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Thread: Duty Faith?

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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    It sounds like anti-duty faith people are teaching the same thing.
    i really think it's mostly a semantics issue as it seems that the anti-duty-faith people think that the duty-faith people are saying one thing when they really are saying another. for example, the anti-duty-faith people think that saying that faith is the duty of all, reprobate and elect alike, is equivalent to saying that all have the ability and that Christ died for all. it does not follow that to say that God commands all to repent and believe and that it is the responsibility (read "duty") of all to obey, reprobate and elect alike, is the same as saying that all have the ability to obey. i think the term duty is something of a shibboleth.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    i really think it's mostly a semantics issue as it seems that the anti-duty-faith people think that the duty-faith people are saying one thing when they really are saying another. for example, the anti-duty-faith people think that saying that faith is the duty of all, reprobate and elect alike, is equivalent to saying that all have the ability and that Christ died for all. it does not follow that to say that God commands all to repent and believe and that it is the responsibility (read "duty") of all to obey, reprobate and elect alike, is the same as saying that all have the ability to obey. i think the term duty is something of a shibboleth.
    This is what George Ella says in his article:
    http://www.evangelica.de/Duty_Faith_...d_Churches.htm

    PRC says: "That is why duty-repentance and duty-faith does not compromise Calvinistic doctrines of grace, but on the contrary, is true Calvinism."


    [Ella's] comment: This is begging the question and you are back at peg one. You have just hung this on without any proof whatsoever. Actually, this contradicts much of what you have said and can be in no way deduced from it. From what I gather from the above and below, you cannot possibly believe in duty faith. I suspect that you are merely hanging on to a shibboleth which you have heard is orthodox, without having examined it in the light of Scripture and conscience. I grew up accepting what some wrongly call ‘believer’s baptism’ and was very hard on those who did not agree with me. Believer’s baptism was my shibboleth. I mean here the teaching that baptism is something that we do for God. When I examined this idea, however, in the light of Scripture and conscience, it became unacceptable. Baptism is something that God does for us as there are no conditions which God has not met in Christ to bring us into full church membership with Him. We all have our shibboleths and I am certainly not saying that I am rid of mine.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    From what I can gather from reading the articles it seems that some of the current anti-duty-faith group wants to hold onto the terminology and statements of their predecessors but is actually saying the exact opposite of their predecessors.

    We deny duty-faith and duty-repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God.
    It seems pretty clear what this article is saying. It's saying that an unregenerate man should not even be exhorted to believe.

    Whatever our worthy predecessors intended by the terms of this Article, they certainly did not mean to minimize the sin of unbelief.
    This statement by Gosden seems to be saying, "I really don't know what they meant but it can't possibly be what it seems to mean." This is the same problem we find with many who want to say they adopt some confession but really disagree with the confession on various issues. They attempt to read their own beliefs into the article.

    Some have adopted a revision of the above mentioned article suggested by Mr. Popham in the Gospel Standard for December in 1906. It is supposedly meant to clarify the above statement and reads:

    We deny duty faith and duty repentance - these terms signifying that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe (Gen. 6:5, Gen 8:21, Matt. 15:19, Jer. 17:9, John 6:44, John 6:65.) We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that men in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God of themselves.
    As you can see, adding "of themselves" changes the meaning entirely. I doubt it could be proved that this was the original meaning of the article.

    It really seems that there were those who denied duty faith and those who didn't and now some want to still claim to deny duty-faith but really hold to the same belief as those who held to duty-faith.

    Ella does not really give an adequate explanation of why this is not the case or what difference there actually is.

    Sola Gratia,
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    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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    Re: Duty Faith?

    OK, next question. Who here thinks faith is a work?
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar
    From what I can gather from reading the articles it seems that some of the current anti-duty-faith group wants to hold onto the terminology and statements of their predecessors but is actually saying the exact opposite of their predecessors...Ella does not really give an adequate explanation of why this is not the case or what difference there actually is.
    i find that if everyone would just stick to discussing specific Scripture texts then the discussion becomes a whole lot easier. the problem is that people go off on logical and philosophical tangents and start throwing around un-Scriptural terminology and then things get all muddied up. stick to stuff like Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1 and then all of these tangents would be unneccesary.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Is there a difference between belief and saving faith?
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    i find that if everyone would just stick to discussing specific Scripture texts then the discussion become a whole lot easier. the problem is that people go off on logical and philosophical tangents and start throwing around un-Scriptural terminology and then things get all muddied up. stick to stuff like Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1 and then all of these tangents would be unneccesary.
    Agreed. I personally don't like the words "duty faith". But it was a major theological battle of the past and this phraseology is used by many today and those who deny the phraseology are being labeled as hypers. Because of this I want to knowk what those who believe it and deny it really mean. Is it possible that it is just an issue of semantics?
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    I think some of those that affirm duty faith believe that men are duty bound to SAVE THEMSELVES through the use of faith in accepting the sincere offer of the gospel. This is obviously unscriptural. There are others that use the term duty faith to mean that men are obligated to believe the gospel - nothing more. We know that justification, election, sanctification, salvation, and its benefits (faith) are all gifts of God. The anti duty faith people don't like the idea that men are responsible to savingly believe as it presupposes that men can indeed save themselves through the act of faith. We all know that faith is not the cause of justification but the result of justification.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Is there a difference between belief and saving faith?
    No, not as long as the belief is a true belief. Some categorize different types of belief and faith to speak of those who exhibit belief for a time and I think this can be done legitmately since Jesus also seems to do this. However, to believe is just simply the verb form of faith. And the command to repent can never be obeyed apart from faith.

