Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
As someone who knows only too well, the judgment from other Calvinists, (quasi Ameraldians to be more specific), regarding my not properly using the term "love", regarding God's intentions and His disposition toward the reprobate, I have some solace from the man who wrote a little primer on Hyper-Calvinism, a piece I have been critical of in the sense that it is not the standard writing upon the subject, and has also been used unscrupulously by others to malign genuine Calvinists, I have the pleasure of quoting Phil Johnson himself, who recently said,
"Moreover, in the section of my notes on h-cism that deals with God’s will toward the reprobate, I expressly acknowledged that there is a strain of classic high-calvinists who deny that God’s expressions of goodwill toward the reprobate may properly be called “love,” but who are not really hyper. I said, “They are a distinct minority, but they nonetheless have held this view. It’s a hyper-Calvinistic tendency, but not all who hold the view are hyper-Calvinists in any other respect.” Phil Johnson
For Tony Byrne and David Ponter, and all those who mocked and attacked me for saying what I have said, and carefully explained my position numerous times, even having Phil's Primer used against me more times than I can remember, well, what can I say?
I hope you guys clean up your act in 09, but having been on the receiving end of the abuse you guys can muster, perhaps Phil and yet others may unfortunately be in your sights for a target of your narrow arrow, but I sincerely hope for repentance from you guys. It's time in 09!
Give it up guys.....
Joh 3:14 `And as Moses did lift up the serpent in the wilderness, so it behoveth the Son of Man to be lifted up,
Joh 3:15 that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during,
Joh 3:16 for God did so love the world, that His Son--the only begotten--He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son to the world that he may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him;
Joh 3:18 he who is believing in him is not judged, but he who is not believing hath been judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 17:9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
Joh 17:20 And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word,
Joh 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
Merry Christmas to all of my readers!...
Hope to be back God Willing in 09.
Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
I agree and have been saying exactly what James here says for years now, and it is just encouraging to hear the good Dr summing up these issues regarding Hyper Calvinism, two wills and the free offer of the gospel.......
Regarding John Piper, please see my post from a while ago regarding "two wills" found here.
If God were to say that he has desired to pass some sinners by and leave them in their sins, in that He will not save them by His grace, based upon His own free volition, and yet say that He has no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, is that reasonable?
Is that inconsistent with God's nature?
I raise it, because when it comes to God's desires regarding who or (whom) rather, He desires to show mercy and to call, regenerate, justify and ultimately glorify, is He then to be presented in the gospel call, as someone who desires the salvation of all men without exception?
I mean, when we preach the gospel, based upon what we read in Scripture, are we to infer that God really has this sincere desire for the whole world to be saved, as in every single person who ever lived?
That is the question.
I know from Scripture, that God get's all of His desires. That I am certain of.
Isa 46:9:10 Remember former things from forever; for I am God, and no other is God, even none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past things which were not done, saying, My purpose shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure;
So, if God truly desires the salvation of all men, even the reprobate, then there would truly have to be a sense that God ultimately must have unfulfilled desires, and for all eternity, given that not all men are saved, right?
This is just basic logic at it's core.
But, if we accept that grace is sheer grace, then God desiring the salvation of some, and not all, is perfectly reasonable, right?
And further, in desiring the saving of some, He has no pleasure in the destruction of the rest, is a valid point, yes?
So, God can not only have the right to command all men everywhere to repent, but also take no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but can also be presented as the God who does not have to desire the salvation of all, in order for the charge of "insincerity" to stick, right?
If salvation is an act of mercy and grace, then how can even the thought of "insincere" offers of salvation even be upon the table for legitimate discussion, pertaining to God's desires?
These people who fight for this sincere desire in God for everyone's salvation, do not seem to understand grace in the first place.
They also seem to think that God is under some kind of obligation to provide even the possibility of salvation for every single person or else He is unfair or insincere.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Seasons greetings, and to all a goodnight!
I read a comment by Spurgeon, and I am going to use it as my sig line in 09.
