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This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

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What is the Gospel?

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  • Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

    Silly silly me - we might end up with another Great Awakening or something!
    Actually I've not been well recently, with two hospital stays, one for possible stroke. I feel it's the Lord telling me to stop pussyfooting around with these safe, anonymous, cyber discussions and go flat out, before He calls me home. Or gives me dementia or full body paralysis. That would be worse than death, would be like gnashing of teeth, helplessly watching what I could have done.

    What does this entail? Coming out with a book, with my real name, attacking all other worldviews, pushing the Christian explanation of what God wants. It will have implications for the family, so although I'm not living in a country where Christianity is not allowed to be practiced, it will still affect them too. Maybe more, since the mainstream churches will also join the attack on the publication.

    First step, tell my family about no more Mr Nice Guy, or playing safe, and get their support.

    Second, get together the finance for the project.

    It will be the ultimate proof of the view, the necessity to pick up crosses everyday and follow Christ:

    John 12
    32and when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all the world to myself.
    Last edited by footwasher; 09-18-2022, 05:58 PM.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by footwasher View Post

      Aww! Tabibito (Traveller!), you stalled Cowpoke's possible foray into the world of substantial discussions, instead of his usual inconsequential comments.

      By breaking down the elements of the question, I really expected him to trot out solid statements of the orthodox view, so that they could be re-examined for structural soundness.

      Don't be a wet blanket, yes?
      I focus my substantial discussions on real life situations, of which I find myself engaged quite often.

      Here, in this medium, not so much - as you'll often find those who are simply here to do battle with Christians, or other "Christians" trying to outChristian one another.

      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

        I focus my substantial discussions on real life situations, of which I find myself engaged quite often.

        Here, in this medium, not so much - as you'll often find those who are simply here to do battle with Christians, or other "Christians" trying to outChristian one another.
        I concur.

        I am more interested in discussing real situations or how to make the issue more relevant to people sitting in the church pews. Abstract debates over doctrine can be educational to a point but usually end up being repetitive and as you said "Christians trying to out-Christian one another."

        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          I focus my substantial discussions on real life situations, of which I find myself engaged quite often.

          Here, in this medium, not so much - as you'll often find those who are simply here to do battle with Christians, or other "Christians" trying to outChristian one another.
          Great sentiments, and somewhat similar to those expressed in this article, condemning competitiveness in evangelising:

          2) The Results are up to God.

          Remind yourself regularly that the results of our evangelism are not dependent upon us. We cannot save anyone. If you become focused on getting results, then you will end up compromising the message to make it appear that more people are being saved than truly are. It is very easy to create a false convert, just tell them to change their mind and believe a few facts about Jesus, or tell them to quickly mumble out a prayer. Then slap them on the back and tell them they’re saved. Many people well end up in Hell because an evangelist compromised the gospel message in the pursuit of results. What we must do is constantly remind ourselves that it is the Lord who opens the sinner’s heart. The salvation of anyone is subject to God’s sovereign choice; if He opens the sinner’s heart, then to God be the glory! If He chooses not to open the sinner’s heart, then to God be the glory!
          https://www.joshwilliamson.org/blog/...ven-evangelism

          RESULT DRIVEN EVANGELISATION

          But what if it's the wrong map, the wrong information, and the listener does not reach the correct destination, achieve the correct result?

          Isn't it necessary, then, to make sure the right result is reached, by discussing and finding the right information, with the proper method?

          Isn't that the purpose of debating Theology seriously, the TWeb motto?

          And are the spiritual lives of its members not real life matters?

          Is evidence of God being with a person, or lack of, not a matter to be worried about?

          John 3
          1Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

          3Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. a

          There is evidence that a person is in the Kingdom, is born again. He performs signs and wonders.
          Last edited by footwasher; 09-18-2022, 06:28 PM.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

            I concur.

            I am more interested in discussing real situations or how to make the issue more relevant to people sitting in the church pews. Abstract debates over doctrine can be educational to a point but usually end up being repetitive and as you said "Christians trying to out-Christian one another."

            Rahab became a believer because Caleb was allowed into Rest and defeated a numerically superior army.

            Nicodemus became a believer because Jesus was in the Kingdom and performed signs.

            It happened in the past, present and the future of the first church (for a while) :

            1 Cor 14
            24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

            How much more real a situation do you want in explaining why mainstream churches are non performing, because of not understanding?
            Last edited by footwasher; 09-18-2022, 06:38 PM.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

              I concur.

              I am more interested in discussing real situations or how to make the issue more relevant to people sitting in the church pews. Abstract debates over doctrine can be educational to a point but usually end up being repetitive and as you said "Christians trying to out-Christian one another."

