John Wesley's theology

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#331

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:39 pm

RickD wrote:The finished work of Christ, was for all the sins of all people everywhere. I'm not adding any qualifier, August. The qualifier already exists, in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/ra_mclaug ... .LA.20.pdf

Not a bad link this, Rick.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

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Post by jlay » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:57 pm

I did not think so, but by asserting universal atonement, that is what the implication is. You cannot add onto something that is finished. The atonement was not something theoretical or enabling, it is finished. Salvation has already been secured. Nothing left to do....when the blood was poured out, it was done. Matt 26:28
Bologne. and stating such doesn't make it so. There are positional realites and practical realities.

We would both say there is nothing left to do. But God still brings the positional realities into practical existence. Even though Christ was crucified before the foundations of the world, the practical reality of the cross still happened in time.
Saying a person beleiving on the Gospel is adding to this finished work is a Calvin problem. That doesn't mean it is a reality. You beleive it is adding to the Gospel. I don't, and many do not, and I would say that in the whole counsel of God the Bible writers didn't have a problem with it. I see the cooperative will of man as a beautiful mystery soveriegnly woven into the fabric of God's creation.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Atonement.html
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#333

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:00 pm

jlay wrote:Bologne
:lol: Is that in Italy?
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#334

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:09 pm

jlay wrote:I see the cooperative will of man as a beautiful mystery soveriegnly woven into the fabric of God's creation.
Where is this co-operative will in the scripture? How does it work? What is it that's placed upon the person, that he can reject?
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#335

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:17 pm

jlay wrote:Bologne. and stating such doesn't make it so.
Well then, we are at an impasse. Christ Himself said it was done. Election, in whichever way you want to position it was done from before the foundations of the world. We can do nothing to change that. You can appeal to positional and practical realities all you want, until you don't show where Scripture says the atonement is not done, the point stands. The blood has been poured out. The sacrifice has been made. And it is not me stating it, it is Scripture. It is up top you to use the same to prove the opposite.

I will take a little bit of personal umbrage at you saying that I am making a just so statement...I had a long post earlier responding to neo that laid out some of my case. Not serious, but you damaged my pride. :(
Saying a person beleiving on the Gospel is adding to this finished work is a Calvin problem.
No it isn't. It is only if you believe that the work of Christ on the cross did not achieve its purpose that you could say that. No-ones belief can change the fact that the atonement is done, finished, one time. That is not a Calvinist belief. That we may differ on the extent is true, but not on whether it is done or not, there even Wesley agrees.
That doesn't mean it is a reality. You beleive it is adding to the Gospel. I don't, and many do not, and I would say that in the whole counsel of God the Bible writers didn't have a problem with it. I see the cooperative will of man as a beautiful mystery soveriegnly woven into the fabric of God's creation.
I can respect that, although I will of course respectfully disagree, especially the part about the Bible. I think the Word is very clear that we may not add to the gospel, and that we are not to have anything in which to boast when it comes to our salvation.

In the same breath I am not going to be so arrogant so as to suggest that we have all the answers. There are many mysteries that we shall only understand when face to face with our Father.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#336

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:18 pm

If we have to debate meanings about this, we are in trouble. Secure means made sure, or ensure. Did the death of Christ ensure that everyone is saved? Did it ensure that any one specific person is saved?
August, the reality is, that we do have to debate meanings. Take election and predestination.
I don't think it means we're in trouble, though. It just means we need more patience and understanding, of where the other side is coming from. Which I admit, is difficult at
times, for me.
Did the death of Christ ensure that everyone is saved? No, not as far as I believe. Unless I get to heaven, and find out Universalism was true, all along. :esurprised:
Did it ensure that any one person is saved?
No. The finished work of Christ ensured that all men would be able to come to God, if they chose to accept Christ, though.
I'm not sure if I'm answering what you're asking.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#337

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:28 pm

RickD wrote:August, the reality is, that we do have to debate meanings. Take election and predestination.
I don't think it means we're in trouble, though. It just means we need more patience and understanding, of where the other side is coming from. Which I admit, is difficult at times, for me.
You did thanks. And I agree, we need to at least understand what the other person means.
Did the death of Christ ensure that everyone is saved? No, not as far as I believe. Unless I get to heaven, and find out Universalism was true, all along.
Ok...
Did it ensure that any one person is saved?
No. The finished work of Christ ensured that all men would be able to come to God, if they chose to accept Christ, though.
Ok, very good, thanks.

So now we can see the limitations of the gospel that you preach. If you tell someone that Christ died for his sins, and the person ends up not believing, then you lied to him, as Christ did not die for his sins. It would only be true if he believed.

It also means that the atonement is not complete, because until someone believes, it has not accomplished anything. So now we have to deal with what I asked before...what do you understand happened in Hebrew 7-10, and when Christ cried out "It is finished"?
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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Re: John Wesley's theology

#338

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:33 pm

Saying a person beleiving on the Gospel is adding to this finished work is a Calvin problem.


