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Author Topic: A Logical Incongruity?  (Read 3118 times)
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« on: June 18, 2004, 03:49:05 PM »

For the sake of argument (not really).

Let's suppose that in a particular place, Jesus, the Son of God who cannot lie, tells us something. In the telling of this, He offers something to man, and in this offer attaches no conditions other than one....that being the condition of belief (pistueo). To clarify, pistueo contains several levels of meaning, ranging from the typical western notion of mental assent or knowledge, to a deeper intention that signifies placing complete trust, credit and confidence. In this particular instance, we are relying on the deeper meaning of trust, credit and confidence (full faith) rather than in any mental assent/head knowledge acquiescence.

So...Jesus says.....if you believe (in me), I will give you xxx.

Now, in another place, Jesus says essentially the same thing, but appears to attach some condition(s) to it, such as: if you believe (in me), I will give you xxx IF you do (a), (b), (c), etc.

This results in a logical incongruity...a situation whereby the inherent factors, actions or propositions are contradictory. As such, the law of non-contradiction comes into play. Both factors cannot be true simultaneously. One of necessity MUST be false.

The question is, which one?

I believe that we can all pretty much agree that the first possible factor to rule out is that in either case, Jesus lied, since that is an impossibility.

So where now?

Well, we can apply Occam's Razor, if we're feeling really logical and philosophical. The Razor (named after Henry Ockham), properly applies a series of "cutting edges" to any argument to reduce them to their fewest common denominators leading from point A to a conclusion. The argument that has the fewest points is then declared the winner as being the simplest, most efficient, and most effective way of reaching the same final conclusion.

To demonstrate:

Proposition A: IF I believe, Then Jesus saves me.

Proposition B: IF I believe, and do (A, B, C, D, E, & F), THEN Jesus saves me.

Notice please that in proposition B, the conclusion (Jesus saves me) is CONDITIONED upon successful completion of a series of intermediate steps, whereas in porposition A, there are no intermediate steps.

Occam's Razor slices the intermediate steps of proposition B to the nubbin. The law of Non-Contradiction declares that B cannot be true if A is true, nor can A be true if B is true. We have already agreed that B cannot be false, nor can A be false, as God is NOT a liar, and having made both statements, then both MUST be true.

How can that be?  

I would surmise the following (and I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement).

Since Jesus cannot lie, we are obligated to take His statements at face value. If He says that those who believe are saved, then we are saved. Of primary consideration is the simple fact that in several places where He makes the statement, the word saved (sozo-to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue) is found in two primary tenses and moods in usage.

One is the perfect, passive, indicative, the other is perfect, active, indicative. On some other occasions, the tense is found to be future, active, indicative.

The perfect tense simply means that something has occurred, once, and implies that there is no necessity for repeating it. It has happened....a done deal.  The passive mood means that the one to who the action is referring to has it applied from an external source. The recipient does nothing. Finally, the indicative mood is a simple statement of fact, reinforcing the perfect tense in the statement....it is done/finished/accomplished.

Those occasions where the word is perfect, active, indicative, the active mode dictates that there is a part being played at the present time by the recipient of the action.

The future, active, indicative puts the culmination or fulfillment of the action at a point in the future.

Ah HA!! Doesn't that mean that we aren't saved now, but will be (maybe) at some point in the future?

Oooo Kay!  Try this.  

We are saved.....we are being saved.....we will be saved.

When we believe, we are saved....perfect, passive, indicative. Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith (belief).

While we are saved, we are being saved....we are learning from Him to be more like Him, and we mortify our members (didn't Paul say that?), we are learning to follow Him daily (is that like picking up our cross?), and renewing our minds...in other words, learning to be as He wants us to be.

At some point in the future (no man knoweth the day), we will be saved....completely and utterly delivered from mortality and corruption, to be as HE is, to know as HE knows. And we can know that we will arrive at the point (having endured to the end) because Jesus asked the Father to keep us. And if He can't keep me, then I SURELY can't....no matter how hard I try.

The scriptures that speak of "enduring to the end", or "taking up our cross", or "doing yadayadayada" are NOT inconsistent with the scriptures that speak of instant and complete salvation....rather, they are a statement of the NATURAL course of events that will transpire in the life of a TRUE believer. They are the outworking of love that has already been inworked, and are done NOT because we have to, but because we WANT to. They are done NOT so that we can receive, but BECAUSE we have ALREADY received. They are the ultimate expression of understanding and gratitude for the enormity of the GIFT we have been given.

We can be...to do.

Or we can do.....to be.

Seems to me that the entire bible is an expression of God's attitude about the simple fact that we cannot DO enough to be.

That's why Jesus did in our behalf.

 
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michael_legna
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2004, 04:44:49 PM »


Quote
For the sake of argument (not really).

Let's suppose that in a particular place, Jesus, the Son of God who cannot lie, tells us something. In the telling of this, He offers something to man, and in this offer attaches no conditions other than one....that being the condition of belief (pistueo). To clarify, pistueo contains several levels of meaning, ranging from the typical western notion of mental assent or knowledge, to a deeper intention that signifies placing complete trust, credit and confidence. In this particular instance, we are relying on the deeper meaning of trust, credit and confidence (full faith) rather than in any mental assent/head knowledge acquiescence.

So...Jesus says.....if you believe (in me), I will give you xxx.

Now, in another place, Jesus says essentially the same thing, but appears to attach some condition(s) to it, such as: if you believe (in me), I will give you xxx IF you do (a), (b), (c), etc.

This results in a logical incongruity...a situation whereby the inherent factors, actions or propositions are contradictory.

No what results is the realization (at least in the mind of the thinking individual) that one account is a partial rendition of the story and the others are there to fill out the details.

Quote
As such, the law of non-contradiction comes into play. Both factors cannot be true simultaneously. One of necessity MUST be false.

Boy you really are a one trick pony aren't you – that same old tired tool the law of non-contradiction that you apply without consideration to whether it is applicable.  Neither must be false if one is a more complete expression of a point the other makes in summary form.

Such is the case with the following two verses:

John 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

and

1 John 3:23  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

If one reads only the first one thinks all one has to do to do God's work is believe, but when one sees the rest of the story we see that we must believe and love one another.  Faith and works together.


Quote
I believe that we can all pretty much agree that the first possible factor to rule out is that in either case, Jesus lied, since that is an impossibility.

