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June 20, 2016

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I think the issue is between;

Supernatural faith as a Fruit of the Holy Spirit. That is, people first experience the Holy Spirit and believe in Christ because of that experience.

Or human faith that operates on a natural plain. It requires logic, debate, evidence and any number of proofs before people "decide" to believe. But "decision based faith" is not necessarily Holy Spirit faith.

Another way to state it is; people do not decide to believe the chair they are about to sit in is there. They see it and sit down and relax. This is similar to Holy Spirit faith. The reality of the Holy Spirit within bears witness with our spirit that Christ is real. Just like having spiritual eyesight.

But if a person must decide to believe, it is because they really don't believe, but merely think enough proof exists to base their decision on.

The Road Out Of Atheism

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/07/road-from-atheism.html

Reason is given to us by God.

It is a faculty, a gift, a power.

Like all things, it is not, exists not, has no proper ends, but for God.

"As Plotinus’s remark indicates, that does not mean that the will does not have a role to play. But that is true wherever reason leads us to a conclusion we might not like, not merely in matters of religion. And once you have allowed yourself to see the truth that reason leads you to, what reason apprehends is (given the convertibility of the transcendentals) as good and beautiful as it is real. If you find yourself intellectually convinced that there is a divine Uncaused Cause who sustains the world *and you* in being at every instant, and don’t find this conclusion extremely strange and moving, something that leads you to a kind of reverence, then I daresay you haven’t understood it. Of course, there are those whose heads and hearts are so out of sync that they cannot follow both at the same time. But we shouldn’t mistake this pathology for an insight into human nature."

Abraham volitionally chooses to believe God though he could have done otherwise, prior to the resurrection, and in his very using, in his very being, Abraham's constitutions, like all faculties, all powers, whether used properly or improperly, ultimately bring Glory to God. But of course this is necessarily true of all which --- not simply that which exists in this world --- but that which exists in any possible world.

*God*, in cause and in being, *is* our very reason, our very faith, our very volition, our very freedom, and this by the brute act of power that is creation.

Lucifer claims that for him to fashion the minstrel's X is for him, and not God, to merit glory, but of course Lucifer cannot steal what he cannot steal.

Lies are lies.

Well so too with reason herself.

That said, there is the obvious fact that reason herself isn't the only organ of sight, lest the perception of God be akin to "a college entrance exam".

We all volitionally come to God through different degrees of this or that faculty, whether reason, or pain, or love, or hope, or.... or.... while in all cases we move and live and have our very being in and by Being Itself.

"Glory to God" just is.

Clarification:

"We all volitionally come to God....."

That's not asserting universalism, but rather it's just describing things in those who actually do what Abraham did etc.....

Response?

I came to faith through arguments. I chose to believe. "Choose this day who you will serve..."

Is that a "work"?

No.

Did I get dragged, resisting, kicking and screaming, into the Kingdom, against my will? Don't think so. Think I would have noticed that.

@ GH5; >"Is that a "work"?"

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8–9)

Works in Greek = ἔργον, ου, τό (Hom.+) work.
① that which displays itself in activity of any kind, deed, action.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature

Technically, any time we depend on a act of the will it is a work.

Biblical faith on the other hand comes from the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirit.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)

So we believe because we actually experience the Holy Spirit in our hearts and we cannot help but believe.

Abraham wasn't saved by his faith either. Christ had to open the door. All of Abraham's faith, and knocking, and trust, and waiting, wasn't enough. He died waiting for another City. Once Christ opened what Abraham could not open, then.....

Hence, not by faith, but through faith..... Pipes aren't anything without Water.

"So we believe because we actually experience the Holy Spirit in our hearts and we cannot help but believe."

Dave, that just isn't true. Many people experienced Jesus face to face and didn't believe. The Israelites say undeniable evidences of God every day and some refused to follow.

There is no "cannot help but believe".

Grace is opposed to earning, not to action. You are badly mistaken.

Action? Well, if there's only one Actor on the stage.....

