He is both a Fountain and a Light

On earth, a fountain is one thing, light another. When you are thirsty, you look for a fountain, and to get to the fountain you look for light; and if there is no daylight, you light a lamp to get to the fountain. But He is both a fountain and a light: to the thirsty he is a fountain, to the blind a light. Let [your] eyes be opened to see the light; let the lips of [your] heart be opened to drink of the fountain. That which you drink, you see and hear. God becomes everything to you, for He is the whole of the things you love. If you attend to visible things, well, God is neither bread nor is He water, nor light, nor a garment, nor a house. For all these things are visible, individual, and separate. What bread is, water is not; what a garment is, a house is not; and what these things are, God is not, for they are visible things. God is all of these things to you: if you are hungry, he is bread to you; if you are thirsty, He is water to you; if you live in darkness, he is light to you, for he remains incorruptible. If you are naked, He is a garment of immortality to you when this corruptible shall put on incorruption and this mortal shall put on immortality.

- Augustine, Lectures on the Gospel of John, tract. 13.5 (on John 3:22-29)

 

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Come Out Of Our Rebellion and Unto Jesus’ Rest

God is near to the broken hearted, and those humbled over their sinfulness. He is patient and kind to the weak, and provides an abundance of mercy to we who limp through life. God’s grace is about a lifetime of recovery and rehabilitation, but we never really do until death do we part, but by grace we are confident that in Christ our feeble attempts are pleasing to God. But what of those who trample Christ underfoot, by calling evil good? How can you say Christ cleanses you of unrighteousness and transgression, when you don’t agree with His Standard of it? In that case there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, because there is a theft of God’s glory as Just, Holy, and True in exchange for a lie. The LORD of hosts declares He is patient, and kind, and merciful beyond our comprehension, but He also declares that He will by no means clear the guilty, and that those who remain in opposition to Him should have a ” fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (Heb 10:27) How much worse for those who continue to trample underfoot the Son of God, in exchange for the delusion that we are the determiners for what is right and what is wrong.

“Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31)

“‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’” (Eze 33:11)

“”Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28)

It is tiring to continue on in delusions of self-righteousness, as a sinner, I know this from my very own experience.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a same-sex attraction, but I know that Jesus does. I know that Jesus knows you and I more than we know ourselves.

” For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrew 4:15-16)

As sinners, let’s together drop our weapons of war against God. Let us flee to Christ, our Rock, and resting place. Today is a day of repentance, for me, for you, for all those who have ears to hear.

God is reconciling the world to Himself by grace through faith in Christ, and in Him we are a new creation.

Let us abide in His love and His righteousness, because we are constrained to joyful obedience.

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Three Influential Books

The LORD has gifted many people, by grace, to equip people  (minister or layperson) to fight the good fight of faith in their various callings. Though He does this primarily (and most importantly) through the local church, He works through other means as well. This layperson has had  some of the most significant influence through reading a good book. Not just The Good Book (66 good books that are essential  and  necessary to  the Christian Faith to be exact) but books written toward educating people on the various applications of that Faith. In my journey of  “fides quaerens intellectum”   (The term that St. Anselm of Canterbury used in describing an “Active faith and love of God seeking understanding”)  these three books have been some of the most influential.

1. Reasons For Faith by K. Scott Oliphint

0875526454m

In this book, Dr. Oliphint (with Paul’s worldview presented in Colossians in mind, particularly 2:2-8) surveys the history of philosophical thought, from ancient to modern, and demonstrates the philosophical bankruptcy in each system of thought. He also examines the Christian theologians and apologists of the Church, and how their thought has contributed to us in ways that we take for granted. In and among all of this, Dr. Oliphint presents what he calls “philosophical good news”, and encourages those of us in Christ in Him we have “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.

2. In Christ Alone by Sinclair B. Ferguson

9781567690897m

In this book, Sinclair Ferguson walks through the scriptures, and demonstrates that the central theme is Christ. He walks us through the biblical doctrine Union with Christ, by grace,  what it means to be “abide in Him”, and the importance of understanding that “without Him, you can do nothing”. The chapters are very short, and the books works very well as a devotional.

3. “The Infallible Word”  edited by N.B. Stonehouse and Paul Woolley

0875525431m

This book is a compilation of essays from gifted theologians in the 20th century on the doctrine of Scripture. The essays have to do with Scripture’s attestation, authority, transmission, and relevancy; scriptural preaching; and Scripture and Nature (Yes, trees, plants, animals etc.). This book is one of those volumes that demonstrate how the skepticism that surrounds the scripture is anything but new. In fact, the particular essay written by 2oth Century apologist, Cornelius Van Til, traces the question back to the Garden of Eden. This is an important work for any and every student of the Faith.

