting life. I can have full knowledge of whether or not I have relied upon Christ. I just do not see why that is so hard to believe. It is an objective fact.
later on in your post you ask me:
"How do you know that in ten years you will still be believing, repenting, doing good works, etc? How do you know that you aren't one of the seeds that fell in the shallow ground? Perhaps this faith you've had for only a couple of decades is temporary, shallow faith. Maybe it will prove itself to be worthless when real trials come. You can say, "I know I will keep believing because I know I am saved!" But that is exactly backward logic. If you aren't saved, then you won't keep on believing. How do you know you haven't deluded yourself?
thanks for the question, as it sets up my answer perfectly. In response how do you know that you haven't deluded yourself into thinking that you once believed with absolute certainty? Memories are rather fallible, they fail and change...perhaps you only think that you once believed with absolute certainty. To this you might reply, "Ahh, but I still believe with absolute certainty, and therefore, I know I believe in that fashion and have objective assurance of my salvation". In that case you have just described perseverance as being required for your objective assurance....but perseverance is something that you deny as necessary. You can't have it both ways. Also, how do you know you will continue to believe with absolute assurance?
Of course, you can assume I am lying, and thus, you do not know, but assuming I am telling the truth (or with a bit of prodding as to WHAT I claim to have believed), you can know objectively about my state of belief.
this is such an inappropriate use of "objective" that I just can't let it pass w/o comment. Get thee to a good dictionary immediately!
Now, I really am interested in your response to this:
I wrote:
Here's an example: suppose I go to the store and buy a bag of apple tree seeds. I plant them. Now, I "know" that in a few year I will have apple trees, don't I? Actually, I don't. I am really, really sure of it. However, until that tree sprouts, I don't know that I have such a seed. For all I know, I could have been sold orange tree seeds (I can't tell the difference in looking . . . maybe you can?). You can tell me all day long that you "know" you are saved, and I hope you do, but I doubt it. Turgonian has talked about false professors. Do you believe there are people who are false professors, ttoews? Don't you think that there are people who really do think they are saved and in reality are not?
yes, and in particular I am concerned that your free grace soteriology is the source of that type of mistake....that your soteriology has misled people into thinking that they were saved with a momentary simple belief when they weren't.
How do you know that in ten years you will still be believing, repenting, doing good works, etc? How do you know that you aren't one of the seeds that fell in the shallow ground? Perhaps this faith you've had for only a couple of decades is temporary, shallow faith. Maybe it will prove itself to be worthless when real trials come. You can say, "I know I will keep believing because I know I am saved!" But that is exactly backward logic. If you aren't saved, then you won't keep on believing.
so I guess I just live out my life and find out....trusting Jesus to keep me in the palm of His hand in the process...kinda thought that was the way it worked and I feel quite at home in that hand.
Your works? The evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life?
...as the scriptures say, "by their fruit, you will know them".
But aren't there really "nice" atheists? If you had looked at a Pharisee, would you have had any idea he wasn't saved?
why would you think the Pharisee wasn't saved?....maybe he was...was the pharisee in question following Jesus, following works or sitting under a tree thinking, "hey, I listened to that guy from Galilee, believed for a second that he could save me, so if there was any legitimacy to him I guess I am saved,... but really, when I think about it now, you'd have to be a complete fool to follow that Jesus fellow." ....Now, Jac, I am not inclined to judge, b/c, as I have said before, I can't see into the heart of this pharisee, but I would be concerned if he was following works or sitting under the tree as described.
Do you think every single Pharisee, without fail, was arrogant?
of course not...some even followed Christ
Don't you think there were some who were genuinely pious, but simply wrong in their belief that their good works assured them of their salvation? What about Mormons? These are some of the nicest, most God-fearing, gentle, and peaceable people on the face of the planet. How do they know that their "fruit" isn't the fruit of the Spirit, and if they can't know (beyond their false doctrine), how can you?
you do realize that in my understanding "fruit" would include false doctrine as well as good/bad deeds...and so one looks at all fruit that is produced and not just the non-doctrinal fruit
If you - or anyone - has believed a false doctrine for salvation, and thus are not really saved - isn't it then obvious that good works/fruit/"assurance" from the Holy Spirit serve absolutely no evidence to the contrary? Again, think of the Mormons.
again, their mistaken doctrine is a fairly easy fruit to observe...however, I am also not prepared to say all Mormons are damned. If God told me that only one of the following two fellows was saved:
a) fellow one...a Mormon fellow who has some false doctrine, but follows the mormon teaching that Jesus died on the cross for his sins and to gain his salvation, and has dedicated his life to loving God and his neighbour; and
b) fellow two...a free grace fellow who believed for a moment, but has no love of God in him and has refused to follow Jesus..
....I'd be betting that it is the Mormon fellow that is saved....b/c if either heart could be said to be circumcised, it would be the Mormon's. In other words, if one looked at all the fruit on each tree, the Mormon "tree" would have more good fruit...however, you must keep in mind that this isn't a scientific undertaking where data can be gathered and verified and an objective decision can be made..
This really gets at the heart of my objection to your position, ttoews. The moment you say salvation necessarily produces works, you deny the ability to KNOW that you are saved.

