Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Could John MacArthur Sign the FGA Covenant in 'Good Faith'?

Could John MacArthur sign the Covenant of the Free Grace Alliance in good conscience? I believe that he can. (Now would he? That is a different story!)

I do not believe that John MacArthur is an insincere man. I am left with the impression that this man believes everything he writes. But that would mean that he believes all of his contradictions. To him, the dissonance that it must create is probably compartmentalized in some fashion that allows him to talk out of two sides of his mouth.

With each one of the affirmations in the FGA’s covenant, I have included quotes from John MacArthur that either explicitly or implicitly shows that he could assent to the enumerated affirmation.

Does he say things that are contradictory to these statements? Of course he does. But the quotes that I provide from him, I am convinced that he believes. He holds opposing and contradictory doctrines which in someway in his mind are compatible and non-contradictory.

Again. Could John MacArthur sign on to the FGA’s Covenant? I believe that in all good conscience he could.

Page numbers, unless noted, are from “The Gospel According to Jesus, Revised and Expanded”

BTW, as you read these covenants, could YOU with all good conscience sign on to them? There can be made a case that Lou Martuneac CANNOT in all good conscience sign on to all of them. In all of the writings of Lou, it is apparent that he could not sign on to #7, for Lou demands repentance IN ADDITION to faith and other steps (totaling at least 18 things). Lou, why do you feign to be able to sign the FGA covenant? You cannot do so with a good conscience!

Why do I provide this study? For one reason, I believe that the FGA's statements are too ambiguous and not clear enough; they are too broad and could allow many evangelicals to sign on who are not Free Grace. Neither is anything in its affirmations distinctly Free Grace. The wording falls much too short of anything specifically and distinguishably Free Grace.

I believe that the Covenant needs to be re-written as to preclude people who are not really Free Grace from being able to join. I have spoken to Bob Wilkin personally about the FGA. He told me that the sole reason he wouldn't sign on is that the covenant is much to broad of a statement that could allow people who are not Free Grace to join. It isn't an issue that he can't sign it. It is an issue that he believes it is seriously inadequate.

I am a part of the FGA and have signed the covenant in good faith and conscience. Yet I believe, as Bob does, that it is insufficient to delineate and distinguish true Free Grace advocates from those who may only have a problem with some aspects of Lordship Salvation.

BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS SOME PROBLEM OF ONE SORT OR ANOTHER WITH LORDSHIP SALVATION DOES NOT MAKE THAT PERSON A FREE GRACE ADVOCATE!

On with the exercise:



1. The Grace of God in justification is an unconditional free gift.

“Salvation is a gift…” (pg 38)

“In 1:17-18 James affirmed that salvation is a gift bestowed according to the sovereign will of God.” (Q&A with John MacArthur found here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/IA-james2.htm)

“salvation is a blessed gift from God” (pg 95)

“Eternal life is not a wage, but a gift. You cannot earn eternal life because it is a free gift. It can't be earned by good works, church attendance, philanthropy, or religious rituals.” (Article entitled, “Freedom from Sin” found here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/sg45-49.htm)



2. The sole means of receiving the free gift of eternal life is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose substitutionary death on the cross fully satisfied the requirement for our justification.

“Salvation is solely by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).” (pg 37)

“Christ atoned for our sins; God is therefore propitiated… The enmity has been removed. The full price was paid, so God can receive believing sinners with no taint on his own righteousness.” (pg 200)



3. Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life

“You are made righteous only when you've put your faith in Jesus Christ, accepting His death on your behalf…” (Article entitled, “The Convicting Ministry of the Holy Spirit”, found here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg1559.htm)

“God graciously saved people by reckoning his righteousness to them because of their faith. No one has ever been saved through the merit system – salvation has been available only by grace through faith ever since our first parents fell.” (pg 196)

"Human effort cannot bring salvation. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. When we relinquish all hope except faith in Christ and His finished work on our behalf, we are acting by the faith that God in His grace supplies.” (pg 69, Faith Works)

“Justification is a past reality. It was accomplished the moment we trusted in Christ. That particular act of faith need never be repeated because we are secure in our Father's hands, and no one can snatch us from there (John 10:28-29). We are forever saved from condemnation (Romans 8:1).” (Article entitled, “The Believer’s Armor” found here: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Positions/2168)

“[our faith and assurance is in] the finished work of Christ on our behalf, including the promises of Scripture that have their yea and amen in Him (2 Cor. 1:20)" (p. 164, Faith Works).



4. Justification is the act of God to declare us righteous when we believe in Jesus Christ alone.

“Justification may be defined as an act of God whereby he imputes to a believing sinner the full and perfect righteousness of Christ, forgiving the sinner of all unrighteousness, declaring him or her perfectly righteous in God’s sight, thus delivering the believer from all condemnation.” (pg 197)

“[Justification] is owing to no good thing in us… Justification is possible exclusively through the imputed righteousness of Christ: ‘To the one who does not work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.’” (pg 199)

“…a one time legal transaction – justification -- … moves us into a new relationship with God… brings peace with God in place of enmity… makes us heirs according to the hope of eternal life… [and] is the very heart of the gospel according to Jesus.” (pg 202)



5. Assurance of justification is the birthright of every believer from the moment of faith in Jesus Christ, and is founded upon the testimony of God in His written Word.

“I do believe that there is an immediate aspect to assurance, grounded in the promises of the gospel…. We find many promises in Scripture that assure believers of their eternal destiny (eg., John 3:16; 1 John 5:1). Those promises offer objective assurance… Even a brand-new believer can look to such promises and find a measure of assurance.” (pg 273)



6. Spiritual growth, which is distinct from justification, is God’s expectation for every believer; this growth, however, is not necessarily manifested uniformly in every believer.

“There are two serious errors to avoid in the matter of justification. First, do not confuse justification with sanctification… Sanctification is a practical reality, not simply a legal declaration… By including sanctification as an aspect of justification, Catholic theology renders instantaneous justification impossible.” (pg 198)

Justification is distinct from sanctification because in justification God does not make the sinner righteous; He declares that person righteous (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:16). Notice how justification and sanctification are distinct from one another:
· Justification imputes Christ's righteousness to the sinner's account (Romans 4:11b); sanctification imparts righteousness to the sinner personally and practically (Romans 6:1-7; 8:11-14). •
· Justification takes place outside sinners and changes their standing (Romans 5:1-2, sanctification is internal and changes the believer's state (Romans 6:19). •
· Justification is an event, sanctification a process.
Those two must be distinguished…”

----(Article entitled, "Justification by Faith” found at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/Grace_to_You/Article.asp?article_id=955)

“Obviously even in Scripture we see that believers sometimes sinned grievously and over long periods of time… believers do not lose their salvation when they sin but [they] forfeit… the joy of their salvation (Ps. 51:12).” (pg 274)

“Christians can be carnal… they can behave in carnal ways.” (pg 280)

“Certainly true believers can ‘backslide’…” (pg 281)

“…true believers are said to backslide (Jer. 14:7) All believers go through times when they do not grow or are set back in their growth by sin – they seem to be sliding backwards like a calf on a muddy slope (cf. Hos. 4:16 KJV).” (pg 281)



7. The Gospel of Grace should always be presented with such clarity and simplicity that no impression is left that justification requires any step, response, or action in addition to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Now, listen. Salvation then is by grace completely apart from works.” (Article entitled, “The Salvation of Babies who Die” found here: http://www.ondoctrine.com/2mac0142.htm)

“What is the gospel? That question fuels the passion that has driven me all the years of my ministry. It is not merely an academic quest. I want to know what God’s Word teaches so that I can proclaim it with accuracy and clarity.” (pg xx)

“Let me say as clearly as possible right now that salvation is by God’s sovereign grace and grace alone. Nothing a lost, degenerate, spiritually dead sinner can do will in any way contribute to salvation… I have never taught that some presalvation works of righteousness are necessary to or part of salvation.” (pg xvi)

“Most critical is this truth: Salvation has always been by grace through faith, not by works of the law (Gal. 2:16). Clearly, even Old Testament saints… were saved by grace through faith.” (pg 32, emphasis his)

“Salvation is solely by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). That truth is the biblical watershed for all we teach.” (pg 37)

“Salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). That is the consistent and unambiguous teaching of Scripture.” (pg 94)

“Eternal life is not a wage, but a gift. You cannot earn eternal life because it is a free gift. It can't be earned by good works, church attendance, philanthropy, or religious rituals… There is nothing else to say to the world other than to offer them the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.” (Article entitled, “Freedom from Sin” found here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/sg45-49.htm)

105 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

That is interesting.

March 17, 2008 11:22 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS SOME PROBLEM OF ONE SORT OR ANOTHER WITH LORDSHIP SALVATION DOES NOT MAKE THAT PERSON A FREE GRACE ADVOCATE!

Well, it does depend on the nature of the "problems" that one has with LS. But if one does not hold to a works-based religion, nor does one hold to the possibility that salvation can be lost, yet has problems with LS, what exactly does that make them then?

March 18, 2008 7:06 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

It is no surprise to me that John MacArthur could sound like Free Grace.

Calvinist can make it sound as though they are biblical, and even say that Calvinism is the Gospel.

They even think they are offering a free gift, when in reality the person is not able to even receive the gift but must be made willing after of course they have been zapped (regenerated).

The gift they offer is really not a gift one can resist, or even take freely because they have no free will.

It is a system that is forced upon the individual and works are required as evidence one has been truly given the gift of faith.


But the gift they are offering is NOT the living water of the Bible which one can take freely but it's water they must keep drinking and drinking or they never really drank to begin with.

They also know that this gift they offer is just for the elect all others have been passed over and therefore are reprobates.

The reprobates are told they can take the living water freely also,which is really just a lie.

Calvinism and free grace just do not go together. I know Zane used Calvin as an example of faith alone in Christ alone, but Calvin's assurance was in his Catholic infant baptism. So what he gave with one hand he took away with the other.

I consider Calvinism another gospel, so if a Calvinist could sign off on the FGA such as MacArthur that is pretty sad.

blessings alvin

March 18, 2008 7:20 AM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Alvin said:

The reprobates are told they can take the living water freely also,which is really just a lie.

