Thursday, July 02, 2009

Arminian Justice and Righteousness

Lest I accused of misquotation:

Trust in Jesus for your salvation! He took the punishment you deserve on the cross of Calvary so you can be with Him for eternity. That is how God remains righteous and just.
So, according to Bossmanham:

1. God is just and righteous for sending people to hell if they do not trust in Jesus for their salvation.

Okay.

2. But isn't not trusting Jesus for your salvation a sin for which Christ died? Remember, Bossmanham has just said that Christ took the punishment you (whoever "you" may be) on the cross of Calvary.

3. Questions: If Jesus took the punishment that "you" deserve at Calvary, then wasn't God's justice satisfied? If not, then what did Jesus' death actually accomplish?

If Jesus took the punishment and yet God still sends a person into everlasting damnation, then how is that "just" and "righteous." That looks like a classic case of double jeopardy. Christ takes the punishment, yet the person still goes into everlasting damnation.

Arminian justice: Christ dies for the sins of all mankind, and yet part of mankind gets to endure everlasting torment. That's not justice, that's injustice. That's not righteousness; that's unrighteousness.

27 comments:

  1. Ah a modified John Owen's Arminian Dilemma. This is called a false dilemma.

    There is a third option. An option that I believe best comports with the Biblical data. I affirm that atonement is provisional “in Christ”. In other words, Christ’s death made provision for all sin, yet only those who come to be in union with Christ partake of that provision (Ephesians 1:3, 1:7; Colossians 1:13 and 14, etc).

    So how does one come to be in union with Christ and therefore benefit from the redemption and forgiveness provided in Him?

    “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation- having believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13).

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  2. Bossmanham, I just today posted this exact argument on my own blog.

    I would like to interact with you on your solution to the dilemma, but I am not quite sure I understand it.

    Can you explain it? Are you saying that Christ atones for all sins, but only for the sins of those who come to believe in him?

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  3. There is a third option. An option that I believe best comports with the Biblical data. I affirm that atonement is provisional “in Christ”. In other words, Christ’s death made provision for all sin, yet only those who come to be in union with Christ partake of that provision (Ephesians 1:3, 1:7; Colossians 1:13 and 14, etc).

    But what you wrote was that Christ took the punishment for "you." Really, where does the Bible differentiate between universal atonement and universal redemption. How does that work, exactly?

    Where does the Bible speak of the atonement in "provisional" terms. Citing passages about the believer's union with Christ won't cut it. Nobody will argue against the atonement being applicable to the person united with Christ.

    And you're creating another problem. Arminian election hinges on foreseen faith. God knows already who will believe and who won't. So what, exactly, is the point of making the atonement "provisional" in any sense? Why not just make it for the elect, even if they are elect on the basis of their foreseen faith?

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  4. The atonement and its application are not one and the same thing. They are two events. Jesus provided for atonement on the cross, but a person is in a state of perdition, alienation, and under wrath until the Spirit convicts him, leads him to faith, and unites him to Christ.

    God ordained that his wrath would be outpoured upon Jesus Christ as a substitute for people's sin. He also ordained that he would save all those who would believe in Jesus for their salvation. But seeing their depraved nature and inability to believe, he also ordained that the Holy Spirit would enable them to believe. And he also ordained that the Holy Spirit would unite believers to Christ so that they can share in Christ's death and life in order that the atonement Christ made would be applied to their account.

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  5. Something still doesn't seem right to me.

    I understand you as asserting:

    (1) Christ's death made atonement for mankind's sin possible.

    or, put it another way,

    (1*) Christ's death made it possible that man's sin be forgiven.

    So, Christ's death does not itself atone for anyone's sins, but makes it possible that sins be forgiven.

    I will assume you also believe that it is up to any person S to believe and take part in Christ's death and life, as you put it. Let's say

    (2) For any person S, S's sins are atoned for if that person willingly repents of his sins and believes in Christ.

    I hope that is not too much to assume.

