And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Over the centuries, Calvinists have so successfully vilified Arminianism that people who are Arminian are afraid to say so. This is true even though Arminianism is the default theological position of Christian Protestantism.
Recent research in molecular biology, primatology, sociobiology, and phylogenetics indicates that the species Homo sapiens cannot be traced back to a single pair of individuals, and that the earliest human beings did not come on the scene in anything like paradisal physical or moral conditions. It is therefore difficult to read Genesis 1–3 as a factual account of human origins. In current Christian thinking about Adam and Eve, several scenarios are on offer. The most compelling one regards Adam and Eve as strictly literary figures—characters in a divinely inspired story about the imagined past that intends to teach theological, not historical, truths about God, creation, and humanity.
Recent studies in primatology, sociobiology , and phylogenetics are also pertinent to the historicity of Adam and Eve and to the Christian doctrines of the Fall and original sin. Here a range of evidence establishes that virtually all of the acts considered “sinful” in humans are part of the natural repertoire of behavior among animals—especially primates, but also birds, insects, and other species—behaviors including deception, bullying, theft, rape, murder, infanticide, and warfare, to name but a few.7
The source of the human inclination toward self-aggrandizement, then, is to be found in animal nature itself. Far from infecting the rest of the animal creation with selfish behaviors, we humans inherited these tendencies from our animal past.
Together, these newer lines of research join other, well-established ones in making it hard to imagine that the earliest human beings appeared on the scene in anything like paradisal physical or moral conditions. They would instead have had to struggle to sustain themselves, and to do so, they would have possessed strong tendencies toward the same types of behavior common to all animals. Only over time would they have developed a sufficient spiritual awareness to sense that many selfish behaviors are contrary to God’s will, and the moral imperative to transcend those behaviors.
Friday, July 04, 2014
The Society of Evangelical Arminians (SEA) is an association of evangelical scholars and laymen who adhere to Arminian theology and are united in order to glorify God, edify his people, protect them from error, and foster the proper representation of our magnificent God to the world by…(2) refuting Calvinism and diminishing the number of its adherents, through the concerted, strategic effort of Arminians networked through the society for the accomplishment of these goals.
The law also treats various nonhuman, nonsentient entities as “persons” for certain legal purposes. Corporations, estates, trusts, partnerships, and government entities are often defined this way. Walmart, Illinois, and the California Pension Fund can sue, for example, without anyone asking if they have a right to abortion. Sometimes, corporations can bring suit (or be sued) because a statute explicitly gives “persons” that right, and defines “persons” to include corporations. At other times, the statute does not define “persons,” but courts interpret the word to include corporations because they believe that is what Congress intended. This transubstantiation of corporations into persons advances some pretty uncontroversial policy goals. If corporations lacked personhood, you couldn’t sue FedEx for crashing a van into your car, or Walmart for selling you a defective space heater that burns down your home, or J.P. Morgan for defrauding you when you get a lemon mortgage. You wouldn’t be able to enter into contracts with a corporation at all. Legislatures and courts have been treating corporations like persons for hundreds of years: There is even a general interpretive rule in the law that when Congress says “persons,” it means corporations as well, unless the context of the statute provides otherwise.
Randal Rauser Mod Rob • a month ago
Interestingly, after I posted this I discovered that Steve Hays from Triablogue wrote a response to my article in which he speculates:
"I assume Rauser is using this as a wedge tactic to justify homosexuality and transgenderism in the church."
The biblical authors did not have a conception of the problem of transgender identity as we now understand it.
Note the close parallel between homosexuality and transgender identity. Just as the Bible does not offer any clear response to transgender identity as we currently understand it, so a person can plausibly argue it offers no clear response to homosexuality as we currently understand it.
However, there’s no shortage of the passages more directly supporting middle knowledge – those passages showing that God’s knows what we would choose under different settings. It’s not as if scripture limits middle knowledge to the famous examples of David in Keilah or the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon.
God uses His middle knowledge to warn people. If you put yourself into a given circumstance, you will do this. God knew what would happen if the Israelites intermarried. He knew what the foreign wives would do and how the Israelites would respond. Sadly, Solomon didn’t listen.
On divine determinism, God’s foreknowledge is logically “too late” to serve as a warning. All (even the hypothetical – if you intermarry, you will fall away) is determined by God. So 1 Kings 11 turns into “I told you I determined you would fall” as opposed to “I told you you would fall”.
