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Thread: Common Grace?

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    Giving Good Things to Men

    It is only "not grace" by your definition, WildBoar. If they don't deserve it and they receive it, is it not gracious? It is not earned. If not earned it is grace.
    2 Peter 3:13

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    Exegetical Error

    WildBoar Said:

    Romans 1:20 flatly contradicts the notion that this was the purpose of the general revelation. The question is asked, Why did God reveal these things to them? And Paul answers with a purpose clause "so that they are without excuse." That is God's purpose in revealing these things to them. I see no grace here.

    **************

    The phrase, "so that they are without excuse" is NOT a purpose clause, it is a RESULT CLAUSE which is expanded upon in the very next verse which says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."

    "They are without excuse because when THEY knew God, THEY did not glorify him as God, neither were THEY thankful...THEIR foolish hearts were darkened". Just because you see no POSITIVE results, does NOT mean that it was not gracious of God to reveal himself.

    You then said to Disciple, "Bestowal of good things is not the same as grace." But no man deserves anything from God, not even his continued life. If it is not deserved, then it is gracious of God to give these things to the lost. On Judgment Day this goodness militates against the lost, but so does his misuse of the General Revelation he has likewise squelched.

    How about Acts 14:16,17 ?"In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." This Common Grace testifies to character of God. He gives food and joy, but lost mankind turns food into gluttony and joy into the idol of self-centeredness. The misuse of His gifts is not His responsiblity nor does it detract from the nature of the gift.

    WildBoar, you also said, "...giving someone a good gift is not the same as bestowing grace upon a person." Since when is giving a good gift to your enemy not a gracious act?? That is what the lost are to Him! He gives good things to his enemies. He shows love to his enemies. (Hey, guess what? That is what Jesus said we are to do too...Love our enemies!)

    And regarding the CRC, I suspect that there were far more factors in that denomination's decline than accepting common grace. That "decline" would only be a decline if there were not the seeds of Arminianism in the group that would appropriate valid theology inappropriately. That would have happened whether or not the term "common grace" were used or not. I further suspect that there are in the CRC people who hold to a eschatology that is more like Hal Lindsay than what their creeds maintain through no fault of their creeds.

    I also see a "tendancy" among the Protestant Reformed (which I believe Englesma is a part of) to be KJV ONLY people. This reveals a mindset that can best be described as a "seige mentality."
    2 Peter 3:13

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    Don't Be Afraid: Risk Opposing Everyone!

    HJ states:

    I never said it did...the comparison is what I making. It is an analogous concept. General revelation does damn a person, yet God does reveal Himself in a general, non-saving way. Special Revelation is the vehicle for saving mankind, but General Revelation exists.

    The comparison simply is this:

    General Revelation is really from God...yet it does not save.

    General (Common) Grace is really from God...yet it does not save.

    Special Revelation is salvific.

    Special (Particular, Uncommon) Grace is salvific.

    Is General Revelation invalid because it does not save? Is General (Common) Grace invalid because is does not save?


    The answer is an unqualified YES! I know that almost all in the Protestant tradition will oppose this conclusion, but after studying the issue for 25 years (viewing all aspects of the history of dogma), I'm convinced that my answer is true.

    General Revelation and Common Grace deny the immutability of God. God reveals himself only to the elect and shows Grace (which in the NT is always salvific) only to the elect. He shows general goodness AND wrath to all the rest, at all times and places, for all eternity! His disposition never changes toward those whom he has not chosen. They now experience a sense of both the goodness and wrath of God and always will for eternity! The only difference in the hereafter is that the inequities of this life (some wicked prospering and others suffering) will become equities in the next. God will balance out all the accounts of justice which were left unbalanced here.

    I care not what the Westminster Confession says on the issue. I am not bound by a "paper pope" but only the Scriptures. The WCF is wrong in many places, not the least of which is its view of the Covenants.

    Agreed! Many amens to this!
    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: Don't Be Afraid: Risk Opposing Everyone!

    Originally posted by BillTwisse
    They now experience a sense of both the goodness and wrath of God and always will for eternity!
    Bill, could you please elaborate on this? How will God's goodness be with the reprobate in eternity? Just curious...

    Brandan
    This is my signature.

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    Theology Determing Exegesis??

