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Thread: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    martin, in the list you provided, I still admit it gets confisuing at times.
    Hi Joe, perhaps this will help a little further.

    Look again at the extract from the treatise on the eternal predestination of God.

    What he is saying in effect is that when he says that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world John is not speaking of the expiation or the death of Christ itself but of those who believe, i.e. those for whom the propitiation has become effective by faith.

    Note also that he makes even more explicit here his agreement with the medieval scholastic formula by saying "It is incontestable that Christ came for the expiation of the sins of the whole world" but, he says, that's not what John is talking about.

    Elsewhere, as you would expect, Calvin always treats the propitiation as being co-extensive with the expiation - i.e. for the whole world but he's treating 1 john 2:2 differently. All other verses which speak of expiation and propitiation,Calvin treats as being universal but not 1 John 2:2. Why? The answer I think is context. He sees the context of the discussion in 1 John 2 being about providing comfort to believers, reminding them of what is at the heart of Jesus' advocacy for them.

    So Calvin can say that Christ made sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world and on the basis of that satisfaction "Reconciliation is offered to all through him" and yet "the benefits are peculiar to the elect" because John is speaking of the actual enjoyment of the 'benefits' of Christ having been 'given' to them. This then is how I take his use of 'extends' and why I think it is different to his use of 'offer'. For reconcilliation is 'offered' to all but 'extended', i.e. given, only to the 'faithful' (i.e. the elect).

    Hope this helps,
    Martin

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Jn 10:1-42, (KJV)
    1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.30 I and my Father are one.


    I do not intend to exegete this text but I think a few comments are pertinent to this discussion; I will speak as one who does not discriminate who he "preaches to" and "offers the Gospel to anyone who moves", and yet does not believe that the offer of the Gospel is to all". That is different than the people who believe that the Gospel should be offered to all but offer it to no one...

    Note in the bold and underlined texts that Jesus mentions the knowledge that the sheep has of Him and the predisposition they have to hear His voice.

    I believe that the message of the Gospel when preached to a group of people, which I will call here "all" is the same situation as when I get caught in a crowded elevator and there are two doctors talking about brain surgery, using those technical medical terms, behind me, two oceanographers speaking about oceanography in my right side, with their own medical terms, two Bosnians speaking in Bosnian in my left side and two Christians speaking about Grace in front of me.

    I will obviously HEAR, that is physical vibration of my ear drums, or tympanum membrane, the sending of the sound to the malleus, incus and stapes and send the signal to my cochlea which will, through its tiny hairs that separate high from low frequencies will lead the signal to the auditory never. That is physical hearing. I Will HEAR them talking.

    In that sense, their conversation is offered to me. Same with the oceanographers and the Bosnians. However, this physical hearing Will not be understanding and in fact, all of them will sound as Bosnian to me since I am neither a brain surgeon, oceanographer and I don't speak Bosnian. So, the characteristic and kind of the speeches will go to my brain that it will be impossible for me to respond because inherently I will not build or predisposed to respond to any of that speech.

    Worse yet, that speech will be so uninteresting to me and my own formation that there is no loudness or appeal that will make me be interested in it and ONLY after a few seconds I will shut myself off to it. Again, I am not predisposed to hearing such a speech or voice. I am an "unelected" person as far as brain surgery, oceanography and Bosnian is concerned because although I can HEAR physically, there is no way that the speech itself is designed for me to respond and I am also not designed to respond to such a speech. In a way, I am a hearing impaired person to that kind of speech since my brain shuts off automatically to that speech.

    You probably know to where I am leading my point by now. I am open for correction, but if anyone considers that the offer of the Gospel is a call based upon VOICE, or something that can be potentially heard with the physical ear, and not an abstract concept, assuming that all of us agree that the Holy Spirit does not communicate with the "depraved unelected sinner", I can say that it is obvious that it is unavoidable that the reprobate will hear the call of the Gospel, or that the goats will hear the voice of the shepherd. But just like I cannot recognize the speeches mentioned above, the goats, or whoever or whatever is not of the Good Shepherd's pasture, because God did not give them to Christ they will not respond to the call; They are not predisposed to recognize the shepherds voice.

    I believe that the defense of "the Universal call with benefits only to the elect" means just that: That the non-sheep will hear the voice but not recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd; they were not predisposed by God to recognize the voice of the shepherd because it was not God's intention for them to recognize the voice of the shepherd although they can potentially HEAR the voice of the shepherd.

    The text above only deals with the potential of the Sheep of the Good Shepherd pasture to HEAR and KNOW the Good Shepherd's voice. However, I wanted to make an assumption that the sound goes through the ears of the sheep and non-sheep as well so as to dispel any conclusion that there is nothing that the non-sheep hear; they do but they are not predisposed to REACT favorably to the Good Shepherd's voice.

    Brethren, this is NOT an INTENTIONAL OFFER! As much as when my children were small and I picked them up at school, among the screaming and shouting of all the other parents and the noise of the children screaming right back,I was not offering INTENTIONALLY to take them to my home in spite of the fact that they heard my voice. They also could not recognize my voice because my voice had not been "imprinted" (an animal term) in their brains so they could hear it.

    This is what I believe is the confusion here! The reprobates will have the potential of having their hearing mechanism excited by the voice of the Good Shepherd, or, if you wish, by the offer of the Gospel because the Call of the Gospel is made; but to call this an INTENTIONAL AND PLANNED CALL for sheep that are not of the Good Shepherd's fold, or the goats to come, as an OFFER to them, is a stretch in my opinion.

    I apply the same to 1 John 2:2; God sent Christ for us and He became the propitiation of many sheep that are not yet of His pasture, however it is NOT THE INTENTION of the God that the whole world may receive the benefits of this propitiation.

    In my humble opinion the term "whole world" here is more an expression of scope, than the INTENTION to avail the benefits of such propitiation to every human being that ever existed.

    I believe that if we get away from the idea that God INTENDED BY DESIGN to propitiate from the sins of every human being that ever existed, but that it is speaking of the SCOPE of elected Jews, contemporary to John or future, elected Gentiles and all throughout the ages we will better understand these passages.

