Saturday, December 22, 2012

Calvinism Refuted

Finally, an historically accurate, logical, and well exegeted refutation of Calvinism. It would be funny if so many people didn't actually argue this way.

I especially like the bit where he says that Calvinism is "self-righteous." LOL. You can disagree with it, but it is the exact opposite of self-righteousness. That's the whole point of the system. No one is righteous, and therefore, no one is more righteous than another in order to be chosen by God. God must choose out of His own free choice, not something based within the human himself. Oh well. How can you refute such a well-constructed video with great special affects? 


  1. Hi B.C.,

    I think you may find this a more challenging refutation of Calvinism from one who once held to it.

    God's blessings,


  2. Hi Stuart, Thanks for the link. I have to say, however, that although you may have taken some sort of deterministic viewpoint, it wasn't Calvinism, as Calvinism doesn't put forth half of what you say it does on your site.

    To give you an example, you make the comment that, in Calvinist thought, one goes to hell because God chooses not to save Him. You then state that people go to hell because of their sin and rebellion against God. Calvinists believe the latter, not the former. In other words, they do not believe that people go to hell because God elects them to go there, but because of their sin. Calvinists, even those who believe in double predestination, believe that people are only saved because God elects them. Otherwise, all are damned by their sin.

    There are also a lot of contradictory statements made, such as, statements that say God's elect are not irresistibly drawn to believe, and yet, people are only saved by God and not by their own actions (isn't choosing to not resist an action?).

    There are other issues I found to be rather confused about the Calvinistic position, but suffice to say, I didn't find it convincing. Instead, I would invite you into conversation with me if you want to learn some more about what it is you are attempting to critique. You may find more agreement with it afterall, since it is not an issue of reason alone, but the God-exalting reasoning of the Spirit of God applied to His Word. So, come, let us reason together.

    1. Hi BC,

      I'm a bit confused by your response to my article, as it doesn't seem to match what I actually wrote, but I'll leave that be for the moment. The main thing I would like to ask you is - as a Calvinist, can you declare to me, Stuart, that Christ died for my own personal sins? Yes, or No (with no caveats or qualifications). If Yes, then on what basis? (if Christ indeed did not die for ALL men).


    2. I actually am on the fence about the L, so this question doesn't really get to the heart of Calvinism. Some people believe that if Calvin were to have been asked about the TULIP, he would have been a four point Calvinist, as you noted. Others believe that there is good evidence to suggest he would have been all five. But the point is that Calvinism can stand without the L. It's the others that logically flow from one another.

      But, for me, I think there are good arguments for the L. Whenever you come up to the word "all" in the Bible, it's really important to note that the word does not mean "everyone or everything without exception." I find that to be the way most people take it, but that is a simply misunderstanding of the language. We don't even use our English word that way. Context determines the references of "all." If I say to a Hebrew class of mine, "The test tomorrow will be taken by all," I don't mean everyone in the world, or even everyone in the school. I mean just everyone within that group to which I am referring. The same goes for kol in Hebrew and pas in Greek. So your argument needs to be based on context.

      However, if you are a believer, Stuart, then even a five pointer can tell you that Christ died for your sins personally, so that's probably not the question you want. You probably want to ask whether you can say such a thing to a crowd of assumed unbelievers. That's where the five pointer would point out that the gospel is never preached in such a way. Christ died for sins, but can you show me where the gospel is being preached in Scripture where it specifically is preached in a way as to say, "Christ died for your sins" where the "your" refers to a crowd of unbelievers or even one unbeliever?

  3. Hi Stuart,

    I apologize for summarizing. Let me quote you directly in giving my two examples above.

    "A person is not damned because God did not choose him. He is damned because of his own sins and his own refusal of God’s gracious offer of mercy in Christ."

    Why do you think Calvinisim disagrees with this? No Calvinist believes that one is damned because God did not choose Him. We believe one is damned because of his own sins and (for those who have heard the gospel) his own refusal of God's gracious offer of mercy in Christ. What you describe as a Calvinist position above is a fatalistic determinist position, not a Calvinist one.

    God's grace alone conquers our unbelief and resistance to His truth. He alone makes the naturally unwilling willing. All is from Him and all glory is to Him. "However, if the Calvinists mean that a person cannot resist God's grace, then we disagree. Stephen plainly said of the Jews (after seeking their conversion), “ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51). In fact, man left to himself can do nothing but resist the Holy Ghost and God's grace. If I am saved, it is all of God's doing. If I am lost, it is completely my own fault. Reason can't handle that, but that is the truth."

    This is what I meant was contradictory, and you seem to chalk that up to a mystery that is contradictory in human terms. I don't believe that mysteries are contradictory. They are too vast to grasp, but they are logically consistent when known. So reason handles it just fine. It's just that we may not understand what's going on. That's different than God revealing something to us though. Mystery is what is not revealed. The propositions you put above are revealed, so they can interpret one another.
    So when the Scripture talks about resisting the Holy Spirit, we see this said of the non-elect, not of people who would be believers. When we see that the same who are drawn are the exact same who are raised/saved, then we see that the elect do not resist (irresistibly being drawn does not mean "against the will" but refers to the making of one's will God's own will). There is no contradiction when read in context. There is only one if you want to apply this act to the elect. The point is that all of the elect are saved because they were irresistibly drawn. Whether it is possible for them to resist is a minor quibble. The point of Scripture is that they are drawn in such a way so that they never do resist.

    But I was commenting on the fact that you had two contradictory propositions in your reasoned working out of the passages, because you have your scheme is contradictory, not the teaching of Scripture. If you have a contradictory scheme, it means you're not reading the God of order correctly and making Him a God of confusion.

  4. The biggest irony, Stuart is that you seem to be correcting fatalistic determinism with Calvinism, and occasionally, Arminian theology mixed in with Calvinism. But most of what you say here as the correct biblical teaching is Calvinism (although you seem to be critiquing what would be considered closer to a supralapsarian model if it would be any type of Calvinism).

    The whole thing about reason versus faith is a wash though. You are using tons of reason in putting Scriptures together. You are using reason to read and interpret Scripture at every moment. Reason is not the enemy of faith, but faith without reason is. That's why those who lack faith are called "unreasoning animals." The question isn't whether one uses reason. Everyone attempts to do so. The question is what distinguishes a good scheme between a bad one in one's reasoning out of the Scriptures. If one cannot use the logical order God has given us in creation and restored in Christ, then we cannot read the word of God, much less put it together in any way (Calvinist or otherwise). We are given the mind of Christ, so we reason as the Spirit of Christ does. What you want to say is that Calvinism is human reason absent of the Spirit, but how would you know without coming up with a way to interpret Scripture with your reasoning that would lead you to conclude that it was wrong? In other words, this isn't a matter of faith versus reason, but your reasoning versus the Calvinist's reasoning of Scripture. Which means it's going to come down to hermeneutical and epistemic issues.

  5. Hi BC,

    I think we are misunderstanding each other here for a couple of reasons. First, there are a number of different flavors of Calvinism - Calvinism, High Calvinism, and Hyper-Calvinism. I am not sure yet of your flavor, but in the paper I am addressing particularly those Calvinists who would hold to double-predestination and, more significantly, to limited atonement. If you are a Calvinist that agrees with my first statement that you quote from me, then that is good. However, I know of other Calvinists who would not agree with me.

    As for the second supposed contradictory statement I make about "if I am saved, it is all of God's grace; if I am lost, it is entirely my own fault", I don't know why you would disagree with me on that, as it is completely consistent with the first quote. And it is true that this does not square well with fallen human reason, but is clearly revealed in the Word of God. If these are the best examples that you have to support your assertion that "Calvinism doesn't put forth half of what I say it does", then I am afraid that I do not see your point.