Generally, those who reject middle knowledge providing two alternative views of these texts. The first grants that the passages teach what a person would do in various settings but denies we have libertarian free will. For biblical arguments we have libertarian free will see (link). Here’s an example from Steve Hays:
- God knows what might have happened because he knows how things would turn out had he decreed that alternative.
- And that’s also consistent with God as the final source of every alternate possibility. What’s possible is a measure of divine omnipotence. God knows what God is capable of doing. Divine omnipotence is the engine generating those possibilities. (link)
I don’t think omnipotence (i.e. God’s capabilities) is enough to account for these passages. Imaging [sic] God creates Santa (which of course He could do). God could have Santa deliver toys this year or He could have Santa occupy Wall Street instead. How does He know which would happen if Santa existed? God must not only be able to do either, but He must choose one.
Rostin Commonly, theistic evolutionists who believe in an historical Adam think that his special creation consisted of a preexisting hominid being ensouled.
If someone is comfortable with holding that view, I don't know why believing something similar about Eve would be problematic.
davidjricardoBingo. Anyone asking this question has clearly not thought the issue through clearly.
moby__dickSo you're saying that the offspring of Adam and Eve never mated with the pre-existing hominids?
davidjricardoI don't think we know that. I tend to think no, or at least they weren't supposed to do so. I do think that a pre-existing hominid female would not be a "helper suitable for him."
Dying_DailyWhy would you say that?
davidjricardoThe question presupposes that God made Adam when there were preexisting "humans." But, any answer to the question "Why did God make Adam when there were already humans?" will necessarily answer the question "Why did God make Eve?" To ask the latter demonstrates a lack of thought about the former.
namer98Gen 2:7, man was ensouled.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
A good friend pointed out the following to me, which appears to come from someone who disagrees with the Hobby Lobby decision:
plan b is not an abortion method, it cannot kill a fetus in any way
Just a quick response:
- Plan B contains 1.5mg of a drug known as levonorgestrel in a single oral pill. It's widely used as an emergency contraceptive due to its effects: (a) interfering with female ovulation, (b) interfering with male sperm function including motility, and (c) interfering with the process of implantation in the woman's womb or uterus.
Letters (a) and (b) are fine with most pro-lifers. But (c) is the problem.
Of course, if levonorgestrel interferes with an egg or sperm prior to conception, then (c) wouldn't be necessary, for there would be no embryo to implant in the first place. Many abortionists say (c) is unlikely to pose a problem because (a) and/or (b) would most likely take place, rendering (c) all but moot.
But pro-lifers think since (c) is a possible effect of the drug, such as if (a) or (b) fail, if fertilization has already occurred, then levonorgestrel still stands as a potential abortifacient.
In fact, my understanding is, orally, such as in Plan B, ovulation interference occurs in less than 50% of women. So we're generally relying on (b) and (c) more than (a).
Besides, have there been any good studies done on the likelihoods of (a) and/or (b) and/or (c) to occur?
- Also, what about intention? Shouldn't that be a factor?
That is, why use Plan B as an emergency contraceptive pill if the intention is not to keep conception from occurring or to keep a conception that has already occurred from developing further?
It's possible I'm missing something here though.
- BTW, I wonder if this person is attempting to obfuscate the issue by using "fetus" at this juncture? Medically speaking, the baby is considered an embryo in its first eight weeks of development. Only after week eight is the baby termed a fetus. So I suppose in a sense Plan B "cannot kill a fetus in any way" but that's because a "fetus" wouldn't be the term for a baby at this time (i.e. conception).
Nevertheless, it's possible Plan B kills the baby at conception (assuming pro-life premises).
- Perhaps the confusion arises from the following:
Plan B One-Step is not the same as RU-486, which is an abortion pill. It does not cause a miscarriage or abortion. In other words, it does not stop development of a fetus once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. So it will not work if you are already pregnant when you take it.
I'd first note the same article earlier says:
It is also possible that this type of emergency birth control prevents implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus by altering its lining.
On the face of it, this seems sort of in tension (for lack of a better word) with the claim "it does not stop development of a fetus once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus."
But digging a bit deeper, the assumption here seems to be "pregnancy" is defined as occurring at implantation. But that shouldn't be the issue. The issue should be the status of the fertilized egg (+/- implantation).
Indeed, it's the very point of contention in the debate: pro-lifers view the fertilized egg as a baby.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind (Rev 9:14-15).
Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!” (Rev 8:13).
