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Comprehensive Grace Challenged

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By large-hammer - Posted on 12 February 2004

by Marcus Booker
"Comprehensive grace," whether its adherents know it or not, is the bastard of hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism. CGers say that Jesus redeemed (and/or saved) every individual; they say, like the Arminian, that the atonement covered everybody, elect or not. Yet they combine this misunderstanding with a deranged form of unconditional grace; they hereby make grace impotent. Moreover, much like Dispensationalism, CG denies the conditionality of God's promises and blessings. They confound conditionality with merit."Comprehensive grace," whether its adherents know it or not, is the bastard of hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism. CGers say that Jesus redeemed (and/or saved) every individual; they say, like the Arminian, that the atonement covered everybody, elect or not. Yet they combine this misunderstanding with a deranged form of unconditional grace; they hereby make grace impotent. Moreover, much like Dispensationalism, CG denies the conditionality of God's promises and blessings. They confound conditionality with merit.Comprehensive Grace operates off of a shallow, non-Hebraic modernistic mindset. Now that those fancy words are out, I'll cut to the chase:

Here's the pattern of redemption:

1. Plight. Israel was in bondage. They were strangers in the land of Egypt

2. Crying out. "And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (Exodus 2)

3. Mercy. "It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." (Deut 9)

4. Expectation to remember former condition and, on that basis to show mercy. "You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were stangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22)

5. Removal of mercy (for those unmerciful and forgetful) and restoration of former condition. "The LORD will bring you back to Egypt in ships, by the way about which I spoke to you, 'You shall never see it again!'" (Deut 28)

This pattern is not foreign at all to what Jesus said in his parable of the unmerciful servant. Here is the breakdown of that parable:

1. Plight. Servant about to be sold into slavery because of great debt to master.

2. Crying out. "So the slave fell [to the ground] and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.'"

3. Mercy. "And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt."

4. Expectation to remember former condition and, on that basis to show mercy. "You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?"

5. Removal of mercy (for those unmerciful and forgetful) and restoration of former condition. "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him."

Notice that in the above pattern is a demonstration of how grace actually functions. First off, mercy came as the result of being helpless and broken down; people begged and pleaded for mercy. Secondly, mercy was granted because of compassion and forgiveness from above, not because the one crying out from below has made satisfaction. Thirdly, the "brokenness" is necessary for the granting of forgiveness. Nevertheless, it does not cause that forgiveness, nor does it merit satisfaction. To be broken is merely to acknowledge that, of yourself, you can make no satisfaction and that compassion from above is your only recourse. Fourthly, grace should beget grace. Fifthly, if grace doesn't produce grace, grace will be removed from you. You will be "fallen from grace." Christ said, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

Grace, once given, may be removed by he who gives it. The master in the parable, after his servant showed no mercy to others, required the full debt of that servant. In other words, for grace to remain grace, there must be a response from us.

Of course, the charge might be made that I speak here of some synthesis between man's and God's role in our salvation. It might seem that I am here robbing God of His glory and giving it to men. Not at all! Men, particularly those who act under grace, do not act of themselves but as Christ moves them. In other words, Christ is in them, and their deeds are the deeds of Christ. Men in such a condition do not act as if from their own strength and power. Their deeds are genuine good works, not the counterfeit works done for men, for outward show. There is a huge difference between these two. They must not be confounded. I touched upon this idea in an article called "We are justified by works and not faith alone."

My point is that if you understand that faith and works and love and words are the working of God, then you will not set them at odds with grace. Yet it is apparent that final rewards are, quite simply, contingent upon our deserts. Paul said, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." And John says that "those who did the good deeds [will come forth] to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." These apostolic words, brothers and sisters, are not contrary to God's grace. Indeed, if they seem to stand in contradiction to that grace of God, then maybe it is you who need to reform your understanding of grace and to bring it in greater conformity with the Scriptures. The absolute necessity of human action is not antithetical to grace. Yes...prideful human action is against grace, as is counterfeit rigtheousness. True righteousness is lowly and grateful.

With this principle in mind, you will see how our final condition, with respect to rewards and punishments, depends upon our deeds. If our deeds came from Christ's cross, we will achieve glory. Otherwise, shame will be our inheritance. The Scriptures are clear on this point. In my refutation of CG, I will use only 1 John. Notice the "if" statements:

"But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin." (1:7)

"If we confess our sin, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1:9)

"But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. The one who abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as he walked." (2:5-6) In this excerpt, John says that those who keep the word are the ones "in him." In whom? In Christ! The same in whom all will be made alive. Yet not everybody is included under this heading; not everyone is "in Christ." Otherwise, it would be superfluous and irrelevant for John to say that "by this" we know that we are in Him.

"Whoever denies the son does not have the father; the one who confesses the son has the father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the son and in the father." (2:23-24)

"We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death." (3:14) Under CG, how does anybody abide in death? Isn't death gone? Maybe John meant that those before a.d. 70 who didn't love abided in death and that those after a.d. 70 who didn't love had life. I'll let the CGer or he who is considering that teaching to ponder this point on his own.

The text continues, saying, "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

"We love because he first loved us." (4:19) Think about this statement closely. If our love comes about because God loves us, then can God love everybody? If God loved everybody, then everybody would love. But not everybody does love. And God shows Himself as hating certain men. Psalm 5 says, "For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood." And Psalm 11 says, "The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates." Has God changed? Does He no longer hate?

One proponent of CG said that God must love His enemies because He requires us to do so. The question was, "Would God require us to do anything He Himself refused to do?" First off, this is the wrong question to ask. God tells us to love our enemies so that we put our trust in Him and to leave room for God's vengeance. "Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and He shall save thee." And "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee."