Absolutely we can agree to that.


Quote

Well, we can apply Occam's Razor, if we're feeling really logical and philosophical. The Razor (named after Henry Ockham), properly applies a series of "cutting edges" to any argument to reduce them to their fewest common denominators leading from point A to a conclusion. The argument that has the fewest points is then declared the winner as being the simplest, most efficient, and most effective way of reaching the same final conclusion.

To demonstrate:

Proposition A: IF I believe, Then Jesus saves me.

Proposition B: IF I believe, and do (A, B, C, D, E, & F), THEN Jesus saves me.

Notice please that in proposition B, the conclusion (Jesus saves me) is CONDITIONED upon successful completion of a series of intermediate steps, whereas in porposition A, there are no intermediate steps.

Occam's Razor slices the intermediate steps of proposition B to the nubbin. The law of Non-Contradiction declares that B cannot be true if A is true, nor can A be true if B is true. We have already agreed that B cannot be false, nor can A be false, as God is NOT a liar, and having made both statements, then both MUST be true.

Of course we must remember that Occam's razor is for use in the sciences which do not search for truth but for the ability to control and predict out environment so it may not be applicable at all and even if it is it is a man made invention and so certainly flawed.  But it will still be interesting to see where this takes us.  If only for the sake of argument.

Quote
How can that be?  

I would surmise the following (and I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement).

Since Jesus cannot lie, we are obligated to take His statements at face value. If He says that those who believe are saved, then we are saved.

If we assume that one statement can contain His entire message, then we would be correct in assuming this.  But to declare this to be true, is to do to His word what the interviewers on 60 Minutes do, in the editing room, to their subjects statements.   Grin

It is neither fair nor accurate to require a single sentence or verse to contain all of God's wisdom or plan.

Quote
Of primary consideration is the simple fact that in several places where He makes the statement, the word saved (sozo-to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue) is found in two primary tenses and moods in usage.

One is the perfect, passive, indicative, the other is perfect, active, indicative. On some other occasions, the tense is found to be future, active, indicative.

The perfect tense simply means that something has occurred, once, and implies that there is no necessity for repeating it. It has happened....a done deal.  The passive mood means that the one to who the action is referring to has it applied from an external source. The recipient does nothing. Finally, the indicative mood is a simple statement of fact, reinforcing the perfect tense in the statement....it is done/finished/accomplished.

Those occasions where the word is perfect, active, indicative, the active mode dictates that there is a part being played at the present time by the recipient of the action.

The future, active, indicative puts the culmination or fulfillment of the action at a point in the future.

Are we to just take your word for this or do you intend to do the work and show the specific verse you claim support this analysis?  It also appears you have both verses using perfect tense and those using future active indicative – so don’t you have another incongruity you will have to apply Occam's Razor too?


Quote
Ah HA!! Doesn't that mean that we aren't saved now, but will be (maybe) at some point in the future?

Oooo Kay!  Try this.  

We are saved.....we are being saved.....we will be saved.

When we believe, we are saved....perfect, passive, indicative. Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith (belief).

While we are saved, we are being saved....we are learning from Him to be more like Him, and we mortify our members (didn't Paul say that?), we are learning to follow Him daily (is that like picking up our cross?), and renewing our minds...in other words, learning to be as He wants us to be.

At some point in the future (no man knoweth the day), we will be saved....completely and utterly delivered from mortality and corruption, to be as HE is, to know as HE knows. And we can know that we will arrive at the point (having endured to the end) because Jesus asked the Father to keep us. And if He can't keep me, then I SURELY can't....no matter how hard I try.

The scriptures that speak of "enduring to the end", or "taking up our cross", or "doing yadayadayada" are NOT inconsistent with the scriptures that speak of instant and complete salvation....rather, they are a statement of the NATURAL course of events that will transpire in the life of a TRUE believer. They are the outworking of love that has already been inworked, and are done NOT because we have to, but because we WANT to. They are done NOT so that we can receive, but BECAUSE we have ALREADY received. They are the ultimate expression of understanding and gratitude for the enormity of the GIFT we have been given.

Of course this begs the question of what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him.  If they are still saved because as you put it - "Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" then this enduring and picking up our cross is meaningless relative to salvation and you are in effect saying Jesus lied in those verses.   If those who do not do this are not saved then your assessment that – " Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" is erroneous.   You can't have it both ways.

No the solution I presented at the very beginning – that there is no incongruity – that one statement is simply incomplete and the others go on to fill out the details works much more cleanly than Occam's Razor.
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2004, 02:34:32 PM »

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No what results is the realization (at least in the mind of the thinking individual) that one account is a partial rendition of the story and the others are there to fill out the details.

Rofl....so Spurgeon, Henry, Graham, Luther, Zwingli, Huss, Stanley, Wesley, and a host of other theologians can't think?
Quote
Boy you really are a one trick pony aren't you – that same old tired tool the law of non-contradiction that you apply without consideration to whether it is applicable.  Neither must be false if one is a more complete expression of a point the other makes in summary form.
Such is the case with the following two verses:
John 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
and
1 John 3:23  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
Double Rofl.....I leave the sleight of hand (and definition) tricks to you.

Quote
If one reads only the first one thinks all one has to do to do God's work is believe, but when one sees the rest of the story we see that we must believe and love one another.  Faith and works together.

Eph 2:8   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Eph 2:9   Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You've still got the cart before your trick pony.

Quote
Absolutely we can agree to that.
It's good to know (seriously) that there are some thing(s) we can agree on.

Quote
Of course we must remember that Occam's razor is for use in the sciences which do not search for truth but for the ability to control and predict out environment so it may not be applicable at all and even if it is it is a man made invention and so certainly flawed.  But it will still be interesting to see where this takes us.  If only for the sake of argument.

I'm sure that William of Ockham would be quite surprised to know that his razor is for scientific use, considering that he was a philosopher, not a scientist, and devised it to specifically deal with philosophical and moral questions.

Quote

If we assume that one statement can contain His entire message, then we would be correct in assuming this.  But to declare this to be true, is to do to His word what the interviewers on 60 Minutes do, in the editing room, to their subjects statements. 
It is neither fair nor accurate to require a single sentence or verse to contain all of God's wisdom or plan.
See answer further down.