    I believe these two texts, John 10 and 1 John 2 have one thing in common:
    1. One may physically hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, but that is not because the Good Shepherd INTENDED, DESIRED FOR THEM TO HEAR or PREDISPOSED them to spiritually pay heed to His voice
    2. Although many will be in the circle where the scope of the propitiation targets, to wit, among elect Jews and among elect Gentiles from different ages, it will be of no avail to them and the Propitiator HAS NO INTENTION or DESIRE to make propitiation for them.
    A final word: Those who will attempt to accuse me of saying that God does not intend on something, or does not intend for the non-sheep to hear His voice but they hear anyway indicates that I believe that God has two wills or can be frustrated, one word:

    God does not care for the unelect, He has no love or desire for them and He does not care whether they hear or not, since, as I cannot understand, respond, react, participate or engage in a conversation about brain surgery, oceanography or Bosnian, God DID NOT PREDISPOSED the unelect to hear His voice nor to receive the PROPITIATION for his sins. Thus God is NOT FRUSTRATED by the fact that some people are within the scope of His voice or His propitiation without being programmed by birth (John 1;12-13) to respond to it; so this is NOT DESIRE OR ONE OF HIS WILLS.

    When I preach the Gospel to a crowd and speak about God's love to a crowd I am aware that ONLY Jesus' sheep will hear His voice! So I am not offering it intentionally to ALL! I let God do what He intended to do according to His design.

    ..Oh! Who do I pay attention to when I get caught in the elevator described above: To the conversation about the Gospel! I am predisposed by God to do so!

    Being brief is NOT a a requirement for learning... to be open for wise counsel is...

    Milt
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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by Milt
    I will speak as one who does not discriminate who he "preaches to" and "offers the Gospel to anyone who moves", and yet does not believe that the offer of the Gospel is to all". That is different than the people who believe that the Gospel should be offered to all but offer it to no one...
    Hehehe, good one Milt! The hypocrisy of those who are self declared to be "gospel offerers" is astounding!
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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Milt,

    Not a lot of time. I'll just try to deal with the main points I think you make. The rest doesn't really add anything to them anyway. (you do like to write long posts don't you!)

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    I believe that the defense of "the Universal call with benefits only to the elect"
    Interesting that you put this in quotes. That is the ubiquitous convention for quoting someone. However it is not an accurate quote of anything contained in this thread. Its a paraphrase. Not that there is arguably much difference but it is subtly different and it makes me curious: does that mean you are interpreting things differently to what is actually being said, for example?

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    Brethren, this is NOT an INTENTIONAL OFFER!

    snip

    This is what I believe is the confusion here!
    What confusion are you referring to? I'm not confused, Calvin's not confused I can't see anything in this thread that suggests any confusion in this regard. Regardless, you say its not an intentional offer - but what you are addressing? What Calvin says, what the verse (1 John 2:2) says or the general 'offer'? As far as Calvin goes an honest examination of his writings makes it clear that he holds to a general offer and, indeed, it is implied by his comments on this verse. But then I'm not sure you were really commenting on what Calvin has to say ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    ... but to call this an INTENTIONAL AND PLANNED CALL for sheep that are not of the Good Shepherd's fold, or the goats to come, as an OFFER to them, is a stretch in my opinion.
    Well that's a whole 'nother ball game beyond the scope of this thread surely?

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    ...however it is NOT THE INTENTION of the God that the whole world may receive the benefits of this propitiation.
    I can agree with that - and, I think, so could Calvin. But receive is not the same as offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    In my humble opinion the term "whole world" here is more an expression of scope, than the INTENTION to avail the benefits of such propitiation to every human being that ever existed.
    Again, Calvin says 'yes' This is the only instance I am currently aware of where I am inclined to disagree with Calvin as regards his view of that scope but that doesn't alter the fact that i can agree with this statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    I believe that if we get away from the idea that God INTENDED BY DESIGN to propitiate from the sins of every human being that ever existed, but that it is speaking of the SCOPE of elected Jews, contemporary to John or future, elected Gentiles and all throughout the ages we will better understand these passages.
    Well, yes, that is broadly in line with what Calvin is saying in this verse. Although, as far as I can see, he doesn't see the letter as addressing Jews and the whole world referring to Gentiles, rather, I think he sees John's use of "our" (in propitiation for 'our' sins) as referring to himself and the believers to whom he is writing and the whole world as referring to believers, present and future, scattered throught the whole world. But, as has already been said, 1. only in this verse and 2. he still makes clear that, whilst he thinks Paul is speaking of the scope of those which he calls the 'church' (by which I suppose we could assume he means the elect) who will receive the benefits of Christ's propitiation, nevertheless he also makes clear that he thinks that the scope of Christ's suffering is sufficient for the whole world and, since Calvin upholds the absolute sovereignty of God, for him that can only be by divine intention. You may not agree but are you at least getting what Calvin is saying?

    Martin

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    What confusion are you referring to? I'm not confused, Calvin's not confused I can't see anything in this thread that suggests any confusion in this regard. Regardless, you say its not an intentional offer - but what you are addressing? What Calvin says, what the verse (1 John 2:2) says or the general 'offer'? As far as Calvin goes an honest examination of his writings makes it clear that he holds to a general offer and, indeed, it is implied by his comments on this verse. But then I'm not sure you were really commenting on what Calvin has to say ...
    You're not; Calvin is not!

    But there is a lot of "reformed" folk who believe that the "capability of hearing the Gospel call on the part of anyone is a PROOF that God is OFFERING it to everyone". The confusion here is between GOD CALLING JESUS' SHEEP, His voice reaching every sheep's ear and the fact the "other" sheep hear is also an INTENTIONAL invitation to them; IT IS NOT!