"Beware of a religion without holdfasts. But if I get a grip upon a doctrine they call me a bigot. Let them do so. Bigotry is a hateful thing, and yet that which is now abused as bigotry is a great virtue, and greatly needed in these frivolous times. I have been inclined lately to start a new denomination, and call it "the Church of the Bigoted." Spurgeon
Monday, December 08, 2008
If Jesus is truly the Savior, he must also really save his people, not potentially but really and in fact, completely and eternally. And this, actually, constitutes the core of the difference between the proponents and the opponents of particular satisfaction (atonement). This difference is defined incorrectly or at least far from completely when one formulates it exclusively in the question whether Christ died and made satisfaction for all humans or only the elect (my emphasis)...The real issue concerned the value and power of Christ's sacrifice, the nature of the work of salvation. To save, said the Reformed, is to save truly, wholly, for eternity...Those whom God loves and from whom Christ made satisfaction are saved without fail.Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics vol. 3 p. 467
Hypocrite..but see my other posts regarding this matter.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Recently, Tony Byrne spoke about me on Unchained radio with Gene and Jonathon, and he has been quoting me on his blog, yet not that long ago he stated he would never mention my name ever again as I was not worth the effort etc.
Well, if I cannot provide a response to Byrne on Internet radio or at his blog, I shall do so here, fair enough.
Above is a copy of my attempt to post at his blog, whether or not it get's deleted by him, I do not know. Other posts have been deleted in past times and even recently if I am remembering correctly. I posted something a week or so ago but cannot find it anywhere. It is floating around in cyberspace someplace!
From one falsely called Hyper, (Steve Camp) to another, (Me), amen Steve...AMEN!
COLMES: All right. Let me ask you: you talk about, OK, so you think everybody needs a savior.
WARREN: I do.
COLMES: Well, what about those people who don't — you know, I happen to be Jewish. Not everybody — and Jesus, by the way, I have a lot in common with. Same religion.
COLMES: So not everybody necessarily goes that route.
WARREN: The thing is, Alan, I believe Jesus Christ came for everybody. I don't think he came for Christians. The Bible says take this good news to the whole world.
I don't care whether you're Baptist, Buddhist, Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, Muslim, or no religion at all. Jesus Christ still loves you. You still matter to God.
COLMES: True, and I think that's a wonderful message. But if you don't accept Jesus, if you're not something who goes that route religiously...
COLMES: ... can you find your way to heaven? Can you still be — go to the same place when it's all said and done?
WARREN: I'm not the authority on that, but I believe Jesus is. And everybody's betting their life on something. Jesus said, "I am the way." I'm betting that he's not a liar. I'm betting that he told the truth.
COLMES: What about — what does it say for all those people who do not accept Christ as their personal savior?
WARREN: I'm saying that this is the perfect time to open their life, to give it a chance. I'd say give him a 60-day trial.
COLMES: Like the Book of the Month Club.
WARREN: Give him a trial. See if he'll change your life. I dare you to try trusting Jesus for 60 days. Or your money guaranteed back.
COLMES: Really? You're going to give me the money back?
WARREN: Absolutely. Direct to me, Sean Hannity, FOX News Channel.
COLMES: But seriously, because I wonder. I mean, do you look differently upon those people like me who are not Christians but still don't believe...?
WARREN: I do not look differently on them. I think God...
HANNITY: He likes you more than I like you. He loves you. He tells you every time he's here.
COLMES: He's a good American.
WARREN: We're all created in the image of God. There's no doubt about that. There's not a person on earth that God doesn't love, but God wants us to learn to love him back.
And to me, God says, "I've given you this gift of grace, which means you don't earn your way to heaven. You don't work your way to heaven. You simply receive my gift."
And — and that means we need to unwrap the gift that God has given us, and your past can be forgiven. You can have a purpose for living, and you can have a home in heaven.
COLMES: Can you do all those things in other religions, too?
WARREN: I don't know how you would possibly do that. God didn't send 100 Jesuses; he didn't send 1,000. He sent one.
Lets see if a mere layman with convictions, like me for example, can interact with the sources provided by the leader of the new so called Moderate Calvinism, Mr David Ponter.
I am no stranger to attempting in the past to interacting with the man, but, I shall try again and see what happens.
On the subject of Double payment/Double Jeopardy argument, as it is rejected by Ponter and others, let us interact with one of his sources he quotes from the link above.
In this example, Ursinus and his Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism.
Sins of the world and cognate phrases:
2. It was necessary that the ransom which the Redeemer paid should be of infinite value, that it might possess a dignity and merit sufficient for the redemption of our souls, and that it might avail in the judgment of God, for the purpose of expiating our sins, and restoring in us that righteousness and life which we had lost.
