You are hereIntroducing A Biblically Balanced Soteriology - Part One: Total Depravity

Introducing A Biblically Balanced Soteriology - Part One: Total Depravity

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By Virgil - Posted on 12 November 2003

For several centuries, a rift has existed between two “camps” within Christendom. Those who hold to the “Sovereign Grace” position have been holding forth valiantly against the “Free Will” advocates and vice versa. Calvinists vs. Arminians. This has been the scenario maintained within the realm of Christian theology for many generations. The reality is that both sides seem to make a valid case for their respective positions, and yet neither can be completely correct, as they are mutually exclusive. In actual fact, neither position completely and accurately represents the true, original intent of the Scriptures with respect to the salvation of men (and their introduction to/induction into Covenant relationship with God). The Truth lies in a balance between the two, historically opposing positions.


This article will begin a study of the two positions, focussing first on Calvinism and the Calvinist tenet of faith known as “Total Depravity”.


Calvinism’s five cardinal points of faith and doctrine can be succinctly defined according to the acronym “TULIP”.


T – Total Depravity
U- Unconditional Election
L – Limited Atonement
I – Irresistible Grace
P – Perseverance of the Saints


The following explanation of “Total Depravity” (a phrase not found within the Scriptures) is from a Calvinist site:

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.
The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine."
Calvinism also maintains that because of our s fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

These propositions and their supporting texts are highly instructive concerning the mishandling of the Scriptures characteristic of the Calvinist position. For example, we find a text specific to the JEWISH mind and heart condition, which was uniquely hardened against their God and His Law and Truth used as a universally applicable text in terms of the heart condition of all of unregenerate mankind. In actual fact, the universal application of Romans 6:20 is untenable and unjustified.

13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.



The contrast in this passage is between the NT saints’ (the Roman believers in particular) former status in their bondage to the Law (i.e. their SLAVERY to it), and their enjoyment of their newfound freedom in Christ Jesus. The “you” in v.20 clearly limits this assertion to the believers to whom Paul is writing, here. There is no universal application whatsoever in this text. The “slavery to sin” identified here was unique to those who were in bondage to the Old Covenant Law. Calvinists are consistent in failing to adequately reconcile their interpretations with both the immediate and broader contexts of Scripture.


Again, Rom. 3:10-12 is introduced (in that chapter) thus:

1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."



The focus is once again on the First Century Jews and THEIR spiritual economy. On examining the surrounding context of Rom. 3:10-12 we find that, far from being a principle characteristic of all of humanity, these statements are exclusive to the Old Covenant “world” and those who lived within the environs governed by its Law.

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”



We, as Full Preterists, understand that there is no longer ANYONE who is “under the Law” according to this usage of the phrase, as the Mosaic Law system and “world” defined thereby was eliminated forever in 70 AD. Thus, the lack of those who “seek after God” and were altogether “unprofitable” due to their having “turned aside” is unique to the “world” of the Old Covenant, pre-AD 70 era. THIS is the true context and application of this passage. There is no universal application to be found, here. Any attempt to characterize these pronouncements in universal terms is a blatant abuse of the text.


One last example of the absence of a truly contextual treatment of the Scriptures within the Calvinist perspective can be seen in 1Cor. 2:12-15, “12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”


Paul’s usage of the phrase “the natural man” is specific to THE JEW UNDER THE LAW. The phrase “the natural man” has been misused by Calvinist theologians as a reference to the “unregenerate human being”. In actual fact, the “natural man” of Paul’s day was the Jew immersed in Old Covenant Judaism and the Mosaic Law system of worship. In v. 12, Paul contrasts the “spirit of the world” (the OC Jewish “world”) with the Spirit of God. Paul is examining distinctives unique to the OC Jewish spiritual economy of his day. There is, again, NO universal application to all of unregenerate mankind here. Once again, the Calvinist errs contextually, using this text to shore up his views.


Both Eph. 2:3 AND 2:15 identify the Old Covenant Jews as being “at enmity with God” and “by nature children of wrath”. The context establishes that these texts refer EXCLUSIVELY to the Jews of Paul’s day.

”And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who NOW works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

The “enmity” in Eph. 2:15 was NOT between God and unregenerate man as a whole, but between the Jew and the Gentile!!

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,



So what is the Scriptural perspective on sinful, unregenerate man’s heart condition? Is man really so sinful and wicked that he is utterly incapable of any awareness whatsoever of God, His Truth and the requirements of His Character and Nature? Let us see if the Scriptures can provide us with insight.


Gen. 4:6,7, “6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." “


Clearly, Cain had the created, innate capacity to “rule over” his sin nature and do that which is pleasing in God’s sight, as an independent, volitional act. He was a fallen, unregenerate human being, and yet he clearly had the potential to do this. In other words, Cain’s “sin nature” was a BIAS towards sin – NOT the all-encompassing, determinative element in his psyche. God’s legitimate expectation of Cain was that he would choose to OVER-RULE the promptings of his sin nature and choose to do that which was pleasing and acceptable to God, in and of himself.


In the New Testament, we find the unsaved, unregenerate First Century Jews asking Jesus what “work” they were capable in and of themselves that was pleasing to God. Jesus did NOT respond by telling them they were incapable of ANY “work” pleasing to God. Rather, He clearly indicated that the ONE “work” pleasing to God of which they were fully capable was FAITH IN HIM AS THEIR MESSIAH.


28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:28,29). The “work of God” here is not one having its source IN GOD, but rather one that meets with His approval, accomplished by MAN.


The Calvinist conclusions concerning the NEED for "election", universally (spuriously based on the erroneous, non-contextual interpretations of the texts examined, above), are defined as follows: “The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.’ “. Such a conclusion is obviously unsustainable in a truly contextual handling and treatment of the Word of God.