    I thought I explained with the example of my kids: I call them among of a crowd of other children; the other children can hear my voice but do not idenfity it. So I am not actually calling the other children only because they are capable of capturing the sound waves that come from my voice. In fact they cannot even identify my voice; they have not been pre-programmed for such. Jesus stops a storm; The disciples' boat receive the benefits; so did the other boats in the area as a "rub off"; But ONLY the disciples' boat had Jesus presence in it. The other boat had no idea where the sudden lull came from and probably attributed it to their own gods. The reprobate is irreparably depraved; They cannot hear the Gospel call although they enjoy the benefits of the Salt of the Earth (us) and the Light of the world. One cannot be offered something that they cannot naturally identify or understand. So, I don't believe in universal call as some teach. The word "universal" is not in the Bible and I find it hard to conclude anything "universal" about God's calling.

    BTW, I am not interpreting Calvin. This may sound as PRIDE to you; but this is MY only research. One day, when I left Arminianism, I had this thing in my heart that I may repeat old notions from blessed past teachers, but that would not be what I would teach; I wanted (again, it may sound as pride) that I was called to have my teaching still discussed for the next 600 years. When Calvin or any other blessed teacher agrees with me it is only because they agree with me. I read them but do not decide my beliefs on their teaching alone... Again, it may sound as pride but it is a degree of conviction of my calling.

    Blessings,

    Milt
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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Second Reply to Martin:

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    I can agree with that - and, I think, so could Calvin. But receive is not the same as offer.
    I don't believe that there is not even an offer; The world "hears" the call but cannot understand. It is not that they do not receive because simply they "reject". They don't have the option of either receiving or rejecting. Thus IT CANNOT be an offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    Again, Calvin says 'yes' This is the only instance I am currently aware of where I am inclined to disagree with Calvin as regards his view of that scope but that doesn't alter the fact that i can agree with this statement.
    We also differ (I don't know about Calvin), if I understood you in the scope: I believe the scope is not "populational" or even geographic; It is exclusive not only to those whom John is directly addressing, but to the "world" oustside of the "our sin" scope but referring to the same objects of the benefits of propitiation as they are endowed with the same qualities, or, the Elect from the whole world. In fact, if I may interject this in here, John's Epistles is the one that the terms "us" and "them" appear more often than probably in any other.

    In my studies "US" mean both directly those whom John is directing his teaching, to wit, his immediate followers and readers of the Epistle and also it refers to the ELECT as a group. The "them" term, refers to the non-elect, reprobates and antichrist of then and now and future. The whole world term means people outisde of the scope of the immediate hearers and readers of his Epistle. I cannot exegete the whole world as every human being that ever existed. It may appear circular but it will be "circular" with the whole context of the N.T. when it speaks of the "world".

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    Well, yes, that is broadly in line with what Calvin is saying in this verse. Although, as far as I can see, he doesn't see the letter as addressing Jews and the whole world referring to Gentiles, rather, I think he sees John's use of "our" (in propitiation for 'our' sins) as referring to himself and the believers to whom he is writing and the whole world as referring to believers, present and future, scattered throught the whole world. But, as has already been said, 1. only in this verse and 2. he still makes clear that, whilst he thinks Paul is speaking of the scope of those which he calls the 'church' (by which I suppose we could assume he means the elect) who will receive the benefits of Christ's propitiation, nevertheless he also makes clear that he thinks that the scope of Christ's suffering is sufficient for the whole world and, since Calvin upholds the absolute sovereignty of God, for him that can only be by divine intention. You may not agree but are you at least getting what Calvin is saying?
    I refer my right and honorable brother to my last response; I do believe that "ours" means "we here and you my readers" as the "us and them" above. I know you call this dichotomy, but it is obvious, as I perceive the obvious at least, that "us and them" refers to a group of people and another outside of first. He is in fact saying the same thing twice: Christ propitiated for OUR SINS and the sins of the whole world (meaning the world of those who are also within the scope of "ours"). This is not a stretch if we harmonize with everytime "ours, us, them, theirs" appears in the N.T. and the times where John used the term "world" in the Gospel of John.

    To say "sufficiency and efficiency" may be an obvious statement. It is as saying: a sledge hammer can kill a fly; it is efficient and sufficient to kill a fly; But, ask any manufacturer or sledge hammer and ask them if they designed it to kill flies. So the "sufficient, efficient" argument is one of the biggest fallacies that I ever encountered in the writings of ANY reformer that refers to the sacrifice of Jesus that way. It is a non-issue and a non-argument.

    Also, it is as the Mormons knocking on my door as asking me: Do you believe that Jesus is powerful enough to have visited the Americas in the 1800's? (or whatever date they give you). This is fallacious statement based in a non-option question and a non issue! Jesus does have power to do such a thing and even more; He is sufficient and efficient to perform such a feat... But Did He? So the premise of "sufficiency, efficiency" argument is a non issue to say the best and fallacious at worse.

    I praise God that He designed His power to be used for the CORRECT AND PERFECT EFFICATIOUS use it had to come in and I will not attempt to make an argument of "what could have happened if...". Some preachers say that if Jesus had not called Lazarus by name, all the dead would have been raised in the cemitery... Hugwash! Again, this is the "efficiency, sufficiency" fallacy. He intended to raise Lazarus and Lazarus alone and He would have raised Lazarus alone because that's how God designed it to be.

    Well, I haven't much time either...

    I don't think I have more to say although I will be glad to consider responding if you feels my points are worth discussing.

    Milt
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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Hey Brandan!

    Thanks for the noteworthy post! I enforced my text editing with more arguments. I hope you read it and still find it noteworthy...

    Thanks again for the support!

    Milt
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    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    You're not; Calvin is not!

    But there is a lot of "reformed" folk who believe that the "capability of hearing the Gospel call on the part of anyone is a PROOF that God is OFFERING it to everyone".
    Ah, I thought you were dealing with some confusion in what had been posted. Ok, although I've never met anyone like that myself and I don't claim that myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    I thought I explained with the example of my kids: ...
    You did, so why repeat it? (I'm not being facetious here I just can't see any reason why you felt a need to repeat therefore there may be a misunderstanding going on somewhere). Anyway, I see now that you're addressing the many "reformed" folk who you think think that and not me so no matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    The reprobate is irreparably depraved; They cannot hear the Gospel call although they enjoy the benefits of the Salt of the Earth (us) and the Light of the world. One cannot be offered something that they cannot naturally identify or understand. So, I don't believe in universal call as some teach. The word "universal" is not in the Bible and I find it hard to conclude anything "universal" about God's calling.
    I can understand that. I don't think its quite as black and white as that but it would end up in a quibble over the precise meaning of words. You would agree at least would you not that the proclammation of the gospel goes out to all who hear it and that it is the only means appointed to mankind by which they may be saved? Further, that, though a reprobate, not being one of the sheep, will never truly hear the Shepherd's voice, yet God will still judge them for their refusal to believe?