    OK, next question. Who here thinks faith is a work?
    Faith is neither a work or condition but something which is worked in us by God.

    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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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Is it possible that it is just an issue of semantics?
    perhaps. i think the debate has a lot riding on the different definitions and understandings of the terminology from the different camps. i think if they could agree on what duty-faith even means, then perhaps dialogue would be much more fruitful. but the anti-duty-faith side seems intent on defining it for everyone and then making a huge argument on that basis. if we define duty-faith as simply the command to all men and responsibility of all men, reprobate and elect, to repent and believe and obey God, then i don't see how the anti-duty-faith folks can get around the Scripture. if all they are saying is that man is unable to save himself on his own, then i don't know why this even applies and why they are getting their underwear in a bunch. i think luther summarizes it well in his "bondage of the will" against erasmus: "we're talking imperatives here and not indicatives. we're not talking about ability but responsibility." some people just like to argue and have too much time on their hands or something. again, it's no wonder why the world looks upon the church and laughs when it seems that all we can do is argue amongst ourselves about the most trivial things. the sectarianism that abounds in some circles wreaks.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar
    Faith is neither a work or condition but something which is worked in us by God.
    So how is man under duty to have something that is worked in us by God? In other words, regeneration is something that is worked in us by God. Justification is something God has already done for us. The gift of faith is something God gives us. If faith is a gift, how can it be a duty?
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    So how is man under duty to have something that is worked in us by God? In other words, regeneration is something that is worked in us by God. Justification is something God has already done for us. The gift of faith is something God gives us. If faith is a gift, how can it be a duty?
    duty or command or responsibility has little to do with ability. if i command my child to do something, the child may be unable to carry it out, but that does not negate the responsibility or duty to obey the command. it really does go back to the argument luther used against erasmus. erasmus and pelagius just inferred that if we are all commanded to do something, that the commandment necessarily implied the ability to carry it out. in their minds, God would never command anything that we were not able to carry out because that would somehow be unfair or un-God of Him. but this doesn't follow. it is a logical fallacy (non-sequitur).
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    perhaps. i think the debate has a lot riding on the different definitions and understandings of the terminology from the different camps. i think if they could agree on what duty-faith even means, then perhaps dialogue would be much more fruitful. but the anti-duty-faith side seems intent on defining it for everyone and then making a huge argument on that basis. if we define duty-faith as simply the command to all men and responsibility of all men, reprobate and elect, to repent and believe and obey God, then i don't see how the anti-duty-faith folks can get around the Scripture. if all they are saying is that man is unable to save himself on his own, then i don't know why this even applies and why they are getting their underwear in a bunch. i think luther summarizes it well in his "bondage of the will" against erasmus: "we're talking imperatives here and not indicatives. we're not talking about ability but responsibility."
    Technically, it was the pro duty faith people that made a big deal out of it and started accusing those who don't agree with them as being "hypers". From what I've gathered there were *some* particular baptist hyper calvinists that wouldn't preach the gospel at all unless they thought that person was of the elect. But from what I'm discovering, those who are accusing those who denied duty faith as hypers have mischaracterized these men. They're committing historical revisionism, and have blown hyper-calvinism up so much it's amazing. When the evidence shows that these "hyper-calvinists" flourished and had many converts through their "evangelism" these people will say that it just proves how dangerous they were! LOL Anyway, I haven't heard too many people get upset about speaking duty faith, usually it's the "free offer" crowd like Phil Johnson that has condemned those who deny duty faith (Go read his article on hyper-calvinism).
    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    some people just like to argue and have too much time on their hands or something.
    LOL "too much time on their hands or something?" I admit that there are some hyper-critical individuals out there, but your comment seems to trivialize the subjects at hand and I would have to disagree with you there. These are very important topics because they have divided churches in the past and do so today.
    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    again, it's no wonder why the world looks upon the church and laughs
    They don't laugh because of debates over duty-faith, they laugh because they hate God and the Gospel of Grace.
    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    when it seems that all we can do is argue amongst ourselves about the most trivial things. the sectarianism that abounds in some circles wreaks.
    Actually, I would say sectarianism is a problem in all circles. Even I myself find myself discovering the sin of sectarianism in my own life. However, I would have to say this is not a trivial question.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    duty or command or responsibility has little to do with ability. if i command my child to do something, the child may be unable to carry it out, but that does not negate the responsibility or duty to obey the command. it really does go back to the argument luther used against erasmus. erasmus and pelagius just inferred that if we are all commanded to do something, that the commandment necessarily implied the ability to carry it out. in their minds, God would never command anything that we were not able to carry out because that would somehow be unfair or un-God of Him. but this doesn't follow. it is a logical fallacy (non-sequitur).
    Yes, and I agree with you that if man is unable to carry something out it does not mean he's not responsible. Just because man cannot obey the law does not mean he's not responsible for his transgressions. But if FAITH as we say is not a work, man cannot be responsible to WORK faith because to say he is would imply that FAITH IS a work.
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    They don't laugh because of debates over duty-faith, they laugh because they hate God and the Gospel of Grace.
    this is true. but many steer clear of the church because they see it as a bunch of squabbling and judgmental people. i'm not saying that this is what the church is, i'm just saying that this is how many see us. there often is a reason for stereotypes and i think this comes from our sinfulness and sectarianism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Actually, I would say sectarianism is a problem in all circles. Even I myself find myself discovering the sin of sectarianism in my own life. However, I would have to say this is not a trivial question.
    yes it is (not just the church). i didn't mean to minimize everything but i believe that this seems a bit trivial. at least amongst confessed calvinists, i think it is trivial to squabble here. i really don't think it's all that complicated. sometimes people just major on the minors and like to make mountains out of molehills. and i think that this debate is just one of those cases (again assuming we're not talking about those who hate the doctrines of grace).
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    Re: Duty Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    Yes, and I agree with you that if man is unable to carry something out it does not mean he's not responsible. Just because man cannot obey the law does not mean he's not responsible for his transgressions. But if FAITH as we say is not a work, man cannot be responsible to WORK faith because to say he is would imply that FAITH IS a work.
    i don't believe it does. really, everything we have is a gift of God. but this does not mean that it is NOT something that we carry out or are responsible to carry out. and before anyone gets excited i don't mean that we carry it out by our own strength and our own power. the issue is, we believe, God does not believe for us. and while it is a gift, i don't believe that it is something somehow infused in us. God simply gives us the ability to respond positively. He raises us from our spiritual death, breathing new life into us, but we exercise the faith, not God. so in that case, faith is not a work and if it is commanded to all it cannot be construed to be a work, but is a responsibility whether or not we are able to carry it out. the difference between elect and reprobate here is in that the elect don't have the ability either, until/unless God does something about it...and praise His holy Name, He does do and has done something about it!
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    Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1

