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July 11, 2016

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It's unclear where the question pro or con even gets any traction (here so far). We outlive our body and so this concern over the death of the body as some sort of ontological seam to the Self's existence around which God must dance, or suffer limitations, isn't Christian. True, not all souls may actually interface with love's reciprocity amid the Self (on the one hand) and the Salvific (on the other hand). However, we've not been given or shown here (yet) any real barrier to the reach of God relative to any soul's existence as it (that existence) both precedes and out distances physicality's death. Therefore, the question remains unanswered.

Even more, Abraham believed. Abraham embraced Christ.

Literally.

Was that before Christ or after Christ? Well it makes no difference.

At all.

So much for time and circumstance as the ends of *God*.

As for Hebrews and "there remains no more sacrifice...", well that isn't addressing *this* topic, but rather it is addressing the Jew and his trust/faith in an out-moded Covenant. Conflating texts from the 1700's into, "We better get ready for the British Invasion" just doesn't go through.

Whether or not every soul encounters the above interface of Self/Salvific seems to be wholly independent of the body's death. Every soul may (or may not) in its *one* *existence* come upon such a seam.

*IF* God in fact atoned, intentionally, *for* *every* soul, well then we know that the reach of said *interface* will not, and in fact cannot, fail to go through.

To asset that either time or circumstance can limit said reach is to trade away *God* in favor of *god*.

So it seems, so far here, given what we've been given, that a case can still be made either pro or con.


Clarification:

The terms of first chance or second chance or third chance are all incoherent when it comes to God’s decree, God’s intentional Act, God’s atonement, and so on. There are no chances here as “here” entails the expressly decreed, the expressly intended Act, of an X on God’s direct Will relative to the contingent Self (Man) (on the one hand) and the Salvific (on the other hand) wherein God atones, intentionally, for all such selves. That is yet another reason why the arbitrary (and incoherent) “barrier” of physicality’s death cannot even rise to the level of “the necessary and sufficient”.

Not here. Not on this front.

There is no first chance, nor second, nor third. There is [1] one, seamless existence of the contingent Self (Man) which precedes death and which out-distances death, and there is [2] God’s decree, and there is [3] God’s intentional Act, and there is [4] God’s atonement of, well, the unlimited / limited line in the sand. All sand. Any answer which seeks either to out-reach or out-define our out-power [1] through [4] isn’t going to (successfully) go through (in the end).

A little more:

It seems the answer to this question is answered by God’s Act which just won’t fail, won’t be incomplete. So, at the end of the day, we are forced to interact with, and define our terms by, [1] through [4].

If [A] atonement is limited, then we need not assert that Time and Circumstance are too much for the reach of God. If [B] God intentionally atones for all men, then any perceived problem here is solved and we leave it to others to assert that Time and Circumstance are too much for God. Abraham trusts, believes, prior to the resurrection, and after, or just one or the other. It just doesn’t matter. Those of the mindset of [A] must claim, therefore, either [1B] Abraham could not do so prior to the resurrection and so it really wasn’t true and Hebrews 11 got it wrong, or [2B] it was a con, or [3B] Time and Circumstance really are no match for the reach of God after all, or [4B] the resurrection does not restore volition vis-à-vis that interface of the Self/Salvific, but rather (finally) opens the Door only God can open – which is Himself – which He opens in and by His love’s reciprocity (Christ), which is that Door upon which so many (Hebrews 11) had been knocking on their whole life long (Hebrews 11 meant what it said, etc.).

Those of the mindset of [B] find symmetry through and through not only the OT, but also Romans 1 and far more. But really [1B] through [4B] are all *secondary* to whether we claim [A] or [B], neither of which faces any “problem” on this question of time and circumstance.

Lastly, there is something very obvious here: *IF* it is in fact [B], then this: THINK. Does *God* intentionally Act, does *God* set about [B] and then either *doesn’t* or else *can’t* follow through? Of course not. How absurd. Think BIG. We are too often overwhelmed by creation and think and speak as if such a frail and mutable thing is all too much for God.

As for urgency, that is defined by God and those other lines, and not by us and our lines. The interface of the Self/Salvific *is* urgent and to define both God and His Atonement by us and our lines is to make a mockery of both [1] through [4] and also of [1B] through [4B].