If predestination and “election” were so critical to the salvation process, why don’t the Scriptures make more of an issue of it? Romans 10:8-11 states, “8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."


No mention of “election/predestination” here.


“12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. “ (Rom. 10:12-17).


Even in PAUL’S day, the “election” process was NOT determinative in terms of the salvation of everyone involved within the Old Covenant “world” and spiritual economy. There were many who would respond to the Truth solely on the basis of their own heart response to the hearing of the Truth, as contained in the Word of God. Clearly, the NATURAL response of the unregenerate person upon being confronted with the Truth was an awareness of God and his/her own accountability in relation to their response to the legitimate offer of salvation and redemption. There is no suggestion in Romans 10 that man must be spiritually and mentally renewed, supernaturally, in order to respond in faith to the Truth.


The actual act of spiritual regeneration in response to and as a result of man’s independent faith response to the Truth and acquiescence to it is GOD’S. HE accomplishes the actual spiritual regeneration within a person, but the individual’s faith response is antecedent to spiritual rebirth.


John 1:12-13 does NOT indicate that God’s will is imposed on man in order to enable spiritual rebirth. Rather, it indicates that the regeneration itself is, by its very nature, a supernatural act of God.

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.



The “receiving” of Christ Jesus (via belief in His Name) on the part of the Old Covenant Jews PRECEDED their spiritual rebirth. That rebirth itself was supernatural in nature, and thus was “not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”.


Phil. 1:27-30, “27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.”


This text is quite clearly EXCLUSIVE to the Philippian believers to whom Paul is writing, here. I would go so far as to say that this Church was made up, primarily, of “elect” believers and thus their faith had been uniquely “granted” to them. They had been fore-ordained to believe, as well as suffer at the hands of the Old Covenant Jews (their adversaries). The personal pronouns in the passage clearly limit its application to the Philippian believers. A case can be made for extending this statement to include ALL of the “elect saints” of that period – a group to which these Philippians belonged. But there is NO justification whatsoever for extending these pronouns to include anyone alive AFTER 70 AD.


I will address the actual process of “election” and “predestination” in my next article. Suffice it to say that the Calvinist paradigm unravels rapidly when its textual basis is examined according to a rigorously historical, contextual hermeneutic. Evidently, the need to “universalize” soteriological texts and passages in the Scriptures has over-ridden the better instincts and need for integrity and accuracy among Calvinist theologians and exegetes. Futurist presuppositions and the perceptions of the applicability of the Scriptures to ourselves born of those assumptions is what has guided the development of Calvinism. Quite obviously, this view of the condition of the heart, mind and soul of unregenerate man is not aligned with the clear teachings of the Scriptures themselves. Rather, they are a product of a non-contextual distortion of their true intent.


I will continue in my next article, with an examination of “Unconditional Election”. Each of these articles will not necessarily be devoted to only one point, but they will be an attempt to provide a glimpse into the faulty, flawed exegetical treatments behind Calvinism’s perspective on the salvation of men. After examining Calvinism’s shortcomings, I will explore Arminianism briefly, then present what I believe the balanced, Scriptural view is.


May our Saviour’s Truth be magnified and glorified in all things!


JM

JRP's picture

You are truly an idiot.

But boldness without truth will never make a Christian confessor: and if a man injures himself for the love of error, he is not a martyr but a suicide. William A. Jones

offskooring's picture

a denial of the doctrine of predestination leads one to deny the omniscience of God and denigrate him to a coetrnal status. Philosophicaly one can not deny predestination because the mind of God is creative. While man's mind is only recreative(taking things that our outside of us or given unto us) God's is creative...whatever God desires, thinks, determines in his mind IS. If man can choose with free will outside the will, MIND, destination of God then God does not know all; his thoughts are not creative, thus they are drawn from some other source, entity, coeternal being. Predestination is not just a matter of applying texts properly or understanding the immediate context, it is a philosphical necessity that undergirds a right understanding of God, his omniscience, and reality.
Adam Boone

davecollins's picture

Adam, thanks for that insight.I agree that too often we seek to change God into someone we can figure out.As you wrote,(understanding)predestination is a philosophical necessity that undergirds a right understanding of God. Maybe thats the reason we have all these erroneous views of God.Bless You,dave

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I'll respond to these somewhat philosophical objections and speculations in my article today, offskooring. But you are right - the underlying issue in the whole subject of "predestination" is the "omniscience" of God. Does it include all future things, events and people not yet in existence, for all time and eternity?

This question and others will be answered in my article.

davecollins's picture

Dear Brother John,Congratulations on breaking new ground. In my 16 years of holding to the doctrines of grace, I've never known anyone to agree with the teaching,and then deny it by claiming "exclusivity",or "contextual errors".Normally what I find is an outright denial and pages ripped out of Bibles due to the percieved unfairness that God would choose some and not all.What I love about This historic teaching is that it magnifies Gods' Grace as it humbles the pride of man.I'm sure your confident assertions will not sway the Calvinist from the position that God saves sinners.As we agree that all the NT was written before the destruction,how could we have any text that wasn"t written to the Old Covenant world?I noticed you skipped over Romans 2:12f that talks about those "without the law" will still perish due to their sin..(sounds pretty inclusive to me)Just as full preterists would not go back to being partial,5 point Calvinists won't go back to being Arminians or new-fangled hybrids since we believe that salvation at its core is fully a work of God,to accomplish His good pleasure,and thats the way we want it.BTW, Cain was responsible to the Lord,to do right,and to say no to sin,even if He was incapable to perform it. Like my wifes $50,000 debt at Sears..I'm responsible,but not able to satisfy it.{just kidding) Mans inability doesn't alleviate mans responsibility.As a final thought, if God says something in about 200 places,but not in every place does that mean He was mistaken in the 200? Your brother,dave