That was very well put, Alvin.

March 18, 2008 8:10 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Ryrie considered himself a Calvinist. So did Lewis Sperry Chafer, and Bob Wilkin reads to have identified with Calvinism too, at least in 1997. Care to rethink your fundie claims?

March 18, 2008 8:24 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Hey, here's an idea: All you need to do is redefine Calvinism to be whatever best fits your viem! That'd be consistent with Redefined Free Grace. ;-)

As to the article: Seriously, back up and take a look at yourselves. This article, cherry picked quotes that we all known need to be interpreted in the context of his well known LS theology, is as (un)convincing as the args made by the "Jesus never really existed" crowd. All this article demonstrates is that John Mac could sign the FGA covenant if he consciously redefined the terms within the context they were used -- but Fred already said someone could do as much so this article really just validates Fred's point.

spirited but gracious
Stephen

March 18, 2008 10:04 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio,
I read the covenant and it sounds pretty good to me. I guess I am not discerning enough, though I have been thinking about these issues for a few months now and reading all your blogs which are excellent. I am passionately free grace and read or listen to everything I can get my hands on by Bob and Zane.
Maybe you could post an article telling where the covenant is lacking in clarity and how it could be improved.
Jo Ann

March 18, 2008 10:53 AM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think this post highlights what is right about Fundamentalism.

That is, that it is not enough to affirm, but we must also reject.

We have to confront error. A statement of faith can be assented to by redefining terms. We have to systematically confront and condemn those who teach errors.

That is the truth that the old Fundamentalists recognised and it is what most of the Evangelicals today are uncomfortable with.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matt

March 19, 2008 2:12 AM  
Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME said...

Happy Easter, everyone

P/s Don't get too discouraged. We Calvinists had our teething problems too. Only ours were about 1970 years ago.

:0)

Regards,

March 19, 2008 5:22 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Stephen said:

Hey, here's an idea: All you need to do is redefine Calvinism to be whatever best fits your viem! That'd be consistent with Redefined Free Grace. ;-)



Stephen your statement is actually a very dishonest statement! Just because your flavor of Calvinism is inconsistant with the five points of Calvinism only goes to show you are a confused Calvinist, and have actually redefined Calvinism to be whatever best fits your viem!

John Calvin was a consistant Calvinist:

Speaking of Unconditional Election: " No man can claim ever to be either Calvinistic or Reformed without a firm and abiding commitment to this precious truth." (Herman Hanko, Homer C. Hoeksema, and Gise J. Van Baren, The Five Points of Calvinism Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1976, 28).

The Westminster Confession of Faith states, "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His own glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death," Even Calvin admitted that this idea was foreign to human conscience and reason: To many this seems a perplexing subject, because they deem it most incongruous that of the great body of mankind some should be predestinated to salvation and others to destruction. (Calvin, op. cit., III:xxi,1)

The decree, I admit, is dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. (Op. cit., III:xxiii,7)

That God would impose "the necessity of sinning" upon man, then condemn him for sinning, cannot be called just by any semantic maneuver. Yet this is exactly what Calvin taught and defended: The reprobate would excuse their sins by alleging that they are unable to escape the necessity of sinning, especially because a necessity of this nature is laid upon them by the ordination of God. We deny that they can thus be validly excused ... every evil which they bear is inflicted by the most just judgment of God. (Ibid)

Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children... (Op. cit., III:xxi,7)

Calvin makes God the author of every event and thus even of all sin: Now..God...arranges all things...If God merely forsaw human events, and did not also arrange and dispose of them at his pleasure, there might be room for agitating the question, how far his foreknowledge amounts to necessity; but since...he has decreed that they are so to happen...it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment. (Calvin, op. cit., III:xxiii,6)

Calvin believed that faith was the fruit of regeneration thus regeneration preceeded faith: Calvin writes, "Hence it follows, first, that faith does not proceed from ourselves, but is the fruit of spiritual regeneration; for the evangelist affirms that no man can believe, unless he be begotten of God; and therefore faith is a heavenly gift. (John Calvin, "Commentary on the Gospel According to John" Baker Book House, 1984, 43; cited in White, op. cit., 182-83)
A.A. Hodge, in his book on the Atonement, which he wrote back in 1867, cites Calvin's comments on 1 John 2:2 as explicit proof that Calvin did not believe in a general atonement. (A.A.Hodge, Atonement, p. 94)
Calvin on 1 John 2:2
But here the question may be asked as to how the sins of the whole world have been expiated. I pass over the dreams of the fanatics, who make this a reason to extend salvation to all the reprobates and even Satan himself. Such a monstrous idea is not worth refuting. (Calvin, Commentaries, vol. 5, p. 244)

blessings alvin

March 19, 2008 7:28 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Colin said:
P/s Don't get too discouraged. We Calvinists had our teething problems too. Only ours were about 1970 years ago.

Colin hate to break it to you like this but the same Catholic Monk who is called the father of Catholicism birthed Calvinsim. His name was Augustine.

The Baptist Good grants that "Augustine may be regarded as the father of the soteriological system which now goes by the name of 'Calvinism." (Good, Calvinists, p.49)
"The basic doctrines of the Calvinistic postion had been vigorously defended by Augustine against Pelagius during the fifth century." (Steele and Thomas, p.19)
Since Augustine is regarded by Calvinists as "in a true sense the founder of Roman Catholicism." (Warfield,Calvin, p. 313)
Warfield considers Augustine as both "the founder of Roman Catholicism, and the one "who gave us the reformation. (Warfield, Calvin, p.313: Ibid p. 322)
LMV

Free Grace was given from the very lips of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If you knew the gift of God, you would have known you can take it freely!
goodnight
alvin

March 19, 2008 8:09 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Alvin, you are confused. Amyraldian Calvinism is an existing, accepted, and well defined label for my current view.

Happy Easter Colin!

March 19, 2008 10:59 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

I came up with this the other day to help you all infiltrate and take over Calvinism in the next decade or so. As a sign of my overarching good will I submit that all you have to do is adopt the following mnemonic as a summary of your theology.

Trusting
Unconditionally for
Life everlasting, even in
Ignorance of the
Provider

See, then you can claim to be good "5 pointers" (wink wink) and infiltrate traditionally Calvinist organizations and slowly slip in your redefined TULIP. In a decade or two you'll be able to take over from the inside! IT COULD WORK!

Not,
Stephen

March 19, 2008 11:16 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matt,

I thought you would find it interesting.

Rachel asked:
----------
Well, it does depend on the nature of the "problems" that one has with LS. But if one does not hold to a works-based religion, nor does one hold to the possibility that salvation can be lost, yet has problems with LS, what exactly does that make them then?
----------
If this is simply where someone is at and there is not anything else specific to their beliefs, I would answer this way:

"They are on the right track."

Sincerely,

Antonio

March 19, 2008 5:14 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jo Ann,

I plan on putting something out soon that would have been a better Covenant.

The Covenant, as worded, could be accepted by a wide wange of evangelicals.

Thanks for reading and commenting. Could you tell me a little about your testimony and how you found Free Grace theology and came to find it the truth?

Antonio

March 19, 2008 5:17 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Matthew,

I think you are absolutely right. In addition to affirmations, maybe an idea of rejections ought to be included.

Antonio

March 19, 2008 5:18 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Colin,

Thanks for dropping by and your comments. I think your comment has much truth in it.

Antonio

March 19, 2008 5:19 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Alvin,

As always, very good comments.

I know that I have been guilty of allowing comments on the internet to become inpersonal and condescending sounding. I tell you I have struggled with that.

Please take that confession of mine as an admonition for you.

Your brother,

Antonio

March 19, 2008 5:21 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Stephen,

I thought about deleting your comment on the TULIP, but I have decided to keep it. I can therefore point it out in the future as an example of the ridiculous and false nature of the characterizations of my position by those who detract.

Antonio

March 19, 2008 5:23 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Are you serious? They'll laugh at me cuz I'm funny, and they'll laugh at you for not recognizing what I wrote for the satire that it is.

Good night,
Stephen

March 19, 2008 7:20 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Stephen,

Satire is based upon truth, or how else could it be funny?

You wrote, mischaracterizing my position, that believing in Jesus could be done "even in ignorance of the Provider". But I am sorry, unless you understand certain core things about Jesus of Nazareth, it will preclude you from eternal life.

Someday I will have to stand before Christ and give an account for all of the idle, vain, and purposely innacurate things that I have said and done. I am suggesting that you will have to do the same.

Goodnight,

Antonio da Rosa

March 19, 2008 7:25 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

antonio: "Satire is based upon truth, or how else could it be funny?"

Enough truth to identify what's being satirized, yes. But the form almost demands a degree of exaggeration. Check out http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com/ for (greatly exaggerated) satire of everybody's favorite Texas Ranger.

antonio said: "But I am sorry, unless you understand certain core things about Jesus of Nazareth, it will preclude you from eternal life."

What do you think those certain core things are, Antonio?

"There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live."
Stephen

March 20, 2008 6:16 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio,

My road to 'Free Grace', well it is kind of interesting in a way. But it could never have happened without the internet. We moved here to a small town in B. C. from the city 13 and a half years ago and our next door neighbours, a young couple, were avid followers of R. C. Sproul. At the time I knew nothing about Sproul and when I questioned the young man he said, 'You know, reform theology'. Well I didn't know, but was soon to find out. I asked a preacher who came to speak at our church and he didn't know either. He was the kind of man who only read his Bible, no commentaries or other reference books. I knew it had something to do with Calvinism, but didn't even know what all the five points were. So one day in the book store I bought a little book, 'The Five Point of Calvinism' (which has since gone into the trash). Don't remember the author but it was the usual Calvinist rhetoric comparing Tulip with Arminianism. At the time I thought I might lean toward Calvinism, because I didn't understand what the teachings really involved. Then some friends here started telling me about books against Calvinism, including Lawrence Vance's book and Marston and Forster's 'God's Strategy in Human History'. Our friends were very anti-Calvinist. So I began to read. Vance dealt with Lordship Salvation in his book and I really began to think about all this and came to the conclusion that I was anti-Calvinist too. Also read Dave Hunt's book, 'What Love Is This?' and others.