Quote
Are we to just take your word for this or do you intend to do the work and show the specific verse you claim support this analysis?  It also appears you have both verses using perfect tense and those using future active indicative – so don’t you have another incongruity you will have to apply Occam's Razor too?

As noted, reference was made to some of the 31 instances YOU made reference to (without quoting), and denotes the various usages.  

Quote
Of course this begs the question of what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him. 


No, it doesn't beg the question as originally posed......only as you READ INTO it your bias and presupposition.


Quote
If they are still saved because as you put it - "Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" then this enduring and picking up our cross is meaningless relative to salvation and you are in effect saying Jesus lied in those verses. 

Apparently you did not read (with comprehension) the final conclusions. Enduring and picking up the cross is relative to salvation ONLY as a result of it, not as a cause of it. And that does not call Jesus a liar...I leave that to you. as when you maintained that there are other ways to God
Quote
But unlike you we are unwilling to judge other men (which you seem all to willing to do).  Instead we admit that it is possible to know Christ without knowing of Him.  One can know and understand the message of the Gospel without being aware that a carpenter named Jesus lived in the 1st century.


Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Quote
If those who do not do this are not saved then your assessment that – " Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" is erroneous.  You can't have it both ways.
No the solution I presented at the very beginning – that there is no incongruity – that one statement is simply incomplete and the others go on to fill out the details works much more cleanly than Occam's Razor.



Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luk 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

I suppose from your wordy assessments that in these cases, Jesus did not say what the bible reports He said. What He really meant to say was "your faith hath saved thee, but there are a few codicils here....first, you need to stick around for a hundred or so years until everything I did say gets written down, then you need to make sure you read all about it and understand that your faith doesn't save you, it's all the things you need to do that will save you....or, on the other hand, you can make sure you stick close to me so that you hear everything I'm going to say".

Um hmmm. And you make reference to "thinking individuals"?

2Cr 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatian(s), who hath bewitched you,...
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michael_legna
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2004, 04:42:43 PM »


Part 1 of 2

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Quote
No what results is the realization (at least in the mind of the thinking individual) that one account is a partial rendition of the story and the others are there to fill out the details.

Rofl....so Spurgeon, Henry, Graham, Luther, Zwingli, Huss, Stanley, Wesley, and a host of other theologians can't think?

I assume by your listing these men you claim to be able to show that they agreed with your assessment that there exists a logical incongruity in scripture.  I don't accept that for a  moment.  Your approach is both new and novel so that I doubt any of those "great thinkers" shared it with you.   Unfortunately novel and new is not important – correct is all that is important and this concept of yours is not correct.

Quote
Eph 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:   Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You've still got the cart before your trick pony.

No you can't see that the cart has two ponies.  It is not an either/or it is a both/and situation.

Look at James 2:14  "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" and James 2:17  "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

I can hear you now with you logical incongruity theory.  But no the two verse references do not contradict.  Ephesians is contrasting grace and works saying that we are saved by grace not works.  It could just have easily said we are saved by grace and not faith.  The message is not a contrasting of faith and works it is a contrasting of the idea of salvation being a free gift and the idea that salvation can be earned.  James is talking about the proper method of accepting the free gift which is through faith (but what kind of faith is James’ question), a living faith one that is accompanied by works.  In fact one that if works are not present is a dead faith one that is of no use in acceptance of the gift.  Now we go back to Eph and put the idea of as living faith into the verse and we still see no conflict as that living faith through which we accept the free gift of grace is still not meriting us salvation.  No, these two verses (and no two verses in scripture are ever contradicting themselves).

The point of Eph 2:8 is no boasting.  No boasting over our works meriting salvation and even no boasting over our faith being good enough to gain us salvation.  Salvation is free by grace.  So many Protestants would exclude Catholics from salvation because they say their faith was not good enough.  They say this because the Catholic’s in their mind didn’t trust completely in Christ, relying on their works as part of the acceptance of the gift.  They fail to realize that this is a form of boasting.  Boasting that their own faith is what is gaining salvation for them because it is a good enough faith to merit the gift.  This is not the case.  Once again the point of Eph 2:8 is to contrast free grace with meriting salvation (whether it be by works or faith) the verse just happens to use works in the example.

James is teaching us that the kind of faith being discussed in Ephesians is a true living faith one that cannot be separated from works and since Ephesians does not speak against all works (just those aimed at meriting salvation so we can boast) then we see they are not incongruous.

Quote
Quote
Of course we must remember that Occam's razor is for use in the sciences which do not search for truth but for the ability to control and predict out environment so it may not be applicable at all and even if it is it is a man made invention and so certainly flawed.  But it will still be interesting to see where this takes us.  If only for the sake of argument.

I'm sure that William of Ockham would be quite surprised to know that his razor is for scientific use, considering that he was a philosopher, not a scientist, and devised it to specifically deal with philosophical and moral questions.

Science back then was called natural philosophy and the great minds of the times were a jack of all trades. Occam was also a fledgling Catholic theologian though he was reprimanded for the opinions he formed during his masters study in while in the Franciscan order.   He eventually fled to France and later to Germany.  But what is important is that philosophy makes much less use of the Razor than does science.

Quote
Quote

If we assume that one statement can contain His entire message, then we would be correct in assuming this.  But to declare this to be true, is to do to His word what the interviewers on 60 Minutes do, in the editing room, to their subjects statements.  
It is neither fair nor accurate to require a single sentence or verse to contain all of God's wisdom or plan.


See answer further down.

I looked I didn't see an answer to justify your parsing the Gospel into sound bites and snippets.

End of Part 1
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2004, 04:44:46 PM »


Part 2 of 2

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Are we to just take your word for this or do you intend to do the work and show the specific verse you claim support this analysis?  It also appears you have both verses using perfect tense and those using future active indicative – so don’t you have another incongruity you will have to apply Occam's Razor too?

As noted, reference was made to some of the 31 instances YOU made reference to (without quoting), and denotes the various usages.

Show us the specifics – you cannot just claim that these 31 instances in general contain some feature that you are not willing to prove in even one specific occurrence.  Who is to believe such generalization from an unrecognized authority?  

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Of course this begs the question of what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him.


No, it doesn't beg the question as originally posed......only as you READ INTO it your bias and presupposition.

Another non-answer.  Are you really that afraid to answer questions about the word of God?