              Life is short - focus on those areas where you can actually make a difference, not just be obnoxious or noisy.

              Increased activity does not necessarily result in better results.
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                Life is short - focus on those areas where you can actually make a difference, not just be obnoxious or noisy.

                Increased activity does not necessarily result in better results.
                You know, if you arrange a visa, I'll pony up the airfare and visit you to see your real world discussions.

                Comment



                • The Gospel of Gods Grace !


                  In line with preaching the Gospel, it has as one of its major tenants of truth, the Grace of God, so much so, Paul says this Acts 20:24

                  24But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.


                  One of the prevailing myths and deceptions in our day and time, is that God offers grace to all men [individually] and its up to them to either accept it or reject it

                  That cannot be further from the truth..


                  So when witnessing to the Grace of God, one must highlight those things that the scripture has to Say regarding Gods Grace..

                  Gods grace originates in Him and His Eternal Purpose in Jesus Christ 2 Tim 1:9

                  9Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us [The elect deed] in Christ Jesus before the world began,

                  Eph 3:10-11

                  10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

                  11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:


                  Yes, before the world began, Grace was given us [ the elect] in Christ Jesus, it was Given Him by God the Father, whom had set him up as The God Man Mediator for His People we were representively in Him as we were later to be representatively in adam..

                  And it was at this time in eternity that the gracious promise of Eternal Life was given us in and by our Head, The Lord Jesus christ..Titus 1:2

                  2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised [ to Jesus Christ as the Head of the church] before the world began;


                  This aspect of sacred truth is indispensable in proclaiming the Gospel of the Grace of God..

                  its vital to remember that the grace was given to us before the world began not offered, or made available but given..

                  Gods Grace is not offered, but given to a specific people given is in the aorist past tense, so its a done deal..

                  Now lets look at the fact that salvation Grace is not offered but given.. as our text in 2 Tim 1 points out:

                  by contrast we see grace is given Jn 1:17

                  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came [given] by Jesus Christ.

                  Now, was the Law offered by moses ? No, it was given and that effectually.. and also, neither Gods Law nor Gods grace are given without discrimination, but to a certain people.. concerning the law, it was given to the nation of Israel, Gods earthly people for a time, but grace is given to Gods spiritual People [ Spiritual Israel] for all time..

                  Next Rom 12:3

                  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.


                  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

                  Rom 15:15

                  Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,


                  1 Cor 1:4

                  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

                  1 Cor 3 :10

                  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon

                  Gal 2:9

                  And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

                  Eph 3:2

                  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:


                  Eph 3:7

                  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

                  For Paul as all the elect of God, were saved by Grace given him..

                  Eph 3:8

                  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

                  Eph 4:7

                  But unto every one of us [ paul and other elect] is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.


                  Not one time is Grace said to be offered, or made available, for that is simply a invention of men..

                  Comment


                  • There's an old saying --- "when everything is said and done, there's usually more said than done".

                    Sometimes we spend far more time arguing about what the Gospel is than simply telling the Good News to the lost people who need it.
                    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                    Comment


                    • footwasher

                      So in summary, you are saying the Gospel is the news that God has given faith and repentance to his Chosen People, Israel.
                      Correct, thats part of the Gospel message, what Christ has accomplished, He gives repentance to His chosen people

                      But Israel was cut off for disbelief.
                      That was national israel, not the chosen people Israel, the remnant according to the election of Grace
                      God gave Israel faith and repentance and she did not believe? And was cut off?
                      The election wasnt cut off, they were given Faith and repentance. The rest were cut off/blinded Rom 11:2-7

                      2God hath not cast away his people[Israel] which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel saying,

                      3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

                      4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself[Israel] seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.

                      5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant[Israel] according to the election of grace.

                      6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

                      7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election [Israel]hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
                      See in the economy of God there has always been two seperate Israels Rom 9:6

                      6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel[remnant election], which are of Israel[ethnic national]:

                      If you dont now grasp this, you will remain in utter confusion and it would be fruitless for me to take time to teach you.


                      That's not good news, that's bad news! Your gospel is wrong!
                      Contrary, it is good news that God has reserved for Himself a people for His praise when He has cut off others because of their unbelief. Its good news that God has mercy on a remnant Isa 1:9

                      9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

                      The words left is the hebrew word yatar and it means reserve, or preserve. God preserves a People for Himself, Israel, but not national Israel, but Spiritual Israel made up of different ethnic groups !

                      Comment




                      • The Gospel of Gods Grace cont

                        One of the Major Tenants of the Gospel of Gods Grace is that its grounded in election..

                        Rom 11:5

                        Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

                        Now this in context is speaking about jews in israel, however its not limited to them, for there is also a remnant [residue] in the gentiles who are of the election of grace..