Well, now I knew what I was not, but what was I. Certainly not Arminian because I did not believe you could lose your Salvation. Then I got a taste of John MacArthur. Our son had taken his book, 'The Gospel According to Jesus' out of the library at the Christian University near him and I read some of it while visiting one time. Whew, did that tie my stomach up in knots. I knew something was wrong with that book, but could not put my finger on it. I was not well enough informed. But in the book he had mentioned Zane Hodges as his opponent, so I thought I should check Zane out in all fairness and see what his position was.

Well, I was just learning how to use the internet and that was the beginning of my journey to Free Grace Theology. I found the Redencion Viva web site and read some of the excerpts from Zane's books available there and ordered 'The Gospel Under Siege' and 'Absolutely Free'. Now I have been associated with the plymouth brethren (as they are known) for almost 60 years and I thought Zane's church sounded like it might be an assembly, so I did another search on it and found 'Voila' The Grace Evangelical Society list of free grace churches. The rest is history. I have been reading the journal, ordering books and listening to the conference messages ever since. I have also been reading Chafer Seminary journal and listening to their conference messages too. What a feast it has been. I have learned so much and am just soaking up the truth. Reading your blog has helped me too, to understand the issue of the saving message. You make it so clear that it is believing in a Person, The Lord Jesus Christ, and his promise of eternal life that saves eternally.

I just downloaded the 2008 Chafer Seminary conference messages from the Houston Bible Church web site:
http://deanbible.org/andromeda.php?q=f&f=/Audio+Files/WHBC+Specials/2008+-+Chafer+Theological+Seminary+Conf
I was listening yesterday to a message by Robert Dean, the pastor, on 1 Cor. 12:7-10. It was so encouraging to me. He said in the message that he believed that Paul's thorn in the flesh, according to the context, was the opposition and trial Paul experienced for his stand for the God's truth. If the apostle Paul experienced opposition, should it be any different for us. May God bless you, Antonio. Keep on keeping on.
Jo Ann

March 20, 2008 11:44 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jo Ann

Thank you for your testimony, your journey sounded allot like my own. I also am very thankful for Antonio's clear teaching. As you can tell I'm pretty anti-calvinist myself. There is much discussion on these blogs, and I have learnt allot from Antonio. What I see as the dividing line is those who truly believe that eternal life is a gift and those who reject that truth. They would reject it by saying that it's intellectual accent, and then would point to their system. Just one of those systems is Calvinism. I think Vance nailed it when he said:

The stumbling block for the Calvinist is the Simplicity of Salvation, so upon rejecting this, a mysterious, arcane, incomprehensible, decree of God.

Whether the debate is over Calvinism or the ones who are pushing the Crossless Gospel on these blogs the real issue is the freeness of the gift of life. That is the real stumbling block that God would give eternal life as Zane would put it "Absolutely Free."

blessings

March 20, 2008 9:38 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

jow: "If the apostle Paul experienced opposition, should it be any different for us."

Mormon's say that, JW's say that, I (could) say that, even the pharisees could've said that.

Paul opposed Peter in Galatians 2:11 and God himself is opposed to the proud in James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5.

"Opposition" is not an assurance of the rightness of one's position.

Just somethin' to think about,
Stephen

March 21, 2008 7:00 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Stephen,

Did you read my blog carefully?
Did you go to the site I mentioned and listen to Dr. Robert Dean's message?
Did you think about my purpose in writing what I did, i.e., to encourage Antonio in the face of oppostion? I said nothing about whether oppostion proved his position either right or wrong. I was only trying to encourage him as I had been greatly encouraged by the message I had listened to. Dr. Dean talked about how Paul's thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12 might be the many trials and tribulations in chapter 11 (the close context).

I just did a search of the New Testament for the words encourage, encouragement, etc. I found 25 occurances. Paul talks a lot about encouragement - from God and from other believers. We are enjoined to encourage other believers. It is an act of love. We are commanded to love other believers. It is not an option.

Acts 15:30-32 they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren ......

This is just one of the references about encouragement. Look them up. It is a good exercise. Try it. Then put it into practise.

I only started reading blogs a few months ago, but was hesitant to post because of all the bitter criticism that was seen there. Well, it didn't take long for me to get shot did it. Well I am unashamedly refined Free Grace and am willing to take the flak. After all Paul says we are destined for afflictions.

1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.

And we are not to be disturbed by them. Trials are a fact of life and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we will be able to thank the Lord for all the good things in our lives. And we are to encourage the fainthearted.

1 Thess. 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, ..... encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another.

Rom 15:5-6 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is just a taste of the rich feast of Scripture that is waiting for us if we will only partake.

In His Grace
Jo Ann

March 21, 2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jo Ann,

Thanks for your encouraging words. Please don't mind the "spirited but gracious" tone of some of my guests.

I appreciate your interest into things Free Grace and in this blog.

Your fg friend,

Antonio

March 21, 2008 1:20 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

I am not bitter, nor am I shooting at you. I am pointing out that encouraging someone by pointing to afflictions or opposition is poor grounds for encouragement because it assumes the rightness of ones position, and both sides think they're right, so both sides encourage their advocates with the same faulty logic. Is it noble to encourage someone to "keep on keeping on" if their position is incorrect?

No bitterness, just the facts.
Stephen

March 21, 2008 1:43 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Jo Ann,

Thanks for sharing your testimony. Your desire to encourage people to continue proclaiming what you believe is right is admirable. You are right that the Bible admonishes us over and over to encourage one another. We all need encouragement, don't we?

You said,

Well, it didn't take long for me to get shot did it.

I think you are overstating here. No one is shooting at you. We are simply taking issue with your attempt to identify with Paul's afflictions, as if the fact that you are being "afflicted" means you should continue what you're doing all the more.

Speaking only for myself, I have 2 main issues with this line of reasoning. First, I just can't see how someone disagreeing with you on a blog could be considered "trials and tribulations". I can't say that I've EVER experienced true "afflictions" as a result of anything that I believe. I wonder, have you done much debating over any of your beliefs? Because I've done a lot of it, and I can guarantee you that nothing here could even remotely be considered "trials" or afflictions".

Second, have you considered that perhaps God is using these disagreements to try to show you that you are wrong on this issue? Earlier, Stephen mentioned several times when people faced opposition as a result of them actually being wrong, e.g. Peter, the Pharisees, those who are proud, etc. It just doesn't seem that pointing to "afflictions" is a valid method of encouragement when those "afflictions" happen on both sides, and can sometimes be God's way of getting us to change, rather than continue in what we're doing.

Beyond that, the tone of your most recent post and the accusations you level and imply about my husband suggest that you are approaching this emotionally rather than objectively. No one is shooting at you in the least. But if we see you post something that we believe is incorrect, we will challenge you on it. That is the way it should be, no? If I say something you think is wrong, by all means, speak up. I don't want to hold my beliefs in ignorance, I simply want to believe what is true. This is one reason why I read and post on these blogs. It's a good way to test my beliefs, to see if they stand up to challenges. So please do not take every (or any) challenge to any of your positions as being "shot at" or whatever. We disagree on these issues, and we aren't afraid to point that out. But it's not some kind of personal attack on you. Let's stick to the issues.

March 21, 2008 1:47 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Rachel and Stephen,

Yes, by all means, let us stick to the issues.

The testimony she gave was in response to a request that I had of her. It was addressed to me and fully appropriate. Instead of continuing to bully her, as would be the manifest conclusion of any impartial reader of the material addressed to JoW by you, why not just stick to the issues as was your advice for her.

You guys seem to have time to answer and respond to others, but there are many things I have brought to the table which you are neglecting. I have answered all of the questions (or commented and responded to all of them) that have been put to me. I beleive the ball is in your court. And please, take your own advice, and stick with the issues and stop bringing up superfluous and adjunct things.

Antonio

March 21, 2008 3:57 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Just a little from the gracious people who do not personaly attack people:
From the gracious people

Get a grip Ant,
Indeed, Jeremy Myers ate a bit of crow on that point
Spirited but gracious,
Stephen
Alvin, you are the king of not answering questions
I like what Fred said about us at Lou's place... spirited but gracious. It's a serious discussion, but not a personal one.
If you think there is please chime in, but at the end of the day you're a guy with a blog and an opinion and those are a dime a dozen.
As I understand it your icon Zane Hodges couldn't agree to the FGA cov.
I suppose whether or not I'm "pleasantly condescending" depends on your point of view, but I assure you I am withholding much sharper remarks. Besides, I've been very nice to Diane because she hasn't undermined her credibility. I'm very gracious to those who are simply ignorant or mistaken, I don't have much tolerance for those whom I perceive are being dishonest or deceptive.
But it's not some kind of personal attack on you.

March 21, 2008 4:00 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Alvin,

Please stop grouping my words with Stephen's. I never claimed to be "gracious" at all times. As I said, and you apparently agree with based on your past comments, there are times to be "gracious" and times not to be.

Also, thanks for pasting in my quotes for me to clearly show how I have not personally attacked anyone. I appreciate the help.

March 21, 2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Alvin. on the other thread, I said I would soften my tone toward you. I meant that and will keep my word.

Get a grip Ant,
Antonio was ranting and had made a baseless accusation. So, yes, I told him to get a grip. Calling one back to reality is not a personal attack.

In the future I will not respond to you regarding personal attacks you think I'm making on OTHER people. If THEY think I have attacked them THEY can, and should, challenge me. This is not to spite you, it is simply a practical restriction since nothing I say to you can resolve a dispute that someone else might have with me.

Indeed, Jeremy Myers ate a bit of crow on that point
This is true and not a personal attack. Though we have not interacted with Jeremy Myers in some time now we were on better terms when we last interacted because he realized that he had "pegged" us incorrectly and was very surprised to find out how non traditional we in fact are.

