Open Blogging

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197 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    We would appreciate you all praying for our monthly ministry to learning disabled adults, tomorrow.

    http://www.joyplace.org.uk

  2. FIRST!!!

    “Sanctification must also be understood as an exclusive act of God. Just as forgiveness is exclusively God’s work and every cooperation or conditioning activity on man’s part is completely excluded, so regeneration is an energy that comes simply out of Christ’s victory and does not require our supplementary efforts. It is not fitting to teach justification evangelically and then in the doctrine of sanctification to turn synergistic. . . . the unity of justification and sanctification given in the act of faith becomes mingled in a confused promiscuity, instead of keeping justification in a place of clear logical per-eminence over the sanctification that is given with it. As we have seen, neither can be separated from the other.”

    Adolf Koeberle, The Quest for Hoiness, 95-96.

  3. Steve Wright says:

    .For this is the will of God, your sanctification:that you abstain from sexual immorality;that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
    —————————————————————-
    Question to MLD – Let’s imagine an unsaved man, one who does not know God, who sleeps around, watches porn etc. and then comes to Christ.

    Do you expect such a man to do those things less frequently, and hopefully, not at all, as he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and lives his new life in Christ? If so, what do you call that if not sanctification?

    (Don’t let my quoting of Scripture throw you off.. 😉 )

  4. You got it, Nonnie.

    For everone’s perusal I present 5 free books and 5 cheap books.

    http://ruminationsonlife.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/5-free-and-5-cheap-ebooks-for-kindle-8313/

    “Growing Up Amish” by Ira Wagler is a good read on the list. If you find yourself enchanted by the Amish, it is an eye opener.

  5. Steve Wright says:

    Interesting article about a coach forced to resign because he wanted to continue to stay at his old family church. Question for Open Blogging – if in fact, there is nothing in writing in contracts and such, what about bringing legal action?

    http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20130801/SPORTS03/308010014/Football-coach-loses-job-not-going-church-East-Memorial?nclick_check=1

  6. Steve,
    I guess it’s just a matter of who is doing it – this guy or the Holy Spirit? In Lutheran speak, we ask of any verse – who is driving the verbs?

  7. Steve Wright says:

    I looked up the coach’s church. It is described as charismatic, evangelical, mega-church that is also the fastest growing church in the country.

  8. If he has a contract and it isn’t in the contract, I don’t see how the school has a leg to stand on in firing him.

  9. correction; forcing him to resign

  10. Teachers at our church school are required to be members and attend … but we know of some who sneak up the road to Saddleback more often then they come to us.

  11. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    MLD,

    Bottome line we have freewill and we then with the strength of the holy spirit can choose not to participate in the deeds of the flesh. The strength and conviction come from God but we also have a part in making the right decision, choose this day whom you will serve

  12. Steve Wright says:

    I guess it’s just a matter of who is doing it – this guy or the Holy Spirit? In Lutheran speak, we ask of any verse – who is driving the verbs?
    ——————————————————————–
    I don’t know about “Lutheran speak” – just “Bible speak”

    One such term in the Bible is “yield” – There is no question that the Holy Spirit is “driving” in the life of such a man who abstains from fornication. But your quote earlier dogged on the term “synergistic”

    So if the Christian fornicates, that is 100% on him, but if he abstains that is 100% God?

    How does one “yield” or “present” or any other such language we find in the New Testament and then have no responsibility to obey such commands?

    As I have said before.. We have been saved (past) from the penalty of sin. Justification

    We are being saved (present) from the power of sin. Sanctification

    We will be saved (future) from the presence of sin. Glorification.

    (Have to run…No need to debate, just offering a different take)

  13. Here is another one…
    “For the church does not live by morals, by the knowledge and observance of God’s law nor does it live by religion, by lofty experiences of the divine and an awareness of the mysteries of God. It lives solely by the forgiveness of sins. Hence the reformation does not consist as the later Middle Ages believed, and has even been believed in wide circles of the Protestant world, of an ethico-religious correction, of a moral quickening and a spiritual deepening throughout the church. In consists, rather, according to its own peculiar nature, of the revival of the preaching fo the Gospel of forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake.”

    Hermann Sasse, Here We Stand, 60.

  14. Steve, do you also participate in your own Justification and your own Glorification?

    I think you missed the point of the 1st quote where it said that you cannot separate Justification from Sanctification.

  15. SolRod,
    Are you saying that it is possible for one to be Justified but not Sanctified? I find that odd.

  16. Nonnie says:

    Ok, here is an old grannie’s take on it….God is doing it, but man will respond to God’s work, and there will be fruit of what God is doing.

  17. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Tough day for me yesterday, had to terminate an employee who happened to be a very good friend of mine. She’s a sister in the Lord and goes to my old Fellowship CCM. I met her thru my sister over six years ago and I got her the job. It was gut wrenching and I still don’t feel Good about it but her performance has been suffering for a long time and this was really a long time coming. Tuff thing is she is a single mother of three kids with no help whatsoever from the father. She took it very well as in the past she would break down when we would write her up. Its going to be very weird for me going into work Monday and not seeing her at her desk. She is a very fun person who made the office lively. I was wondering yesterday whether I’m cut out for upper management. I guess this wilk be the toughest firing I ever have to do ss I don’t plan on hiring any more friend’s. I just pray that people in her life will help her and I also want to be there for her if needed. I remained professional and the sucky part is that after termination u can’t socialize with the employee on premises so I couldnt even hug her good bye or anything. Once I got to me desk tears were coming out so I had to just go to the restroom, two employees saw that and by that point I didn’t care.

  18. Nonnie says:

    Aw, Sol Rod. That sounds really tough. I “hear” your heart. God bless you.

  19. Yeah tough. A lot of times, business and friends do not mix.

  20. Ixtlan says:

    Range radio is back on line. All is well in the West.

    http://www.rangeradio.com/

  21. Xenia says:

    Regarding the quote of Adolf Koeberle, whoever he might be, he his dead wrong.

    And I use the word “dead” deliberately.

    For my entire Christian life (until I converted to synergistic Orthodoxy) I waited for the Lord to sanctify me. He never did. In fact, I grew more and more sinful as the years passed. I heard 40 years of sermons on variations of Mr. Koeberle’s quote, waiting in vain to be monergistically sanctified. Never happened. The misery this produced for me personally was terrible but I do thank the Lord for it because out of my despair He prepared me to receive the truth.

    I remember listening to the fifty-thousandth version of this sermon one Sunday and looking around and thinking to myself, “This doesn’t work. By golly, this SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK!” No one I knew in that room was anywhere near what I considered to be holy, if the word “holy” means more than some kind of theoretical imputed righteousness. I mean a genuine holiness exemplified by people who acted like Christ. I certainly was not remotely holy and was, in fact, moving in the opposite direction. It doesn’t work. It’s a false doctrine.

    One must cooperate with God (synergism). It takes work. Hop to it.

  22. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Thank you Nonnie

  23. I have never had a problem firing people. I always gave fair warning and paths to job improvement. When it came time to fire, I don’t think a single person was surprised.

    However, laying off people is another story – and I have been told that I must layoff 2 people next week. I have been through many layoffs and I refuse to layoff by seniority. If the department is going to be short, I want the best there. But it is hard, because in most cases I have to say in essence “we as a company have failed to keep up a good enough revenue stream and you must bear the cost.”

    One time, in my own business, over an 18 month period, I had to layoff all 3 of my kids – and they all had families. Talk about tough.

  24. Xenia says:

    When I taught at an Orthodox high school we were all expected to attend an Orthodox church, which is as it should be.

  25. Nonnie says:

    Xenia, I agree! (your 25)

  26. X,
    Did you sign a contract? And did it state that you had to attend an Orthodox church?
    Just a question.

  27. Xenia, you must of had a weird concept of what sanctification is.

    So, a ‘saved’ person is no more holy or sanctified than an unsaved person until the saved person “hops to it?”

  28. Xenia says:

    When I converted to Orthodoxy 12 years ago, I was teaching history at the Calvary Chapel high school at the time. I 100 percent expected to be asked to leave. To my happy surprise, the pastor and I had a long conversation and he decided I could stay as long as I minded my p’s and q’s. I thought he was being more than generous. I eventually left that school for other pursuits. A few years ago it was suggested that I come back again but by now there was a new administration and the Orthodox thing was just to great a hurdle. But that’s ok, they have the right to hire people who agree with their beliefs.

  29. Xenia says:

    Derek, if wasn’t in the contract because there wasn’t one. This was a start-up school and that first (and only) year we were all volunteers. The school failed after one year because we were in the height of the recession and all the dads lost their jobs. We let most of the kids come for free and you just can’t run a school on zero income.

  30. Michael says:

    Here is the correct view of sanctification. 🙂
    J.I. Packer;

    The concept [of sanctification] is not of sin being totally eradicated (that is to claim too much) or merely counteracted (that is to say too little), but of a divinely wrought character change freeing us from sinful habits and forming in us Christlike affections, dispositions, and virtues.

    Sanctification is an ongoing transformation within a maintained consecration, and it engenders real righteousness within the frame of relational holiness.

    Relational sanctification, the state of being permanently set apart for God, flows from the cross, where God through Christ purchased and claimed us for himself (Acts 20:28; 26:18; Heb. 10:10).

    Moral renovation, whereby we are increasingly changed from what we once were, flows from the agency of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:13; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:11, 19-20; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:22-24; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 13:20-21). God calls his children to sanctity and graciously gives what he commands (1 Thess. 4:4; 5:23).

    Regeneration is birth; sanctification is growth.

    In regeneration, God implants desires that were not there before: desire for God, for holiness, and for the hallowing and glorifying of God’s name in this world; desire to pray, worship, love, serve, honor, and please God; desire to show love and bring benefit to others.