Comprehensive grace misses the mark on many key areas. The aforesaid is only the tip of the iceberg. Here are other areas where their teaching falls short:

1. Ignoring implications of perpetual principles of God (idealism).

2. Being unbalanced in approach toward Scripture. Not grounding interpretation of particular texts upon the teaching of the whole. (Ex: "in Adam...in Christ").

3. Internal inconsistencies. One CGer will distinguish between redemption and salvation. Yet many CGers base the whole doctrine on Jesus being "Savior" (not just "redeemer") of all men. He says that he will have all men to be "saved." He doesn't say "redeemed." Also, the text say that the grace of God that brings "salvation" has appeared to all men. It also says that he came not to judge the world but to "save" the world. [Davo fits in this category]. Another CGer says, "unbelievers [in the hereafter] will go through a purging of sorts for their sins." How is this [comprehensive] grace? How is this forgiveness? This seems to be saying that some people, covered by Christ's atonement, would pay a penalty for their sins.

4. Partly because no two CGers seem to agree with one another, the doctrine is incoherent. It is gnostic in that it will not clearly define its terms and state its claims. I have read through all the posts on CG on this site, and I see ambivalence!

Of the above 4, #1 is probably the most critical. If CGers allowed for the individual recapitualation of eschatological principles and realities, then their entire doctrine would vanish (if they were consistent). The whole premise of CG has been, "This is done," "That is done too." "It's all accomplished." They go hyper with this teaching because they extend it beyond its proper place, i.e. beyond the confines of historical eschatology. They apply it (i.e. the idea of full completion) to individuals and their destinies as well. Yet, as I have shown in my last article, there is more awaiting us. Our earthly house has yet to be destroyed, and judgment is yet to come. CGers need to recognize the implications of that; they must soak in the consequences of individual eschatology.

davo's picture

Ok Marcus, the "AMAZING GRACE" was indicative of the gracious tone [NOT] of your article. I see I've gone from hyper, to unbalanced, from pushing bastard beliefs to Gnostic modernisms, from fluffy to pious. And to top it off I'm now "slippery" – could it be that the slipperiness is simply your inability to grasp biblical logic.

Marcus Booker: Okay...You tell me what specifically I am not understanding. I have now read all of the posts.

And you say you've read all the posts etc – what a laugh. Read them, possibly – understood them, no way. And by the litany of misinformation you've put forward as being descriptive of fulfilled grace, well it's a sorry case of poor research. For instances, I have stated time and again the necessity of faith in Christ for eternal life – yet you in you blind misrepresentative ramblings cannot see it. There are just so many blatant distortions and falsification it is unbelievable, yet seeing your fervor, quite believable.

Marcus Booker: CG is also hyper-Calvinist in that it puts the onus of grace (both initial and continued) so much on God that it mistakenly renders belief and perseverance as unnecessary for the attaining of eternal life.

Marcus Booker: On this basis, CG draws an unscriptural line between grace and belief. They say that if faith made a difference, it would compromise what Jesus did or make it depend too heavily on man.

This again is just an out right fallacy – in kind with the general thrust of the article in #1] not knowing the subject, and thus #2] seeing it as something else i.e., humanistic or Unitarian universalism. Your post and subsequent remarks are so full of disorder and wrong hypothesis that one hardly knows where to begin to unravel your concoction of convoluted conundrums.

Marcus Booker: Yet it is apparent that final rewards are, quite simply, contingent upon our deserts. Paul said, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." And John says that "those who did the good deeds [will come forth] to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."

Marcus Booker: With this principle in mind, you will see how our final condition, with respect to rewards and punishments, depends upon our deeds. If our deeds came from Christ's cross, we will achieve glory. Otherwise, shame will be our inheritance.

Again you haven't got a clue as to what I've said, no idea. You are the one making "our final condition" post death, an issue about rewards. What I've said is that "judgment" as it fell in AD70 was all about rewards for works done – either works of righteousness [Tit 3:8] = gain, or works for righteousness [Rom 3:20] = loss.

1Cor 3:13-15 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

You say "If our deeds came from Christ's cross, we will achieve glory." By "glory" – do you hope to "achieve" Heaven upon death, or reward? What is it you are working for?

Judgment however had nothing to do with post mortem destinies. Please produce the Scripture that says it does. The fiery judgment of Gehenna was the DoJ = LoF and wasn't limited to post death activity, but very much something that those who put their allegiance [faith] in Christ escaped. And those that died, what was judged? Them or their works – their works. Judgment was about rewards as per works, NOT whether one became toast. "Confession" or lack thereof being a response of the heart and therefore not a work had naught to do with judgment – judgment was about works e.g., Mt 25:42-46 - and therefore rewards.

Not only that, but you keep pushing this weak notion that "election" is about eternal destinies i.e., Heaven or Hell, ECT or Annihilation. Election was about those chosen for the outworking of redemption in that generation – with the intended consequence of the reconciliation of all humanity – past, present and future. Those chosen either for softening or hardening had to do with that time frame and redemption – not future and Heaven or Hell. You Marcus are the one not appreciating historical context.

The issue of faith is all about coming to know the peace of God, not fire insurance – you want to talk about cheapened faith, well that's it. Salvation is about a changed life today.

Speaking of which:

Marcus Booker: The text continues, saying, "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

Looks like you're missing out on abiding in eternal life [as you understand it] if ever you've hated, as Jesus equates it to murder – unless of course you lie about it, but even liars don't make it. You see we're all in the one boat together – nothing we do qualifies, redemption is all a gift.

It appears so far that most of what you've said has been but the reactions of an insecure futurist, simply using "idealism" [and poorly at that] as a crutch to come full circle – dare I quote:

Marcus Booker: Thinking about the above, I cannot help but have a renewed excitement. We do actually get to live the Preterist story! Wow! We can also become mini-futurists. There is still an earthly house to be torn down! There is still a future expectation of judgment! There is yet a resurrection to attain. I am overwhelmed with the thought of it.