No it isn't. It is only if you believe that the work of Christ on the cross did not achieve its purpose that you could say that. No-ones belief can change the fact that the atonement is done, finished, one time. That is not a Calvinist belief. That we may differ on the extent is true, but not on whether it is done or not, there even Wesley agrees.
August, I respectfully ask you to try to see my point on this. The purpose of Christ's finished work, in Calvinism, was to secure eternal life for the elect. So, from your POV, Christ's work was efficacious. Now, I don't agree that's the purpose of Christ's finished work. I also believe, Christ's work was efficacious. But I don't agree that the purpose was only to secure the salvation of the elect. I believe the elect's salvation will be secure, but I also believe Christ's work had a purpose of enabling all men, presented with the gospel, to choose to accept or deny Christ. God created man, and gave him something that He gave no other creature. The ability to choose to love Him. Angels didn't have that choice. Mankind does. That's what makes us unique. God wants us to love Him, for eternity. He wants us to choose to love Him. He created us for that very purpose. To love us, and to choose to love Him forever.
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

#339

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:50 pm

So now we can see the limitations of the gospel that you preach. If you tell someone that Christ died for his sins, and the person ends up not believing, then you lied to him, as Christ did not die for his sins. It would only be true if he believed.
I really don't understand how you see it that way, August. One way my simple mind can understand it, is in this analogy. Please keep in mind, that is only an analogy, and cannot completely describe Christ's work.
A man is in prison awaiting the death penalty, justly convicted of a crime that he is guilty of. A person comes to him, and tells him that someone who was completely innocent of any crime, has died in his place, and now the penalty for the crime has been paid in full. Now, the prisoner knows the severity of his crime, and understands the payment is the death penalty. The prisoner is now free to go. All he has to do, obviously, is believe that the innocent man did pay the price. And, he has to walk out the door, to be free. Does his believing, and walking out the door, mean that something was added to the innocent man's sacrifice?
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

#340

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:55 pm

RickD wrote:I also believe, Christ's work was efficacious But I don't agree that the purpose was only to secure the salvation of the elect. I believe the elect's salvation will be secure, but I also believe Christ's work had a purpose of enabling all men, presented with the gospel, to choose to accept or deny Christ.
Rick, why is it that one man is able to come to Christ and another is impotent? Since, on your view, all men are drawn, what is it that finally moves one man over the other?
1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
How does the man receive the Spirit? How does one man get there and the other doesn’t? Is it something in the other guy's genetic makeup that is stopping him from coming to the Gospel?
Ephesians 1:11
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.
We were chosen in accordance with His will, bro. Is it a half-will of God that goes out to all men?
Hebrews 9:24-28
24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence.

25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own.

26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Rick, if Christ has atoned for the sins of all men everywhere, why aren’t the unbelievers’ unbelief forgiven them? Why would God, who so loved them that He sent His Son as a propitiation for their sins, why would He not forgive their poor ignorance and give them all the treasures of the elect?
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#341

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:11 pm

It also means that the atonement is not complete, because until someone believes, it has not accomplished anything. So now we have to deal with what I asked before...what do you understand happened in Hebrew 7-10, and when Christ cried out "It is finished"?
August, I really don't have the concentration right now to read 4 chapters of Hebrews. When I get the time, and my brain isn't complete mush, like it is now, I'll try my best to respond.
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

#342

Post by August » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:22 pm

Folks, just to give everyone a break that have worked and discussed hard here for the last few days, we are going to lock this thread until after Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all.
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

#343

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:31 pm

Rick, why is it that one man is able to come to Christ and another is impotent? Since, on your view, all men are drawn, what is it that finally moves one man over the other?
Danny I think you've asked this question, and I've answered it, in every thread that we've got going.
But, I'll answer it again. All men are able to come to Christ. Christ's work has made that possible.
John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

Yes, Danny. I believe God draws all men. If you're asking why some choose to accept the gospel, while others don't? It's because I don't believe God's grace is irresistible.
How does the man receive the Spirit? How does one man get there and the other doesn’t? Is it something in the other guy's genetic makeup that is stopping him from coming to the Gospel?
Danny, you know I believe man receives the indwelling Holy Spirit, when he believes on Christ. Danny, why does fat ugly Mathilda's husband love her, when others find her repulsive? Someone cannot make someone love someone else. It has to be a choice, or it's not really love. But, if you've listened to me before, this is nothing new.
We were chosen in accordance with His will, bro. Is it a half-will of God that goes out to all men?
Really?
Rick, if Christ has atoned for the sins of all men everywhere, why aren’t the unbelievers’ unbelief forgiven them? Why would God, who so loved them that He sent His Son as a propitiation for their sins, why would He not forgive their poor ignorance and give them all the treasures of the elect?
He has given them everything He has promised. All they have to do is believe on Christ. It's all there right in front of them.
John 3:16 is so simply beautiful.
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

#344

Post by jlay » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:42 am

Well then, we are at an impasse. Christ Himself said it was done. Election, in whichever way you want to position it was done from before the foundations of the world. We can do nothing to change that. You can appeal to positional and practical realities all you want, until you don't show where Scripture says the atonement is not done, the point stands. The blood has been poured out. The sacrifice has been made. And it is not me stating it, it is Scripture. It is up top you to use the same to prove the opposite.
August, I think you misunderstood just what I was calling bologne on. And I apologize for not making it more clear.

