Friday, September 12, 2008

Now Can We Move On?

Turretinfan notes:

David Ponter writes: "What is clear now, beyond any doubt whatsoever, is that the doctrine of unlimited atonement was a Reformed doctrine. The evidence now is of such efficacy that only a proverbial fool would insist otherwise." (source)
My commentary:

I don't know about everybody else, but I sure am glad that's been cleared up at last. (Oh, and thanks for telling those of us who differ that we're fools - I really appreciate that). So, now that the issue is finally settled, can we now look forward to some posts from that side of the aisle that actually demonstrate they actually believe what they say they believe?

As TF has also noted:

He is in a position to do research on so many more useful issues - issues that actually would help to defend the gospel from false gospels: issues on which apparently he and we Calvinists are in agreement.
Indeed. I've said this for quite sometime now. While some of these folks twitter on about the scope of the atonement, it's mighty hard to find some of their leaders actually interacting with the atheist, the Romanist, the Orthodox, the Muslim, the Mormon, the Arian, etc. Meanwhile those of us called by various perjorative terms are now doing, and have been doing for quite some time that work. Personally, I've always found that odd. We're told we're too restrictive on our views of the atonement, while they are so very expansive, but we're the ones, not them, who are doing the work of evangelism and apologetics on the internet. Well, then, now that the issue has apparently been settled so that the rest of us are just "proverbial fools," perhaps we will actually see that trend reverse in the near future. I surely do hope that will be the case.


  1. Just one question....

    How can someone who is unwilling to be honest about his own history be trust to do a good job with others (i.e. Mormons, Arians, Atheists, etc.) that he is trying to persuade to the truth?

  2. I don't believe these folks are "dishonest" with their history. I simply differ with their interpretation of the texts they offer. They can be incorrect on one thing and not another. To say otherwise would be the all or nothing fallacy.

    That said, historical theology is not our rule of faith - yet that's what we get treated to in these discussions, and repetitively so. I think Turretinfan has done a good job rebutting them lately both exegetically and historically. I leave that to him. My concern isn't with this issue. In fact, it's never been, IMO, about their theological views on this issue, the issue is their behavior.

    When I look out and I see these folks tell us that we're limiting God's love, that we need to protect the lovingkindness of God, etc....and then when I look at their blogs, I see a discrepancy in what they profess to believe about the atonement and what they practice.

    At least one has challenged me to take a blogging break - which I had already done last year (5 mos) and this year (3 mos) I took another one. What changed with them during either period? Nothing. Where are the posts interacting with the Mormons, Arians, Atheists, etc.? I did what they asked. Did they do what I asked of them? NO.

    I assume we agree these folks need Christ - but why are TF, Steve, Manata, White, myself, and others the ones that are dealing with these folks? Why should we endure the endless lectures while the other side of the aisle - your good friends I do believe, Terry, do nothing to help us? I simply believe that if you say you believe something, you should demonstrate it. That's it, nothing more, nothing less. I've said for quite some time that, IMHO, they might just get a better, more charitable hearing from those of us who differ if they would, on occasion, get off that particular hobby horse.

    And now, apparently, the issue has been definitively cleared up for us. I say that's a wonderful thing. We should all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Now that it has been settled, then it's time to move on. I really do hope they will move on now.

    And, by the way, I'm an equal opportunity critic. I *also* feel exactly the same way about some of my Baptist brothers who act in a similar matter about "historic Baptist principles" and about Calvinists online who do the same thing with the doctrines of grace in general. It's as if being "Reformed," being "Baptist," or believing the doctrines of grace is all they think about - at least in their online musings.

    Well, the DOG, to take just one example, should motivate us to do the work of evangelism and discipleship. I should hope we all agree on that. For example, you're doing quite a good job on your blog with the historic catechisms, if I recall correctly. I say Kudos to you. But for those who harp on the extent of the atonement *to the exclusion of all else* or "Baptist principles," or "who is Truly, truly Reformed" - again to the exclusion of all else, I say, from my experience on this blog and in recent months of my life in the real world - that we live in a lost and dying world. They don't care what Calvin or Bullinger or Daveant or (insert name here) believed about the atonement. They need Christ - and if you are an Amyraldian, a High (but not Hyper) Calvinist, or "historic Baptist" or whatever other label you (and I'm using "you" in a general sense here) claim, you need to take a long look at yourself if that's all you post about on the internet. In particular, when we start talking about the scope or design of the atonement and concepts related to God's love, and those for whom Jesus died, etc. we are touching on issues that directly relate to evangelism, do they not? So, if those individuals aren't posting material that demonstrates they believe the other material they are posting, I believe it's fair to ask them to do so from time to time and point out that not to do so makes those of us who differ wonder why not. If they don't like that, then they have one real option - post material that can help those of us that could use the help. Telling us what Calvin supposedly believed about the atonement doesn't help us fight the false gospels of Romanism, Orthodoxy, etc. If you believe Jesus died for everybody and that's your pet subject when you post (to the exclusion of little if not all else), I say it's well past time to demonstrate it by interacting with the Dave Armstrongs, David Waltzes, Art Sippos, Matthew Bellisarios, Lvka's, Orthodoxes, John Loftuses (or is it Lofti?), Evan, Zilches, etc. of the blogosphere. Those persons' help would be heartily welcomed.