Paige's picture

Dave,
One thought. Cain was not able to satisfy God's desires but his brother Abel certainly did. Abel was a fallen man like his brother.
In Christ, Paige

davecollins's picture

Dear Paige and John,thanks for your thoughts.The story of Cain and Abel depicts Gods Truth of predestination..Abels' offering was looked on with regard,and Abel himself received Gods favor,proven by His faith in God. (Hebrews 11:4),and Cain did not.Another case of the second being chosen for Gods' purposes,so Gods purposes in election might stand.. God Bless You! dave

Paige's picture

Dave,
I can only ask where in the text does God say he programmed Abel to offer what was pleasing? I think this is where the dissention springs from. If God chooses to limit Himself, does that make him any less sovereign? I once had a 5 pt. calvinist pastor explain after all the studying one could do, the only conclusion one can come to is "the only way God can know all is if He first decreed all." Isn't our God more than that? In the book of Job, Satan's main accusation against God is that the only reason Job served Him was because God made it comfy for him to do so. I see no difference between that and calvinism. The only reason people serve God today is because He decided they would. I agree that it is God who draws us to Him. Praise God that He loves us and does draw us to Him. Jesus said that if He would be lifted up He would draw all men to Himself. I don't believe that drawing is irresistable. It is there that I believe God chooses to limit Himself. All power belongs to Him but does He need to use that to get a true love response from His creation? In Christ,Paige

Roderick's picture

Welcome Paige,
I am glad you joined us here on PP. -- If you have not already found your way to PreteristArchive may I suggest you take a look at that site too. There are many great study items there.

As for the discussion on God's Sovereignty & man's free will, please allow me to interject a thought. It is not so much that man doesn't freely do as he pleases but more that without God imparting the initial "faith" man would never respond to God's call, or "drawing" as you call it. You are implying the Semi-Pelagian argument, namely that mankind still has a spark of goodness in him after the Fall. If this is the case the picture is that God is sitting up in heaven twiddling his thumbs just hoping someone will believe. It would be theoretically possible that no one would have been saved. But in the other view (sometimes called Calvinism) God decree from before the foundations of the world who would and wouldn't be "saved". Jesus told certain Jews they would never respond because they were not of God, but that their father was the devil.

The over arching theme of the bible is that God is completely in control of both the saved and the damned. I know the thought may be repugnant, but God made His creation for only one purpose; God made all things, both evil and righteousness to bring glory unto Himself! Can I get an AMEN?

So you see, without God imparting faith to some so that He may also impart grace there will be no one to give a true love response as you say. I'm sorry if this is offensive but there is really no way around it unless we say the plan of God can be foiled? Because if God truly decreed that all men will be drawn to Him in the manner that you suppose, then God is failing big time. If faith is something we all can muster up within us then why do some seem to have more than others? Why did the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith? You have even heard people claim that if so&so just had enough faith to accomplish something or another. From whence comes faith?

You will note Romans 3, Romans 4 Galatians 3 and many other places in the bible where the theme is that God gives people their initial faith and then those who add to it, He gives more but those who have none or little, from them is taken that which they have. But Ephesians 2:8 says it most clearly:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through FAITH--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--

Faith is a gift from God. It is not a left over spark of potential goodness in every person. Its through faith, the gift of God by which grace brings salvation. Anything else is simply man's wishful thinking and futile attempt to pat himself on the back for so-called "choosing" Christ by man's own so-called "free will".

I hope this has strengthened your faith Paige and whoever else may be reading this.

May God bless and keep you
Roderick

davecollins's picture

Roderick,AMEN!! John 6:37f All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me,and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.For I have come down from Heaven,not to do my own will,but the will of the One who sent Me.And this is the will of Him who sent Me,that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing,but raise it up on the last day.For this is the will of My Father,that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him,may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day... Roderick,to me this isn't so much of a proof-text ,but a mission statement that allows us to see the heart of the Father. God Bless,dave...glad you weighed in.

davo's picture

"All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me" Yes, and how much did the Father give Christ? - ALL. Psa 2:8 Ask of Me and I shall give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.
Faith in Christ is a most wonderful thing and a must for the transforming power of God to work in our lives in this life, BUT it has no bearing on man's position post death, for God saw fit to reconcile ALL to Himself in Christ - for it was the faith of Christ that worked righteousness on behalf of ALL humanity, period. Our faith response to that enables us to experience "eternal life", a present this world reality i.e., grasping God's peace today, and not waiting till beyond life's end.

The doom and destruction of the so-called rebellious was all about missing God's grace in this life, and not about eternal destinies of Heaven or Hell. Those "elect" were the firstfruit and those others "faith" in Israel's past that worked the Will of God. Non-election WAS NOT a ticket to Hell, but simply NOT chosen for a given redemptive purpose. For example:

1Sam 16:6-7 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before Him!" But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused [rejected] him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

This is the essence of the election issue of Rom 9. Whether "helped" or "hardened" of the Lord had nothing to do with post death destinies, but rather the God's redemptive outworkings.

davecollins: Sometimes the doctrines of Grace are considered to be unfair and unjust,but when we realize that God as our Creator,is well within His rights to purchase back what Adam gave away.

Adam gave away all, in Christ God purchased back ALL. Our problems sometimes arise in that like the indignant labourers we take issue with God paying the SAME wage no matter whether summoned early or late.

davo

davecollins's picture

Dear Davo, It seems that you are promoting Universalism which is a doctrine which has been examined and discarded as a false teaching.You wrote;"All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me" Yes, and how much did the Father give Christ? - ALL. Psa 2:8 Ask of Me and I shall give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.