The question of time and circumstance is not “problematic” in and of itself and it seems we answer *it* when we answer the question of the reach of, decree of, intentional Act of, His *Atonement*, of [1] through [4].

The answer may go either pro or con. And that is fine really. Basically though, the question of pro/con doesn’t seem settled just yet given what we have so far. Fortunately Scripture presents us with all sorts of converging lines by which to navigate.

A basic look at Unlimited Atonement: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/limited-atonement

Qualifier:

Urgency, as in Passion, as in Pressing....

As for urgency, that is defined by God and those other lines, and not by us and our lines. If one wants to define urgency well then one had better look upon the urgency and pressing nature of His Passion atop the Cross housed within God’s Urgency for His beloved. The interface of the Self/Salvific *is* urgent and to define God and Atonement and (ontic) Urgency by us and by our frail and mutable lines is to make a mockery of both [1] through [4] and also of [1B] through [4B].

For us, here within time, for us to be indifferent and aloof about said Cross, said Passion, said God, said Atonement, said beloved, is for us to run our own hand, our own soul, against the immutable grain of reality. This realization forces us to acquiesce ourselves as being the means and/or being the ends, and forces us to be driven by, pressed upon by, the passions of the Means Himself, the passions of the Ends Himself. We do not (and in fact we cannot) run this race “…else God fail…”, but, rather, we run our race be like our Father. His Race, His Act, is of course, well, no contingent X outpaces, overtakes, His Stride.

Urgency:

Context matters.

Hebrews 9 (…appointed to each man once to die and then judgment…) is akin to elsewhere where it speaks of first there is the death, and then the inheritance, the child is no longer under the schoolmaster. They speak of different parts, but of the same *singular* theme which is of Christ and Christ’s work and how that transposes into reality Post-Christ.

If we are going to base *urgency* on that slice of Hebrews 9, then such an assertion is easily contested *if* and *when* other slices of scripture impinge up it, and perhaps even carry us into other definitions.

The lesson revealed in the comparison is always the central (and often the only) point of the parable. A parable is not an allegory like Pilgrim’s Progress, in which every character and virtually every plot point conveys some cryptic but vital meaning. Parables are not to be mined for layer upon layer of secret significance. Their lessons are simple, focused, without much embellishment.

MacArthur, John F. (2015-10-27). “Parables: The Mysteries of God's Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told”.

Now, that principle is key in *all* exegesis. If one is going to force things beyond the context, that *is* acceptable so long as one uses other areas of scripture to carry one safely out of the initial context and into those “other” applications.

It is often done and done right. But we have to be clear that we are doing “that”.

Off topic, sort of:

This same set of maneuvers and potential for error surround Romans 9.

Context matters.

As in:

[A] Option four, which is: Flowers, Leighton, “The Potter's Promise: A Commentary on Romans 9”.

[B] Option six, which is an essay on Romans 9 at: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s10-17

[C] Context matters. While I don't agree with all of the host's theology, the following is still quite helpful in keeping one's exegesis on track: The umbrella at [ http://www.thenarrowpath.com/ ] has within it a sub-umbrella [ http://www.thenarrowpath.com/verse_by_verse.php ] which has three lectures on Romans 9. The second is 9:14 - 9:34 and is at [ http://www.thenarrowpath.com/Audio_Teachings/Bible/Romans/22_2015_Romans_9.14-9.24.mp3 ]. Obviously the other lectures on Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 add context.

Lastly,

We are on occasion reminded by our (Hyper)-Calvinist brothers and sisters that God will have and save those who He prefers to save and that God will leave those He prefers not to save, and so we ought not fear that such lines may be missed or that we may thwart the will of God by being too lax. Granted, that’s not a fair assessment of *proper* TULIP, but it does arise once in a while, and this is simply to point out a few possible inconsistencies in a few areas within the “overall” arena here. Urgency does matter, and is in fact *good*. However, the reasons behind it…… scriptural contexts and definitions and etc…. do seem to converge at a few locations and also diverge at a few locations depending on which theological lens is being employed.

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