April 1, 2010

Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions (including Is the “Sinner’s Prayer” in the Bible?)

Link to Dr. Brown’s Debate with Dr. White Today

You can also comment on Dr. Brown’s debate today with Dr. James White here

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

145 Comments
  1. Roland said, “Greg, I understand your point. So are you suggesting that God has “loved” everybody equally but unfortunately man’s free will is too strong for God and so he is unable to save many?”

    Huh? I’m simply quoting scripture and making obvious conclusions.

    “…love your enemies…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…”

    All sinners are enemies of God. How is God “loving” His enemies if He creates a majority of them specifically for eternal burning? It doesn’t exactly harmonize with this easily understood concept.

    There is a wicked practice in satanism and other cults in that children are conceived for the specific purpose of being sacrificed to Satan. Is “this” an example of a Godly kind of love? At least in the case of these babies, the children only suffer for a limited period. In Calvinism, however, Jesus creates people for “ETERNAL” suffering without possibility of hope… This is a total mischaracterization of Jesus (the God of Hope) and, in my opinion, is both quite blasphemous and troubling.

    In light of this, I hope you’ll reconsider the doctrines of Calvinism.

  2. Blessings, Roland.

    Let me ask you.

    One Christian (the Calvinist) believes “regeneration precedes faith”. The other Christian (the non-Calvinist) doesn’t.

    They both have the same Spirit-breathed Word of God. What makes them differ?

    You said “He quickens whom he wills”.

    Again, you are making the same calvinistic error of “regeneration precedes faith”. Please read my prior post. However, for additional scriptural evidence, please consider the following verses…

    Colossians 2:13….
    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, HAVING FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES.

    Read this verse carefully. Now WHEN are our sins and trespasses forgiven? Before we believe or after? And WHEN are we quickened together with him? AFTER our sins have been forgiven.

    Look at what our Lord said to the unbelieving Jews in John 6:53…..

    Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no (spiritual) life in you.”

    Notice carefully again what our Lord said. EXCEPT or UNLESS you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have NO (SPIRITUAL) LIFE IN YOU.”

    Unless you believe in the Roman Catholic/Augustinian interpretation of this verse, Jesus is plainly saying that without faith in his blood, we have No SPIRITUAL LIFE. NONE.

    It’s ironic that Calvinists use John 6 to support “regeneration precedes faith” when, in fact, it rebukes it.

    These two verses, along with the several added earlier, just confirm the biblical fact that the sinner believes, he is declared righteous before God and he is given spiritual life.

    Regeneration precedes faith is just not biblical.

    Come, Lord Jesus.

  3. Roland,

    Apologies are accepted! Be assured that differences of opinion are welcomed here — even solicited! — but the key thing is not to demean or insult those you differ with and not to accuse them of dishonesty or the like.

    So, again, apologies are fully accepted, and be assured that I wasn’t singling you out. Generally speaking, I’m not able to read all the posts here (I don’t monitor the site; others in our ministry do), but when someone new asks me direct questions, I have a better chance of spotting them, which I did in your case.

  4. Wingedfooted1, have you considered the argument that Martha (and many others) believed in Jesus prior to Calvary with regard to the issue of pre-faith regeneration?

    In John 11:27 Martha states, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

    Therefore, before the atonement, you have individuals believing in Jesus?

    (Calvinists claim that people are unable to “savingly believe” in Him and therefore must be regenerated.)

    Is this a reasonable argument in your opinion in refuting pre-faith regeneration?

    Thanks,
    Greg

  5. Roland,

    I feel like I used some arrogant language in my previous post to you. I apologize for that.

    Blessings,
    Greg

  6. wingedfooted 1

    You said: One Christian (the Calvinist) believes “regeneration precedes faith”. The other Christian (the non-Calvinist) doesn’t.

    They both have the same Spirit-breathed Word of God. What makes them differ?