    In sanctification, the Holy Spirit “works in you to will and to act” according to God’s purpose; what he does is prompt you to “work out your salvation” (i.e., express it in action) by fulfilling these new desires (Phil. 2:12-13). Christians become increasingly Christlike as the moral profile of Jesus (the “fruit of the Spirit”) is progressively formed in them (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:19; 5:22-25). . . .

    Regeneration was a momentary monergistic act of quickening the spiritually dead. As such, it was God’s work alone.

    Sanctification, however, is in one sense synergistic—it is an ongoing cooperative process in which regenerate persons, alive to God and freed from sin’s dominion (Rom. 6:11, 14-18), are required to exert themselves in sustained obedience.

    God’s method of sanctification is neither activism (self-reliant activity) nor apathy (God-reliant passivity), but God-dependent effort (2 Cor. 7:1; Phil. 3:10-14; Heb. 12:14).

    Knowing that without Christ’s enabling we can do nothing, morally speaking, as we should, and that he is ready to strengthen us for all that we have to do (Phil. 4:13), we “stay put” (remain, abide) in Christ, asking for his help constantly—and we receive it (Col. 1:11; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:1).

  31. Nonnie says:

    Xenia’s 29…and once again, I completely agree!

  32. Xenia says:

    So, a ‘saved’ person is no more holy or sanctified than an unsaved person until the saved person “hops to it?”<<<

    If a person makes no effort to cooperate with God I would question whether or not he is saved.

  33. Xenia says:

    I think I agree with Packer, if I am understanding him correctly.

    This is very good:

    God’s method of sanctification is neither activism (self-reliant activity) nor apathy (God-reliant passivity), but God-dependent effort.

  34. Okay,
    Just read the article, which is actually a different one than I read about the story earlier. The article actually makes it sound like it as his decision to resign, which would have been the right course.
    I just really think, in light of the highly litigious American culture, that all parties should have covered their bases a little better.
    I agree that places like private religious schools, should have expectations of their employees, like attending the sponsoring church or one like it.
    My main concern is that usually articles like this only appear before someone is considering taking legal action.
    After reading this article, it appears that he had a verbal agreement to attend the church. To me a verbal agreement is just as good as a written one. Let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and so forth. Lawyers don’t often see it that way.
    I think American culture sues over the stupidest things.

  35. Xenia says:

    All I know is, in the past 12 years I have met some genuinely holy people.

  36. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I think you would have little issue with Packers position.
    MLD on the other hand… 🙂

  37. Xenia,
    I am sure that you met plenty of holy people in your distant past – the only thing that has changed is your definition of holy.

    I see holy people all around me – even among the followers of the man who said this.

    “You ask, how shall we begin to be godly and what shall we do that God may begin His work in us? Answer: Do you not understand? It is not for you to work or to begin to be godly, AS LITTLE AS IT IS TO FURTHER AND COMPLETE IT. Everything that you begin is in and remains in sin, though it shines ever so brightly; you cannot do anything but sin, do what you will.”

    Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 1:25-27.

  38. Now before anyone jumps in and says Luther is advocating sin, that is not the case. We are to do our good works for our neighbor, but we usually do them for the wrong motives. So, even though they are in sin, still do them.

  39. Ricky Bobby says:

    Jesus is the correct view of sanctification. End of story.

  40. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The Scriptures refute Luther on this matter…

  41. Xenia says:

    Well, Luther is also dead wrong.

  42. Steve Wright says:

    God’s method of sanctification is neither activism (self-reliant activity) nor apathy (God-reliant passivity), but God-dependent effort.
    ——————————————-
    I agree with Packer, and like Xenia, this is the quote that jumped out at me.

    As to the coach – I can’t help but wonder if the guy attended a small Presbyterian church of 50 members if the Baptist school would be as hardlined in their stance.

    I second with Derek that verbal agreements do mean something, but it does sound like things were hedged in the verbal agreement – and it does NOT sound like the school made it clear at the beginning (when they wanted the coach to have the job) this was a non-negotiable.

  43. If Michael or Xenia would care to show me the scripture reference against this I would be glad to read it.

    “You ask, how shall we begin to be godly and what shall we do that God may begin His work in us?”

    God cannot begin his work in us until, as Xenia said “we hop to it”?

    Look, I know that I am the only unholy person here – but when someone knocks on my door or an 800 number rings my phone, unlike the rest of you I say “now what the hell do they want.?” From that point on, even if I give them money, my act although good was done in sin. (as Luther said.)

  44. Xenia says:

    God cannot begin his work in us until, as Xenia said “we hop to it”?<<<

    That is not what I said. I never said God could not begin His work in us. He works in us and we cooperate with Him. If we don't cooperate, nothing good happens, believe me.

  45. Even for those people who stand at the exit to every shopping center looking for money – my gut reaction is “get a job – there is a ‘Now Hiring’ sign right behind you in the Jack in the Box window.”

    But I often give money – I even give people $5 – $10 at times … but again my motives are wrong – so, I did a good act in sin.

    I am incapable of doing a good work for pure reasons – that is why I am totally usless when it comes to my own sanctification – I just need to be the fruit that blooms at the end of the vine – the vine does all the work and people see the result in me.

  46. Xenia says:

    Well, let me modify that a bit. God is all-good and He can and often does over-ride my slothfulness. So “good happens” for my benefit, at times, to help me along the path.

    What I am objecting to is the idea that I can just wander along in the world, sinning and grinning, and God will sanctify me with no effort on my part.

    Life is full of choices and I can choose to make god-pleasing choices and work with God or I can choose to make self-pleasing choices and ignore God. The more I choose to work with God, the more like Him I become.

  47. Xenia – you objected to the Luther quote quite strongly – but he was answering this question;

    ““You ask, how shall we begin to be godly and what shall we do that God may begin His work in us?”

    On reflection, perhaps you would have answered that question the same if it had been asked of you.

  48. Xenia says:

    MLD, the Orthodox would say that for the first few years you might inwardly grumble as you give the money to a homeless person but eventually even the inner grumbling would go away and you would begin to see the image of Christ in every street person. But even so, you overcome your grumbling with a good work and this, imperfect as it is, is commendable and pleasing to God. You put your faith into action- you gave money to the poor. Many don’t even do that.

  49. Scott says:

    You like tomato and I like tomahto, you say potato and I say potahto.

  50. Xenia says:

    ““You ask, how shall we begin to be godly and what shall we do that God may begin His work in us?”<<<

    My answer, if I were asked that question, would be to tell the person to pray and then to turn his hand to whatever good work presents itself to be done.

  51. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You’re obfuscating the question.
    Is sanctification monergistic or synergistic?
    The Scriptures clearly say that it is synergistic.

  52. Steve Wright says:

    As mentioned earlier, the NT is filled with commands – things we are to do (and not do). When it comes to temptation, we are told God has provided a means of escape AND that the temptations He allows are not more than we can bear. God is not raising cabbage, but men and women created in His Image, and regenerated and indwelt by His Spirit. So we will be tested, tried.

    We are to sow to the Spirit, not the flesh, if we want to reap from the Spirit.

    This is where Christian disciplines are of value. In sowing to the Spirit. Paul disciplined himself – I think we should do the same.

  53. Xenia says:

    For example, if a person were to ask me (and they should find someone better than me to ask) how they should begin their Christian life in the pursuit of holiness (and I am really, really the wrong person to ask), I would tell them:

    1. Pray pray pray
    2. Read the Scriptures
    3. Confess your sins
    4. Attend Liturgy regularly to be strengthened by the Eucharist
    5. Whatever opportunity presents itself to do good, do it, with God’s help.

    I would never say “Don’t do anything, it’s not up to you.”

  54. Nonnie says:

    Xenia and MLD, I don’t see it as an either or….God does the work in us and we respond through good works that bear fruit. It is HIS doing and our responding to and by His Spirit.

  55. Ricky Bobby says:

    No one is sanctified (really) in the flesh. You are sanctified when your bag of flesh hits the dirt hole in the ground and God redeems his creation.

    Seed gets planted in the ground and out comes the new creation for reals.

    It’s all metaphor in the bible…which is pretty gnostic position, but it seems to be that way from a logical perspective.

    Who among you doesn’t sin? Do you really sin less or just differently?

  56. Ricky Bobby says:

    An argument could be made that you actually sin more when you are so-called “saved” as now you know better, but sin anyways.

  57. Steve Wright says:

    Very early in my Christian walk I got a hold of Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. The title alone won me over – why would I not want to grow in my new life in Christ? I certainly had read the Bible by then (many times over – I used to read the NT in its entirety once a month, the OT once every 3 months) – The idea of Christian disciplines sure sounded Biblical.

    Of course, later I was told how wrong and dangerous such a book really is (scoff..)

    Most books from those early years fell by the wayside – this one is still on the shelf at my fingertips.

    (This usually can get Bob Sweat to say “Hi” as the author is a friend of Bob’s) 🙂

  58. Nonnie is very close to what I think I am stating. I don’t go along with the “cooperate with God” kind of language – I just know that God does it and my works are the result.

    As I said earlier “I just need to be the fruit that blooms at the end of the vine – the vine does all the work and people see the result in me.”

    Is anyone here saying that this fruit blooms by it’s own efforts (or any effort on it’s own for that matter) – or is it totally what comes from the work of another and is passed through the vine?

  59. “Elizabeth I’m coming – this is the big one” Fred Sanford.

    I agree 100% with RBs #56 🙂

  60. Xenia says:

    Is anyone here saying that this fruit blooms by it’s own efforts <<<

    No, no one here is saying this. To repeat what Packer said,

    "God’s method of sanctification is neither activism (self-reliant activity) nor apathy (God-reliant passivity), but God-dependent effort."

  61. Xenia says:

    I hate calling this distinguishes man “Packer.” Rev. Packer? Dr. Packer?

  62. Steve Wright says:

    And yet, there is another pesky command. “Abide” so that we can bear fruit.