1) Salvation necessarily produces good works
2) I have not yet produced good works,
3) Therefore, I do not know yet that I am saved.

A) Salvation requires knowing that you are saved,
B) John, having not yet produced good works, does not he is saved,
C) Therefore, John is not saved.
(A,B, and C inserted by ttoews for discussion purposes)

Now the above just can't be right...even by your soteriology. If you find a problem with 1, 2, and 3 then just add 4) Get off your butt, do some works and gain some assurance....problem solved.
"A) Salvation requires knowing that you are saved" Where in the world did you get this idea from? ...It most certainly isn't my psoition and it doesn't jive with what you have told me about your position. You claim that someone can believe for but a moment, reject Jesus for the remainder of his existence and that such a fellow is still saved. That fellow does not "know that he is saved". He might not even believe in the existence of salvation, God and eternal life...let alone "know that he is saved".

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#250

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:27 pm

First off, ttoews, let me say that I know this is a rather quick response. You just happened to catch me at a really "good" time, I suppose ;). I'm not in a rush with this discussion, so no worries as it relates to how long it takes to respond. Had you written this on Monday, it still would have been now before I could have gotten to it :D

OK, as for your post . . .
I love the irony here Jac. I don't know how many posts we spent going through modern dictionary definitions and modern usages of "believe". I tried to convince you that modern dictionaries and usages understood "believe" to include the view that something is possible, hopefully true, but not certain. You refused to be convinced....so you can imagine my surprise when you quoted the above passage from TWOT with approval. Can I presume that you now agree with my view that the meaning of "believe" as used today includes the concept of something that is possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
I'm not sure I see where you are getting this from the TWOT quote. Let me repeat that quote, keeping the emhasis you added:
  • In this sense the word in the Hiphil conjugation is the biblical word for "to believe" and shows that biblical faith is an assurance, a certainity, in contrast with modern concepts of faith as something possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
He doesn't say that modern concepts of "belief" are things possible, yet not certain. He talks about modern concepts of "faith." The reality is that, in English, the words "faith" and "belief," while they have a good deal in common, are not absolutely synonomous. If you don't believe me, go ask an atheist the following questions:

1) Do you believe evolution to be true?
2) Do you have faith that evolution is true?

How do you think that they will respond to these quesions? Exactly the same? Hardly. Why do you think that people argue that faith and science are incompatible? Don't most people look at faith as "belief in absense of evidence"? That definition alone proves that faith (in the modern concept) is a subset of belief.

So . . . I don't see the irony, unless you absolutely equivocate faith and belief, which you cannot do. Now, the actual irony here is that in both Greek and Hebrew, belief and faith are absolutely synonomous, because they are the same word.
Now, let's take a walk on the wild side and assume that you are right with your soteriology. What you must keep in mind is that your audience (when you preach the gospel) is a modern audience with a modern concept of "believe".....so you had better be very careful to not just say "believe":, but you had better be very careful to explain that Jesus meant "believe in me with absolute certainty" when He said "believe in me".
See the discussion above. I don't tell people "you just have to have faith in Jesus," because they would likely misunderstand my meaning. What I tell them is that Jesus has offered them everlasting life and to believe in Him for it, and that is ALL they have to do. Inevitably, the response is the same: "What? It's JUST belief? No way." The odd thing is that I can say, "All you have to do is trust Jesus for everlasting life," and they are ok with that. Or, I can say, "All you have to do is have faith in Jesus," and they are ok with that, too. But people know what it means to believe something. It means that you know something to be true (that, of course, don't change the fact that you could be wrong; nor does it change the fact that you could know that you could be wrong - more on that below). So, they object, because they really do understand the Gospel at that point (so long as they also understand what the belief is FOR, namely, everlasting life.)
I agree that in the OT saving faith is a faith that is full of certainty. The same is true of the NT and, of course, the same is still true today. That, in part, is why I call saving faith a profound faith and not a simple faith. Certainty is also not the only characteristic of this saving faith. What you must keep in mind is that just b/c scripture describes saving faith as a faith with full certainty, does not mean other types of faith (lesser faiths) don't exist...in fact, scripture clearly talks about belief/faith that does not save and of levels of faith. I have given these examples before where Christ and the apostles speak of various levels of faith:
I would disagree that faith is "a faith that is full of certainty." Faith is full certainty. Look again at Heb. 11:1. It does not say, "Now faith holds the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things unseen." It says "Faith is the evidence . . ." Or, look again at the definitions of pisteuw or aman. They mean "to know something." Now, this is even recognized in the atheistic world. For example, Thomas Henry Huxley wrote:
  • Looking back through the prodigious vistas of time, I find no record of the beginning of life, and, therefore, I am devoid of any means of forming a conclusion as to the conditions of its appearance. Belief, in the scientific sense of the word, is a serious matter and requires strong foundations. To say, therefore, in the admitted absence of evidence, that I have any belief as to the mode in which life forms have originated, would be using words in the wrong sense (source)
If it helps, I'll concede that there is a popular usage in which "believe" carries the idea of a tenative commitment to an idea. But, that is simply incorrect usage of the word, which is what Huxley is taking issue with here. And, if it makes you feel better, when I am presenting to Gospel, I do present it as a matter of full certainity. A friend of mine puts it very simply: "Jesus says in John 6:47, 'Whoever believes in Me has everlasting life.' Do you believe this?" When I present the Gospel, I explain the historical aspects of the faith first. Jesus Christ existed (they believe this), He lived and died (they believe this), and He says that if you believe in Him for everlasting life then you have it (they believe He said it). Now, do you believe in Him for it? At that point, discussion deepens . . . how could He make such an offer? Why should I believe the offer is true? But, they understand that "to believe in Jeus for eternal life" is just that--to "believe in" Him.