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    BTW, I am not interpreting Calvin. This may sound as PRIDE to you; but this is MY only research. One day, when I left Arminianism, I had this thing in my heart that I may repeat old notions from blessed past teachers, but that would not be what I would teach; I wanted (again, it may sound as pride) that I was called to have my teaching still discussed for the next 600 years. When Calvin or any other blessed teacher agrees with me it is only because they agree with me. I read them but do not decide my beliefs on their teaching alone... Again, it may sound as pride but it is a degree of conviction of my calling.
    Of course. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts of truth. Yet, over time, we all come to like, trust and respect the teaching of some more than others and, particulary when we may be unsure how to interpret a particular piece of scripture, or may be unsure what to believe between different possible interpretations, then we turn to those we trust and hope that the Holy Spirit will use what they say to help bring us understanding of the truth. And on this note, I hope nobody takes offense but you will not be surprised if I say that I have come to respect the teachings of John Calvin over and above the the teachings of anyone here.

    In Christ,
    Martin

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    I have come to respect the teachings of John Calvin over and above the the teachings of anyone here.
    Good for you Martin! Good for you!

    I would like to know why John Calvin is seen as the "gold standard" in reformed theology and everyone must attempt to conform to his teachings at all costs. This is why there is such fighting over what John Calvin actually taught! For if one were to find himself out of favor with John Calvin's teachings, why then he would not measure up to the "gold standard." Seriously, we need to drop John Calvin and any other person as the standard of truth. We'd spend more time debating the scriptures as opposed to what some influential man had to say.

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    sorry hit post by mistake - still working on this

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    You did, so why repeat it? (I'm not being facetious here I just can't see any reason why you felt a need to repeat therefore there may be a misunderstanding going on somewhere). Anyway, I see now that you're addressing the many "reformed" folk who you think think that and not me so no matter.
    The only reason I repeated (repetition is the mother of teaching, said a teacher of mine) is because you said this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    What confusion are you referring to?
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    Anyway, I see now that you're addressing the many "reformed" folk who you think think that and not me so no matter
    All Reformed folk who believe in "universal calling", "free offer of the gospel", and the TWO WILLS OF GOD, which is connected as siamese sisters to "common grace" and are grounded in the "sufficiency, efficiency" fallacy.

    I am writing in my blog an article on the fallacy of the "efficiency, sufficiency" argument.

    The premise is false and at best ridiculous: It assumes that God offers something to someone who He programmed not to receive it! Hence the reason I repute and have posted in this forum that the God of infralapsarians, some infras at least, is as vicious and mean, if not more, than the God of the arminians. Consider God teasing the ones He programmed not to receive His Gospel of Salvation, as dangling bacon in front of a famished dog's nose, when He knows that they will not be able to receive it! It is mean, nonsensical and away from God's use of His time and the mode of His judgment upon the reprobate as revealed in the Bible.

    Mostly everyone who believes the "universal call of the Gospel", the "sufficiency, efficiency" fallacy end up argumenting in favor of "free offer". The "universal call of the Gospel, and the "Free offer of the Gospel" argument has NO ground without stating that Jesus' sacrifice is "sufficient for one and only efficient for the other"; otherwise, how can they say that God offers freely something to someone that He did not provide? One must believe that God provided a sacrifice for the reprobrate before they can believe that He offers such a sacrifice. Otherwise their argument is insane. The insanity, however, is that they teach that God does offer such a sacrifice that is sufficient for them but not efficient from them... and proclaim that they don't believe that the reprobate can accept it. The difference between this and full blown arminianism is that arminianism teaches that one can receive and reject a salvation offered to them. These "reformed folk" only believe that God offers to them but they cannot accept. What an offer !

    So, most reformed folk who believe: "Free offer, universal call, common grace", God's two wills, will argue in favor of "efficience/sufficiency". I am addressing to these people. Based upon the writings you posted, (I admit I can be wrong and have been wrong before) you are part of this group.

    Do you deny common grace? Do you deny "the universal call of the Gospel"? Do you deny the "free offer of the Gospel"? Do you deny that you believe that God has two wills?

    Do I abuse "quotation marks" YES!

    I would like to ask then, these "reformed folk": How can anything that can neither be rejected nor accepted because those options have not been given be called an offer?

    I can understand that. I don't think its quite as black and white as that but it would end up in a quibble over the precise meaning of words. You would agree at least would you not that the proclammation of the gospel goes out to all who hear it and that it is the only means appointed to mankind by which they may be saved? Further, that, though a reprobate, not being one of the sheep, will never truly hear the Shepherd's voice, I can understand that. I don't think its quite as black and white as that but it would end up in a quibble over the precise meaning of words. You would agree at least would you not that the proclammation of the gospel goes out to all who hear it and that it is the only means appointed to mankind by which they may be saved? Further, that, though a reprobate, not being one of the sheep, will never truly hear the Shepherd's voice, yet God will still judge them for their refusal to believe?
    Careful, brother, not seeing things "black and white" may be an easy cop out from having one's position's challenged but can also give room to theological relativism, which then it is the stepping stone of fallacies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    ...yet God will still judge them for their refusal to believe?
    NO MARTIN! I believe that God already judged, NOT WILL JUDGE, because they do not believe because He programmed them not to believe in the past. Please check John 3:18. The "future tense" can pottentially be called an OFFER! An OFFER of something that can neither be rejected or received, however, which is NOT AN OFFER AT ALL . It is in the past tense, as in "already judged". They hear the Shepherd's voice in their "physical ear" as the crackling of the dry grass as upon which they graze , but it is not the Biblical sense of hearing.