    Firstly, if these understandings of Christ's death are correct, that Christ is not atoning for anyone's sin on the cross but simply making it possible that man's sins be forgiven, then it seems to me there is some possible world where Christ dies and no one believes. But surely this seems problematic! My intuition is that there cannot be a possible universe where Christ dies and no one believes. That would definitely be what anyone would call a "failure", and I do not think God is capable of "failing" in anything.

    Secondly, it seems that it is not correct to say that Christ only made men such that their sin could possibly be forgiven. Paul says in Galatians that Christ became the curse for us. I understand him as saying that Christ suffered for our sins in our place, rather than simply suffering but not atoning for anyone's sins. In Colossians Paul says "And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." There he seems to be saying what I clearly understand as Christ suffering for the sins of another. If however I am wrong, then my first point above would follow.

    I suppose my argument is this:

    1. If ((1) or (1*), and (2)), then there is a possible world where Christ dies and no one is saved.
    2. There is not a possible world where Christ dies and no one is saved.
    3. Therefore, not ((1) or (1*), and (2)).

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  6. The atonement and its application are not one and the same thing. They are two events. Jesus provided for atonement on the cross, but a person is in a state of perdition, alienation, and under wrath until the Spirit convicts him, leads him to faith, and unites him to Christ.

    Okay, no problem.

    But what you're doing is saying something like the death of Jesus made all men savable or made it possible for them to be saved.

    Where does the Bible draw that distinction? I'll ask this again, where does the Bible itself draw a distinction between universal atonement and universal salvation? (Answer: It does not, ergo, you have to concoct this scheme of yours).

    But seeing their depraved nature and inability to believe, he also ordained that the Holy Spirit would enable them to believe.

    Okay, so why does one person believe and not another if the Holy Spirit is enabling them all to believe? Conviction and enablement aren't convertible principles.

    And he also ordained that the Holy Spirit would unite believers to Christ so that they can share in Christ's death and life in order that the atonement Christ made would be applied to their account.

    Seems like a lot of work given that He already knows who will believe and who won't already. Remember, Arminian election is conditioned on foreseen faith. Why not just restrict the atonement and its application to the elect based on foreseen faith?

    You're trying to graft a theory of substitutionary atonement onto an Arminian soteriology...it won't work, ergo, Arminians generally default to a different view of the atonement.

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  7. Dear Steven,

    Firstly, if these understandings of Christ's death are correct, that Christ is not atoning for anyone's sin on the cross but simply making it possible that man's sins be forgiven, then it seems to me there is some possible world where Christ dies and no one believes.

    There's a difference between saying the provision would be just as real as if no one actually believed and saying there is a possible world in which no one actually believes. Such a world may well be ruled out by God's character - i.e. God would not create rather than creating such a world. Further, such a world seems intuitively implausible.

    God be with you,
    Dan

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  8. Gene,

    Where does the Bible draw that distinction? I'll ask this again, where does the Bible itself draw a distinction between universal atonement and universal salvation?

    Where does the Bible explicitly teach that God's intention was ever and only intended to atone for the alleged unconditionally elected? (Answer: It does not, ergo, you have to concoct this scheme of yours).

    Universal atonement, or the genuine (conditional) offer of it, can be found throughout the NT. The apostle Paul writes: "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died" (2 Cor. 5:14 NASB). If "all" men have died in Adam (cf. Rom. 5:12), then Christ died for "all" men (2 Cor. 5:14).

    Here is universal provision. Atonement is only applied to those whose faith is in Christ Jesus (and you know this to be true, meaning, I know that you agree).

    The apostle Peter writes: "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust" (1 Peter 3:18 NASB). First, Christ Jesus died "for sins," generally speaking (universal provision). Second, Christ died for the "unjust." Are only the alleged "unconditionally elected" considered the "unjust," or are all men in Adam "unjust"? If all men are unjust then Christ has died for all men. And yet only those whose faith is in Christ Jesus will be atoned.