Now, in the above quote, you bring up a separate issue, which is other faiths. I do believe that there is such a thing as "non-saving faith." When I put my faith in my car everyday, that doesn't save me. Now--this is IMPORTANT--Jesus wasn't talking about saving faith when He talked about such things as the faith of a mustard seed. A Muslim may have great faith in God. He may have greater faith than you or me. I suspect there were many Muslims, prior to the Iraq war, that believed that Allah would overthrow the infidel United States. They proved themselves wrong, but I'm sure somebody believed that he could do it.

The kind of faith you are talking about is faith in the ability of God to work in our lives. The disciples had little faith on the Sea of Galilee, not because they had NO faith in God, but because they didn't believe He could or would save them. They were afraid. They were doubting, and it was for THAT doubt that Jesus castigated them. He did that because they were doubting God. They had little faith, and in that little faith, they were sinning, because doubt=unbelief.

That is all the more reason that saving faith is absolute certainty, because doubt is unbelief. In the issue of saving faith, we are not deciding whether or not God can do great things in our lives. We are deciding whether or not God can give us eternal life through Jesus Christ. Once we have entered discipleship, we start working on the day-to-day faith of trusting God with the mundane issues of life, as that song says, "Jesus take the wheel." The more we can do that, the greater or faith, because we can believe (are certain that) God is capable and will do more things in and through us. But, again, please don't confuse this with saving faith. They are separate issues.
note that the apostles view faith as something that may be increased, which if one substitutes in your concept of absolute certainty, then one has the apostles asking the Lord to, "Increase our absolute certainty." ...this doesn't exactly make sense.
I'll just use this as an example of the above. They weren't saying "increase our absolute certainty." They were saying, "Increase the realm of our certainty about what God is capable of doing!" In other words, "Let us belief more about God!"
It is saving faith that possesses full certainty.....and so one in the free grace school of thought should still be asking himself, "Did I or do I believe with full certainty.?...Did I believe strongly enough?"
Hopefully the above should answer this question. It is impossible to believing "strongly enough." That is like saying, "Can water be any wetter?" The question is simple: "Have I believed in Jesus' promise to give me everlasting life?" If you haven't believed it, then you don't have it.
You want to say that one either has faith or that one doubts and that there is no middle ground, but what you should be saying is that one has saving faith or that one doesn't have saving faith and that there is no middle ground.
And hopefully you are starting to see where you have misunderstood my position. As it relates to saving faith, you either have it or you don't. If you want to be technical, the law of excluded middle says that we can't have a middle ground on this. However--and this is the all important key I think you've missed so far--"faith" is not a technical word that refers only to saving faith. I can have faith in lots of things. I can have "great" faith or "little" faith. Again, to be SURE everyone is following, let me give an example of that:

I can have "great" faith in Target to provide all my needs. I can be absolutely sure that ANYTHING I need, they have. I could, of course, be wrong. My faith could be misplaced. But, I could certainly believe that. On the other hand, I could have "little" faith in Target. Here, I can be absolutely sure that they will have some things I need, but not everything. Or, I can have no faith in Target. I don't know they will have ANYTHING I need. There is, you see, no progression is the certainty of the faith. There is progression in the realm that certainty covers.
given that one school of Jewish thought didn't believe in a resurrection, I find it hard to accept that the Jews immediately understood Christ's remarks...Nicodemus certainly needed help following along.
Yes, and I will flat say that every Sadducee (supposing that they had NEVER believed in the resurrection of the dead) died lost in their sins. What was the basis of salvation in the OT? It was believing in the promise of God, not simply that the Messiah would come (even Judas believed that!). What was the promise of God? It was that the people would inherit their land forever. It was explicitly tied to the general resurrection. Righteous Jews believed that they would be raised up on the last day and would rule forever. They didn't realize that the MESSIAH would be the one to provide this, which is why Nicodemus had trouble understanding Jesus. The Pharisees - Judaism in general - had long forgotten that salvation was by faith. They believed that they were "born saved." The issue for them was not to be born again, but rather to avoid losing their salvation by being cut off from the people of God, and that could happen by breaking the Law (thus, their interest in that area). This understanding has no bearing on what Nicodemus thought about belief or unbelief. In fact, there is absolutely nothing in that account to imply that he did not understand what Jesus was saying when He got down to verse fifteen.
In any event, earlier I had said, "when the OT talked about faith it was talking not about simple belief, but was talking about a profound belief where one totally relied on God and unavoidably evidenced that belief by obedience". You replied that this claim was unsubstantiated. That claim however is substantiated by the Totality concept.
I disagree. First, I already said that I don't accept the Totality concept as Holding applies it. If you agree with that, you'll have to prove it. My view of Semitic Totality comes from their understanding of the constitution of man. He was both body and soul, but the continued existence of the soul after death guaranteed the future existence of the body in the resurrection. So, the ISBE writes:
  • What shape did this hope of immortality assume? It was not, as already seen, an immortality enjoyed in Sheol; it could only then be a hope connected with deliverance from the power of Sheol--in essence, whether precisely formulated or not, a hope of resurrection. It is, we believe, because this has been overlooked, that writers on the subject have gone so often astray in their discussions on immortality in the Old Testament. They have thought of a blessedness in the future life of the soul (thus Charles, op. cit., 76-77); whereas the redemption the Bible speaks of invariably embraces the whole personality of man, body and soul together. Jesus, it may be remembered, thus interprets the words, "I am the God of Abraham," etc. (Matthew 22:32), as a pledge not simply of continued existence, but of resurrection. This accords with what has been seen of the connection of death with sin and its abnormality in the case of man. The immortality man would have enjoyed, had he not sinned, would have been an immortality of his whole person. It will be seen immediately that this is borne out by all the passages in which the hope of immortality is expressed in the Old Testament. These never contemplate a mere immortality of the soul, but always imply resurrection.
So, we can see that, in general, they were more holistic in their thinking rather than, say, the Greeks, who believed that once the body perished, we lived on simply as spirit. The extreme form of Semitic Totality, I suspect, seems to be a daughter of Hodge's views, discussed in the same article:
  • he other and later view, which is thought to follow logically from the account in Genesis 2:7, supposes the soul to perish at death (pp. 41). We read there that "Yahweh God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The "breath of life" (nishmath chayyim) is identified with the "spirit of life" (ruach chayyim) of Genesis 6:17, and is taken to mean that the soul has no independent existence, but is "really a function of the material body when quickened by the (impersonal) spirit" (p. 42). "According to this view the annihilation of the soul ensues inevitably at death, that is, when the spirit is withdrawn" (p. 43). This view is held to be the parent of Sadduceeism, and is actually affirmed to be the view of Paul (pp. 43-44, 409)-- the apostle who repudiated Sadduceeism in this very article (Acts 23:6-9). Body, Soul and Spirit.
So far as it goes, this view is very wrong, as is Holding's version of it. But, again, I didn't see any need to go into all of this with Turgonian, as it was unrelated to my specific point with him.

Now, unless you can prove that your view of ST is correct, then your claim absolutely is unsubstantiated. There is no reason to assume that the Jews looked at aman in such a way as to believe that it necessarily produced good works, else it was not truly aman.
Further, at this point I don't believe that you have answered my challenge and pointed out an OT example of a fellow who had "aman" in God, but never obeyed God. Perhaps you could refer me to the Jew in Christ's audience who understood circumcision to be an option, who thought sacrifices were not required or who thought that the commandments were merely suggestions that one could choose to follow or not? Until you do, why should I think that the 1st century Jew thought that obedience could be divorced from faith?
There are several problems with your first question. First, it is an argument from silence. The Bible tells us of very few individuals who had saving faith. It is ridiculous to require that Samuel or Moses was required to give us a list of the names of those who had believed, and then a record of their actions. The second problem is that the OT primarily records theology in the form of narrative, and that narrative focused on Israel's history. Thus, the individuals that push history along are either glorified or demonized. This, of course, is not to cast doubt on the veracity of Scripture. Not portraying a particular side of a person or event doesn't make you a liar. So, the hero's of the faith--those who clearly had "saving faith"--are lifted up for their deeds. The evil men are ridiculed for their wickedness. Of course, all of this is in further line with the Jewish interest in temporal blessings and curses as they relate to behavior.