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Ah L’amour?

I would rather avoid to write about dating, simply because it is a lot of wild land to cultivate. To me, dating (and/or that grey zone that comes before dating)  is like hacking out a path through a primitive jungle. I’m sure it’s like that for both male and female in some sense, but I can only speak from my perspective. I also can’t speak to the dating of those who are outside of Christ (though the scripture that’s discussed, as the Word of God, is transcendent and authoritative). Rather, I’m speaking as one who has been redeemed in Christ, and being sanctified into His image by the power of His Word and Spirit. In this case, someone who isn’t a Christian probably won’t be interested in what I have to say, though they can (and should) still read.

My comments are aimed toward some features of “pop” evangelical dating. For what it’s worth, I find Josh Harris’ two books on it to be quite helpful. He addressed things that needed to be addressed.  We have a way to approach relating to women we are attracted to as single men in the dating culture (along with everything else), we’ve always had a way given to us in Scripture, whether explicitly, or by way of implication (2 Tim 3:16-17). However, things become clouded over time, because of our sinful tendencies, even as Christians (Rom. 7:14-21); we need teachers commissioned and ordained by God, through the means of grace provided in the context  of a local church, to remind and correct us (Eph 4:11;Heb. 13:4,7-9,17).  Josh Harris, along with plenty of other men, have had the opportunity to do just that (their material is available to everyone, but one still needs to find a local congregation that is built on the foundation of the Word of Christ).

So then, what’s the rub? 

The problem is bad applications. It’s been six years since I’ve read Harris book (Boy Meets Girl), and I’ve had time to see the approaches that have been taken. One of which I understand was great, but Harris’ circumstances don’t happen in every situation. But he did point to how the  Word of God sheds light onto the dark fog of human relationships, and how there  is a constant need for careful application. All relationships (not just boyfriend-girlfriend) are messy because of sin (otherwise, why would Christ need to have shed blood?) While there needs to be high standards maintained, many think of this in terms of an unrealistic, spiritual checklist. Keeping in mind that dating is certainly not marriage, the former (learning to relate) still need to take place before the latter. Relating isn’t something that is going to all fit together perfectly. Going back to the imagery of the jungle, obstacles need to be overcome, character is developed, and the fruits of the Spirit are cultivated, because Christ is LORD over all, including any relationship.

The “dating” and “courtship”, on the popular level of evangelical circles don’t follow these principles. Even if they started out under good intents and purposes; if something goes wrong, and hard feelings develop, then the relationship is abandoned. Worst of all it’s done under the pretense of “God is leading me another direction” or “God taught/told me..” or “I think the LORD has something else” or “I don’t think the LORD would have me date right now”

While there are legitimate reasons to end a romantic relationship with someone (all of which have been highlighted elsewhere), if we were honest, we’d recognize that the reasons that we give, don’t really reflect the actual reason. I can’t even begin to imagine how many times I’ve heard that God has “changed His mind” about the dating relationships of me, or the dating relationships of my friends. As self-conscious Christians (those thinking in terms of God’s self-revelation in Scripture) we ought to know better. God isn’t like man that He should lie or change His mind (Num. 23:19), He’s a God of peace and order (1 Cor 14:33). If we’re going to relate under the name of God in Christ (or theologically), then we need to understand the ramifications of it. We’re chaotic because of our problems, God isn’t. By  grace through faith in Christ, we all move closer to each other, even through the obstacles.

God has given the gift of romance, which should be brought to consummation  in marriage, and it’s normal to desire it (Gen 2:18), even as a Christian. Obviously we can make it an idol, but just because one has the strong desire to marry, doesn’t mean they are sinning or less of a Christian (Matt. 19:10-12). I’ve seen too many people proof text 1 Cor. 6:7, which states “I wish that all were as I myself am (single) , to bash the Christian desiring to be married. Even though it’s “concession” not “command” (v.6) and continuing the sentence; he says “But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another”. This is perfectly consistent with Jesus’ very teaching. So by way of implication, marriage is normative, the gift of singleness is in very special circumstances. Though neither circumstance is greater, both are given by grace.

These are my observations with my thoughts included, and if anything, I hope to strike up new conversations on how we think about God’s beautiful gift of romance fulfilled in marriage. He gave us romance to glorify Himself (Rom 11:36) in Christ (Eph 5:22-33).

