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March 29, 2011

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I know this is off point, and I’m still watching the clip (30 minutes in), but the speaking ability of many of these students is unfortunate. I realize that the complexity of the issues addressed has a lot to do with it, but it’s still alarming. I do not mean to degrade these students, but we are failing our kids. I wish the word “like” was totally prohibited in every single classroom across the country.

Now…back to the video.

Great video. I loved the shock when the truth was revealed. I bet they were so relieved. Brett’s work is badly needed. I wish I had access to such a class when I was in high school.

I find this fascinating given that no other worldview is as consistant or coherent. As G.K. Chesterton once said "When belief in God becomes difficult the tendency is to turn away from Him but in heavens name to what?"

>> "But it seems clear they also leave for intellectual reasons"

I don't think this is the case.

Almost no one leaves or comes to Christ for "intellectual reasons"

I mean... well, i left for "intellectual reasons"

But i'm the only person on planet earth who has ever done so.

hee hee hee

Anyway, I think really, if you want the key to understanding this problem, you should study the Amish community -- and ask yourself why, in the year 2011, the Amish retention rate of their children is often higher than it ever has been.

Amish Article

I think your strategy has good intentions behind it.

But if your goal is to keep them Christian, I think the act of bringing up an hours worth of counter-arguments will just do more harm than good.

That sort of strategy will work on the 12% of males (and the 1% of females) who really like the joy of logical, intellectual argument and who have the confrontational personality type necessary to defend a world view.

But on 90% of the students, i think you'll just end up confusing them.

ToNy
Sorry, but I disagree. Giving our children a good dose of reality, can only help. When you say, "logical/intellectual argument" is only something for 13% of the students, you're basically saying "the rest can't handle the truth".
What are YOU doing when you are confused? Are you trying to find better answers?
I think, that's the goal here. To get them interested and than equipped with better / realistic answers.
By the way, girls, esp. in that age, are at least as interested in an intellectual argument as boys. Maybe even more.

Not only do I think they can't handle it, I also think most of them are simply not interested beyond a cursory level.

This has nothing to do with the depravity of youth.

It's just that most people are not interested in most topics, most of the time.

I hate sports, dance, ipads, history, and motorcycles.

I like philosophy.

Some people agree and they like it too. But most people don't.

Ask yourself why the Amish don't need to hire a dude with hipster glasses to stand up in front of their barn and spill out intellectual arguments about why one would, or would not, stay Amish.

I think the reason the Church has such a large number of young escapees is that we want to do things the world's way, namely taking the broad path of college and career for material gain and better social positioning, rather than following the narrow path prescribed by Christ.

That is, most of the problem would dissipate if we were to make a career out of seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness to have our needs met.

@dave
You have a point. If we send our kids to college for material gain and/or social positioning, we've indeed failed.
That's why it is so important, that our kids understand, what christianity really means. We don't solve this by putting them in a "christian bubble" or teach them an "us 4 no more" Church / Life mentality. Our Life is not about us. We have things to do / to fulfill.
...to be salt and light to the world ...I think, was Jesus idea.
...and not, "keep to yourself and avoid the world"...

So what are the causes?

Maybe I'm beating a dead horse here at STR, but isn't the reason from STR's perspective quite simple: those young ones that fall away are not likely amongst God's chosen elect?

Is there an assumption here that children raised in a Christian home are more likely to be elect? Aren't many young adults involved in church primarily due to family and social expectations, or because youth group is entertaining?

Isn't this apostasy exactly what STR would expect to see? Why be surprised or bothered by it at all? Are the gates not small and roads not narrow?

Are these young adults really resisting your God's irresistible grace?

If any are elect, is their falling away temporary, or are they actually jeopardizing their perseverance?

I know you can't know the will and plans of your God, and that it must be hard to get attached to young people that are ultimately eternally depraved and damned. I understand the anxiety that must create, but still, why be so surprised by it?

...yes, the Gates are narrow.
That's why Jesus told us to make EVERY EFFORT to enter them. We are obligated to teach our young, to prepare them to be ready to answer. That's all. Not more not less .....are they ready?

It's not clear whether or not fallen teenagers go to heaven or hell.

I was a fallen teenager.

Ask the above question, and you will get a thousand different responses.