As for your second question, I'll refer you to John 12:42 --
  • Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue (NIV)
This answers the heart of your question. Belief did not necessarily result in obedience, in this case, confession. You may say, "Ah, but it doesn't say they NEVER confessed," but it never says that did confess at some point in the future, either, does it? The simple fact is that, in this case, faith did not produce obedience. It did not produce confession.

Well, maybe faith takes some time to sink in, eh? ;)

The point here is that your claim that faith necessarily produces good works is unsubstantiated thus far by both Semetic Totality and Scripture in general. In fact, it is contrary to at least two Scriptures I've already provided--the parable of the seeds and John 12:42.
ttoews wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:Why do you say "religious faith"?
cuz I wanted to give your position the benefit of such a restriction
I don't understand . . . why would you want to give my position the benefit of something I don't believe?
agreed, and such was the case for the OT Jews...I am inclined to think that they (like us) would have believed that if they a)put some wheat seeds in the ground and b) watered them, that c)wheat would grow. It seems that you want to say that they didn't "know" that wheat would grow and so they didn't "aman" that wheat would grow, b/c "aman" requires complete certainty. I kinda think the OT Jews were just like us....that is, they said that they believed things (such as wheat growing from seeds) even if absolute certainty wasn't there....however, I am inclined to believe, that wrt to saving faith/religious faith, the OT Jews understood such faith to be profound and not passive or casual.
OK - here is where we need to differentiate between doubt and the recognition that you could be wrong. Using your example, I know that if I put wheat seeds in the ground and do all the necessary things that I will a crop. Now, I certainly don't know how big that crop will be. I know there is a possibility I could be wrong, because I know there could be an unexpected famine. However, that does not change the fact that I KNOW (with complete certainty) that if I do these things, then certain things will happen.

See, I don't KNOW there will be a crop. I don't "have faith" there will be a crop. What I KNOW is that if I do the things necessary, and if it rains, etc., then there will be a crop. Besides this, I can completely rely on that future crop, whether I am sure it will be there or not. I can place my full assurance in it. If I am wrong, then I will pay dearly, but I can say to myself, "This is the only way that I will live. Therefore, because I know how to farm and what the results of farming are, I will do this to live."

With reference to Christianity, I have absolute certainty that I am saved--that I have eternal life. Of course, I recognize that it is a logical possibility that I am wrong, but that doesn't change my certainty. It is logically possible that I don't even exist, but that doesn't change the fact that I am certain that I am sitting here now. Again, to be certain means to not have doubt. To doubt means to disbelieve. To believe means to be certain. Thus, to believe means to be certain something is true. All of these ideas are related, but none of them are defined by what is actually real. The truth is that I can be absolutely certain of something and yet be wrong. In fact, I can be absolutely certain of something, know that some people disagree with me, still hold to my belief, and still turn out to be wrong!

This is how the Jews saw things, too. When Jesus said, "Believe in Me," they were certain that He would raise them up on the last day. They were certain that He gave them everlasting life. By a logical extension, they were therefore certain that they had everlasting life.
thanks for the question, as it sets up my answer perfectly. In response how do you know that you haven't deluded yourself into thinking that you once believed with absolute certainty? Memories are rather fallible, they fail and change...perhaps you only think that you once believed with absolute certainty. To this you might reply, "Ahh, but I still believe with absolute certainty, and therefore, I know I believe in that fashion and have objective assurance of my salvation". In that case you have just described perseverance as being required for your objective assurance....but perseverance is something that you deny as necessary. You can't have it both ways. Also, how do you know you will continue to believe with absolute assurance?
First, let's say that tomorrow I start to doubt that I ever really did believe. You are right that, in that moment, I have no certainty, and I, in fact, have no faith. However, does that negate the fact that I believe NOW? No, it does not. Thus, it does not negate the fact that I am truly saved.

In the second case, I may have tricked myself into thinking that I believed three years ago. However, as you note, I DO know that I believe now. You may say, "Ah, but how do you know that you have not tricked yourself even now?" The reason is that I may be manipulating my memories to conform to what I now believe. I may not have believed three years ago. Sure. I think I did, but I may be wrong. However, right now I know that I believe this. Is it logically possible that next year I may disbelieve and wonder if I "really" believed today? Yes. But, does that change the reality of my believe NOW? No. As of this second, I do, in fact, believe that I have everlasting life because I have trusted Jesus for it.