    so how would an anti-duty-faith person deal with Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1? how would they understand these texts? would they interpret Acts 17 as only given to the elect? i really wonder if they deal with such texts and if so, how they deal with them.
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    Re: Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    so how would an anti-duty-faith person deal with Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1? how would they understand these texts? would they interpret Acts 17 as only given to the elect? i really wonder if they deal with such texts and if so, how they deal with them.
    Gill who is admired by the anti-duty faith people translated Acts 17:30 as follows… I don’t know if they would disagree with him or not…

    but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; that is, he hath given orders, that the doctrine of repentance, as well as remission of sins, should be preached to all nations, to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that it becomes them to repent of their idolatries, and turn from their idols, and worship the one, only, living and true God: and though for many hundreds of years God had neglected them, and sent no messengers, nor messages to them, to acquaint them with his will, and to show them their follies and mistakes; yet now he had sent his apostles unto them, to lay before them their sins, and call them to repentance; and to stir them up to this, the apostle informs them of the future judgment in the following verse. Repentance being represented as a command, does not suppose it to be in the power of men, or contradict evangelical repentance, being the free grace gift of God, but only shows the need men stand in of it, and how necessary and requisite it is; and when it is said to be a command to all, this does not destroy its being a special blessing of the covenant of grace to some; but points out the sad condition that all men are in as sinners, and that without repentance they must perish: and indeed, all men are obliged to natural repentance for sin, though to all men the grace of evangelical repentance is not given: the Jews [a] call repentance hbwvth twum, "the command of repentance", though they do not think it obligatory on men, as the other commands of the law. The law gives no encouragement to repentance, and shows no mercy on account of it; it is a branch of the Gospel ministry, and goes along with the doctrine of the remission of sins; and though in the Gospel, strictly taken, there is no command, yet being largely taken for the whole ministry of the word, it includes this, and everything else which Christ has commanded, and was taught by him and his apostles; Mt 28:20.