    The answer is: God! Is it not God who reveals truth to men, and gives them wisdom and skill and the ability to think and to work with their hands and anything else that a man can do? Doesn’t he do this according to his will? Isn’t it God who works in us “both to will and to do according to his good pleasure?” I don’t know why we have these disagreements on scripture within the house of God (Free will, eschatology, etc..) My guess is that having these disagreements drives us to the bible to “study to show ourselves approved.” Perhaps it even teaches us patience with each other. Even this, is ordained of God who “works all things after the counsel of his own will.”

    You said: Colossians 2:13….
    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, HAVING FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESPASSES.

    Read this verse carefully. Now WHEN are our sins and trespasses forgiven? Before we believe or after? And WHEN are we quickened together with him? AFTER our sins have been forgiven.

    First, go back one verse and read verse 12, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. ”

    You may be familiar with that word “operation” which according to the Greek Lexicon is used in the NT “only of superhuman power, either of God or the Devil.” “The” faith of the “power” of God is the faith that God gives. This in agreement with what I believe is the correct interpretation of Eph 2:8, wherein the faith is the gift.

    For unto you it is GIVEN in the behalf of Christ, NOT ONLY to BELIEVE on him, but also to suffer for his sake; (Phil 1:29)

    Regarding v13, I think that you are trying to prove that the correct order is believe, forgiven then quickened. I would make two points.
    1. How does a man ….who does not have God’s spirit yet and therefore cannot submit to the things of God (Rom 8:7-9) and does not accept the things of God because they are foolishnes to him (1 Cor 2:14)……….submit and believe in Jesus unless God does a work in him first? I believe that the physical ressurection of Lazarus as well as creation are picture of what true salvation is like. Unless God commanded the light to come forth, no light would have come. The bible uses creation as an example of salvation in 2 Cor 4:6:

    “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

    What are we in Christ but a “new creation” from a God who “Calls things that are not as if they were.”

    In John, Jesus interweaves physical and spiritual quickening. How can the “dead” hear God? Answer, because God gives the ears to hear or, put another way, takes away a hear of stone and gives a heart of flesh, or “makes alive/quickens” the spirit so that the person realizes his lost condition and turns to God in repentance. Repentance is a work of God not ourselves.
    Why didn’t the Pharisees repent? Because it had not been given to them (Mat 13:11,) and they had not been “enabled” (John 6:65). I could say more; needless to say I believe the correct order is quickened by the spirit, through the gospel (which is the power of God unto salvation). Then, having heard the gospel by which God has worked in the heart, the sinner crys out to God and received salvation and forgiveness. The order is in close proximity but cannot be separated. Once God begins a work in somebody, he will carry it through until final glorification.

    “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6

    This is also why I don’t believe that a truly saved person can “choose to turn away” from God. We did not choose to enter in the first place and God will preserve us until the end. Inherent in the new covenant is that God will not turn away from us and we will not turn away from him (Jer 32:40) (but now we get into a debate about God’s true Israel). This is exactly what was wrong with the first covenant, “God found fault with the people.” (Heb 8)
    If God leaves salvation up to men “none seek him” and “all of us like sheep would go astray.” (see Eze 20 where God tells Israel that what they want will not come to pass but that he will rule over them with a mighty hand…) It does not speak of free will.

    Anyway, I wish I could go on but unfortunately, this type of interaction is very time consuming. I was not able to answer other posts, i’m not trying to avoid them. I think we could all stand to focus on becoming more Christ like instead of getting worked up about in house debates. I know I could! God Bless!

    Roland

  7. Wingfooted, you said, “White seemed to be offended by Brown’s comment about ‘robots’. However Calvinists often quote Ezekiel 36:26 ‘I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.’

    have you noticed that White quotes Ezk 18:31, where God commands his backslidden people to “make YOURSELVES a new heart…spirit”; then goes to 36:26, where God states he will give them a new heart and spirit. Then White proceeds to “exegete” the text in monergestic terms totally ignoring the previous text he cited sugesting, when both texts are compared, synergism.

    White demands the 36:26 text be explained in monergistic terms and, I assume, demands a monergistic application to 18:31 based on 36:26. Wow, if that’s not forcing the text, exegesis within the confines of presuppositions, wearing “Joseph Smith” styled glasses, I don’t know what is. What seems to be divine revelation to White is not so much the Scriptures as his presuppositions.