In the final place, that scenario has nothing to do with perseverance. And you should know that. Now, assurance is necessary for salvation (because assurance IS faith), but sustained assurance is not necessary for salvation. Therefore, your argument does not work.
ttoews wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:Of course, you can assume I am lying, and thus, you do not know, but assuming I am telling the truth (or with a bit of prodding as to WHAT I claim to have believed), you can know objectively about my state of belief.
this is such an inappropriate use of "objective" that I just can't let it pass w/o comment. Get thee to a good dictionary immediately!
Does Dictionary.com qualify?
  • 4. being the object or goal of one's efforts or actions.
    5. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.
    6. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
    7. being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject (opposed to subjective).
    8. of or pertaining to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.
It seems to me that 5-8 all fit my usage well enough? As I am the object of your study, you know objectively (without personal bias or interpretation) about the reality of my faith. How you interpret that obervation my be subjective . . .

Anyway, if you want to quibble over English words, then feel free to tell me what word you would rather I use. Call it "foo." Call it "subjective." I don't care. We use words to convey meaning, and it the meaning we are trying to discuss here. What I am saying is that you have to know with certainty that you are saved basd not on your own works but on the simple promise of Christ that you have everlasting life. If you don't know that you have everlasting life on THAT basis alone, then you do not believe the Gospel at the present time. If you find that in order to know that you are saved you must have good works to prove you have really believed, then you do not believe the Gospel at the present time. I call those assurances objective and subjective, as does MacArthur. But, again, if you want to use a different word, feel free. I really don't care.
yes, and in particular I am concerned that your free grace soteriology is the source of that type of mistake....that your soteriology has misled people into thinking that they were saved with a momentary simple belief when they weren't.
And this is what terrifies me about your belief, ttoews. If this doesn't make it clear that we are advocating different Gospels, I don't know what does. If you are right, then "simple belief" (to use your terminology) doesn't save, and these people have believed a false gospel. If I am right, then you do not, at present, believe the Gospel, because you don't believe that "simple faith" is enough.
so I guess I just live out my life and find out....trusting Jesus to keep me in the palm of His hand in the process...kinda thought that was the way it worked and I feel quite at home in that hand.
So you acknowledge that it is possible that in ten years, you may no longer believe (if it turns out you didn't REALLY believe). So, you have an assurance based on your works, although this isn't certainty. You don't KNOW that you won't fall away in ten years. So, you don't KNOW you are saved. You are just pretty sure you are saved.

You say you are trusting Jesus to keep you in the palm of His hand. How do you know you were ever in it?
...as the scriptures say, "by their fruit, you will know them".
"Them" being disciples and false teachers, yes. Believers, no.
why would you think the Pharisee wasn't saved?....maybe he was...was the pharisee in question following Jesus, following works or sitting under a tree thinking, "hey, I listened to that guy from Galilee, believed for a second that he could save me, so if there was any legitimacy to him I guess I am saved,... but really, when I think about it now, you'd have to be a complete fool to follow that Jesus fellow." ....Now, Jac, I am not inclined to judge, b/c, as I have said before, I can't see into the heart of this pharisee, but I would be concerned if he was following works or sitting under the tree as described.
I was referring to Pharisees prior to Jesus' coming. It's pretty clear that most of the Jewish leadership did not believe in Jesus. And yet, they certainly looked really good on the outside. Now, ttoews, if assurance of salvation comes through works, and these people had works, then how is it that they did not have assurance of their salvation?

If they did have assurance, but it was a false assurance, then we have established that works can not guarantee that your faith is real. Therefore, if you are appealing to your works, then how do you know that your faith is real and that it is not the same type of faith that the Pharisees had?
you do realize that in my understanding "fruit" would include false doctrine as well as good/bad deeds...and so one looks at all fruit that is produced and not just the non-doctrinal fruit
You missed the point of the question. In this question, you are implicitly recognizing that a person may profess false doctrine, and thus be an unbeliever, and yet produce behavior that is consistent with genuine belief. Yet, how can an unbeliever produce such behavior? And, if an unbeliever CAN produce such behavior, then how does your behavior prove that you are actually a believer? How do you know that you are not an unbeliever who is producing a false-good fruit, like the Pharisees did or the Mormons do?
again, their mistaken doctrine is a fairly easy fruit to observe...however, I am also not prepared to say all Mormons are damned. If God told me that only one of the following two fellows was saved:
a) fellow one...a Mormon fellow who has some false doctrine, but follows the mormon teaching that Jesus died on the cross for his sins and to gain his salvation, and has dedicated his life to loving God and his neighbour; and
b) fellow two...a free grace fellow who believed for a moment, but has no love of God in him and has refused to follow Jesus..
I'll write this off to your ignorance on Mormon doctrine . . . Let me just let them tell you what they believe:
  • Jesus Christ did what only He could do in atoning for our sins. To make His Atonement fully effective in our individual lives, we must have faith in Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, obey God's commandments, and strive to become like Him. As we do these things through His Atonement, we can return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father forever.
So, fellow (a) is out, unless he has believed the Gospel, which is faith alone in Christ alone. As for fellow (b), I ask a simple question - did he believe (even for a moment) or not? John 6:47 says everyone who believes HAS everlasting life. I'd rather not contradict the Bible. ;)
Now the above just can't be right...even by your soteriology. If you find a problem with 1, 2, and 3 then just add 4) Get off your butt, do some works and gain some assurance....problem solved.
"A) Salvation requires knowing that you are saved" Where in the world did you get this idea from? ...It most certainly isn't my psoition and it doesn't jive with what you have told me about your position. You claim that someone can believe for but a moment, reject Jesus for the remainder of his existence and that such a fellow is still saved. That fellow does not "know that he is saved". He might not even believe in the existence of salvation, God and eternal life...let alone "know that he is saved".
You can't "gain" assurance. I'll assume the above discussion should show why that is true in my understanding of things. Secondly, even if you could, it wouldn't solve the problem. At what point would you be CERTAIN you were saved? How many works do you have to do before you have that kind of knowledge? And, given (A), which you disagree with, that means that you aren't saved until you GET that certainty, which still proves my original point, which is that you aren't saved at the moment of "belief."