    In any case, I could quibble with you about some of these lesser points, or even perhaps semantics, but what I am really interested in is the question I posed for you in my last response. Without knowing anything about me, can you objectively and sincerely proclaim to me, poor lost sinner, the saving Gospel truth that Jesus Christ suffered and died for my sins? This is my chief problem with 5-point Calvinism, and from my perspective, all other differences are secondary and almost irrelevant.

    Thanks for the discussion,


  6. "First, there are a number of different flavors of Calvinism - Calvinism, High Calvinism, and Hyper-Calvinism. I am not sure yet of your flavor, but in the paper I am addressing particularly those Calvinists who would hold to double-predestination and, more significantly, to limited atonement. If you are a Calvinist that agrees with my first statement that you quote from me, then that is good. However, I know of other Calvinists who would not agree with me."

    I know of no Calvinist who would disagree with your statement. I don't consider Hyper-Calvinism, properly defined, as Calvinism. It's fatalistic determinism. So if that is what you are critiquing, most real Calvinists would agree with you (I'm a High Calvinist in all sense except for a dogmatism on the L, but I don't believe the contradictory idea that God wanted to save everyone in the cross, but that He may have opened the sacrifice to everyone in order to damn those who have heard the gospel further).

    "As for the second supposed contradictory statement I make about "if I am saved, it is all of God's grace; if I am lost, it is entirely my own fault", I don't know why you would disagree with me on that, as it is completely consistent with the first quote."

    I don't disagree with that statement at all. I, and every other Calvinist I know, would absolutely agree with it. I'm simply saying that to argue against irresistible grace on the basis that unbelievers can resist, and then to say that one is not saved by what he does, is contradictory. If one chooses to refrain from resisting, then he is partially saved by making that choice, and hence, he is saved by God's actions synergistically joined to his own as the cause of his personal salvation.

    As of my position on the L now, I can say that to anyone, believer or unbeliever; but what do you make of the argument from Scripture that the gospel is never preached that way to unbelievers? If you want to follow the Bible and not your own human conventions, why make a man-made method of communicating the gospel (which may not even be accurate) the point of division between truth and falsehood? Are you not lifting up your own human reason over God's Word? Can't the same thing you've said about Calvinists be applied back to you and your "quibble" instead? In other words, why is the 5 point system, that is gained from Scripture (whether a right or wrong arrangement thereof or not) secondary to your preferred method of telling everyone that Christ died for him or her when that's not the method the Scripture uses to communicate the gospel?

  7. " If these are the best examples that you have to support your assertion that "Calvinism doesn't put forth half of what I say it does", then I am afraid that I do not see your point."

    Actually, I just gave those as examples. Pretty much your entire article vindicates the Calvinist position in your conclusions about TUIP. You are giving the Calvinist position as the right one with the one exception of saying that the elect might resist when speaking about the I, but even then, if we are only talking about a possibility rather than an actuality, then we are probably in agreement on that as well.

    Hence, you are labeling hyper-Calvinism as "Calvinism" and then critiquing it with Calvinism. And then concluding that Calvinism is some horrible error of man-made reason. This is precisely why I think that your former "Calvinism" was not a deep understanding of what the system actually taught, but rather a hyper form that was more along the lines of fatalistic determinism.

  8. I also think we need to pursue your concept of reason and TD. TD has to do with rebelling against the Word of God and not believing what is said. It does not necessarily have to do with not understanding what the Word of God says.
    However, since we are subjective creatures, TD or not, we get nothing unfiltered. Hence, we have to use our reason to put things together. If we are believers who have the Spirit of God and are in submission to Him, we will hopefully have a reason that is led by Him to how we put those things together. But man can still discover with his mind that the moon isn't made out of cheese, and he can still understand "what" is said in Scripture (even the Pharisees eventually figure out that the parables, which are more cloaked than anything else He said, were about them). The issue with the unaided mind is that it can't understand how these things are true given his current rebellious beliefs about God and his own self-righteousness. To him, saying that God needs to become man to die for him in order for him to be saved is foolish. But that has nothing to do with using reason in general to understand something communicated, whether it be communicated by God or man.

  9. BC,

    Let me ask you this, assuming that you have leanings towards limited atonement. If Christ did not die for all men, then how do you know that He died for you?



  10. I actually don't have leanings toward it. I've been on the side of unlimited atonement for most of my life. I just think the L has a good case as well and makes some important points, the last one being about mimicking the biblical method of preaching the gospel, which you chose not to answer yet.

    But your question isn't really much of an obstacle to a 5-pointer, as one simply answers that I know Christ died for me because I believe, which is evidence that I am of the elect. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, since He is the propitiation for our sins (the "our" here referring to the apostles, or to himself and the believers to whom he is speaking, or to all believers), and not only ours but also those of the whole world (referring either to not only apostles, or not only himself and the believers to whom he is speaking, but for the whole world of believers, or to the entire world). I tend to believe that He is the propitiation for the entire world and the "our" here refers to believers, but even if I considered it otherwise, the better question is how does one know that he is saved. He can know that Christ's propitiation covers him personally because he has become a believer, and as John notes, can know that he has eternal life if election evidences itself in faith and love toward the true Christ and His people.

  11. BC,

    It is not THAT we believe that saves us, but WHAT we believe. In order for a person to be saved, he must believe the one and only holy Gospel, "how that Christ died for his own sins" (1Co. 15:1-4). This alone is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). Unless a person believes in the true universal atonement of Christ, he has NO Biblical basis for believing the Gospel. He necessarily must base His salvation on something other than the objective Word of God. This is the beef I have with 5-point Calvinism, as true faith must be directed to the Word of God alone (Rom. 10:17). I understand that you do not yet fully endorse the L, but you also do not seem to be alert to its soul-threatening danger.


  12. Stuart, I'm afraid what you've done here is misconstrued the gospel of 1 Cor 15:1-4 to be including content about the extent of the atonement and then argued from human reason that one who does not accept that, does not receive the gospel. So here is something important for you that you might not, ironically, be holding a false gospel yourself (i.e., one that requires one to believe a certain view of the extent of the atonement).

    What you've done is ignored the contextual reference of "our" in the phrase "our sins." Contextually this refers to Paul himself and those to whom Paul is speaking (i.e., the believers at Corinth, and by extension, believers everywhere). Every believer, Calvinist or Arminian or Lutheran, believes that Christ died for "our sins" because, whether He died for the sins of unbelievers too, that phrase speaks directly about Him dying for the sins of believers, not unbelievers.

    To get the latter, you have to import your own referents into the context and thus change God's Word and the content of the gospel (and that's even if you can just narrow in on a single word and make it say something about the atonement, which it doesn't).

    That brings me to the second error of your interpretation. This passage is about believing that Christ died and was resurrected. That's the aspect of the gospel to which Paul is referring as he launches into a discussion about the resurrection, not the extent of the atonement.

    So, as I see it, you have changed the content of the gospel due to (1) A foreign reference of the pronoun "our" that one does not find in the context, and (2) by importing a foreign context to the gospel, as it is used here in 1 Cor 15, in order to make it an issue that addresses the extent of the atonement rather than an issue of believing that Christ really died and was really, therefore, resurrected from the dead, as we will be resurrected from the dead.

    In essence, you now require people to not only believe that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead, but that He died for everyone who has ever lived. If one believes merely the former, to you, he believes a false gospel that has no power to save (a conflation of two passages with foreign contexts and a misconstruing of what Romans is talking about as well).

    So I am not alert to any soul-threatening danger because there isn't any. You seem to be unaware of how to interpret a text. God speaks with a context. It's rude and blasphemous to take Him out of context and fill in your own. I say this with great concern. Read the context and let the referents be within it, not from your own imported theological arrangements, which truly are man-made if they ignore the context in which God's teachings are declared.

