John Wesley's theology

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#301

Post by zoegirl » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:05 pm

puritan lad wrote:I would also add that the beautiful thing about Calvinism preaching the gospel is that the pressure is off. We can't save anyone. We don't need to do personality and demographic surveys, study people's childhoods, or find out what appeals to our listeners, or make empty promises of a better life on earth, more money, better sex, more fulfillment, or whatever else passes for gospel preaching these days. We all begin in the same boat, and with the same need. It is God who does it all. He will save one person with a terrible gospel presentation, and will not save another who hears the most exquisite speaker. In the end, "Salvation is of the Lord".

That was an interesting thing I noticed when I was debating this with someone. There was almost a desperation in hi description of witnessing, as if it all came down to him. It was curiously arrogant, as if we were the sole operator for the person's soul. It was also curiously paradoxical, because he agreed that God called to people AND he agreed that God called to people differently and louder to some than others. (called to Saul/Paul differently than others). If he agreed that God called to some more loudly than others, I tried to point out that that is hardly any different than God electing some and regenerating hearts, but his (ahem) emotionalism got in the way at that point... ;)
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#302

Post by zoegirl » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:07 pm

jlay wrote:PL,
I certainly hope you are not lumping all non-Calvins in with that mess.

How did Paul ever do it without TULIP? Bless his heart.
WE are commanded to present the Gospel. To all who hear His voice and believe, that is now HIS job to deal with their hearts, a mystery that we certainly cannot comprehend!! We are to plant the seed in some cases, water the seed in other cases, and harvest in others.
Zoe, so you beleive that Christ would have us present the gospel "Christ died for your sins" to people who are entirely encapable of believing it? That is to believe a lie.
But we are not in possession of whether or not they are incapable of believing. If we had some special "x-ray" glasses that saw into peoples hearts, then I suppose I could see your point. But we don't. As far as our limited capabilities are concerned, every person can potentially believe and every person has the potential to not believe.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#303

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:21 pm

jlay wrote:Really? You really think that? I know you don't go around telling people that. But deep down you believe it. Or you are forced to come up with bizarre (pardon the emotionalism) explanations like everyone you come in contact with is elect. It may not be a problem for you, but I've yet to see it refuted. If you are a 5 point Calvin, then you believe that the Gospel isn't universal. You may think it should be presented universal, but you don't believe it is. It is limited, only for the elect. And the reprobate can't, and won't hear it. They are branded for condemnation, and in actuality we should commend them for rejecting it, because that is exactly how they were predestined to respond. And therefore presenting the gospel universally is asking the reprobate to do something they can not do, and thus believe a lie. The lie being that Christ died for them, when He didn't. Now, if you can look at someone and say, Christ died for your sins, when you know in your heart of hearts, you don't really believe it. You believe, He MIGHT have died for their sins, only if they meet the determined view of election within Calvinism.
But you don't believe the atonement is universal either, unless you are a universalist, which I know you are not. Even if you define the elect as "those who choose to believe", then you are not free from the extent of the atonement only being for those who believe, and those that don't believe going to hell, no matter our reasoning.

I am confused on one thing here...and excuse my ignorance, but you seem to conflate the gospel and the atonement. The gospel is the message of the atonement among other things, but it is not the atonement itself. Like I posted earlier, the atonement is described in Heb 7-10 in great detail. It has nothing to do with what we do with it, it is the finished, once for all work of Christ on the cross. That would not change one bit whether we shout it from the rooftops, or no-one ever hears about it.

The fact that we go out and offer it to everyone stands separate from that act of Christ. And pardon me if I think this is a bit disingenuous, but saying that we believe we are lying when we proclaim the gospel is simply not true. You can choose to believe us or not, that is your prerogative. But unless you are a universalist, or want to change what atonement means, you fail by the same standard that you put on us.

It's not like your message doesn't have flaws too:
Should we then argue that under the universal atonement way, we are to tell people that they are sinners, they need a Savior, God has sent a missionary or evangelist across their path, God even gave them grace to help them understand that, but if they don't choose right, God, who is the Almighty Creator and sustainer of the universe, who is so loving that He sacrificed His Son, and is standing here calling with a gospel message is going to go "Well, ok then, good luck in hell, and that whole dying on the cross thing of My Son? No biggie if it doesn't work for you." How is that any better or more loving, or more honest? It's like an EMT looking at a heart attack patient and refusing to put the paddles on because the victim doesn't say it is ok to do so, even if he is in cardiac arrest.