Now, you still seem to be confused about the perseverance issue. I don't have to ALWAYS know for certain that I am saved. I only have to know at one point in time that I am saved, because that is what faith is. It is assurance. Thus, as Calvin liked to say, "Assurance is of the essence of saving faith." I'm not saying anything new here, ttoews. This would be a nice time to start quote-mining. It wouldn't be hard, but I'll just leave it at that, for now.

I want you to see this VERY clearly, ttoews: You don't believe what I am saying is the Gospel. Therefore, if what I am saying IS the Gospel, then you don't believe the Gospel. That is a scary and sobering thought. Does that mean you aren't saved? Only if you've never believed the Gospel, and that is something you shouldn't play around with.

Do you know you are saved? Right now? And based on what?
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#251

Post by ttoews » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:18 pm

hey Jac...please allow me to deal with this a bit at a time...I had said:
....so you can imagine my surprise when you quoted the above passage from TWOT with approval. Can I presume that you now agree with my view that the meaning of "believe" as used today includes the concept of something that is possible, hopefully true, but not certain.

to which you responded:
I'm not sure I see where you are getting this from the TWOT quote. ...He doesn't say that modern concepts of "belief" are things possible, yet not certain. He talks about modern concepts of "faith." The reality is that, in English, the words "faith" and "belief," while they have a good deal in common, are not absolutely synonomous. ..... Don't most people look at faith as "belief in absense of evidence"? That definition alone proves that faith (in the modern concept) is a subset of belief.
OK Jac, let me connect the dots for you.

1)TWOT says modern concepts of "faith" are things possible, yet not certain
2) you say that the modern concept of faith is a subset of belief...or in other words, belief includes faith
3) therefore, if belief includes faith and faith are things possible, yet not certain, then (as I have said for some time now) the meaning of "believe" as used today includes the concept of something that is possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
So . . . I don't see the irony, unless you absolutely equivocate faith and belief, which you cannot do. Now, the actual irony here is that in both Greek and Hebrew, belief and faith are absolutely synonomous, because they are the same word.
not necessarily. That would be like saying that agape and philanthropia are the absolutely synonymous b/c the hebrew had but one word for these two loves.

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#252

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:06 pm

OK Jac, let me connect the dots for you.

1)TWOT says modern concepts of "faith" are things possible, yet not certain
2) you say that the modern concept of faith is a subset of belief...or in other words, belief includes faith
3) therefore, if belief includes faith and faith are things possible, yet not certain, then (as I have said for some time now) the meaning of "believe" as used today includes the concept of something that is possible, hopefully true, but not certain.
No, you've misunderstood your own logic here. The TWOT does say that the modern concept of faith is commitment to an idea that one does not know to be true. However, the biblical concept of faith, as per the TWOT, refers to the commitment to an idea that one knows to be absolutely true. Faith, in the BIBLICAL sense, is absolute certainity.

In our culture today, "belief" is used in the same sense as the Biblical concept of faith. I have already said that there is a sense in which people may use "believe" to refer to an idea held by faith (in the modern sense of the term). However, that is an incorrect usage of the term believe.

You said yourself that we have to get to the Biblical ideas behind these words. You cannot say, "Well, in modern English, the idea of faith is uncertain, and because people use 'to believe' synononymously with 'faith,' then the modern meaning of 'to believe' is to hold an idea with uncertainty. Therefore, since pisteuw or aman mean 'to believe,' then those words mean to hold an idea with uncertainty."