Spirited but gracious, Stephen
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it... except as specifically noted. ;-)

Alvin, you are the king of not answering questions
When I last interacted with you in December of 2007 it was noted by several bloggers, the last of which was me, that you were persistently not answering their questions despite numerous attempts to draw you back to them. You gave an answer for yourself recently (in the other thread, after my statement you quoted above) and Alvin, I accept your answer. Let me be clear, I apologize for holding on to a perception of you I had from 12/2007. As I said in the other thread, after your explanation for not answering some questions, I gave you the benefit of a doubt and said I will be more gracious toward you. I meant that and, since then, I do not believe I have made any more such remarks toward you or about you.

I like what Fred said about us at Lou's place... spirited but gracious. It's a serious discussion, but not a personal one.
How is a factual observation evidence of a personal attack?

If you think there is please chime in, but at the end of the day you're a guy with a blog and an opinion and those are a dime a dozen.
And it's a true statement of fact, Antonio (just like me) is just a guy with a blog and an opinion. He is not, nor am I, a recognized authority on defining what Free Grace is or is not. My statement may lack tact but it is not a personal attack as it is manifestly and literally true.

As I understand it your icon Zane Hodges couldn't agree to the FGA cov.
This a statement of what "I understand" to be a factual truth, how is this a personal attack?

I suppose whether or not I'm "pleasantly condescending" depends on your point of view, but I assure you I am withholding much sharper remarks.
This demonstrates that I am exercising at least some restraint. How is me acknowledging restraint a personal attack unto itself?

I've been very nice to Diane because she hasn't undermined her credibility. I'm very gracious to those who are simply ignorant or mistaken, I don't have much tolerance for those whom I perceive are being dishonest or deceptive.
But it's not some kind of personal attack on you.

Right, and that's all true. Diane and I have had, I think, a spirited conversation between two people who disagree about a very serious topic but are not personally critical of each other. I have critiqued her arguments, and she has critiqued mine, but never have we pounded on one another.

Jesus used some pretty strong language for errant religious leaders of his day and Paul certainly used satire and a sharp tongue to ridicule the error of his opponents at times. If you think I'm ungracious because I point out what I see and call a spade for what I think it is, well, I suggest I have some biblical precedent for that -- especially for those who distort and mislead regarding the things of God.

Stephen

March 21, 2008 9:46 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Jo Ann. I apologize to you as well. Most of the personalities in this discussion are very familiar with each other and there is little point in beating around the bush with one another. You identified with Antonio so I quickly placed you in his bush so-to-speak. I was not wrong to do so, apparently, but I should have been more tactful and given you the benefit of a doubt as well, until you establish or discredit yourself on your own merit and arguments. We will doubtlessly clash if you continue in the discussion but I persist that is not, and has never been, personal.

March 21, 2008 9:48 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Antonio, I have not responded to some of your points because you were not as active on the blog as others this week so I replied to those who were most "present". I acknowledged in the other thread that I understand YOUR delay and also said it might be a while before I got back to you. Considering how busy you were a few days ago I thought you would appreciate that I was not making replies to you at a time when it seemed you didn't have the time to respond to them anyway. I'll be in this discussion for a looooong time, directly or vicariously through Rachel, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to grill me for whatever answers think I have left hanging.

March 21, 2008 9:50 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Jo Ann,

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your journey to free grace. I've noticed that most free gracers have gained understanding through the teaching of Zane Hodges and GES. How I thank the Lord for them!!!

I wanted to say AMEN to what you said.....
"I am unashamedly refined Free Grace and am willing to take the flak."
Me too!

Have a great Easter Week-end!
HE IS RISEN!!!! AMEN!

Diane
:-)

March 21, 2008 10:10 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Jo Ann, in the editing of my comments last night I apparently deleted something I had originally included.

"While I apologize for my quick tone (Rachel did a much better job in her comment to you) I do not apologize for the content. Your logic is faulty and faulty logic is often a focal point in debate because if an opponent's logic is faulty their argument crumbles."

Antonio is a prime example. He says he's taken a course in logic, and maybe he did, but he apparently either failed or got a pass under No Child Left Behind. Because of that he contradicts himself more often than the average bear, or backs himself into some silly positions. The whole "The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are one and the same" is a great example -- rather than swallow his pride and admit "oops" he continues to promote this gross error which jeopardizes those who put stock in his views. This is a tragedy.

This is not bullying, it's the simple truth -- poor logic is fair game in any debate and anyone in debate knows that. This debate is hot, you admit you know that, so I suggest you thicken your hide considerably. You say you are willing to take the flak, time to show it.

Are you ready to rumble?
Stephen.

March 22, 2008 4:23 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Antonio, after I posted last night, Matt 18:23+ came to mind. It strikes me that you are like the first slave, who pleaded for forgiveness (patience in your case) but then turned around and was unforgiving of someone else who requested patience. I showed you patience in the other thread and accepted your explanation for not getting back to us. Two days after whining about how little time you have, you suddenly post repeatedly and with some large comments yourself. That's fine, but then you show impatience toward me right after I showed patience to you. You, Antonio da Rosa, are a logical and ethical enigma.

I eat enigmas for breakfast,
Stephen

March 22, 2008 4:48 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Stephen and Rachel, you act like the bullies of the block who come over to someone else's yard and have no respect for them! This is not your yard but Antonio's! You might not agree with him but it's his blog and he should be given respect! You both come across like all you want to do is win an argument, so it tends to bring out the worst in people. And when people speak disrespectful against someone like Zane Hodges who most on this blog hold in high regard your not going to get a favorable response. And Stephen you have implied that you will be more gracious to me but not to Antonio. You said:
I'm not saying Antonio is a Pharisee, but I think the principle of Jesus' rebukes are rightly applied to him, and thus my tone. You are not Antonio so I will be more gracious toward you. I will be similarly gracious to Antonio if he confesses his wrong doing.

When you talk like this it is very antagonistic:
" If you think I'm ungracious because I point out what I see and call a spade for what I think it is, well, I suggest I have some biblical precedent for that -- especially for those who distort and mislead regarding the things of God."

I suggest you realize your not in your own yard but someone else's and they have the freedom to believe what they believe to be true without you accusing them of intentionally leading others astray. I believe Antonio has given your questions sound and biblical answers, and that you need to treat him with respect and dignity. This is the last I will speak to you both on this subject because it's not my blog, but just had to let you know how I feel when you speak down to Antonio.

goodnight alvin

March 22, 2008 7:05 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Diane,
Thank you for those kind words. Yes, He is risen indeed and He is my Saviour.
j

March 22, 2008 7:09 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Stephen,
Apology accepted.

Rachel, opposition does not prove my position wrong any more than opposition proves a position right-which I did not say in the first place. I only said we should expect it. Stephen was putting words in my mouth when he said and I quote
"Opposition" is not an assurance of the rightness of one's position. If you are going to critique what someone says, at least get it right.

j

March 22, 2008 7:48 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Stephen,
You say my logic is faulty. O.K. Will you be more specific and point out just what I said that was faulty logic. And be precise and objective, please.

As well, because I am the new kid on the block, could you please give me a summary of exactly what your 'position' is theologically. I don't mean a label, I mean the basic truths you hold to. I would like to know where you are coming from, so that when Rachel tells me I am wrong, I know exactly what she means.

A rumble is a fight between rival gangs of adolescents and I'm not really interested in that kind of thing, thanks.

Jo Ann

March 22, 2008 9:08 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Stephen wrote:
----------
Antonio is a prime example. He says he's taken a course in logic, and maybe he did, but he apparently either failed or got a pass under No Child Left Behind. Because of that he contradicts himself more often than the average bear, or backs himself into some silly positions. The whole "The Mormon Jesus and Evangelical Jesus are one and the same" is a great example -- rather than swallow his pride and admit "oops" he continues to promote this gross error which jeopardizes those who put stock in his views. This is a tragedy.

This is not bullying, it's the simple truth -- poor logic is fair game in any debate and anyone in debate knows that. This debate is hot, you admit you know that, so I suggest you thicken your hide considerably. You say you are willing to take the flak, time to show it.

Are you ready to rumble?
Stephen.
----------
Stephen, you come across as pompous, arrogant, and prideful. Just take a step back and get your heart right before God. This type of dialogue you bring to the table is not the fruit of the Spirit but the fruit of the flesh.

March 22, 2008 11:32 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Stephen said:
----------
That's fine, but then you show impatience toward me right after I showed patience to you. You, Antonio da Rosa, are a logical and ethical enigma.
----------
The impatience I have is with your bullying of a sister in Christ, whereas you admonish her to stick to the issues, but you take the conversation down a fruitless rabbit trail. You had time to bring a sister into question for what it seemed like: a cheap shot. You tell her to stick to the issues yet you yourself stray far in your ungracious comments. You had time to do that, yet not respond to one of many items on the table.

Take the time you need to respond, Stephen. But stick to the issues and try to bring the level down to basic courteous and polite dialogue.

March 22, 2008 11:38 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Alvin,

and they have the freedom to believe what they believe to be true without you accusing them of intentionally leading others astray.

Bzzzt. Everyone does have the freedom to believe what they believe to be true. But no one has the freedom to believe something without criticism. That's the beauty of our freedoms here in the US. I have just as much right to criticize you as you have to criticize me.

Owning a blog doesn't entitle anyone to respect. If Antonio wants respect, he needs to earn it. Same for you.

March 22, 2008 12:15 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Jo Ann,

You said,

Rachel, opposition does not prove my position wrong any more than opposition proves a position right-which I did not say in the first place. I only said we should expect it.

I never said you said that. Nor did I say that opposition "proves" your position wrong... now you are putting words in my mouth. My point is simply what I said earlier: to point to opposition as a source of encouragement is invalid, because opposition in itself is not an indicator of the rightness of a position.

I've said all I have to say on this, you get the last word.

March 22, 2008 12:49 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Btw Jo Ann,

I have a blog where you can view my position (I'm working on a series). Also, we have a group blog where you may find some interesting reading.

March 22, 2008 12:51 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Rachel both you and your husband come accross with the same kind of spirit as Lou. In your face prideful, rude, no-it-all attitudes. As I see it you haven't earned any respect!

You don't give respect, you don't get respect.

I think it would have did you both allot of good if your fathers would have taken you out behind the barn a little more often.

That's where you first learn respect for others!

blessings alvin

(the greatest blessing from God is the knowledge of the truth)

March 22, 2008 4:34 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Rachel,

I never said opposition should be a source of encouragement.