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Quote
If they are still saved because as you put it - "Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" then this enduring and picking up our cross is meaningless relative to salvation and you are in effect saying Jesus lied in those verses.


Apparently you did not read (with comprehension) the final conclusions. Enduring and picking up the cross is relative to salvation ONLY as a result of it, not as a cause of it.

You can claim this all you want but without some analysis and an effort at interpreting the text of the verse (beyond some blanket statement that you say it is so) it is not to be believed.

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Quote
But unlike you we are unwilling to judge other men (which you seem all to willing to do).  Instead we admit that it is possible to know Christ without knowing of Him.  One can know and understand the message of the Gospel without being aware that a carpenter named Jesus lived in the 1st century.


Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

And I suppose you think that proves they have to know Jesus lived as a carpenter?  Nonsense!  You can come to the Father through Jesus by believing in Him through His message.  The problem with so many of the Protestant doctrines is that they focus too narrowly on His role as sacrificial lamb and fail to see that was only one aspect of His teachings.  Christ died for our sins whether we realize He did or not.   The merit of His sacrifice applies to us whether we know He was sacrificed or not.  God's grace is available to us whether we know this or not.  What is required that we believe in Him and that can be done by accepting His message of fulfilling the spirit of the law through love.

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If those who do not do this are not saved then your assessment that – " Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" is erroneous.  You can't have it both ways.

No the solution I presented at the very beginning – that there is no incongruity – that one statement is simply incomplete and the others go on to fill out the details works much more cleanly than Occam's Razor.

Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luk 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

I suppose from your wordy assessments that in these cases, Jesus did not say what the bible reports He said. What He really meant to say was "your faith hath saved thee, but there are a few codicils here....first, you need to stick around for a hundred or so years until everything I did say gets written down, then you need to make sure you read all about it and understand that your faith doesn't save you, it's all the things you need to do that will save you....or, on the other hand, you can make sure you stick close to me so that you hear everything I'm going to say".

No you are only judged on what you know (lucky for you  Grin).  Those who had not heard his teachings (or only a limited portion of them) will be judged on what they heard or knew and how well they accept this and believed it.  To truly believe in someone you must believe in their message as well.  The people in the verses you reference had take to heart all of Christ's teaching they were aware of and so truly had faith in Him.  I am more worried about people like you who read His teachings but then don't believe that He actually told us we had to accept the free gift through faith and works both.

End of Part 2
End
« Last Edit: June 21, 2004, 06:07:15 PM by michael_legna » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2004, 04:47:10 PM »


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I assume by your listing these men you claim to be able to show that they agreed with your assessment that there exists a logical incongruity in scripture.  I don't accept that for a  moment.  Your approach is both new and novel so that I doubt any of those "great thinkers" shared it with you.  Unfortunately novel and new is not important – correct is all that is important and this concept of yours is not correct.

Ahhh....a misunderstanding. I am not postulating that there IS a logical incongruity (hence the question mark), but only that one does exists IF CREATED by those who insist that there are addendums, thus positing a position of contradiction between two statements. The post is intended to show the establishment of the incongruity ONLY if (and when) the condition of additional requirements is imposed. My posting of the scholars names was in support of the position that there can be NO added requirements, as they are all staunch expositors of Sola Fide.

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No you can't see that the cart has two ponies.  It is not an either/or it is a both/and situation.
Of course I disagree. If you have a pony named faith, and another called works, and tie them both to the cart named salvation, then you have a problem. "Salvation is by grace THROUGH faith....NOT of works...".  Now, if you would like to amend that a little, and say "faith is the pony, and works are the legs of that pony", then we can come real real close to developing a mutual understanding.

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Look at James 2:14  "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" and James 2:17  "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Tts 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

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I can hear you now with you logical incongruity theory.
 
You can? Are you sure you're listening carefully? Your first assumption (above) indicated that you weren't.

 
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But no the two verse references do not contradict.  Ephesians is contrasting grace and works saying that we are saved by grace not works.  It could just have easily said we are saved by grace and not faith.
 
Just as easily? That IS what it says. "ye are saved BY GRACE through faith...".  Grace IS the salvific factor here, but it is accomplished by the faith expressed. "confess with thy mouth....believe in thine heart...".  Further, it even stipulates that the faith is NOT our own, but is ALSO a gift from God.

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The message is not a contrasting of faith and works it is a contrasting of the idea of salvation being a free gift and the idea that salvation can be earned.  James is talking about the proper method of accepting the free gift which is through faith (but what kind of faith is James’ question), a living faith one that is accompanied by works.
Believe it or not, we're in absolutely complete agreement here. A living true faith IS one that is accompanied by works....works of grace that PROCEDE from (not PREcede) the receipt of the gift.

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In fact one that if works are not present is a dead faith one that is of no use in acceptance of the gift.  Now we go back to Eph and put the idea of as living faith into the verse and we still see no conflict as that living faith through which we accept the free gift of grace is still not meriting us salvation.  No, these two verses (and no two verses in scripture are ever contradicting themselves).
The point of Eph 2:8 is no boasting.  No boasting over our works meriting salvation and even no boasting over our faith being good enough to gain us salvation.  Salvation is free by grace. 
Thank you.....point made.

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So many Protestants would exclude Catholics from salvation because they say their faith was not good enough.  They say this because the Catholic’s in their mind didn’t trust completely in Christ, relying on their works as part of the acceptance of the gift.  They fail to realize that this is a form of boasting.  Boasting that their own faith is what is gaining salvation for them because it is a good enough faith to merit the gift.  This is not the case. 


I'm not here to argue what "many Protestants" say, or who they exclude, or include, and will not attempt to justify them.

Continued below
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2004, 04:48:08 PM »

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Science back then was called natural philosophy and the great minds of the times were a jack of all trades. Occam was also a fledgling Catholic theologian though he was reprimanded for the opinions he formed during his masters study in while in the Franciscan order.  He eventually fled to France and later to Germany.  But what is important is that philosophy makes much less use of the Razor than does science.
Reprimanded? Hehehehe......don't you mean excommunicated? What is important is that a philosopher and theologian developed a discipline with the intent to apply it to religious and moral philosophical questions, and did so. That the discipline could also (and later was) adopted for use in another field only attests to the significance and applicability of the discipline.
 