    The apostle John writes that Christ Jesus "Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world" (1 John 2:2 NASB). While most Calvinists try to make the "whole world" mean those people who are not yet believers (as did Calvin himself), that is not the most plain reading of the text, is it? And John writes that Jesus' propitiation is not merely offered to some alleged "elect," or even to the "world," but to the "whole world" (cf. John 1:29). Donald M. Lake writes:

    The universal significance of the atonement will never be seen unless we free the atonement itself from the restrictive idea of an arbitrary decree of election. If we, as Calvin and all later Calvinism does, deny the possibility of faith as a condition for election, we rob the atonement of any significant universal dimension. A drug that cures cancer for everyone is a poor drug if its application is limited by the doctor's decision to allow only whites to take it!

    Gene asks: But what you're doing is saying something like the death of Jesus made all men savable or made it possible for them to be saved.

    Did Jesus' death on the cross make men less savable?

    Gene: Okay, so why does one person believe and not another if the Holy Spirit is enabling them all to believe? Conviction and enablement aren't convertible principles.

    ANTINOMY! If that is good enough for the Calvinist (i.e. J. I. Packer), then it's good enough for the Arminian!

    Actually, Jesus addressed this in Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23. You desire the answer to be found in Romans 9:18. Thus the reason why most do not believe is because God has willed that they not believe, contra 1 Tim. 2:4.

    Gene: Seems like a lot of work given that He already knows who will believe and who won't already. Remember, Arminian election is conditioned on foreseen faith. Why not just restrict the atonement and its application to the elect based on foreseen faith?

    Not all Arminians hold to the "foreseen faith" view of election. Do not neglect the Corporate Election view, which has garnered an extensive audience lately in Classical Arminian circles.

    Who has God chosen to save? Paul's answer: believers (1 Cor. 1:21). Why is Christ's atonement genuinely offered to those whom God foreknows will not receive it? Paul's answer: because God has "fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:31).

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  9. Where does the Bible explicitly teach that God's intention was ever and only intended to atone for the alleged unconditionally elected? (Answer: It does not, ergo, you have to concoct this scheme of yours).

    Actually, particular atonement doesn't simply turn on such passages, rather it follows from the nature of substitutionary atonement. Try to keep up with what's been said on this blog. I know that may be difficult for you, but there are about 4000 articles here you can read before bringing this up as if we've not addressed it.

    Universal atonement, or the genuine (conditional) offer of it, can be found throughout the NT.

    A genuine offer of the gospel doesn't have to entail LFW.

    A genuine offer of the gospel doesn't have to entail universal atonement of any kind.

    You are assuming, w/o benefit of argument that the atonement's extent constitutes a warrant to believe. Where's the supporting argument?

    Paul writes: "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died" (2 Cor. 5:14 NASB). If "all" men have died in Adam (cf. Rom. 5:12), then Christ died for "all" men (2 Cor. 5:14).

    Before citing these verses, try exegeting them.


    Here is universal provision.


    Really? So, in that case Adam's death is also provisional. All didn't actually die, they just provisionally died. Men's universal death in Adam is conditioned on their individual sin on that view. That's a patent denial of original sin, among other things.

    BTW, I see nothing in those texts that says that Christ's death (or Adam's) was "provisional."

    The Bible draws no distinction between universal atonement and universal redemption. You have to insert terms like "provision" to get there...concepts not in these texts.

    Try again.

    You also seem to lack an elementary knowledge of universal class quantifiers, like the word "all." Such words do not de facto refer to "every, each and every one." Rather they refer to each and every one of something. All of what? All of whom?

    Try to master these elementary concepts.

    And John writes that Jesus' propitiation is not merely offered to some alleged "elect," or even to the "world," but to the "whole world" (cf. John 1:29).

    He also says that whole world is under the power of the devil while at the same time exempting Christians. Try again.

    Actually, Jesus addressed this in Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23.

    Didn't God make the types of soil? If we follow your line of argument, then you're undercutting your own line of argument.

    So, I'll ask again, why does one man believe and not another? In case you can't follow along, I'm looking for a biblical argument for libertarian freedom. Perhaps you can be the Arminian that presents this to us.

    Thus the reason why most do not believe is because God has willed that they not believe, contra 1 Tim. 2:4.

    Well that settles it. Obviously, no Calvinist has an answer to this one.

