Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Had to post this, simply amazing!

Bible-optional Christianity

12/28/2010 - Alan Kurschner
William Lane Craig

"As for your two moral objections, the first is an objection to the doctrine of original sin. But once more, that doctrine is not universally affirmed by Christians and is not essential to the Christian faith. So don’t let that be a stumbling block for you."

Paul of Tarsus

12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 5:12-21

21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

45Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 1 Cor 15:21-22,45-49.

H.T Steve Hays

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Xmas All...and to all a goodnight!

1.        Behold the Christ of God and see
The glory of the Godhead Three,
The Father, Spirit, and the Son
Revealed in the incarnate One.

2.        The fulness of the Godhead dwells
In Him who ransomed us from hell.
We know the mighty God above
Through our Redeemer's work of love.

3.        Great, holy, sovereign, just, and true,
God's merciful and gracious too!
In justice He has slain His Son
That He might save His chosen ones!

4.        In Christ, the Mediator man,
God has fulfilled salvation's plan.
He magnified His holy law,
Yet saves His people from the fall!


Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Case for a Definite and Complete Atonement. Part 3/3

The objection which the Arminians offer is frivolous: 'that there is a twofold intercession of Christ: one universal, which is made for the whole world, of which intercession Isaiah speaks, 53.12, and agreeably to which He is said to have prayed for His murderers, Luke 23.34; another particular, which is made for believers only, which is spoken of, John 9 and Rom. 8.'

The objection rests not on any foundation, either in Scripture or reason.

As Christ is always heard and answered by the Father, John 11.42, if He prays for all, all will be saved. The doctrine of universal intercession is not taught by the Prophet Isaiah, where he says, 'he made intercession for the transgressors,' Isa. 12; for it is not said that He made intercession for all, but for many whose character is delineated by the prophet, in a preceding verse, as those who shall be justified by Christ.

It is not said, Luke 23.4, that He prayed for all those who crucified Him, but for those who knew not what they did; and we are assured that these obtained pardon, no doubt the fruit of the prayer which Christ offered up on the cross to the Father, Acts 2.3.

Nor if Christ, through the impulse of humane affections of love, prayed for those who perished, is it to be considered that the intercessory prayers, which He offered as Mediator and in the discharge of His special office, are to be extended to others than the elect given Him by the Father. To the elect Christ Himself restricts His intercessory prayers.

3. The inseparable connection between the gift of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit bears the most conclusive testimony to the definite atonement.

As these two gifts, the most excellent which God has bestowed on us, are always in Scripture joined together as cause and effect, John 16.7, Gal. 4.4, 6, Rom. 8.9, 1 John 3.24, they must be of equal extent and go together; so that the Son is not given to acquire salvation for any others than those to whom the Spirit was given to apply the salvation procured. No reason can be assigned why the gift of the Son should be more extensive than the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is plain that the Holy Spirit is given to none but the elect. Hence, if there be any harmony between the work of the Son and that of the Holy Spirit, in the economy of salvation, Christ was given to die for the elect, and for them only. Pertinent to this purpose is the argument of the Apostle Paul, in which, from the giving of Christ, he infers the communication of every blessing. 'He that spared not his own Son, but freely delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?' Rom. 8.32.

The apostle reasons from the greater to the less. Surely He who gave His Son, which incontrovertibly was the greater gift, will not refuse to give us faith and all other saving blessings, which are the less; and this the rather, because Christ, by delivering Himself up, has merited for us, together with salvation, all those gifts. Whence the conclusion is inevitable: either all those blessings shall be given to the reprobate, if Christ died for them; or if they are not given them, which is granted by all, then Christ did not die for them, i.e., He did not die for all.

This is not answered by alleging that the apostle speaks of Christ's being given in a special manner to the believers. For, as was said above, the supposition of a universal giving is gratuitous, and nowhere countenanced in Scripture; and since faith is a fruit of Christ's death, it cannot be a condition antecedent to His death. Further, since, according to the order which is laid down by our learned opponents themselves, the decree concerning Christ's death was antecedent to the decree relative to bestowing faith; it is inconceivable how at one and the same time, and in the self-same simple act, Christ could be delivered up for all, and for some only.

4. Another argument is, the superlative love of Christ towards those for whom He died. He loved them with the most ardent affection. Greater love has no one, than that one should lay down his life for his friend, John 15.13. In the same exalted strain does the Apostle Paul extol the love of Christ: he speaks of it as truly wonderful and unheard of among men. 'Scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would dare even to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us', Rom. 5.7, 8.

But this cannot be said of all men, and every man.

The Case for a Definite and Complete Atonement. Part 2/3

To no purpose will our opponents reply, that 'the giving of Christ was conditional, not absolute; that the condition was that all who would by faith receive the offered salvation, should be made partakers of it; and since this was not to be the case with all, it is not surprising that they derive no advantage from it.'