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I think the main problem is in taking "his share" as virtually a technical, precisionistic term, as if one of the main purposes of the verse were to teach that one can lose one salvation, and that this is being articulated by equating salvation with having a share in the tree of life and the holy city. In fact, the language is similar to Heb 6: as part of the community of faith, one is counted as being heir, and one would have had a share in the tree of life in an absolute sense or decretal sense if one had been one of the elect. But Rev 22:19 is focusing on the working out of the dynamics of grace in time in the community (similar in this respect to Heb 6). An individual is counted as sharing in the heritage of the church while he is in the church. He has "his share" in the inheritance that God promises to all in the community. "His share" describes what belongs to human appearances; and it matters to God as well, because someone in the church has greater obligations, Heb 10:29; 2 Pet 2:21.
I haven't read Witherington's discussion of this verse, but surely he does not favor the Vulgate reading, "book of life" (instead of "tree of life"). If that were the reading, it would make the text quite a bit harder for a Calvinist. Witherington surely also knows about Rev. 17:8, which is heavily against him on that score. I think it is fair to distinguish the contexts of 17:8 and 22:19 in certain ways. 17:8 comes in the context of other discussions of heavenly books, and that is often used with a decretal meaning. It's about a decree in place from the foundation of the world. 22:19, on the other hand, is about participation in a historical process, and the covenantal penalties (e.g., Kline, By Oath Consigned) for violating the terms of the covenant. Arminians typically don't appreciate the complexities that a covenantal approach can include.
- "The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers' beliefs access to contraceptive coverage"
- "Religious organizations exist to foster the interests of persons subscribing to the same religious faith. Not so of for-profit corporations. Workers who sustain the operations of those corporations commonly are not drawn from one religious community."
- "Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby's or Conestoga's plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman's autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults."
- "It bears note in this regard that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage."
- "Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."
- "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude."
As we have noted, because human beings are fallen and sinful, they are not able to think, will, nor do anything good in and of themselves, including believe the gospel of Christ (see the description of Total Depravity above). Therefore, desiring the salvation of all and having provided atonement for all people (see “Atonement for All” above), God continues to take the initiative for the purpose of bringing all people to salvation by calling all people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel (Acts 17:30; cf. Matt 28:18-20), and by enabling those who hear the gospel to respond to it positively in faith. Unaided by grace, man cannot even choose to please God or to believe the promise of salvation held out in the gospel. As Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” But thanks be to God, Jesus also promised, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32). Thus, the Father and the Son draw all people to Jesus, enabling them to come to Jesus in faith.
Continuing Jesus’ mission to save the world, the Holy Spirit has come to “convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8). Even though unbelievers “are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart” (Eph 4:18), the Lord opens people’s hearts to respond positively to the gospel message (Acts 16:14).
All of this is what is known in traditional theological language as God’s prevenient grace. The term “prevenient” simply means “preceding.” Thus, “prevenient grace” refers to God’s grace that precedes salvation, including that part of salvation known as regeneration, which is the beginning of eternal spiritual life granted to all who trust in Christ (John 1:12-13). Prevenient grace is also sometimes called enabling grace or pre-regenerating grace. This is God’s unmerited favor toward totally depraved people, who are unworthy of God’s blessing and unable to seek God or trust in him in and of themselves. Accordingly, Acts 18:27 indicates that we believe through grace, placing grace preveniently (i.e. logically prior) to faith as the means by which we believe. It is the grace that, among other things, frees our wills to believe in Christ and his gospel. As Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.”
Years ago, I heard Gary Habermas make some comments to the effect that he hadn't noticed how many of his prayer requests were granted by God until he started keeping a record of answered prayers. At his advice, I began keeping a record of God's providence in my life. I don't limit it to answered prayer. I include other types of apparent interventions of God in my life as well. And I have been surprised by how many of them there are and their significance. If you think you can remember everything without keeping a record, I suggest keeping a record for a while. See what happens. Unless you have an unusually good memory, I suspect you'd forget much of what happens if you haven't recorded it. You don't have to record everything, and you'd probably forget some things even if you intended to record them all. But try to regularly record some examples. I suggest writing down dates and including other relevant contextual information where it's appropriate.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Now, just as an aside, I am mystified Christians have tied all sorts of evil plotting to the United Nations. Among conspiracy theorists, the U.N. is primarily identified with the final, one-world government of the end times. But the reality is quite the opposite. The U.N. has only demonstrated a general incompetence and impotence in unifying any nation under a so-called “one world government.” In all honesty, they are only good for eliminating hook worms in 3rd world countries, not organizing a “one world government” with the Antichrist as its head.