Oh ye-ha!! Mini-futurists, with more judgment and more resurrection to come – Wow! maybe even more Jesus on the way. Please. I'm glad you're finding excitement in your futurism Marcus.

All I can say Marcus is you've done a miserable job at challenging something you say is a disgrace – you've misrepresented it and not understood it at all. Go back to the forums and read again carefully what I actually said about "faith" and "election" in regards to fulfilled grace.

davo

preteristdave's picture

Davo, great comments! There is one thing I'd like to point out.

"Marcus Booker: The text continues, saying, "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.""

If as John 17:3 teaches that eternal life is about currently having a relationship with God and Christ and not about eternal destinies this verse makes complete sense.

Your brother in the truth,

David

hanoch's picture

Marcus thanks for the article. You have pretty much summed up my suspicion of this CG. After
reading the post, I have to wonder what proponents of CG do with verse' like Mathew 15:24? Here Christ tells us who He has come for.
Albeit He obliges her, but this doesn't prove anything other than He gives to whom He will.

Forgive me if my Calvinistic roots are showing.

Thanks again,
Mark

Ed's picture

I thought the name of this article was "Comprehensive Disgrace"? Who changed it? Was it because it was offensive? Why hasn't someone changed the offensive statements Marcus made about me in the forums? Is he allowed to state that I believe that "man is god"? So an offensive title of an article needs to be changed, but libel is okay on this website.

Oh well.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Virgil's picture

Ed,

I believe the title of Marcus' article was inflamatory, but I don't censor what columnists write here unless what they write is over the line. He voluntarily changed the title and was kind enough to be sensible to the issue... The point of the website is to promote unity and build bridges.

If you have concerns or examples of threads with "offensive statements" please contact me privately.

Terry's picture

Virgil-
Excellent move on the part of you and Marcus. All the promises of God have been fulfilled and have become our heritage. The whole point of restoring us to fellowship with God is that we become like him in that association. Those of us who believe we have been raised into His presence and walk with him must be exemplary in being considerate and loving with others. We can do this while clearly disagreeing with them.

large-hammer's picture

I changed it.

Well, actually Virgil did. He asked me to do it, and I concurred. He physically did the change because I cannot edit articles once they are written (even my own).

I respect Virgil's opinion, and he was not going to make the change against my will. It was completely voluntary.

preteristdave's picture

Preteristdave: Please be patient with me as a try to explain how I’m beginning to understand election and salvation. I don’t currently hold all of the views I’m about to share but I’m strongly considering them. I believe this is very important concerning the discussion at hand on CG.

Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Hebrews 9:15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed UNDER THE FIRST COVENANT, those who have been CALLED (ELECTED) may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (ETERNAL LIFE).
(John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You (RELATIONSHIP), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.)

Romans 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the PRESENT TIME a REMNANT (spiritual Israel) according to God's gracious CHOICE.

Preteristdave: In Hebrews 9:15 we discover that Christ was sent to save those under the Old Covenant and that the elect only came from the Old Covenant. After this covenant world was destroyed in 70AD (Heb 8:13) there was no Old Covenant world remaining to be elected from. Every example of election is from old covenant Israel. The only ones who were able to believe during the transition period (30-70AD) were the elected remnant because OC Israel was hardened (see Isaiah 6). After 70AD faith was available to all men to receive eternal life (Rev 22:17). Reader, I and you have never sinned under the Old Covenant so we can’t be the elect. But yes Christ did die for you but you are not referred to in any way in the Hebrews 9:15 passage.

Heb 2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery (THE LAW) all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people (OLD COVENANT ISRAEL).

Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people (OLD COVENANT ISRAEL) from their sins."

Acts 13:23 "From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus

Gal 4: 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law (OLD COVENANT ISRAEL), that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Preteristdave: The Old Covenant is also described as “the world” in the New Testament.

1 John 2:17 The (OC) world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.
(Hebrews 8:13 When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.)

2 Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this (OC) world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
(John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.)

Preteristdave: As Hebrews 9:15 shows the elect only came from the Old Covenant and Christ died for the Old Covenant members.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the (OC) world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish (in the Lake of Fire), but have eternal life (Jn 17:3).

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God CHOOSE the poor of this (OC) world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the (OC) world?

Luke 11:50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the (OC) world, may be charged against this generation, (see Isaiah 51:16)

John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the (OC) world!

John 6:33 "For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the (OC) world."

John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the (OC) world, He loved them to the end.

John 17:6 "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the (OC) world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

1 Cor 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

1 Cor 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

2 Cor 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the (OC) world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

1 John 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our (the elect’s) sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole (OC) world.

Revelation 3:10 `Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole (OC) world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the (OC) world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."

Matthew 13:38 and the field is the (OC) world; and as for the good seed (the OC remnant), these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares (OC non-remnant) are the sons of the evil one (Satan; Jn 8:44)

Preteristdave: Now let’s take a look at Romans 11.

Rom 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all (national, OC) Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB." 27 "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." 28 From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. 32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

Preteristdave: The way in which I’m differing from most full preterists in Romans 11 here is that every occurrence of Israel refers to OC Israel. Most full preterists believe that “Israel” in vs 25 is OC Israel, “Israel” in vs 26 is NC Israel, and “enemies” in vs 28 is OC Israel. Why would Paul jump around like that and change the meanings? Most preterists believe that the branches broken off the cultivated olive tree because of disobedience were the unbelieving Jews. I agree. Most would say these unbelieving Jews would suffer either annihilation or ETC if they didn’t place their faith in Christ and get grafted back into the olive tree. Is this what Paul says? No!
Romans 11:30 For just as you (Gentiles) once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so these (unbelieving OC Jews) also NOW have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you THEY ALSO MAY NOW BE SHOWN MERCY.