    Bill said:

    "General Revelation and Common Grace deny the immutability of God." to which I disagree. Denying commong race and general revelation denies the patience and long-suffering of God. This is clearly taught in Scripture. It also denies the goodness of God. It likewise removes from the Christian the moral obligation to behave like the Heavenly Father who does good even to his enemies. I see your theology determining your exegesis here.

    Then Bill said:

    "They now experience a sense of both the goodness and wrath of God and always will for eternity! " How, pray, they experience the goodness of God for all eternity in hell? Your touchstone of "immutability" is forcing you to think that even in hell, God must show goodness to the lost? Theology is determing exegesis again here.

    Then Bill said:

    "The only difference in the hereafter is that the inequities of this life (some wicked prospering and others suffering) will become equities in the next. God will balance out all the accounts of justice which were left unbalanced here. " To me, this is obscuranta.
    2 Peter 3:13

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    Mt. 5, holds the key to this 'common grace' understanding (in my opinion) for there we see
    1. that we are not to resist evil, but turn the other cheek, as if to receive the blow again
    2. if we are taken to task, (sued in court) pay double
    3. compelled to go a mile, go two
    4. give to him that asks, (anything to anyone, not reserved for 'brethren' only)
    5. Love your enemies (are not the reprobate enemies of God? are all of us not enemies of God?)
    6. bless those that curse us (a form of grace?)
    7. do good to them that hate us (another form of grace?)
    8. pray for those that despitefully use us (more grace and kindness)

    and the KEY
    vs.45 "that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the eil and on the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

    We ARE to be conformed to the image of Christ, would God require all these things of us? If He did not possess them?
    None of these requiremets has anything to do with Salvation, but rather the living of the 'life' of and in Christ.
    Pilgrim

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    Pilgrim:

    We ARE to be conformed to the image of Christ, would God require all these things of us? If He did not possess them?
    We are not God and we stand in a different relationship to our fellow man than God does. We are no better than our neighbor and required to show love to them. God is much higher than our neighbor and is required to show no man love. God bestows his love upon those that hate Him. If this were not so, none would be saved, however it does not say that God bestows His love upon every individual. There are a multitude of things which would be sinful for us to do which are not sinful for God. It would be completely sinful for me to seek my own glory, yet it would be completely sinful for God not to.

    HJ:

    The phrase, "so that they are without excuse" is NOT a purpose clause, it is a RESULT CLAUSE which is expanded upon in the very next verse which says, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
    eis to + the infinitive is used in koine Greek for both purpose and result clauses. I don't think it makes that much of a difference either way once the whole chapter is read. What is very clear in the chapter is that God actively gives these people over to commit greater sin. Hardly, an act of love.

    I care not what the Westminster Confession says on the issue. I am not bound by a "paper pope" but only the Scriptures. The WCF is wrong in many places, not the least of which is its view of the Covenants.
    The WCF doesn't say anything about common grace. I never appealed to it.

    But no man deserves anything from God, not even his continued life. If it is not deserved, then it is gracious of God to give these things to the lost.
    Grace is underserved FAVOR on the part of God. How is God showing His love by allowing these people to live longer sinning more just so they can suffer more in hell for it?

    How about Acts 14:16,17 ?"In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
    These verses simply state that God gives good gifts to the reprobate, it does not say He gives them grace.

    And regarding the CRC, I suspect that there were far more factors in that denomination's decline than accepting common grace. That "decline" would only be a decline if there were not the seeds of Arminianism in the group that would appropriate valid theology inappropriately. That would have happened whether or not the term "common grace" were used or not.
    A close study of the matter shows otherwise. Writings at the time warned of what would eventually happen if these doctrines were adopted. Everything that they said would occur did and more so. Some of the same problems worked their way into the OPC under the teachings of Van Til and infiltrated nearly all of Presbyterianism. I noticed while in the PCA, there was a strong hesitancy to give a clear definition on what common grace was, largely I think because of what they saw occuring in the CRC.

    I further suspect that there are in the CRC people who hold to a eschatology that is more like Hal Lindsay than what their creeds maintain through no fault of their creeds.
    There's not a huge amount of dispensational influence in the CRC. They were once pretty strongly amillennial but are veering into postmillenialism, also a result of the common grace doctrine.