    Not all Arminians hold to the "foreseen faith" view of election. Do not neglect the Corporate Election view, which has garnered an extensive audience lately in Classical Arminian circles.

    We haven't. We've addressed this here before. I tell you what, why don't you read Schriener on that, then get back to us with your detailed rebuttal.

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  10. Gene,

    Try to keep up with what's been said on this blog. I know that may be difficult for you, but there are about 4000 articles here you can read before bringing this up as if we've not addressed it.

    It's so difficult for me. Thank goodness I have you all to guide me (astray). If I had all the time in the world to rummage through these "4000 articles" (from having so much free time, no job, and living in my mother's basment), I'd be a much more informed indiviudal.

    A genuine offer of the gospel doesn't have to entail LFW.

    I never said it did. That is something that you concocted. And we do not believe that LFW has anything to do with receiving Christ Jesus, as prevenient grace is necessary for the salvation of any soul. But thanks for yet another caricature.

    A genuine offer of the gospel doesn't have to entail universal atonement of any kind.

    Really? So, you believe that our God, with all the integrity in Him, can "genuinely" offer salvation to people apart from any type of "genuine" provision? Interesting.

    Exegete 2 Corinthians 5:14-15? Well, let's see. "All" are dead in Adam. Christ died for "all" people. Hmmmm . . . seems pretty easy. Unless of course by "exegete" you mean eisogete by or according to a Calvinistic hermeneutic.

    Really? So, in that case Adam's death is also provisional. All didn't actually die, they just provisionally died. Men's universal death in Adam is conditioned on their individual sin on that view. That's a patent denial of original sin, among other things.

    Your logic is about as faulty as your theology. Did you actually read 2 Corinthians 5:14-15? Or does your faulty logic result from Scripture backing you into a corner and proving your Calvinism to be false?

    One died for all. Who died? Jesus died. Who did He die for? All. Who are the all? The all who are dead. They are those who are already dead in Adam. Therefore, Jesus died for all of those who are dead in Adam. It's so plain that I suppose it somehow confuses you.

    BTW, I see nothing in those texts that says that Christ's death (or Adam's)was "provisional."

    BTW, I see nothing in those texts that says that Christ's death (or Adam's) was for the unconditionally elected.

    The Bible draws no distinction between universal atonement and universal redemption. You have to insert terms like "provision" to get there...concepts not in these texts.

    And you have to insert terms and concepts like "unconditionally elected" into the same texts, because they are not in these texts either.

    Didn't God make the types of soil? If we follow your line of argument, then you're undercutting your own line of argument.

    Uh . . . where in Scripture does it say that God "made the types of soil"? Or is that yet another one of your incredible exegetical examples?

    So, I'll ask again, why does one man believe and not another? In case you can't follow along, I'm looking for a biblical argument for libertarian freedom. Perhaps you can be the Arminian that presents this to us.

    Well geez Gene, I'll sure try to splain these hard things for y'all.

    You've completely misunderstood the nature of LFW. You mistakenly think that Arminians believe that unregenerate people can by their LFW believe in Christ Jesus whenever they want. Wrong (yet again). Unless the Spirit of God graces an unregenerate person, he cannot believe on Christ.

    Why do some believe and others do not? I don't know. Only God knows.

    Why, from your viewpoint, did God unconditionally elect some and not others? You have no idea. Nor can you know. That sure doesn't keep you from thinking that the Bible teaches it.

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  11. Gene,

    Commenting on 1 Timothy 2:4: Well that settles it. Obviously, no Calvinist has an answer to this one.

    Now that I know for sure. Calvin said that the two verses in Scripture which bothered his theology the most was 1 Tim. 2:4 and 2 Pet. 3:9 (so said my Calvinist Church History professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in class last semester). I can't help it that 1 Timothy 2:4 is true and undermines your faulty theology.

    We've addressed this here before. I tell you what, why don't you read Schriener on that, then get back to us with your detailed rebuttal.

    Tell you what, why don't YOU read this rebuttal of Schreiner from Brian Abasciano, then get back to me with your detainled rebuttal.