I don't think you believe that either, but that is what it looks like when we apply the same standard.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#304

Post by zoegirl » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:24 pm

:clap:
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#305

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:42 pm

August wrote:It's not like your message doesn't have flaws too:
Should we then argue that under the universal atonement way, we are to tell people that they are sinners, they need a Savior, God has sent a missionary or evangelist across their path, God even gave them grace to help them understand that, but if they don't choose right, God, who is the Almighty Creator and sustainer of the universe, who is so loving that He sacrificed His Son, and is standing here calling with a gospel message is going to go "Well, ok then, good luck in hell, and that whole dying on the cross thing of My Son? No biggie if it doesn't work for you." How is that any better or more loving, or more honest? It's like an EMT looking at a heart attack patient and refusing to put the paddles on because the victim doesn't say it is ok to do so, even if he is in cardiac arrest.
Ouch. The words hoist and petard come to mind again.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#306

Post by Gman » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:55 pm

Anyone want to wear helmets here? :P
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#307

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:58 pm

The fact that we go out and offer it to everyone stands separate from that act of Christ. And pardon me if I think this is a bit disingenuous, but saying that we believe we are lying when we proclaim the gospel is simply not true. You can choose to believe us or not, that is your prerogative. But unless you are a universalist, or want to change what atonement means, you fail by the same standard that you put on us.
August, I don't believe jlay is saying you'd be lying, if you proclaimed the gospel. He said you'd be lying, if you proclaimed the gospel, with "Christ died for your sins". Because in Calvinism, Christ didn't die for everyone's sins. He only died for the elect's sins. Of course we all proclaim the gospel in our own different ways. Depending on how God leads us in each situation.
puritan lad wrote:I would also add that the beautiful thing about Calvinism preaching the gospel is that the pressure is off. We can't save anyone. We don't need to do personality and demographic surveys, study people's childhoods, or find out what appeals to our listeners, or make empty promises of a better life on earth, more money, better sex, more fulfillment, or whatever else passes for gospel preaching these days. We all begin in the same boat, and with the same need. It is God who does it all. He will save one person with a terrible gospel presentation, and will not save another who hears the most exquisite speaker. In the end, "Salvation is of the Lord"
:amen: Well said, PL. You are correct. Ultimately, it is God who moves in a person, allowing him to receive the gospel.
That was an interesting thing I noticed when I was debating this with someone. There was almost a desperation in hi description of witnessing, as if it all came down to him. It was curiously arrogant, as if we were the sole operator for the person's soul. It was also curiously paradoxical, because he agreed that God called to people AND he agreed that God called to people differently and louder to some than others. (called to Saul/Paul differently than others). If he agreed that God called to some more loudly than others, I tried to point out that that is hardly any different than God electing some and regenerating hearts, but his (ahem) emotionalism got in the way at that point... ;)
Zoe, I think God does call each person differently. Each person goes through different things in their lives, and God can call anyone, wherever they are. I'm not saying that the gospel is different for each individual. The way God reached out to me, is certainly different from how He reached out to you. But, anyone who believes it is his duty to save souls, is placing a huge burden on himself, that he can never carry. Our job is to present the gospel, as the Lord leads us. It is God alone, who moves in someone, to receive the gospel.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: John Wesley's theology

#308

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:00 pm

jlay wrote: Really? You really think that? I know you don't go around telling people that. But deep down you believe it. Or you are forced to come up with bizarre (pardon the emotionalism) explanations like everyone you come in contact with is elect. It may not be a problem for you, but I've yet to see it refuted. If you are a 5 point Calvin, then you believe that the Gospel isn't universal. You may think it should be presented universal, but you don't believe it is. It is limited, only for the elect. And the reprobate can't, and won't hear it. They are branded for condemnation, and in actuality we should commend them for rejecting it, because that is exactly how they were predestined to respond. And therefore presenting the gospel universally is asking the reprobate to do something they can not do, and thus believe a lie. The lie being that Christ died for them, when He didn't. Now, if you can look at someone and say, Christ died for your sins, when you know in your heart of hearts, you don't really believe it. You believe, He MIGHT have died for their sins, only if they meet the determined view of election within Calvinism.
No, the Gospel call goes out to all. How do I know that a man who rejects my witness today won’t accept my witness tomorrow, or that he won't accept the witness of a brother or sister the day after that? I do not know that the man is reprobate. Again, how would I?