This is unfortunate because if they were successfully able to answer this question, then they could put their pedagogical resources into much better alignment.

For example, if fallen teenagers go to heaven anyway, then instigating such school programs as described here would be superfluous in many circumstances.

Unless they were tying to make them "ambassadors for Christ" -- and these children were further trained in the art of conversion, debate, and soul winning. But I think most of them don't follow that path.

So really, if the goal was to get the most people into heaven, resources should not be spent on programs like this. Or, moreover on prolife programs either. Since those dead babys go to heaven anyway.

Jim T., I find Calvinists often live inconsistently when it comes to their philosophy of Calvinism. This blog post is just 1 example.

Jim T.

Exactly. I don't understand why those who believe that we don't have real, meaningful choice about salvation....... act and talk as if we do.

Baffling.

It can be quite confusing.

For example, as JP Moreland said:

certainly there will be no one in hell who, if they had a chance to grow up to be adults, would have chosen to go to heaven. No one will go to hell simply because all they needed was a little more time

so everyone in hell, wouldn't have chosen to accept jesus anyway.

so we can imagine a missionary hastily crossing the plains of Africa so he can proselytize to a group of natives who has not yet heard the gospel.

But he need not hurry.

Because "no one will go to hell simply because all they needed was a little more time."

Evangelicalsim is much closer to Roman Catholicism in their soteriology, so I dont see how any of the supposed inconsistencies listed above regarding Calvinism are apt in this case. If it's a charge against STR, they are only reporting the statistics, and since the majority, probably vast majority of these students are not Reformed, it insulates STR even further from any charge of inconsistency. Maybe I'm missing the point [where the inconsistency resides].

"Exactly. I don't understand why those who believe that we don't have real, meaningful choice about salvation....... act and talk as if we do."

So Jeff, are you ever going to wrestle with the real McCoy? Your propensity to slay strawmen belies your laziness. Here's something more baffling: Why to those who think that men resist God also pray to Him for their salvation?

Here's Charles Spurgeon on this:

"Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them."

ToNy,

I would be very surprised if that was what JP meant......

Brad B.,

I'll add laziness to the list of epithets that you and Daron have graced me with!

And speaking of straw men..... nice job setting one up by Saint Spurgeon. Pot...Kettle...black....!!

I don't think that by choosing Christ I "add to" or "improve" grace. I don't think non Christians are "given the Holy Ghost".

As to your question, "Why to those who think that men resist God also pray to Him for their salvation?"; I'm don't really understand what you are asking.

I'll take a stab at what you might have been asking; "Why would men who naturally resist God pray to Him for salvation"?

Simple. Because they realize they are lost and need a Savior. They respond to God's open invitation, "Come, ALL you who are heavy laden"..... (emphasis mine)

Jim T wrote: Maybe I'm beating a dead horse here at STR, but isn't the reason from STR's perspective quite simple: those young ones that fall away are not likely amongst God's chosen elect?

Even Calvinists enter the Kingdom of God through great trial and tests of faith. True, Christ will not loose any whom the Father gave to Him. But many are pointed in the wrong direction by the Church and their parents.

Do Calvinists believe that elected status is detectable in this life? That one can know, or at least make an educated guess, where somebody is going in the next life?

Previously I have heard--and this is all hearsay to me--that God selects the saved for His own inscrutable reasons, and not because of His foreknowledge of their future behavior.

Ok, Jeff I know you pray for your own situation and there is no inconsistency with that. But if you have ever prayed to the Lord that another person [like your neighbor or loved ones] come to faith, then you are not living your theology. Spurgeons polemic against Arminians is logically fitting and the fact that you believe it to be hypocritcal for a Calvinist to say it like he does just adds more evidence that you are lazy in your use of reason when it comes to understanding even your own position.

Jeff

"Exactly. I don't understand why those who believe that we don't have real, meaningful choice about salvation....... act and talk as if we do."

Are you talking about Calvinists when you speak of those who believe that we don't have real, meaningful choices? If so, what makes you think that? Just because a Calvinist choice is based on compatibalism model of free will does not mean that we do not have a real or meaningful choice when it comes to our salvation. There is just one more component added to the choice..."God saves sinners" is incorporated.

Janney writes: Do Calvinists believe that elected status is detectable in this life? That one can know, or at least make an educated guess, where somebody is going in the next life?