Now - question: do you agree at this point, yes or no, that the biblical concept of faith means absolute certainty? If so, put whatever modern word you want to it. If you don't like "believe" or "faith" to translate that idea, what word would you prefer, and we will use that one if it makes you feel better. How about "certain"? Fine, then John 3:16 will be rendered, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that everyone who places their absolutely certain trust in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life." John 6:47, "And Jesus said to them, 'Whoever trusts Me with absolute certainty has everlasting life."

You see, this is the problem with English. We have a noun (certainty) thta we have to express as a verb. We have no such verb. The Greeks and Hebrews both had a noun that meant "an idea held with absolute certainty." They had a verbal form of that same word, thus meaning "to hold an idea with absolute certainty." In Greek, those were pistis and pisteuw. In Hebrew, they were aman.

So, fit that into your theology however you like. The issue, biblically, is certainity.
not necessarily. That would be like saying that agape and philanthropia are the absolutely synonymous b/c the hebrew had but one word for these two loves.
Yes, necessarily. You've taken one particular concept of modern belief and used it to define an ancient concept found in aman and pisteuw on the basis of a word in a definition. In other words, you have equivocated (not differentiated) the senses in which "believe" is used in modern English and have applied that incorrect meaning to the biblical idea. That's equivocation.

Anyway, I know you're busy and it will take you time to get to this and the rest of my previous post. Fair enough. I have tomorrow off, but the rest of the week will be hectic, so anything you happen to do before Sunday will be left 'till then.

God bless :)
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#253

Post by Turgonian » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:42 pm

This discussion is getting way over my head... Let me just comment on a very small part...
Jac3510 wrote:I want you to see this VERY clearly, ttoews: You don't believe what I am saying is the Gospel. Therefore, if what I am saying IS the Gospel, then you don't believe the Gospel. That is a scary and sobering thought. Does that mean you aren't saved? Only if you've never believed the Gospel, and that is something you shouldn't play around with.

Do you know you are saved? Right now? And based on what?
The Gospel: by grace we are saved through faith. I believe this, as does ttoews. We only distinguish between saving faith and spurious faith. We believe that Jesus 'gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works'. If you're still on about the 'Calvinism is salvation by works!' issue, maybe you should check a little booklet by Spurgeon -- which, by the way, brought ME to faith... It's called Around the Wicket Gate -- I copied it into Word and made the font a lot smaller, which made it more legible. What do you think of this quote?
C.H. Spurgeon wrote:Don't trust the Lord in mere sentiment about a few great spiritual things; but trust him for everything, for ever, both for time and eternity, for body and for soul. See how the Lord hangeth the world upon nothing but his own word! It has neither prop nor pillar. Yon great arch of heaven stands without a buttress or a wooden center. The Lord can and will bear all the strain that faith can ever put upon him. The greatest troubles are easy to his power, and the darkest mysteries are clear to his wisdom. Trust God up to the hilt. Lean, and lean hard; yes, lean all your weight, and every other weight upon the Mighty God of Jacob.
The future you can safely leave with the Lord, who ever liveth and never changeth. The past is now in your Savior's hand, and you shall never be condemned for it, whatever it may have been, for the Lord has cast your iniquities into the midst of the sea. Believe at this moment in your present privileges. YOU ARE SAVED. If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you have passed from death unto life, and YOU ARE SAVED. In the old slave days a lady brought her black servant on board an English ship, and she laughingly said to the Captain, "I suppose if I and Aunt Chloe were to go to England she would be free?" "Madam," said the Captain, "she is now free. The moment she came on board a British vessel she was free." When the negro woman knew this, she did not leave the ship—not she. It was not the hope of liberty that made her bold, but the fact of liberty. So you are not now merely hoping for eternal life, but "He that believeth in him hath everlasting life." Accept this as a fact revealed in the sacred Word, and begin to rejoice accordingly. Do not reason about it, or call it in question; believe it, and leap for joy.
If you believe Spurgeon was a representative Calvinist and not a half-blood Arminian or No-Lordship Salvationist (behold, something few would defend! :D), this should destroy your, hmm, 'faith' that Calvinism relies on works for salvation. Works only play a part in sanctification; justification, which ensures salvation forever, is an unmerited gift of God, and has nothing to do with works.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#254

Post by FFC » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:05 pm

Hey, Turgonian, I copied and am reading "around the wicket gate". It's fantastic! It's hard to believe from reading this that he is a Calvinist.
:wink:

.....now back to your regularly scheduled program.
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#255

Post by Turgonian » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:52 am

I'm glad to hear you enjoy it!

My intelligent friend showed me the only difference yesterday...
He said that we cannot because we will not. That's the only thing why we cannot. If we become willing (and Calvinists believe this is God's work), we can.

That recalled to mind the saying, 'Election isn't a wall, it's a gate!'

...but yes, back to topic.

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