    Yes, I proclaim the Gospel to everyone who breathes; even without believing that the Gospel is offered to all; that is a far cry from those who teach that the Gospel Offer is to all and offer it to no one.

    I hope I made myself clear.

    Nice to debate with you Martin. I love Calvin and a few others; but my frame of mind refuses to feed myself with their teaching without "diggesting" it. Then their teaching would cause me "theological flatulence" and that is not nice... So I read and diggest! I am glad, however, that you love reading Calvin.

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    I don't believe that there is not even an offer; The world "hears" the call but cannot understand. It is not that they do not receive because simply they "reject". They don't have the option of either receiving or rejecting. Thus IT CANNOT be an offer.
    Sure I can agree with that but the real point of disagreement is over God's intentions not the word 'offer'. But I think I lack the will to get into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    We also differ (I don't know about Calvin), if I understood you in the scope: I believe the scope is not "populational" or even geographic; It is exclusive not only to those whom John is directly addressing, but to the "world" oustside of the "our sin" scope but referring to the same objects of the benefits of propitiation as they are endowed with the same qualities, or, the Elect from the whole world. In fact, if I may interject this in here, John's Epistles is the one that the terms "us" and "them" appear more often than probably in any other.
    Huh? So you're agreeing with Calvin now? - its not about Jews and Gentiles after all but about us and the rest of the elect throughout the world?

    I don't buy the Jews/Gentiles interpretation but I could accept the us/them believers interpretation. I've not studied it enough to be dogmatic but I do know this: if I ever do reach a point of conviction it will be based upon the text and not a system.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    In my studies "US" mean both directly those whom John is directing his teaching, to wit, his immediate followers and readers of the Epistle and also it refers to the ELECT as a group.
    Sorry I'm not following. I can't see any use of "us" that you could be referring to. But, hey, don't worry because I understand the general point you are making.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    To say "sufficiency and efficiency" may be an obvious statement. It is as saying: a sledge hammer can kill a fly; it is efficient and sufficient to kill a fly; But, ask any manufacturer or sledge hammer and ask them if they designed it to kill flies. So the "sufficient, efficient" argument is one of the biggest fallacies that I ever encountered in the writings of ANY reformer that refers to the sacrifice of Jesus that way. It is a non-issue and a non-argument. ... Jesus does have power to do such a thing and even more; He is sufficient and efficient to perform such a feat... But Did He? So the premise of "sufficiency, efficiency" argument is a non issue to say the best and fallacious at worse.
    I think you completely misunderstand the reformers intentions here. I believe Owen used the formula that way and, for sure, seen in that light, it is a pointless hypothetical idea. My understanding is that the reformers that used it meant much more than this. They meant that it was an ordained sufficiency, that God intended that, in some sense, the expiation was for the reprobate even though they could also affirm that the reprobate would never receive the benefits thereof. I know you will hate this doctrine but nevertheless that is what they meant by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    I don't think I have more to say although I will be glad to consider responding if you feels my points are worth discussing.
    Yeah, I think we're reaching that point. The differences in presuppositions are too great. I've avoided discussing what I believe and just tried to concentrate on explicating Calvin's thoughts but even trying to get across what I think he meant, even though it will be hated, is proving difficult because of the differences in presuppositions.

    So, I'll conclude with a reminiscence of the sort of humour we used to share ...

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    Some preachers say that if Jesus had not called Lazarus by name, all the dead would have been raised in the cemitery... Hugwash!
    You says tomayto and I say tomahto. ... I also say 'hogwash'

    Martin

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Good for you Martin! Good for you!

    I would like to know why John Calvin is seen as the "gold standard" in reformed theology and everyone must attempt to conform to his teachings at all costs. This is why there is such fighting over what John Calvin actually taught! For if one were to find himself out of favor with John Calvin's teachings, why then he would not measure up to the "gold standard." Seriously, we need to drop John Calvin and any other person as the standard of truth. We'd spend more time debating the scriptures as opposed to what some influential man had to say.

    Brandan
    No idea what you're talking about since it isn't what I said.

    Martin

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    I am posting an article that is on this forum somewhere written by Im Ellis. It is the best I have read thus far that shows the fallacy of this scheme.

    Sufficient for All?

    by Jim Ellis




    Among those who generally accept the doctrine of a definite or limited atonement, it is often heard by way of explanation that "the atonement is sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect." In fact this terminology may be found in some of the most respected Reformed theologians such as Hodge, Shedd, Buswell and others. While no Calvinist would deny the intrinsic sufficiency of Christ's death for the redemption of all men had God so designed and intended it, I find the use of such phraseology dubious.
    Maintaining the infinite intrinsic value of Christ's death is not the same as saying "He died sufficiently for all men and efficiently only for the elect." The latter seems to ascribe to Christ a purpose or intention to die in the place of all men, and to benefit all by the proper effects of His death as an atonement or propitiation. This inference is not supported by a scriptural view of the nature of the atonement or by the Calvinistic understanding of limited atonement. My purpose here is to show that this phraseology is ultimately meaningless and fails to adequately perceive the nature of the atonement. In the final analysis, it does not distinguish a definite atonement from a general or universal atonement.1
    Why is the term "sufficient for all" used in discussing the atonement?