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  12. And also TS's response to BA!
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3817/is_200606/ai_n17176281/

    Anyway, one side and the other has its best-case texts. The proof is in who 1) doesn't run away from the "hard" texts, 2) offers the best sustained arguments dealing with the totality of the biblical witness, and 3) argues out of a biblically defined anthropology, and not from a set of philosophical aprioris.


    Anyway, Jesus said, Jn.10: 15"I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have,... and they shall hear my voice."

    25"You lot are not my sheep. 26My sheep hear my voice... and I give them eternal life."

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  13. Bruce,

    I gots another response for you, this on the sheep Jesus speaks of in John 10.

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/node/282

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  14. Right, Boss,
    The point being, you have to provide an answer, and that takes more than a lazy-man's prooftexting. Then let the jury decide.

    I "lobbed" a prooftext because that was the extent of WWB's "argument" for his position. Two can play at that game, except I'm not really interested in it.

    My task isn't to convince a cocky seminarian; it's merely to expose to naive readers of this blog the ease by which facile ploys such as that are deflected. You got yours; I got mine. wheee. We haven't even got to WORK yet.

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  15. It's so difficult for me. Thank goodness I have you all to guide me (astray).

    There is a search function on this blog, use it.

    And we do not believe that LFW has anything to do with receiving Christ Jesus,

    Of course you do, since UPG enables the soul to choose by moving the will into a state of libertarian freedom.

    You don't seem to have a very good grasp of your own theology.

    And Arminians insist that for a choice to be "real" it must be so in libertarian terms.

    You don't seem to have a firm grasp on your own philosophical theology either.

    Really? So, you believe that our God, with all the integrity in Him, can "genuinely" offer salvation to people apart from any type of "genuine" provision? Interesting.

    The gospel call serves two functions: It calls the elect; it inculpates the reprobate.
    Also Manata has done a series of posts on your argument. Oops...search function.

    Exegete 2 Corinthians 5:14-15? Well, let's see. "All" are dead in Adam. Christ died for "all" people. Hmmmm . . . seems pretty easy. Unless of course by "exegete" you mean eisogete by or according to a Calvinistic hermeneutic.

    Calvinism uses the GHM. Apparently, you haven't taken that course yet.

    Who is "in Christ," if not the persons for whom Christ died? The text of I Corinthians 5 doesn't stop with "Christ died for all."

    BTW, I see nothing in those texts that says that Christ's death (or Adam's) was for the unconditionally elected.

    Try to follow the logic of your own argument:

    Adam's death was actual..ergo everyone died.

    Christ's death was provisional: ergo only some of those for whom Christ died will live.

    or, alternatively:

    Since Christ's death was provisional, Adam's was too.

    Those are your options.

    The problem is this: the text doesn't talk about Adam's death or Christ's as provisional.

    That's a problem for you, not for me.

    Once again, the Bible does not draw a distinction between universal atonement and universal redemption; ergo, to avoid universalism, you have to insert this arbitrary notion of a "provision." The text doesn't speak of "provision."

    And you have to insert terms and concepts like "unconditionally elected" into the same texts, because they are not in these texts either.

    Quote me on that.


    Uh . . . where in Scripture does it say that God "made the types of soil"? Or is that yet another one of your incredible exegetical examples?


    You cited texts that speak of things like soil - an inanimate object. Does soil make itself good or bad? Did God not make the soil?

    Put another way, even on Arminian grounds, God still makes unbelievers. He even makes people who never will hear the gospel. So, God creates people who He knows will never believe. Put another way, God chooses to instantiate this world and no other. He even ensures the outcomes.

    You mistakenly think that Arminians believe that unregenerate people can by their LFW believe in Christ Jesus whenever they want.

    Really? Can you quote me on that?
    Where have I written that? Please, chapter and verse, as it were.

    Further, now your dissimulating. I asked you to provide a biblical account for LFW. Put another way, in case the words are too big for you - where does the Bible teach libertarian action theory?

    Why do some believe and others do not? I don't know. Only God knows.