This is what I took acception with
I did not think so, but by asserting universal atonement, that is what the implication is.
That UA is the same as universal salvation or universalism. It isn't.
You are conflating the two. Obviously because 5 pointers beleive that UA impunes the finished work of Christ. I agree, as do other UAs that it is finished. Nothing to add. What I disagree with is that UA and the finished work are mutually exclusive. I deduce that you, as many Calvinists do, see the cooperative and volitional faith as adding to the finished work.

I want to emphasize what was discussed earlier, and I believe has been misunderstood and distorted.....

In view of such passages, it is legitimate to ask: "If Christ died only for the elect, how can the offer of salvation be made to all persons without some sort of insincerity, artificiality, or dishonesty being involved? Is it not improper to offer salvation to everyone if in fact Christ did not die to save everyone?"

"How can God authorize His servants to offer pardon to the non-elect if Christ did not purchase it for them? This is a problem that does not plague those who hold to General [Unlimited] Redemption, for it is most reasonable to proclaim the Gospel to all if Christ died for all."

Those who deny unlimited atonement cannot say to any sinner, "Christ died for you." (After all, he may be one of the non-elect.)

Reformed counselor Jay Adams comments: "As a reformed Christian, the writer believes that counselors must not tell any unsaved counselee that Christ died for him, for they cannot say that. No man knows except Christ himself who are his elect for whom he died."

Louis Berkhof, a defender of limited atonement, admits: "It need not be denied that there is a real difficulty at this point."

Theologian Robert Lightner comments: "Belief in limited atonement means that the good news of God's saving grace in Christ cannot be personalized. Those who hold to such a position cannot tell someone to whom they are witnessing that Christ died for him because that one may, in fact, not be one for whom Christ died."
Such Christians believe the gospel must be presented in very general terms, such as: "God loves sinners and Christ died for sinners."

"To believe that some are elect and some nonelect creates no problem for the soulwinner provided he is free in his convictions to declare that Christ died for each one to whom he speaks. He knows that the nonelect will not accept the message. He knows also that even an elect person may resist it to near the day of his death. But if the preacher believes that any portion of his audience is destitute of any basis of salvation, having no share in the values of Christ's death, it is no longer a question in his mind of whether they will accept or reject; it becomes rather a question of truthfulness in the declaration of the message."

Source: http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Atonement.html
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#345

Post by Philip » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:38 pm

In view of such passages, it is legitimate to ask: "If Christ died only for the elect, how can the offer of salvation be made to all persons without some sort of insincerity, artificiality, or dishonesty being involved? Is it not improper to offer salvation to everyone if in fact Christ did not die to save everyone?"
As for the statement above, by jlay: Yes, yes, YES!!! Of, course, I'd say that Five Point Calvinists would correct you by saying, there is NO "offer."

To practice open and honest evangelism from a Five Point perspective, not only could one not SINCERELY state to ANY unbeliever that God desires his repentance and a relationship with him (as you have no way of knowing), but to truly be honest, one would have to state that 1) THERE IS NO CHOICE (by man) at all, and that 2) only IF such an unbeliever happened to be one of God's chosen Elect, can he and will he be saved, and 3) he would have to wait upon God regenerating him to belief even for THAT to happen. And so then what could one make of such an unbeliever's situation? Under Five Point beliefs, what could you further and honestly tell him? That if he is unwilling to repent and believe at the present time, to just chill and to "hope" for and await his regeneration, and that his regeneration MIGHT yet happen, but also caution him that as the Bible states that wide is the path to destruction and that "few are chosen," that there is an enormous but unknown (to us) possibility that he (as well as any unbeliever he knows) may well be one of the non-elect, and thus damned before birth? And that if that turns out to be that he IS of the non-Elect, that he might as well resign himself to a horrible fate of continuing misery now and eternal punishment thereafter, as it will be inescapable for him. As well, any effort to give such a unbeliever hope or attempt to encourage or convince him to seek the Lord would be done for naught, as seeking the Lord is (supposedly) not something an unbeliever is (supposedly) even capable of - at least NOT UNTIL THE LORD SO MOVES HIM. I'd say these would be HONEST Five Point evangelism. But Five Point evangelism efforts - at least of those I've seen - never explain the "rest of the story" - as they typically stick to only the positives.

As Calvinist Churches' statements of belief (on websites, in church literature) are so often couched in historical and theological terminology, the reality of what their beliefs (would) mean for the world are not clearly understood by a great many in their own congregations, and certainly not by most younger people in and those new to Reformed Churches. I think the reason is that such churches well know it will keep people from their churches and cause others to leave.
Last edited by Philip on Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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