    It is with some interest that we look at some of the probable reasons why such language has become rather common in discussions of this matter. Primarily, the use of this terminology seems to be an attempt to soften the impact of the doctrine of limited atonement on the natural mind, for it is indeed no simple matter of understanding. Most people don't want a theological treatise as an explanation, they just want a simple answer (and in no more than three minutes, if you please). So we say, "His death was sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect." This may be brief and easy to remember, but accuracy and integrity have been sacrificed for the sake of brevity. Its use anticipates objections to the doctrine and pretends to diffuse those objections by declaring a universal application of the atonement. Rather than providing a real answer, however, it only deflects the potential objections and often leaves the questioner unsatisfied or at least scratching his head, wondering what it really means.
    This statement has been used by good solid Calvinists who have no intention of giving way on the doctrine of limited atonement, but that does not make it valid or advisable phraseology. There appear to be several underlying reasons why this statement has been used. I believe the following are representative of those reasons:
    • There is a fear that God might be charged with injustice if an atonement is not somehow provided for all.
    • A universal aspect of the atonement is perceived as necessary for a bona fide offer of the gospel to all men.
    • The atonement must somehow be designed for the non-elect in order to render them inexcusable for their unbelief.
    • Since Christ in His person is divine and infinite, so must be His work on the cross; therefore His death is sufficient for all.
    Considered together there may be some semblance of rationale for the "sufficient for all" statement, but I hope to show that considered separately, the reasons are either invalid or the concern can be and should be answered another way. Let's take a look at these reasons individually.
    First, that there is a fear that God might be charged with injustice if an atonement is not somehow provided for all. Answer: Mercy extended to some but not all, is not to be perceived as injustice. As R. C. Sproul has suggested, all the potential acts of God may fall under two categories: justice and non-justice. Under non-justice, however, we have the sub categories of injustice and mercy. Mercy is not justice, but it is certainly not injustice. God cannot be charged with injustice. We seem to think that if God doesn't treat everyone exactly the same, and provide mercy to all alike, then He is unjust. This is simply false reasoning and a good example of the effect of the Fall on man's ability to think straight. It fails to stand up to either the Scriptures or logic.
    Secondly, that a universal aspect of the atonement is perceived as necessary for a bona fide offer of the gospel to all men. Answer: The truth of the gospel is to be proclaimed to all men. For example, "All men are under condemnation and hell bound because of their sin. There is no escape apart from faith in Christ. By the grace of God, all who believe in him are forgiven and shall be saved. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!" Now this truth is not dependent on a universal aspect or universal intent to the atonement. In fact, the extent of the atonement and its sufficiency or efficiency have no direct bearing on the message.
    According to J. I. Packer, "Preaching the gospel is not a matter of telling people that God has set His love on each of them and Christ has died to save each of them. The knowledge of being the object of God's eternal love and Christ's redeeming death belongs to the individual's assurance . . . which is to be inferred from the fact that one has believed, not proposed as the reason one should believe."2
    Or, as John Owen has said, "There are none called by the gospel even once to enquire after the purpose and intention of God concerning the particular object of the death of Christ, everyone being fully assured that His death shall be profitable to them that believe in him and obey him."3 The preacher's task is to explain man's need of Christ, His sufficiency to save, and His offer of Himself as Savior to all who truly turn to Him. If you are proclaiming a gospel message that demands a universal provision in the atonement, you are not proclaiming the gospel of the Scriptures.
    Thirdly, that the atonement must somehow be designed for the non-elect in order to render them inexcusable for their unbelief. Answer: If Christ did not provide an atonement sufficient for all without exception, wouldn't we still be to blame for our perishing? Wouldn't we still be forced to say, "We are without excuse?" Why must we think that it is the provision of an atonement that renders men inexcusable? The Apostle Paul never discusses atonement in terms of rendering men inexcusable or as a basis for condemnation! The atonement is not designed to render men inexcusable, but rather it is designed to save some of those who already stand before God without excuse. The particularity of the atonement needs no more apology than the particular nature of the effectual call or unconditional election.
    Fourthly, that since Christ in His person is divine and infinite, so must be His work on the cross; therefore His death is sufficient for all. Answer: "It is a non sequitur to move from the deity of the sacrifice to the sufficiency for every individual person. Such a conclusion assumes that the Deity can perform nothing by measure."4 In His feeding of the five thousand, Jesus multiplied the loaves by a divine act. Yet all the loaves in the world were not multiplied, only the ones He handled and blessed for the five thousand. Again, it was a divine act (and thus infinite) that raised Lazarus from the grave. Yet this was limited to Lazarus. To say that the raising of Lazarus was sufficient for all but efficient for Lazarus makes little sense if any. It is obvious that Christ had the power to raise whomever He chose. The fact is He chose to raise only Lazarus, and His divine actions were limited to that.
    Perhaps more to the point, Christ's nature, being divine and thus infinite, does not increase the intensity or quantity of that which was laid on Him at the cross. However, His nature does enable Him to bear whatever it might have been. Our sins are not infinite, and we are not infinite; it is Christ who is infinite. Christ bore the penalty for the sins of a finite number of people. His divine nature ensured that He would successfully bear the eternal wrath due to those sins, no matter how great or how many. His atonement is sufficient for all whom it was intended. It is sufficient for all whose sins were laid on Him, no matter how many. The question is, Was Christ a real substitute for, and did He bear the punishment due to, all men or some? The doctrine of limited atonement says some, the elect, or else all would be saved. To say that His death was sufficient for all, or that His atonement was sufficient for all, certainly implies otherwise.
    While our motive may be to help someone understand a particular truth regarding the doctrine of atonement, I don't think the use of such language is the way to do it. If the above reasons for using this terminology are not valid, which I have attempted to show, then the term "sufficient for all" is unnecessary. In fact it is not only unnecessary but inappropriate. It is inappropriate because there is a tendency for error to be introduced by such language. If we use language that is theologically inaccurate, which is true of the case at hand, then we will soon find ourselves entertaining erroneous theological ideas in order to explain our dubious terminology. In this case, how does one explain the rational difference between an atonement that is "sufficient" for all men and one that is "efficient" for those who are saved?
    What errors are there in the "sufficiency for all" view?