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I looked I didn't see an answer to justify your parsing the Gospel into sound bites and snippets.

Cute.

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Show us the specifics – you cannot just claim that these 31 instances in general contain some feature that you are not willing to prove in even one specific occurrence.  Who is to believe such generalization from an unrecognized authority? 
You desire to play the "credentials" game? Who are you?
Michael....recall, please, that you introduced the subject of "31 instances" of the use of the word free found here http://forums.christiansunite.com/index.php?board=22;action=display;threadid=4155, and which do not really apply in the instances noted in this thread....but if it will make you happy, here's a few, as noted in the reply elsewhere.

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
charisma
1) a favour with which one receives without any merit of his own
2) the gift of divine grace
3) the gift of faith, knowledge, holiness, virtue
4) the economy of divine grace, by which the pardon of sin and eternal salvation is appointed to sinners in consideration of the merits of Christ laid hold of by faith
5) grace or gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on
their souls by the Holy Spirit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rom 5:16 And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift:
dorema
1) a gift, bounty, benefaction
for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift (charisma) [is] of many offences unto justification.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rom 5:17   For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift (dorea) of righteousness (dikaiosune: the state of one acceptable to God) shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
Isn't it interesting that the context and usage of both free, and gift, is exactly (literally) as originally postulated?
Further, in the other instances involving the use of "free"
eleutheros
1) freeborn
a) in a civil sense, one who is not a slave
b) of one who ceases to be a slave, freed, manumitted
2) free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation
3) in an ethical sense: free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law
the primary context and usage is parallel to definition 2 (free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation.

 
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Another non-answer.  Are you really that afraid to answer questions about the word of God?

Rofl. Another snide remark without substance.

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But unlike you we are unwilling to judge other men (which you seem all to willing to do).
Ad hominem. Got some quotes? Or are we just to take your word for it?

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Instead we admit that it is possible to know Christ without knowing of Him.  One can know and understand the message of the Gospel without being aware that a carpenter named Jesus lived in the 1st century.
Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
And I suppose you think that proves they have to know Jesus lived as a carpenter?  Nonsense!  You can come to the Father through Jesus by believing in Him through His message.
 

Ahhhhh....where have I said that anyone had to know He was a carpenter? Did you just throw that in here for....effect?

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The problem with so many of the Protestant doctrines is that they focus too narrowly on His role as sacrificial lamb and fail to see that was only one aspect of His teachings.  Christ died for our sins whether we realize He did or not.  The merit of His sacrifice applies to us whether we know He was sacrificed or not.  God's grace is available to us whether we know this or not.  What is required that we believe in Him and that can be done by accepting His message of fulfilling the spirit of the law through love.
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I don't think we're discussing "many...Protestant doctrines". Is that a Red Herring?  

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If those who do not do this are not saved then your assessment that – " Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith" is erroneous.  You can't have it both ways.
No the solution I presented at the very beginning – that there is no incongruity – that one statement is simply incomplete and the others go on to fill out the details works much more cleanly than Occam's Razor.
Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luk 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

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No you are only judged on what you know (lucky for you  ).  Those who had not heard his teachings (or only a limited portion of them) will be judged on what they heard or knew and how well they accept this and believed it.  To truly believe in someone you must believe in their message as well.  The people in the verses you reference had take to heart all of Christ's teaching they were aware of and so truly had faith in Him.
 
What you are saying, Michael, is quite similar to the Ultra-Dispensationalists in this respect....God made different rules for different groups, and changed the "house rules"...which simply means that salvation is different for everyone, depending on (name the era, group, literacy, ability, etc.).  And that is patently absurd.

Jud 1:3   Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

What was that faith delivered to the saints, Michael....the faith that resulted in a COMMON salvation - regardless of how much message or teaching they heard?  


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I am more worried about people like you who read His teachings but then don't believe that He actually told us we had to accept the free gift through faith and works both.

I'm touched with your worry and concern. But please, don't trouble yourself on my account. My faith has saved me...and my works follow (and work hand-in-hand) with that assurance...they do not cause it.
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2004, 12:18:10 PM »


PART 1 OF 3

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I assume by your listing these men you claim to be able to show that they agreed with your assessment that there exists a logical incongruity in scripture.  I don't accept that for a  moment.  Your approach is both new and novel so that I doubt any of those "great thinkers" shared it with you.  Unfortunately novel and new is not important – correct is all that is important and this concept of yours is not correct.


Ahhh....a misunderstanding. I am not postulating that there IS a logical incongruity (hence the question mark), but only that one does exists IF CREATED by those who insist that there are addendums, thus positing a position of contradiction between two statements.

The post is intended to show the establishment of the incongruity ONLY if (and when) the condition of additional requirements is imposed. My posting of the scholars names was in support of the position that there can be NO added requirements, as they are all staunch expositors of Sola Fide.

I was operating under a misconception of your point.  But how does this prohibition of additional requirements lead to sola scriptura, or is that just coincidentally a trait these authors shared?

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No you can't see that the cart has two ponies.  It is not an either/or it is a both/and situation.

Of course I disagree. If you have a pony named faith, and another called works, and tie them both to the cart named salvation, then you have a problem. "Salvation is by grace THROUGH faith....NOT of works...".  

Now, if you would like to amend that a little, and say "faith is the pony, and works are the legs of that pony", then we can come real real close to developing a mutual understanding.

I am not sure the metaphor can stand too much pressure but it is not too far off as faith and works are inseparable.

I think a better metaphor is to see the true living faith as discussed in the verse you quote in Ephesians as the team of ponies.  In it there is belief (a form of faith) and works of love (which has not room for boasting).  The pony that is not allowed in the team is works of the letter of the law that attempt to merit salvation such that we could boast of it.

I think the difference in semantics between many Catholics and Protestants is that when they say faith alone they mean two different things.  Catholics think of belief and Protestants think of true living faith.  Catholics do not think they can be referring to true living faith because it cannot exist without works of love.  Protestants do not think that works can play a role because they think Catholics are talking about works of the letter of the law to merit salvation.

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Look at James 2:14  "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" and James 2:17  "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Yes here we are again talking about the pony that is not allowed in the team, that of works of the letter of the law.  How do you reconcile the two verses (from Galatians and James) if not by something similar to this?

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2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Yes we are called not because of anything we did (not works or even faith though it is not specifically mentioned) but simply as an unmerited favor (grace).