    I also see a "tendancy" among the Protestant Reformed (which I believe Englesma is a part of) to be KJV ONLY people. This reveals a mindset that can best be described as a "seige mentality."
    I don't know where you get your information from, but we are not KJV-onlyists. I'm currently working on my own translation of the Bible. There has been a movement among some in the denomination to adopt a newer translation. All of our churches do use the KJV but it is not because we believe the KJV to be inerrant, but to be the best current English translation. Our pastors preach on the basis of the Greek and Hebrew and mention when something is not translated as accurately as it could be. I have no idea what you mean by "seige mentality".

    Sola Gratia,
    WildBoar
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    I standby what I have written

    There is nothing more I wish to add. Yes, the PR's are wedded to the KJV and, no, it is not merely considerd the "best English translation". Those that deign to use something else are treated with distrust. I would recommend your do some in-depth study and consult Philip W Comfort's works, in particular, "The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament" and "Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament". It is fine to use the KJV if you prefer, but I want better accuracy based on better manuscripts.
    2 Peter 3:13

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    HJ:

    I have read the various arguments. I myself hold to the Byzantine priority position as advocated by Dr. Maurice Robinson. His article in defense of the position can be found here: http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol06/Robinson2001.html
    There is no official position on textual criticism in the PRC.

    There is nothing more I wish to add. Yes, the PR's are wedded to the KJV and, no, it is not merely considerd the "best English translation". Those that deign to use something else are treated with distrust.
    Could you please explain where you get your information from. You are making some very false accusations perhaps results of rumors rather than actual facts.

    I still do not see how this has anything to do with common grace though.

    Sola Gratia,
    WildBoar
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    CRC/PR

    I am not the one who first mentioned the CRC nor the PR (thorugh a mention of Engelsma) groups. I think that what happens or happened in a denomination is far bigger than one issue.

    The sole isssue is whether the concept (not the exact word or phrase) is taught clearly in the NT (being a good NTC person the NT overrides the OT). I think it does, you think it does not. The implication, if not the direct remark, is that those who do hold to common grace are on slippery path to perdition like the CRC. I think that is the issue...the not so subtle intimation of impending heresy. Hence, my statement about a siege mentality in a previous posting.
    2 Peter 3:13

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    Brief Responses

    Brandan asks:

    Bill, could you please elaborate on this? How will God's goodness be with the reprobate in eternity? Just curious...

    To answer this thoroughly would require a very lengthy Bible study. I will try and introduce the subject briefly for now--by summarizing the points of my position.

    1. The final and literal state of the non-elect will be 'everlasting shame and contempt' (Dan. 12:2). They will never be given the grace of salvation in Christ. The shame (worm) is internal to the souls of the wicked and the contempt (fire) is the external presence of a disapproving God and his glorified saints.

    2. Election unto damnation is a positive and eternal purpose of God, the same as election unto salvation in Christ. It is something that God desired and planned outside of space and time. God has what he wants in all things at all times.

    3. The exact nature of hell beyond what Dan. 12:2 describes is a mystery. We only know what God has revealed concerning it.

    4. The disposition of God never changes toward anything or anyone--or he would not be immutable. So we can never say that he has a disposition of goodness toward the wicked for a short time in this life; then completely changes this attitude in eternity. Either his disposition is/was always solely wrath or it is/was always both wrath and goodness. Of course, we know from revelation that it will never be mercy or grace (toward the wicked) and never has been.

    I simply do not know how this will be literally manifested in the eternal order of things. I only am convinced that the wicked will somehow always know in conscience that God is good to all of his creation--whether elect, reprobate, animate, or inanimate.

    'Eternal law' philosophy states that one moment of sin deserves infinite punishment 'without measure and without end.' But the feudalistic type philosophy of Anselm is never discussed nor promoted in the Bible. I teach eternal 'judgment to come' as did all of the apostles. But they never quantified this with detailed descriptions of infinite punishment like many Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims. They simply preached eternal judgment and left the details to God.

    Response to HJ:

    Denying commong race and general revelation denies the patience and long-suffering of God. This is clearly taught in Scripture. It also denies the goodness of God.

    I have explained above why I believe the very opposite is true. To me, it is absurd to call God 'patient' and 'long-suffering' when he exercises 'grace' for a split second toward the non-elect, followed by an eternity of infinite and uncontrolled wrath.