    One error of this view is found in its lack of precise distinction between atonement and the effectual call. By maintaining that Christ's death was sufficient for all, but efficient for the elect, there is a tendency to define the extent of the atonement in terms of personal application by the Holy Spirit.
    An example can be found in the work of W. G. T. Shedd, an eminent Calvinist theologian of the nineteenth century who adopts the "sufficient for all" view. In Shedd's discussion of the extent of the atonement he differentiates between passive and active meanings. Passively, he claims, "the extent of the atonement is unlimited." Actively, which he says denotes the act of extending, it is limited. Shedd goes on:
    The extent of the atonement in this sense [active] means its personal application to individuals by the Holy Spirit. The extent is now the intent. The question, What is the extent of the atonement? now means: To whom is the atonement effectually extended?5
    This essentially identifies the doctrine of effectual calling with atonement! It removes any efficacy from the atonement itself and makes Christ's work on the cross merely tentative! If He has died for all sufficiently and the only particularity is in the personal application by the Spirit, then I cannot see how one distinguishes this from the universal atonement of the Arminians, who claim that Christ died for all men, with its benefits accruing only to those who believe. The difference between the two does not lie in the atonement, but in the Spirit's effectual calling.
    Shedd's problem is that he has decided to say "Christ's death is sufficient for all" and now he must try and explain what he means by it. While his particular reasoning may be somewhat unique, his basic solution is not. In order to find some significant difference between sufficiency and efficiency he turns to the application work of the Spirit. This is a typical problem for the "sufficiency" view, and the solution in this case is erroneous.
    In another attempt to explain how Christ's death is sufficient for all, Alexander Hodge has taken a different approach. He states that the atonement has objectively "removed the legal impediments out of the way of all men."6 This explanation has become quite popular, but it is not without its inherent problems.
    If all legal obstacles to a man's salvation have been removed then what hinders his being saved? You say his unbelief? Logically then, the only reason men are condemned is unbelief. But is not unbelief a sin for which Christ suffered the legal penalties? Certainly, for even the elect were guilty of unbelief at one time. Do we then say that persistent unbelief is in a different category as some have suggested? What then about the man who never had the opportunity to disbelieve? If all the legal obstacles to his salvation have been removed and he never hears of Jesus, then certainly no just reason remains why he should be condemned. Is he then saved? If so, it is better that I tell no one the gospel. If not, then for what is he condemned? I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer.
    In addition, if every legal obstacle is removed for all men, there is no basis for the wrath of God continuing upon any man. To remove the legal obstacles is to satisfy God's justice and His wrath. Why then does Scripture persist in teaching otherwise? "For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come," Col. 3:6. And again, "because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience," Eph. 5:6. The answer is that the legal obstacles have not been removed for all men but for the elect, all those for whom Christ died, so that "He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus," Rom. 3:26. The wrath of God and the justice of God are satisfied for those for whom Christ was a substitute, and that is not all men, but by His grace it is some.
    That Christ was entirely capable in His person and by His death of gaining satisfaction for all the sins of all men is not in question. But to say that the actual atonement was sufficient for all men, in all that is meant by the word atonement, must be questioned. To present the atonement as being sufficient for all will prevent understanding its nature in terms of a real satisfaction and a real penal substitution. This is seen in many contemporary treatments of the atonement which seek to interpret Christ's death with little or no reference to God's law, justice, or holy wrath. In fact, many have entirely rejected the specific penal substitution concept as antiquated or immoral or both. Also, "to remove the necessary connection between atonement and satisfaction of divine justice denudes Christ's death of all its moral sublimity and reduces it to an amazing piece of romantic extravagance."7
    Therefore, if we, as Calvinists, confidently affirm the substitutionary and legal-penal aspects of the atonement, we must resist applying this concept to all men without exception by saying it is sufficient for all. To do so relegates the atonement to a non-effectual state and necessarily contains elements of non-substitution.
    Concluding Remarks

    To say that Christ's death on the cross provided an atonement sufficient for all is to specifically suggest that He has atoned for the sins of all men, which is essentially a universal atonement. This is a false conception and makes us, along with those who hold to a universal atonement, say the opposite of what we mean. As J. I. Packer has aptly stated,
    We want (rightly) to proclaim Christ as Savior; yet we end up saying that Christ, having made salvation possible, has justify us to become our own saviors. It comes about this way. We want to magnify the saving grace of God and the saving power of Christ. So we declare that God's redeeming love extends to every man, and that Christ has died to save every man, and we proclaim that the glory of divine mercy is to be measured by these facts. And then, in order to avoid universalism, we have to depreciate all that we were previously extolling, and to explain that, after all, nothing that God and Christ have done can save us unless we add something to it; the decisive factor which actually saves us is our own believing. What we say comes to this-that Christ saves us with our help; and what that means is this-that we save ourselves with Christ's help.
    This is a hollow anticlimax. But if we start by affirming that God has a saving love for all, and Christ died a saving death [sufficient] for all, and yet balk at becoming universalists, there is nothing else that we can say. And let us be clear on what we have done when we put the matter in this fashion. We have not exalted grace and the cross; we have cheapened them. We have limited the atonement far more drastically than [consistent] Calvinism does, for whereas Calvinism asserts Christ's death saves all whom it was meant to save, we have denied that Christ's death, as such, is sufficient to save any of them.8

    Endnotes

    1 Thomas J. Nettles has expressed this same viewpoint as part of a larger argument in By His Grace and for His Glory (Baker, 1986, pp. 305-315). I have borrowed several thoughts and examples from him, not all of which are footnoted.
    2 J. I. Packer, Introductory Essay to John Owen's, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Banner of Truth, pp. 18-19. Italics mine.
    3 John Owen, Ibid., p. 296.
    4 Nettles, Op. cit., p. 308.
    5 W. G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:464. Bracket mine.
    6 A. A. Hodge, Outlines of Theology, p. 417.
    7 Nettles, Op. cit., p. 313.
    8 J. I. Packer, Op. cit., pp. 16-17. Inserted brackets mine.
    Copyright ©1995 by Jim Ellis
    This material may be freely used except for purposes of sale or profit.
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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Great post Joe! I am certainly willing to discuss the doctrine of atonement in these terms but no longer merely as an argument over what Luther's or Calvin's doctrine was.

    The only quote I disagreed with in the article (I think) was: Mercy is not justice, but it is certainly not injustice. This is entirely false, justice in the Bible is as much the extension of mercy through God's righteous judgment in Christ as it is the extension of wrath. Maybe we can have a thread on this subject sometime!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Martin:

    I know you will hate this doctrine but nevertheless that is what they meant by it.
    I don't hate the doctrine. I just disagree and do not accept any explanation that needs explanation that needs explanation and after all that, it needs to be explained...