The context in John 5 and 6 speaks of those who would be drawn to come receive Jesus and be passed out of death into life.The contrast was life in Christ or Death and judgement.Those who have the Son have life,those who have not the Son will not see life,but the wrath of God abides on them.Davo,to be believe that ALL were given to Christ is reading your own ideas into the scripture.Of course, Jesus had Authority over all mankind,in order to grant to those whom the Father gave Him eternal life (John 17:2) Actually,His authority and preeminence is in view in Psalm 2, as All nations (gentiles) and all places are given into His hand to rule over and to give refuge unto.Verse 12 Do homage to the Son,lest He become angry and you perish in the way,For His wrath may soon be kindled.How blessed are all who take refuge in Him.Davo,Jesus spoke of Hell as a certain spiritual reality of those who reject the Son,as a place of torment,agony, of unquenchable fire for eternity(their worm does not die).Jesus has authority over ALL,but the extent of His atonement matches the intent of Gods' plan of calling many sons into glory,through election...But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars,their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.Davo, it doesn't seem to be that these folks "were summoned to go work in the vineyard either early or late.The principle of equality in the Kingdom is predicated on the premise that you first must be called into the work.

preteristdave's picture

"Dear Davo, It seems that you are promoting Universalism which is a doctrine which has been examined and discarded as a false teaching."

Davo is promoting the universalism heresy but he and some others have changed it some and given it a new name called "Comprehensive Grace". The way that they have changed it is that instead of all people being saved whether they are in Christ or not (Universalism) they teach that all are saved because they are in Christ whether they believe or not.

DMT

davecollins's picture

Dear David, thanks for the info, I've never heard of this teaching.It seems to me that they would know if they were being sanctified by the Holy Spirit..or does this salvation not require a personal relationship and purposeful holiness?Take care, David..your friend, dave

davo's picture

davecollins: I've never heard of this teaching.

Dave, if you are interested, check out my article 'Comprehesive Grace' at pantelism.com - that way you'll know where I'm coming from and not have others telling you what I believe.

davo

davo's picture

davecollins: Dear Davo, It seems that you are promoting Universalism which is a doctrine which has been examined and discarded as a false teaching.

preteristdave: Davo is promoting the universalism heresy but he and some others have changed it some and given it a new name called "Comprehensive Grace".

Well dave and dave,

You seem to dismiss out of hand as a futurist would preterism, with such distain as to decry "heresy!!" Yet along with the futurist you're making the same fundamental error of ignoring the relevance of the first-fruits context - time frame, and lifting things past the Parousia. The passing out of death to life was what was occurring in Jesus' ministry and that of the first-fruit saints. The "nations" were indeed His inheritance and He brought them into the Commonwealth of Israel thus creating the one new man i.e., humanity in Christ. And the extent of God's atoning work in Christ is insulted to say in any way shape or form that is was limited - what "limits" the atonement is lack of belief in and the explaining away of the Scriptures by those who say they believe.

The "election" has nothing to do with the post Parousia world. Election was all about who God was choosing in His plan of bringing Redemption the world at large – salvation i.e., deliverance is of the Jews etc. Their restoration brought the restoration of humanity. The context of Rom 8-11 etc is primarily historic Israel. The 'elect' did their job. They were predestined and "called" i.e., sanctified, set apart for such.

As for the eternalness of the 2nd Death aka the LoF, that was a euphemism for the totalness or totality of the destruction of Jerusalem circa AD70 – the "Gehenna" that Jesus spoke of in the Gospels. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah's "everlasting" punishment spoke of totality, not longevity. The LOSS of the Old Covenant identity - that in which they trusted, at that time was total. So it was that the "eternal life" that Jesus spoke of [and mostly in the present tense, not future] was not spatially orientated, meaning Heaven after death, but was pointing to the present inner blessing of relationship with God.

So before you run off screaming "heresy" like a futurist, it may pay to consider your own biases, as you would require of others with whom you share fulfilled prophecy, all I'm doing is sharing the other side of the coin - fulfilled grace i.e., 'comprehensive grace' – the Scriptures are replete with the all embracing scope of God's redemption. He IS the Saviour of ALL men, especially those that believe – why especially? because in believing we know it – the rest don't, that's why we have such 'good news' to share - "you have been reconciled!!". This is our part as believers today "called" i.e., sanctified, set apart to bring this most wonderful message that because of Christ, man is accepted of God.

davo

preteristdave's picture

"You seem to dismiss out of hand as a futurist would preterism, with such distain as to decry "heresy!!" Yet along with the futurist you're making the same fundamental error of ignoring the relevance of the first-fruits context - time frame, and lifting things past the Parousia."

Davo, I'm not ignoring the relevance or context. Those first-fruits NC believers were the root (elect) of NC Israel. This remnant was completed in 70AD. Just as the remnant didn't include all of Israel in the OT, neither does it in the NT. All of NC Israel (not just the remnant) and ONLY NC Israel receives salvation (Jer 31). There is no salvation outside of the New Jerusalem (New Covenant; Gal 4:24).

Your statements about heresy, I believe, are being quite abused by preterists. Just because preterists are inaccurately termed heretics by other Christians obviously doesn't mean that heretics don't exist. Preterists and other Christians are commanded to expose false doctrine and heresy (Eph 5:11), and just like their are heretical beliefs among some futurists (Mormons, JW's,etc) their is also heresy among some preterists (Heaven Now, denying the deity of Christ, universalism, Comprehensive Grace, etc) and these need to be exposed by Christians.

David

Paige's picture

davo,
Thank you so much for your input here. I have often asked myself what pleasure God would receive in witnessing the eternal damnation of those He had not programmed beforehand to love Him.It seems that people take it as an attack on God to think He might choose to limit Himself. I do not pat myself on the back for anything in this life because Christ made all things possible for me in the first place. I just don't picture life as a big chess game with God playing both sides of the board. It seems this will forever be the controversial topic among christians and I wait to read more. In Christ, Paige.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

A huge AMEN, Paige. You are definitely on the right track, sister. Hang onto those thoughts. I'll elaborate on them later today. Your statements concerning God's sovereign limitations of Himself are particularly apropos to this discussion. They are key in understanding the underlying issues in all of this.