So no, in my heart of hearts I don’t know that he is not elect. I just can’t know. You’re crediting to us a wisdom we simply do not and cannot have, brother.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#309

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:07 pm

RickD wrote:August, I don't believe jlay is saying you'd be lying, if you proclaimed the gospel. He said you'd be lying, if you proclaimed the gospel, with "Christ died for your sins". Because in Calvinism, Christ didn't die for everyone's sins. He only died for the elect's sins. Of course we all proclaim the gospel in our own different ways. Depending on how God leads us in each situation.
Rick, I know what he said, and I pointed out that he falls by the same standard, because he defines the elect as those who choose to believe. So if the person you are sharing the gospel with ends up not believing, then you have lied to him too. Or you have to maintain that the work of Christ on the cross is not what is documented in Hebrews. Go ahead and believe that if you want, but I seriously implore you, as a brother in Christ:

Go and look what the atonement is. It is not some theoretical thing that may or may not accomplish something. It is the finished work of Christ. It done once for always. If after that you wish to say that His finished work was for all the sins of all people, go ahead. But there are consequences to believing that.

Sorry, I wanted to add on. We tend to throw around terms like "Christ died for your sins" without giving much thought to what it really means. The atonement is the most important event in the history of creation for humankind. We cannot treat it lightly or carelessly as a catchphrase. Without it, we are all desperately lost, and the gravity of it is most holy and important.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#310

Post by jlay » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:13 pm

August,
I would content that Jesus, Paul and the scriptures believe that atonement is universal.
I am confused on one thing here...and excuse my ignorance, but you seem to conflate the gospel and the atonement. The gospel is the message of the atonement among other things, but it is not the atonement itself.
Ok. The gospel would be the message of atonement, and the invitation to partake in it. Any issue with that?
And pardon me if I think this is a bit disingenuous, but saying that we believe we are lying when we proclaim the gospel is simply not true.
again, you are missing what I am saying. Maybe if you guys would quite applauding each other and actually examine what I am saying, you wouldn't be confused. I am not saying you are lying. I am saying it is disingenoius. If you say to someone, Jesus died for your sins. You don't really believe that. What you beleive is, IF you are elect, Jesus died for your sins. If the person is repropate, then to present them the gospel is to ask THEM to believe a lie. That being that Christ died for THEIR sins. If they are reprobate, then Christ did NOT die for their sins. Yes or no?
Should we then argue that under the universal atonement way, we are to tell people that they are sinners, (Yes) they need a Savior,Yes God has sent a missionary or evangelist across their path, God even gave them grace yesto help them understand that, but if they don't choose right, God, who is the Almighty Creator and sustainer of the universe, who is so loving that He sacrificed His Son, and is standing here calling with a gospel message is going to go "Well, ok then, good luck in hell, and that whole dying on the cross thing of My Son? No biggie if it doesn't work for you." (If you want to reduct the permissive will of God and the cooperative,volitional will of man down to this then I'm afraid I can't answer) How is that any better or more loving, or more honest? It's like an EMT looking at a heart attack patient and refusing to put the paddles on because the victim doesn't say it is ok to do so, even if he is in cardiac arrest. (I would disagree. I would say it's equivalent to forcing someone at gunpoint to do a good deed, and then commending them for it.)
But we are not in possession of whether or not they are incapable of believing. If we had some special "x-ray" glasses that saw into peoples hearts, then I suppose I could see your point. But we don't.
Again, presumes Calvin doctrine of election. Begging the queston. You assume some are incapable of believing. It doesn't matter. The point I made still stands. You don't believe that Christ died for everyone's sins. You DON"T believe it, yet you present the gospel (Christ died for your sins) to them as if it's true. It doesn't matter if you know or don't know, what I am saying is still true.
As far as our limited capabilities are concerned, every person can potentially believe and every person has the potential to not believe.
Well Zoe, it looks like you have just veered off the TULIP path.
That was an interesting thing I noticed when I was debating this with someone. There was almost a desperation in hi description of witnessing, as if it all came down to him. It was curiously arrogant, as if we were the sole operator for the person's soul. It was also curiously paradoxical, because he agreed that God called to people AND he agreed that God called to people differently and louder to some than others. (called to Saul/Paul differently than others). If he agreed that God called to some more loudly than others, I tried to point out that that is hardly any different than God electing some and regenerating hearts, but his (ahem) emotionalism got in the way at that point
This has nothing to do with the the thread. If you want to start a thread about bad evangelism, I would encourage it, and would love to share some stories. Otherwise it just appears as if the Calvinists are ganging up and imferring that I and others subscribe to these tactics. So Zoe, is Paul more elect than you. Or perhaps since you weren't knocked off a horse, maybe you should question if you are elect at all. Afterall, belief of your own volition means nothing. A reprobate could intellectually conceed Christ, preach, teach Sunday School and clean the baptismal but remain damned to Hell
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#311