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Tts 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Here we are again talking about the pony that is not allowed in the team, that of works of the letter of the law.  We know this is true because it refers to attempting to achieve righteousness through these (implying merit) and that is not works of loving obedience.  How do you reconcile this verse with the ones from James if not by something similar to this?

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Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Again this faith is the team of belief and works of love, which enliven and perfect that form of faith (belief) and is thus a required member of the team.

END OF PART 1
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2004, 12:21:09 PM »


PART 2 OF 3


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I can hear you now with you logical incongruity theory.

You can? Are you sure you're listening carefully? Your first assumption (above) indicated that you weren't.

You are right I missed your point.  I apologize.

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But no the two verse references do not contradict.  Ephesians is contrasting grace and works saying that we are saved by grace not works.  It could just have easily said we are saved by grace and not faith.
 

Just as easily? That IS what it says. "ye are saved BY GRACE through faith...".  Grace IS the salvific factor here, but it is accomplished by the faith expressed. "confess with thy mouth....believe in thine heart...".  

I agree with this and point to the confession as the works of love pony, and the believe in thine heart as the belief pony.

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Further, it even stipulates that the faith is NOT our own, but is ALSO a gift from God.

This I do not agree with.  The subject of the sentence verse is grace not faith – so it is grace that is the gift.  Faith is not the gift for two different reasons.  

First if we are talking about the pony (belief as faith) then it must be perfected by works and God does not give imperfect gifts.

Second if we are talking about the team of ponies (faith) then it is inseparable from works and works are our own from our free will in cooperation with the grace of God.

Faith is freely decided or it is meaningless.  If God give us grace and faith then He gives us everything we need to be saved and thus all of us would be saved and we know that is not true.

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The message is not a contrasting of faith and works it is a contrasting of the idea of salvation being a free gift and the idea that salvation can be earned.  James is talking about the proper method of accepting the free gift which is through faith (but what kind of faith is James’ question), a living faith one that is accompanied by works.

Believe it or not, we're in absolutely complete agreement here. A living true faith IS one that is accompanied by works....works of grace that PROCEDE from (not PREcede) the receipt of the gift.

Yes I agree that works proceed from the gift, but the gift is grace not faith.  Works do precede faith (in both senses).

First they precede the pony belief because we must recognize we are sinners and repent before we can seek a savior, only then can we believe in that Savior.  So repentance (works) comes before belief (faith).

Second works precedes the team of ponies obviously because it is one of the ponies and a member and the team cannot exist until all its members do.

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Science back then was called natural philosophy and the great minds of the times were a jack of all trades. Occam was also a fledgling Catholic theologian though he was reprimanded for the opinions he formed during his masters study in while in the Franciscan order.  He eventually fled to France and later to Germany.  But what is important is that philosophy makes much less use of the Razor than does science.

Reprimanded? Hehehehe......don't you mean excommunicated? What is important is that a philosopher and theologian developed a discipline with the intent to apply it to religious and moral philosophical questions, and did so. That the discipline could also (and later was) adopted for use in another field only attests to the significance and applicability of the discipline.

I am not saying that the Razor is not useful, just cautioning that its use should not be automatic.  Its limited usefulness in applications of knowledge is evidenced by it being almost unused in philosophy today, being instead taken up by the physical sciences which do not seek knowledge in any absolute sense.

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Show us the specifics – you cannot just claim that these 31 instances in general contain some feature that you are not willing to prove in even one specific occurrence.  Who is to believe such generalization from an unrecognized authority?

You desire to play the "credentials" game? Who are you?

Michael....recall, please, that you introduced the subject of "31 instances" of the use of the word free found here

http://forums.christiansunite.com/index.php?board=22;action=display;threadid=4155, and which do not really apply in the instances noted in this thread....but if it will make you happy, here's a few, as noted in the reply elsewhere.

You are correct in not taking anything I say at face value, but instead checking it.  But in terms of the 31 occurrences of the word free in the NT (KJV translation) I provided ever one of the references I drew a conclusion from and showed where I got it from that verse.  I did not make some sweeping generalization without providing even one example.

END OF PART 2
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2004, 12:21:57 PM »


PART 3 OF 3


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Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
charisma
1) a favour with which one receives without any merit of his own
2) the gift of divine grace
3) the gift of faith, knowledge, holiness, virtue
4) the economy of divine grace, by which the pardon of sin and eternal salvation is appointed to sinners in consideration of the merits of Christ laid hold of by faith
5) grace or gifts denoting extraordinary powers, distinguishing certain Christians and enabling them to serve the church of Christ, the reception of which is due to the power of divine grace operating on
their souls by the Holy Spirit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rom 5:16 And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift:
dorema
1) a gift, bounty, benefaction
for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift (charisma) [is] of many offences unto justification.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rom 5:17   For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift (dorea) of righteousness (dikaiosune: the state of one acceptable to God) shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
Isn't it interesting that the context and usage of both free, and gift, is exactly (literally) as originally postulated?
Further, in the other instances involving the use of "free"
eleutheros
1) freeborn
a) in a civil sense, one who is not a slave
b) of one who ceases to be a slave, freed, manumitted
2) free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation
3) in an ethical sense: free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law
the primary context and usage is parallel to definition 2 (free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation.

I guess I still don't see your point – how does this show that of primary consideration is that the term "free" is found in two primary tenses and moods in usage.  And what significance do your derive from this point if it is shown?

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Another non-answer.  Are you really that afraid to answer questions about the word of God?

Rofl. Another snide remark without substance.

Without substance?  

I asked what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him.

And you responded by

No, it doesn't beg the question as originally posed......only as you READ INTO it your bias and presupposition.

So I ask you again what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him?

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No you are only judged on what you know (lucky for you  ).  Those who had not heard his teachings (or only a limited portion of them) will be judged on what they heard or knew and how well they accept this and believed it.  To truly believe in someone you must believe in their message as well.  The people in the verses you reference had take to heart all of Christ's teaching they were aware of and so truly had faith in Him.


What you are saying, Michael, is quite similar to the Ultra-Dispensationalists in this respect....God made different rules for different groups, and changed the "house rules"...which simply means that salvation is different for everyone, depending on (name the era, group, literacy, ability, etc.).  And that is patently absurd.