You are absolutely correct, Paige, that God is NOT treating us all like pawns in a huge chess game. Again, I will elaborate much more on all of this in the article, today.

Your thoughts and input are a blessing, sister! Keep up the great work!

JM

davecollins's picture

Dear Paige, thanks for your reply and the spirit that it is offered in. I don't claim to completely understand salvation and all of Gods intents in effectually calling some and not all.However,we have to determine what is meant by dead, blind, deceived etc.. before we can figure out our part and Gods part in our redemption. Sometimes the doctrines of Grace are considered to be unfair and unjust,but when we realize that God as our Creator,is well within His rights to purchase back what Adam gave away.The divine Potter has perfect freedom to do whatever He pleases with His creation.Hence,redemption,restoration,renewal,regeneration and reconciliation are all within His scope of purpose.I believe the drawing you refer to is a process of opening our eyes and heart to the wondrous truth of forgiveness and acceptance in Christ. The drawing is the process leading up to our repentance and faith in Jesus. The grace that motivates the drawing is irresistable, the same way a starving man would receive offered food, if he could see it.What Satan stole, Christ purchased back so God can be just and the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus. I'm glad you're in Christ,it pleased the Father to so ordain before the foundation of the world that you would be His child. Praise the Lord!! dave

Paige's picture

Dave,
I'm new to this website as you can probably tell. I have spent much time studying all sides of this issue. My prayer is that there is room in preterism to disagree respectfully with one another and still go forward studying the wonderful completed work of Christ. My experience up to now is that people are deeply entrenched on this issue. I personally lean towards what was brought out in John McPherson's article and am anxious to read more of what he will write. I know there is a balance between the extremes somewhere. In Christ,Paige

davecollins's picture

Dear Paige, welcome to you! Most of our discussion and posts seem to be very respectful. I hope that is always true. Jesus said they will know we are His disciples by our love,(actually spoken to His first century disciples ,but I think it applies to us today)not nessecarily our doctrine. I am a CHRISTIAN first before any personal preferences in denomination or system of theology. Mr. Mcpherson is a very intelligent and able bible teacher,and it is a pleasure to read His articles,even when my perspective is different.It is refreshing to be around folks on this site who clearly care what the Word of God says.Apathy and complacency seem to characterize so many who profess a relationship with Jesus. Glad to have you,you'll find many convincing "arguments" here.dave

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Thank you for that good insight, Paige. I agree. I shared this with Dave in my own response.

May our Saviour continue to bless your understanding as you explore His Truth!

JM

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Thankyou, Dave, for your acknowledgment of the refreshingly new perspective I'm presenting on this issue. I think very few Calvinists have been afforded the opportunity to view the Soteriological portions of Scripture from the rigorously historical FP vantage point. I suspect that many of them might sincerely rethink their position if given that opportunity.

I apologize if my tone in the article was somewhat offensive and brusque. I've had extensive dealings with Calvinists on other forums, Dave, and have found them to be consistently resistant to any suggestion that there are flaws in their thinking and beliefs. As a result, I tend to take off the kid gloves a little early nowadays. Perhaps that's not the wisest, most charitable approach, and so I do apologize for any unnecessary and unintended offense I may have given.

Dave: "Normally what I find is an outright denial and pages ripped out of Bibles due to the percieved unfairness that God would choose some and not all."

That's what I've seen from the opponents of Calvinism, too, Dave as a general rule. My position, as you've seen, ignores nothing and resolves the seeming contradictions within a truly contextual, historical framework.

Dave: "What I love about This historic teaching is that it magnifies Gods' Grace as it humbles the pride of man."

I really don't see this the same way you do, Dave. The Calvinist's understanding of God is that He is incapable of inspiring love and devotion or any sense of trust and faith in Him apart from a sovereign intervention on His part in over-ruling the mind, heart and will of the individual, effectively "granting them the grace" to believe. The very act of belief is thus not spontaneous within the heart of the individual, but is imposed upon that person's consciousness by God. Within the Calvinist framework, God is viewed as Totalitarian, authoritarian and unlovable. He must impose acceptance of His Truth, Person and wisdom upon people, otherwise their natural inclinations would prevent all awareness of (and desire for) Him and His Truth. Calvinism fails to properly address many instances in Scripture revealing exactly the opposite, in terms of the positive heart response of unregenerate, non-elect people to God. And the "god" of Calvinism has even worse shortcomings, as will be seen in my next article.

Rather than magnifying and enhancing the glory and Person of God, Dave, I find Calvinism does just the opposite. It essentially reduces God to a capricious, unknowable, rigidly static Being bound by His own pre-determined, pre-legislated determinations from eternity past. The Scriptural representation of God is, of course, far removed from the Calvinist understanding of Him. This, as I said, will be even clearer in my next article.

Dave: "I'm sure your confident assertions will not sway the Calvinist from the position that God saves sinners."

I'm an optimist, Dave. Calvinists are human and very likely have the human capacity to acknowledge their own faulty thinking and misunderstandings humbly, just like anyone else. I'm trusting that God will impress on hearts the true nature of His Truth and Will, in spite of my own abrasive tone (at times).

Dave: "As we agree that all the NT was written before the destruction,how could we have any text that wasn"t written to the Old Covenant world?"

Very true, Dave, and that's why we need to maintain that perspective in terms of the lack of universal applicability as a rule- unless clearly indicated otherwise, within the text!