    For example, here is your acessment (and I believe it is a fair one) of what the "reformers" meant:

    My understanding is that the reformers that used it meant much more than this. They meant that it was an ordained sufficiency, that God intended that, in some sense, the expiation was for the reprobate even though they could also affirm that the reprobate would never receive the benefits thereof. I know you will hate this doctrine but nevertheless that is what they meant by it.
    How can one explain, without explaining the explanation and then explaining the explanation of the explanation, the fact that God ordained a sufficiency that He did not intend to make use of? Why would He do it? For judgment? I guess not because they are "already judged" as I explained about John 3:18 in my last post. Is that because the "reformers" wanted to get God off the hook and do not appear a mean God who reproves people forever and does not offer them anything? Perhaps, but they accomplished exactly the opposite!

    This sufficiency/efficiency doctrine, in my view is reminiscent of the Roman Catholic Church about Mary; The RCC teaches that Mary is so powerful and has so much influence on Jesus that "she is sufficient to convice Jesus to redeem the devil, but efficient only to plead on our (not mine or yours, theirs) behalf". Of course they don't say it with those words, but the notion is exactly the same!

    I don't think that anyone can explain to me how an offer is an offer if it does not allow for the object of the offer to either "reject or receive" the offer. Also I don't believe a sufficiency that is tought only to express an obvious notion that was never intended to be used, as for example in my comparison of using a slegde hammer to kill a fly. If I misunderstood what some "reformers" said here is because I could not stand patiently waiting for the explanation of the explanation of the explanation and then some more explanation of something that does not make sense and it is totally inexplainable... or inexplicable.

    Blessings to you! BTW, if it matters I see that you also watered down your conviction from the time you were with Flynn or whoever he was... You are now saying things as "what Calvin said" and what the "reformers wanted". I posted a few questions in my last post that you answer if you want, but I think you are no longer fully convicted of those answers as you appeared to me when you were under the influence, or reading the material of Ponter, or whatever his name is...

    I hope you read the post I posted while you were replying to my previous post...

    Ah! don't HUG any wash today, that would be HOGwash! Sorry! I pray that we NEVER lose that humor we used to share... It has a saving and healing effect in ANY relationship!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
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    My pledge to other members:
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    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    I am posting an article that is on this forum somewhere written by Jim Ellis. It is the best I have read thus far that shows the fallacy of this scheme.
    Dreadful article Joe! Talk about erecting a straw man and then knocking it down with fallacious arguments! The whole thing is one huge red herring. The phrase "sufficient for all, efficient for the elect" is justified by its proponents first and foremost as a summary of biblical teaching. The author, on the other hand, makes scant reference to scripture, and even when he does it is founded on incorrect assumptions just as is the rest of the article. The only question should be what does scripture teach not a bunch of easily refuted arguments based upon questionable premises!

    Martin

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    The phrase "sufficient for all, efficient for the elect" is justified by its proponents first and foremost as a summary of biblical teaching
    Martin:

    Isn't that the same as to say: "a sledge hammer is sufficient to kill a fly but efficient to break concrete" and this is justified by its proponents as a summary the law of physics"?

    The sufficiency/efficiency doctrine has one purpose alone:

    To be the foundation to dilute the Limited Atonement teaching and to be the cornerstone for:

    1. Free offer of the Gospel
    2. Common grace
    3. Universalism
    4. God's two wills
    I really would like to know where you stand on the exclusivity of the atonement doctrine, or Limited Atonement. When I know clearly what you believe I will have a chance to debate this issue more fruitfully.

    If you believe Limited Atonement, then, what is the relevance of the "sufficiency-efficiency" doctrine other than to teach that a "war tank can take down a mole hill"?

    If you don't, would you please state in unequivocal terms what your belief is in terms of the scope ot the atonement?

    Milt
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    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

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    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeuos Eleos
    Dreadful article Joe! Talk about erecting a straw man and then knocking it down with fallacious arguments! The whole thing is one huge red herring. The phrase "sufficient for all, efficient for the elect" is justified by its proponents first and foremost as a summary of biblical teaching. The author, on the other hand, makes scant reference to scripture, and even when he does it is founded on incorrect assumptions just as is the rest of the article. The only question should be what does scripture teach not a bunch of easily refuted arguments based upon questionable premises!

    Martin

    Obviously I disagree Martin. The article sets forth the prposition, the difuses the ballon greatlyand practically. Everyone could sit and throw their interps around back and forth, but the article brings it to life and understnading without any disharmony. The reasons for this belief are clearly set forth in the 4 propositions:

    • There is a fear that God might be charged with injustice if an atonement is not somehow provided for all.
    • A universal aspect of the atonement is perceived as necessary for a bona fide offer of the gospel to all men.
    • The atonement must somehow be designed for the non-elect in order to render them inexcusable for their unbelief.
    • Since Christ in His person is divine and infinite, so must be His work on the cross; therefore His death is sufficient for all.


    I will add another. Proponents of this doctrine must believe that God turns away those who truley seek Him. I have been blinded by this thought until recently. There is not one man in hell that can charge God with injustice or unfairness. Not one person in hell will say," I came to you, I loved you, I repented, and you turned away from me" But this sufficient/effective scheme believes this happens. Cameron must have believed souls in hell will cry this. God will not be disgraced like this.

    I for one do not believe there has to be a universal atonement sufficiency because of any offer. I believe their can be an offer, while still having a fixed atonement.
    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.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: John Calvin on 1 John 2:2

    If the atonement is sufficient for all men, but only efficient for the elect we are in the midst of a dilemma.

    If salvation can be extended to all men, then we have a Saviour who is unwilling to apply the merits of His passive and active obedience to those for whom He died. The issue of election then becomes arbitrary and brings the plain biblical teaching of "He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy; and whom He wills, He hardens" to a position of impotence - basically, it becomes useless in fullness of the message of the Scriptures.

    This "sufficiency/efficient" debate is vain philosophical reasoning and really shows one's ignorance of the purpose of the atonement.

    The atonement isn't a gift to all men to teach them of God's love. It's a means to bring the Armies of God into the Kingdom of Heaven, for an eternal reign of the new heavens and earth, in Christ Jesus.

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