    No, God doesn't know, according to libertarian action theory. How can God know an indeterminate action without it being instantiated?


    Why, from your viewpoint, did God unconditionally elect some and not others?


    For His glory. Calvinism has a partial answer, but due to the self-reinforcing ignorance of some Arminians, they can't be bothered with it.

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  16. I can't help it that 1 Timothy 2:4 is true and undermines your faulty theology

    I can't help it that you've merely cited 1 Tim. 2:4 without exegeting it. If this is the quality of SEBTS students that are being taught today, the SBC is in foul shape indeed. I seriously doubt my friend Dr. Robinson taught you that.


    Tell you what, why don't YOU read this rebuttal of Schreiner from Brian Abasciano, then get back to me with your detainled rebuttal.

    Tell YOU what, friend, why don't you familiarize yourself with Schriener's response then get back to us:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3817/is_200606/ai_n17176281/

    And Steve has also interacted with it here:

    http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/06/election-in-romans-9.html

    Too much time in Mommy's basement?

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  17. Gene,

    Did you use "ergo" before "Matrix: Reloaded" came into the theatres? Gee, it sure makes you seem smart, mister.

    On LFW, it appeared that you were insinuating Arminians are semi-Pelagian, that is why I wrote what I did. God's prevenient grace does set one free in order for him to choose Christ as Savior. But apart from this gracious operation that could not happen. I have a grasp on my "philosophical" theology, thank you. I just wanted to be sure that you properly understood our case. So many Calvinists think that Arminians believe one can believe in Jesus Christ whenever he wishes. We do not.

    The text does not speak of "provision." Hmmm. How interesting. Christ died "for" all. What does the word "for" mean, Gene? Does it mean "on behalf of"? Does it mean "in the stead of"? If Christ did something on behalf of mankind, is that not a provision? Or does the word "provision" have to be present in the text before you'll accept it. If that were the case then you certainly couldn't hold to Calvinism with any integrity.

    And BTW, Dr. Robinson would certainly not approve of exegeting "all" in 1 Timothy 2:4 as "all kinds of" men, such as the Calvinist's strained interpretation. If Paul had meant "all kinds of" then he would have written it (cf. 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:10).

    I asked you to provide a biblical account for LFW. Put another way, in case the words are too big for you - where does the Bible teach libertarian action theory?

    There is a Topics for this Blog function on my blog, use it.

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  18. "And BTW, Dr. Robinson would certainly not approve of exegeting "all" in 1 Timothy 2:4 as "all kinds of" men, such as the Calvinist's strained interpretation. If Paul had meant "all kinds of" then he would have written it (cf. 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:10)."

    The same term is used in 1 Timothy 4:10 where even I. Howard Marshall acknowledges that the word, 'malista,' should be translated "that is," and thus, 'all men' would be restricted to those who believe.

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  19. Saint and Sinner,

    So, God wants "all believers" to be saved and to come to the recognition of the truth?

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  20. No. What I'm saying is that "all men" does not always have to mean 'every single last human being.'

    Think about it. Major missionary activity started with the early Church. God sent prophets to nations other than Israel only on rare occasions.

    And, of course, Scripture says, "For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law..." (Romans 2:12).

    Obviously, multitudes died without getting a chance to accept Christ. They couldn't have done otherwise, and yet, they are still held responsible. A clear strike against the Principle of Alternative Possibility, and the belief that God wants every single last human being to be saved.

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  21. Saint,

    1 Timothy 4:10 is clearly speaking of every single person because it specifies that it is believers who receive the full benefits of the death of Christ. Christ is the savior of "all men, especially of those who believe."

    Or we can look at 1 John 2:2, where John clearly is speaking of believers (propitiation for our sins) and then the rest of humanity (and not for ours only but also for the whole world).

    Limited atonement is unsustainable when you consider the Biblical text.

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  22. Bossmanham said:
    "1 Timothy 4:10 is clearly speaking of every single person because it specifies that it is believers who receive the full benefits of the death of Christ. Christ is the savior of "all men, especially of those who believe.""