What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it?When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? (v4).
God is sometimes surprised by the way things unfold. For example, he expected Israel to be fruitful, but they were not (Isa 5:1-5).
At other times he tells us that he is surprised at how things turned out because he expected a different outcome (Isa. 5:3–7; Jer. 3:67; 19–20).
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
An even more problematic question that burdens those who view the future as eternally settled and thus known by God as such is why God would give certain agents the free will to damn themselves, especially when he tells us he desires all to be saved and is grieved by very person who is lost (e.g. Ezk 18:23; 33:11; 1 Tim 2:4; 4:10; 2 Pet 3:9; 1 Jn 2:2).
G. Boyd, "God Limits His Control," Four Views on Divine Providence, 202.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
The heart of God, clearly, is a heart which grants freedom, and which sometimes suffers profoundly because of it. In the case of Matthew 23:37, what the Son of God longed for the Son of God didn’t get! The fact that most theologians in the classical tradition found it necessary to attribute this lament not to the heart of the eternal God but only to the humanity of Christ simply testifies to the strength with which a non-biblical philosophical concept of God (viz. God’s impassability) has held biblical exegesis hostage.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Some interpreters forcefully reject any idea that the relative clause with which v13 begins ("who were born…") is a comment on the preceding clause ("who believed in his name") since then faith would proceed from regeneration whereas, according to their view, a person must opt for rebirth as a possibility opened up for him or her in the call that comes from the Revealer. In the choice that faith makes a person can be "born again" and so change and come to his or her real being. However, against this it has to be asserted that the concluding statement in v13 traces the entire gift of being a child of God, including the manner in which it is effected, to its deepest ground: "procreation" by God. The idea that faith as a human choice should precede that birth and therefore that in some sense a person should have this rebirth of God at his or her disposal not only seems absurd but is also at variance with statements like this in 1 Jn 5:1," H. Ridderbos, The Gospel of John, 47.
No evangelical would say that before we are born again we must practice righteousness, for such a view would teach works-righteousness. Nor would we say that first we avoid sinning, and then are born of God, for such a view would suggest that human works cause us to be born of God. Nor would we say that first we show great love for God, and then he causes us to be born again. No, it is clear that practicing righteousness, avoiding sin, and loving are all the consequences or results of the new birth. But if this is the case, then we must interpret 1 John 5:1 in the same way, for the structure of the verse is the same as we find in the texts about practicing righteousness (1 John 2:29), avoiding sin (1 John 3:9), and loving God (1 John 4:7). It follows, then, that 1 John 5:1 teaches that first God grants us new life and then we believe Jesus is the Christ.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Some argue that the term "world" here simply has negative connotations–the created human world. But the characteristic use of "the world" (ho cosmos) elsewhere in the narrative is with negative overtones–the world in its alienation from and hostility to its Creator's purposes. It makes better sense in the soteriological context to see the latter notion as in view. God loves that which has become hostile to God. The force is not, then, that the world is so vast that it takes a great deal of love to embrace it, but rather that the world has become so alienated from God that it takes an exceedingly great love to love it at all. A. Lincoln, The Gospel According to St. John, 154.
You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.
More puzzling still is why God sincerely tries to get individuals and groups to turn from their wicked ways and surrender to him if he is eternally certain his efforts will fail (e.g. Acts 7:51…).
G. Boyd, "God Limits His Control," Four Views on Divine Providence, 202.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
So when he uses "all men" here [5:18], he does not mean every human being but rather is saying "that Christ effects those who are his just as certainly as Adam does those who are his." While all are in Adam, it is clear in Romans that only those who are believers are in Christ.
While some have taken this [11:32] to mean universal salvation, this is impossible in light of the constant emphasis on final punishment at the eschaton (1:18; 2:5-11; 6:21,23; 9:22,29). Therefore, it is likely that the "all" here is corporate, meaning that God's mercy will be shown to Jew and Gentile alike. G. Osborne, Romans, 144, 312.
Observe first the parallel structure of [Rom] 5:18…The whole point of such a parallel structure, so typical of Paul, is to identify a single group of individuals and to make two parallel statements about that single group of individuals, and the effect therefore is to eliminate any possibility of ambiguity. The very ones who came under condemnation, as a result of the first Adam's act of disobedience, will eventually be brought to justification and life, as a result of the second Adam's act of obedience…Again, I do not know how Paul could have expressed himself any more clearly than that.