The old saying that Christ died sufficiently for the sins of the world but efficiently for the sins of the elect is a saying no reformed person is ignorant of. It's usage shows up in various and sundry places/times and writers, including Calvin himself, who as a matter of fact referred to the saying in a less than positive light.
It seems that Ursinus here is addressing the infinite value of our Lord's sacrifice, and of course no Calvinist has an issue with that expression. However, Is Ursinus here advocating or meaning an infinite value that must be read as an actual expiation for the sins of all mankind as David Ponter would embrace, or is Ursinus merely mentioning the concept that the value of the sacrifice is of such infinite worth, because of whom it is providing the sacrifice? Is he here, in line with other Calvinists, drawing a connection between the sufficiency of the sacrifice, as looked at from one important angle, namely the value or worth because of whom it is that is offering this sacrifice? Namely, our spotless Lamb?
And what is meant when Ursinus makes mention of the expiation of “our” sins? Is the “our” there, meant to convey every single member of mankind, rather than the “our” referring to believers?
These are just basic and simple questions worth asking are they not?
Is Ursinus referring to every individual who ever lived when he mentions the redemption of “our” souls? To whom is he referring? Every single person in history or does he have believers in mind?
These are the exact same questions that arise with the usage of such words found in scripture.
What is being meant exactly? Consider the great passage that supposedly refers to the Universal gospel proclamation, which is found in 1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
Is Paul referring here to all men without exception?, or does “our” sins mentioned here refer to those already believing, that is believers present when Paul spoke those words. Was Paul attempting to make this huge Universal statement regarding “Everyone's” sins being expiated by Christ upon the cross?
These are the basic sorts of questions that we need to ask when referring to these expressions.
I am not convinced that David Ponter comes to these expressions with these ideas in mind at all.
He just seems to assume certain things and no one ever stops him to question these assumptions.
I am fairly convinced he has certain presuppositions coming in before these expressions are dealt with.
If that is true, it is no wonder, that not only can and will these writers be open to misrepresentation, but scripture itself gets painted with the same broad brush. Some may think no decent student, such as Ponter would ever treat writers like that! But why not? This happens much more than people realize, and especially within the higher academic subjects, and particularly in modern scholarship, at least in my own studies in such basic matters.
In a rather smart or cunning way, it is a real shortcut to get to your own interpretations. It cuts out the argument from underneath your opponent in many subtle ways, and if your opponent fails to see what is happening, he may find himself going down all of these rabbit trails and or concentrating his efforts in an area he may not need to spend much time on.
Is it a reasonable presumption to ask the questions I am asking? Am I also guilty of bringing in presuppositions when I ask these questions? If I am, at this point bringing in presuppositions, other than simple hermeneutical ones, then I cannot see it. Not at this early stage anyway at least.
Let me continue with Ursinus...
Hence it became the person who would make this satisfaction for us, to be possessed of infinite dignity, that is, to be God; for the dignity of this satisfaction, on account of which it might be acceptable to God and of infinite worth, although temporal, consists in two things–in the dignity of the person, and in the greatness of the punishment.
Great, no problem here. We are seeing here the object who is God Himself, and hence the infinite dignity part of the expression, which we all confirm.
The dignity of the person who suffered appears in this, that it was God, the Creator himself, who died for the sins of the world; which is infinitely more than the destruction of all creatures, and avails more than the holiness of all the angels and men. Hence it is, that the Apostles, when they speak of the sufferings of Christ, almost always make mention of his Divinity.” God hath purchased the Church with his blood.” “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Yea, God himself, in Paradise, joined together these two: “The seed of the woman shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Acts 20:28. 1 John I:7. John 1:29. Gen. 3:15.)
Now, apart from the statement underlined “died for the sins of the world”, what else is mentioned here that promotes Ponter's theology of the cross? Did Ursinus, by using the word “world” mean every single person without exception? Does he mean that? Is he suffering to world of believers?
Again, these are the basic questions that need to be addressed are they not?
Why does Ursinus then mention in connection with the language of “purchase” the explicit statement the “Church” with His blood? Is that important, or does it at the very least give us some scope to consider as far as what or whom is purchased by the blood of this Infinite dignity found in Christ?
What does Ursinus mean by the term “world”? Does he mean what Ponter means when using this term? These questions need to be answered.