    Don’t stretch the imagery so far that you ignore the actual words of Scripture associated with it…

    I’m sure Xenia, Michael, and I know speaking for myself would all heartily agree with Jesus’ words “Apart from me, you can do nothing”

  63. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    As you know, I fall short to no one in my love for Dr. Packer.
    However, he refers to himself as “Packer” occasionally and he wouldn’t be offended by what you wrote.
    Thank you for being so respectful.

  64. Michael,
    I am 64 yrs old and could go at any minute. I am far from sanctified in the way you seem to define sanctification. I have laid out here all of my unsanctified acts – those that are lacking because even if I do them, I do them with wrong motives and I do them from selfish motives.

    So, I drop dead right now – although God is monergistic for justification and he is not in sanctification – so I go to heaven half baked. Do i get to hang around with those who “cooperated with God more” fully baked Christians?

  65. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I haven’t defined sanctification…no one could do it better than Dr. Packer already has in my estimation.
    We Calvinists make a distinction between practical and positional sanctification.
    In heaven you are already known in your glorified state. (Romans 8)
    Here on earth, we still have some work to do.
    I believe that the final transformation occurs “in the twinkling of an eye”…when you go at any moment now. 🙂
    You will arrive home fully baked and crusty.

  66. Steve,
    See, the issue is that Lutherans do not make a hard division between justification and sanctification – in fact we see very little division if any. You would be hard pressed to find a book on sanctification coming out of the Lutheran publishing houses.

    It’s funny that you use the abide passages for sanctification, as they are used in the cutting away of the dead vines – sounds more like a justification issue.

  67. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Yet your doctrine allows for a Lutheran to be saved and yet by deliberate and conscious effort, “revoke” his salvation. Correct?

    Like you have said, it is not something casual or easy to do – but you do allow for the possibility.

    So why then is the converse not true?

  68. Ricky Bobby says:

    MLD, that’s one thing about Luther that resonates with me…he was a realist in the area of understanding mankind’s nature and humanity and the fact everyone still sins whether they are saved* or not. “Go and sin no more” is the Standard and the cue that sanctification is Jesus.

  69. Xenia says:

    MLD, I don’t believe you would ever say that you don’t want to cooperate with God, so is it that you think we *can’t* cooperate with God or that cooperation with God is optional? Or that the only purpose in cooperating with God is a better spot in heaven (more crowns?) Maybe you (and Luther) don’t understand what is meant by synergism.

    It’s simple:

    God says, “Hey, do this good thing!”
    Christian says, “I will Lord, with your help!”

    That’s synergism. And the more we cooperate with the Lord, the more like Him we become. This is what we call theosis but you all might be just as correct in calling it “conforming to the image of Christ.”

  70. Steve Wright says:

    It’s funny that you use the abide passages for sanctification, as they are used in the cutting away of the dead vines – sounds more like a justification issue.
    ———————————————————
    Irony defined: The one interpretation where MLD sides with Chuck is likewise where I disagree…

    It is a fruit-bearing passage. I’ve taught it as such if you want to go listen… 🙂

  71. Ricky Bobby says:

    I can prove the un-sanctification of anyone, just engage in a discussion with me and I’ll have you cursing me and damning me to hell in less than an hour 🙂

  72. Rob Murphy says:

    I am so happy with the synergistic discussion of synergism. Great Packer quote, great anecdotal testimony from Xenia (which, apart from some time frame and the particulars of her worship, could be my own) and lively back and forth. Yays!

  73. Xenia,
    But you also allowed for the opposite – that God works even when you don’t co operate.

    I never said I didn’t want to cooperate – but many times (most of the time) I don’t. It’s not I am resisting, it’s just lack of attention (caused by my own selfishness or business). Even so, God is still working in me – with or without my cooperation because I am a child of his.

    But the point was, and this goes back to the Luther quote in answering the question – I can do my good works, but they usually are not towards my sanctification – but in spite of it as usually my motives are wrong.

  74. “Irony defined: The one interpretation where MLD sides with Chuck is likewise where I disagree…”

    As I have always said – the one point I agree with Chuck (although I am sure there are many more.

  75. Michael says:

    Rob,

    It’s discussions like this that fill up my inbox with great questions about the faith.
    The lurkers really do profit from reading them.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    Even so, God is still working in me – with or without my cooperation because I am a child of his.
    ————————————————–
    Fine – but how then does that allow for your belief that a Lutheran can walk away from the faith and be damned?

  77. I think we also define “good works” differently. Many look to “good works” as outside of what you do with your regular life. – you know, “OK, I know what you do at work, but what have you done for God lately?”

    Well, with the doctrine of vocation, everything I do at work I am doing for God. Even as I said earlier, when I lay off the 2 people this week it will be “for God” – because I am protecting the company and the jobs of many other people.

    When I take my grandkids to the park – that is my good work for God in my vocation as a parent. This can go on and on.

  78. Steve Wright says:

    A Lutheran, a Calvinist, an Orthodox, and a Dispensationalist walked onto a blog…

  79. Steve,
    As people harden their hearts towards God (as even a Christian can do) God will in turn harden their heart if it goes on.

  80. Xenia says:

    But you also allowed for the opposite – that God works even when you don’t co operate.<<<

    But only for my own good, to nudge me towards greater cooperation with Him. An encouragement, which I should not take for granted. Or, if He has some greater purpose in Mind, something that is not directly connected with me. (Like getting a prophecy fulfilled or something else He is doing that only tangentially involves me.)

  81. I again agree with RB at his #72.

    Do you want to test a person’s “on earth sanctification”? Have you ever witnesses a person that you thought was holy – then get Alzheimer’s disease? When the filters are removed and they are yelling at their spouse, cussing like a sailor etc.

  82. Michael says:

    Steve,

    That is the one thing that I rejoice in…even if we’ve helped create some Orthodox and Lutheran converts…and we have.

  83. Steve Wright says:

    As people harden their hearts towards God (as even a Christian can do) God will in turn harden their heart if it goes on.
    ———————————————————

    So MLD, in the case of the Lutheran saved and then rejecting the faith unto damnation, THAT is synergistic?

  84. Hey, if you think our sanctification views are odd – what if you found out that we see the 1st resurrection in John 5:24

    Oh no Mr. Bill! 😉

  85. Steve Wright says:

    even if we’ve helped create some Orthodox and Lutheran converts
    ———————————————–
    That’s nothing new in Calvary Chapel circles either… 🙂

  86. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Now, that was funny… 🙂

  87. Rejecting God is always, whether by an unbeliever or believer 100% by the person. God does not act in choosing people to hell. (or for that matter, helping people to choose.)

    You need to talk to Michael on that one. 😉

  88. Steve Wright says:

    As people harden their hearts towards God (as even a Christian can do) God will in turn harden their heart if it goes on.
    —————————————————
    That did not sound like 100% man.

    Michael and I agree on eternal security of the believer by the way…

  89. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’m not sure about that… 🙂
    Calvinists don’t believe in eternal security per se…we believe in the perseverance of the saints.
    One must persevere to the end…and will do so in the power of God.
    Old time eternal security preaching was basically decisional regeneration…you were safe if you “made a decision for Christ” even if you showed no fruit of the Spirit or regeneration for a second afterwards till you died.
    My guess is that your position is more nuanced than that…

  90. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Yes, I believe in election and reprobation.
    Still working through my position on reprobation, though…

  91. Anyone want to take a stab at my #82 – “Do you want to test a person’s “on earth sanctification”?

  92. Steve,
    “That did not sound like 100% man.” Sure it is – God changed nothing

  93. Xenia says:

    Alzheimer’s is an effect of the fall, as are all other diseases. It is not the person cursing, it is the disease. The disease is making their brain twitch, just like the palsy will cause a person’s hand to twitch. I know of a very holy person (he will probably be canonized one day) who, at the end of his life in the hospital and under the influence of drugs, let out a stream of vicious verbal abuse that shocked everyone. After the drugs wore off, he was back to his normal self. Alzheimer’s Christians are not responsible for what they say or do under the influence of the disease. Holy people succumb to all kinds of diseases, there’s no reason to pick out Alzheimer’s as a special case. The Orthodox would say that it’s an especially ugly device of the Evil One, designed to cause doubts. That’s why we always pray for a “Christian end to our lives, blameless and painless.” <—- We don't always get this, though.

  94. Steve Wright says:

    As people harden their hearts towards God (as even a Christian can do) God will in turn harden their heart if it goes on.
    ——————————————————-
    But MLD, I go back to this. Lutheran’s harden their hearts, but don’t cross this proverbial line and thus eventually repent and never are lost….but some do cross a line (as you write “If it goes on”) and God hardens them in that place. That is not 100% man to me.

    And as an aside (and a shout to Michael on this as well) this is why the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is so vital. He is the seal of God – a seal in the 1st century spoke to ownership and security – both of which are taught repeatedly elsewhere in addition to the seal symbolism.

    The presences of the Spirit is the mark of the believer. The Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation – water baptism symbolizing this new identification we have.

    I personally believe salvation happens before any sinner’s prayer or altar call, and certainly before any baptism. It may not be much time before…but before still the same.

    Eternal security and perseverance of the saints (per Calvinism) I see as just a semantic issue. Recognizing of course MLD and others see perseverance in a different fashion than we would.

  95. Ricky Bobby says:

    “A Lutheran, a Calvinist, an Orthodox, and a Dispensationalist walked onto a blog…”

    You forgot Christian Agnostic/Skeptic

  96. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – I don’t think we can “test” earthly sanctification because you seem to be defining it differently. Nobody here is speaking of sinlessness. Rather the issue is growth. One can, and does, still fall, but growth should be evident over time.

    So if we were to test, we could not do it as you wish – look at an isolated event – no matter how long a person has known the Lord.

    Nor can we compare ourselves with others. Instead it has to be a before/after shot – C.S. Lewis did a good job of explaining this in Mere Christianity. In fact, much of that book is about this subject today.