  8. Nelson,

    Thanks for your comments, which are always appreciated. I would think that Dr. White would say that, based on many other clear scriptures, he is mongergistic, etc. You, on the other hand, would say that he fails to interpret scripture by scripture.

  9. Hi Lucius, sorry I took long to answer.

    In your blog dated 4/3, you asked me, “where do you think it is that [White] gets the notion aforementioned? That is, that God vanquished their free will?”

    I don’t really know. It’s not from the Scripture as far as I can tell. I can only assume he formulates this presupposition on the basis of his erroneous views regarding man as a sinner and God’s absolute sovereignty.

    Respecting man’s sinfulness, men are “dead in sin” and completely incapable of doing anything towards salvation. I think he defines freedom to the effect that it is the freedom to do what is evil, what displeases God.

    Of course, I assume he subordinates such “freedom” of the will within God’s sovereign rule; that is, his decree that foreordains all the acts of every person, whether sin or righteousness.

    It is my understanding that White defines freedom o f the will within the confines of (1) the state of men as either sinners or saved; and (2) in subjection to God’s decree as to the acts committed by each person.

    By God having vanquished the will, I don’t think White means the will is destroyed or obliterated; however, I do think he may mean that God overrules man’s decisions foreordaining what he will and will not do (which is, in any case, effectively nullifying the idea of “free will” and, however a caricature one complains it is, also makes it parallel to creating a robot).

    I believe White defines free will as the ability to do according to one’s nature (although he defines it as such being mysteriously silent of its realtion to the notion of divine foreordination). That is, the person possessing a sinful nature will naturally and necessarily sin; he can do no more and no less. The regenerate man does what is right having the Spirit of God within him to “vanquish” the evil nature, which, although regenerate, he still maintains. Of course, here again, the foreordination of acts is absent in relation to the definition.

    Although White seems consistent, when you actually line up what his presuppositions entail with respect to free will, the correlation obtained is actually inconsistent.

    I hope I answered your question.

  10. I want to point out some clear logical errors on the part of Roland. Roland wrote:

    “I, through the reading of scriptures, understood the argument that I put forth. Only later did I find that it was in fact John Owen who had posed the question long before I did.”

    Actually scripture does not ask or answer this question. The bible gives no single answer as to why some individuals choose to believe and other individuals choose not to believe. And this is easy to explain: different people believe for different reasons. I know one guy who chose to believe because he was philosophically inclined and he found that Christianity answered all of his most important questions. I know another that said he tried everything, the Spirit showed him things about Christ that seemed to show that Jesus alone was God while other teachers and religious experts were mere men. Another chose to believe because . . . . . . .

    “I completely agree, the true believer has nothing to boast about and I too have understood the “begging faith” as you call it, knowing that I am a wretch and that apart from God’s grace, I cannot be saved!”

    Well if you agree with me on this, and this is my belief, this is my doctrine concerning how people come to Christ by being humbled and end up with a begging faith. Then why are you attacking my beliefs and doctrines with your “what makes you to differ” argument? You cannot simultaneously be attacking my views with the “who makes you to differ argument” and at the same time claim that you agree with me on begging faith. If the saving faith which is involved in our coming to faith is a begging faith that by its very nature excludes boasting, then the “who makes you to differ argument” is false. You cannot have it both ways. And if you affirm both the “who makes you to differ argument” and my points about begging faith, then you affirm a **contradiction**.

    If you really agree with me, rather than attacking my beliefs you would agree and affirm that what I am saying is true without any ands ifs or maybes!

    “However, in all of your words, you still have not answered the question!”

    And that is because the whole way of thinking and the question involved in the “who makes you to differ” argument is committing the logical fallacy of complex question (i.e. when a question is a “set up question” or “loaded question” or “leading question” and is itself based on other assumptions which are false but are part of the question: the classic example being “have you stopped beating your wife”).