> Jesus says that whosoever believes will be saved. There are two ways of reading this.

1. The most common view is that faith is something we must conjure up in order to be saved.

2. The other view is that faith is a fruit of the Spirit and becomes our evidence that we are saved.

In essence it comes down to this. Are we saved because we believe, or do we believe because we are saved?

If you believe faith is a gift from God, then you can know you are saved because only saved people have it.

Louis,

I am talking about Calvinists. As I understand it from TULIP, God chooses a few people out of the crowd, based upon unknown reasons, although not based on any meritorious actions, and saves them irresistibly. In that view, as I understand it, God implants faith in these chosen few, and they believe with saving faith as an inevitable result. This is totally God's work and incompatible with making meaningful choices. The chosen cannot choose otherwise.... thus there is no real and meaningful choice.

Brad B.,

It is not at all inconsistent to my view to pray for others salvation. What I don't pray for is that God will unilaterally force others to salvation. This doesn't mean that I don't pray for God to bring convincing and powerful witnesses into their lives.

Brad B.

Just to be clear, I did not accuse Saint Spurgeon of being hypocritical in his polemic against positions that the majority of non Calvinist Christians do not hold.

It was you who put forth his argument after calling my comments, "my propensity to slay straw men".

What I said was "Exactly. I don't understand why those who believe that we don't have real, meaningful choice about salvation....... act and talk as if we do."

Could you expose how this is a straw man and set me straight?

Hi Jeff, Louis' comment will suffice to align with my challenge to you that your characterization is a straw man of Calvinism.

Along the way in the last months of discussion, you've refused to engage in argumentation that has any substance and form to it. It's your opinion you offer by unfounded assertion--in other words, it's the world according to you. A recent example is your comment to ToNy above regarding the Moreland quote. I think the quote is pretty clear as it stands alone. You may know something about Moreland's views that could substantiate your opinion that

"I would be very surprised if that was what JP meant......"
but you didn't make any attempt to offer it, you didn't appeal to another [hopefully respected orthodox Christian believer] knowledgeable sourcem maybe even a historic confession of faith or a creed recognized as substantially well thought out. This is what I mean by lazy. I hope you understand that I dont think you are unable to reason thoughtfully, I just dont see you doing it.

Here's a dramatization for you to consider.

Commenter #1 I saw that in John 6:44, Jesus said:

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

I see that the word translated "draw" is "elko". Vines definition of this word is to drag, to compell, to impell. It[this word "elko"] is also used in the book of Acts where Peter and other apostles were "dragged" to prison.

So Jesus is saying that "no one can come to Me except the Father drag him"

Commenter #2 I'm pretty sure that Jesus didn't mean that....

End dramatization.

What do you think of commmenter #2's argument?

Thou art the man.

Hi Janney, consider this scripture from 2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

The apostle Paul doesn't say did you say the prayer of salvation and ask Jesus into you life etc.. he told his audience to inspect themselves to see if they exibit the fruit of regeneration which is as dave said above are evidences of faith, not the other way around. Assurance is an important element in the doctrine of perseverance of the saints.

Brad B.,

You say, "A recent example is your comment to ToNy above regarding the Moreland quote. I think the quote is pretty clear as it stands alone."

Several responses:

1. As Greg would say, "never read a Bible verse". This applies to everything that you read. Context, Brad, context. Nothing is clear "as it stands alone".

2. JP Moreland is very evangelistic in his approach. He is not a Calvinist, and sees a great urgency for sharing Christ, since he doesn't have an "irresistible grace" mentality of fatalistic determinism.

Anyone with knowledge of JP's views would know that he doesn't agree with ToNy's fatalistic tone.

To a non Calvinist, time does matter.

As to my comment....it was just that, a comment. No argument was needed. Anyone with knowledge of Moreland would know that the quote is cherry picked out of context. Don't need citations from creeds, appeals to outside authority.

Brad B.,

Regardless of the fact that you don't like the way I argue, I did reply to Louis.

So where is my straw man?

Am I wrong about your view? Do you think that everyone has the ability to choose to trust God for Salvation, or to choose to reject God's offer?

Regarding the JP Moreland quote, here is the whole thing:

http://tinyurl.com/5racm6a

I'm open to other interpretations here. But that's what it looks like to me.