    It likewise removes from the Christian the moral obligation to behave like the Heavenly Father who does good even to his enemies.

    My belief leads me to the opposite conclusion. Since God is good to all, I do good to all men, even though I know that God has a dispensation of grace only toward some.


    I see your theology determining your exegesis here.

    Grace is never once used in the NT except to refer to the saving disposition of God toward the elect. That is exegesis.
    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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    Response

    Bill:

    Just a few comments:
    1) You have made immutability the determining character quality of God. The Scriptures do not do that. It is His holiness that the angels sing about in eternal praise. All of His other qualities are defined by this holiness. It is holy love, holy justice, holy mercy, holy patience, etc. His immutibility is also holy. If, for example, I intend to trade my vehicle in another month, it in no wise prevents me from washing and waxing it this afternoon. It is my nature to prefer clean vehicles (even ones that I will trade off in a month). Ultimate destiny does not determine intermediate actions. I know that I will die (unless the Lord returns) and that does not prevent me from eating today. It is God's holy nature to treat His enemies better than they deserve, even though their eventual destiny is hell. Immutability does not trump holiness.
    2) You wrote that hell is "infinite and uncontrolled wrath". I hardly think God is ever out of control.
    3) You wrote, "Since God is good to all,". Goodness to the anyone is unmerited. Anything given to any human being is gracious on God's part. As Paul stated to the Athenians, "For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring.(Acts 17:28). Life itself is a gift from God.
    4) You wrote, "Grace is never once used in the NT except to refer to the saving disposition of God toward the elect." This is not a word study, but a theological study. The concept is certainly taught, however. The suggestion that we use another term, like the suggestion to use "gifts" (via Luther's terminology) hardly helps. The word for gift in the NT is "charisma" which has its root in "charis" (grace). Unless I am mistaken, a gift is something I haven't earned. A wage is something I have earned. God owes nothing to anyone.
    5) As far as your reponse to Mr. Gill is concerned, I smell human philosophy here and not biblical theology.
    2 Peter 3:13

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    HJ:

    The sole isssue is whether the concept (not the exact word or phrase) is taught clearly in the NT (being a good NTC person the NT overrides the OT). I think it does, you think it does not. The implication, if not the direct remark, is that those who do hold to common grace are on slippery path to perdition like the CRC. I think that is the issue...the not so subtle intimation of impending heresy. Hence, my statement about a siege mentality in a previous posting.
    The NT should be read in light of the NT, however this does not negate any of the teachings of the OT. It's not as if the OT and NT are contradictory. The same God wrote both the OT and the NT. Common grace if applied consistently does lead where the CRC is headed. Some have simply chosen not to be consistent.

    1) You have made immutability the determining character quality of God. The Scriptures do not do that. It is His holiness that the angels sing about in eternal praise. All of His other qualities are defined by this holiness. It is holy love, holy justice, holy mercy, holy patience, etc. His immutibility is also holy. If, for example, I intend to trade my vehicle in another month, it in no wise prevents me from washing and waxing it this afternoon. It is my nature to prefer clean vehicles (even ones that I will trade off in a month). Ultimate destiny does not determine intermediate actions. I know that I will die (unless the Lord returns) and that does not prevent me from eating today. It is God's holy nature to treat His enemies better than they deserve, even though their eventual destiny is hell. Immutability does not trump holiness.
    I know this wasn't adressed to me, but I'm responding anyhow. God is His attributes. We ought not to think that God is immutable, but He is also holy. We also ought not think that God is holy, but He is also immutable. God is HOLY and God is IMMUTABLE. Immutability does not have to do with the end result, but with unchangableness in God. If God has some type of general love for a person, He will always retain that love. If He does not, He is not immutable. Love and hate are mutually exclusive with God. God does not love and hate the same person.

    Sola Gratia,
    WildBoar
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Additional Responses to JH

    I would thank WB for his comments earlier.

    Responses to JH

    It is God's holy nature to treat His enemies better than they deserve, even though their eventual destiny is hell.

    I know of nowhere in scripture where it states that this is a part of God's holy nature. Where are we once told that God treats those whom he has predestined to hell better than they deserve? That is the 'eternal law' and justice theology of Anselm, not the scriptures.