I see how it might appear that way if one looks at it only from a knowledge point of view but sin is determined by intention.  To intend something to be a choice of the world over God one must be aware that it is in fact choosing the world over God.  So in this way knowledge of proper doctrine is not like changing the rules based on times and places.

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Jud 1:3   Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

What was that faith delivered to the saints, Michael....the faith that resulted in a COMMON salvation - regardless of how much message or teaching they heard?  

I do not believe that verse is referring to faith as in belief or true living faith it is referring to the faith as in the set of proper doctrines to be believed.  So yes their salvation does depend not so much on the amount of the message they heard but how much of it they took to heart.


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I am more worried about people like you who read His teachings but then don't believe that He actually told us we had to accept the free gift through faith and works both.

I'm touched with your worry and concern. But please, don't trouble yourself on my account. My faith has saved me...and my works follow (and work hand-in-hand) with that assurance...they do not cause it.

I want to finish by apologizing for some of the points I made in my previous post as they were based on a misconception of your original thesis.   I would also apologize for the tone of a good deal of my post because it was based on assuming you held some fairly widely held Protestant beliefs (which you may indeed hold but I am not certain of).  Lastly I would say that despite our disagreement in the last paragraph which I am going to let go for now until you can respond to this post I think we are closer than I would have thought possible on the issue of salvation.

END OF PART 3
END
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2004, 03:58:46 PM »

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[I want to finish by apologizing for some of the points I made in my previous post as they were based on a misconception of your original thesis.  I would also apologize for the tone of a good deal of my post because it was based on assuming you held some fairly widely held Protestant beliefs (which you may indeed hold but I am not certain of).  Lastly I would say that despite our disagreement in the last paragraph which I am going to let go for now until you can respond to this post I think we are closer than I would have thought possible on the issue of salvation.

I'll begin by apologizing also for the delay....been out of action with a very bad tooth.
I appreciate your tone and apology, and offer my own also for being somewhat snappy at times. I really think it's possible that we can have some good interchange here, although I don't really expect you to "convert" to my POV.

Actually, we are quite a bit closer than you think...although there are some seemingly insurmountable disagreements. And, FWIW, I don't think I hold to any "Protestant" beliefs, preferring instead to believe that my beliefs come from the Word of God rather than any denomination. Indeed, most denominations don't like me, because I don't hesitate to point out (with scripture) where their particular biases and deviations in both written doctrine and actual practice are.

quote]This I do not agree with.  The subject of the sentence verse is grace not faith – so it is grace that is the gift.  Faith is not the gift for two different reasons. 
First if we are talking about the pony (belief as faith) then it must be perfected by works and God does not give imperfect gifts.
Second if we are talking about the team of ponies (faith) then it is inseparable from works and works are our own from our free will in cooperation with the grace of God.
Faith is freely decided or it is meaningless.  If God give us grace and faith then He gives us everything we need to be saved and thus all of us would be saved and we know that is not true.
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Eph 2:8   For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Michael, the subject (noun) may be grace (gift), but the sentence construction is such that the portion after the semicolon, the word "that" does not refer to the noun, but to the verb (action) which is faith, stipulating that the faith itself is ALSO a gift from God. Granted that the Greek does not have a semicolon, but its existence is implicit in the use of  kai (and) between pistis (faith) and touto (that).  Touto is a direct reference to the action verb (faith), and not to the noun (grace). It is another of His gifts to man that ALLOWS us to recognize the truth, and thereby acknowledge that truth. This is further strengthened by the following verse:

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
hath dealt: merizo (mer-'id-zo)
1) to divide
a) to separate into parts, cut into pieces
1) to divide into parties, i.e. be split into factions
b) to distribute
1) a thing among people
2) bestow, impart
inceptive aorist, active, indicative

the measure: metron (met'-ron)
2) determined extent, portion measured off, measure or limit
a) the required measure, the due, fit, measure

Here we see that God deals to every man the ability to recognize and acknowledge truth. When Jesus said "howbeit when He, the Holy Spirit is come, He will convince (convict) men of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come...", He was specifically referring to this convincing and revealing work of the Holy Spirit that would place squarely in front the man (woman or child) being "convinced" of the truth concerning Jesus. Man then accepts that truth, and acknowledges it, or rejects it, thereby making a choice (the exercise of free will). In no way can the "expression of faith" be considered a "work of the flesh".

So, your distinction that if God gave both grace (salvation) and faith to us then everyone would be saved doesn't quite fit the bill. He has given to us the TOOLS necessary to recognize truth....but as you like to say, we then have to use the tool.

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Yes I agree that works proceed from the gift, but the gift is grace not faith.  Works do precede faith (in both senses).
First they precede the pony belief because we must recognize we are sinners and repent before we can seek a savior, only then can we believe in that Savior.  So repentance (works) comes before belief (faith).
Second works precedes the team of ponies obviously because it is one of the ponies and a member and the team cannot exist until all its members do.

Not to belabor the point but: God gives to each man a measure of faith...the degree necessary to recognize the truth of Jesus (sin, righteousness, and judgment to come). We then acknowledge (express faith), or reject. When we have expressed faith, we get the Granddaddy Gift of All....salvation.   Again, the recognition of truth and expression of faith are not in themselves any kind of work.


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I guess I still don't see your point – how does this show that of primary consideration is that the term "free" is found in two primary tenses and moods in usage.  And what significance do your derive from this point if it is shown?

Ok....whether we use the word "free", or "saved", the importance of tenses and moods in the statements attributable are in determining if it falls into a category of "gonna happen", or "has happened", and of whether or not "we do" or "it is done from outside". When a statement is made that, according to tense and mood, stipulates that "it is done", and that it is done from an external source (we have no say or action in the doing), then that must be weighed as much as a statement that says "it will happen", or "it might happen", etc.


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I see how it might appear that way if one looks at it only from a knowledge point of view but sin is determined by intention.  To intend something to be a choice of the world over God one must be aware that it is in fact choosing the world over God. 

Man is concluded "under sin". That is all encompassing, all inclusive. It does not say that sin is determined by intention.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Now, when a Christian (already born-again, saved, etc.) "knows to do right, and does it not, then to him it is sin".
Jam 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.


 
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So in this way knowledge of proper doctrine is not like changing the rules based on times and places. 