Hi scbrownlhrm, you say

"Abraham wasn't saved by his faith either....."

but Hebrews 11 says

"8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE."

Maybe some clarification?

Brad B.,

Abraham's faith wasn't in question. It was real. As was God's reply to that faith, Abraham receiving a good report. Rather, whether or not Abraham enterd into that New City, that New Creation, after he died, or before he died, without Christ, without the New Wine, without the New Covenant, without himself too being a new creation.

@GH5: >"Dave, that just isn't true. Many people experienced Jesus face to face and didn't believe."

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” (Matthew 16:13)

Notice, a person must be Born Again before they can discern the true Christ.

“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:14–17)

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

“And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” (Mark 4:11–12)

“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48)

GH5, Dave,

GH5 you can't approach the Hyper-Calvinist ascribing action (vs. earning) to a man. Only God Acts, intends, chooses, verbs, on their view..... and hence to act at all is to merit glory on their terms. God cannot place a volitional being in Eden, between, amid, volition's motions amid one million possible worlds, or 1000, or 10, or even 2, and still be *God*. If Abraham trusted, knocked, waited, believed, it was God Acting, not Abraham else Abraham merits glory. It's Lucifer's attempt at glory-stealing (as touched on earlier) all over again.

At bottom.

Pushing on that is futile.

Dave you can't approach those who realize that Lucifer's claim always is a lie, an error, by repackaging the same lie and going on about glory-stealing. It's the same error, or lie, wrapped up in a different package. God is still God even amid the volitional being's possible worlds, ad infinitum.

At bottom.

Pushing on that is futile.

____________________


Our (all of us) throwing verses at each other amounts to irrelevance given that the starting points at which we (all of us) approach *all* verses is defined by something which our respective lenses house as far more fundamental and in fact definitive. That of course being "the fundamental nature of causation and being" with respect to *God* as our (respective) "....infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality…"

Hence all the verse-quoting just ignores the root, seemingly on purpose, as (all of us) find coherence with all verses and our (respective) definitions.

The OP implies some interesting things:

[1] Can reason carry a man to truth X?

[2] Is reason the end of it, or does the will too have a role to play?

[3] Can a man at once know the truth about X but simply refuse it? Repression or else frank rejection?

"Yes" seems to answer each question.

Well.... "Yes" on [2] in that the will *too* seems to have a role to play.....

LHRM

I wouldn't call Dave a "hypercalvinist". He is just a consistent Calvinist. His Stephan King Monster God is simply the God of Calvinism; the all controlling puppet master who is responsible for everything, and for whom good and evil have no meaning.

I applaud his honesty. Where we differ is that if I thought this was the way God is, I'd believe, but would never worship.

Dave

When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Were all these born again? I don't think so. Yet somehow they recognized Jesus for who he is.

Yet you said, "Notice, a person must be Born Again before they can discern the true Christ."


Hmmm.

@GH5; >"Were all these born again? I don't think so. Yet somehow they recognized Jesus for who he is."

If any of the centurions believed on Jesus it is because they were first Born Again.

But many seeing the physical evidence did not believe.

“Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” (John 4:48)

Sight belief is not saving faith. Saving faith requires supernatural revelation.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15–17)

@GH5: >"..if I thought this was the way God is, I'd believe, but would never worship."

You are very close to the Kingdom because you realize that you hate the God of Scripture. Most worship a god they can love on their terms and will later find out they hated him all along.

GH5,

See, pushing against it is futile, as it is in the other direction etc....

GH5,

How does it feel to know (well, per that other view) that you are going to hell for your doctrinal position as you trust Christ for your very life, your very hope?

Dave,

Trusting Christ for one's very life, one's very hope, is enough. Being mistaken about the means of the Holy Spirit's interaction prior to that doesn't undo that.

Lot's of folks aren't afforded the education and leisure to unpack it all, especially to certainty.

Yet they trust in Him, in Christ. Even painfully so, given life's peculiar twists.

And yet you place something above and beyond that -- even to the point of telling that person they are going to hell.