    I especially like the illustration of expecting the Lord to fix up a couple leaks and broken pipes and then to our surprise he starts to tear down what we think are perfectly good walls and rooms as His “improvement project” goes beyond what we can imagine.

  97. Abiding is perseverance. and when you stop abiding…

    This is why you and I taught Hebrews 6 differently from each other. You had to make the readers under the warning, unbelievers.

    Where I was able to follow the text and issue it as a true warning to believers ready to turn away..

  98. Xenia says:

    What if a person was a devout and sincere Christian all their lives and at the very end of a fruitful life, Alzheimer’s made them say words of blasphemy and to deny God? Would we take that seriously? I would not.

  99. Steve Wright says:

    Where I was able to follow the text and issue it as a true warning to believers ready to turn away..
    ——————————————-
    MLD – do you teach that there is no hope for repentance to the person who rejects?

    And more importantly, does your church stop trying to get such a one to repent?

    Because if you go down your path in Hebrews (which I did for a decade or so), you must also go all the way. No half measures.

    Following the text, as you put it, starts with the intended audience of the epistle. Funny how these heavy warning verses everyone points to are always the ones in Hebrews.

  100. jlo says:

    solrod, sorry you had to go through that, management can be difficult.

  101. “Nobody here is speaking of sinlessness” I didn’t think anyone was.

    But you guys do define sanctification as sin – less – ness. That by your cooperation with God you will sin less.

    I think just the opposite (and this is why I agreed with RB above) I think through growth you realize that you not only do not sin less but you realize how big of a sinner you are.

    If I have given up any sins, it’s only because I am too old and tired to pursue them. 😉

    You on the other hand may feel that you have conquered your sin.

  102. Michael says:

    MLD,

    Wrong again…this isn’t your day. 🙂
    I teach Hebrews 6 and all the other admonitions in Scripture as pertaining to believers.

  103. Ricky Bobby says:

    “The presences of the Spirit is the mark of the believer. The Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation – water baptism symbolizing this new identification we have.”

    It’s not a constant and this is a very weak position. There is no evidence that a person has the “spirit” as evidenced by the “fruits”….so-called “spirit filled believers” do very bad things often…and so-called godless heathens example the fruits of the spirit often (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control).

  104. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I consider sanctification as transformation into the image of God…not measuring the level of sin.
    “Sanctification is an ongoing transformation within a maintained consecration, and it engenders real righteousness within the frame of relational holiness.”

  105. Xenia says:

    That by your cooperation with God you will sin less.<<<

    Yes. The more a person is conformed to the image of Christ, the less they will sin.

    If not, there's something seriously wrong, as I discovered myself 12 years ago.

  106. Xenia says:

    Yet, there is truth in what MLD and RB said about realizing how sinful we really are.

  107. Xenia,
    My point about Alzheimer’s was not to blame anyone or add guilt. But the casual way people toss around sanctification and holiness is that the “bad stuff” is no longer in you – it is no longer a part of the Christian’s life.

    If this is so, where does it come from when someone has Alzheimer’s or dementia and the filters are gone?

    At best, sanctification let’s you cover your sin better. I don’t think that just because someone stops doing the sin, that they are no longer guilty of the sin – in thought word or deed.

    The alcoholic quits drinking but he is still a drunk.

  108. Xenia says:

    It’s not that the filters are gone, it’s that a disease is distorting the brain.

  109. Michael – my Hebrews 6 comment was to Steve.

  110. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The Bible teaches that there is a process called sanctification and that in that process something real happens.
    You seem to be denying the doctrine in totality.

  111. Michael @105 – you may, but Steve came right out of the gate in this conversation with the “stop fornicating” line…. which I agree we should stop fornicating… which I will do one day as soon as I can get my MIND to stop having dirty thoughts every now and again.

  112. Steve Wright says:

    The alcoholic quits drinking but he is still a drunk.
    ————————————–
    But Paul says “And such WERE some of you…”

    The alcoholic knows he can’t ever drink again of course.

    You are demonstrating the point I made about Lewis and the house remodel. Of course a Christian, in Christ, has conquered some of his “greater sins” but it is also true that the more we grow the more we realize the depths of our sins and how far short we are of Jesus perfection, and thus how much more we need to grow..

  113. The Bible teaches that there is a process called sanctification… You seem to be denying the doctrine in totality.

    No, but I do deny that it happens only if I outwardly cooperate. (resist is not the only other option either)

  114. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “The Bible teaches that there is a process called sanctification and that in that process something real happens.
    You seem to be denying the doctrine in totality.”

    OK. Do you sin less than you did before you were saved*? Are you a “better” person now?

    If one can get progressively “better” and progressively “sin less” then it would be possible to achieve sinlessness (cue EO Theodicy). It’s a philosophical argument for God juxtaposed to “evil” and it just doesn’t add up…as there is zero evidence that Christians* stop sinning.

  115. Steve,
    “…and thus how much more we need to grow..”

    or, how much more we need to be grown. I cannot reach down as if I were a 200lbs of clay and mold myself, nor can I help God as he molds me. (Steve, are you helping God mold you?)

    I am being sanctified by God himself … he is not asking my permission.

  116. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – then what is temptation of the believer in the Lutheran view? God is certainly not tempting Himself. Satan sure is not tempting God within the believer.

    God allows the temptations that come into our life, as I allow the tests that come into my child’s life. I want my child to grow. I want him to learn and MATURE.

    God does not allow me to be tempted above what I can handle, and He will show me a way to escape the sin that the temptation is seeking to draw me into. I may not take the way of escape, and if I don’t, then I will sin.

    That is straight from the Scripture.

    Here’s another one. FLEE youthful lusts.

    To repeat again and again, these are commands. We either obey or disobey but we certainly do something…

  117. Ricky Bobby says:

    If there is a “process” to sanctification, then it is the lifecyle. You get sanctified in the next stage in your “eternal” life journey…as I assume you all believe “all” mankind are eternal beings who live forever in some capacity, no?

  118. Xenia says:

    RB, you don’t mean “theodicy,” you mean “theosis.”

    “Theodicy” is the problem of rectifying God’s sinlessness with the presence of evil in the world.

  119. Michael says:

    RB,

    I hope I sin less…in reality, as God sanctifies when part of me, He also reveals the depths of my sin and the real size of the project.
    As I said earlier, we are completed on the way home, not here.

  120. Xenia says:

    I am being sanctified by God himself … he is not asking my permission.<<<

    I believed this for 40 years and it simply did not work. If the way I was 12 years ago is an example of God's sanctifying work, all I can say is, He did a lousy job. Or actually, no job at all.

  121. Steve Wright says:

    (Steve, are you helping God mold you?)
    ————————————————–
    Well, now we are just repeating ourselves.

    Bottom line – any Christian can walk out of church tomorrow after worship and go straight to the bar, get drunk, find someone to fornicate with that evening. God will make it hard for them to do so if they belong to Him, but He won’t kill them or anything if they are intent on doing so.

    And some will.

    Most won’t. In fact, they won’t even be tempted to.

    Some will be tempted to, but won’t.

    And some of THOSE that won’t be tempted to, WERE tempted to back in earlier days but they have conquered those desires In Christ.

  122. Xenia says:

    MLD, I am curious about a view you seem to be holding. You seem to be saying that underneath our nice Christian veneers we are actually raging blasphemers and when a disease destroys the filters, the “real us” is allowed to shine through. Is this what you think?

  123. Xenia,
    @123
    Yes yo a degree – I would filter it some. 🙂

    Lutherans believe that we are 100% justified (saint) while still being 100% sinner. As long as the old man, call it sin nature, the flesh, or whatever still lives in us and clings to us, yes

    This is why we believe in preaching the christian needs to hear the law and the gospel – my old man can only hear the law and my new man, new creation whatever, can only hear the gospel.

  124. We see in Romans 7 Paul describing the daily life of the Christian.

  125. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael said, “I hope I sin less…in reality, as God sanctifies when part of me, He also reveals the depths of my sin and the real size of the project.
    As I said earlier, we are completed on the way home, not here.”

    Yet you believe you have the power not to sin, you believe you are now aware of your sinfulness….yet you still sin all the time.

    You sin willfully, with full knowledge you are sinning, correct?

  126. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, can you stop sinning or not?

    If you can’t stop sinning, then your philosophy of sanctification (as you’ve expressed it) is illogical.

    If you can stop sinning, then you have control over the Sin Equation and you are simply not measuring up to the Standard.

    See the dilemma this presents?

    If sanctification can be measured as a metric, then you’re forced into a metric-drive equation and you’re more of an Arminian and Synergist than you realize…and it becomes a very works-righteousness salvation.

  127. Michael says:

    RB,

    I’ll be praying this until He takes me home and finishes the work He started.

    “Most holy and merciful Father,
    We confess to you and to one another,
    that we have sinned against you
    by what we have done,
    and by what we have left undone.
    We have not loved you with our
    whole heart and mind and strength.
    We have not fully loved our neighbors as ourselves.
    We have not always had in us the mind of Christ.
    You alone know how often we have grieved you
    by wasting your gifts, by wandering from your ways.
    Forgive us, we pray you, most merciful Father;
    And free us from our sin.
    Renew in us the grace and strength of your Holy Spirit,
    for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.”

  128. Well, I’m hungry so I am going to Costco to eat free samples. Beside being unsanctified, I have no shame.

    Look, I agreed with RB 3 times and I admitted to being unholy the way spoken about here today. My old man get s the better of me more than I would like. All of this show test my sanity.

    Off to free eats! 🙂

  129. Michael says:

    RB,

    I’ve already stated that sin can’t be measured with that sort of metric.
    I could care less than a hoot in hell about logic…I believe a dead man got up and walked and because He did, I will too.
    That’s not logical…but it’s the Gospel.