What I actually said was and I quote myself:

'I was listening yesterday to a message by Robert Dean, the pastor, on 1 Cor. 12:7-10. It was so encouraging to me'.

The message was an encouragement to me.

So your criticism is a mute point.

If I found a message I listen to encouraging, how is that wrong?

Perhaps if you took to heart the instruction of Paul to Timothy in 11 Tim. 2:24-25 you wouldn't think that you have the right be ungracious whenever it suits you.

"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,
correcting his opponents with gentleness."

A little more kindness and gentleness is certainly in order on your posts. I think it always behooves us to be gracious with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

And that is my last word
Jo Ann

March 22, 2008 5:09 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Hey Stephen,

Earlier on this page you used the 'viem'. What does it mean, I couldn't find it in the dictionary?

March 22, 2008 5:16 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio,
I do want to apologize to you. I have completely gotten away from the purpose of your blog and gone down a rabbit trail. I am new to this, but hopefully, I am learning.

The issue at hand is the insufficiency of the FGA covenant and I will concentrate on that from now on. Also I did not answer your question on how I came to find Free Grace the truth. This is a good exercise and will make me think.

More later as it is time to go church.

Jo Ann

March 23, 2008 8:44 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Jo Anne,

There are many issues surrounding the discussion of Free Grace theology versus traditionalism. I don't mind discussing any of them, or allowing them to be discussed. Nor do I mind chit-chat.

What I do mind is ungracious and impolite dealings, and shots just to be a shot.

You are my guest and make yourself at home.

Antonio

March 23, 2008 5:37 PM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Good morning, been wrapped-up with a full Easter weekend as I reckon is true for most of you as well.

jow: "'viem'. What does it mean, I couldn't find it in the dictionary?"

vieM = vieW... a typo. Oops.

jow: "What I actually said was..."

I'm not going to dredge up the details. My final word on the topic (not to be confused with Rachel's final word) is that this self quote of yours is not the aspect we were critical of. We are on different tracks but I'm happy to move on though because there are indeed meatier things to discuss.

jow: "Stephen, Apology accepted."
Thank you.

jow: "a rumble is..."
Now THAT's a funny literal image -- I can just picture you, Alvin, and Antonio meetin' up with Lou, Rachel, and I in a graffiti sprayed back alley. :-) Suffice to say I was using the term a bit more metaphorically, but your def., a literally accurate one, lightened my mood considerably.

jow: "The issue at hand is the insufficiency of the FGA covenant and I will concentrate on that from now on."

As will I moving forward.

Stephen

March 24, 2008 7:11 AM  
Blogger Bobby Grow said...

Hey Antonio. Thought I would say hi . . . I see you're still stirring things up ;-).

Boy, the husband/wife team here are quite the couple. So far I haven't seen any logic used on the post at hand, just assertions, which I suppose assumes logic . . . but thus far no argument for or against your article, Antonio. Interesting.

Anyway, just thought I would say hi, Antonio.

March 25, 2008 2:08 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

You said:
I do not believe that John MacArthur is an insincere man. I am left with the impression that this man believes everything he writes. But that would mean that he believes all of his contradictions. To him, the dissonance that it must create is probably compartmentalized in some fashion that allows him to talk out of two sides of his mouth.

I would agree with you because my own brother who is a Consistant Calvinist I know is very sincere in his belief even with all the contradictions. I have a hard time believing the same about James White though, I just keep remembering the DVD I watched with the debate against Bob Wilkin. When Bob brought up the majority of humanity the Calvinist god pleases to send to hell for no other reason then his good pleasure, Dr. White gets this big grin on his face. Dave Hunt also somewhere in his book "What Love is This" commented that just about all his dealings with Calvinist they don't seem to have any compassion for these they would simply call the reprobates.

I notice our opponents don't give the same benefit of the doubt to Zane or yourself but must agree with Ron Shea's comment. This to me explains their hostility and disrespect. I believe with Lou it's allot of jealousy that a young man as yourself is able to articulate the scripture in such a clear way.
Antonio the RFG people such as our selves are in good company with such Godly men as Zane Hodges who is a humble man of God.
blessings alvin

March 25, 2008 3:57 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

bobby: "... but thus far no argument for or against your article, Antonio. Interesting."

See the 2nd paragraph of my comment March 18, 2008 10:04 AM

March 25, 2008 5:20 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Bobby,

I'm not sure how "interesting" it is that we haven't given much answer to Antonio's article here. There's not much to say about it, because Antonio defeats his own premise. He acknowledges at the beginning that maybe John could sign the covenant, but whether or not he would sign it is a "different story". Hmm, wonder why that is? Perhaps because John is adhering to his "good conscience" and knows that the "obvious meaning" of the covenant would exclude him?

Also, Antonio admits that the only reason John "could" sign the covenant is because John (allegedly) believes things that are contradictory, it's just that John doesn't think they are contradictory. So clearly a "consistent" LS advocate couldn't sign the covenant.

This whole article shows exactly why Antonio thinks he can sign the covenant. Even though he believes things that are contradictory to the covenant, just like John, he can still find a way to sign the covenant if he applies selective statements.

March 25, 2008 9:41 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Also, Jim noted on his blog that now that he has resigned from the FGA, he has the freedom to "speak [his] mind unhindered of any doctrinal statement". This was in the context of the crossless debate. So apparently Jim, a crossless proponent, felt "hindered" by the FGA covenant to speak his true thoughts on the issue. It would seem evident from a variety of sources that the FGA covenant is more limiting than Antonio thinks.

March 25, 2008 9:46 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 25, 2008 9:50 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio,
In response to your question I submit the following:

Why Do I Hold To Free Grace Theology

1Pe 3:15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
1Pe 3:16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. NET

When I came to understand what 5 point Calvinism was and rejected each point after a lot of thought and reading, I was looking for more sound Bible teaching. I don't believe one can be a one, two, three or four point Calvinist. It is all or nothing; each point rests on the one before it and it all rests upon the false foundation of the determinism of Augustine which he got from pagan philosophies. When I began reading Free Grace materials I gained a greater understanding of such topics as the nature of faith, repentence, sancification, rewards, election (from an excellent message by John Niemela from another Chafer conference, on which I enthusiastically took notes) the freeness of the offer of eternal life apart from any other condition than faith, and others. The articles I read were done with sound exegesis and a literal hermaneutic. I began to wholeheartedly embrace these teachings and to rejoice in them. Passages of Scripture formerly puzzling to me became more understandable and the truths were consistent with other Scriptures. (My husband always says, 'Let the Bible interpret itself!) Over the years it has been a growing experience as I understood the message better and better.
I was also impressed with the integrity and graciousness of the men, expecially Zane Hodges, whom even his opponents described as a godly man. This is important because we are to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour. Titus 2:10 (addressed to slaves) In this connection I would like to quote from C. Gordon Olson, 'Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism', page 522, The Character of Theologians:
“The credibility of Paul's message is greatly dependent upon his own personal, moral credibility. If Paul was a phony, then his gospel would also be seen as phony! If he did not exemplify the message, then the message itself would be called into question. This is because the message he brought had a strong ethical dimension. His message was a message of a transformed life, and if his life did not manifest that transformation, his hearers had every right to question his message.” I agree. Mr. Olson said this in connection with Paul's defense of his own character in 2 Corinthians.
The emphasis of GES, of course, is Soteriology and the present controversy over the content of saving faith is a serious one. I am convinced that the Gospel of John was written for the express purpose of bringing one to faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, God's Annointed One, who was promised from the very beginning and looked for expectantly down through the centuries. In God's time He came and accomplished the work of redemption, took away all of our sins, past, present and future and rose victoriously from the dead. Hallelujah. To believe in Him is to receive eternal life and the the assurance that we will spend eternity in His presence. To believe is to be convinced of the truth of His promise :
Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies,
Joh 11:26 and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Martha believed it and so do I. Amen
I am just an old grandmother and never took a course in logic, but this is my testimony and it is the true facts of what happened, whatever someone else might think of it or me.
Any typos are purely my own.
Jo Ann

March 25, 2008 11:50 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

And I won't stop reading free grace materials even if I get to be 106.

March 25, 2008 11:54 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

You young whippersnappers better watch out!!! If the Grandmothers are this sharp then you really better watch out for the Grandpa's!!!

March 25, 2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Alvin,
Your comment made me laugh out loud. It sure felt good to do so.
Thanks; fellowship is a life line for believers. Without it we are parched. Actually, I had thought in the beginning the blog was supposed to be for fellowship, but.....

Jo Ann

March 25, 2008 2:09 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Jo Ann

I'm happy I could make you laugh!!!
But I have allot of respect for articulating Grandmothers like you and Diane!!! Your both Great!!! I need to work on my articulating! I just told my wife yesterday sometimes I remind myself of a computer defrag program. It seems like I go to bed and things are all jumbled. Then I wake up and it seems as though I've been defraged! Ha! Ha! That seems to be the case when I go out for a run my thought's start coming together.
I had a Mormon man at work come and ask me some questions two nights ago. 1. About the gift of eternal life. 2. About the Bible being the only book we need.
It kinda of struck me after talking with him for awhile that the false god of the Mormons's is more compassionate then the false god of the consistant Calvinist. Their false god gives everyone eternal life and has made atonement for everyone compared to the false god of the Calvinist who has created people just to hate and punish in hell. But the Mormon did tell me he didn't believe that you could receive the gift of eternal life and still go out and do what you want to. That kinda also reminded me of the Calvinist who says that it is a gift but you must endure to the end for it to be real.
But looks like I'm going to have to eat a little crow. I told him that the Gospel of John was the second to last book to be written, and that the book of Revelation was the last. Where did that come from???? I must have been between defrags, or maybe old age is setting in. Anyway I took out Zane's book on the Epistles of John which has a real good section on the dates for most of the New Testament. Also I took out Zanes book "Power To Make War" which on page 34-35 dates Revelation by the five Roman emperors making a date around 68 or very early AD 69.
Anyway I new all that but it must have went somewhere. I think I need more refreshment, I mean refreshing!! I forget, need to review more.
Well have a wonderful day!!!
alvin

March 25, 2008 2:58 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Thanks, Alvin

I know, I forget lots too. I know I have an article on Amyraldianism somewhere, but do you think I could find it on my computer. I know a certain someone who claims to be one!