    and 2Thess 1:8 as follows:

    and that obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; of which Christ is the author, was the preacher, and is the sum and substance; which is good news and glad tidings of the grace of, God, of peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation by Christ; which may be said to be obeyed, when it is received and embraced by faith, with and from the heart, and confession is made of it with the mouth, and the ordinances of it are submitted to; and which is called the obedience of faith, because faith without obedience is not right, and obedience without faith is of no avail: but all that hear the Gospel do not obey it; there are some that disbelieve and reject the doctrines and ordinances of it, and others that, do profess it, and do not yield a cordial and cheerful obedience to it; both may be reckoned among the disobeyers of it: and though the unbelieving Jews may be chiefly designed here, yet deists of every age and place, where the Gospel revelation has come, and carnal professors, and profane despisers everywhere, may be included; whose condemnation will be aggravated by the external light which has shone around them, and they have hated; the severest punishment will be inflicted on them; it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah, than for such persons; see 1Pe 4:17.
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    Re: Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    so how would an anti-duty-faith person deal with Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1? how would they understand these texts? would they interpret Acts 17 as only given to the elect? i really wonder if they deal with such texts and if so, how they deal with them.
    From: http://geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/...uty_faith.html
    'BUT NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT'
    'But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent,' Acts xvii 30. This text has been considered a most clear and full authority for the duty of all men to repent and believe unto salvation. But this 'all men everywhere' we have sufficiently explained elsewhere, showing that this text cannot be taken to mean individual universality of all men, without doing violence to other texts, such as those of 'all flesh,' nor without direct opposition to the conduct of God's power now for these eighteen hundred years. But a people of all nations and tongues, and of all sorts are intended, the same as they charged Paul with teaching, saying, 'This is the man that teacheth all men everywhere,' Acts xxi 28, and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that. And beside, Paul was forbidden to go to some places and people where he was minded to go with the gospel, Acts xvi 6,7; and yet the very same phrase is used for Paul's teaching as is used in our text for God's commanding; and which is of the same meaning in which Ananias must be understood in saying to Paul, 'The God of our fathers both chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth, for thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou best seen and heard,' Acts I 14,15. And so only is it, that 'All men shall fear and declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing,' Psalm lxiv 9.
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    Re: Acts 17 and 2 Thess 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    From: http://geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/...uty_faith.html
    'BUT NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO REPENT'

    'But now commandeth all men everywhere to repent,' Acts xvii 30. This text has been considered a most clear and full authority for the duty of all men to repent and believe unto salvation. But this 'all men everywhere' we have sufficiently explained elsewhere, showing that this text cannot be taken to mean individual universality of all men, without doing violence to other texts, such as those of 'all flesh,' nor without direct opposition to the conduct of God's power now for these eighteen hundred years. But a people of all nations and tongues, and of all sorts are intended, the same as they charged Paul with teaching, saying, 'This is the man that teacheth all men everywhere,' Acts xxi 28, and which could not be all men individually everywhere, for no man could do so much as that. And beside, Paul was forbidden to go to some places and people where he was minded to go with the gospel, Acts xvi 6,7; and yet the very same phrase is used for Paul's teaching as is used in our text for God's commanding; and which is of the same meaning in which Ananias must be understood in saying to Paul, 'The God of our fathers both chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth, for thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou best seen and heard,' Acts I 14,15. And so only is it, that 'All men shall fear and declare the work of God, for they shall wisely consider of his doing,' Psalm lxiv 9.
    ok so he has proven that it doesn't mean "every individual who ever lived." but what does this prove? are we to imagine that paul had everyone submit a questionarre to find out which were elect or were really interested and then only spoke to them? or do we conclude from this that since it doesn't mean all people everywhere in the world (that it just means all in terms of more than jews, etc.) that it then only applies to the elect who come under the hearing of the command and who are the only ones with the ability to respond to the command? this individual has proved nothing at all. i seriously wonder how he further understands this text and what he thinks paul was doing/saying? i agree with Gill on both texts and i see no reason to understand it differently. paul says that God is commanding all people everywhere (you can't get much more universal than that) to repent. the anti-duty-faith person would have us read it this way, "God is commanding all people everywhere (actually only the elect among all people since the reprobate who come under the hearing of the command do not have the ability to repent/believe) to repent. therefore i cannot possibly make this declaration that paul made since i cannot possibly know whether or not everyone in the crowd to which i'm speaking actually has the ability to obey the command. poppy-cock!!!
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

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