    The same reasoning would propose that God cannot allow the non-elect to breathe, sleep, eat, drink, experience happiness, etc. unless those blessings are some sort of 'temporal grace' provision resulting from the atonement. According to this reasoning, even the devil has to be included in the 'universal grace' teaching! 'Eternal law' philosophy is entirely inconsistent unless this is admitted. What allows the devil to continue his work of deception in complete comfort and happiness for many thousands of years? The ATONEMENT? Of course not. It is purely God's sovereign will and he owes an explanation to no one.

    If your statement about God's holy nature is true, God treats the devil himself far better than he deserves. In fact, God gives far more 'common grace' to the devil and many of his angels than he grants toward humans. After all, they have a much longer time to pursue their devilish interests (thousands of years instead of the threescore and ten)--unhindered by bodily suffering, horrible tragedy, or any of the other temporal discomforts limiting the human race. To me, this is obvious.

    Immutability does not trump holiness.

    God's nature is infinitely complete in both attributes, or he would not be God. One cannot be pitted against the other.

    You wrote that hell is "infinite and uncontrolled wrath". I hardly think God is ever out of control.

    In context, I wrote this not to describe my own teaching and convictions, but that of historical dogmaticians. That is, the teaching of many Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims. When Calvin in the Institutes states that God tortures the wicked 'without measure and without end,' that is what I mean by 'infinite and uncontrolled wrath'--wrath without measure.

    My position, and I believe that of scripture, is that God's wrath is always eternal and never temporal--due to his immutability. It is controlled and 'with measure'--but without end. It abides upon a reprobate soul from the moment of the person's creation to all eternity afterward.

    You wrote, "Since God is good to all,". Goodness to the anyone is unmerited.

    Agreed. However, this does not mean that 'goodness' or 'gift' equals GRACE. Grace, not goodness, is the nemesis and opposite of wrath. God extends grace only through the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ, received in faith by the elect. He extends goodness purely because he is sovereign and wants/purposes to do so. It is unrelated to whether the recipient an elect soul, reprobate soul, animate creature, or inanimate object.

    Anything given to any human being is gracious on God's part. As Paul stated to the Athenians, "For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring.(Acts 17:28). Life itself is a gift from God.

    I agree only if by 'gracious' you refer to God's general goodness and not his special saving Grace as opposed to wrath. Explained above. The continued life of the wicked devils (whether spirit or human) is a definite and wonderful gift from God. But his wrath abides upon them now and forever!

    This is not a word study, but a theological study. The concept is certainly taught, however. The suggestion that we use another term, like the suggestion to use "gifts" (via Luther's terminology) hardly helps. The word for gift in the NT is "charisma" which has its root in "charis" (grace). Unless I am mistaken, a gift is something I haven't earned. A wage is something I have earned. God owes nothing to anyone.

    Words mean things, especially as used in the Bible. I believe that we should use biblical terminology to teach biblical truth.

    "Gifts" may not be the best term to describe blessings apart from grace that God grants to devils predestined to hell. We can talk about the best word for this--but it is certainly not salvific charis!
    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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    Bill
    Where are we once told that God treats those whom he has predestined to hell better than they deserve?
    how about 450,000 jews in the wilderness for 40 years. The only ones that entered the promised land were 2 in number. He (God) certainly gave them all that they needed to survive, even shoes that did not wear out. Did they deserve any of the gifts? Was it not His kindness and unmerited favor (grace) that kept them 40 years.
    Pilgrim

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    Never Come to An Agreement on This

    Bill:

    You said:Where are we once told that God treats those whom he has predestined to hell better than they deserve?

    Ans: Acts 17:28. No one deserves any good thing, espcially the lost. Period.

    You said: God's nature is infinitely complete in both attributes, or he would not be God. One cannot be pitted against the other.

    Ans: I propose that is exactly what you do. Where do you see any character quality sung by the angels in the Lord's very presence...except holiness?


    You said: this does not mean that 'goodness' or 'gift' equals GRACE. Grace, not goodness, is the nemesis and opposite of wrath.