And I was looking for a paragraph on oxymorons in a book I have. There was a neat poem:

As I was going up the stairs, I met a man who wasn't there.
And then I came back down again....

can't remember the next line and it was so funny - but of course absurd.

Have a good evening

Jo Ann

March 25, 2008 4:07 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Jo Ann and Alvin......

THIS IS GREAT!!!! A BLOG FOR GRANDMOTHERS!!!!!
:-)
I LOVE IT!!!

I LOVE to attend the GES Conference each year, but I was telling a friend that I think I might be getting too old to go!!!
But you all are making me feel YOUNG again!!!
:-) NEAT!!! :-)

BTW Alvin..... I know you're still young because you RUN.
:-)

Enjoying this,
Diane
:-)

March 25, 2008 9:21 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Hi Diane,

It's so nice to hear someone who is actually enjoying their faith! Those ol' sourpusses must have indigestion from all the enigmas they have been eating for breakfast.

How I would love to have been at the GES conference. I phoned right away to order the CDs and hope they come this week.

Bye the way, KK is not living up to his name because knights in the old days were chivalrous to women. Good thing there is not another K in that, that would be scary.

Bless you
Jo Ann

March 25, 2008 9:42 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Another thought...

Regarding Calvinism.... thinking specifically about ELECTION.

I use to call myself a 4 point Calvinist. But I never really thought it through. Just took the word of those I respected.

But now my eyes have been opened to see that the Bible doesn't teach ELECTION (meaning God chooses certain lost people to believe and others He doesn't choose to believe). The verses people use to defend that theology are not even talking about heaven and hell. They're talking about SERVICE.
I'm thinking particularly of Romans 9.

Also, today as I was studying my Bible the Lord was doing it again for me.... opening up new insight into His Word on a different subject. I love it when He does that!!! It's like He says.... "OK, time to show you something else new today."
It's just so neat!!!

QUESTION...
Could someone tell me if there's a place to go on this blog where we can ask Biblical questions that are NOT related to the subject being discussed here presently?
Just wondering if that's even possible anywhere on this blog?

ANTONIO..... I LOVE YOUR BLOG. You help me learn. Thank you for that!!!

Also.... Just to say AMEN to what's been said here about Zane Hodges....
I thank God for Zane Hodges. He's one person who will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. My husband and I both feel the same way. The reason is.... He always points us back into the scriptures where the answers are written. I love the way he reminds us not to go beyond what the scriptures say. I'm learning to do that!!!
:-)

From a believer who's old enough to receive Social Security,
"ha" :-)
Diane

March 25, 2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Thank you Jo Ann,

Isn't it nice to meet other believers of like faith on this blog!!! You all become my friends!

Yes, I too am anxiously waiting to receive my GES tape. I learn very slowly. I'll put the tape in, stop it, back it up, check everything out in the Bible, and repeat doing that all the way through. It takes time, but it's so satisfying. I love it!!!

Nice to meet you.

In Jesus' love,
Diane
:-)

March 25, 2008 9:58 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Ladies!

Yes your right I still run and I just slipped under the line to get those senior discounts. I must admit though you both got the jump on me! I need to hurry up and order those 2008 Conference tapes. Diane I do just what you do, go over and over them with my Bible. One of my favorite ones from last year was Col. Yates the jiffy lube man,,,ha!ha! On the Son's of God that was just great!!
I've found a good place to ask questions is on the GES chat room. I haven't been active there for quite awhile, but I went there yesterday looking for Dating for Revelation's. That's where I got some good information on Zanes books, which I already had but had forgotten.

senior discounts are great!!! Wonder if GES gives them,,,ha!ha!
alvin

March 26, 2008 12:04 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

jow: "It's so nice to hear someone who is actually enjoying their faith! Those ol' sourpusses must have indigestion from all the enigmas they have been eating for breakfast."
Bwah ha ha! You don't think I'm enjoying my faith? I think I've demonstrated the best sense of humor on this entire blog.

jow: "Bye the way, KK is not living up to his name because knights in the old days were chivalrous to women. Good thing there is not another K in that, that would be scary."
Aww, and after I apologized, you accepted, and I thought we were making such progress. I forgive you.

More later -- I have to meet with king Arthur. I think he's going to take me "behind the barn" for being an unchivalrous member of the KKK.

Stephen

March 26, 2008 7:22 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 26, 2008 8:53 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Whoop, it was a short meeting for once!

Okay jow, Do you seriously think that I, living in faithfulness to my conscience before God about what I believe is a false gospel, am not enjoying my faith? I disagree with redefined free grace soteriology but do not even pretend to judge your personal motives or your fundamental relationship to God. That's the sole purview of God and I trust you know that.

As for your paper on Amyraldianism, I'm honestly happy to read it if you find it. I'm wavering a bit on the Perseverance aspect anyway and, despite what you or others think right now, really am open to changing my mind on some things. I said the following a couple of months ago on Lou's blog that I trust will give you some perspective on where my allegiance is.

KnetKnight: "... it is apparent that many free grace people are opposed to Calvinism in general and I'll hear that argument. My point is simply this: I consider John Calvin a godly forefather but my acceptance of his individual teachings are fair game for the chopping block if it is ever conclusively demonstrated that any one of them is incompatible with God's word."

My fealty is to God first and to Calvin... well... not at all. He's just a label that helps quickly explain my theological perspective, but my views are ultimately my own and I fully realize that God will judge me, not Calvin, for what I believe and teach. As I've pointed out elsewhere however, there are some prominent figures in the lineage of free grace that claimed moderate Calvinism so I, in agreement with a recent e-mail from Bob Wilkin, don't yet see the two as anywhere near being mutually exclusive.

Regards,
Stephen

March 26, 2008 9:15 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Alvin, I always enjoy reading your posts!!!

Thank you for reminding me about GES chat-room. That IS a good place to go. I just haven't been there for a while. Glad you reminded me.

Yes, wasn't Col. Yates good on that subject of "Sons of God!" I, too, appreciated that paper SO MUCH!!! I'm convinced that he is right. All the pieces fit!!!

Now back to John MacArthur signing the FGA Covenant in Good Faith.
I understand your point, Antonio. You always bring things into perspective. Thank you for that.

The verse God has laid on my heart this week....
Micah 6:8...
"He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
to love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God"

March 26, 2008 9:21 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hey Bobby Grow!

Nice to see you come to the blog to check it out. Cruise by anytime. I agree with your statements. By John MacArthur's statements, it is abundantly clear, that the FGA covenant, as written could be signed by him in good faith. There is absolutely nothing in the statement that he would disagree with as it is written. The FGA covenant is basically a statement that any evangelical could sign.

Nice that you dropped by.

Antonio

March 26, 2008 9:59 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Hi Ya'll, JoW, Diane, Alvin, Rachel, and Stephen.

I see all your guy's stuff. While I wait for Rachel and/or Stephen to respond to the things that are on the table for them, I am writing the conclusion of my series entitled:

So you're born again... But will you walk with Jesus in white?

The first three installments are already posted here:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Read up on these (and comment on them if you desire) so that you can be prepared for the conclusion.

Your fg host,

Antonio

March 26, 2008 10:03 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

diane: "I love the way he reminds us not to go beyond what the scriptures say."

Perhaps you implied a fuller meaning but "what it says" is only one step of interpretation -- albeit a very important step and arguable the most important step to a good interpretation. However, what it "says" is ultimately meaningless without also determining "what it means." Consider Ps 91:4 as a blatant example of the obvious -- "He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge;" Going by what it "says", God is a mechanical bird-thing. I'm going to assume that we all agree that's not what it "means".

The same is true of John Mac's quotes in this article. He "says" things that seem to fit with the FGA covenant but he and we all know that what he "means" is different. Consider the following clarifications of John Mac's theology documented by Tom Stegall and summarized nicely here.
----"MacArthur writes that faith ‘encompasses obedience,’ and that obedience is ‘an integral part of saving faith.’ Indeed, obedience is bound up in the very ‘definition of faith,’ being a constitutive element in what it means to believe.’ Thus any ‘concept of faith that excludes obedience’ must be rejected because obedience is ‘indivisibly wrapped up in the idea of believing.’ In fact, ‘the character of true faith’ is nothing less than the ‘higher righteousness’ of the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11.8 MacArthur even suggests that obedience is ‘synonymous with’ faith. And he quotes with approval Rudolf Bultmann's dictum, ‘To believe’ is ‘to obey.’"
1 Must Faith Endure for Salvation to Be Sure?, by Pastor Tom Stegall|2 The Gospel According to Jesus, 173.|3 Ibid., 174.|4 Ibid., 171.|5 Ibid.|6 Ibid., 174.|7 lbid., 176.|8 lbid.|9 lbid., 174.|10 Ibid., 176.
-----


FGA Cov #3: "Faith is a personal response, apart from our works, whereby we are persuaded that the finished work of Jesus Christ has delivered us from condemnation and guaranteed our eternal life."

John Mac believes that faith and works are inseparable, even synonymous, so he could not sign the FGA Cov in "good faith".

Stephen

March 26, 2008 10:23 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

antonio: "While I wait for Rachel and/or Stephen to respond to the things that are on the table for them, I am writing the conclusion of my series entitled:"

Do you mean in the other thread? I've re-read your comments on this thread and didn't see anything that appears to be "on the table" from you to us.

Just asking,
Stephen

March 26, 2008 10:38 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

Antonio, I asked you the following question earlier in this thread. I think you somewhat answered it in the other thread but for the sake of maintaining context would you mind summarizing your thoughts here as well?

antonio: "But I am sorry, unless you understand certain core things about Jesus of Nazareth, it will preclude you from eternal life."

What do you think those certain core things are, Antonio?

Stephen

March 26, 2008 10:53 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Stephen
Sorry, in a moment of weakness, I couldn't resist poking a bit of fun at you. You have a great sense of humour and I appreciate that very much. I appreciated the gracious tone of your response too. And your love for God's word is unquestioned. I certainly relate to that.