                        James speaks of them here:

                        Acts 15:14-18

                        14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.


                        15 And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,

                        16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:

                        17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

                        18 Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

                        Notice to take out of them [gentiles] a people, not all of them, but a residue..

                        Interesting, because the word remnant in Rom 11 5 is the greek word:

                        leimma which means: its from the root

                        leipō which means:

                        to leave, leave behind, forsake, to be left behind

                        The ideal is that which is left over..

                        Now the word in Acts 15 17 residue is the greek word:

                        kataloipos which means:

                        left remaining

                        So we see how those two words give the same identical meaning..that of whats left over, or left behind..

                        This points back to the truth that within the Jews there was a election of grace, and in the gentiles there is a election of grace..

                        And with both groups, they are part of the whole of the people, hence clearly indicative that only some of each people group are election of grace..

                        Its only a remnant of mankind that is saved by grace as in Eph 2 :8-9

                        8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

                        9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.


                        Yes, the election of grace in Rom 11 5 and the salvation by grace through faith [Eph 2 8] are the same thing..

                        Notice how after each reference to grace in each verse they are followed by a denial of works

                        Rom 11 :6

                        6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

                        Eph 2 9

                        9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

                        BTW the faith in Eph 2 8 is not the Faith of the Individual, but the Faith of Jesus Christ, His Faithfulness

                        So the elect are said to be saved by grace through [ Christ Faithfulness,] which means, the faith was not of our own, but the gift of God..for Jesus Christ is Gods Gift to the election of grace..[Rom 8:32]

                        Jesus is said to be the gift here Jn 4:10

                        Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

                        Jesus was the Gift of God not only to the Jewish elect, but to the World..Jn 3:16


                        16 For God so loved the world [Jew and gentile elect], that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

                        Now, in preaching the election of grace, the remnant from the rest, then who are the rest ? Remeber paul said:

                        Rom 11:7

                        7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

                        The rest are the reprobates in the world, the children of hell, the seed of the serpent, the tares, those of perdition, the blinded the cast aways Paul speaks of:

                        1 Cor 9:27

                        But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
                        [ reprobate]

                        So there is no such thing as preaching the Gospel of Gods grace without preaching the rejection of the reprobated,[vessels of wrath] for that

                        fact aids in defining and clarifying the Nature of Salvation by Grace, its

                        discriminate nature, and Hence Gods people perceive they are special to God above all other peoples of the earth [Deut 7:6]

                        There is simply no way to Preach salvation by Grace without preaching Sovereign Discriminating Grace for some [the election of grace] and reprobation for others..

                        Comment


                        • cont Gospel of Gods Grace [it reigns]


                          In proclaiming the Gospel of Gods Grace, it must be proclaimed that it is Sovereign, it Reigns as a King..

                          Rom 5:21

                          That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

                          Now how Sovereign is death ? Can any man resist death ? Can you use your freewill to dictate when your going to die ?

                          The wise man said:

                          Ecc 3:24

                          2 A time to be born, and a time to die;

                          Ecc 8:8


                          There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.

                          You see that ? Death has uncontrollable Sovereignty over all men..because it reigns by the decree of the Almighty..

                          But. Grace Reigns even more so than death.

                          The word for reign in the Rom 5 21 verse is :

                          basileuō and means:

                          to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign

                          metaph. to exercise the highest influence, to control

                          Grace is more Sovereign and has a Higher Influence of control than Death has..

                          Rom 5:17

                          For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

                          Rom 5 20

                          Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin[and death] abounded, grace did much more abound:

                          Whatever uncontrollable Sovereignty Death has over Men, even Grace much More..

                          A person can resist death moreso than Gods Grace..

                          Grace brings Salvation [in power and Glory] to all men ..that is all types and sorts of Men..

                          Titus 2:11

                          For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

                          The Ideal here is not as the man made ministers and followers say, that is grace is merely made available to all or that its offered to all..

                          No thats a short change. But the Sovereign Grace of God comes to all the election of Grace of men in their various times and conditions and most powerfully brings their salvation of the Lord to them ! That they may experience and enjoy it and bless the Lord for it
                          ..
                          Like saul who became paul Acts 9..thats an illustration of Grace bringing Salvation to one of the all men for whom it was designed..

                          Jesus said of zacchaeus lk 19:8

                          And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

                          9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a Son of Abraham.

                          You see that ? Salvation, the Grace of it came, brought to Him his appointed salvation as a Son of Abraham..

                          Hence, preaching the Gospel of Gods Grace, the True Servant of God declares that Grace Reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, through, not freewill, but through Jesus Christ 1

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