We should note though, that it was a non-academic interview so, its probably not fair to expect too much.

It should be noted further that I haven't followed Moreland's current view on middle knowledge. William Craig for example would indeed argue that YES the missionary should "hurry" to convert people to Christianity.

Because in doing so, because of the missionaries effort, his acts have enabled God to substantiate a world in which MORE people could be saved. Wherein, if the missionary would have just stayed at home, then this would be one less vehicle God could use to propagate the Christian message.

You can Google "middle knowledge and christian exclusivism" and read Craig's reply to Hunt regarding this issue.

Hi Jeff, this is the same stuff you wore WisdomLover out with previously[not to mention Daron]. The key point Louis made was that the Reformed doctrine of predestination is a compatibilist view of sovereignty and freedom. In your restatement of what you think is accurately calvinistic, you opine:

"This is totally God's work and incompatible with making meaningful choices"


You are not rejecting the real McCoy, you are rejecting your hollow version of what you call Calvinism. Maybe you might want to discuss Middle Knowledge sometime as an alternative, but it has never been recieved as an orthodox Christian view.

"Do you think that everyone has the ability to choose to trust God for Salvation or to choose to reject God's offer?"

I'll be happy to answer your question if you'll do one thing, and it shouldn't be too hard for you. Show me anywhere that Jesus or the Father makes any "offer". All I've been able to find are imperative statements i.e. commands to repent and believe. Where exactly does the Bible show God bargaining with man to obey Him?

Brad B.

Matt 11:28-30.

An offer to all to come to Jesus and take on His yoke.

An offer for all to come....with a response from Christ after they voluntarily come.

It isn't, "come, those few who God drags to me, and I will give you peace." The offer is to all.

I’m new to STR so when I read comments here I’m not always sure some comments don’t turn from an argument to a quarrel. I also comment on some secular sights so maybe I’m just confused. I wanted to come to STR to learn new approaches to discussing my beliefs and when comments are made here without some background they are not much help to me personally. I left my first church because of some of the doctrines or church stances I didn’t agree with and the fact that no one could explain them to me in a manner that was satisfying to me. I realize that maybe I just didn’t have an open mind. I thank God that I found more answers in non denominational churches. I was one of those students that left my first church shortly after high school and it was some years later that I can look back and see some reasons why. Although I went to a parochial school for my first eight years and studied my catechism and so forth, I never once was asked to open my Bible. I never once remember anyone even bring a Bible to church or class. So I guess what I’m trying to say here is that many children fall away because of their lack of the example and a thirst for more of the truth without the denomination getting in the way. Now that God has been outlawed in secular school and the Halls of Justice; the newer generations are really at a loss. So it’s up to us to approach them anyway possible and to become the Ambassadors that Mr. Koukl asks us to be. It’s still that old saying, “Going to a church or a parochial school doesn’t make you a Christian any more than staying in a garage makes you a car.” I wish I could read the Bible and never have a question. I’m just thankful that there is some place or to some one where the Holy Spirit can lead me for help. I will always keep in mind that Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Me.” My God is gracious, merciful and righteous but He is also an “either”, “or” God. He made us to spend eternity with Him but as with Judas, at sometime, due to hardness of heart we can run out of rope.

Hi Jeff, wasn't that you who admonished us to make sure of context so as to not infer things from a quote that are not meant. Now really, if you read the context of Jesus' statement, are you willing to set aside that Jesus, just several verses earlier was blistering the proud and haughty in that time. He also praised the Father in this statement:

"I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

In light of that statement[by Jesus] will you still hold that your chosen scripture reference applies to ALL or even that it is an offer? I say no to both.

In an effort to not just assert my position as though my personal interpretation is trustworthy, here's Spurgeons take on REST which is a sermon on Matt 11:28-30

Brad,

Are we not all infants at some point?

Hi Austin, is that your exegesis of that scripture? Are you suggesting that to have "all" mean "every single man/woman/child"[if so, is it so that you can preserve the idea that it's unfair if God hasn't given equal treatment--if not what do you want to convey]?

I'll entertain it if you'll at least find 1 other credible Christian who is at minimum acting in the office of teacher or preacher of a church. If you can, we'll then have to compare the internal coherency of that view to see if the whole body of scripture will allow that. BTW, did you read the whole of chapter 11 and beyond?