But Marcus argues that they are not saved. He is correct. They were not saved during the transition period.

1 Cor 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be SAVED IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS (70AD).

1 Cor 3:15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (LAKE OF FIRE).

1 Peter 4:6 For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.

Preteristdave: But you may say the New Covenant was not for all of historic OC Israel. What does Paul say?

Romans 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises

Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, He says, "BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH; 9 NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT, AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD. 10 "FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

Preteristdave: The same houses of Israel and Judah God divorced (Isa 50:1) He doesn’t abandon completely.

Romans 11:1 I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Preteristdave: If you look carefully in Revelation 20 the only ones thrown into the LoF are those not written in the Book of Life. Every occurrence of the book of life in the scriptures is concerning OC Israel. The clearest example of this is Daniel 12:1.

Daniel 12:1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people (OC Israel), everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.

Preteristdave: The OC remnant was rescued because their names were in the book of life.

The LoF and judgment was only for OC Israel as the following verses show.

1 Cor 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the (OC) world? If the (OC) world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and ye have left aside the weightier matters of the LAW, JUDGMENT and mercy and faith: these ye ought to have done and not have left those aside.

Acts 3:23 `And it will be that every SOUL that does not heed that prophet (JESUS) shall be utterly destroyed from among the people (OC ISRAEL).

Matthew 10:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Preteristdave: Did every OC Jew physically die in 70AD? Of course not!

Another question concerning Romans 5:18.

Rom 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.

Preteristdave: Why is the “all men” in the former half to the verse mean every person that will ever live but the “all men” in the latter half only means believers? Would Paul’s audience understand this change?
Or was Paul correct when he said “1 Timothy 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” Some will say that “especially” makes the difference here. They say that Jesus is the Savior of all men and He hasn’t saved all men. First that makes no sense and second why does “especially” make the difference? One example….

Titus 3:6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

Preteristdave: Should Paul have written “through Jesus Christ who especially is our Savior” in this verse? According to many Christians today he should have. But most Christians would agree that Paul is only talking to believers in this verse. Paul used “especially” in 1 Tim 4:1 because “especially” separated those who have eternal life and those who don’t.

Through Israel’s redemption salvation went to the ends of the earth (us).

Salvation, judgment, and resurrection (resurrection of life (remnant), resurrection of condemnation (non-remnant)) was all concerning OC Israel.

Isa 49:6 He says, "It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant (JESUS) To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My SALVATION may reach to the END OF THE EARTH." 7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers, "Kings will see and arise, Princes will also bow down, Because of the LORD who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel who has chosen You." 8 Thus says the LORD, "In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a (NEW) covenant of the people (HISTORIC ISRAEL), To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages; 9 Saying to those who are bound, `Go forth,' To those who are in darkness, `Show yourselves.' Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all bare heights. 10 "They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs of water.

Isaiah 52:10 The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.

Acts 3:25 "It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, `AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.'

Col 1:19 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

David

Roderick's picture

Wonderful article Dave, I have to admit for quite some time I had struggled to come to grips with the (CG) position. I knew however that it wasn't in the interpeting of it I was struggling, it was just understanding how to apply it to us today. Your article has helped me to see how it applies to everyone. You along with alot of things Tim King have taught have truely been a blessing. Thanks alot.

Imjustanant's picture

Wow!

Gets ya fired up reading that!

jmarvin's picture

Very encouraged after reading your article. I've learned so much from planetpreterist.com. Thank you.

davo's picture

Very good Dave, you have explained quite well various issues within "fulfilled grace" [CG], unlike some here who in a frenetic rush for blood argue against humanistic or Unitarian Universalism – all roads lead to Rome etc, and thus totally miss it.

davo

preteristdave's picture

Thanks Davo and Barry. Most preterists don't realize the implications of their belief that death has been defeated. The view I shared makes many passages like the latter half of Zec 14 make a lot more sense also.

Isa 25:7 And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.

1 Cor 15:55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY ? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING ?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law

Romans 5:21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

David

preteristdave's picture

Matthew 13:38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one

According to my current view I believe the elect of the first century were the firstfruits (which they are) and that believers today are the rest of the harvest. But, I just realized this. If the OC world is the field this would mean the harvest only included all of OC Israel just like my main comment showed. I don't think I can any longer deny the CG position.

David

Barry's picture

Excelent work!
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

Duck's picture

To all,

As one who has recently heard of "comprehensive grace" could someone answer a few questions for me? If it is true that ALL (believers and unbelievers) receive God's salvific grace in the end then what motivation is there for righteous living? Why resist temptation? Why read my Bible? What need is there for a tree of life bearing leaves for the healing of the nations. What is the nature of the nations illness? Maybe I have a distorted view of God's judgment limited by my Calvinistic presuppositions but the thought of unrepentant child molesters and unrepentant murders, etc., etc. populating heaven is not very comforting to me. Someone please help me understand. Thank you.

David

preteristdave's picture

"what motivation is there for righteous living? Why resist temptation? Why read my Bible"

Is your motivation for righteous living only because your not going to "hell"? The motivation for righteous living in addition to this should be because God loves you, you desire to have a relationship with Him, and your amazed at who He is and what He has done....among many other things. For the CGer it is also in awe that God has forgiven all people and will not give any of them what they deserve. God put all this wrath on His Son instead.

"What need is there for a tree of life bearing leaves for the healing of the nations. What is the nature of the nations illness?"

Even if all men are saved the gospel needs to go out to the nations to share this wonderful truth and change lives.