The greatness of the punishment which Christ endured appears in this, that he sustained the dreadful torments of hell, and the wrath of God against the sins of the whole world. “The pains of hell gat hold upon me.” “God is a consuming fire.” “The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.” (Ps.116:3. Deut. 4:24. Is.53:10.) From this we may perceive why it was, that Christ manifested such signs of distress in the prospect of death, whilst many of the martyrs met death with the greatest courage and composure. [p., 88.]
Again, what does Ursinus refer to when using such expressions? If he was meaning all the sins of every single person who ever lived, and was really saying the same thing as Ponter teaches, then logically, why would Ursinus end the statement with a comment about the Martyrs? Is he not thinking about believers here, or is he on the same page as Ponter? I let the reader decide.
2) Or, we may, in accordance with the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth questions of the Catechism, define the gospel to be the doctrine which God revealed first in Paradise, and afterwards published by the Patriarchs and Prophets, which he was pleased to represent by the shadows of sacrifices, and the other ceremonies of the law, and which he has accomplished by his only begotten Son; teaching that the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; which is to say that he is a perfect Mediator, satisfying for the sins of the human race, restoring righteousness and eternal life to all those who by a true faith are ingrafted into him, and embrace his benefits. [p., 102.]
When Ursinus refer here to “us” as in those who have been made to know wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, is he not referring to us believers? Is he to be made to say that all men attain these benefits? Surely not, but that is how we would be forced to read him according to Ponter!
Is Ursinus saying that Christ has made satisfaction for the sins of every sing person who ever lived?
Saying “human race” does not necessarily imply what Ponter presupposes.
And of course it goes without saying that if Ponter is reading into these little words all the baggage of universal language with his own peculiar views, the whole context changes completely does it not, and not only that, but harmonizes with the views Ponter is refuting, as has been shown by others in their interactions with Ponter.
Let us depart for a moment from this text by Ursinus, that Ponter uses to prove his universal expiation doctrine, and let us depart and consider Ursinus writing upon another subject, and let us simply examine what he says there and see if it can be consistently wedded to the picture Ponter presents us with.
Let us turn to Ursinus on the subject of “our righteousness before God.”
This may be helpful in one explicit sense. I have noticed that those who promote a more “general atonement”, or the views espoused by Ponter, tend to be what has been called Biblical theologians rather than Systematic Theologians, and for those familiar with these terms, you may see where I am going with this.
Once we take these great doctrines or concepts that we find in scripture, we can then proceed to attempt to gain greater understanding and consistency by doing the hard work of systematizing those great teachings so that they are in harmony with the rest of scripture. It is all bound up in this thing we call Hermeneutics and the hard task of exegesis of scripture.
In my own studies, I have increasingly become aware that those advocating general atonement theories are the least consistent and on many fronts the least interested, when doing exegesis and attempting to understand systematic theology. There is a kind of disdain for systematic theology and I think such is not only dangerous, but reflects a general movement spreading across Christianity for some time.
Now, here is Ursinus on another subject. I have underlined certain statements for emphasis.
WHAT IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE GOD?
URSINUS, COMMENTARY ON THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, page 327
Interesting reading that last line above isn't it?
I think so, for above I have underlined all those expressions that Ponter would underline in the other context of universal expiation when quoting Ursinus elsewhere, but note well, that when we come to read Ursinus here with regards to the subject of imputed righteousness, we can understand his “us” and “Our” to refer to us believers. Ursinus is consistent, but the same cannot be said for Mr David Ponter.
Now I may post more later, but please keep in mind that both Ponter and his followers, particularly Tony Byrne treat their sources in this way. Not only do they do this with their sources, but they read arguments that came way down the road back into the contexts and situations where our forefather's were not addressing issues and or disputes during their own particular and unique at times situations. They do this with all of the Classic reformers such as Calvin, and what they do is anachronistically load their own presuppositions back into these other men's writings, and as they are not around to correct this kind of thing, we must do it on their behalf. Well, at least I try to do it, but it takes much time and effort.
Even right now, when someone who is alive, like Phil Johnson for example, is cited in a wrong away by Dr Allan at the John 3:16 conference with reference to Phil's primer upon Hyper Calvinism, due to the determined work of Tony Byrne edging him on with Byrne's notes and charts, do they admit error and apologize? No, they dig in their heels and even worse, argue the situation to such a level, that men who are brothers and great friends are so twisted by Byrne in his ever so narrow quest to major upon the minors, that he is actually guilty of trying to pit brother against brother. It is so sad to see this going on, but one wonders where it is all leading, as the saga still unfolds every day.