I did wonder at your motivation in spending so much time on this blog, why it mattered so much to you what Antonio believed or wrote. But I guess you feel pretty strongly about it. I think that is because Calvinism has dominated your thinking for so long, it would be very difficult for you to make a complete about face. It is hard not to bring our presuppositions to the interpretation of Scripture, we all do it to one extent or another. We need to be aware of this and guard against it as much as possible.

I, myself, believe that Calvinism (Tulip) and Free Grace Theology are mutually exclusive but that is a big subject and right now I am trying to get clear in my mind the distinctives of Free Grace theology by studying a couple of articles, so that I can deal with Antonio's question about the inadequacy of the FGA coventant. I am still learning and will continue to do so until the Lord comes or takes me home, but everything I accept must line up with God's inerrant word.

The article on Amyraldianism is on the Chafer Theological Seminary Journal web site, the Fall 2005 issue, but you cannot read it unless you have an electronic subscription. I could send you a copy if I knew where to send it. It is basically an historical survey titled: Amyraldianism: Theological Criteria for Identification and Comparative Analysis by David Wenkel. I haven't really studied it.

Bye for now
Jo Ann

March 26, 2008 11:12 AM  
Blogger knetknight said...

jow: "Sorry, in a moment of weakness, I couldn't resist poking a bit of fun at you."

Accepted, and no problem. I've certainly dished it out on occasion so I would be amiss to not be able to take it as well.

I don't want to post my e-mail address online, I hope you understand, but if you'd like to send me that doc, go to http://www.starkweb.net/feedback/ and post your e-mail address in the form. I'll respond to you, giving you my address, and then you can e-mail me the doc. I have Antonio's e-mail address (that form, on one of my sites, is how he contacted us originally months ago) and we don't spam him or use it as an avenue for attack -- I think he'll attest to that -- so I believe we have demonstrated trustworthiness and respect in that regard.

Diane. I pointed you to this same "comment" form on the other thread and realized just today that it wasn't working right and fixed it. It was sending the submitted form using an e-mail address that no longer exists. IOW, if you sent us your e-mail that way, as I requested on the other other thread, I would not have received it and it would disappear into the void we call the Internet. Please submit again if you desire to exchange contact info.

Stephen

March 26, 2008 1:12 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Antonio, I was so blessed today as I spent a lot of time reading through your "3 parts" of...
"So you're born again... But will you walk with Jesus in white?"

You have done a wonderful job of bringing all the pieces of the scriptures together. You have discovered "exegetical gold" as you so well put it. I think these 3 parts (and soon to be 4) would be great articles for the GES Journal~!!!
:-)

For those who haven't checked out these articles by Antonio, I hope you will~!!! What a thrill to read about God's plan and purpose for His children who are found faithful~!!! To locate these articles, just scroll back a few comments where you'll see....
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Click on each article. You too will discover "exegetical gold" if you haven't already!

Antonio, this is the part of blogging that I most LOVE. It's having my eyes opened to the scriptures. It's taking what is taught and examining it like a Berean. It's discovering what God has to tell us about Himself. It's all about HIM~!!!!! It's AWESOME!!!

Please keep your blog going, and keep your articles coming. I plan to take these articles and pass them on to my children and friends. I'm asking God to let it go forth and bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God.

After I finished reading your articles today (while sitting in my car all alone), I was excited about the future that awaits us believers if we're found faithful. It was a great afternoon with the Lord. Then as I drove home (about a 40 minute drive), I played a Christian CD (music) and found myself just praising and worshiping the Lord. When God's Word reaches our inner most being, you just can't help but praise Him. It truly was a blessed day!!!

Thank you for that, Antonio!!!

All because of who He is,
Diane
:-)

March 27, 2008 8:33 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Stephen and Rachel,

Just wanted to encourage both of you to read those 3 articles (3 parts) by Antonio.

I always want to share with my friends the things that bless me.

Have a great day enjoying the Lord.

In Jesus' love,
Diane
:-)

March 27, 2008 8:43 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

Diane,

Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am in the process of finishing up the short series. Look out for it in the next few days.

Your fg friend,

Antonio

March 28, 2008 6:24 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Rachel,

Thank you for reading my thoughts, I wasn't aware that anyone on earth could do that other than my wife!

Seriously, I left the FGA not over the doctrinal statement, although I was encouraged that they have at least made an attempt to speak to the issue of it not being as clear as it could be.

And you (as others who see me as a false teacher and heretic) have not quoted me correctly,

"In fact since I have decided not to pursue dialogue that I have resigned from the Free Grace Alliance. Now I intend to speak my mind unhindered of any 'doctrinal' statement other than that of my local church and of the seminary I am a student of."

In this more complete context I am constrained by my elders and teachers/professors. You would find them all free grace and acknowledging the the centrality of the cross and resurrection as the basis of our salvation. But that belief in the Person of Jesus Christ, the one who died and rose again is the proper place to place our belief.

And as it is a private matter between me and the FGA leadership I will leave it at that.

Respectfully,

Jim

March 28, 2008 7:22 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

I agree with Diane, very good!!!

I just finished the first one, and liked especially your contrast of the false professor who tries to defend himself with the silence of the believer who entered by faith alone in Christ alone.

Antonio said:
What is interesting in this picture is when the man without a wedding garment is confronted with his lack of preparation for the joy of this feast that he is speechless. This is quite expected. For when the unfaithful Christian, now sinless, is met with the judgment for his actions, he will experience the shame of knowing that such consequence is commensurate with his infidelity (he has no sin nature to rationalize or justify his past behaviors). He will not try to talk his way out of it, for he knows all too well that his life merited such. Without so much as a word, this man will “receive the things done in [his] body” which were “bad” (2 Cor 5:10).

But contrast this with the ‘Christian’ who didn’t enter through the narrow gate (Jesus alone) and didn’t do the will of the Father (believe in Jesus), but rather trusted in his works (Matt 7:22). This one will be anything but speechless: “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” Do you feel the sincere despair in this man’s voice? He is not some conscious charlatan trying to dupe Jesus. He is all too serious. This one thus prevented from kingdom entrance is all too vocal while the Christian restricted from the superlative glories and honors of being co-heir with Christ has been silenced – much in the same way that someone is who has been confronted with his wrongdoing wherein he has hurt a loved one.


I was interested in this one comment by one who calls himself from the “Calvinist Lordship camp.”



I suppose this may be where we differ. I don't think we, the "Calvinist Lordship camp, handcuff the Bible.
But we do emphasize grace, faith and Christ to the uttermost, and ourselves to utterleast.
We would say we are not worthy by merit, but only by grace.


I just had a Mormon at work a couple of days say pretty much the same thing "it's all by grace, we don't merit it in anyway."

I would say to the uttermost to say the least, every thing is done for them! And then if everything is not in the package it would be spurious faith. I see the consistent Calvinist as not believing Jesus simple promise to give the living water freely. This in it self makes possible that the one taking the living water might be a disappointment to God, because there is no guarantee the one will live for the Lord even though the potential is there. I just was rereading Zane’s Commentary of “The Epistles of John” where he points out in 1 John 5:4 that John uses the word “whatever is born of God overcomes the world.” Instead of saying “whoever is born of God overcomes the world.” This shows the source of overcoming the world is there in whatever is born of God, and was by initial faith that had the victory. But in our experience if we are to overcome the world and have the victory, it will take an abiding faith.

I'm sure the consistant Calvinist is sincere in his thinking, but will in the end find that he had bought into a man made system which rejects the simple promise of Jesus to give the living water to anyone who desires (John 4:10; Rev 22:17).

I also noticed in the comments on the first one none of Lou’s kids responded.

Blessings alvin

March 28, 2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Friends,

I wanted to comment on some words that I read on the FGA website. It's a statement I agree with, yet I just wanted to clarify something from my own perspective.

FROM THE "FGA" webpage....
"Within the membership of the FGA there has been discussion about the minimum one must understand to be saved. Regardless of a person’s convictions, believers are called to preach the gospel, not the minimum.”

I agree with that statement. I think ALL my free grace friends would agree with that. But I just wanted to say that I'm so glad that the discussion of the minimum (or core, or bulls-eye, or target) has come up for discussion and clarification BECAUSE it has sharpened my understanding of the *importance* of emphasizing that "bulls-eye" that everyone must get to in order to be saved. I'm more aware NOW of how important that is. And for that reason I thank God for opening my eye's to that very, very, very important truth. It's a matter of eternal consequences for many. I'm thinking of those dear people who believe that Jesus died for their sins and rose from the grave, but don't think that His death is sufficient. They think they must do their part, too. They have never believed in Jesus Christ ALONE for everlasting life. They have never believed the "core" message that brings them from death to life. That "minimum" that we talk about is the "target" that must be 'hit' (believed) to be saved. The term "minimum" in my opinion is not the best word to use. I like the term.... "core" or "bulls-eye" or "target!" But that's just me.
:-)

I agree that we are to preach the gospel. I do, and I could never do less!!!!! And I just wanted all of you, my friends who read this, to know that nobody that I know in GES (or my other free grace friends) believe that ONLY the minimum should be preached. I'm a member of GES because they DO preach the gospel, but they also emphasize detail that is very important to understand. They've opened my eyes to so much truth in the Bible. I can't even begin to thank the Lord for bringing them into my path. It's been an incredible journey for me and my husband. I know what I believe, and I know what they believe. It's biblical. It's awesome. And because of their teaching I'm more equipped than ever before to tell others the wonderful saving message of Jesus Christ. My God is so good to me!!! How I thank Him for the way He's blessed me!!!

I am thankful for many friends in the FGA who have helped me grow in the Lord.
I appreciate the debate as long as it is done in love for one another and to the glory of Jesus Christ. All God asks is that we have an honest and open heart to hear Him.