    Furthermore the question has to be based on false assumptions because it leads to a conclusion that directly is contradicted by the biblical text (I note that you ignored the reference to Romans 3:27, the verse that **explicitly** says that the faith involved in salvation, or saving faith for short, **excludes boasting**).

    It is not wise to answer questions that commit the fallacy of complex questions, they are set up questions, and instead the better approach is to show the false assumptions within the set up question. Which I have done in my previous post on this subject.

    If you ask the guy “have you stopped beating your wife?” And he does not answer the question; you misinterpret things if you keep harping on the question and then claim that since he does not answer your question that your point is valid. The logical and moral thing to do is to see why the question is committing the fallacy of complex question. What false ideas are being assumed in the question?

    Or put it another way. If someone presents some argument to me that ends with the conclusion that Jesus is not God. Since I know what scripture does say that he is in fact God, I already know there is something wrong with the reasoning which led to the false conclusion. Likewise, because I know scripture says (again Romans 3:27) that saving faith excludes boasting, any “reasoning” or questions or conclusions or form of argument (such as the “who makes you to differ” argument) or even hyptheticals that suggest otherwise, that a saved person who has saving faith will boast must be false.

    “If he has, and the fault for not “choosing” God lies with the individual than you have yet to explain why one man would be inclined to “choose” Christ and another man would not!”

    Again, you keep pushing an argument and line of reasoning that is DIRECTLY AND EXPLICITLY CONTRADICTED by scripture which says that saving faith excludes boasting.

    “Why in fact, did you, ”hit rock bottom?””

    Work of the Spirit.

    “Could it be because God in his sovereignty brought you there on purpose?”

    Of course it was God doing it on purpose, none of us understands our own sinfulness, that Jesus is the way of Salvation, etc. etc. etc. etc. unless the Spirit has been working powerfully in us. That is why Jesus said no one could come to him unless they have been drawn (Jn. 6:44). None of us “hits rock bottom” and realizes it unless the Spirit has been working on us.

    “The goodness of God leads men to repentance, it does not leave them in their sin!”

    Ah here your deterministic presuppositions are creeping in: it is true that the goodness of God ***leads*** men to repentance, but it is not true that the work of the Spirit cannot be resisted. Nor is it true that the goodness of God ***necessitates*** men to repentance. How many times in the Old Testament was the goodness of God leading them to repentance and yet they resisted and chose not to repent???

    Again, look at most people’s conversion experience, they experienced the Spirit’s work sometimes over days, months or even years. Before they made the decision to trust in Christ for salvation, they were still saying No, still resisting, still a nonbeliever before they converted. And some have experienced the work of the Spirit and they continue to resist and are not yet saved and may never be saved.

    “You said: “You next add that prevenient grace or the grace given to each one is identical (this is dubious as God works sovereignly with each individual even if they hear the same message, but let’s put that fact aside, to continue to understand this little argument).”
    Dubious? what is dubious?”

    The assumption that God works in **exactly the same way** with every individual person is what is dubious. It is false, once again talk to different people and discuss their conversion experiences with them. There will be some common denominators there will also be some differences.

    “What do you mean God works sovereignly with individual? If you mean God works differently, than welcome to Calvinism!”

    Not true at all.

    You are now committing the logical fallacy of false dilemma as you suggest there are only two possibilities: (1) God deals with everybody in exactly the same way (which you attribute to non-Calvinism), or (2) God acts sovereignly in the lives of people acting differently in different people (which you attribute to calvinism alone: according to you if one rejects (1) then one must be calvinist). Not true at all, that does not logically follow at all. I reject (1) and I believe that God is sovereign (meaning that he does as he pleases in any situation), AND I AM NOT CALVINIST. So your thinking leaves out another possibility (3) God acts sovereignly in the lives of people and one can believe this to be true and biblical and **not** be a calvinist.

    “Because God in fact does work sovereignly and differently with individuals.”

    He works differently in their actual circumstances.

    “Some “HE wills” to bring to himself through giving them birth through the living word and some he does not.”

    No, now you merely assert your calvinism without argument. God says and says so explicitly that he desires the salvation of all men. But you reject that and instead believe that he only desires to save the preselected elect.