I hope to write on this again concerning the priority of wisdom in relationships, but perhaps after hearing some insight.

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A Word From The Past: Geerhardus Vos

In the fourth place the Reformed theology has with greater earnestness than any other type of Christian doctrine upheld the principles of the absoluteness and unchanging identity of truth. It is the most anti-pragmatic of all forms of Christian teaching. And this is all the more remarkable since it has from the beginning shown itself possessed of a true historic sense in the apprehension of the progressive character of the deliverance of truth. Its doctrine of the covenants on its historical side represents the first attempt at constructing a history of revelation and may justly be considered the precursor of what is at present called biblical theology. But the Reformed have always insisted upon it that at no point shall a recognition of the historical delivery and apprehension of truth be permitted to degenerate into a relativity of truth. The history remains a history of revelation. Its total product agrees absolutely in every
respect with the sum of truth as it lies in the eternal mind and purpose of God. If already the religion of the Old and New Testament church was identical, while the process of supernatural revelation was still going on, how much more must the church, since God has spoken for the last time in His Son, uphold the ideal absoluteness of her faith as guaranteed by its agreement with the Word of God that abideth forever. It is an unchristian and an unbiblical procedure to make development superior to revelation instead of revelation superior to development, to accept belief and tendencies as true because they represent the spirit of the time and in a superficial optimism may be regarded as making for progress. Christian cognition is not an evolution of truth, but a fallible apprehension of truth which must at each point be tested by an accessible absolute norm of truth. To take one’s stand upon the infallibility of the Scriptures is an eminently religious act; it honors the supremacy of God in the sphere of truth in the same way as the author of Hebrews does by insisting upon it, notwithstanding all progress, that the Old and the New Testament are the same authoritative speech of God.

(“Hebrews, the Epistle of the Diatheke” in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation, pp. 232-33)

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Andy Stanley on Marriage

So apparently Andy Stanley is under the impression that we cannot use the phrase “biblical marriage” to define marriage. His reasoning;

“The more we know about the nature of a biblical character’s marriage relationship the less likely we are to reference them So… Let’s start talking instead about NewTestament marriages. Easier to define. Easier to defend.”

A couple of problems come to mind.

1)For one, we aren’t trying to model marriages off the characters in the bible. He’s confusing Holy Scripture’s descriptive character (for example, the hundreds of Solomon’s concubines) with Prescriptive character (for example, God’s Laws on marriage). There are points where the bible describes what the character does (descriptive) going against God’s laws (prescriptive).  So Andy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Tim 3:16)

2) Christ references the OT in defining marriage (Mark 10:8) as does Paul (1 Cor 6:16;Eph 5:31) in describing its telos.

Andy wants to focus on the NT teaching on marriage, but in doing so, one would still have to go back to the OT, which the NT presupposes in its teaching.

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G.K. Beale on Genesis and Revelation

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)

Dr. Greg Beale makes an interesting note of this passage, and how it alludes to Genesis 19. I’ll summarize a brief point he makes in the beginning

Particularly v.13-22 it’s repetition of the commands “Get Out! Up! Escape!” in light of the coming judgment of the city. Another note he makes is the force in which the angels took in getting him out. They not only commanded them to leave, but because he “lingered” ” the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand” and this was paired with “the LORD being merciful to him”. Then they commanded again to “Escape”.

The LORD’s commands, Lot’s refusal, and The LORD’s force and constraint in the obedience of those commands against his “lingering”. This says a couple of things, mainly that the LORD is sovereign, and concerning us, He is merciful on us despite the fact that we linger in sin, in dragging us out of it.

The audio is here

 

Some of Beale’s works are here and here

Dr. Gregory K. Beale is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia

Posted in Commentary, Exegesis, Genesis, Revelation, Short and Sweet(?), Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary | Leave a comment

God’s Sovereignty and Human Decision

When it comes to theological paradoxes, instead of embracing the divine mysteries and using it as an occasion for worship, we tend to overrationalize. This is the common sin of all mankind, I myself being the worst. A theological paradox that tends to bring out all sorts of debate and emotion is God’s sovereignty even over the salvation of man, and yet we also have a decision.  Even though this seems to us to be contradictory, we must understand that the LORD’s thoughts and ways are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) and He exemplifies rationality (1 Cor 14:33), So our decision is seated within His ordination.