Incidentally, the quote from Ursinus above regarding imputed righteousness, immediately after he says “which God graciously imputes to us, and all believers. “ then goes on to complete his thoughts by saying the following,
“This satisfaction is equivalent to the fulfilling of the law, or to the endurance of eternal punishment for sin, to one or the other of which the law binds all. "I determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." "Ye are complete in him." "By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." "With his stripes we are healed." "He was bruised for our iniquities."
"This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
"Being justified freely, by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood."
"Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven." "Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." "We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." "Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."
"He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins." "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 Cor. 2:2, Col. 2:10, Rom. 5:19, Is. 53:5-6, Luke 22:20, Rom. 3:24, 45; 4:7; 5:9-10, 2 Cor. 8:9, Gal. 3:13, Eph. 1:7, 1 John 1: 7).
Christ fulfilled the law by the holiness of his human nature, and by his obedience, even unto the death of the cross. The holiness of his human nature was necessary to his obedience; for it became our mediator to be holy and righteous in himself, that he might be able to perform obedience, and make satisfaction for us. "For such a High Priest became us, who is holy," etc. (Heb. 7: 26). This obedience now is our righteousness, and it is upon the ground of this that God is pleased with us. The blood of Christ is the satisfaction on account of which God receives us into his favor, and which he imputes unto us, as it is said, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin, both of commission and omission. The shedding of his blood is the complement of his satisfaction, and is for this reason called our righteousness. ”
URSINUS, COMMENTARY ON THE HEIDELBERG CATECHISM, page 328
Some good reading there folks! Try and read all of that through “universal expiation” eyes.
The next section addressed by Ursinus from the Catechism is an interesting subject.
3) Q 20. Are all men, then, as they perished in Adam, saved by Christ? Ans: No; only those ingrafted into him, and receive all his benefits by truth faith.
Anyway, Ursinus, when referring to universal language, is speaking at that point to universal sufficiency and he makes the necessary distinction between sufficiency and efficiency, which is well known in reformed writers, and nowhere is teaching that Christ has actually and really expiated the sins of the whole world, which Ponter teaches.
Divine intention is not found in the sufficiency idea which is protecting the inherent dignity of the Savior, which had God intended, is able to save a hundred billion worlds, had that been His intention, and in that sense, the sufficiency question has meaning, but in the two-fold effect of the efficient call of the gospel to all men, which results in the saving of the elect and the hardening of the rest. I see nowhere that Ursinus teaches actual universal expiation for all, but sufficiency language is used, but that does not prove what Ponter needs to prove does it?
No, he needs Ursinus to say that all the sins of every person who ever lived have been expiated by the death of Christ, not bare sufficiency which says nothing about for whom He died. Why do these universal/general atonement guys not grasp this?
I also noticed that Ursinus uses freely the term Propitiation! You will not find Ponter use that term. But why?
Well, that's another issue and I am worn out writing all of this!
Friday, December 05, 2008
This Tony Byrne has no shame whatsoever and I have seen enough!
Not only is the man on a single minded crusade to promote his false views regarding the atonement, but claiming to be a Calvinist, he is willing in his merry quest to try and separate brothers who are friends. (James White, Phil Johnson, Tom Ascol etc)
The man is unbalanced and I hope people near to him will call him out and maybe take the time to counsel him.
Enough is enough Mr Byrne, your zeal has caused you to stumble and fall into a ditch.
I know you do not even consider me a brother in Christ, but enough is enough.
Repent of your quest to major in the minors. You are a divisive man and need rebuking.
Maybe someone like Gene Cook will take you aside and in his straight and narrow way call you to repentance. Maybe you will listen to him, maybe not.
But enough of this narrow one string banjo playing crusade, it is no longer amusing and becoming quite disturbing actually.
I tried to log onto your web page, but am immediately diverted to another site, and I have no idea why this should happen except through some kind of divert from my web address when I log on. Very funny and thoroughly weak in my opinion.
I have read comments on your pages recently from supporters who are even daring to claim that the person who rang Unchained Radio and asked for me to come on and discuss the issues is apparently me!
What dishonesty is this you are allowing to be posted!
Whoever that person is, Jonathon from Gene's show knows him, and I for one would also like to know who that person is so I can contact them and thank them for wanting me to give some balance to all this nonsense spouted by yourself.
