John Wesley's theology

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#376

Post by zoegirl » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:44 am

LOL, I am not disagreeing with anything you have said, but they don't address my concerns, do they?

My point was that God calls louder to some than others, which either means He intentionally varies His invitation based on the person or He just wanted to do things differently. But considering how zealous Saul was, it would seem that God called loudly to Saul and needed to, while He spoke softly to the Samaritan woman and that was all that was required.

I'm not debating that, either way, they responded. I am addressing the whole "can't believe in election/predestination because that would make God a moral monster"

Unless God calls to everyone EQUALLY, or made each of us EQUALLY willing to believe, then we still have the same moral problem.

Obviously there is a general call, no one seems to dispute that, but what strikes me as convenient is this idea that God is involved but not really involved, lest He be, in our minds, unfair. We feel, desperately this need to "Get God off the hook" for any decisions He makes, and yet He made Hitchens and Saul with their zealousness. Both of them received the general call, but if God was willing to call audibly to Saul in order to make Himself heard, then.....?
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#377

Post by Byblos » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:45 am

jlay wrote:First of all, Paul was a Pharisee. Paul, as far as we know, did not see any of the miracles performed by Jesus, which the Pharisees did. Jesus condemned the Pharisees as a group, but we have record of Pharisees who were believers.
Paul was knocked off his horse, but what was preventing him from returning to Jerusalem blind and reprobate?
Jesus says blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.
Thank you J, I could not have come up with a better example myself. :wink:
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#378

Post by zoegirl » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:46 am

That doesn't address my concerns, though.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#379

Post by Byblos » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:50 am

zoegirl wrote:That doesn't address my concerns, though.
It doesn't but it illustrates very clearly how one can believe without seeing, and another can see without believing.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#380

Post by zoegirl » Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:52 am

Oh sure, gotcha
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#381

Post by jlay » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:26 pm

I'm not debating that, either way, they responded. I am addressing the whole "can't believe in election/predestination because that would make God a moral monster"
Zoe, you are making the same mistake that PL and other continue to make.
Where did I say I don't believe in election/predestination? Because I most certainly do. I just have issues with the Calvinists doctrines.

Please, please, please stop accusing those who don't hold to Calvinist's doctrine as not believing in election/predestination. It simply isn't true.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#382

Post by zoegirl » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:36 pm

:esurprised: :ebiggrin: Point to me where I accused you

I am addressing those particularly who are using the "moral monster" argument. Philip's concerns.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#383

Post by jlay » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:05 pm

Zoe,

I assumed that since your post followed mine (and you didn't address it by name) that you were responding to me, inferring that i rejected election/predestination.
I am addressing the whole "can't believe in election/predestination because that would make God a moral monster"
OK, so can you clarify. When you say election/presedination here, are you saying the Calvin doctrines of election and predestination? Or are you saying that Philip rejects election/predestination?
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#384

Post by Philip » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:38 pm

Byblos wrote:
Philip wrote:Byblos: 2. Do we have any inherent power within us to save ourselves?

Philip: No, but we DO have free will to respond as God enlightens and draws - responding positively to his drawing will result in his leading us all the way to salvation - we cannot do it without His drawing. But he also foreknows all who will rebuff all of His initiating. He draws all so willing to obey, as He knows precisely who these are.

Byblos: So then those who do exercise their free will have their own free will to thank. This inherent power from within themselves (this free will) that others evidently could not exercise, and thereby get saved. Is that right?

Philip: No, they will have only God to thank for 1) giving them the free will to exercise and 2) for giving them a choice to begin with, and 3) for God providing Jesus' sacrifice that makes salvation even possible. But the first thing we have that our free will allows us, is the ability to respond to God's initiating and prompts. If we will do that, He will do the rest - all the leading us all the way to salvation.

Byblos:3. Are some people saved and not others?
Philip: Yes. But most refuse to do as God has commanded them, and Scripture repeatedly makes it is obvious that 1) we can repent and 2) that God will provide the way for us to do what He wants us to - but we CAN reject his overtures which would otherwise lead us to that repentance. He allows rejection. We are created in His image - we are free beings and He gave us The choice of Jesus. We can reject that Choice.

Byblos: Only if you could find such concepts in scripture, alas, you cannot. But see point 2 again.

Philip: I think the concepts are most certainly in scripture.

Let's look at the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10. Scripture describes Cornelius, BEFORE being saved, as “a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.” So this Roman was clearly familiar with the OT scriptures and had thus been seeking God as best he knew how. And so how then did God honor Cornelius’ seeking? He sent an angel, who told him his “prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.” The angel further instructed him to send for Peter.