Dave: "I noticed you skipped over Romans 2:12f that talks about those "without the law" will still perish due to their sin..(sounds pretty inclusive to me)"

Anything I "skipped over" was purely unintentional, I assure you, Dave. Let's just take a quick peek at Romans 2 again.
5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who "will render to each one according to his deeds": F5 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

I won't go into great detail analyzing this passage, Dave. I think you can see from the portions I've highlighted that the context is clearly the Old Covenant pre-AD 70 spiritual economy. Those "without the Law" were those who lived during THOSE days who had no access to the Judaical Law of Moses and would thus not be judged according to its requirements. In OUR day, that Law no longer has judgmental authority over ANYONE. So there is clearly no relevance to anyone on a perpetual, universal level. That judgment BY the Law occurred in 70 AD (see v.16). There really is no argument, Dave, in terms of the supposedly universal application of this text to all of mankind. That inference just isn't there. This passage was not intended to communicate anything of the kind.

Dave: "Just as full preterists would not go back to being partial,5 point Calvinists won't go back to being Arminians or new-fangled hybrids since we believe that salvation at its core is fully a work of God,to accomplish His good pleasure, and thats the way we want it."

You said a mouthful there, brother. Ultimately, it's not about contextual accuracy and the need for increased integrity in handling the Word of God, it's about personal comfort zones and what individuals find most compatible with the thinking of their fellow believers in whichever Calvinist denomination and "church" they happen to be a part of. I'm not asking anyone to leave Calvinism for Arminianism, Dave. That latter paradigm has its flaws, too. I'm going to present the BALANCED position between the two over the next few articles. I'm sorry you find the idea of a "hybrid" offensive, but the Truth usually lies BETWEEN two extremes, not on one side or the other.

Dave: "BTW, Cain was responsible to the Lord,to do right,and to say no to sin,even if He was incapable to perform it. Like my wifes $50,000 debt at Sears..I'm responsible,but not able to satisfy it.{just kidding) Mans inability doesn't alleviate mans responsibility."

Your comment concerning Cain's supposed inability to over-rule his sin nature is not in keeping with the plain, natural reading of the text. God clearly expected Cain to exercise his legitimate option to over-ride his sin bias and do that which he was well aware was pleaing to God. Cain not only had an awareness of God, here, but he could communicate with God and understand His requirements. Thus, this portrayal of Cain's interactions with God, utterly and completely shatters Calvinism's "Total Depravity" doctrine. It exposes the lack of Scriptural support for this position, as "Total Depravity" is the linchpin of Calvinism (coupled with the paradigm's misconceptions concerning God and His attributes).

IF man's inability doesn't alleviate man's responsibility (what a curiously Calvinist turn of phrase - like right out of a prayer book or something), then WHY does God indicate quite clearly that the Gentiles would NOT be judged according to His Law when they had had no exposure to its requirements? Within YOUR viewpoint, Dave, God as the merciless, fathomless potentate should have held them accountable to the requirements of the Law in 70 AD anyway, whether they had any awareness of it or not. Just because they were unable to attempt to conform in any way to its requirements doesn't mean that they wouldn't have been held accountable to it, eh? Right? "Mans inability doesn't alleviate mans responsibility." That's the logical, natural outcome to your view, Dave. And you know what kind of a "god" that view represents. Such a "god" is NOT a loving, merciful, compaasionate God at all. And thus we find that the "god" of Calvinism is NOT the God of the Bible. Romans 2 clearly refutes your statement, above, Dave. God DOES take into account man's inabilities and finitude ("For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust." Psalm 103:14).

Dave: "As a final thought, if God says something in about 200 places,but not in every place does that mean He was mistaken in the 200?"

I'd like you to throw even 100 texts seemingly supportive of the Calvinist position, Dave. Or 50. That's more managable for both of us. I am confident that the hermeneutic introduced in my article would expose the lack of contextuality in the Calvinist treatment of these texts in every case.

I hope I don't come across as arrogant, Dave. The intensity I bring to this discussion has its source in the realization that these things are critical in purifying the understanding of God prevalent among a significant number of the saints on this planet today. God and His Will are being misrepresented by the well-intentioned, sincere Calvinists. Christianity is portrayed as not that much different from Islam or other religions portraying God as implacable, capricious and unknowable/unfathomable. The God of the Bible revealed Himself to us in clear, human language and terms in order to make Himself and His Mind/Will KNOWN to us. The Scriptures were given to us to provide us with the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with God and His Ways, by way of initiating a personal relationship with Him at the Covenantal level.

My prayer and sincere desire, Dave, is that you and the rest of my Calvinist brethren would enjoy the refreshingly new perspective on God and His Will truest to the original intent of the revealed Word of God and consistent with the FP paradigm which I am presenting here.

May our Saviour's Truth be magnified and glorified in all our deliberations.

JM

davecollins's picture

Dear Brother John, No apology needed.I don,t think you came across brusque,arrogant or intentionally offensive..Christians need to be able to ponder and examine these things with grace and proper respect for one another.I truly do respect your desire to discover and share truth.I've never belonged to a Calvinistic denomination or read a prayer book,so unfortunately my thoughts tend to be gleanings from my personal study.There are maybe 3-4 calvinists in our fellowship of 1000,and no other preterists to date,though some are studying.I think your view of those without the law is wrong,since they were to be judged by the law written on their hearts,by Christ.I think your section on Cain misses the fact that He was not able to over-rule his sin nature,and do right,since his nature determines his actions.He, like all unregenerated people was only "free" to obey whatever nature resides within.Also John,your depiction of the Calvinistic god is completely off kilter from my view of our Gracious,Glorious Sovereign.He does not induce or force but supernaturally changes our nature so we will readily respond, as a drowning man will to a life line. Our praise and adoration stems from the belief that God chose to redeem and sanctify us,who are so unlovely and unworthy.God must first open our spiritual eyes so we may see His kingdom.1st John ..Everyone who loves is born of God,and whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God vs.5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come,and has given us understanding,in order that we might know Him who is true..Just to clarify,when I said "thats the way we want it"
I was only referring to the desire of my heart for God to Fulfill His good pleasure in my life,not to blindly follow a teaching due to comfort zones or other believers views.(after all I am a preterist)I see Gods' sovereingty and election from the Old Testament thru the New,so why would it be a stretch to believe that Gods purposes or methods would not change,especially since we have no scripture to indicate such a change? Bless you, John

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Dave: "I think your section on Cain misses the fact that He was not able to over-rule his sin nature,and do right,since his nature determines his actions.He, like all unregenerated people was only "free" to obey whatever nature resides within."