    Me:
    As I noted above, the term 'malista' (translated "especially") should be rendered 'that is'. Even I. Howard Marshall, the lead Arminian Biblical scholar of our time, takes that position in his commentary on the pastoral epistles (ICC). So, it's not just some Calvinist invention.

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  23. There's a difference between saying the provision would be just as real as if no one actually believed and saying there is a possible world in which no one actually believes. Such a world may well be ruled out by God's character - i.e. God would not create rather than creating such a world. Further, such a world seems intuitively implausible.

    You are right that such a world seems intuitively implausible; I also said that much in my post. My point was that a world like that follows from the idea that Jesus' death is provisional and it is left up to the free choice of man to either make Christ's death valuable or not.

    If X (provisional atonement, free choice), then Y (possibly Christ's death is a waste)
    not Y (it is not possible that Christ's death be a waste)
    Therefore not X (provisional atonement, free choice)

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  24. Saint,

    A quick check of the NET Bible's notes on this word agree with EVERY Bible translation out there. That word means: especially, chiefly, most of all, above all. The context supports this, because if it read the way you want it to it would say, "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, [that is] of believers." (NASB).

    That really doesn't make a lot of sense. And I really don't see it changing much about the passage anyway.

    So while I'm sure Dr. Marshall is much smarter than I am, all the other translators seem to disagree with him.

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  25. Bossmanham said:
    "A quick check of the NET Bible's notes on this word agree with EVERY Bible translation out there."

    Me:
    That's because, when doing a Bible translation on a word of multiple meanings and connotations, translators default to the word's most often used translation.

    Bossmanham said:
    "So while I'm sure Dr. Marshall is much smarter than I am, all the other translators seem to disagree with him."

    Me:
    Actually, he's not alone. Some of the best commentators on the Pastoral Epistles give the same rendering (e.g. George Knight III's NIGTC commentary).

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  27. And BTW, Dr. Robinson would certainly not approve of exegeting "all" in 1 Timothy 2:4 as "all kinds of" men, such as the Calvinist's strained interpretation. If Paul had meant "all kinds of" then he would have written it (cf. 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:10).


    This is the same Dr. Robinson who
    has told his students that "John was a Calvinist" and "Jesus was a Calvinist." Just remember that.

    On the basis you've just laid out, then if any biblical author had meant to speak of the atonement in provisional terms, he would have said so.

    2. You also need to learn what a universal class quantifier is. Apparently, that basic concept eludes you...do you believe love of money is the root of every single sin ever committed?

    On LFW, it appeared that you were insinuating Arminians are semi-Pelagian, that is why I wrote what I did.

    It would be helpful if you would read people for what they actually write, not what they do not write.

    But I will say this, what you give with affirming total depravity, you thereby take away with UPG. On the one hand you try to rail against determinism, yet on the other, you agree that determinism is true.

    And, no, I don't think you have a good handle on your own philosophical theology. Dilettante comes to mind.

    BTW, I read your response to me re: LFW.

    You provided several quotes from nonbiblical work, but I have yet to see the exegetical case made. That's what I challenged you to do, and you didn't even try. I'm disappointed, but I'm not surprised.

    Please, exegete the passages that teach LFW. It should be simple. You'd be the first Arminian here to do it. Good luck with that.

    Hmmm. How interesting. Christ died "for" all. What does the word "for" mean, Gene? Does it mean "on behalf of"? Does it mean "in the stead of"? If Christ did something on behalf of mankind, is that not a provision?

    This merely begs the question in your favor.

    Or does the word "provision" have to be present in the text before you'll accept it. If that were the case then you certainly couldn't hold to Calvinism with any integrity.

    No, I'm not committing the word concept fallacy, I'm trying to get you to face the logical problems with your own argument. How does the Bible, if at all, draw a distinction between universal provision or atonement and universal salvation? It does not...and that follows directly from the nature of substitutionary atonement. Really, this isn't difficult to figure out.

    How are the "all" described? I suppose it is too much to ask a Southern Baptist student who is supposed to be getting a graduate degree to do basic exegesis. This phenomenon seems all too common these days.

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