    Ans: It is only your restrictive definition that causes this issue. You define grace as only God's choice in saving a person. That is precisely my point. God is gracious when He is good to those who are damned. That is all I am saying. You seem to have a real issue with me calling it grace...so let's call it "gurblunkle" and that will make you happy. But you say "I agree only if by 'gracious' you refer to God's general goodness and not his special saving Grace as opposed to wrath." So, we agree. I NEVER said that just because God give good things to lost people that he waffles on their eternal destinty. Did I ever say that, or was read into my posts? Is there a 6th Sola...."Thou must hold to reading things into other's posts."? Scoure my postings. Did I ever say that I was referring to anything else BUT God's general goodness??? I don't think so.

    WildBoar:

    You said: "this does not negate any of the teachings of the OT."

    Ans: The Sabbath has been abrograted. I hold to the ethical teachings of the OT as passed on to me by the hands of Christ. I would refer you to this by a thorough re-reading of New Covenant Theology by Wells and Zaspel.

    You said: "If God has some type of general love for a person, He will always retain that love. If He does not, He is not immutable. Love and hate are mutually exclusive with God. God does not love and hate the same person."

    Ans: Then deal with Acts 17:28. Judgment Day is still future. Until then the good things God does for the lost pile up on them, awaiting judgment day.

    We are getting nowhere. Apparently I am a heretic...or soon to be one! Have a nice life.
    2 Peter 3:13

  17. #37
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    I had posted
    quote: We ARE to be conformed to the image of Christ, would God require all these things of us? If He did not possess them?



    Boar replied:" We are not God and we stand in a different relationship to our fellow man than God does. We are no better than our neighbor and required to show love to them. God is much higher than our neighbor and is required to show no man love. God bestows his love upon those that hate Him. If this were not so, none would be saved, however it does not say that God bestows His love upon every individual. There are a multitude of things which would be sinful for us to do which are not sinful for God. It would be completely sinful for me to seek my own glory, yet it would be completely sinful for God not to.
    Granted we are not God, I never said we were. But Jesus Christ is God! And he had all those attributes, listed in Mt. 5. Do you not find them direct commands of our Lord and Saviour? I never said we were better than anyone. Of Course God is higher, He IS GOD!! What does that have to do with the price of eggs and the questions I asked? God shows 'love', 'kindness', 'mercy' to all His Creation, even dumb animals!!
    You made a post, but I don't see that you addressed the point of my post. Why are all these commands from Christ (directly) in Mt. 5? What are we to do with them? If we strive to live them are we not striving to be like Him? That is, showing love to the unlovely, showing love, kindness, mercy to those that oppose themselves, those that are God haters. Since we 'were' God haters at one time, shouldn't we show more mercy, grace, kindness, etc. to those outside the fold, since we 'know' where they are at, and where they are headed, unless the Lord of Glory appreends them?
    Pilgrim

  18. #38
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    Pilgrim states:

    how about 450,000 jews in the wilderness for 40 years. The only ones that entered the promised land were 2 in number. He (God) certainly gave them all that they needed to survive, even shoes that did not wear out. Did they deserve any of the gifts? Was it not His kindness and unmerited favor (grace) that kept them 40 years.

    Based on all I have said, the obvious answer is 'kindness, yes; grace, no.' In the same way, God constantly shows kindness to the devil and his angels, age after age. They experience exponentially more temporal benefits than ANY non-elect human in all history. It is interesting that no one responded to this interesting but undeniable fact!

    I wasin a restaurant one night years ago in the New Orleans French Quarter. The Cuban owner was also waiting on tables that night. A Castro sympathizer was patronizing the business and argued with the owner continuously. The owner graciously pointed out all of the historical revisionism and wrong facts indulged by the patron. Finally, after seeing that there was no reconciliation forthcoming, the owner simply stated: "Let me serve you, because we are not going to agree on this."

    I think that we agree on this point, HJ. Let me serve you, because we are not going to agree!
    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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    Si Senore

    Si, I agree we will not agree. But it is called , in my country, a back-handed complement to be equated with a godless communist atheist.
    2 Peter 3:13

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    HolidayJim, I don't think BillTwisse was equating you with Castro! He was just using him as an example. Please, let's think the best of people before we think the worst.

    If only you had taken the time to get to know Bill, you would be shocked to realize that you have MUCH in common with him. Oh if only you knew!

    Yours in Christ,
    Brandan
    This is my signature.

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