"Maybe I have a distorted view of God's judgment limited by my Calvinistic presuppositions but the thought of unrepentant child molesters and unrepentant murders, etc., etc. populating heaven is not very comforting to me."

Some thoughts: If Hitler was saved immediately before his death would he be in hell? Outside of Christ everyone is as evil as Hitler in God's eyes.

David

sixstringfunk's picture

God put all this wrath on His Son insteadNo, He didn't. He has some wrath still reserved for those who disobey Him. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Ron

Ed's picture

because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

We agree. The question is: is God still pouring out his wrath on the "sons of disobedience"?

My belief is that the sons of disobedience were the synagogue of satan, the children of the devil, etc. There is no such characterization of humanity today, for the law, the power of sin, the sting of death has been nullified.

In fact, if you read 1Cor 15, Paul says that the seed must die when it falls to the ground in order to be resurrected. Note that, in NT lingo, the ekklesia was already dead and raised. That which had to die, so it could be raised to life was the Israel, to whom the promises were given. That Israel, through their destruction/death, was raised to life after the wrath was poured out on them.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

preteristdave's picture

The fact that some of the Old Covenant unbelieving Jews/Gentiles (Deu 29) didn't physically die in the DoJ and yet (without being lifted of the earth) experienced the resurrection of condemnation to judgment shows that the believers who experienced the resurrection of life didn't have to be physically raptured of the planet. Resurrection was about the Old Covenant body of Israel and its members coming back to life as New Covenant Israel after OC Israel was destroyed in the LoF/DoJ. Those who remained a part of OC Israel until the Old Covenant's destruction had their Old Covenant identity destroyed when the Old Covenant was destroyed (Matt 5:17,18; 2 Pt 3). Their was no salvation under the Old Covenant/Law. The believers didn't need a physical rapture to escape (Dan 12:1), they listened to Jesus' words and fled to the mountains (Pella)(Mt 24:16).

David

preteristdave's picture

Excellent points brother!

Paige's picture

David,

Right on. What is our motivation for doing what we do? I've seen the results of fear. Not pretty and not lasting. It's funny that people who espouse universal restoration and redemption are somehow seen as liberal. My whole life I've been accused of the opposite. My hearts desire is to please Him and to bring my children up to know Him. To onlookers, I am accused of being a goody two-shoes and now I am being accused of living a loose life, devoid of holiness. INTERESTING.

I am truly astounded that calvinists don't see it possible that God could Redeem everyone. Yet, they believe in the very fact that "God loved me even when I hated Him". Redemption is God's part, realizing that He has redeemed is ours. Are we not told to ask, seek, and knock?

I am perfectly fine with someone coming to the end of their life, realizing the mess they have made, and before drawing their last breath, crying out to God for mercy. I can take that further and allow God to work after their last breath. It takes nothing away from the Joy I have in serving Him today and everyday.

In Christ, Paige

large-hammer's picture

God shows mercy to whom He will show mercy. And whom He will, He hardens.

preteristdave's picture

2 Cor 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

OC Israel couldn't believe without election because they were blinded. But Satan has been destroyed and all men can believe now.

David

sixstringfunk's picture

Were you on the high school track team back in your glory days? I bet you ran a terrific long jump. There is NO SCRIPTURE that says "ALL MEN CAN BELIEVE." On the contrary, there is plentiful scripture declaring the opposite: NO MAN CAN BELIEVE unless God grants him faith.

davo's picture

sixstringfunk: On the contrary, there is plentiful scripture declaring the opposite: NO MAN CAN BELIEVE unless God grants him faith.

Care to share these plentiful scriptures that say none can believe unless God grants that one faith - which ones come to your mind?

davo

sixstringfunk's picture

I have already posted them numerous times on this thread, but I will do it again just for you, Dave.

Man's inability to come to Christ in faith:
John 6:44
"No one can come to Me (Christ) unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 6:65b
"...no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

Faith is a gift from God alone:
Eph 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that (faith) not of yourselves, it is a gift of God.

Belief in Christ is granted by God:
Phil 1:29
For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake

Repentence which leads to knowledge is granted by God:
2 Tim 2:25
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth

There were those that Christ DID NOT WANT TO BELIEVE IN HIM AND WHOM HE DID NOT WANT TO FORGIVE:
Mark 4:11-12
11 And He was saying to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,
12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN."

No one can confess Christ except throught the Holy Spirit's movement upon them:
1 Cor 12:3
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

These, as well as the numerous scriptures that call God's people His chosen, not because of what his people have done, but because of what Christ has done, all point to the obvious fact that God alone grants faith in Christ through His Holy Spirit.

Ron

davo's picture

sixstringfunk: These, as well as the numerous scriptures that call God's people His chosen, not because of what his people have done, but because of what Christ has done, all point to the obvious fact that God alone grants faith in Christ through His Holy Spirit.

Ron, "faith to believe" is not foreign, however it is not only a gift from God, it is also an act of one's will – the greatest example is the gentile Abram – "believing" brought him into a whole new dimension in God, into the realm of finding God's deliverance i.e., salvation. However, "faith to believe" that is granted can also be for specific things etc, and not just related to salvation.

Now you said: NO MAN CAN BELIEVE unless God grants him faith. As Paige pointed out, and being consistently prêteristic, audience relevance has a bearing on much of what you have quoted. And it is simply not adequate enough to then come out say [though you haven't, but others have] "oh, so these scriptures are irrelevant then!!" Which is somewhat annoying as this is the very thing futurists say in regards to covenant eschatology – yet we know how to respond to that, but then use the same reasoning in regards to this matter.

Jn 6:44, 65b - is in the context of the determining of Jesus' followers – those to become the first-fruits of the following harvest, those who would by the Spirit perfect the harvest i.e., make it presentable and acceptable.