@SCB: >"How does it feel to know (well, per that other view) that you are going to hell for your doctrinal position as you trust Christ for your very life, your very hope?"

How can you trust in Christ to save you if he died for all and all are not saved?

All you can trust in is your own self-righteousness because in the end, that is the only thing that differentiates between you and the lost.

You might want to check out your love for God along with GH5 while we're at it.

Dave,

I trust in Christ for my very life. My hope. I've no righteousness that I know of, and that's a painful fact.

And then Christ.

Dave,

Now tell me, why am I going to hell?

@ SCB:>"I trust in Christ for my very life. My hope. I've no righteousness that I know of, and that's a painful fact."

"And then Christ."

If Jesus died for all and all are not saved, something else determines their salvation. You can dress it up all you want, but it is your self-righteous response to Christ that you trust in first, and then God only in a secondary sense.

Dave,

You didn’t answer my question.

I trust in Christ for my very life. My hope. I've no righteousness that I know of, and that's a painful fact. And then Christ. Hallelujah... saturates more and more.

Now tell me, why am I going to hell?

@SCB:

I certainly hope you are not going to hell. I believe God saves some Arminians by Grace. But their faith is their faith and obedience, not in Christ.

Dave,

My faith is not my faith.

It is Christ.

Nor am I an Arminian or a Calvinist.

Not.. a ... Cal.. vin.. ist.

Nor Arminian.

My hope is in Christ.

Now tell me, why am I going to hell?

Is there a bit of doctrinal claim one needs on top of pouring one's hope into Christ in order to "really" be a "real" Christian?

If it's not that, then why am I going to hell?

If you don't know, well then perhaps you should back up a few steps.

Dave,

My faith is not *in* my faith.... and then the rest.

Dave,

Let's make it easy.

I know several Calvinist and Arminian folks. To zero in on the Arminian folks for just a moment:

Like all of us who suffer, the Arminian folks I know have no faith in their own strength, nor in the strength of their own faith, and simply pour their hope into Christ.

And yet they reject Calvinism. In fact, they disagree with me and are, well, of the Arminian persuasion.

What is it that they are missing?

Why are they going to hell?

What must they pour their faith into other than Christ?

scbrownlhrm , dave, GH5,

A kind moment for someone else's two cents.

This issue touches on human free will, and the remarkable ability for one to say "yes" to God.

Such was the case in Eden. The fullest range of free will running from yes to no.

Then came the fall into sin.

Could such an event impair free will? I advance that such would be the case. With Genesis Three free will runs the range from no to "really?" No real ability to say "yes." But every ability to stand amazed at grace. Too easy. Too complete. So devoid of my effort. "Really" is what the Holy Spirit plays with, creating the person of faith who struggles with same. It's the Lutheran in me (Calvin, Arminius? who they?): I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, My Lord, or come to Him.

But the Holy Spirit ...

Much like your "And then Christ" scbrownlhrm.

And then, that remarkable "yes" which had been a "really" a moment ago.

How did that happen? Did it happen in such a tight, seamless way that believing you somehow co-operated with the whole procedure was a possibility? Or is it divine miracle?

To me, faith is the stunning miracle of the Holy Spirit. Unbelief is the stunningly stupid miracle of man. Holy Spirit refused, thwarted, quenched.

To get me from "really?" (with its attendant doubts and second guessing of God's purpose in my life) to "Yes" takes something more than arguments, loving parents/people/pastors/Christians, or a quick dip into the Bible (which all are good). To get one from "really" to "yes" takes the divine hand.

@SCB: >"Let's make it easy."

In the list of all the things you list as pertaining to your salvation, what is it that separates you from the lost? Why don't they share your experience?

@DGFischer>"free will"

Free will = salvation by works.

DGF,

Of course it takes the Divine.

No one denies that. How could it be otherwise? Well the answer is that it can't.

@SCB:>"Of course it takes the Divine.No one denies that. How could it be otherwise? Well the answer is that it can't."

But it takes the self-righteous to make it all happen?

Dave,

You said that I'm going to hell as I'm not a Calvinist.