  130. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I could care less than a hoot in hell about logic”

    Then why are you a Calvinist and not a hyper-Charismatic?

    Calvin built his entire philosophy around the logic of his day. It permeates his entire apologetic.

  131. Michael says:

    I also said repeatedly that sanctification is synergistic…and to everyones horror in my camp, I do believe that there is a judgment according to works.
    Not a salvific judgment, but a judgment just the same.

  132. Michael says:

    RB,

    I know Calvin.
    I have read Calvin.
    I have bookcases full of books by and about Calvin.
    I read Calvin almost daily.
    Calvin was concerned about being biblical, not logical (though he was trained in the classics and philosophy)…and he was also something of a mystic.

  133. Xenia says:

    Michael, sometimes your theology and mine seem awfully close!

  134. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The Orthodox doctrine of theosis and Calvin’s view of union with Christ have some striking similarities.
    While we have undeniable differences, I have a deep appreciation for Orthodoxy…especially as we watch you live it out in front of us.

  135. brian says:

    I tried really hard to find a clip without all the moralistic text that detracts from just what gall and hubris these two men seem to have. I am in awe, disgusted to but that is my moral failing and that is a different post. They seem to have more moxie then Bod does trotting his kid and her two friends out on what appears to be an up front sheering of the sheep. These guys do it right at home from what the clips seem to show. Again to avoid any blow back I qualify this as just my opinion from what I have observed on line, personal correspondence via email which I deleted at the senders request and news articles. In bobs case there is a 30 minute show I posted earlier which I did draw some of my conclusions. (hope that covers the legalese part).

    So here is the clip again I tried to find one without all the rebuking text, bible verses and other extraneous noise to get to the meat. I am in awe, I wish I had that ability, well actually I dont, but I should wish I had this ability.

    http://youtu.be/JM3BWAmlXis

  136. Brian,
    Why do you subject yourself to watching things like this?

  137. Michael says:

    Brian,

    That’s some awful stuff.
    However…they don’t make videos of real pastors and priests simply doing their jobs the best they know how, loving God and His people.
    It wouldn’t make a good show to watch a pastor trying to prepare to feed his people while dealing with a host of others pains and needs at the same time.
    It’s not compelling to watch pastors visiting the hospital and searching for words to comfort the sick and the dying.
    It wouldn’t be interesting to go to the nursing homes or the jails where men and women are anonymously trying to bring Jesus to places he’s needed.
    It would bore YouTube to watch common Christians giving sacrificially and silently to help someone else.
    Nobody would post those videos, but that is happening all over the world this afternoon.
    Screw YouTube.

  138. Ricky Bobby says:

    “It is an almost universal opinion that Calvin was “a master of logic” like Thomas Aquinas, and Quirinus Breen calls his logic “an iron logic””

  139. Ricky Bobby says:

    “This logicality of Calvin is generally regarded as trained in the French humanism, which follows the rhetorical tradition. Breen specifies what kind of logic Calvin used: “There is a logic in the Institutes. In fact, it is full of logic. But the logic is not syllogistic. It is rhetorical logic. Syllogistic logic uses induction and the syllogism; rhetorical logic uses example and the enthymeme.”[16] On the contrary, Robert H. Ayers contends that Breen is “mis­leading” for Calvin did not use “rhetorical logic” but “the Aristotelian cate­gorical syllogism with its distributed middle term and the Stoic propositional inference schemas such as Modus Ponens, Modus Tollens, and several forms of the Disjunctive Syllogism.”[17]

    However, what kind of logic he used is not our concern in this paper. Whether it is rhetorical logic or syllogistic logic, one thing certain is that Calvin used logic, “full of logic”, and he was logical. “

  140. Michael says:

    RB,

    Really?
    The first article on Google is going to be reference?
    Carefully cut, I note.
    I’ve studied Calvin for almost two decades…reading Calvin, not Google articles.
    The supernatural is not logical…that doesn’t mean that Calvin was illogical, it means that he was more concerned with being biblical.

  141. Ricky Bobby says:

    Michael, you can argue that Calvin was illogical (and I’d agree 🙂 ) but the fact remains, Calvin filtered all his opinions through the lens of his logic to come up with what he believed the bible said.

  142. Rob Murphy says:

    Michael @ 132 . . . “to the horror of everyone in my camp” . . . I think your use of ‘synergism’, without a declaration of damnation may mean you’ll lose your Lodge Pin and key to the Executive Restroom.
    If the Angry Young Reformers ever come after you with stones in hand, I worry that my distance will preclude me from taking a few rocks for you. I’m at least twelve hours away from the ceremonial tossing of the first rock-pitch.
    I sure appreciated this discussion!

  143. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I could care less than a hoot in hell about logic”

    Yes, that is self-evident 🙂

  144. Michael says:

    Rob,

    They have already sent me packing for pointing out that Calvin believed in a universal atonement and they can too. 🙂
    They can’t hold their liquor though, so I whupped em and sent em home. 🙂

  145. Xenia says:

    “I could care less than a hoot in hell about logic”

    This is about the only way you can answer someone whose faith is based on logical arguments is to tell them you don’t care a hoot in hell about logic.

    When I had that discussion a few years ago with Matt Slick, he revved up the ol’ logic machine was raring to go, believing we were going to have a battle of wits, his logic vs my Orthodox logic. But we don’t care much about logic in my world and when I told him this, he was at a loss for words… for a while, anyway. Then he began telling me why logic was so important and all I could answer with was “Who cares?” so we were soon at an impasse.

    Seriously, not caring a hoot in hell about logic is a huge relief.

  146. Xenia says:

    If you want to see what can happen to Christianity when subjected to Aristotle’s logic, read Thomas Aquina’s Summa Theologica which is full of syllogisms and so-called proofs for the existence of God and is so deadly dull as to suck the very life of out the Gospel.

  147. London says:

    Hmmm…
    I think the supernatural is logical.
    We just don’t understand the logic.

    When I started driving in England, I was taught the rules of the road by a co-worker who never had a lesson, only had been in country’s couple months and figured it out on their own.

    Driving on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, trying to figure out which exit to take off a round about to get to a town I’d never heard of before was maddening.

    It felt like there was nonsensical and Brits were driving all willy nilly without logic
    Until I finally read a road guide and talked to people.

    Of course there was a logic to it all. I just didn’t know it yet

    I think the spiritual world is like that maybe.

  148. erunner says:

    Michael said…. “However…they don’t make videos of real pastors and priests simply doing their jobs the best they know how, loving God and His people.
    It wouldn’t make a good show to watch a pastor trying to prepare to feed his people while dealing with a host of others pains and needs at the same time.
    It’s not compelling to watch pastors visiting the hospital and searching for words to comfort the sick and the dying.
    It wouldn’t be interesting to go to the nursing homes or the jails where men and women are anonymously trying to bring Jesus to places he’s needed.
    It would bore YouTube to watch common Christians giving sacrificially and silently to help someone else.
    Nobody would post those videos, but that is happening all over the world this afternoon.”

    It’s so refreshing to be reminded of these facts in such a cynical time we live in. I got to share with some seniors a few nights ago and they represent the best among us as they struggle with so much and quietly do things that are miracles in and of themselves. So many seniors have suffered so much and yet their faith is firm. There are tons of stories of pastors, elders, lay people and those who suffer around the world that live life in a way that would shame many of us. Keep reminding us.

  149. Steve Wright says:

    I think the supernatural is logical.
    We just don’t understand the logic.
    ————————————————

    London is right. For example, the expression “wrong side of the road” is from a perspective as an American, not an Englishman. Americans drive on the wrong side from the perspective of an Englishman visiting us.

    God is the Author of all Logic. He is the Creator of our human minds. As I have said many times, in quoting C.S. Lewis, “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”

    We have a perspective that is different from God. And the difference is far greater than just living in another country.

    We are limited. He is not.

    I don’t give a hoot in hell about MAN’S logic when it starts by denying the supernatural revelation of God. Once that is understood, the Bible posits a very logical message.

  150. brian says:

    No disrespect and I dont want to start an argument or disagreement but Pastor Steve you said

    “I don’t give a hoot in hell about MAN’S logic when it starts by denying the supernatural revelation of God. Once that is understood, the Bible posits a very logical message.”

    What does this mean in a practical day to day application, no long response just an example. Thanks Hope you have a nice day.

  151. brian says:

    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/about-me.php

    What is your take on this gentleman’s view of apologetics and epistemology Pastor Steve, again just a bit of a note. Also thanks for the sermon about creation, I listened to it several times you are a very good speaker. It helped quite abit. Thanks

  152. Steve Wright says:

    Well Brian, I wrote that in a larger context as you saw, and that should not be overlooked.

    An example? How about Sara and Abraham having a baby boy. Man’s logic told them God must want them to use the handmaiden, Hagar, since God told them the impossible otherwise. God allowed them that choice, though it was not His. He then worked in their lives anyway, even as Sara laughed and Abraham said “Oh, let Ishmael live before you” – God even showed a sense of humor one might say in telling them to name the kid, Laughter.

    As far as the Bible’s message being quite logical, (when one allows God to be God)…I suggest the books of Romans and Hebrews. Both lay out, in a progressive and compelling treatise, and quite logically, what is the basic plot of the Bible.

  153. brian says:

    posted on the other blog

    “From a outside the ball park view about Paul and Peter and even the rest of the disciples. Often people preach about Peter’s failing’s it is funny Jesus restored him and never mentioned it again, only guided Peter into clearer truth. Paul was also forgiven and restored, though Paul mentioned himself as the chief of sinners, Jesus never mentioned it again. I dont think that can be overstated, these two stones of the faith, these founding fathers if you will were human, troubled, messed up, but they stuck with it and took the long view. I will admit I struggle with what they say but that is on me not on them. Peter was a real hero of the faith, as was Paul. I admire them both and respect their faith and admire their sacrifice.