    “Some HE chooses to take away a heart of stone and give a heart of flesh and some he does not!”

    Here you simply repeat your calvinistic claim and do so with different words, but the meaning is the same: he desires to save only some not all. And scripture **directly contradicts** you so your view is false.

    In your next section you simply engage in what some have called a “machine gun approach” (i.e. just shoot out a bunch of verses without any interpretation and with the verses stated with your assumptions mixed in, ya know cults do this as well!). I may or may not choose to respond to that in another post.

    Robert 777

  11. Blessings, Greg.

    Sorry for the delayed response. I work during the day and while I have access to the blog, it is not looked upon favorably to post while in the office.

    To answer your question, the gospel of John is full of biblical examples of people coming to Christ. In each and every case, John states that the reason they believed was either because of something Jesus said (his teachings/message), or because of something he did (the miracles). Never, not even once, does the apostle John mention, or even hint, that the sinner had previously been regenerated. I highly encourage everyone, both Calvinists and non-Calvinists, to read the gospel of John and confirm the reason why those who believed did. Again, the examples are many, but here a just a few…..

    John 2:23….
    Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.

    They believed because of the miracles.

    John 4:39….
    Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”

    They believed based on the woman’s testimony.

    John 4:53…
    Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.

    They believed because of the miracle.

    John 10:41-42….
    …and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.” And in that place many believed in Jesus.

    They believed because of John’s testimony.

    Now consider this verse……..

    John 4:48….
    “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

    Notice he did NOT say “Unless you people are regenerated, you will never believe.” But this is precisely what Calvinism would have us believe. Again, look at what our Lord says in John 6:53…

    Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”

    Jesus said UNLESS or EXCEPT you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, YOU HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU. And he said this is TRUTH. Not an opinion, or a philosophical interpretation. How plain is that? Yet Calvinism tells us that we must first have life in order to eat and drink. They interpret this “I tell you the truth, unless you have life, you will not eat and drink.”

    I greatly appreciate the Calvinists when they give God all the glory for their salvation. Clearly, salvation is of the Lord. But to promote the idea that “regeneration precedes faith” is inexcusable. In all of scripture there is not one, not even one, biblical example to support it.

  12. Blessings, Roland.

    First, let me say that I have full empathy for the Calvinistic interpretation of scripture. In my studies of it over the years, even I have felt its pull. It is obvious from your comments that you have the Calvinistic interpretations and proof texts down pat. Let’s first look again at the 2 Colossians 2:11-12 verses….

    “IN HIM you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God (operation of God), who raised him from the dead.”

    The “power of God” or “operation of God” is referring to salvation (the gospel) and not our faith. Please consider Paul’s use of the phrase in Romans 1:16….

    “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

    That salvation is “the power of God” does indeed correlate to “the gift of God” in Ephesians 2:8, which, ironically, many Calvinists confirm. Also note that verse 11 in 2 Colossians starts out with “In Him”. WHEN are we included “In Him”? Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:13….

    “And you also were included in Christ WHEN YOU HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH, the gospel of your salvation. HAVING BELIEVED (the word of truth), you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit”.

    In regards to Romans 8:7-9 (which has previously been explained), this is referring to God’s law of works, which even a man with the Spirit can’t submit to because Paul tells us that in Galatians 2:16…

    “….for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

    Paul even goes further in Galatians 3:2 and asks…

    “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?”

    Regarding 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul is discussing “the deep things of God” (verse 10) and addressing the “mature” in Christ (verse 6). This has nothing to do with the gospel which even a child can understand (2 Timothy 3:15).

    You said “because God…..makes alive/quickens the spirit so that the person realizes his lost condition and turns to God in repentance.”

    You are saying that God gives us spiritual life and then we turn to God in repentance. But look at what God’s word says in Acts 11.18…

    “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to (spiritual) life.”

    Notice it is repentance that leads to spiritual life. Not spiritual life that leads to repentance as you suggest.

    For your convenience, I will simply re-post just a few of the several verses I posted previously for you to consider which I believe puts an end to the idea of “regeneration precedes faith”.