It might be better set for a completely different thread, since this is a subject that can get quite involved. But...I'll  begin by saying; I think you will agree with me that God is not a respecter of persons. Correct?

Looking forward to more.
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2004, 04:03:23 PM »

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Without substance? 
I asked what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him.
And you responded by
No, it doesn't beg the question as originally posed......only as you READ INTO it your bias and presupposition.
So I ask you again what happens to those who do not continue to endure or do not pick up their cross DAILY and follow Him?

I realize you asked, but in the context of this thread, it seems to me to be a completely different subject.....one worthy of its own thread. As such, it really doesn't have anything to do with the original postulate.

If you want, start another thread, and we'll attack those questions with gusto!! Be sure, though, to adequately define "endure", and "pick up their cross daily".   Grin
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2004, 10:03:52 PM »

For the sake of argument (not really).

Let's suppose that in a particular place, Jesus, the Son of God who cannot lie, tells us something. In the telling of this, He offers something to man, and in this offer attaches no conditions other than one....that being the condition of belief (pistueo). To clarify, pistueo contains several levels of meaning, ranging from the typical western notion of mental assent or knowledge, to a deeper intention that signifies placing complete trust, credit and confidence. In this particular instance, we are relying on the deeper meaning of trust, credit and confidence (full faith) rather than in any mental assent/head knowledge acquiescence.

So...Jesus says.....if you believe (in me), I will give you xxx.

Now, in another place, Jesus says essentially the same thing, but appears to attach some condition(s) to it, such as: if you believe (in me), I will give you xxx IF you do (a), (b), (c), etc.

This results in a logical incongruity...a situation whereby the inherent factors, actions or propositions are contradictory. As such, the law of non-contradiction comes into play. Both factors cannot be true simultaneously. One of necessity MUST be false.

The question is, which one?

I believe that we can all pretty much agree that the first possible factor to rule out is that in either case, Jesus lied, since that is an impossibility.

So where now?

Well, we can apply Occam's Razor, if we're feeling really logical and philosophical. The Razor (named after Henry Ockham), properly applies a series of "cutting edges" to any argument to reduce them to their fewest common denominators leading from point A to a conclusion. The argument that has the fewest points is then declared the winner as being the simplest, most efficient, and most effective way of reaching the same final conclusion.

To demonstrate:

Proposition A: IF I believe, Then Jesus saves me.

Proposition B: IF I believe, and do (A, B, C, D, E, & F), THEN Jesus saves me.

Notice please that in proposition B, the conclusion (Jesus saves me) is CONDITIONED upon successful completion of a series of intermediate steps, whereas in porposition A, there are no intermediate steps.

Occam's Razor slices the intermediate steps of proposition B to the nubbin. The law of Non-Contradiction declares that B cannot be true if A is true, nor can A be true if B is true. We have already agreed that B cannot be false, nor can A be false, as God is NOT a liar, and having made both statements, then both MUST be true.

How can that be?  

I would surmise the following (and I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement).

Since Jesus cannot lie, we are obligated to take His statements at face value. If He says that those who believe are saved, then we are saved. Of primary consideration is the simple fact that in several places where He makes the statement, the word saved (sozo-to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue) is found in two primary tenses and moods in usage.

One is the perfect, passive, indicative, the other is perfect, active, indicative. On some other occasions, the tense is found to be future, active, indicative.

The perfect tense simply means that something has occurred, once, and implies that there is no necessity for repeating it. It has happened....a done deal.  The passive mood means that the one to who the action is referring to has it applied from an external source. The recipient does nothing. Finally, the indicative mood is a simple statement of fact, reinforcing the perfect tense in the statement....it is done/finished/accomplished.

Those occasions where the word is perfect, active, indicative, the active mode dictates that there is a part being played at the present time by the recipient of the action.

The future, active, indicative puts the culmination or fulfillment of the action at a point in the future.

Ah HA!! Doesn't that mean that we aren't saved now, but will be (maybe) at some point in the future?

Oooo Kay!  Try this.  

We are saved.....we are being saved.....we will be saved.

When we believe, we are saved....perfect, passive, indicative. Our salvation is complete and assured, based upon the expression of faith (belief).

While we are saved, we are being saved....we are learning from Him to be more like Him, and we mortify our members (didn't Paul say that?), we are learning to follow Him daily (is that like picking up our cross?), and renewing our minds...in other words, learning to be as He wants us to be.

At some point in the future (no man knoweth the day), we will be saved....completely and utterly delivered from mortality and corruption, to be as HE is, to know as HE knows. And we can know that we will arrive at the point (having endured to the end) because Jesus asked the Father to keep us. And if He can't keep me, then I SURELY can't....no matter how hard I try.

The scriptures that speak of "enduring to the end", or "taking up our cross", or "doing yadayadayada" are NOT inconsistent with the scriptures that speak of instant and complete salvation....rather, they are a statement of the NATURAL course of events that will transpire in the life of a TRUE believer. They are the outworking of love that has already been inworked, and are done NOT because we have to, but because we WANT to. They are done NOT so that we can receive, but BECAUSE we have ALREADY received. They are the ultimate expression of understanding and gratitude for the enormity of the GIFT we have been given.

We can be...to do.

Or we can do.....to be.

Seems to me that the entire bible is an expression of God's attitude about the simple fact that we cannot DO enough to be.

That's why Jesus did in our behalf.

 
Why is believing seperated from the doings? Isn't believing a do? It must be done, but wait their is another do before we can do the believing, hearing. We must do the hearing of the good news of Jesus Christ.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2004, 10:08:11 PM by ollie » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2004, 11:32:13 AM »

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Why is believing seperated from the doings? Isn't believing a do? It must be done, but wait their is another do before we can do the believing, hearing. We must do the hearing of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Ollie:
I don't think it's a matter of "separating" believing and doing. The discussion primarily centers around this: where "doing" is the performance of works, and "believing" is the expression of faith, which precedes the other? Do we "do" (perform works) so that we can then be a believing Christian, or by being a believing Christian, do we then "do"?

In the pony corollary, is the pony belief, and it pulls the works which follow behind, or are works the pony, and it pulls the belief?

My argument maintains that belief comes first (along with salvation), and the works are a natural result of that salvation, as opposed to the doing of good works which result in salvation.

And the believing itself cannot be considered a "work", as explained in the previous post.
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