Someone recently pointed out that Abel, on the other hand, demonstrated his own ability to please God in and of himself, and did so successfully. By the information we are given in Genesis, both of these brothers had an equal opportunity and capacity to please God - apart from spiritual renewal/regeneration.

Dave: "Also John,your depiction of the Calvinistic god is completely off kilter from my view of our Gracious,Glorious Sovereign.He does not induce or force but supernaturally changes our nature so we will readily respond, as a drowning man will to a life line. Our praise and adoration stems from the belief that God chose to redeem and sanctify us,who are so unlovely and unworthy."

If God transforms your nature prior to ANY engagement of your will independently in acknowledgement of Him and His Truth as valid and acceptable, then He HAS effectively imposed Himself upon you, Dave, and over-ridden your mind and will. As I said in my previous response - such a "god" not only does not coincide with the God of the Bible, but He also is apparently undeserving of love and, indeed, unlovable in Himself, since He must over-rule the natural inclinations of people in order to generate even a sliver of interest in love for Him. The whole purpose in His creation of beings capable of love and devotion to Him of their own volition is thus negated.

Dave: "I see Gods' sovereingty and election from the Old Testament thru the New,so why would it be a stretch to believe that Gods purposes or methods would not change,especially since we have no scripture to indicate such a change?"

The burden of proof borne by the Calvinist is the necessity to demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt that ANY of the "election" texts have a universal application as opposed to an application exclusive to the history of the Old Covenant People and their "world". Also, the texts dealing with "total depravity" must be demonstrably universal in application (those indicating a state of heart utterly impervious to the Truth) rather than contextually identified as unique to the ancient Jewish Old Covenant People (which, obviously, is my position on those texts).

No, Dave, I understand what you're saying, but I believe we have plenty of texts indicating that God's interactions with man changed significantly after 70 AD. The end of the Old Covenant "world" marked a significant transformation of man's means of inter-relationship with God. The limitations to which the Old Covenant People were subject were done away with. There was no longer a Physical Nation from within which God chose to "elect" some to unique roles in the history of that Nation. In fact, God's unique genetic manipulation of certain families (particularly those of the royal Davidic line) through careful breeding also came to an end.

It was all involved with the transformation of the kingdom from a physical monarchy to a spiritual one. The Spiritual Kingdom of Heaven is eternally established, and within that Kingdom we have a spiritual relationship with God - one not requiring sacrifices; tithing; structured, instutionalized religion; etc.

When it comes to "fleshing out" the FP paradigm and systematizing it, we need to maintain the historical perspective at all costs. It is the only hermeneutic capable of anchoring our understanding and interpretations to the original intent of the Scriptures.

davo's picture

davecollins: I think your section on Cain misses the fact that He was not able to over-rule his sin nature,and do right,since his nature determines his actions.He, like all unregenerated people was only "free" to obey whatever nature resides within.

Dave, Cain was indeed free to follow his inner drives, and they were not all bad i.e., he was not a totally depraved individual.

Gen 4:6-7 So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

He was "angry" - that is a choice, meaning he had the capacity from within to choose otherwise. God would not have said to him rule his unruly passions if he was not thus capable of such. This is not any different than what Paul said:

Rom 6:12, 14a Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
For sin shall not have dominion over you...

davo

davecollins's picture

Dear Davo, I see a big difference between Genesis and Romans... You wrote,"Dave, Cain was indeed free to follow his inner drives, and they were not all bad i.e., he was not a totally depraved individual.

He was angry" - that is a choice, meaning he had the capacity from within to choose otherwise. God would not have said to him rule his unruly passions if he was not thus capable of such. This is not any different than what Paul said:
Rom 6:12, 14a Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
For sin shall not have dominion over you...

Davo,total depravity does not mean a person is as bad as He can be,or that He can't do things considered good,but it does mean that He cant save Himself.Pauls audience were redeemed recipients of new natures thus they truly could say no to all and any sin as they had a greater Power changing them from level of glory to another.Cain was responsible to obey God, as all His creatures are,but apart from Gods' grace that mandate becomes an indictment rather than a joyous privelege.The fall, means we can't get up without Gods Spirit giving new life.dave

JL's picture

There's no new ground broken here. The historical church has always had the answer to those questions. The Reformation abandoned all those answers and invented these false dicotomies. The Church of Christ returned to those answers 170 years ago and we've been called heretics for it ever since.

God saves us and we are responsible for it.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Interesting, JL. I didn't realize the Church of Christ denomination had adopted the perspective I'm introducing here previously.

Could you perhaps clarify further for us? I'm particularly interested in your amplification upon your final statement. "God saves us and we are responsible for it". Perhaps you could elaborate further and provide us with a further glimpse into the teachings of the "church" of Christ on this issue.

Thank you.

preteristdave's picture

John, thank you very much for writting this article! This view of soteriology and preterism in particular needs to be heard by those caught in the false teaching of futurism and the fruits of it (Calvinism, Conditional salvation (post-70AD), universalism, etc.) I'll be praying for you that you will continue to clearly teach the truth on this and other hard to understand doctrines.