I have to laugh at your defending your "Hyper" Chart as being not just the work of Tony Byrne but the historical position of Calvinism, hence in some way distancing yourself from the chart, but when there is some confusion regarding the John 3:16 Conference as to what material is being used by the speakers, you immediately own up to the work, shouting out your own authorship of the work with not the slightest mention of history etc!
You are a dishonest person.
You make out how you are being mistreated and how the Arminians at SBC need to be shown the truth with gentleness and respect, and yet you use the most demeaning antics to cast dirt upon real Calvinists in your writings and online communications, you hypocrite!
I have had enough of your tactics and I hope others will start to deal with you properly and call for your repentance.
And what is the comment regarding me being an avid supporter of James White with the inclusion of the word "bazaar" highlighted, referring to me personally?
What is that all about my friend?
I have had enough of your personal attacks against me and a few others for over three years now.
Stop it please and wake up to yourself before you "Byrne" yourself out.
Jas 1:24 For he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
But, of course a true time line can be found throughout my blog pages, as I was involved with Ponter and Byrne right from the start of these kinds of allegations 3 plus years ago!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
We shouldn't judge people, right?
There is a large number of people in the world, even Christians, today who say that we shouldn't judge people. Thus, they would go to say that we shouldn't criticize others; saying that they are wrong or what they believe is wrong. This is mainly due to the influence of postmodernism, with its idea of relativism and philosophical pluralism.
In this article, I would first, for the benefit of all, show that such an idea is preposterous and is never practiced anywhere, by deconstructing this notion. I would then go on to show according to Scripture what it teaches about judging people.
When someone says that we shouldn't judge people, what they often mean is that we don't have the right to say someone is right or wrong. I would answer this with three lines of reasoning:
You are judging us when you say that
Judging people means that you pass a value judgment on what others think or do or say, of which judgment implies making a decision whether something is right or wrong. Thus, when someone say that we should not judge others, they are in fact passing a value judgment (that judging people is wrong) and thus anyone who does so (judging other) is doing something that is wrong. Thus, those people who say that we shouldn't judge other are in fact doing exactly what they say they shouldn't do; judging that people who they perceive as judging others are wrong. Thus, this sentence is self-defeating. In fact, because this is so, those people who say that we shouldn't judge others are in fact hypocrites, because they practice the thing they condemned in others.
Truth by nature is exclusive
As I have shown in this article on relativism, truth by nature is exclusive. Most people, when they say that we shouldn't judge people, it is almost inadvertently related to truth claims like those found in Christianity (i.e. the claim that Jesus is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth and the ONLY life — Jn. 14:6) The fact of the matter is that something which is true is non-negotiable. In that article and the main article on relativism, I have demolished the claims of relativism, thus establishing the fact that there are absolute truths. Therefore, if what I say is true, you can't say that I am judging people.
I'm not judging you, God is
The Christian, whether he is presenting the exclusivity of Christ in the Gospel or talking about other truth claims in it, should be basing his arguments on Scripture. Thus, for example, when I say that Jesus is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth and the ONLY life and that apart from knowing Jesus as God, you will not go to heaven, I am not passing judgment on those who refuse to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, but God's Word in the Bible is. This is because I am not saying something new, but just reiterating what God says through the Bible. Thus, all non-believers' arguments are with God, not me.
Now, we will look at Scripture to see what the Bible says about judging.
For many Christians, they would always throw out these few Bible passages and say that from there Jesus, and Paul condemns judging people. However, is that really the case? We shall see.
The passages that are quoted for saying that we shouldn't judge people are as follows:
Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Rom. 2: 1-3 (NIV)
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
Before we examine these passages in detail, let us look at some passages in the Bible that show Paul, Stephan and even Jesus judging people, even scolding and shaming them in public.
In what is probably Jesus' most acidic judgment on the Pharisees in Luke 11:37-52, Jesus, the person who tells us to love each other, pronounces six woes on the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. The word woe used here is the Greek word transliterated Ouai and denotes a primary exclamation of grief. Used in this context, Jesus was saying that they are in a very bad and grievous state. Jesus here liken these self-righteous religious leaders to bowls which are clean on the outside and dirty on the inside, unwashed tombstones and the people who kill the prophets and then decorate their tombstones later. In other words, Jesus is pronouncing that he has judged them and found them wanting, they being hypocrites who do one thing and exalting themselves in public on their perceived righteousness while sinning in private.