If you retract that, then so be it, and we agree one can reject Calvinism and be a Christian.

Otherwise, short of that retraction, you are again piling X's atop Christ.

So let's try again:

You didn’t answer my question.

I trust in Christ for my very life. My hope. I've no righteousness that I know of, and that's a painful fact. And then Christ. Hallelujah saturates more and more. (Truly).

Now tell me, why am I going to hell?

@SCB:>"You said that I'm going to hell as I'm not a Calvinist."

Where did I say that? I said I hope you don't go to hell and that I believe God saves some Arminians by Grace.

Actually, I am not a Calvinist. I deplore much of what Calvin taught. If anything I agree with Augustine on the doctrine of original sin established by the Council of Ephesus in 431.

Calvin borrowed heavily from that.

Dave,

I have no righteousness but Christ.

I reject Calvinism.

Now tell me, why am I going to hell?

Dave,

I'm not an Arminian.

"I have no righteousness but Christ."

"I reject Calvinism."

"Now tell me, why am I going to hell?"

Again, I'm not a Calvinist either although some label me that way.

All I can say is, if you think you met any condition for salvation, you believe in salvation by works and not Grace.

"I'm not an Arminian."

That is great!

Dave,

Why are Armenians who tell us they pour their faith into Christ, who tell us they've no righteousness but Christ, and who tell us they reject your understanding of volition, causation, and being, and who through faith taste the Salvific, going to hell?

What are they missing?

Whence all your hope?

Christ!

Ah, -tiss not enough.....

The Salvific ~~~

Dave,

I am definitely a synergist when it comes to salvation.

Although god does all the work, He does not move without a choice on our part.

Augustine was one messed up neoplatonist. He did a lot of harm to the Faith. His doctrine of original sin was a huge over reaction caused by his shame at his old lifestyle.

As I said before. Grace is opposed to earning, not to effort.

And about you not being a calvinist....if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc....probably a duck. I challenge you to name a belief that you own that if different from a Calvinist.

When someone finds themselves pouring all their hope into Christ, the shout of, "Ah, -tiss not enough!" has at once 1) placed a doctrinal quiz above Christ and has 2) assumed the throne.

And 3) counted Christ as insufficient.

Clarification:

The shout isn't coming *from* the one pouring all their hope into Christ (Christ is my all in all), but is being shouted *about* the one pouring all.... etc...

Lucifer thought by making his X's he met conditions which merited him, and not God, getting glory. Sure, Lucifer made X's, but he didn't understand that God in fact *is* his being, his freedom, his.... as alluded to earlier. Lucifer was mistaken in thinking any X actually could steal glory from God. He errored. And by demanding it (glory) he in fact told his first lie.

There is no created X which does not end in its own unique sonnet testifying to the glory of God. Not in any world. Not in any million worlds. The volitional God creating the volitional being is, in all possible worlds, necessarily one more such testimony.

In Scripture man, the created Self, is found resisting the Holy Spirit unto culpability and even that ultimately reveals a glory within God. Even as the Self's volitional acquiescence must also, necessarily, reveal a glory within God.

Given *God*, it is unavoidable: "Glory to God" just *is*.

Anything *less* makes of God's creation, and hence of God's creation termed the Imago Dei, well, gods. Which is idolatry.

>> No one denies that. How could it be otherwise? Well the answer is that it can't.

Excellent! This is a good advancement.

In the creation of faith, it "takes" the Holy Spirit."

Now, in the creation of faith, does it "take" me, or does it involve me?

Or, am I an active participant, or merely a beneficiary?

In following Brett's point of the OP, in the creation of faith, does it "take" the argument (or nice people, or dipping through the Bible), or are these tools, means, or (it's STR after all) tactics used by the Holy Spirit?

Following GH5's contributions, how much credit do I derive from going from "really?" to "yes"?

As little as possible. None would be preferable.

Sola Gloria Dei.

@GH5: >"Although god does all the work, He does not move without a choice on our part."

God does "all the work" except a choice on our part = salvation by self-righteousness.

Human choice = "works" "Salvation by works"

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