  13. BC,

    I solemnly testify to you and to anyone else who is willing to listen, that the Gospel is the "Good News" that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for OUR sins, that is, yours and mine. If I did not know (from the Scriptures) that He died for all, l could not know with certainty that He died for your sins or for mine. And a faith that does not have this certainty is no faith at all.

    I understand that the word Gospel often includes Christ's burial, resurrection, and other glorious works, but any Gospel that denies His substitutionary death on the cross for OUR sins is no Gospel at all.


  14. Now you're just making assertions without any scriptural support whatsoever. Isn't that lifting up your human reasoning above God's Word again?

    The Scripture clearly states that one knows Christ died for him if he comes to Christ. If you need assurance that you are saved, believing in unlimited atonement is not what brings that assurance, according to Scripture. Instead, it is whether one remains in the true Christ through the gospel of grace and evidences his love for God by obeying His commandments to love one another. That's how John tells us we have assurance. You are making a doctrine up. There is absolutely no correlation between one believing that Christ died for everyone and an assurance that you are covered by that death, as it is only to those who have faith that such a death is applied. Hence, you can have no assurance that you are saved, and thus, you cannot have faith according to your human reasoning. Who knows if you will believe tomorrow? Hence, I guess faith is an impossibility in your system.

    Again, you're only reasserting the "our" as everyone in the world. The "our" according to the divine and holy Word of God that you are currently trashing for your own idea refers to believers. You are adding to the Word of God by extending it to unbelievers and then making that the litmus test for true Christianity. There is a soul-threatening danger here, but as usual, it lies with the one who thinks he already knows and cannot receive instruction.

    But I can do the same thing, since you've made no argument here.

    "I solemnly testify to you and to anyone else who is willing to listen, that the Gospel is the "Good News" that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for OUR sins, that is, yours and mine (i.e., believers). If I did not know (from the Scriptures) that He died for all, l can still know with certainty that He died for your sins or for mine because we're believers and if anything is clear in this debate, it's that Christ died for believers. We're just trying to figure out if His death was also meant for others to whom it will never be applied. And a faith that does not have this certainty is still faith, since we only need the amount of a mustard seed and God can grow that into something much larger and more mature.
    I understand that the word Gospel often includes Christ's burial, resurrection, and other glorious works, but any Gospel that denies His substitutionary death on the cross for OUR sins (i.e., believers) is no Gospel at all. Applying the pronoun "our," of course, to unbelievers too and then making it a part of the gospel necessary to believe would be absurd and a complete misunderstanding of Scripture."

  15. BC,

    We clearly have two different Gospels here, only one of which can be true. I, for my part, will ever cling to that one which you deem "absurd", but for me is the very power of God unto salvation. My faith rests not upon the subjective apprehension of my own faith, but rather the objective, unchangeable Word of God. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us that are saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18).


  16. Stuart,

    I've studied cults most of my life and your warped reasoning, which is not taken from Scripture, as I proved beyond a reasonable doubt, is what creates these destructive sects. You have absolutely no basis, but your own mere assertion that runs contrary to Scripture, that the gospel includes a belief about the extent of the atonement. You have provided zero evidence for your belief. The real gospel is the power of God that leads to salvation, but to whom? "For all who believe." You seem to leave that part out. In any case, I tried helping you to see, but you don't want to, so you've reduced the discussion to just an assertion war. I'm not interested in that, as it's a waste of time. If you don't want to listen closely to Scripture when claiming to hold the scriptural position, then there is no hope for you to repent of your slander toward many of God's people.

  17. And all of our faith is based on the objective Word of God. It's assurance that we remain in the faith that is subjective, and you'd have to quibble with Jesus and the Apostles if you want to reject that, not me.

  18. While preaching on John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, Martin Luther beautifully states the importance of the universal Gospel. He says, “This is an extraordinarily fine and comforting sermon on Christ our Savior. Neither our thoughts nor our words can do the subject full justice, but in the life beyond it will redound to our eternal joy and bliss that the Son of God abased himself so and burdened himself with my sins. Yes, he assumes not only my sins but also those of the whole world, from Adam down to the very last mortal. These sins he takes upon himself; for these he is willing to suffer and die that our sins may be expunged and we may attain eternal life and blessedness... This is the basis of all Christian doctrine. Whoever believes it is a Christian; whoever does not is no Christian, and will get what he has coming to him. The statement is clear enough: “This is the Lamb of God who bears the sins of the world.” Moreover, this text is the Word of God, not our word. Nor is it our invention that the Lamb was sacrificed by God and that, in obedience to the Father, this Lamb took upon himself the sin of the whole world. But the world refuses to believe this; it does not want to concede the honor to this dear Lamb that our salvation depends entirely on his bearing our sin. The world insists on playing a role in this too, but the more it aspires to do in atonement for sin, the worse it fares.”

  19. "These sins he takes upon himself; for these he is willing to suffer and die that our sins may be expunged and we may attain eternal life and blessedness... This is the basis of all Christian doctrine. Whoever believes it is a Christian; whoever does not is no Christian, and will get what he has coming to him."

    Notice that Luther here is talking about an individual believing that Christ died for him versus not needing Christ to die for him, but rather to insist "on playing a role in this too."

    Stuart, seriously, you need to learn how to read a text using the context. Do you do this to your family members when they talk to you? Do you do it to your boss? I use this language too when speaking about the offer, but John is not talking about Christ taking away the sin of everyone in the entire world, but for those who are not only of Jewish origin. That's the way the Gospel of John often uses "world" when not speaking of it in negative connotations.

    But what is interesting is that you argued so much against using human reason over the Word of God, and when you failed to produce a verse to back your claim that it is necessary for a Christian to believe in universal atonement in order to believe the gospel and be saved, you quoted me Luther (who I already know believes in universal atonement--although I would say that this is not his purpose here with John 1:29). If you do use this text to vindicate UA, you're going to either have to believe in universalism or that God punishes sin twice, so that unbelievers are being punished for sins for which Christ has already paid. After all, this does not say that Christ died to remove the sin of the world, but that He is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Which is it? Did He take it away from the whole world, if "world" is to be interpreted as you would have it, or does He just offer it to the world and He actually takes it away from only those who believe?

  20. I must now leave my efforts to the future work of the Holy Spirit. I know that what I have written throughout this discussion is irrefutably true to the Word of God. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). It is the nature of the true child of God to hear and receive the voice of the Shepherd, that is, the Word of God. Jesus also said, "If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (John 8:31), that is, My true disciples. All true disciples have an ear for the Word of God, and “need not that any man teach them” in this respect. John writes, "he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us" (1 John 4:6).

    Martin Luther writes, “When the devil has persuaded us to surrender one article of faith to him, he has won; in effect he has all of them, and Christ is already lost. He can at will unsettle and take all others, for they are all intertwined and linked together like a golden chain so that if one link is broken, the entire chain is broken and can be pulled apart. There is no article which the devil cannot overthrow once he has succeeded in having reason dabble in doctrine and speculate about it. Reason knows how to turn and twist Scripture in a masterly fashion into conformity with its views. This is very agreeable, like sweet poison.” (Luther’s Works, St.L. ed., vol. 9, pg. 825).

    Calvinism is a religion of reason. The false doctrine of limited atonement is a reasonable deduction based upon the doctrine of election. However, while reasonable, it is not true to the revealed Word of God which plainly states that Christ died for all men. With this departure from Scripture, Calvinism denies the Gospel, the objective proclamation to another human being that Christ died for their sins personally. Calvinists also no longer have a Scripturally-based foundation for their own assurance of salvation. Without the objective external Word that tells them that Christ died for their sins personally, they must look inwardly to their own perceived repentance and faith for a ground of standing. Furthermore, they are compelled to wrongly define repentance and faith in an active sense, as only the active fruits of repentance and faith can be objectively identified. Ultimately, Calvinism is another religion of works, placing one’s confidence in oneself, and not in the Word of God.