    Just wanted to add that. I wish I was 1% of the “man / human” they were and are.”

    some times I come off as an jack blank and I know that but I admire these to men very much. They took it to the streets so to speak. Also added I wish I would have been, could be like one of the women that saw Jesus and ran to tell others. It is just so dark and cloudy at times. It is like looking into a mirror in a fog. I want to see but I cant, I clean my glasses and wash out my eyes but still my view is very blurry. I see a slight glimpse of light.

  154. brian says:

    Actually I did miss it, I am having some real vision problems tonight, not an excuse just went back to reread it. I will admit it is hard to keep threads online straight but I will be rereading Romans and Hebrews as you suggested. I hope you have a nice Sunday and God blesses you, your family, and those at your faith community. Take care.

    Michael thanks for putting up with my rants and babblings

    RB for the personal help you have given me thanks

    Some of you have posted some very kind words to me over these many years I really appreciate it, I really do and it has been very helpful, I would be lying if I did not say that.

  155. Steve Wright says:

    brian, nothing personal against the guy on the website, but I spend little time in those sorts of arguments. I think I have one message where I spoke about truth as a preface for a series about foundational truths of the faith – a mini-systematic theology over 12 weeks. That’s about it. In my messages on the Bible I don’t really go down those side roads too often.

    I’m going through Romans right now – just through the first two chapters. Paul does not take time with those sorts of arguments, but certainly does in fact lay out a treatise point by point. People are without excuse that reject God.

    Jesus is clear also that people don’t come to Him because their deeds are evil. They reject the light to live in darkness, even if that darkness is otherwise “religious”

    Yet the gospel is the power of God unto salvation – and the more word of God we proclaim, the less we will see any need for our argumentative efforts about truth.

    Jesus said “truth” over and over – especially in John’s Gospel. I don’t recall Him ever trying to convince people truth existed – He just proclaimed its existence – much like the first verse of Genesis proclaims God’s existence.

  156. Steve Wright says:

    Bless you, Brian. Good night.

  157. brian says:

    Michael a confession I think it is awful as well but in a way I loath myself for that. These men made bank big time and they will die fat and happy, and that is it to some degree. I have another confession my sister died in a hospital but she had to live in a rather bad apartment with some guy that actually cared for her but was a bit off. I tried, and went into massive debt to help, but I failed and that is a sin I should go to hell for. I paid the debt off but it was after she passed. She got quality care and we stayed with her for many months but could not bring her back do to many issues. I chose a career, to my shame, that did not provide the revenue to do both. I am ashamed of that, to this day, almost every day. I admire these guys because they make bank and from what I can observe they would not let the pathetic rantings I am blabbering about take hold. There is a part of me that wishes I could walk that way, but I cant. I mean they pull in the amount of cash I make in a year in one or two services. That is making bank, they have nice cars, which I dont want, I am looking at getting rid of the car I do have and riding a bike because I hate driving.

    Someone asked why do I subject myself to this, simple, I failed them, totally. That is why I subject myself to this, I should have been there, I should have made it better, and above all I should have had the money. I had the time, spent the energy, was their when they needed comfort, that is good for some issues, but I lacked the economic resources and that is a terrible thing to do.

  158. brian says:

    Chucking tv, I use to watch 6-10 hours of tv a day, I mean I did other things like work related issues but the TV was on all the time. My mother loved TV and I kept the satellite to help her and I get that. But I am bundling up the entire monstrosity this weekend and shipping it off. I am looking at Christian satellite alternatives as I really enjoy some of their programming especially the radio programs and music. It will save me some money and some head aches, I enjoy some channels like the geo channels, the history channel, cspan, and the hallmark channel. Cant stand the music channels but by far I live RFDTV, I mean I love that station the most. The tractor pulls, the cook outs, even the polka, well maybe not so much. The train shows, the horse back riding and so on, especially around Christmas I loved this station. I even stayed up for the beef auctions because it was honest TV, where people live, real heart and soul kind of stuff. The agricultural reports were really accurate and very telling, but I loved the real life stories of people just doing their best.

    I grow tired of the vile clap trap that passes itself off as entertainment. I am not a prude, well I am personally but not in the civil sense, I think any adult should have access to any content that does not cross the line. Personally I dont want to see any of it, I want to see the farm, the tractor, and the faithful child that stayed with the farm. I eat that stuff up. I even chucked my law and order library because after watching it for several years I got this hint, they had an agenda, duh, and I am not part of it so bye bye. I still hold on to the Babylon 5 series call it a weakness. I chucked the 24 disks as well, no one lives like that but often we wish we were super heroes. I dont want to be a super Hero any more just a faithful servant. Cleansing the temple, I have gutted so much of my library and my video library and given I wont sell my doubts I just chucked them. Granted that is stupid but that is how I am.

    It has been helpful to me to spell this stuff out, again RB I cant tell you how your blog has helped me, Michael the same for your blog.Above all I just want to serve the living Christ and to make a difference.

  159. brian says:

    http://youtu.be/-LAMA4trapI

    Love this musical rendition, just offered for what its worth.

  160. Got another free book to share from Amazon. It is free Aug 4-6 only.
    Which None Can Shut: Remarkable True Stories of God’s Miraculous Work in the Muslim World [Kindle Edition] by Reema Goode
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00403NIUW/?tag=gospelebooks-20

    Book Description; Imagine a place where becoming a Christian is a punishable crime—and your own family exacts the punishment. Where those who spread the gospel among locals are deported if discovered. Where converts to Christianity face persecution, isolation, or even death as the price for their faith. “Reema Goode” and her family are Christians working in a closed Middle Eastern country where all of these things are true. Yet they are also firsthand witnesses of a whole new trend that is taking shape in missions to Muslims. Despite all obstacles, God is opening miraculous doors in the Islamic world, where an unprecedented number of Muslims are becoming followers of Jesus. In this powerful collection of personal stories, Reema takes us deep inside her Arab neighborhood to show how God is opening doors in just one of many Islamic communities. As she walks us through everyday life in a Muslim town, she reveals the diverse, creative, unexpected, and thrilling ways God is reaching her neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it.”—Revelation 3:8

  161. Ricky Bobby says:

    “If you want to see what can happen to Christianity when subjected to Aristotle’s logic, read Thomas Aquina’s Summa Theologica which is full of syllogisms and so-called proofs for the existence of God and is so deadly dull as to suck the very life of out the Gospel.”

    Read it, several times actually….along with most of the other Founding Fathers…all who filtered their “theology” through their understanding of Logic to come up with their opinions.

    Slick is right in a sense, every Group (except maybe the hyper-Charismatics) rely on what they believe is logical as applied to the bible to come up with their particular interpretations. Even the EO do it. They rely on the logic of what their leaders/gurus/Popes have used to interpret the bible and tell them what is right and wrong etc.

  162. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Brian,

    Kinda going thru the same thing, got rid of a big chunk of my football, MMA sports in general library. There’s only so many times u can watch the Vikings-Packers from 1996. I had a huge collection but decided to get rid of it. Still keepin my pro rasslin stuff tho can’t get rid of that. I would ditch the UVerse but my sons likes his pokemon and yugi oh. Also watch movies with my kids so that’s our time. But I quit the rat race of recording shows and having to watch them

  163. I want to call BS on Ricky Bobby when in reference to reading Thomas’ Summa he says “Read it, several times actually…”

    Whoa – all 5 volumes? – all 3,000 pages? Several times?

    What do you have, a comic book version?

  164. Maybe the Cliff Notes.

  165. Ricky Bobby says:

    Well, MLD, you certainly haven’t read it (like I have) or you’d pick up on the fact that many of my references/terms and some of my reasoning are similar to Aquinas. It is self-evident (LOL) that you haven’t read the Summa. I love the Summa, it is a work that anyone who is serious about philosophy and religion and origins and existence and the concept of God etc should read and consider.

  166. Is this like the time you spoke to the guy who runs John Piper’s twitter account.
    Oh yeah, you got called on that one.
    So excuse some of us if we take all you say with a grain of salt as you tend to make stuff up a lot.

  167. Passing By says:

    I read many famous quotes by Aquinas tonight. RB reasoning here on the blog doesn’t match anything I read by him.

  168. Oh you mean you have used it as a reference – little pieces.

    I don’t believe that you have read all 3,000 pages several time. Sorry.

    I don’t care what you say, I don’t think anyone would mistake your discourses for Aquinas

  169. Actually I have read some Aquinas – but would never claim to have read his works “several time.”

    I cheat = I have one book that summarizes the Summa and I have one from Geisler “What Aquinas said” Where he breaks down Aquinas systematically…. boring stuff.

  170. Ah, MLD. So you use the Cliff Notes!

  171. Derek,
    With the Summa, I am sure everyone has used the Cliff Notes. Unless you are teaching it – no one sits down and reads the 5 volumes cover to cover

    If i ever were to read the whole thing, I am sure it wouls be because I lost a bet.

  172. I actually tried starting it once.
    Downloaded it to the kindle and everything.
    It bored me to death within 10 pages.
    I could think of many ingenious tortures I would rather undergo than have to read 3000 pages of that.

  173. Ricky Bobby says:

    “RB reasoning here on the blog doesn’t match anything I read by him.”

    No, you misunderstood, I don’t match him, I use reason to process things…much like Aquinas did. I come to very different conclusions in many areas.

  174. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I could think of many ingenious tortures I would rather undergo than have to read 3000 pages of that.”

    LOL, then you would hate Rhetorical Criticism and Philosophical Logic

  175. No, thank you Brian.
    I would rather watch some of those horrific videos you post.
    They would be more entertaining.

  176. ” I come to very different conclusions in many areas.”