Hi Hushai, thanks be to God that you've made it back out of the world to seek the peace with God that only Jesus' life death and resurrection have afforded. I want to recommend Eph. chapter 4 for you. I'll trust that you read it through and meditate on it and seek God's called out ones to verify what you learn from it. You'll see that the Lord has not left the Church alone to waddle through scripture interpretation by yourself. Here's why:

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Eph 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

Eph 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

Eph 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

Eph 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

You have been spared through an upbringing based on a false gospel to the freedom that is found in the true free grace that has its foundation resting on the perfect righteousness of our great Savior and God, Jesus. See to it that you take care that you dont follow imposters of vs 11 of the Ephesians quote above. You want to be the person in vs 14

Brad,

Calm down, it was just a question. Your exegis seems to be that because God reveals his truth to infants and not to the wise and learned, it is inclusive somehow. There may be many other verses which point to that, but I don't think this one can be, simply because everyone is an infant at one point.

Exegesis*

Hi Austin, I'm not sure what your point is. I didn't even bring up Matt 11 in the first place, Jeff did in response to my challenge to find even 1 scripture where there is an "offer" of salvation. He quoted Matt 11:28 without any apparent contextual consideration that would wipe out his eisogetic response to my challenge.

In case you miss my intention, I am not debating this for some idle exercise, I'm troubled that the unity we Christians ought to have, [which is not out of reach] is severly hampered by private interpretation gone amok. This is the bane of modern evgelicalism's doctrine of solo scriptura and it's got to stop. Gods Church has been served by ordained/called/demonstrably gifted men who had the interpretation meant by God, words for their time and our time and there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Of course we aren't without the Berean call to "see if these things be true" by using our own reason to understand and to conform to the truth in full commitment with clear conscience.

It is just plain haughty to think that we laymen are equal to men called to be teacher/preachers and then hold to new and improved version of the Biblical message. We should be proud to stand on the shoulders of saints who've gone before us.

But, the fact is there are way too many of these imposters who've no real gifting and their calling is only in their own imaginations. I wonder if they've considered James' statement in 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

Well anyway, I hope you'll consider the gravity of the struggle for purity and unity by commitment to the truths that God has revealed once for all to the saints.

"Private interpretation" is the bane of sola scriptura? Isn't it what you get when you tell people the Bible is accessible to everyone?

Brad,

You said

I'm not sure what your point is. I didn't even bring up Matt 11 in the first place, Jeff did in response to my challenge to find even 1 scripture where there is an "offer" of salvation. He quoted Matt 11:28 without any apparent contextual consideration that would wipe out his eisogetic response to my challenge.

Your objection was that one should take the part about God revealing it to infants into account. I thought that was odd because it doesn't seem to change the meaning of the passage.

I am not debating this for some idle exercise, I'm troubled that the unity we Christians ought to have, [which is not out of reach] is severly hampered by private interpretation gone amok.

See, I personally think one of the main problems with unity in the Church is that people put peripheral doctrines ahead of such unity. When I say peripheral, I mean those not necessary for Salvation. Do you think being a Calvanist is required for Salvation? I do not. I am currently attending a Reformed church even though I am not sold on the idea of 5-point Calvanism yet (though I'm not entirely against it either). Since this is not an issue key to salvation, and there are many great things about the church, I find it easy (and good) to commune with them.

It is just plain haughty to think that we laymen are equal to men called to be teacher/preachers and then hold to new and improved version of the Biblical message.

Perhaps so. But which ones? The are thousands of so called "teachers" and you seem to only be affirming the authority of those who agree with your position. Why are the Pentacostal teachers/preachers not authoritative on this issue? Your appeal to authority here is weak unless you can show me who the "real" authority is, and why they are above their non-authoritative counterparts.

I recently read this article by Daniel Wallace, professor at Dallas Theological on inerrancy and he makes a good point about how it is important to have a good doctrinal taxonomy along with good doctrine itself.