A passage that really highlights this truth is  Matthew 11:25-30;

” At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;  yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

While it seems strange to our ears that God would only reveal Himself in a saving way to some, while hiding Himself from others, Jesus finds His Father’s plan concerning these things as an occasion of worship. Here He boasts in His Father’s sovereignty over the souls of men. Notice the reversal of wisdom here, little children (lit. infants) understand and the philosophers are blind. God’s decision to save isn’t contingent upon us in and of ourselves, or in anything that we’ve done; He saves us because of who He is, and because of what He’s done.

The question that usually arises from discussion of  this doctrine is “Where then is the open offer if one is to hold such a strong view of election?” . It is interesting to note that Jesus, from the teaching of election, proceeds to an open offer.

 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

To those with a broken heart for sin, knowing that they cannot meet up to the standards of a Holy God, they are invited to Christ, who will give them rest. They are invited to stop their striving, and their laboring, and to take Christ’s yoke. He is the one working in the believer. (Eph 2:10)

The parallel account to this is Luke 10:23, where He tells His disciples  “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see,” (Luke 10:23).

This isn’t something that we all have, but the eyes to see have been given to us by the grace of God. It isn’t because we are much smarter than everyone else  to make the decision to have faith.  Rather it is because of God’s mercy that He had given us the eyes to see and the ears to hear His Word.

Consider the beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-5

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

They were not blessed because of anything they did, rather Jesus was describing what the blessings were. If you are poor in spirit, and you mourn, and you are meek, then Praise the Lord! Theses are good gifts from heaven. (James 1:17) even the faith to believe is a gift from above (Eph 2:8)

Let us take Christ’s example and praise the LORD for His sovereignty in salvation!

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Foreknowledge: Simply knowing ahead of time?

(This is part 1 of a series I will be writing on election) 

It cannot be denied that there has been a lot of ink spilt on the subject of God’s foreknowledge. Throughout the history of the Church, there have been many debates on the matter, however one shouldn’t think that the diversity of views should lead one to be unsure of what the Scripture has to say on the matter. If anything, the discussion that has taken place for thousands of years have done nothing but give us clarity on the matter (Prov 18:17). The LORD expects us to reason with Him, as long as it is on His terms (Isaiah 1:18), so the Christian must seek to take every one of his thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5).  He has come to restore us to true knowledge, which isn’t mucked up by sin, but is rather righteous, and holy (eph 4:24). So to put it simply, we must seek to think God’s thoughts after Him, by the Word of Christ in all matters. Even though it is good that there are teachers, and it is necessary that we have them until the LORD returns, the Triune God of Scripture must be our final point of reference, He must be the final court of appeal.

 

With the basis of our discussion being laid, we must then look to how God in Scripture discloses Himself. He has come down, and we are obligated to believe that which He has revealed about Himself, and not go forward in speculating. Deuteronomy 29:29 speaks to how we think about God: 
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” So what has God revealed about His purposes in election? We can only go as far as He has disclosed, anything that goes beyond what is revealed is speculative, and we must halt immediately. We instead should fall on our knees in praise to the “ultimately incomprehensible” God who we can still know truly and intimately. 

How does the bible speak of foreknowledge?  Let’s glance at Peter’s usage of the word in his sermon on the day of pentecost,  “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death” (Acts 2:22,23)

Peter speaks of Jesus as a man whose work was marked with God’s stamp of approval, which were the  “miracles and wonders and signs”. Peter argues that they knew that Jesus was a prophet sent by God (and he will later make the argument that He is the prophet of the LORD, who is the LORD). He then moves in describing the crucifixion, and the evil acts and decisions made by the “godless men” as part of the “Predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God”. The usage of foreknowledge denotes “seeing beforehand an event yet to take place”. However having foreknowledge implies Omniscience on the one hand, and that the event is fixed and certain. So a couple of biblical observations that we must make about this passage of Scripture is this:

A. That God knew that Jesus was going to be crucified by godless men (which involves all of the sinful choices and decisions that they made in the process)

B. That the event was fixed, and certainly going to happen. 

Peter ascribes both A. and B. to God in v. 23, saying that Jesus was “delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God,”. So to simply state it, God predetermined Jesus crucifixion would be carried out by the sinful actions of men, and that it was directed wisely, hence the usage of the term “delivered”. 

So in this biblical instance, God is not being ascribed simply a “knowledge ahead of time”, Peter is rather asserting that God predetermined that Jesus would be crucified (along with everything else that happens) , directed by His own wise counsel from eternity past, including the sinful actions of the men.