Some people may say that Jesus can do that because he is God. However, let us not forget that Jesus is modeling for us the life we are to live as Christians, thus we can't say that Jesus can judge because he is God, especially since judging someone is an attitude and action, not something special that God alone can do. To prove this, we can look at the case of Stephan and Paul.
Stephan was one of the early Christian and the first Christian martyr, being stoned to death by a Jewish lynch mob made up by his accusers and the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:57- 8:1a). The reason behind his death is found in the passage immediately preceding this. In Acts 7:1-56, Stephan was caught and tried by the Sanhedrin on false charges by people who oppose the Gospel. When asked to present his defense, Stephan gave the Sanhedrin a history lesson, finally closing with a judgment and indictment of the Jews present, especially of the Sanhedrin. Stephan accuses the Sanhedrin and his accusers as follows:
"You stiffnecked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him – you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.” (Acts 7:51-53 NIV)
If that is not judging and criticizing people, then I don't know what it.
Paul, similarly, judge and criticize people. In Gal. 2:11-14, the apostle Peter compromise and was rebuked publicly by Paul.
In light of these examples, we must really look very closely to the passages which seem to support the idea that we are not to judge people.
Let us look at the two passages, Mt. 7:1-5 and Rom. 2:1-3. In these two passages, the Bible is not asking us not to judge; it is against hypocritical judgments. In the passage in the Sermon of the Mount (Mt. 7:1-5), Jesus didn't say that we shouldn't remove the speck from another's eye. In fact, we are asked to do that. However, we are to remove the plank from our eye first, then remove the speck from his eye. In Rom. 2:3, it is saying that is is wrong to judge someone when you are doing the same thing. In fact, in Rom. 2:20-23, we are told that if you want to judge or teach others, you must apply the same standard to yourself. In fact, God himself said that in Mt. 7:1 and the whole of Rom. 2:1-3 that God will judge us according to the standard that we judge others.
So, therefore, what does the Bible teaches about judging others? The Bible says it is OK to judge others, as long as we apply the same standards to ourselves and knowing full well that God will use the same standard on us. In fact, in light of the actions of Jesus, Stephan and Paul, it would be strange if judging people is wrong, for then they would have done something wrong.
I would like to conclude this with a verse which talks about how we are to judge:
"Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” (Jn. 7:24)
(The above article was from my brother Daniel Chew, and I just had to put it up here. The article can be found here...)
It is amazing to me that professing Calvinist's like David Ponter and Tony Byrne are providing information to the SBC, information which Dr Allan is clearly trying to use in attempting to refute Calvinism in general, and the nature of the Atonement in particular.
What is amazing, is that as far as I know, Ponter/Byrne do not subscribe to the synergism of these guys at the SBC, and yet knowing that, would allow them to use their arguments, to what end exactly?
Are they helping their synergist brothers in any meaningful way with these issues?
In what way are they helping Calvinism?
In what way is the whole issue of Limited atonement being represented?
These are the questions I have, and have never received any meaningful answers.
Dr White does a great job in responding to Dr Allen, and one can only hope, yet again, that further interaction, like a Public Debate may ensue sometime in 2009, in order to address these matters. Dr White is willing to debate, and I do hope something comes of it all.
But back to the atonement for the moment, for that is what all of this is about, whether it be the views of the Synergistic SBC leaders, or the quasi Ameraldian views of the Ponterites.
What is the atonement all about, as pertaining to the perfection of the work of Christ, as High Priest, as regarding Propitiation, intercession etc?
These are the issues folks, and methinks it to be a hill worth dying upon.
Think about the logical implications or ramifications to do with the views being put forth by Dr Allen and the Ponterites with their own mish mash atonement views.
I agree with Dr white, that these guys at the SBC are merely playing loose with the arguments and they are using analogies etc that do not represent the fullness of the biblical position, and hence they need to answer more fully these inconsistencies. They need to be challenged directly, rather than forever having a monologue on the subject.
Shame on the ponterites for arming these men with arguments that have no bearing whatsoever on their own synergistic systems.
In the past, I have seen the Ponterites apply these tactics in their quest to advance their own atonement views, even using Dr Whites debate with Arminian Steve Gregg for the very same reasons!
What you will not find these guys doing is correcting the Steve Gregg's and these SBC synergists. No way will you see that happening any time soon, and the reason why is simple. The Ponterites realise that the Arminians can be used as useful allies when it suits their narrow Ponterite ends!
Anyways, here is the video..Enjoy!