    Romans 8:10…
    But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, YET YOUR SPIRIT IS ALIVE BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    Now read that verse again very carefully. What causes your spirit to be “alive”?

    RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    Now WHEN are we as sinners declared righteous before God?
    When was Abraham declared righteous?

    Romans 4:3….
    What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

    Paul goes on and tells us in Romans 4:22-24….
    This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—FOR US WHO BELIEVE IN HIM who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

    Romans 3:22….
    Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO ALL AND UPON ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE.

    Please notice that we are declared righteous by God AFTER we believe. And it is BECAUSE of this imputed righteous from God (Romans 8:10) that we are “born again”, regenerated, or given spiritual life. We are declared righteous BECAUSE we believe. And it is BECAUSE of this imputed righteousness from God that we are alive spiritually. Any other rendering is just not being honest with the text.

    Galatians 3:26….
    “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

    We are not children of God until AFTER we put our faith in Jesus Christ.

    You quoted John 6:65, but completely overlooked John 6:53….

    Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, UNLESS you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, YOU HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU.”
    Again, Jesus says UNLESS, or EXCEPT you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, YOU HAVE NO (SPIRITUAL) LIFE IN YOU. NONE.

    Yet, you appear to believe that Jesus is saying “unless you have (spiritual) life, you can’t eat or drink.” Again, this is not being honest with the text.

    I asked you…

    One Christian (the Calvinist) believes “regeneration precedes faith”. The other Christian (the non-Calvinist) doesn’t.

    What makes them differ?

    You said the difference “is God”. If the difference is God, then why do you still believe regeneration precedes faith? We both share the same Word of God.

    So why do we differ?

  13. Wingedfooted1said, “Never, not even once, does the apostle John mention, or even hint, that the sinner had previously been regenerated.”

    I surely agree with you. My point, however, is whether or not a person “could” be regenerated before the Resurrection. For instance, in the verses you cited with respect to people believing in Jesus in John’s gospel, I don’t feel that they were regenerated even after their profession of faith. Why? Because Jesus had not yet atoned for their sins. They were still DEAD in sins and TRESPASSES. Without the shedding of blood, their is no forgiveness of sins. The Free Gift was given subsequent to the “righteous act” according to Romans 5:18. Therefore, in my opinion, they could not have been born-again until AFTER Calvary (etc).

    Also, if people were regenerated (spiritually reborn) after having believed on Jesus and “prior” to His Resurrection, why did Christ say to His disciples in John 20 (post Resurrection), “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

    If they were already regenerated, why did they need to “receive the Spirit?”

  14. Blessings, Greg.

    So your question is “does regeneration precede resurrection”?
    I definitely lean towards the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit as an event that transpired after the cross. I believe there are even some Calvinists that believe the new birth only occurred after the cross.

    Of course John 7:38-39 comes to mind….
    Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

    Just another verse that rebukes “regeneration precedes faith”. Notice it says those who believe will have streams of “living water” flow from within him. Again, Calvinism would have us believe that there would have to be “living water” within so we could believe. (There are so many verses that rebuke this teaching I’m shocked more Calvinists don’t see it.)

    Anyway, this verse alone strongly suggests that those who believe, or believed, prior to the cross would after the cross, receive this “living water”.

    I can tell you that some Calvinists will fight you on this. They will claim that the Holy Spirit performs many different functions and that regeneration should not be confused with the receiving, or indwelling, of the Holy Spirit. However, this “living water” strongly parallels the “spiritual life” that all believers receive.

  15. Wingedfooted1,

    I concur you make some good points, indeed.

    Read this verse carefully. Now WHEN are our sins and trespasses forgiven? Before we believe or after? And WHEN are we quickened together with him? AFTER our sins have been forgiven.

    This question is a good point and not a mere small point.

    Because if salvation precedes faith then there is no such thing as justification by faith alone- JBFA doctrine.

    As a Lutheran, I must say that in the end, Calvinism because of its ordo salutis, negates JBFA in the long run.