    True Christianity, however, follows the path of child-like faith. It openly confesses the true universal atonement of Christ, without denying anything of the doctrine of election. It announces the one and only true Gospel to every human being, how that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross of Calvary for their sins personally. This Gospel Word creates faith and confidence in the hearts of God’s elect. All is of God’s power and grace. Those who receive this blessed Word look to that which stands outside of them. Christ’s death in their behalf always remains objectively true. Their faith rests only upon the Word of God, requiring nothing at all of them. The more they observe this Word, the more confident they become. They have grabbed hold of the love of God in truth, and out of gratitude they now bring forth the fruits of this love (love begetting love) in true Christian works. All is perfect. There is not a flaw in it.

  21. I see, so your strategy is to ignore the fact that you haven't given me the Word of God, ignore the Word of God that I gave you, and then proceed to say that your own man-made idea is the Word of God, despite having been proven otherwise, and that anyone who does not accept your man-made idea does not accept the Word of God.

    Let me tell you how your whole REASONING process appears to me in the following example.

    Stuart: The sky is pink as the Word of God says and he who denies the Word of God denies the gospel.

    Me: Where does the Word of God say that the sky is pink or even link such a thing to the necessary reception of the gospel?

    Stuart: It clearly says it. Jesus talks about the sky being red as a warning about the gospel and in another passage He shines in the sky like a bright light, which we know is pure light and is white. Hence, red and white make pink. It's the clear Word of God that anyone can plainly see and only man-made reason distorts such a simple truth.

    Me: I think your conflating a bunch of ideas together, and in fact, you have no passage that actually teaches what you're saying it does. Where does the Bible teach that the sky is pink and that such is necessary to believe in order to receive the gospel?

    Stuart: It clearly teaches it and only those who distort it with reason don't see that.

    Me: Well, if you could point out to me where it actually says that, because your passage doesn't prove what you want it to. It actually is conveying something very different than that as is seen clearly from the context.

    Stuart: Well, you have your beliefs and I have mine. The Word of God is clear and you're just denying it and don't hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, have been given over to an anathematized gospel, have sunk the universe in ruin, and have blown up heaven with your dynamite of reason.

    Me: I'm still waiting for your claim that the Word of God says such. I will receive it if it does, as I believe the Word of God is true and want to believe all that it says is true. You just haven't shown me where it says what you're making it say.

    Stuart: It's right there. All over the place. Very clear. Very, very clear. Very, very, very clear. Right there in those verses that talk about red and white. His sheep hear his voice. His. sheep. hear. his. voice.

    Me: I guess I'll just follow what God said in context like every other normal human being I talk to and text I read and hopefully God will have mercy on those of us who don't have the gnosis of Stuart who reads the Bible out of context like the Spirit of God wants us to.

    Stuart: Yes, that's faith. Faith is to state something completely contradictory, out of context, and uncooperative toward God's word by taking it in context. That's what children do in conversations and we're to have childlike faith.

    Me: So if I say to you that "Judas went out and hanged himself," "go thou and do likewise," that's not God-dishonoring but God-honoring by conflating passages, ignoring context, and coming up with something that runs counter to what God would normally command us in Scripture. I mean, afterall, that would be to make sense of what God has said with reason, and reason cannot be used. In fact, if you're reading this by placing the words of this sentence in order, you are using reason and not faith and are therefore an anathema.

    Stuart, read back what you wrote to me and apply it to yourself. It is you who have ignored the Word of God here. I'm trying to get you to engage the text and you have done nothing but try to avoid it. You are wrangling about words, attempting to make theological mountains out of them and ignore their contexts. Take the log out, stop slandering the royal family of the living God, and save yourself from the day of judgment.

  22. This all started out with you saying that you had a more convincing argument. Of course, you don't. Yours is equally as absurd, using the same type of confounded logic that the above video does. The only thing I am more convinced of by this conversation is that those who slander Calvinism (1) usually don't know what they're talking about when they refer to "Calvinism," and (2) have an absurd hermeneutic that annuls the Word of God from its context and does not, therefore, allow God to speak.
    In other words, these critics neither understand what they are criticizing nor the standard by which they criticize it.

  23. That should be: "annuls the Word of God by divorcing it from its context"

  24. BC,

    The false doctrine of limited atonement is contrary to the plain, simple, clear Word of God, as evidenced by “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10); “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29); “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16); “This is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42); “who is the Saviour of all men” (1 Timothy 4:10); “who will have all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4); “who gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6); “one died for all” (2 Corinthians 5:14); “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Corinthians 5:19); “who tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9); false prophets “even denying the Lord that bought them” (2 Peter 2:1); “who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9); “he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2); along with the equally clear Luke 14:16-24; Luke 22:20, 21; John 3:17-18; John 6:33; John 6:51; John 8:26; John 12:47; John 16:8, 9; Acts 13:26; Acts 17:31; Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4; 1 Timothy 2:5; Titus 2:11; 3:4; Hebrews 10:28, 29; and 1 John 4:13, 14.

    I hope that is enough Scripture for you, but undoubtedly you'll go to your Calvinist cheat sheets to explain all of these in a way contrary to their plain sense. That's why I don't waste my time with such pretenses of supposed need for more Scripture. And I also know that the Holy Spirit is already testifying to your heart of the truth of what I have said, even though you will try to convince yourself otherwise. As Christ said to Paul, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks".

  25. Plain and simple as long as you ignore context and ignore the fact that the word "all" is almost never absolute, but instead limited by the context. I stated that undeniable fact at the get go.

    “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10);

    speaking to poor shepherds in order to let them know that the gospel will be for all classes of people. The gospel is not good news for those who reject it and are damned further by it. Luke's emphasis is on the fact that God has brought Christ into the world in order to save even the lowly.

    “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)

    Already refuted this and you didn't answer it.

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16);

    Again, you want to use the word "world" differently than John is using it. The clear and plain meaning in the context of John is to say that the gospel is not just for Israel/Jews but also for the nations.

    “This is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world” (John 4:42);

    Does Christ save the whole world? This is where you are simply not paying attention to the words used and importing meaning. Unless you are a universalist, Christ is not the Savior of the whole world (a designation of Caesar that Paul is now applying to Christ). Instead, you believe that Christ saves only those who believe the gospel, do you not? So you misunderstand it again.

    “who is the Saviour of all men” (1 Timothy 4:10);

    "All kinds of men." That's the context.

    “who will have all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4);

    God's going to have all men saved? Again, this is what is said after talking about praying not just for the lower classes but also for governmental authorities who the people often thought were oppressors and God did not wish to save them.

    “who gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6);

    Universalism if taken as you take it here. He gave himself a ransom for "all" (i.e., all Christians)

    “one died for all” (2 Corinthians 5:14);

    All who are in Christ, not all in the entire human race.

    “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Corinthians 5:19);

    So God does not impute the trespesses of the entire world to them anymore? Great. No one is damned then, because their trespasses are not longer imputed to them. Wow, talk about denying the necessity of the gospel.

    “who tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9);

    In the context of those who he has saved, not everyone in the entire world.

    false prophets “even denying the Lord that bought them” (2 Peter 2:1);

    I actually agree with this one to a certain extent, although a 5-pointer can say that this is just a way of speaking about apostates, since they, from our perspective, were once one of us and are no longer.

    “who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9);

    "any of whom" to perish? any of you (i.e., the elect) in the context.