Paul's teaching here is so explicit, and so clear, that even the opponents of absolute universalism have sometimes conceded, as Neil Punt does, that 'Romans 5:18 and its immediate context place no limitations on the universalistic thrust of the second "all men".'
…Paul's explicit teaching that God, being merciful to all (Rom 11:32), shows no partiality to anyone. So how, then, do the Arminians explain the supposedly final division within the human race? Presumably by an appael to human freedom: We ultimately determine our own destiny in heaven or hell. But if that is true, then the redeemed are also in a position to boast, it seems, along the following lines: 'At the very least, some of my own free choices–my decision to accept Christ, for example–were a lot better than those of the lost, and these choices also explain, at least partially, why my character ended up to be a lot more virtuous than theirs.' Thomas Talbot, Universal Salvation: The Current Debate, 19-20, 260.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
proginosko (2) "choose beforehand" tina [someone] Ro 8:29. ton laon autou 11:2. BDAG 866b.
While agreeing that God knows the future, including who will believe, the corporate election perspective would tend to understand the references to foreknowledge in Rom 8:29 and 1 Pet 1:1-2 as referring to a relational prior knowing that amounts to previously acknowledging or recognizing or embracing or choosing people as belonging to God (i.e., in covenant relationship/partnership). The Bible sometimes mentions this type of knowledge, such as when Jesus speaks of those who never truly submit to his lordship: “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’” (Matt 7:23; cf. Gen 18:19; Jer 1:5; Hos 13:4-5; Amos 3:2; 1 Cor 8:3). On this view, to be chosen according to foreknowledge would mean to be chosen because of the prior election of Christ and the corporate people of God in him.
For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.
Paul uses the powerful verb apollumi ("annihilate, destroy, ruin") in the present imperative, which implies an ongoing process rather than once and for all "being lost before God."…Horst Baltz is therefore closer to the nuance required by this context in suggesting the translation of lupeo in this verse as "injured/deeply troubled," which implies an ongoing state.
References in the commentaries to "eschatological ruin" or "spiritual ruin" not only overlook the tense of the verb but also provide scant explanation of the effects of conscience violation. R. Jewett, Romans, 861-861.
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
19 That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
This probably means that one has died as the representative of all his people, and therefore all of them are deemed to have dead in the person of their representative. F. F. Bruce, I & II Corinthians, 207.
Most commentators admit that the most sensible reading is to take pantes in all three occurrences as being coextensive…In many ways the meaning of the verse turns on this one word [ara]: Christ died for all, therefore all died. The point that Paul wishes to make, inter alia, is that Christ's death effects the spiritual death of others, such that (kai) he died for all so that (hina) those who live (having died in Christ) should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and rose again (v55). In other words, Christ's death is both effective and purposive and reveals there is an implicit union between Christ and those for whom he died, something that Paul makes more explicit in Rom 6:1-11. J. Gibson, "For Whom Did Christ Die?," From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, 303.
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.
The purpose of the reference to "all people," which continues the them of universality in this passage, is sometimes misconstrued. The reference is made mainly with the Pauline mission to the Gentiles in mind (v7). But the reason behind Paul's justification of this universal mission is almost certainly the false teaching, with its Torah-centered approach to life that included either an exclusivist bent or a downplaying of the Gentile mission…Paul's focus is on building a people of God who incorporate all people regardless of ethnic, social, or economic backgrounds… P. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, 177-178.
It may be that they [false teachers] were consumed with genealogies because they restricted salvation along certain ethnic lines (1 Tim 1:4)…When Paul says that God desires all to be saved (1 Tim 2:4) and that Christ was the random for all (1 Tim 2:6), he may be responding to some who excluded Gentiles from salvation for genealogical reasons…Paul counters Jewish teachers (Tit 10:10,14-15; 3:9) who construct genealogies to exclude some from salvation. T. Schreiner, Paul: Apostle of God's Glory in Christ, 184-85.
These problems disappear if we accept the other possible translation, "to be precise, namely, I mean." "All" is thus limited here to believers," I. H. Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 556.
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
When we place this description of Abraham's offspring with the emphasis on the children God gave to Jesus and the use of the word "brothers," we have significant evidence that Jesus's death "for everyone" (v9) is particular rather than general. All of this fits with v17, which speaks of Jesus's High Priestly ministry "to make propitiation for the sins of the people"… Given the focus on God's elect and Jesus's family in the context, it seems fair to conclude that here the emphasis is on the actual satisfaction accomplished in Jesus's death for those who would be part of his family. T. Schreiner, "Problematic Texts" for Definite Atonement in the Pastoral and General Epistles," From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, 396. Cf. P. T. O'Brien, The Letter to the Hebrews, 101-124.