    You mean like when Aquinas comes to the right conclusion, you come to the wrong conclusion? 🙂 – I couldn’t pass it up. 🙂

  177. Luckily, reason, philosophy and logic aren’t any gods of mine.
    I only have one and He trumps them all.

  178. brian says:

    “Reply to Objection 1: Since there is a twofold way of acquiring knowledge—by discovery and by being taught—the way of discovery is the higher, and the way of being taught is secondary. Hence it is said (Ethic. i, 4): “He indeed is the best who knows everything by himself: yet he is good who obeys him that speaks aright.” And hence it was more fitting for Christ to possess a knowledge acquired by discovery than by being taught, especially since He was given to be the Teacher of all, according to Joel 2:23: “Be joyful in the Lord your God, because He hath given you a Teacher of justice.” ”

    The objection “Objection 1: It would seem that in Christ there was no empiric and acquired knowledge. For whatever befitted Christ, He had most perfectly. Now Christ did not possess acquired knowledge most perfectly, since He did not devote Himself to the study of letters, by which knowledge is acquired in its perfection; for it is said (Jn. 7:15): “The Jews wondered, saying: How doth this Man know letters, having never learned?” Therefore it seems that in Christ there was no acquired knowledge.”

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/sum460.htm

    This one always fascinated me, that one of the giants seems to be saying that discovery “experience” may trump being taught by someone. I cant say I have read the entire thing myself over the last three or four years I have poked around this site.

  179. brian says:

    I think the Plague of Justinian AD 541–542 must have had a profound effect on the Eastern Church as the 1348–1350 had on the entire European church but in my opinion especially the west. If one reads some of the literature of the time the utter despair was overwhelming. I think this helped bring about the reformers because people were looking for a new paradigm. These events still effect us today in many very subtle ways.

  180. brian says:

    Actually we cant reason they way he did in any real practical sense, we have a different view of reality, we have a more clear understanding of causes such as disease, natural disasters, deep time, etc. We can relate to his world view but we cant live in it.

  181. Ricky Bobby says:

    brian, I’ve chewed on this one quite a bit:

    OF FREE-WILL (FOUR ARTICLES)

    We now inquire concerning free-will. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:

    (1) Whether man has free-will?

    (2) What is free-will—a power, an act, or a habit?

    (3) If it is a power, is it appetitive or cognitive?

    (4) If it is appetitive, is it the same power as the will, or distinct?

    Whether man has free-will?

    Objection 1: It would seem that man has not free-will. For whoever has free-will does what he wills. But man does not what he wills; for it is written (Rom. 7:19): “For the good which I will I do not, but the evil which I will not, that I do.” Therefore man has not free-will.

    Objection 2: Further, whoever has free-will has in his power to will or not to will, to do or not to do. But this is not in man’s power: for it is written (Rom. 9:16): “It is not of him that willeth”—namely, to will—“nor of him that runneth”—namely, to run. Therefore man has not free-will.

    Objection 3: Further, what is “free is cause of itself,” as the Philosopher says (Metaph. i, 2). Therefore what is moved by another is not free. But God moves the will, for it is written (Prov. 21:1): “The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord; whithersoever He will He shall turn it” and (Phil. 2:13): “It is God Who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish.” Therefore man has not free-will.

    Objection 4: Further, whoever has free-will is master of his own actions. But man is not master of his own actions: for it is written (Jer. 10:23): “The way of a man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk.” Therefore man has not free-will.

    Objection 5: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 5): “According as each one is, such does the end seem to him.” But it is not in our power to be of one quality or another; for this comes to us from nature. Therefore it is natural to us to follow some particular end, and therefore we are not free in so doing.

    On the contrary, It is written (Ecclus. 15:14): “God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel”; and the gloss adds: “That is of his free-will.”

    I answer that, Man has free-will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards, and punishments would be in vain. In order to make this evident, we must observe that some things act without judgment; as a stone moves downwards; and in like manner all things which lack knowledge. And some act from judgment, but not a free judgment; as brute animals. For the sheep, seeing the wolf, judges it a thing to be shunned, from a natural and not a free judgment, because it judges, not from reason, but from natural instinct. And the same thing is to be said of any judgment of brute animals. But man acts from judgment, because by his apprehensive power he judges that something should be avoided or sought. But because this judgment, in the case of some particular act, is not from a natural instinct, but from some act of comparison in the reason, therefore he acts from free judgment and retains the power of being inclined to various things. For reason in contingent matters may follow opposite courses, as we see in dialectic syllogisms and rhetorical arguments. Now particular operations are contingent, and therefore in such matters the judgment of reason may follow opposite courses, and is not determinate to one. And forasmuch as man is rational is it necessary that man have a free-will.

    Reply to Objection 1: As we have said above (Q[81], A[3], ad 2), the sensitive appetite, though it obeys the reason, yet in a given case can resist by desiring what the reason forbids. This is therefore the good which man does not when he wishes—namely, “not to desire against reason,” as Augustine says.

    Reply to Objection 2: Those words of the Apostle are not to be taken as though man does not wish or does not run of his free-will, but because the free-will is not sufficient thereto unless it be moved and helped by God.

    Reply to Objection 3: Free-will is the cause of its own movement, because by his free-will man moves himself to act. But it does not of necessity belong to liberty that what is free should be the first cause of itself, as neither for one thing to be cause of another need it be the first cause. God, therefore, is the first cause, Who moves causes both natural and voluntary. And just as by moving natural causes He does not prevent their acts being natural, so by moving voluntary causes He does not deprive their actions of being voluntary: but rather is He the cause of this very thing in them; for He operates in each thing according to its own nature.

    Reply to Objection 4: “Man’s way” is said “not to be his” in the execution of his choice, wherein he may be impeded, whether he will or not. The choice itself, however, is in us, but presupposes the help of God.

    Reply to Objection 5: Quality in man is of two kinds: natural and adventitious. Now the natural quality may be in the intellectual part, or in the body and its powers. From the very fact, therefore, that man is such by virtue of a natural quality which is in the intellectual part, he naturally desires his last end, which is happiness. Which desire, indeed, is a natural desire, and is not subject to free-will, as is clear from what we have said above (Q[82], AA[1],2). But on the part of the body and its powers man may be such by virtue of a natural quality, inasmuch as he is of such a temperament or disposition due to any impression whatever produced by corporeal causes, which cannot affect the intellectual part, since it is not the act of a corporeal organ. And such as a man is by virtue of a corporeal quality, such also does his end seem to him, because from such a disposition a man is inclined to choose or reject something. But these inclinations are subject to the judgment of reason, which the lower appetite obeys, as we have said (Q[81], A[3]). Wherefore this is in no way prejudicial to free-will.

    The adventitious qualities are habits and passions, by virtue of which a man is inclined to one thing rather than to another. And yet even these inclinations are subject to the judgment of reason. Such qualities, too, are subject to reason, as it is in our power either to acquire them, whether by causing them or disposing ourselves to them, or to reject them. And so there is nothing in this that is repugnant to free-will.

    Whether free-will is a power?

    Objection 1: It would seem that free-will is not a power. For free-will is nothing but a free judgment. But judgment denominates an act, not a power. Therefore free-will is not a power.

    Objection 2: Further, free-will is defined as “the faculty of the will and reason.” But faculty denominates a facility of power, which is due to a habit. Therefore free-will is a habit. Moreover Bernard says (De Gratia et Lib. Arb. 1,2) that free-will is “the soul’s habit of disposing of itself.” Therefore it is not a power.

    Objection 3: Further, no natural power is forfeited through sin. But free-will is forfeited through sin; for Augustine says that “man, by abusing free-will, loses both it and himself.” Therefore free-will is not a power.

    On the contrary, Nothing but a power, seemingly, is the subject of a habit. But free-will is the subject of grace, by the help of which it chooses what is good. Therefore free-will is a power.

    I answer that, Although free-will [*Liberum arbitrium—i.e. free judgment] in its strict sense denotes an act, in the common manner of speaking we call free-will, that which is the principle of the act by which man judges freely. Now in us the principle of an act is both power and habit; for we say that we know something both by knowledge and by the intellectual power. Therefore free-will must be either a power or a habit, or a power with a habit. That it is neither a habit nor a power together with a habit, can be clearly proved in two ways. First of all, because, if it is a habit, it must be a natural habit; for it is natural to man to have a free-will. But there is not natural habit in us with respect to those things which come under free-will: for we are naturally inclined to those things of which we have natural habits—for instance, to assent to first principles: while those things which we are naturally inclined are not subject to free-will, as we have said of the desire of happiness (Q[82], AA[1],2). Wherefore it is against the very notion of free-will that it should be a natural habit. And that it should be a non-natural habit is against its nature. Therefore in no sense is it a habit.

    Secondly, this is clear because habits are defined as that “by reason of which we are well or ill disposed with regard to actions and passions” (Ethic. ii, 5); for by temperance we are well-disposed as regards concupiscences, and by intemperance ill-disposed: and by knowledge we are well-disposed to the act of the intellect when we know the truth, and by the contrary ill-disposed. But the free-will is indifferent to good and evil choice: wherefore it is impossible for free-will to be a habit. Therefore it is a power.

    Reply to Objection 1: It is not unusual for a power to be named from its act. And so from this act, which is a free judgment, is named the power which is the principle of this act. Otherwise, if free-will denominated an act, it would not always remain in man.

    Reply to Objection 2: Faculty sometimes denominates a power ready for operation, and in this sense faculty is used in the definition of free-will. But Bernard takes habit, not as divided against power, but as signifying a certain aptitude by which a man has some sort of relation to an act. And this may be both by a power and by a habit: for by a power man is, as it were, empowered to do the action, and by the habit he is apt to act well or ill.

    Reply to Objection 3: Man is said to have lost free-will by falling into sin, not as to natural liberty, which is freedom from coercion, but as regards freedom from fault and unhappiness. Of this we shall treat later in the treatise on Morals in the second part of this work (FS, Q[85], seqq.; Q[109]).

    Whether free-will is an appetitive power?