    For me this the issue. JBFA is chucked out the window. This is the seat of doctrine of a falling or standing church – the sedes doctrinae.

    LPC

  16. Additionally, Jesus does not pronounce forgiveness of sins to someone who does not have faith. Over and over for example in the Gospel he would pronounce – woman your faith has saved you only after faith has been detected by Christ, whose object of faith is – Christ himself.

    LPC

  17. Dr. Brown,

    The subject has deviated from your request regarding “God Causes All Things To Happen…..Including Sin.”

    According to Calvinism, God is the primary cause of every rape, murder, abortion, pornographic movie, same sex marriage, and divorce. Yet the scripture says in Matthew 19:5-6….

    “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what GOD has joined together, let MAN not separate.”

    So according to White, it is God’s “holy will” they we stay united to our wives, but it is God’s “secret decreed will” that many don’t?

    So when Christ returns to the earth in the book of Revelation, His purpose is to put an end to all that God has foreordain? The battle of Armageddon is nothing more then a conflict between God’s revealed will and God’s secret decreed will?

    Paul said in Romans 1:18…
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

    How could it be “godlessness” when in fact it was caused, decreed, and foreordained by God?

    White says that it is by God’s “holy will” that all men will be judge (obviously, if man was judge by his “secret decreed will” everyone would be saved). I’m just wondering if God will reveal his “secret will” to the Lost before sending them to the lake of fire for all eternity? Does God owe the Lost the “whole” truth?

  18. Dr. Brown,
    In your debate with Dr. White, you say that God only hardens those who have already hardened their hearts — yet, the text says that “God hardens whom he will, and mercies (softens) whom He will”; and, election is not of works (the example is that before Jacob or Esau did any works, they were already elected to certain destinies): therefore, your assertion is untrue.
    God hardened Pharaoh as a sovereign and arbitrary act; as with Jacob’s election, it was APART from and BEFORE either had done any works, so that the purpose of GOD’S election would stand.

    God hardens whom HE wills, and mercies whom HE wills — it is NOT when someone hardens their own heart that God follows and hardens their heart, as a punitive action. To believe that is to unravel Paul’s argument.

  19. i.e.: Pharoah’s hardening of his heart was “a work of his own”; God’s hardening of his heart had nothing to do with his works (of hardening his heart).

  20. I believe Dr. Brown mentioned this is somewhere but he mentioned the same fire that melts the hearts is the same fire that hardens the heart. Its the condition of the heart that results in the molding or the hardening.

  21. He (made a mistake when saying it, but he meant to say) said, “the same sun that melts the wax, hardens the clay”.

    This adage is misapplied; it contradicts Paul’s point: “not according to works, that God’s purpose in election might continue…”.
    Pharaoh hardening his own heart (a work), therefore, would have no bearing whatsoever upon God’s election.

    ======================

    Rom 9:11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad–in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, *not because of works*, but because of Him who calls–
    Rom 9:12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
    Rom 9:13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved [past-tense], but Esau I hated [past-tense].”
    Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!
    Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
    Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
    Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
    Rom 9:18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

    Pharaoh’s hardening of his heart had no more to do with his election for hardening (unto God’s glory) than Jacob had to do with his election for mercy (unto God’s glory): Dr. Brown’s argument nullifies (without knowing it) what Apostle Paul is saying.

  22. BenKC,
    Honestly, I’m just going step-by-step… I don’t fully understand, since even the “predestined” saints (whose predestination is compared to Jacob’s predestination that certainly came to pass) are told they can fall away (Romans 11; 2 Cor 13:5; Gal 4+5; Rev 2+3).
    It is actually kind of confusing; however, I don’t have to know the whole in order to take exception to what I believe is an obviously incorrect argument.

    I mean, if this is the case — if vessels predestined for mercy can become vessels of wrath — then, can vessels of wrath become vessels of mercy? In that case, what advantage is there in predestination? What security? None.

    I don’t understand it 100%, I admit.

  23. Have you listened to Dr. Browns debate for you to conclude:

    “Pharaoh’s hardening of his heart had no more to do with his election for hardening (unto God’s glory) than Jacob had to do with his election for mercy (unto God’s glory): Dr. Brown’s argument nullifies (without knowing it) what Apostle Paul is saying.”