Phil 1:29 - is a case in point – "… for Christ's sake …but also to suffer for His sake" Belief that was granted to them was for the purpose of outworking the sufferings of Christ on behalf of the whole harvest – Mk 10:38-39; 1Cor 15:30-31; Col 1:24.

Eph 2:8 - Have you considered that it was God's grace demonstrated through Christ's faith and thus was God's gift – notice the emphatic "and that not of yourselves" – well it covers all. Our redemption was an issue between God and Christ alone – though on humanity's behalf.

The "saving" faith that one confesses is what works God's delivering transformation in this life, and is not speaking of life post mortem. It is "faith" that makes redemption "effectual" in this life, as it delivers us and transforms us, that's why we call it "salvation." Lack of a responsive faith does not nullify redemption; it simple doesn't tap into the depths of its riches.

1Cor 12:3 & 2Tim 2:25 - Worship [confession] is a reflection of repentance, and this much we know from Scripture:

Phil 2:10-11 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Nowhere is there any indication that this is in any way forced worship [can there be such a thing]. Those under the earth would be no other than the departed, and this category of the departed is part of the "every" – with no distinction. Further, we have the account from the apostle John:

Rev 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honour and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

Again we have those under the earth, and all in this scene consist of the "every creature" – thus no distinction. So, we have confession and worship by all before the throne of God. Now how could those under the earth not be speaking of the deceased – having bowed and confessed. Now you may say that they are only the saints, but that would be a far stretch considering that heaven, earth, under it, and the sea are all pretty conclusive, or should I say inclusive - of all. And not only that, Phil 2:10-11 is a favorite verse with ECT folk for the supposed forced submission and confession of unbelievers in the "hereafter" etc.

Some might object to the idea of such confession occurring post death, but there is no Scripture to indicate that such was/is not the case, in fact as seen above Scripture actually states the opposite. So then, in these passages we have the dead confessing Christ, and if we are to be consistent then what does Paul say about confession?

1Cor 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Now if "confession" be the requirement for salvation [as you understand it], then why cannot those deceased under the earth who make such confession by the power of the Spirit as per the Scriptures above, also be heard and thus receive mercy? Especially so when we consider the following:

1Pt 3:18-20 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

1Pt 4:5-7 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

Being judged according to the flesh was indicative of life according to the Old Covenant, being made alive in the spirit was the comprehensive result of the New Covenant that God made with man in Christ.

And who, in all their prideful arrogance or blind ignorance would not respond post death in kind before God as is reflected in these Scriptures below:

Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!"

Isa 6:5 So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

Job 42:5-6 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

Now obviously we take such Scriptures as Phil 2:10-11; 1Cor 12:3; Rom 10:9 as "this life" realities – and rightly so, but where in Scripture are we told that such does not or cannot apply beyond the grave? Why is this not plausible, what Scriptures challenge this thought? Some might cry "2nd chance-ism" - but where in Scripture does it anywhere indicate 1st chance-ism? I'll tell you – NOWHERE.

Rom 11:32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Mark 4:11-12 - those not believing, not forgiven were those hardened in that generation – the generation in which God restored all things – His Presence to man.

davo

Paige's picture

Ron,

Every scripture you have posted is better understood in light of what preteristdave has posted below. Have you read his post? Are you part of the generation of hardened Israel that Christ personally came into? It has been contended, over and over again, that these scriptures are being lifted out of their context and applied to people that they don't apply to. While you can clearly understand what I am saying in light of "this generation" regarding the end of the age, you are missing the point of who was hardened at the end of the age.

Paige

sixstringfunk's picture

Israel was hardened to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. Many of the verses I posted previously were written to Gentiles, not to Israel. Therefore even those who were not hardened in the 1st century needed to have God author faith in them in order to come to faith in Christ. This is because man is born depraved and incapable of doing anything righteous outside of God's grace, even believing in and coming to Christ.

Ron

Paige's picture

And man has stetched that, assigning that individual an eternal destiny that is only for God to decide.

large-hammer's picture

Paige,

If God wanted to show grace to every person, that would be His business entirely. The problem is that the Scriptures don't say that at all. In fact, they say otherwise.

So...it is the CGer who is assigning eternal destinies to men (and taking that role from God).

What if God wants to bless or to condemn someone? What is that to you? Isn't it before his own master that a slave stands or falls? Third parties are but bystanders. Who are you to say, "Everyone will stand"?

Don't say that He has stated that He actually will be merciful to every individual. Stick with what's clearly revealed. I can say that in judgment some will stand and others will not because the text explicitly says it (ex: Psalm 1).

It sounds kind and enlightened and friendly to say that God would not finally condemn anybody. The question is, it your god the God who reveals Himself in the Scriptures?

For my part, I can accept either way. If God wants to do it (forgive everybody), who am I to complain? I'll just be glad to be counted among the recipients of his mercy.

Maybe it would be prudent to err on the side of caution, don't you think? If CGers are right, I can be completely wrong and still be okay (so will the CGers). Yet if CGers are wrong, the potential consequences are grave (for CGer or for anyone who believes them).

Paige's picture

Marcus,

Acts 16:30,31"...'What must I do to be saved?' So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"

>Marcus< "Yet if CGers are wrong, the potential consequences are grave (for the CGer or for anyone who believes them).

Are you implying that I don't believe in Jesus Christ? That I don't believe He is God? That I don't believe He was crucified and risen? That I don't believe He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life? That I don't believe every word that came forth from Him is true? It seems to me you are presuming an awful lot about me and everyone else out there who might see the reality of CG. Marcus, you will have to stand true to your beliefs, and when others say you are in danger of serious peril because you believe that Christ has already come, you will have to ignore their warnings. I have to do the same.

preteristdave's picture

Very good points Paige! I agree with many that you have to believe in the Jesus of the Bible to have eternal life. Mormons and JW's are some examples of whom I would say don't believe in the Jesus of the Bible. But I would agree that CGers are saved...they understand that salvation is all about Christ's finished work and nothing else. Futurists may say that we as preterists don't believe in the Jesus of the Bible and vice versa because we/they differ in what we/they believe Jesus taught but arguments like this are foolish. Many believers have differing views on what Christ's ministry was for (save all, save elect, etc) and what He taught but they all have eternal life if they believe in Him alone and don't trust in their own works.