This is a begging of the question; it is without foundation in Scripture, which nowhere mentions such a conditional giving of Christ. Though faith is proposed as a means and condition necessary to the reception of Christ, and the enjoyment of the blessings offered in the Gospel, yet it does not follow that it was a condition to the giving of Christ, since faith itself is a gift of grace and one of the fruits of Christ's being delivered up for sinners.

Further, if the giving of Christ rested upon any condition, the condition must depend either upon God or upon man. The latter of these can be affirmed by none but a Pelagian; if the former be affirmed, then it comes to this, that Christ is said to be given to us as a Saviour by God on these terms, that He will bestow Him on us on condition of His working faith in us; which faith, however, He will not give, though He alone is able to give it. How glaring an absurdity!

Our view is further confirmed by the connection of that twofold relation to us, which Christ sustains: the relation of a surety, and that of a Head. He is our surety, that He may acquire salvation for us, by rendering to justice that satisfaction which it demands. He is our Head, in order to apply this salvation to us, by working in us faith and repentance, through the effectual operation of his Holy Spirit upon our hearts.

Hence, as He is not given as a Head to all men, but to His members only, or, which is the same thing, to the elect, who are actually to partake of salvation, He cannot be the surety or sponsor of any other than these. Of whomsoever He is the surety, He is also the head. The one cannot be extended farther than the other.

This also appears from the connection between the death and resurrection of Christ, in which there is the same twofold relation. Since He died as surety, He must rise as Head, as the reasons for His death and resurrection are the same; nor can any reason be given, why the ground of the one should be more extensive than that of the other.

Hence it is, that the Apostle Paul speaks of these as being equal in efficacy and extent: 'Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification', Rom. 4.25. 'That he died for all, that they which live, should not live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again', 2 Cor. 4.15.

Hence it cannot be said that He died for any others than those for whom He rose, because no one will be a partaker of the fruits of Christ's death, unless by His resurrection. But that He did not rise as a Head to confer salvation upon all, is self-evident.

2. The same doctrine is established by the connection between the atonement and the intercession of Christ. As they are both parts of His priestly office, they must be of the same extent; so that for all for whom He made satisfaction, He should also intercede, and not make atonement for those who will never have a place in His intercession.

The object of His propitiation and of His appearance in the presence of God must be one, since the Apostles Paul and John represent their connection as indissoluble, 1 John 2.1, 2, Rom. 8.34. That He does not intercede for all, but only for those who are given Him by the Father, Christ Himself expressly declares: 'I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world', John 17.9. When it is so much more easy to pray for any one than to lay down life for them, will any one say that Christ would die for those for whom He would not pray?

Will they say that at the very moment before His death He would refuse His prayers on behalf of those for whom He is just about to shed His blood?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Case for a Definite and Complete Atonement. Part 1/3

The Case for a Definite and Complete Atonement

By Francis Turretin

Francis Turretin

1. We argue that the atonement was definite, from the fact that Christ was destined to die for none but those who were given him by the Father. All men universally were not given to Christ but a limited number only. Since, in the council of the Father which regulated Christ's death and defined its object, there was a designation, not only of Christ as Mediator, but also of those for whose redemption and salvation He was to suffer; it is plain that He could die for those only who were in this sense given Him.

Here we may remark a twofold donation. One of Christ to men, another of men to Christ. Christ was given to men for the purpose of saving them and men to Christ that through Him they might be saved. The former is referred to in Isa. 9.6 and 49.6, as well as in all those places in which He is said to be given and sent to us; the latter is alluded to in the places where mention is made of those given to Christ, as in John 17.2, 6,12, and 6.37.

Seeing this twofold giving is reciprocal, each of them must be of the same extent; so that Christ is given for none but those who are given to Him, and all those are given to Christ for whom He is given. Now, it is abundantly plain that some men only; and not all men, were given to Christ. This is asserted in many texts of Scripture, where those who are given to Him are distinguished from other men. 'Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he might give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. I have manifested thy name unto the men whom thou hast given me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me', John 17.2,6.

The Scripture designates those whom the Father gave Him by such phrases as these: the people whom He foreknew, Rom. 11.2; heirs and children of promise, Rom. 9.8; the seed of Abraham, not carnal, but spiritual, both of the Jews and Gentiles, Rom. 4.13, Gal. 3.18, Heb. 2.16; His people, His body, the Church, Matt. 1.21, Eph. 5.23; vessels of mercy prepared to glory, Rom. 9.24; chosen in Christ, predestinated to the adoption of sons and to conformity to His image, Rom. 8.30, Eph. 1.4, 5; and the posterity of the second Adam, all of whom are to be quickened in Christ, in opposition to the posterity of the first Adam, in whom all die, 1 Cor. 1 5.22, 23. From all which it appears, that Christ was not given for all of all nations, but for a limited number only.