    Objection 1: It would seem that free-will is not an appetitive, but a cognitive power. For Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 27) says that “free-will straightway accompanies the rational nature.” But reason is a cognitive power. Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.

    Objection 2: Further, free-will is so called as though it were a free judgment. But to judge is an act of a cognitive power. Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.

    Objection 3: Further, the principal function of free-will is to choose. But choice seems to belong to knowledge, because it implies a certain comparison of one thing to another, which belongs to the cognitive power. Therefore free-will is a cognitive power.

    On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 3) that choice is “the desire of those things which are in us.” But desire is an act of the appetitive power: therefore choice is also. But free-will is that by which we choose. Therefore free-will is an appetitive power.

    I answer that, The proper act of free-will is choice: for we say that we have a free-will because we can take one thing while refusing another; and this is to choose. Therefore we must consider the nature of free-will, by considering the nature of choice. Now two things concur in choice: one on the part of the cognitive power, the other on the part of the appetitive power. On the part of the cognitive power, counsel is required, by which we judge one thing to be preferred to another: and on the part of the appetitive power, it is required that the appetite should accept the judgment of counsel. Therefore Aristotle (Ethic. vi, 2) leaves it in doubt whether choice belongs principally to the appetitive or the cognitive power: since he says that choice is either “an appetitive intellect or an intellectual appetite.” But (Ethic. iii, 3) he inclines to its being an intellectual appetite when he describes choice as “a desire proceeding from counsel.” And the reason of this is because the proper object of choice is the means to the end: and this, as such, is in the nature of that good which is called useful: wherefore since good, as such, is the object of the appetite, it follows that choice is principally an act of the appetitive power. And thus free-will is an appetitive power.

    Reply to Objection 1: The appetitive powers accompany the apprehensive, and in this sense Damascene says that free-will straightway accompanies the rational power.

    Reply to Objection 2: Judgment, as it were, concludes and terminates counsel. Now counsel is terminated, first, by the judgment of reason; secondly, by the acceptation of the appetite: whence the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 3) says that, “having formed a judgment by counsel, we desire in accordance with that counsel.” And in this sense choice itself is a judgment from which free-will takes its name.

    Reply to Objection 3: This comparison which is implied in the choice belongs to the preceding counsel, which is an act of reason. For though the appetite does not make comparisons, yet forasmuch as it is moved by the apprehensive power which does compare, it has some likeness of comparison by choosing one in preference to another.

    Whether free-will is a power distinct from the will?

    Objection 1: It would seem that free-will is a power distinct from the will. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 22) that is one thing and another. But is the will, while seems to be the free-will, because , according to him, is will as concerning an object by way of comparison between two things. Therefore it seems that free-will is a distinct power from the will.

    Objection 2: Further, powers are known by their acts. But choice, which is the act of free-will, is distinct from the act of willing, because “the act of the will regards the end, whereas choice regards the means to the end” (Ethic. iii, 2). Therefore free-will is a distinct power from the will.

    Objection 3: Further, the will is the intellectual appetite. But in the intellect there are two powers—the active and the passive. Therefore, also on the part of the intellectual appetite, there must be another power besides the will. And this, seemingly, can only be free-will. Therefore free-will is a distinct power from the will.

    On the contrary, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 14) free-will is nothing else than the will.

    I answer that, The appetitive powers must be proportionate to the apprehensive powers, as we have said above (Q[64], A[2]). Now, as on the part of the intellectual apprehension we have intellect and reason, so on the part of the intellectual appetite we have will, and free-will which is nothing else but the power of choice. And this is clear from their relations to their respective objects and acts. For the act of “understanding” implies the simple acceptation of something; whence we say that we understand first principles, which are known of themselves without any comparison. But to “reason,” properly speaking, is to come from one thing to the knowledge of another: wherefore, properly speaking, we reason about conclusions, which are known from the principles. In like manner on the part of the appetite to “will” implies the simple appetite for something: wherefore the will is said to regard the end, which is desired for itself. But to “choose” is to desire something for the sake of obtaining something else: wherefore, properly speaking, it regards the means to the end. Now, in matters of knowledge, the principles are related to the conclusion to which we assent on account of the principles: just as, in appetitive matters, the end is related to the means, which is desired on account of the end. Wherefore it is evident that as the intellect is to reason, so is the will to the power of choice, which is free-will. But it has been shown above (Q[79], A[8]) that it belongs to the same power both to understand and to reason, even as it belongs to the same power to be at rest and to be in movement. Wherefore it belongs also to the same power to will and to choose: and on this account the will and the free-will are not two powers, but one.

    Reply to Objection 1: is distinct from on account of a distinction, not of powers, but of acts.

    Reply to Objection 2: Choice and will—that is, the act of willing —are different acts: yet they belong to the same power, as also to understand and to reason, as we have said.

    Reply to Objection 3: The intellect is compared to the will as moving the will. And therefore there is no need to distinguish in the will an active and a passive will.

  182. Ricky Bobby says:

    brian said, “Actually we cant reason they way he did in any real practical sense, we have a different view of reality, we have a more clear understanding of causes such as disease, natural disasters, deep time, etc. We can relate to his world view but we cant live in it.”

    Yes, completely agree. Aquinas’s speculations and positions on origins and creation illustrates this very clearly.

  183. billy bubba says:

    Amen brother !! Amen!! They be cirkling dem waguns!!

  184. Ricky Bobby says:

    DT said, “Luckily, reason, philosophy and logic aren’t any gods of mine.”

    Ya, well they were the apparatus your Calvinist and Reformer Gurus used to rebel from the Unified Church and go their own way. Guys like Luther and Calvin were heavily influenced by the philosophers and philosophical logic of their day and used that era’s reasoning applied to the bible and came up with their own interpretations and conclusions based upon their reason, philosophy and logic.

    Same goes for today in every Group. The big diff is the Liberals continue to apply reason, philosophy and logic to the bible using what we know from the advances in reason, philosophy and logic today. As knowledge has increased, Liberals apply that knowledge (in the form of scientific observation, better more accurate textual criticism, better and more accurate historical criticism, better and more accurate archeology, and more refined philosophical logic).

    I imagine a deep thinker like Aquinas, if he lived today, would be influenced by today’s reason, philosophy and logic and would come to similar conclusions as say a deep thinker like a Rowan Williams or similar.

  185. brian says:

    Of course this is all run through the crucible of the Grace of God, that is the one constant in all ages. Though we may not be able to truly “experience” past “world views” like those that actually lived in them. We can all understand our need for grace, hope, and meaning. It is often said on blogs and in books written by people who are atheist or agnostics. They do not need a transcendent meaning for their lives to have personal meaning. I agree with that on one level, but disagree on another level. Even from a strict materialistic world view which denies any possibility of the “supernatural” people seek to move beyond their selves. I higher meaning a sense of an “us”. We, as a species, form communities and in those communities we find meaning that is not just the individual.

    In that I find the strongest “proof” though I hate such a puny word of God. If one looks in the gospels, The Lord Jesus did miracle but they were not “Earth shattering” like in the OT, those did not seem to work to well for most of the world. Even His resurrection would not seem to convince people of His truth. But if one reads of the individual experiences that people had / have with the living Christ in the Gospels they seem to reach that soul. Which is I guess why we need to have a personal experience with Jesus, how that is applied varies but it seems to be the consensus of Christian history. I am struck by the personal interaction Jesus had with people in His earthly ministry. But the more profound, sorry if I over use that word but it is in my experience, has been in the convalescent hospitals, the state facility I worked at, and the people I continue to see on a daily basis. One of the hardest realities I have ever had to come to is that I may have made those I work with a type of “god”. It can happen. That is a brutally honest and hard to say but I think honesty demands that. At times I have, at times I have not. But I cant deny what I have seen. I have seen such grace, such strength, such wonderment.

    I have seen people do such works of mercy that blot out all the “rotten video’s” I post. The entire circus of clowns that take up most of the headlines are washed away.

  186. Well, I see someone went on a copy paste marathon.
    Our predecessors didn’t have such shallow intellects as this generation.
    Some assume that with the advent of the internet, they can buffalo people into thinking they are some intellectual giant.
    Like I said earlier, when they make things up and get called on it, it calls all they do into question.
    The internet is a two edged sword. It can make some fake their knowledge and make others who don’t claim such knowledge able to see through the charade.
    The Charade of Ricky Bobby.

  187. Muff Potter says:

    Ricky Bobby wrote:
    I imagine a deep thinker like Aquinas, if he lived today, would be influenced by today’s reason, philosophy and logic and would come to similar conclusions as say a deep thinker like a Rowan Williams or similar.

    Agreed, these guys were products of their times. For the medieval scholastics (Calvin & Luther are also from the medieval period), there was no such thing as The Rights of Man (Thomas Paine) and it shows in their writings and world view.

    Kings ruled by divine mandate and horrific forms of torture and execution were common place and no big deal (so long as you weren’t on the receiving end that is). In my opinion, Christianity is just now catching up with the Enlightenment and will continue to re-examine itself for as long as the cycles of human history play out.

  188. Xenia says:

    Do you think the Enlightenment was a good thing?

  189. Michael says:

    Calvin was not a medieval scholastic.
    Calvin was born 25 years after Luther and was a humanist in the classic sense of the word.
    I could go on, but suffice to say that Calvin’s generation was the transition point from medieval scholasticism.

  190. Steve Wright says:

    There is a huge difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution as to man’s “rights” (quotes deliberate) – as Paine certainly understands today.

    And that’s why the results were far different.

  191. Muff Potter says:

    RE: Xenia @ # 193,

    Yes I think it was. If it were not for the Enlightenment era thinkers, we would not have the good ol’ US of A as we know it today.

  192. ” In my opinion, Christianity is just now catching up with the Enlightenment and will continue to re-examine itself for as long as the cycles of human history play out”

    Really agree with this.

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