David

Ed's picture

Maybe it would be prudent to err on the side of caution, don't you think? If CGers are right, I can be completely wrong and still be okay (so will the CGers). Yet if CGers are wrong, the potential consequences are grave (for CGer or for anyone who believes them).

Two things: 1) you are right that you can be completely wrong, and "still be okay" (interesting the choice of words you choose to describe the most wonderful reality in all creation - the redemption of God). However, the reason we continue to engage you is because of your many libelous lies about CGers.

2) If I am wrong, does that affect my salvation in your theology? What then saves us? A belief in eternal damnation, or trusting in the grace of God. It is people like you that can't seem to put 2 and 2 together. Each of your condemnatory statements deny the "grace" statements that you otherwise make. If God CHOSE us, and gives us mercy, then is that nullified because I don't have your understanding of redemption? Sounds like you are the one who cheapens grace.

BTW, as I have pointed out, if universalism disqualifies us for salvation, then most of the church in the first 5 centuries died without salvation. Philip Schaff (a reliable church historian) has said that of the 6 theological schools in existence throughout the first 5 centuries, only ONE was eternal torment. And one was annihilationism. The 4 remaining schools were universalistic. That's according to Schaff, not me. That's from his extensive study, NOT MY OPINION.

It wasn't until 533 AD, at the insistence of the Augustinian contingent at Rome, that universalism was condemned. All the ecumenical counsels up to that time never saw fit to condemn it, but now, Marcus Booker has consigned to a fiery torment all those who would even consider the possibility that God's grace is more comprehensive than he, or the Roman Catholic Church has allowed.

GRACE???? Hardly.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

sixstringfunk's picture

If God CHOSE us, and gives us mercy, then is that nullified because I don't have your understanding of redemption?No, it is not nullified. You are redeemed because you have faith in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. This is a faith which the scriptures attribute to God's grace alone. Much error (I am as guilty as anyone) has entered into Christendom because we have difficulty looking to the scriptures through our presuppositions. Experiences and emotional baggage can have an affect on how we interpret the scriptures. What we have to do is put aside our presuppositions and look to the WORD and beg God to help us. I believe He will.

Ron

large-hammer's picture

Ed,

I used the words, "still be okay" intentionally.

As for my supposed lies about CGers, name one. Be specific.

As for you #2, I am not saying that every minute point in theology affects or compromises our standing before God. However, some points do! CG is a completely different gospel. It is therefore accursed of God.

I am familiar with the history, especially with respect to the Alexandrian school (Origin and Clement of Alexandria in particular). They did not teach universalism as a form of dogma. You take their speculations and considerations out of context.

Here's a quote from "A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs:"

"Most of Origen's teachings were quite harmonious with the orthodoxy of the pre-Nicene church. Nevertheless, because of his brilliant mind, Origen came up with a number of theological speculations that most Christians have judged to be unsound. It must be remembered that the amount of defined dogma in the pre-Nicene church was quite small, and Origen was very careful not to teach contrary to any dogma defined by the church. Origen's modern critics often quote his speculative viewpoints out of their historical context, making it appear as though Origen were teaching such things as dogma. However, Origen made it clear that his speculations were not being presented as dogma, but as points of dialogue and reflection."

As for me, "Marcus Booker" being the one who is questioning CG, don't pretend as if I am alone. If it were just me, I can see why it'd be easier for you to ignore it.

And no, I am not condemning consideration. I do, however, have a major problem with CG being taught as dogma. For the purposes of theological speculation, academic searching out, and hypothesizing, I don't have a problem with it.

And I don't deny that you are raising some valid points and challenging us. I think that it is good, in the long run, for our doctrines to be sharpened. There is certainly a problem to say that the "all" in Adam is different than the "all" in Christ. Yet if you can speculate and trace out doctrines (and see where they go and how they satisfactorily explain matters--or not), then so can I. I hypothesize that the "all" in Adam includes under the umbrella of sin both Jew and Gentile. Also, I would say that the "all" in Christ means that Jew and Gentile alike shall attain life. In other words, I believe the statement about Adam and Christ to be parallel to Paul's words in Romans:

"There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God."

Above, all are in sin-death and all are in righeousness-life. And "all" means both kinds of men, Jew and Gentiles (regardless of their standing before the law of Moses).

I really don't have as much of a problem with you Ed as you may think. I am, however, concerned about understating the case.

The least thing on your mind, I'm sure, is to accommodate me. Yet, if you have any desire to do so, this course is what I would find to be more preferable. Be clear and straightforward in your CG claims and use hypothetical language. In other words, it would be better if you argued with a lot of "if...then" statements.

You might say,

1. "Most Christians believe that the term 'all men' dying in Adam refers to every individual person, according to the doctrine of original sin."

2. It makes the most sense that 'all men' with reference to Adam is the same as 'all men' with reference to Christ. Otherwise, the text would be extremely confusing.

3. If so (i.e. if #2 is true and #1), then every individual person is made alive in Christ.

4. So, either #3 is the correct conclusion or either #1 or #2 is false.

You might continue, saying, "I cannot accept that #2 is false for such-and-such reasons. And I cannot accept that #1 is false because...." Therefore, I must accept #3 as true.