God’s Spirit said to Peter, “…Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed … to hear what you have to say.” Upon meeting Peter, Cornelius, still unsaved and clueless, “fell down at his (Peter’s) feet and worshiped him.” Cornelius first related that the angel had told him that his “prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.” So while first obviously doing the DRAWING, God was also clearly responding to the obedient actions of Cornelius, who, at that point, was not yet saved (which didn't happen until AFTER hearing and responding to Peter's preaching of the Gospel).

And through the episode with Cornelius, Peter himself learned that God “shows no partiality” and that “in every nation ANYONE who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Notice Peter makes this statement when contemplating the amazing salvation of Cornelius. Did Cornelius know enough to be able to believe and be saved BEFORE he responded to God's promptings, as he had thus already begun seek God? NO! Was God clearly drawing him? Absolutely. Could Cornelius have used his free will to reject God’s prompting? Certainly – he wasn’t even yet saved, but he WAS, nonetheless, obedient to what God's prompting had already showed him! God did all of the rest – Cornelius was merely obedient and thus RECEIVED salvation as his actions had been "remembered before God." Was, before his salvation, Cornelius so "dead in his sins" that he could not seek God or respond to Him? Clearly this is not true.
Would it surprise you if I said I don't disagree with anything you stated here? I agree that Cornelius cooperated (in some passive sense) with God's prompting, no problem there. The ultimate question I am leading up to is what made Cornelius cooperate with God's prompting. What is this secret that made Cornelius believe and yet does not make others believe who were or are in similar situations? Cornelius knew enough to believe and yet others who know even more still do not believe. What sets him apart from them? After all, they were/are getting the same prompting from God as he was. Is it the mere exercise of his free will? That's some powerful free will my friend, that makes one person get saved and not another. If not, why not?
It is absolutely incredible to me that anyone believes that the free will which God has so mercifully and gracefully given us, that using it by simply being RECEPTIVE to and subsequently embracing God's free gift of salvation, saves anyone - although it is the door through which ALL must walk to receive it! It is not the choice to be receptive that ultimately saves, but it's the GIFT Itself (Jesus, The Cross) that does the saving. We might have been given many other choices or gifts by God, with no others having the ability to save. So it is clear that our free will ALONE is capable of NOTHING - it can only RECEIVE the Gift/Jesus.

If nothing else, the story of Cornelius refutes the false belief that a man cannot positively respond to God or seek Him without first being "regenerated." But can a man seek God without His prompting - absolutely not. And God prompts those whom He already knows will be receptive - and yet all can choose to be UNreceptive. We can resist God, which Scripture well details.

And the reason I didn't start machine-gunning everyone with Scriptures is exactly as others have mentioned - everyone has their "take" on them. After 20 years of studying this issue, I've seen just about every approach and argument. Look at Geisler's book - "Chosen But Free." You might not agree, but considering his theological experience and knowledge, conservative outlook and heart for the Lord - and the fact that even most Calvinists highly respect him (except on this issue), I don't think one can say his views are easy to dismiss or are "lame." James White tried to write an entire book in rebuttal, of which Geisler listed an enormous number of errors in it. And yet, as Geisler has gone into great scriptural details defending free will and a choice, Five Pointers nonetheless see them very differently. This is also why I think examining what Five Pointers say God has done, along side of God's Character described in Scripture, is very revealing - as they just don't fit and they can't be glued together.

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#385

Post by Sudsy » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Been away from this forum for sometime and did not read this entire thread.

However, recently I read a whole different understanding regarding predestination using scriptural support in a book called 'God Without Religion' by Andrew Farley. He basically sees many of the scriptures that speak of predestination as not speaking about individual selection but rather God's intention from the very beginning to include everyone in salvation. In the NT much is said to explain how us dirty Gentiles have been included in God's wonderful plan of salvation right from the very beginning. It was God's sovereign choice to include everyone so that 'whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved' and whosoever needs no further explanation.This allows predestination and free will to be truly compatible.

I recommend that anyone studying this subject have a look at what Farley writes on this. God's merciful and just character is so insync, IMO, with this view.

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Re: John Wesley's theology

#386

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:47 pm

Sudsy wrote:Been away from this forum for sometime and did not read this entire thread.

However, recently I read a whole different understanding regarding predestination using scriptural support in a book called 'God Without Religion' by Andrew Farley. He basically sees many of the scriptures that speak of predestination as not speaking about individual selection but rather God's intention from the very beginning to include everyone in salvation. In the NT much is said to explain how us dirty Gentiles have been included in God's wonderful plan of salvation right from the very beginning. It was God's sovereign choice to include everyone so that 'whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved' and whosoever needs no further explanation.This allows predestination and free will to be truly compatible.