He suggests breaking down doctrines into the following categories:

1. What doctrines are essential for the life of the church?

2. What doctrines are important for the health of the church?

3. What doctrines are distinctives that are necessary for the practice of the local church?

4. What doctrines belong to the speculative realm or should never divide the church?

To me, this issue seems to fall in the second category. As such, I don't see why it's a question of unity. It reminds me of the Roman Catholics on the blog you posted claiming "All we want is unity, so repent for being wrong and come back to the one true Church." Do you really think union requires identical doctrine?

Hi Janney, there's a tremendous difference between sola vs solo scriptura. Sola scriptura is a doctrine that says the scripture is the only infallible authority but not the only authority that exists from God i/e His church and those who are called to shepherd.

Solo scripturalists adhere to the bible being the only authority that exists.

Solo scriptura allows each and every man to be his own authority which is what we see today, it is a form a relativism that defies logic and is destructive to any systematic theology which purpose is to demonstrate coherency within the biblical message.

Hi Austin, my objection to Jeff was not relating to the infant being an object of God's revelation as much as it was to demonstrate that God does in fact withhold at his discretion the message of salvation. I dont have time right now, but the word infant is most likely not referring to acutal 9 month or younger persons. I dont have time right now to look into this but when I can I'll check into it.

As far as unity, I quoted Eph. 4 above for Hushai, what do you believe is the point of that chapter, and what does it say about accomplishing unity? It occurs in the Bible in other places also--have the mind of Christ. This has to be propositional knowledge about the truths of God[uh-oh the d word{doctrine}]. I'll take this up later when I have the time.

Brad,

The passage seems to be similar to Paul's letter to the Corinthians in which he explains that we are each members of the body of Christ, each with different responsibilities, etc. I agree with you wholeheartedly that every Christian does not have the gift of teaching scripture. My question is a practical one- how do I determine which conflicting "authorities" (I use that word in quotes because I think it is more an issue of skill than authority) really have been given the gift of teaching? And even if they have been given the gift, might it be possible that they are still wrong from time to time?

Thank Brad for your input.


I certainly agree with you and believe that sometimes it is necessary for us to be like the eunuch (Acts 9:26-40) and rely on someone who has been there and done that. I do a lot of reading and self study and it is always great to have people that have spent years in study to give their perspective on a subject and with the leading of the Holy Spirit to decide what is truth and not just their own interpretation

Brad B.

Back to the reference in Matthew.

You said: "In light of that statement[by Jesus] will you still hold that your chosen scripture reference applies to ALL or even that it is an offer? I say no to both."

Here is the Scripture: "11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke52 on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”

In light of your statements and your "high view of Scripture", what would you think that the phrase "come to me" and the word "all" mean? And if it isn't an offer, what is Jesus talking about?

Brad B.,

I ploughed through quite of bit of the Saint Spurgeon reference you put up.

One bit was particularly interesting:

"Let it not be supposed that election excludes any of you from the invitation of mercy; all of you who labor, are bidden to come. Whatever the great doctrine of predestination may involve, rest assured that it by no means narrows or diminishes the extent of gospel invitations. The good news is to be preached to "every creature" under heaven, and in this particular passage it is addressed to all the laboring and heavy laden."

This is phrasing worthy of Rob Bell! So all the non elect get the invitation.... they are just not given the ability to respond! How magnanimous! I get it now!

The invitation is extended to all, but the ability to respond to the invitation is only extended to a few.

Is that what you really think or is that one of my "straw men"?

Hey Jeff,
I'm back from my trip. Thanks for your well-wishes. It was an answer to many prayers and I am elated with it.

""I'll add laziness to the list of epithets that you and Daron have graced me with!"""
Show me one so that I might apologize if necessary, won't you?

On another thread you drug my name into a conversation I wasn't having and accused me of being enamoured of the Westminster Confession. If you defended that when asked I missed it. would you do me the Christian charity of addressing me in comments in which I am engaged and not slight my person when I am not involved? If it offends you this much that people challenge your positions this exercise may not be for you.

Thanks

Hey Jeff, I went back to one of our longish discussions to have a look at some possible epithets I might need to apologize for.
http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2011/02/decree-vs-cause-video.html#comments

I didn't find any, but you might see it differently. I was glad to have noticed, though, that there was a third page I had been previously unaware of. I see a full week after my last comment to you you started mocking one of my points on a question you had twice refused to answer. If you would like to take it up now can you say so here and we will return to that thread and explore it?

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