All because of HIS wonderful grace,
Diane
:-)

March 28, 2008 9:17 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Diane said:
"I agree that we are to preach the gospel. I do, and I could never do less!!!!! And I just wanted all of you, my friends who read this, to know that nobody that I know in GES (or my other free grace friends) believe that ONLY the minimum should be preached. I'm a member of GES because they DO preach the gospel, but they also emphasize detail that is very important to understand. They've opened my eyes to so much truth in the Bible. I can't even begin to thank the Lord for bringing them into my path. It's been an incredible journey for me and my husband. I know what I believe, and I know what they believe. It's biblical. It's awesome. And because of their teaching I'm more equipped than ever before to tell others the wonderful saving message of Jesus Christ. My God is so good to me!!! How I thank Him for the way He's blessed me!!!

I am thankful for many friends in the FGA who have helped me grow in the Lord.
I appreciate the debate as long as it is done in love for one another and to the glory of Jesus Christ. All God asks is that we have an honest and open heart to hear Him.

All because of HIS wonderful grace."

Diane,
Thank you for that post. You expressed my sentiments exactly in a nutshell! I love you my dear, newly found friend.
Jo Ann

March 29, 2008 7:36 AM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

Diane,

You said, "I appreciate the debate as long as it is done in love for one another and to the glory of Jesus Christ. All God asks is that we have an honest and open heart to hear Him." Beautifully said, sister!

Bro. Antonio, I don't know if you have the "Rose Rule of Blog Etiquette" or not, but just in case, Hi bro. Antonio!!

March 29, 2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio,

I have been studying the GES statement of faith and Rene's article 'Basics of Free Grace Theology' to clarify the issues in my mind so that I can compare the FGA covenant. I wanted to wait to post until I had thought it through. I don't think John M. could sign the FGA covenant because he believes contradictory things and some of things he teaches would certainly be against free grace. His 'grace' is 'irresistible' which certainly doesn't mean free. 'Irresistible grace' is an oxymoron.

Jo Ann

March 29, 2008 10:08 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

David,

I am new to blogging. Are the rules of blog etiquette posted somewhere? I would like to read them.

Jo Ann

March 29, 2008 10:12 AM  
Blogger alvin said...

Jo Ann, I think David is just talking about when ever you come on Rose's Blog and address someone, it is just curtious to say Hi first to her being it is her Blog.

alvin

March 29, 2008 4:50 PM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

Thanks bro. Alvin! That's right, JoAnne! I don't believe bro. Antonio has that rule, but just in case, I didn't want to just barge in!!

BTW, you'll find Rose's rule on her blog. God Bless!

March 29, 2008 8:12 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

To Jo Ann... "my dear, newly found friend"... I feel the same way about you!

Diane
:-)

March 30, 2008 12:33 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio

I thought all three sections on "So Your Born Again but Will You Walk With Jesus In White" were excellent, and am looking forward to reading your conclusion.

alvin

March 31, 2008 3:39 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Antonio,
Well, I have studied the GES statement of faith (I had to Google their site to find it! though I had read it before) and Rene's article and I can now see clearly where the FGA covenant falls short. This has been an excellent exercise for me, both theologically and mentally, and I am now more firmly convinced than ever that Free Grace Theology is true and Biblical. Thank you for challenging me.
I had thought to go more fully into the various points, but things seem to be moving on to a discussion on rewards and, as that is one of the distinctives of of FGT, I will make this my last post on this page. I hold to each point in the GES Affirmation of Beliefs with all my heart. I do have a problem with the point on election in the GES full Doctrinal Statement, but that is a very big subject and outside the scope of this discussion. Election is something I have been struggling with for years, but I do reject unconditional election to eternal salvation. It is unbiblical.
Now, on to 'Will You Walk With Jesus in White'. What I have read so far has thrilled me, and made me long even more to please the Lord. I do want to walk with Him in white.
Jo Ann

April 01, 2008 5:25 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi Jo Ann,

We must be related because I THINK just like you do!!!
:-)

You said.....
"I do have a problem with the point on election in the GES full Doctrinal Statement, but that is a very big subject and outside the scope of this discussion. Election is something I have been struggling with for years, but I do reject unconditional election to eternal salvation. It is unbiblical."
END OF QUOTE

I too reject unconditional election to eternal salvation.
Could you tell me what exactly you read on GES' full doctrinal statement that makes you say they differ with you on this one topic? I would love to read it. I looked, but don't see exactly what you're referring to? I know that Bob Wilkin has changed his views somewhat from years ago. I THINK he would agree with you today. But I had better be careful being dogmatic on that. You could always write and ask him. He's very nice. He has always been helpful to me when I've asked. Of course, he's very busy, and I don't know how quickly he would be able to get back with you. But you can count on him to do whatever he can to answer you. He's a great guy!!!

Always good to read your comments. Isn't 'being a disciple' fun!!! Yes.... costly, but soooooooooooooooooo worth it!!!

In Jesus' love,
Diane
:-)

April 02, 2008 7:52 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

Diane,
Good Morning. Yes, the fun part of being a disciple is the fellowship in the truth. But it certainly isn't easy, especially for those in the public arena. We could be related; I am originally from California and have distant cousins all over the U. S. I am now a Canadian as I am married to one and thought I might as well become one too.

The GES full doctrinal statement is at:
http://www.faithalone.org/about/DoctStmt.html
and the paragraph I referred to is under 'Eternal Salvation'. As follows:

“We believe that God sovereignly chose those who would be saved before the foundation of the world. This we call divine election. Yet this must be balanced against the equally biblical truth that people are able to respond to God’s drawing. Ultimately there is a mystery here that we cannot now fully comprehend. God sovereignly chooses and man is free to respond to God’s drawing.”

This is a typical reform theology articulation of their doctrine of election. They call what is obviously a contradiction a 'mystery'. There is a good discussion of the Greek word 'eklektos' in 'God's Strategy In Human History' by Marston and Forster and I have a MP3 exegetical message by Dr. John Niemela given at the 2005 Chafer Seminary conference on the 'Doctrines of Election'. He went through each instance where the word is used in the N. T and not one refers to election to eternal salvation. (I made notes on it but unfortunately lost them when the motherboard was replaced on my laptop.)
Of course the reference the Calvinists like the best, 'You have not chosen Me but I have chosen you', John 15:16, was addressed specifically to the twelve disciples and refers to them being chosen as His apostles, that is for an office and a task. They were to be witnesses to His resurrection (Acts 1:22). When Judas fell from this office which he had received along with the other eleven disciples (Acts 1:17, 20), Matthias, who took his place, had also to be a witness to the resurrection (Acts 1:22).
The word is often closely associated with belovedness in regard to the Lord Jesus and in the O.T, LXX, is sometimes translated 'choice' as in 'choice silver', and reflects the value placed on the object described.

I don't know how Bob Wilkin would express his view on election today. I am sure the doctrinal statement was drawn up by a group of men on the board. I don't want to write Him as I know how busy he is, but I love discussing things with you.

Jo Ann
P.S. I didn't study the whole doctrinal statement as I was concentrating on the affirmation of beliefs'
I see Antonio has posted the 4th installment of "Walk With Jesus In White." Here we go.......
J

April 02, 2008 10:46 AM  
Blogger JoW said...

The link to the doctrinal statement didn't show up. It is:
http://www.faithalone.org/about/DoctStmt.html
J

April 02, 2008 10:50 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi JoAnn,

That was wonderful information you gave on ELECTION. Thank you for that. I forwarded it to GES and if I hear back, I'll let you know what is said about their doctrinal statement on that subject. I always emphasize NO HURRY in writing because I know how busy Bob is. Extremely so!!!
I'm just thankful for all that he does in teaching us through Journals, Newsletter, etc. God is good!!!

Also Antonio...
I reread your REVISION on part 4 today and have it so marked up with colored pencils, you wouldn't believe it!!!
:-)
And, of course, it's all good!!!
Like I said before, I learn slowly, so I'll be rereading it and digesting it. It's written so very well~!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the time you put into it!!!
It was worth it!!!

Learning God's Word is just soooooooooooo satisfying!!!

All because of HIS wonderful grace,
Diane
:-)

April 02, 2008 1:57 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi again JoAnn,

I just heard back from Bob Wilkin of GES and he HAS changed his mind on this subject of Election.
He said that he doesn't know of any verses that unambiguously teach that God elected to eternal life. Maybe their doctrinal statement will be changed in the future? I don't know how his board feels? But they're all Bereans, so we'll see.

Off to church I go. Have a great evening in the Lord.

Diane
:-)

April 02, 2008 3:31 PM  
Blogger JoW said...

Thanks Diane. I was surprised you sent my comments to Bob and he was able to answer so quickly. I know what a heavy load of work he has. We are all learning and I liked what you said about the board all being Bereans! I know they are working on the web site and are short handed since Jeremy's not there. I can hardly wait for the commentary to come out.
Jo Ann

April 02, 2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger alvin said...

Hi Antonio/Diane/Jo Ann

You all are a real blessing to me!!!
And Diane I think your just having way to much fun,,Ha! Ha!

you said:I reread your REVISION on part 4 today and have it so marked up with colored pencils, you wouldn't believe it!!!

That's GREAT!!!

I'm also glad you brought that to Bob's attention Diane, the election thing. I'm glad Jo Ann picked up on that in the GES doctrinal statement. Great work ladies your a real team!!!

The tag team Grandmothers!!! Yeah!!! They will get the job done! Watch out!!!

Your Brother Alvin

April 02, 2008 8:00 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hey Alvin...

You said...
"The tag team Grandmothers!!! Yeah!!! They will get the job done! Watch out!!!"

YES! And I have to do it FAST because I don't know how long before I'll FORGET....&*^%#~ UH? ??? What was it we were talking about???
:-)

April 02, 2008 9:18 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi again JoAnn,

If you lived close, we would be best friends!!!
:-)

I'm with you on the GES Commentary! CAN'T WAIT!!! HOW WE NEED IT!!!

Also Antonio...
Thanks for letting me get off subject somewhat. It's just nice to meet new friends. That's how I feel about JoAnn and Alvin even though I've never met them personally. Alvin's a young friend I think..... because he runs!!!
:-)

Not to repeat myself (like Grandmothers do...) BUT.... I truly appreciate your blog and your teaching!!! Thank you for all the time you put in to it to make it so profitable!!!

Diane
:-)

April 02, 2008 9:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home