  26. “he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2);

    I agree with this one, although I'm beginning to see how John uses "world" to refer more to those not just in the localized area of a certain peoples but a larger ecclesiastical community outside of the Johannine community.

    along with the equally clear Luke 14:16-24; Luke 22:20, 21; John 3:17-18; John 6:33; John 6:51; John 8:26; John 12:47; John 16:8, 9; Acts 13:26; Acts 17:31; Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4; 1 Timothy 2:5; Titus 2:11; 3:4; Hebrews 10:28, 29; and 1 John 4:13, 14.

    Yeah, similar things can be said. You just aren't bothering with context. I'm sure what is plain to you is actually just a traditional misreading of these texts rather than a serious exegetical study of them; but my main point to you is this.


    Stuart, you need to pay attention to what we're talking about. I've already told you I believe a type of UA, although most proof texts for it, as I indicate above, are invalidated by the context. Our argument is over whether one must believe UA in order to believe the gospel and be saved. Please provide a single verse where such is said that does not ignore the context. Exegete the context for me, so I know you understand it. Who is the audience? To whom is the author referring with his pronouns? About whom do the adjectives apply? This is basic grammar, nothing difficult and lofty. No sophistry here. Just one verse with you asking these questions that proves that one must believe UA in order to believe the gospel and be saved. I'll be holding my breath. Thanks.

  27. BC,

    Just as I predicted - all the same old answers from the same old Calvinist cheat sheets. Even a child can see that these explanations are contrived, dictated by one's preconceived theology, and not true to the plain, simple sense of the words. These kinds of explanations would give pause for consideration if they were just for one verse or two. But after a while anyone can see that the Calvinist is just determined not to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. I could easily counter these falsities with clear exegesis of each and every verse I have listed, but what's the use? I'm quite sure that this would prove to be a waste of my time. But just to give you one example, your argument for 1 Cor. 15:1-4 disregards the clear context. Paul plainly states that the Gospel message "how that Crist died for OUR sins" was "preached" (aor. act.) to the Corinthians BEFORE they "received" it. In fact, it was by this Gospel truth that they became saved. Paul did not know them to be Christians before he preached to them, but only AFTER he had preached to them and AFTER they had received the truth that Christ died for THEIR sins. I'm sure you will come up with another obvious dodge here, but realize this - just because you or others can explain things differently, doesn't mean that the true explanation doesn't yet stand. "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy" (Jonah 2:8).

  28. In other words, you have one proof text for your position and it all relies on the idea that "our" refers to the Corinthians as unbelievers when Paul preached to them. Here's the problem: (1) Paul is speaking to them knowing now that they are believers, and (2) Paul isn't talking about a crowd of unbelievers because he is included in the "our." Is Paul discussing himself as an unbeliever to whom he preached the gospel. It's such mangled logic that your interpretation ends up distorting the Word of God.

    And that's the problem with your reading texts in English and assuming a tradition when you read them. You think that then is the plain reading when, in fact, the context dictates otherwise. Words have their nuances from context. You want to ignore that in order to make your man-made preconceptions the context.

    The pronoun "our" is not meant to discuss the extent of the atonement. I've said that before and the context is clear. Paul is bringing the gospel up to discuss the resurrection of Christ. But in the process he says that Christ died for "our" sins. Who is the "our" to whom Paul is referring? The world? Is Paul talking to the world? Everyone in Corinth? Is that to whom the letter is addressed? Let Paul himself be your guide:

    "To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours" (1 Cor 1:2)

    That's the audience and the identification of the "our" (i.e., believers).

    By your logic, the our in 1:9 means that the Corinthians already had Jesus as their Lord when they were called as unbelievers. Obviously, Paul is speaking to them as they are, not as they were, and hence, he addresses them as believers together with him (hence, it's "our" and not "all mankind").

    Second to this, Jesus being born in Bethlehem is a part of the gospel message that the angels announce to the shepherds and wise men as well. Hence, by your logic, anything that is a part of the good news must be affirmed or damnation will abide. So don't conclude that Jesus may have been born elsewhere, since you will be damned if you do.
    This is the same type of logic as taking a statement that you think has to do with UA and making it mandatory to believe for salvation. Again, there is nothing in the context that would lend itself to such an inference.

  29. Now, I'm an exegete, so I care about looking closely at the context. I haven't given you rope answers. I gave you the facts about those words in context. Maybe you've heard them so much because you have a cloud of saints trying to get it through to you that you're misreading the Holy Word of God you pretend to reverence by merely quoting it out of context. You, like any other founder of a cult, are fully convinced, so indeed it is a waste of both our time. But make no mistake, your gospel is false because you add requirements to it that the Lord has not, and you do so because you simply will not allow the text to read as it does.

    Now, both of us have asserted the same thing about one another. You believe all of those Scriptures concerning apostates you quoted apply to me and I believe they all apply to you (although I don't know why you think they apply to me since I believe UA, or do I now have to take it specifically as a part of the gospel in order to be saved?). What is to decide who is right between us? I say it is the fact that I can prove my positions from the context while you have to ignore the context in order to emphasize a particular word and give it a meaning from some other context. Because you ignore the contextual referents that would nuance the word within that particular text itself, you are then able to assign whatever meaning to the text you like. It's a subtle but devious method to undermine a text. In other words, I'm listening to Scripture, you're using Scripture to back up your misreading of one particular text. There's a big difference between the nature of our hermeneutical methods then. One is exegetical and one is eisegetical.

    Finally, I noted the meaning of those words because I'm an honest exegete. Even though I believe in UA, I'm not going to distort Scripture in order to advance my position. Given your arguments, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you don't want to know what those texts really say because you've already decided you know what they say. So be it. God gave you a chance to be corrected, but you've proven yourself to be unteachable, so remain as you are.

  30. BC,

    It is as I have said - we have two different Gospels, which you now seem to acknowledge. Though you are forced by the text of Scripture to pay a certain lip service to the universal extent of Christ's atonement, you don't really believe it. If you truly believed it, you would take your stand with it, as you would realize (as we both can now see) that limiting the atonement necessarily results in a hetero-gospel. I understand this, and so does the historic orthodox Christian church. Your appeal to context is a pretense for your wicked defiance of the Word of the Most High God. You only fool yourself. ALL non-Calvinist commentators have historically and contextually explained these clear passages just as I do. You are currently a false teacher, and you will have a very bad end if you do not repent. Your theology is yet in your head, not in your heart. May the preaching of the Law awaken you to your real sinful state, as this alone is able to bring such people as yourself to the true and saving Gospel. I know, as this is what alone brought me and all others to this glorious saving truth, how that "Christ died for our sins".


  31. Stuart, let me sum up your very astute argument:

    "I know you are, but what am I?"

    The beggers of questions never get answers because they never ask questions to begin with. You have absolutely no text teaching your position, but your evil rebellion against the Word of God causes you to exalt your own man-made idea to the level of God's Word and reject fellowship with His people. We both think that the other needs repentance, but I'm the only one that gave you a scriptural reason for it. Show me where all of orthodoxy says that you must believe in UA as a part of the gospel. Good luck on that one. You are quote mining, as your misquoting of Luther evidences, to advance your cultic idea. NO orthodox commentators that I am aware of have explained these passages as necessary content that must be believed if one is to believe the gospel. The gospel is that Christ died for "us" (i.e., the elect). Whether he also died for the non-elect has only been a question since the Reformation, because it addresses something that stems from the idea of substitutionary atonement. My suggestion is for you to take a few literature classes in order to understand how to read a text in context, read some books on linguistics and lexicography in order to know how to interpret words, and take a logic course in order to understand all of the logical fallacies your making and why logic is used by everyone, including you, in everything you think and do (your whole argument here btw has been nothing but your own rationalization about what "our" means). But I need to obey the Word of God and prevent you from having a platform to teach your falsehood (falsehood according to the Scriptures, not according to Stuart--I needed to say that as you seem to not be able to distinguish the two).