Your brother in Christ,

David Timm

davecollins's picture

Dear brother David, A clarification please! How does Calvinism become a "fruit of futurism"? The Apostle Paul was the major proponent over 1900 yrs before the false teaching of futurism. Your friend,dave

preteristdave's picture

Brother Dave,

I believe Calvinism is a fruit of futurism (not futurism as in dispensationalism) because any application of election for salvation after 70AD is past the time of fulfillment (Romans 9:28). The purpose of the elect NT saints was to guarantee the success of the transition from the Old to New Covenant. These elect saints had no choice in there salvation, they were predestined by God. The rest of the transition saints (like believers today) were able to freely choose to accept Christ's free gift of salvation. We as preterists know that all NT prophecy was fulfilled (including Romans 11:26 and Romans 9:28) by the time Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD. "Luke 21:22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled."

David

davecollins's picture

Dear David, As I read Romans 9:28,and Isaiah 10 I see Gods gracious choice of a remnant of Israel,and a promise of a judgement and a destruction,but I can't see anywhere of a change of His method of election unto salvation.I see a lot of specific events being fulfilled as promised,but to read in that the methods and activity of God in saving people would change somehow,seems very speculative and unsupported from any portion of scripture.The "FP paradigm", that advocates a different way of coming to the Lord in this age,must be substantiated from Scripture,or we must believe that the recorded,historical way of Gods' favor,through faith is still applicable.Your friend and brother,dave

preteristdave's picture

Dave, sorry I took so long to reply to your comment. I'm currently studying the remnant in both the Old and New Testaments and I plan on writing an article concerning this subject soon. I will answer your question better in that article.

"Romans 11:4 But what is the divine response to him? "I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL." 5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the PRESENT TIME a remnant according to God's gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY." 9 And David says, "LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM. 10 "LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER." 11 I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous."

Verse 5 teaches that the 1st century remnant were those saints who were elected unto salvation and that this remnant would soon be completed.

Romans 9:27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; 28 FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY."

Romans 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 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."

When was the remnant complete? When was the (spiritual; Gal 6:16) Israel of God complete? When was the blindness taken off of Israel and the time of the Gentiles fulfilled (Lk 21:24; Rev 11:2?

"Isaiah 6: 9 He said, "Go, and tell this people: `Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.' 10 "Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed." 11 Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered, "Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, Houses are without people And the land is utterly desolate"

God didn't only provide salvation for the remnant (elect) of New Covenant Israel, He also provided salvation for all those within the New Covenant Israel (Jer 31:31; the houses of Israel and Judah).

David

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Excellent observations, David! As you know, your viewpoint dovetails perfectly with my own on these things! I look forward to your new article! Have a look at my latest submission on "Election" when you get the chance!

Your co-laborer in the Truth,

JM

Parker's picture

What do you all do with the fact that election and justification span all the way back to at least Abraham? Trying to make these things pertain to a single generation that terminates at AD 70 is not at all the biblical concept.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

I haven't really dealt with the "election question" in detail yet, Parker. That's my next article.

For the record, I agree with you. Election began with God's choosing of Abraham. The process was codified and formalized within the history of the Old Covenant People who had their origins in Abraham, but their actual inception as a "world" and civilization at Mt. Sinai.

The point in all of this is that it ENDED at 70 AD. As I said, I'll deal with these things in much greater detail in the next article.

Parker's picture

JM:
The point in all of this is that it ENDED at 70 AD. As I said, I'll deal with these things in much greater detail in the next article.

Parker:
I'm sure you will. But will any be able to endure more of your unbiblical teachings that are based on mere unproven presuppositions?

Your pet theories, when consistently applied, call for nothing less than Absolute Nihilism. You cannot just steal away their kingdom for yourself some 20 centuries after AD 70. You cannot continue to use their scriptures for yourself some 20 centuries after that world to which they pertained passed. You cannot claim their God, their salvation, or even their faith. Nihilism is the consistent application of your view, and I suspect you already know it--and have embraced it. You are at best a Deist, and at worst a pragmatic atheist.

Parker
preterist

SuperSoulFighter's picture

And that, folks, is about the best you will get from a self-deceived papist. Tragic. The "pseudo-church" has much to answer for.

I wish I could help you, Parker. But as I said before - you seem to be virtually beyond help (except for the ever-abundant grace and mercy of our Sovereign Saviour).

Parker's picture

Wait a minute, JM. Christ cannot be YOUR saviour. He was THEIR saviour, saving them from the wrath of God at AD 70. Where do you get this notion that he is YOUR saviour some 20 centuries after the saving of that generation took place?

See? When consistenly applied, your view results in Nihilism. When we adopt your presuppositions, we arrive at the conclusion that their salvation, saviour, and covenant have nothing to do with YOU.

SuperSoulFighter's picture

Wow, Dave. I thought I was the only FP who understood that Romans 9:28 indicates the cessation of the "election process" in 70 AD. Fantastic! Maybe I've been out of the FP "loop" a little more than I thought, up North here.

You and I are definitely of like mind on this subject. It's wonderful to have these views shared by one of my fellow FP brethren.

JM

SuperSoulFighter's picture

You're very welcome, David! It's a pleasure to share the Truth with you and the others involved here concerning the original intent of the Scriptures with respect to the salvation of men. Our entrance into Covenant relationship with God, spiritually, has been misrepresented and characterized according to erroneously misapplied concepts and statements in the Scriptures. It's high time for the Full Preterist hermeneutic to be applied consistently in the area of our Soteriology also.

Thank you so much for you kind words of encouragement and agreement! They are much appreciated. I will present Part Two of this series of studies sometime this week or weekend.

Your fellow laborer in the Truth,

JM

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