  3. I would just like to note, that we are all coming to Truth, whether or not we like it, as in, we all will suffer a natural death.

    As I put it over at Turretinfan's blog in another sort of way, [don't know if he will publish it or not, that is yet to be seen], we "naturally" bend things to our persuasion, convinced it is the "truth" and when Christ's persuasion is being bent, it isn't Him being bent, it is us being bent. Saying that, I mean, Truth is Truth in History and before History and Truth will be Truth after the history of these present heavens and this earth are history.

    I quote from John 16 where Jesus establishes "Truth" in "Order". He said that the Holy Ghost does not come to us by His own Authority. Jesus earlier in John 10 says He doesn't do anything by His own Authority, that everything is first commanded to Him by Our Father in Heaven.

    So, neither He nor the Holy Ghost come to us in our age on Their own, these last one hundred years or so; [I use that because I have met some very clear thinking minds of people 107 years old and there perchance may be someone reading this in that league and age?]

    Revisionists rewrite the actual historical facts to their unique persuasions instead of letting the Facts before, the Facts after and the Facts now all line up so that we are delivered from the false gospels out there being spoken and taught in history. There is only one True God and one Savior, Jesus Christ, sent, and only one Holy Ghost sent. It is the Truth They bring that sets things in order and sets our souls, minds, wills and emotions free to serve the Living God in our day.

    As to the Holy Ghost being sent then, there at John 16, Jesus states that when the Holy Ghost comes He comes to do three things.

    One, convict the world of sin because "they do not believe". What does this mean? Well most likely everyone reading this have met someone who was arrested, tried and convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve the punishment for the crime committed that they were convicted of? Well, some simply don't believe the Gospel so as to receive forgiveness for their sins so they will be tried and convicted by the Holy Ghost and will be sentenced to serve their own punishment for their own crimes, i.e., spending eternity in God's wrath and Holy anger weeping and gnashing their teeth! Why? Because they do not believe.

    Two, the Holy Ghost is sent to open the minds of True Believers, i.e., the Elect, for Whom Christ died, that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life and only by Him we inherit Eternal Life, i.e., in verse 10, "righteousness". Why? Because we believe that God put our chastisement on Him and He, the Innocent, Pure One was punished in our sted and for our crimes against God and man!

    Three, again, He will open our minds to understand that the god of this present world, Satan, "is judged".

    Why is this significant in light of this debate?

    Because it assumes we will understand that there are souls out there in this great earth that do not believe that Jesus is the Christ because they simply are not of the Sheepfold but are weeds and tares sown by the devil into this world. They believe they are good enough to warrant acceptance into that personal relationship with the Only True God and with His Christ, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, that in fact they on their own merit are "righteous" enough to be accepted into the Beloved. These are not of God but are truly of the devil.

    Why is that so important?

    Because for the most part, True Believers don't understand the significance of the god of this world being "judged" already. This significance does not come easy when you have been deceived by the devils.

    I know I have listened to the lies of the devil and been moved to error. Haven't you?

    When the Holy Ghost is sent uniquely and personally to me, "daily", those three things should make sense. It doesn't happen that quickly. It takes the "Work" of the Holy Ghost sanctifying me and regenerating me daily to make clear that there are some in the world, no matter what you say to them, it isn't significant enough for them to relinquish their own deception, believing that "they are just fine and good enough to be accepted into the beloved" so much so that they do not submit to the Doctrines of the Faith, i.e. 1. repentance from dead works, 2. Faith towards God, 3. the baptisms, 4. the laying on of hands, 5. the resurrection, 6. and eternal judgment and these things we will do if God permits. Also there are some who are not deceived. They are our enemies in this life.

    So Anachronism is rampant in this world today so as to keep the deceived deceived and to trouble those of us being delivered over time from deception by the sanctification work of the Holy Ghost.

    I agree with you Gene when you write: "I don't believe these folks are dishonest with their history". Some people are deceived and can be delivered. Some cannot be delivered. It isn't my job to deliver anyone. My job is to proclaim the Truth and let the Gospel bear its own fruit in the hearts of those who "hear" and receive the Faith once delivered to the Saints. I can now and forevermore in this life/bios "love" my enemies and do good to them that hate me. I have lost nothing by coming under the Word of God when once I hear it and come to obedience to the Faith.