  32. Martin Luther again stressing the vital importance of Christ's universal atonement:

    "For the Lamb itself preaches to us, ‘Behold how I bear your sins!’ However, no one will accept it. If we believed and accepted it, no one would be damned. What more is the Lamb to do? He says, ‘You are all condemned, but I will take your sins upon myself. I have become the whole world. I have incorporated all people since Adam into my person.’ Thus he wants to give us righteousness in exchange for the sins we have received from Adam. And I should reply, ‘I will believe that, my dear, dear Lord, the Lamb of God, has taken all sins upon himself.’ Still the world will not believe and accept this. If it did, no one would be lost... Refusal to believe this is not Christ’s fault, it is mine. If I do not believe this, I am doomed. It is for me to say simply that the Lamb of God has borne the sin of the world. I have been earnestly commanded to believe and confess this, and then also to die in this faith. You may say, ‘Who knows whether Christ also bore my sin? I have no doubt that he bore the sin of St. Peter, St. Paul, and other saints; these were pious people, O that I were like St. Peter or St. Paul.’ Don’t you hear what St. John says in our text: ‘This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’ And you cannot deny that you are also a part of this world.’ For if you are in the world, and your sins form a part of the sins of the world, then the text applies to you.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 22, pp. 162-169)

  33. Franz Pieper, orthodox Lutheran's finest theologian, says, “The Calvinistic doctrine which restricts the grace of God to only one part of mankind is a trap of despair, a pestilence, death and damnation for the soul... The Calvinist Reformed doctrine that the grace of God includes only one part of mankind is a soul-murdering doctrine.” (Franz Pieper, Theses on Unionism, p. 12).

  34. The earliest church father, Ignatius (c. 35 - c. 107), the Bishop of Antioch, states, “Our God is a lover of mankind, and ‘will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth’.” Justin Martyr (c. 100 - c. 165) of the early second century, says, “The Father of all wished His Christ for the whole human family to take upon Him the curses of all.” He further adds, “His Father wished Him to suffer this, in order that by His stripes the human race might be healed.” Irenaeus (c. 130 - c. 200), the disciple of Polycarp who in turn was the disciple of the Apostle John, states of Christ, “It was He who should die and be buried for the mortal human race”. Furthermore, he says, “He removed the yoke and bondage of the old law, so that mankind, being now set free, might serve God.” Tertullian (c. 160 - c. 225) confirms the same testimony in the third century. He writes of “the Scripture teaching one full and entire satisfaction for the sins of the whole human race, once for all presented by our Lord Jesus Christ”. The prolific writer, Origen (c. 185 - c. 254), adds, “But He did come, because He was willing to come, and because it was manifest beforehand that His dying upon behalf of men would be of advantage to the whole human race”. The ancient Church historian, Eusebius (c. 260 - c. 340), testifies in the fourth century of Christ’s universal atonement. He says, “He was the victim offered to the Supreme Sovereign of the universe for the whole human race”. Athanasius (c. 296 - 373), the champion of Christian orthodoxy, author of the Nicene Creed, and rescuer of the faith from Arianism, states, “For whatever is written concerning our Saviour in His human nature, ought to be considered as applying to the whole race of mankind”. He further adds, “In Him the human race is perfectly and wholly delivered from sin and quickened from the dead, and given access to the kingdom of the heavens.” The three great Greek fathers, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, and Gregory Nazianzen, all give voice to the universal atonement of Christ. Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330 - c. 395) says, “And the wood of the Cross is of saving efficacy for all men.” Basil (c. 330 - 379) says, “The Lord was bound to taste of death for every man--to become a propitiation for the world and to justify all men by His own blood.” Gregory Nazianzen (329 - 389) adds, Christ’s sacrificial death was “not for a part of the world, nor for a short time, but for the whole world and for all time”. Hilary (c. 315 - 367) writes, “Since the humanity of Christ is universal, His death was on behalf of all mankind, to buy the salvation of the whole human race.” The greatest Eastern Church preacher, Chrysostom (c. 347 - 407), refers to Hebrews 2:9 and says, “’That by the grace of God He should taste death for every man’, not for the faithful only, but even for the whole world: for He indeed died for all.” Finally, the greatest church father, St. Augustine (354 - 430), testifies, “When the angel, then, stretched out his staff and touched the rock, and fire rose out of it, this was a sign that our Lord's flesh, filled with the Spirit of God, should burn up all the sins of the human race.” He further adds, “And so it was at that time declared in a mystery that the Lord Jesus, when crucified, should abolish in His flesh the sins of the whole world, and not their guilty acts merely, but the evil lusts of their hearts.”

  35. I see. So by "orthodox" you meant "Lutherans." I'm sure you can get a quote from Wesley now as well, but I was looking for Church Fathers and those considered "orthodox" by everyone.

    1. Luther believes in unlimited atonement. I knew that already. I need a passage from you where he says that BELIEVERS who do not believe that Christ died for everyone are damned. He's talking about unbelievers who don't believe that Christ died for them because they're not pious enough. Again, Stuart, your inability to read a text has led to your heresy.

    2. I don't care what Franz Pieper, a nineteenth century theologian, said. He's not in my list of "orthodox" men. You can probably quote me tons of fundies, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses from the nineteenth century who might agree with you too. But I'm looking for historic orthodoxy in order to establish contemporary orthodoxy. You can't appeal to contemporary opinions to establish their continuity with historic orthodoxy. That's rather basic in my mind.

  36. LOL. This is a great lesson for everyone reading concerning how to pay attention to the question being asked. Stuart has decided to give me a Watchtoweresque presentation of quotes that supposedly prove that one who denies UA is damned. Can anyone spot which Church Father said this? Neither can I.

    1. Stuart, I know the Fathers might believe in a type of UA (although the questions they are addressing are not the same as ours), so do I. I'm asking you for a quote that says that believers who do not hold to UA are damned. Please quote me only those quotes that definitively say such.

    2. If you notice, you lost the Bible debate, so now you're appealing to extrabiblical references and still failing to support your position. It's odd for one who has no regard for human reason to make such an appeal, but I welcome it nonetheless.

  37. btw, let me do the same type of quote-mining and you can see why context is so important.

    Ambrose (c. 339-97): Although Christ suffered for all, yet He suffered for us particularly, because He suffered for the Church. Saint Ambrose of Milan, Exposition of the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke, trans. Theodosia Tomkinson (Etna: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1998), Book VI, §25, p. 201.
    Latin Text: Et si Christus pro omnibus passus est, pro nobis tamen specialiter passus est; quia pro Ecclesia passus est. Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam, 6.25, PL 15:1675.

    Ambrose (c. 339-97): Great, therefore, is the mystery of Christ, before which even angels stood amazed and bewildered. For this cause, then, it is thy duty to worship Him, and, being a servant, thou oughtest not to detract from thy Lord. Ignorance thou mayest not plead, for to this end He came down, that thou mayest believe; if thou believest not, He has not come down for thee, has not suffered for thee. “If I had not come,” saith the Scripture, “and spoken with them, they would have no sin: but now have they no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also.” Who, then, hates Christ, if not he who speaks to His dishonor? — for as it is love’s part to render, so it is hate’s to withdraw honor. He who hates, calls in question; he who loves, pays reverence. NPNF2: Vol.: Volume X, Of the Christian Faith, Book IV, Chapter 2, §27.