How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
The apostate treats as profane that which is in fact not only holy in itself, but the source of cleansing holiness for the believer. The language is cultic, not ethical. P. Ellingworth, The Epistle to the Hebrews, 540.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
The most immediate [image] is borrowed from the Roman slave trade, where a ransom might serve as the price of emancipation, after which the one freed belong to the one who paid the price.
First Peter 1:18-19 affirms that believers were "ransomed" from the futile ways of their ancestors "with the precious blood of Christ" (cf. Eph 1:7; 2 Pet 2:1). In these and related passages, NT writers are drawing on a wealth of what would have been shared experience in the larger Greco-Roman world. Those familiar with the history of Israel, of course, would have heard reverberations of the story of the exodus in the background of such references (e.g., Ex 6:6; cf. Is 51:11). Others, however, might have been led to conjer up images of the "redemption" of slaves or of prisoners of war.
This raises the question, If Jesus' death "purchased" believers, to whom was the purchase price paid? The devil? The demonic world? It is here, at this juncture, that we encounter the limits of the metaphor of redemption. J. Green & M. Baker, Recovering the Scandal of the Cross (IVP 2000), 41-42, 102.
A spillover from Calvinism into Arminianism has occurred in recent decades. Thus many Arminians whose theology is not very precise say that Christ paid the penalty for our sins. Yet such a view is foreign to Arminianism…Arminians teach that what Christ did he did for every person; therefore what he did could not have been to pay the penalty, since no one would then ever go into eternal perdition…[Arminians] also feel that God the Father would not be forgiving us at all if his justice was satisfied by the real thing that justice needs: punishment. J. Grider, "Arminianism," Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 80.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
God's patience with his own people, delaying the final judgment to give them the opportunity of repentance, provides at least a partial answer to the problem of eschatological delay.
The author remains close to his Jewish source, for in Jewish thought it was usually for the sake of the repentance of his own people that God delayed judgment. R. Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 312-13.
Why would God strive to the point of frustration to get people to do what he was certain they would never do before they were even born; namely, believe in him? Doesn't God's sincere effort to get all people to believe in him imply that it is not a foregone conclusion to God that certain people would not believe in him when he created them? Indeed, doesn't the fact that the Lord delays his return imply that neither the date of his return nor the identities of who will and will not believe are settled in God's mind ahead of time?…If this isn't what 2 Pet 3:9 explicitly teaches, what does it teach?
If it is difficult for the classical view to explain why God strives with people he is certain will not be saved, it is evil more difficult to explain why God would create these people in the first place…why a God who loves all epode and who wants no one to perish would give freedom to people he is certain are going to use it to damn themselves to hell. G. Boyd, "The Open-Theist View," Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views, 29.
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
If here it is a reference to the whole planet, consideration of the historical context in which John wrote makes a more likely interpretation to be the universal scope of Christ's sacrifice in the sense that no one's race, nationality, or any other trait will keep that person from receiving the full benefit of Christ's sacrifice if and when they come to faith.
In the ancient world, the gods were parochial and had geographically limited jurisdictions. In the mountains, one sought the favor of the mountain gods; on the sea, of the sea gods. Ancient warfare was waged in the belief that the gods of the opposing nations were fighting as well, and the outcome would be determined by whose god was strongest. Against that kind of pagan mentality, John asserts the efficacy of Jesus Christ's sacrifice is valid everywhere, for people everywhere, that is "the whole world."
But "world" in John's writings is often used to refer not to the planet or all its inhabitants, but to the system of fallen human culture, with its values, morals, and ethics as a whole. Lieu explains it as that which is totally opposed to God and all the belongs to him. It is almost always associated with the side of darkness in the Johannine duality, and people are characterized in John's writings as being either "of God" or "of the world" (Jn 8:23; 15:19; 176,14,16; 18:36; 1 Jn 2:16; 4:5). Those who have been born of God are taken out of that spiritual sphere, though not out of the geographical place or physical population that is concurrent with it (Jn 13:1; 17:15: see "In Depth: The "world" in John's Letters" at 2:16).
Rather than teaching universalism, John here instead announces the exclusivity of the Christian gospel. Since Christ's atonement is efficacious for the "whole world," there is no other form of atonement available to other peoples, cultures, and religions apart from Jesus Christ. K. Jobes, 1, 2, & 3 John (Zondervan 2014), 80.