This way, Ed, you at least give the searcher the fullest spectrum of options. Some people might just jump to the same conclusion that you did (#3). Yet, if you faithfully present the choice, others might say, "Maybe I need to question #1 or #2." But if you don't state your assumptions, you cannot always expect people to discern what those assumptions are.

Marcus

brhodes's picture

"And I don't deny that you are raising some valid points and challenging us. I think that it is good, in the long run, for our doctrines to be sharpened. There is certainly a problem to say that the "all" in Adam is different than the "all" in Christ. Yet if you can speculate and trace out doctrines (and see where they go and how they satisfactorily explain matters--or not), then so can I. I hypothesize that the "all" in Adam includes under the umbrella of sin both Jew and Gentile. Also, I would say that the "all" in Christ means that Jew and Gentile alike shall attain life. In other words, I believe the statement about Adam and Christ to be parallel to Paul's words in Romans:(Marcus Booker)"

This is the first time I have seen anyone here explain the "ALL" this way. I actually have been considering this for quite some time. Considering the fact that Paul quite often distinguishes between Jew and Gentile this is a pretty good interpretation.

Ed's picture

As for my supposed lies about CGers, name one. Be specific.

In response to MY post on the forum, where I (speaking for myself) declared that I am a universalist (although this is not necessarily the conclusion of every CGer), Marcus responded:

Universalism comes from a lust to exalt the "rights" and deserts of man and debase the sovereign rights and deserts of God (His right, for instance, to form vessels of wrath or to set aside a people for His own possession).

Universalists stand as accusers against God Himself; they say that He is wicked for exercising His prerogatives (if and when they don't accord with humanism). In His stead, they construct a god with their own hands, one more to their liking. Their god follows their commands, and their chief command and [false] righteousness is that god must save all individual men (because men are God!].

These are lies. I asked Marcus to point out ONE comment that I ever made wherein I declare that "men are God". He has not yet done so, even though he has stated that he has read the entire Comprehensive Grace thread (Part 1 and 2). It is obvious to all that Marcus is unable to find such a statement, and now he makes out like he never made such libelous claims.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

mrfullpreterist's picture

Excellent Marcus! (Sorry Ed, I just think Marcus' and others' brains are functioning way better than mine is these days). Sorry this bothers you.

Rob

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

sixstringfunk's picture

Well Ed.

Seem I do NOT condemn you for your beliefs as long as you believe Christ is the only way for salvation. And YOU have faith in that fact.

You don't need to drag in the Catholic argument. We all know it is Christ that saves and the argument is whether He chose to do that for every individual or just all that are His. (All with faith).

Secondly, Faith is the work of Him alone, therefore me being chosen and someone else being NOT doesn't make me better, because God is the author of my faith. Therefore to be proud of the fact I have faith is an oxymoron. Also since I do not know who is or isn't chosen, walking around with that lofty Calvinist attitude you hate makes me a fool. That is why I try not to think of myself higher. Just simply chosen.

Nate

mrfullpreterist's picture

Very well said Marcus! Especially the last few statements. That really sums up the attitudes we should and should not take with this whole issue.

Thanks,

Robert L. Statzer

mrFOOLpreterist FKA as mrfullpreterist

Still searching to understand the Truth.

Ed's picture

C'mon Rob. You sound like Ed McMahon these days to Marcus' Johnny Carson.

Everything that you have written over the past few weeks has been either "yeah, Marcus, that's right...", or "this thread is way off topic". You used to do a whole lot better than that.

Where is the old Rob Statzer, who thought for himself, and engaged in discussion? Well, anyway: "here's Johnny".

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

large-hammer's picture

Sometimes people who think for themselves coincide. Would Rob be more "independent" if he fell for your "Ed McMahon" comparison. Talk about libel.

sixstringfunk's picture

Paige,

It is not that God cannot redeem everyone. It is that he says quite clearly that He won't. Those whom He does redeem are graciously granted faith, repentance, and obedience. Support for this is throughout the whole of scripture as well as in my previous posts on this issue.

The desire you have to raise your children to know God was given to you by God, and I thank and praise Him for that. He has done a marvelous work in you and will continue to do so with you and your family.

May God grant us all a greater love for Him, His Son, and each other as we grow in His grace and knowledge.

Ron

Paige's picture

Ron,

Support for the Love of God and how far it extends is throughout the whole of scripture. Some wonderful scriptures were shared today on the forum. If you are interested in another point of view, you should go there and read them.

In Christ, Paige

sixstringfunk's picture

David,
"Comprehensive Grace" states that Christ's work on the cross was for every individual throughout human history, but it's effectiveness for salvation is contingent upon the proper response, namely belief in that work for salvation. You and I, calvanistic as we are, realize the problem with this. When logically extended, CH declares Christ's work to be insufficient for salvation. In order for God to save someone, He needs their help or permission i.e. they must do something for God to save them by grace. See the contradiction? I hope this helps.

With love only because Christ loved me when I hated Him,
Ron

SciotaMicks's picture

Actually, CG is much harder for a Calvinist to swallow; reason:

Calvinism teaches that God's grace is effecacious (irresistable grace).

If God's grace is given to every person, then we should eventually see every single person declaring the truth of the Gospel and living in a relationship with God.

This is hardly the case.

-A

davo's picture

"How" grace is evidenced in one's life comes a fair bit down to us - it is our role as believing priests before God and unto others that our sharing of the Gospel helps make manifest His infinite grace i.e., eternal life - that which works continual change in the inner man.

davo

preteristdave's picture

"In order for God to save someone, He needs their help or permission i.e. they must do something for God to save them by grace."

This is not what CG teaches. The election of grace to receive redemption is universal and faith isn't required. The choice of placing faith in Christ brings eternal life which is seperate from redemption. Faith is about having a relationship now.

John 17:3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

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