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:17 pm

Rick, I know what he said, and I pointed out that he falls by the same standard, because he defines the elect as those who choose to believe. So if the person you are sharing the gospel with ends up not believing, then you have lied to him too. Or you have to maintain that the work of Christ on the cross is not what is documented in Hebrews. Go ahead and believe that if you want, but I seriously implore you, as a brother in Christ:
August, if while sharing the gospel, I say "Christ died for your sins", I would not be lying, because I believe Christ did die for all the sins of all mankind. And, I don't think one has to completely understand "atonement" to preach the gospel, either. Many Christians certainly don't fully grasp the atonement, and they are capable of witnessing.
Go and look what the atonement is. It is not some theoretical thing that may or may not accomplish something. It is the finished work of Christ. It done once for always. If after that you wish to say that His finished work was for all the sins of all people, go ahead. But there are consequences to believing that.
August, I believe Christ's work is finished once and for all. I see how you worded it as "once for always", instead of once and for all. y/:)
And, I do believe Christ's work was for all the sins of all people, that whosoever believes on Christ, will have everlasting life.
John 5:24
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#312

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:23 pm

Sorry, I wanted to add on. We tend to throw around terms like "Christ died for your sins" without giving much thought to what it really means. The atonement is the most important event in the history of creation for humankind. We cannot treat it lightly or carelessly as a catchphrase. Without it, we are all desperately lost, and the gravity of it is most holy and important.
I hope we don't disagree on what the atonement is, too. I'm sick and tired of disagreeing. y#-o :lol:
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24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


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Re: John Wesley's theology

#313

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:32 pm

jlay wrote:August,
I would content that Jesus, Paul and the scriptures believe that atonement is universal.
Well, then you have to show that.
(If you want to reduct the permissive will of God and the cooperative,volitional will of man down to this then I'm afraid I can't answer)
Permissive will? You will have to explain this some more to me, as I don't see how it applies. We agree that the will of man cooperates, although not in the same sense.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#314

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:44 pm

jlay wrote: I am not saying you are lying. I am saying it is disingenoius. If you say to someone, Jesus died for your sins. You don't really believe that. What you beleive is, IF you are elect, Jesus died for your sins. If the person is repropate, then to present them the gospel is to ask THEM to believe a lie.
Then the Gospel is disingenuous, since that is what we are to preach promiscuously to all. You seem to like to tell us what we believe, but I’ve already told you what I believe. For the sake of the Gospel I’ll believe, yes, Christ died for your sins. I’m doing what is required. If it turns out I was wrong then I was wrong for the sake of the Gospel. You want to ascribe to the Calvinist a contradiction of heart when proclaiming Christ. The way you are going about showing this is not convincing, to say the least.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#315

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:49 pm

RickD wrote:
Rick, I know what he said, and I pointed out that he falls by the same standard, because he defines the elect as those who choose to believe. So if the person you are sharing the gospel with ends up not believing, then you have lied to him too. Or you have to maintain that the work of Christ on the cross is not what is documented in Hebrews. Go ahead and believe that if you want, but I seriously implore you, as a brother in Christ:
August, if while sharing the gospel, I say "Christ died for your sins", I would not be lying, because I believe Christ did die for all the sins of all mankind. And, I don't think one has to completely understand "atonement" to preach the gospel, either. Many Christians certainly don't fully grasp the atonement, and they are capable of witnessing.
The we are in serious disagreement. That turns you into a universalist, believing that all people, everywhere are saved. You have to show me how that is not true, or you need to show me how the finished work of Christ can possibly fail what it set out to do. You cannot escape this.
August, I believe Christ's work is finished once and for all. I see how you worded it as "once for always", instead of once and for all. y/:)
And, I do believe Christ's work was for all the sins of all people, that whosoever believes on Christ, will have everlasting life.
Firstly "once and for always" is the correct rendering here. And then you are contradicting yourself, as I pointed out earlier. You cannot on one hand claim that the finished work of Christ was for all people everywhere, at all times, and then add a qualifier in terms of belief. Then you don't believe the atonement was for all people, because it only achieves what it was intended to do for those who believe, who are not everyone, everywhere. The atonement requires nothing to be effectual or achieve its objectives, because it is the finished work of Christ. It has been done. It is complete. It atoned for the sins it needed to, past, present and future. If it meant everyone, everywhere and at all times, then everyone is saved. The qualifier is of zero value.

When the high priests used to do the sacrifices of the animals for the atonement of sins, there was nothing else needed. You took a goat, the high priest slaughtered it, sprinkled the blood on you and your fleshly sins were atoned for.

Now you can argue against this as much as you like, but until you show me a different exegesis of Hebrews, we will be going around in circles.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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