The beauty that even though we are evil, that God has determined everything that happens (even the most horrific event in history) all for His glory, and for the believer’s good. This should bring hope and encouragement to the believer.

Some cross references to Acts 2:23:

Isaiah 10:7 “But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations.”

Isaiah 37:26 “Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.”

Matt 20:19 “and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” 

Luke 22:22 “The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.”

Acts 4:24 “They did what Your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” 

 

 

 

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All men, All people, and All things All

In the previous post, I briefly stated the self-conscious presuppositions and affirmations that those in the reformed camp take concerning the salvation of man by the Triune God. In this post I will respond to a few objections made by those who disagree with particular redemption.. This will not be an in-depth exegetical criticism (because there is plenty of that made by more capable people than me). The intention is to get those who are in fundamental disagreement to think about what we are saying in light of Scripture.

 

The first objection stems from the usage of the word “all” in reference to salvation. The second is the usage of the word “world”. However in this post we will deal with the objections that stem from the usage of “all”.

Those opposed to particular redemption will quote from the following passages:

a) 1 Timothy 2:3-4 “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”

i) A prima facie reading of this verse will have one scratching their heads as to how one could come to the conclusion of particular redemption, but reading the bible in this way is naive. This kind of handling of the bible is not considerate of the author’s intent, but rather allows for an importation of meanings that don’t belong. We aren’t allowed to be the final court of appeal in what the meaning of Scripture is, the Holy Spirit speaking through the particular author is.

ii) Looking at the verse within it’s context, we see that Paul is urging the believers to pray for all men. He then defines the scope of what he means by “all” which is “for kings and all who are in authority (v2). Paul is exhorting believers not to disregard those who are in authority in above them in their prayers, even under their persecution. He commanded that they specifically pray for their salvation, because it was God’s intention to save all kinds of men, regardless of who they were/are or where they came from.  As NT scholar, Alan Kurschner notes:

“Paul has in mind that God does not intend to save only one particular social class of people, but all social classes, including kings and those in authority. To read “all people” as “every single person in the world” is not warranted by the context and reveals a reading of one’s tradition and false notions into Paul’s important message to Timothy.” {1}

b) The second passage usually quoted is Titus 2:11 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men”

i) Again many of those opposed to an intentional sacrifice of Christ will quote this verse, and expect the text to say what they believe it to say. However, Paul defines his usage of the word “all” in the text, and it would do the objector well to read it. Paul describes 7 classes of people,  from v1-9, and has commands designated to 5 of them: Older men, older women, young women, husbands, children, young men, and bondslaves. God provides the grace necessary in which these commands can be followed, otherwise it would be impossible to obey God. Doing these commands require a changed heart, which Paul goes over in 3:5-6, which is “by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior”.  The conclusion that is drawn is that God’s grace is not limited to one class of men, but to all of the classes described above, which empowers men to follow God’s commands.

c) The final text that is commonly used to support a general atonement  is 2 Peter 3:9 which says “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”  For this I will provide a few considerations.

i) As we’ve seen before, we need to let the author define his intentions in the usage of a word, we cannot just read our own definitions into the scripture. In the whole of the book, Peter is addressing the church, and has classified two kinds of people, namely “those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2Pe 1:1) and  “false prophets” who ” arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies,”. Seeing this distinction, biblical scholar and theologian, John Gill noted in his commentary,

” {but is longsuffering} not to all the individuals of human nature, for the persons intended by us are manifestly distinguished from “some men” in the text, and from scoffers, mocking at the promise of Christ’s coming, in the context, ( 2 Peter 3:3 2 Peter 3:4 ) ; and are expressly called beloved, ( 2 Peter 3:12 Peter 3:8 2 Peter 3:14 2 Peter 3:17 ) ; and God’s longsuffering towards them is their salvation, (2 Peter 3:15 ) , nor is it true of all men, that God is not willing that any of them should perish, and that everyone of them should come to repentance, since many of them do perish in their sins, and do not come to repentance, which would not be the case, if his determining will was otherwise; besides, a society or company of men are designed, to which the apostle himself belonged, and of which he was a part; and who are described, in his epistles, as the elect of God, called out of darkness, into marvellous light, and having obtained like precious faith with the apostles;” {2}

ii) Let’s assume, for the sake of argument,  that those opposed to this rendering are correct. That “all” in this text really means “every single individual”.  Couldn’t God just wait longer? If God is sovereign over everything except the wills of men, then He could just extend the lives of the individual long enough for them to repent. God sets the life-span of each individual, right? Or would that violate their free will, as well?


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