    Ambrosiaster: The people of God hath its own fulness. In the elect and foreknown, distinguished from the generality of all, there is accounted a certain special universality; so that the whole world seems to be delivered from the whole world, and all men to be taken out of all men. See Works of John Owen, Vol. 10, p. 423.
    Latin text: Habet ergo populus Dei plenitudinem suam, et quamvis magna pars hominum, salvantis gratiam aut repellat aut negligat, in electis tamen et praescitis, atque ab omnium generalitate discretis, specialis quaedam censetur universitas, ut de toto mundo totus mundus liberatus, et de omnibus hominibus omnes homines videantur assumpti: De Vocatione Gentium, Liber Primus, Caput III, PL 17:1084.

    Jerome (347-420) on Matthew 20:28: He does not say that he gave his life for all, but for many, that is, for all those who would believe. See Turretin, Vol. 2, p. 462.
    Latin text: Non dixit animam suam redemptionem dare pro omnibus, sed pro multis, id est, pro his qui credere voluerint. Commentariorum in Evangelium Matthaei, Liber Tertius, PL 26:144-145.

    Hilary of Arles (c. 401-449) commenting on 1 John 2:2: When John says that Christ died for the sins of the “whole world,” what he means is that he died for the whole church. Introductory Commentary on 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 177.
    Latin text: et non pro nostris tantum. set etiam pro totius mundi peccatis; Aecclesiam mundi nomine appellat. Expositio In Epistolas Catholiicas, Incipit Epistola Sancti Iohannis Apostoli, Cap. II, v. 2, PL Supp. 3:118.


  38. Augustine (354-430): 2. But alongside of this love we ought also patiently to endure the hatred of the world. For it must of necessity hate those whom it perceives recoiling from that which is loved by itself. But the Lord supplies us with special consolation from His own case, when, after saying, “These things I command you, that ye love one another,” He added, “If the world hate you, know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” Why then should the member exalt itself above the head? Thou refusest to be in the body if thou art unwilling to endure the hatred of the world along with the Head. “If ye were of the world,” He says, “the world would love its own.” He says this, of course, of the whole Church, which, by itself, He frequently also calls by the name of the world: as when it is said, “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.” And this also: “The Son of man came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” And John says in his epistle: “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also [for those] of the whole world.” The whole world then is the Church, and yet the whole world hateth the Church. The world therefore hateth the world, the hostile that which is reconciled, the condemned that which is saved, the polluted that which is cleansed.
    3. But that world which God is in Christ reconciling unto Himself, which is saved by Christ, and has all its sins freely pardoned by Christ, has been chosen out of the world that is hostile, condemned, and defiled. For out of that mass, which has all perished in Adam, are formed the vessels of mercy, whereof that world of reconciliation is composed, that is hated by the world which belongeth to the vessels of wrath that are formed out of the same mass and fitted to destruction. Finally, after saying, “If ye were of the world, the world would love its own,” He immediately added, “But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” And so these men were themselves also of that world, and, that they might no longer be of it, were chosen out of it, through no merit of their own, for no good works of theirs had preceded; and not by nature, which through free-will had become totally corrupted at its source: but gratuitously, that is, of actual grace. For He who chose the world out of the world, effected for Himself, instead of finding, what He should choose: for “there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace,” he adds, “then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.” NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate LXXXVII, §2-3, John 15:17-19.

  39. Augustine (354-430): Hence things that are lawful are not all good, but everything unlawful is not good. Just as everyone redeemed by Christ's blood is a human being, but human beings are not all redeemed by Christ's blood, so too everything that is unlawful is not good, but things that are not good are not all unlawful. As we learn from the testimony of the apostle, there are some things that are lawful but are not good. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., Works of Saint Augustine, Adulterous Marriages, Part 1, Vol. 9, trans. Ray Kearney, O.P., Book One, 15, 16 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1999), p. 153.

    Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. “So Christ was once offered.”: By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] “was offered.” “Was once offered” (he says) “to bear the sins of many.” Why “of many,” and not “of all”? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

    Prosper of Aquitaine (d. 463): He is not crucified with Christ who is not a member of the body of Christ. When, therefore, our Saviour is said to be crucified for the redemption of the whole world, because of his true assumption of the human nature, yet may he be said to be crucified only for them unto whom his death was profitable. . . . Diverse from these is their lot who are reckoned amongst them of whom is is said, ‘the world knew him not.’

    Prosper of Aquitaine (d. 463): Doubtless the propriety of redemption is theirs from whom the prince of this world is cast out. The death of Christ is not to be so laid out for human-kind, that they also should belong unto his redemption who were not to be regenerated.

    Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Hebrews 9:27-28: As it is appointed for each human being to die once, and the one who accepts death’s decree no longer sins but awaits the examination of what was done in life, so Christ the Lord, after being offered once for us and taking up our sins, will come to us again, with sin no longer in force, that is, with sin no longer occupying a place as far as human beings are concerned. He said himself, remember, when he still had a mortal body, “He committed no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth.” It should be noted, of course, that he bore the sins of many, not of all: not all came to faith, so he removed the sins of the believers only. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 175.

    Bede (672/673-735) commenting on 1 John 2:1: The Lord intercedes for us not by words but by his dying compassion, because he took upon himself the sins which he was unwilling to condemn his elect for. On 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 177.

    Bede (672/673-735) commenting on 1 John 2:2: In his humanity Christ pleads for our sins before the Father, but in his divinity he has propitiated them for us with the Father. Furthermore, he has not done this only for those who were alive at the time of his death, but also for the whole church which is scattered over the full compass of the world, and it will be valid for everyone, from the very first among the elect until the last one who will be born at the end of time. This verse is therefore a rebuke to the Donatists, who thought that the true church was to be found only in Africa. The Lord pleads for the sins of the whole world, because the church which he has bought with his blood exists in every corner of the globe. On 1 John. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament, Vol. XI, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 178.

  40. There is only one true saving Gospel, which necessarily includes these five word - "Christ died for our sins". Only the one true universal atonement of Christ can let these five words stand. A limited atonement cannot let the word "our" stand. To a lost sinner, a limited atoner can only say, "Christ died for sins". This will not do, and by its distortion of the true saving message, it is in fact a false Gospel. The Apostle Paul solemnly testified, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8,9).

  41. "There is only one true saving Gospel, which necessarily includes these five word - "Christ died for our sins"."

    Totally agree, and so does every Calvinist on earth. We just don't agree with your eisegetical twisting of the word "our" and the turning of the statement into something Paul never meant to say. But when all else fails, just restate your position as though it were an argument.

  42. The point is that the lost sinner needs to be assured (in truth) that the "our" includes himself. Limited atonement cannot do this. It's "our" means something different than the Gospel's "our". That is why it is a different hetero-gospel, and rightly stands under Paul's anathema.

  43. "The point is that the lost sinner needs to be assured (in truth) that the "our" includes himself. Limited atonement cannot do this."

    This is where you're humanly contrived reason goes awry. This presupp is bringing you to your conclusion, not the the teaching of Scripture. And this, of course, is an odd statement to begin with.

    Why does the lost sinner who will not believe (which is the group we're talking about) need to know that Christ died for him if in fact he doesn't care and will not believe anyway? The only people who need to know that Christ died for them for their assurance are those who believe, and everyone agrees that Christ died for those who believe, because those who believe are the elect. The non-elect do not believe.

    So you're whole system is built on the idea that the gospel must give assurance to unbelievers who aren't going to believe the gospel no matter what it says. That's why the apostles don't preach the gospel that way. Why does the unbeliever need assurance? This is likely where your synergistic theology comes in, and that, we do not share. I don't believe an unbeliever will believe regardless if you preach a perfect gospel to him, and that believers will believe based on the gospel the apostles preached. The gospel is the power of God that leads to salvation for those who BELIEVE, not for those who do not believe.