I recommend that anyone studying this subject have a look at what Farley writes on this. God's merciful and just character is so insync, IMO, with this view.
NIce to see you Sudsy! Hope things are going well for you back in the "Holy Land" ;). Thanks for the input. I do think that there is a Biblical meaning and application to the word, "predestine" in the scriptures that is not necessarily the way it is interpretted at times by some as a form of devine determinism.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#387

Post by DannyM » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:09 am

Philip wrote: It is absolutely incredible to me that anyone believes that the free will which God has so mercifully and gracefully given us, that using it by simply being RECEPTIVE to and subsequently embracing God's free gift of salvation, saves anyone - although it is the door through which ALL must walk to receive it!
Okay. So to be receptive means one must ‘walk through a door’ to be saved? That sounds like something apart from grace to me.

And what is it exactly that the will is free from?
Philip wrote: It is not the choice to be receptive that ultimately saves, but it's the GIFT Itself (Jesus, The Cross) that does the saving.


If some men walk through the door, but others do not walk through the door, then it is not the gift that ultimately saves, but the will of the ones “receptive” enough to walk through the door. And so, on this, it is logically possible that no man will ever be receptive, and God predestinates a provision in Christ which none will receive. This is just folly, and God is not a God of folly, nor is He a God of cotingencies.
Philip wrote: We might have been given many other choices or gifts by God, with no others having the ability to save. So it is clear that our free will ALONE is capable of NOTHING - it can only RECEIVE the Gift/Jesus.
How does the will receive the gift? What is it about one man’s “will to accept” over another’s impotent will?
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.
Philip, this contradicts everything you have said. There’s no door for man to walk through; that is a fad. The Spirit does all the work.
Philip wrote: If nothing else, the story of Cornelius refutes the false belief that a man cannot positively respond to God or seek Him without first being "regenerated."
You’re missing the thrust of Acts 10.
Acts 10:9-18

Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.

10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance

11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth.

12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”

15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made enquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate

18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.
God is telling Peter that He has made made men of all nations clean. Of course, Peter being Peter, he doesn't understand what is going on.
Acts 10:23-28

The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.

25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him.

26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”

27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered.

28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.
Having revealed Himself to Cornelius, God shows Peter that men of all nations, not just theJews, are no longer to be called common and unclean.
Acts 10:30-35

Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing

31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.

32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’

33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,

35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
God’s impartially is towards men of all nations, Jew and Gentile alike. This is what Peter is referring to when he says God shows no partiality.

And God indeed works in those He calls:
Acts 16:14

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
What caused Lydia’s conversion?
Ezekiel 36:26-27

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Philip, at this point I imagine you want to accuse God of violating their free will?
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#388

Post by B. W. » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:21 pm

DannyM wrote:
Philip wrote: It is absolutely incredible to me that anyone believes that the free will which God has so mercifully and gracefully given us, that using it by simply being RECEPTIVE to and subsequently embracing God's free gift of salvation, saves anyone - although it is the door through which ALL must walk to receive it!
Okay. So to be receptive means one must ‘walk through a door’ to be saved? That sounds like something apart from grace to me.

And what is it exactly that the will is free from?
Philip wrote: It is not the choice to be receptive that ultimately saves, but it's the GIFT Itself (Jesus, The Cross) that does the saving.


If some men walk through the door, but others do not walk through the door, then it is not the gift that ultimately saves, but the will of the ones “receptive” enough to walk through the door. And so, on this, it is logically possible that no man will ever be receptive, and God predestinates a provision in Christ which none will receive. This is just folly, and God is not a God of folly, nor is He a God of cotingencies

Rev 3:20 - "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." NAKJV
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#389

Post by DannyM » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:16 am

B. W. wrote:
DannyM wrote:
Philip wrote: It is absolutely incredible to me that anyone believes that the free will which God has so mercifully and gracefully given us, that using it by simply being RECEPTIVE to and subsequently embracing God's free gift of salvation, saves anyone - although it is the door through which ALL must walk to receive it!
Okay. So to be receptive means one must ‘walk through a door’ to be saved? That sounds like something apart from grace to me.

And what is it exactly that the will is free from?
Philip wrote: It is not the choice to be receptive that ultimately saves, but it's the GIFT Itself (Jesus, The Cross) that does the saving.


If some men walk through the door, but others do not walk through the door, then it is not the gift that ultimately saves, but the will of the ones “receptive” enough to walk through the door. And so, on this, it is logically possible that no man will ever be receptive, and God predestinates a provision in Christ which none will receive. This is just folly, and God is not a God of folly, nor is He a God of cotingencies

Rev 3:20 - "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." NAKJV
Beautiful verse, Bryan.
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Re: John Wesley's theology

#390

Post by puritan lad » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:48 am

DannyM wrote:
B. W. wrote:Rev 3:20 - "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." NAKJV
Beautiful verse, Bryan.
Except it has nothing to do with justification or atonement. It is a warning to a church against apostasy.
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