  24. If you have the chance, try to read through this

    evangelicalarminians.org/?q=thibodaux.Romans9-in-Context.Gods-Just-Prerogative-in-Confounding-All-Confidence-in-the-Law-of-Works

  25. BenKC,
    BenKC, why would I comment, if I hadn’t listened to it? That makes no sense.

    I listened to his debates with Dr. White (who, I also do not think was 100% accurate in his suppositions) for days and days, desiring to understand both sides.

    It really seems that such is the case.

  26. Daniel, no need to get offended. Just a question wanting to know if you listened to it or not. Gives me a better understanding where you are at.

  27. BenKC,
    #1 The article says Paul first put forth the idea of “the true Jew” in Romans; however, it was at least mentioned in Galatians, if not before. There is no reason to think he was going to “pick up” the idea that he “put forth” before (for supposed future usage).

    #2 It overlooks the fact that a. man is born in sin, wherever he may be found, and has no option but TO sin b. whoever didn’t hear the Gospel is destined for destruction — that both of these conditions fit in perfectly with the statement made in Romans 9
    “Why does He still find fault?”
    That God would do this fits in perfectly with the rest of His acts — for instance, if man is born in sin, and did not ask to be created, but was simply found on earth (in sin) how can he be punished for ETERNITY for simply living his natural life? He is a criminal for being BORN? And, the only answer that is offered, is,
    “Who are you to answer back to God? God can form people — from even the same lump of clay — for His glory in whatsoever way He pleases: one for mercy, and another for wrath; but, both are a means to reveal His glory.
    It is not a departure from reality to understand it after this manner.
    God installed a Law in Israel that He KNEW would make lawlessness abound — and cause the Jews to be in sin, above measure (“…where sin abounded, there did grace abound all the more…” — speaking of Jews who believed; for, it was they in whom sin abounded, for the Law was the power of sin, and caused the transgression to increase)

    #3 It is merely talking about “election” — Jacob over Esau, apart from works, for mercy; and Pharaoh, for wrath — it isn’t talking about nations. This explains that all those born in such places as did not receive the Gospel, as elected for wrath; not mercy.
    That election is “not according to works” means that nothing Pharaoh could have done good or bad to have changed his ultimate destiny.

    Act 13:48 And as the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God: and AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE, BELIEVED.

    They were ORDAINED/ELECTED to BELIEVE; others were ORDAINED to NOT BELIEVE. This shows that SOME are ordained for eternal life; some are not — NOT all are ordained for belief; the Jews were blinded, in order to not believe; and the veil that blinded them wasn’t only during the time they were moved to ask Pilate to crucify Jesus, it remains “to this day, whenever Moses is read”.

    I do not agree with the things the writer wrote, no matter how much you or anyone else believes them; nothing compels me to.

  28. Let’s not ignore this (if you think Acts is infallible) — “as many as were ordained” runs perfectly alongside Romans 9’s “God’s purpose of election” doctrine.

  29. BenKC,
    As do you: I don’t believe spirits; many people are swayed by strong spirits — I just want to read it for what it says, without nullifying it.

  30. Spirits can persuade a man either way — I have to stand on what is being stated; not on what some person’s spirit tries to convince me of: it may be that that person needs correction/help; not me.

  31. BenKC,
    Not at all; I think that your persuasions are strong, and that your spirit is strongly attempting to make me believe the article; however, I do not submit to strength of spirit in place of Truth.

  32. BenKC,
    I do see, however, how you tend to read with an accusatory bent.

    As for Dr. Michael Brown’s rejection of Dr. White’s argument that God has more than one will at play, why not consider how He says that He would REJOICE to destroy Israel, if they kept sinning; but that He also doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked?

    Deu 28:63 And it shall come to pass, that, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest in to possess it.

    Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? saith the Lord Jehovah; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live?

    Seems like pleasure to me — since no verse can be nullified, what does it seem like, to you?

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*