    So your proposition is based upon a faulty idea that men are not elect in the first place. You think that telling sinners that Christ died for them personally will bring salvation to more people than the Calvinist does. You don't believe that those who Calvinists identify as the elect are the only believers. That's a major point of disagreement. If you should turn out wrong on that regard, your logic fails, as only the elect can believe and therefore only they will believe the gospel and be saved. Hence, only they need assurance that Christ died for them. What we should have been debating this whole time is whether the elect will all be saved and that they are the only ones who will persevere in their belief. If Calvinism is right on these two points, and I think it clearly is, then your idea that unbelievers need to synergistically be drawn to the gospel by hearing that Christ died for them too is false.

  44. The Gospel is to be preached to lost sinners, not to those who are already saved. First there is the Gospel message, how that "Christ died for our sins". Next there is faith in this message. And then there is salvation. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15,16). The Gospel is the "first of all" (1 Cor. 15:3).

  45. Stuart, I don't think you understand my last post. Of course the gospel is preached to everyone, but you are assuming that the "our" in 1 Cor 15 refers to the entire world of humanity and that Paul's purpose in using the pronoun "our" is to teach that part of the gospel is unlimited atonement. I reject both of these due to the context of what is being said. You've ignored that objection numerous times now and have simply restated your position over and over again instead of giving an actual argument from the text.

    Second to this, my point is that your entire eisegetical assumption stems from your view that there is not a set amount of elect who will believe. Hence, you think that people who Calvinists don't believe will exercise faith will indeed exercise faith if they hear your version of the gospel that includes unlimited atonement. Thus, it's the power of God that leads to their (any human since no one is elect but Christ or the Church as a group--I assume you believe the former as a Lutheran) salvation. So the issue of discussion is whether there is a specific elect group who are the only ones who will believe, and thus, they are the only ones who need to be assured that Christ died for them, or if there is no set group and everyone might believe if they are assured that Christ died for everyone.

    My earlier point to you is that only believers need to be assured that Christ died for them, since the Scripture clearly says that if you believe, Christ died for you. Hence, even in your scheme, assurance is granted if one exercises faith. The issue now is simply the question of whether there is a set group of individuals who are individually elected by God to salvation. If so, no more are going to be saved than that group of people. Hence, the gospel the apostles preached that does not include UA can save them, as they all will be saved through that gospel, and your gospel tells real Christians that they aren't unless they believe your presuppositions about the extent of the elect and your misappropriation of Paul's words in 1 Cor 15. I told you before, by your logic, the Corinthians would have had Christ as Lord before they became Christians. Paul speaks to them as believers now and discusses the gospel that was delivered. His purpose is not to cryptically communicate something about the necessity to believe in UA as a part of the gospel.

    If you can't grasp what I've said here, then don't comment again, as we're just going to be going round and round as you restate your unsubstantiated opinion over and over again. If you do understand, then engage what I said.

  46. And please show me the text that explicitly says this:

    "The point is that the lost sinner needs to be assured (in truth) that the "our" includes himself."

    What text speaks of the unbeliever needing assurance that Christ died for him, even if he doesn't believe.

  47. All 33 NT passages I posted for you earlier in support of the universal atonement of Christ authorize and compel the evangelist to use the word "our" when announcing the glorious Gospel news to the lost sinner. I am to preach this Gospel "to every creature", how that "Christ died for our sins", both theirs and mine. Any theology that cannot allow for this indiscriminate proclamation is, by definition, a false theology.

    To give you an illustration, the limited atoner finds a poor lost starving man on the street, and he says to him, "this is our food"' meaning his and his family's food. This message does not help the starving man. The Gospel preacher, however, says to the same man, "this is our food", meaning yours and mine. This is a legitimate offer of food, that enables the starving man to eat and live.

  48. 1. Most of what you posted doesn't teach UA. I would only agree with about two.

    2. None of the texts you posted display that UA is a part of the content of the gospel that must be believed.

    3. Actually, in the analogy, a believer could say that this is "our" food (yours and mine) if you believe, the food belonging to all who believe. What makes the difference is whether the man is elect and will believe. Then the food does belong to him. You want to say that by saying it's already his it somehow helps him eat it whether he partakes of it or not. That's absurd. Every orthodox person believes that Christ's death is only ultimately for the believer. That's what you don't get. You think that this is so important because you think that by telling an unbeliever that his sins have already been washed away (a message only for the one who believes) that it will help him synergistically work with God toward his believing. Again, you haven't established any of that from the text. You have merely given me a bunch of UA proof texts that are taken out of context and forced them as a fabricated and foreign context onto Paul's purpose in saying "our" in a completely different context where Paul meant no such thing.

    You've not given me a single text in context. You've confused establishing the question of UA with establishing the idea that one must believe UA in order to be saved. You haven't explained the countless people who have come to Christ apart from a gospel that taught UA, but instead taught that Christ died for all who believe. Your blasphemy of other believers is without warrant, Stuart. Repent.

  49. Here's how I read your logic:

    That Christ was born in Bethlehem is a part of the gospel preached by the angel to the shepherds too. Anyone who does not include that in his gospel message is damned, and if it has not been in a gospel message preached throughout history, that means most people are not real Christians and are damned. It has to be a part of the gospel, but wait . . .
    Paul doesn't mention it in 1 Cor 15. Paul's gospel, according to Stuart's logic, must be anathema. I can have no assurance that Christ died for my sins and was raised on my behalf if he was never born in Bethlehem. Ergo, whoever does not include in every gospel message that Christ was born in Bethlehem, let him be accursed by the authority of Stuart.

  50. "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11:3)

  51. With limited atonement a person believes TO MAKE IT TRUE that Christ died for his own sins. With the Gospel a person believes BECAUSE IT'S TRUE that Christ died for his own sins. The limited atoner builds upon his own faith, and thus is an idolator. The Christian builds upon the objective verifiable Word of God, and thus is a true worshipper of God. The limited atoner builds his house upon the sand, and great will be its fall. The Christian builds his house upon a rock, and that house will stand.

    "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth... I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me." (John 8:40,49).

  52. I love all of your non sequiturs and accusations, Stuart. It's just ridiculous.

    First, no one makes it true. It is true that Jesus died for those who believe. Their believing doesn't make it true. It reveals that such is true for the person, because it reveals whether the person is one of the elect who Christ died for. Nothing is being "made true." That's nonsensical.

    Second, this leads me to ask you this. Do you believe that everyone is already saved? Do you believe that Christ took away the sins of the world? If so, why is not everyone saved? Why is God going to punish people for their sins if He already took them away? You either have to argue that everyone is saved in order to maintain that your view doesn't require the same thing (i.e., that people must believe in order for salvation to become a reality for them), or you have to say that everyone is saved apart from his making it true for himself by believing. Are you an idolater, Stuart? LOL. I don't even know how you would possibly make the connection between someone exercising faith in order to reveal whether he is one of the elect who has his sins paid for and one being an idolater for saying it. Your logic is so twisted.

    3. You have not engaged my objections from context, my objections to your faulty logic, and my comments concerning the real issue of your denying the biblical doctrine of specific election. I gave you ample opportunity to do so, but you would rather continue to slander without warrant. Your ability to handle a text is not existent, much worse your ability to handle the text of Scripture. Some people just need to let those of us who know how to interpret a text interpret the Bible for them. It's dangerous in the hands of someone who is both unteachable and uncareful. But I know you will continue ad infinitum making accusations that have no basis in Scripture or logic. I just won't be addressing you anymore. Your unscriptural, faulty reasoning is poison, as has this conversation become, and will lead to the ruin of both you and those who have been blinded from the true gospel along with you.

    "The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools." (Prov 26:7)

    "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth . . ." (1 Tim 6:3-5)

    "I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them." (Rom 16:17)

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  54. "The LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them." (Jer. 2:37).

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  57. You guys are quite entertaining.

    Roll over, John Calvin...

    Roll over, John Calvin, by Ken Norberg