Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Can God Have Mercy on Whom He Wishes?

One of the alleged errors condemned by Rome is this: "All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved." (see discussion here)

But Scripture says:

John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?

Who should I believe? Rome or the Bible? Rome denies God's omnipotence in salvation, whereas Scripture affirms it. With Scripture, I gladly affirm that All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved.

-TurretinFan

31 comments:

natamllc said...

Amen and as Paul the Apostle noted, so I note regarding this thread, that there will be some taking exception to its content because:

2Co 2:14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
2Co 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,
2Co 2:16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
2Co 2:17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.


Also, ironically, sometimes I do need an assistance to know which Bible to read seeing there are some who have written an interpretive book full of the curse of God upon it because it was changed and does not reflect the Truth. But of this God has put His curse:

Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,
Rev 22:19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Rev 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Rev 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.


Amen, and let the whole earth be filled with repentant, humble Saints full of His glory shining as a Light in a darkened world!

Lothair Of Lorraine said...

How exactly does Rome deny the omnipotence of God in salvation?

I think that you are confusing 'soteriology' with 'authority'.

ChaferDTS said...

"How exactly does Rome deny the omnipotence of God in salvation? "

Because it denies that God infallibly saves His elect people in salvation. Reformed Theology holds that the act of effectual calling or regeneration is an almighty act of God in them being brought to spiritual life. And that in His sovereign election He keeps the elect in the faith or totally falling away. Salvation in it's total outworking is based on the omnipotence of God. Ommipotence deals with the power of God and therefore is very much involved in soteriology.

"I think that you are confusing 'soteriology' with 'authority'."

I do not believe he is at all. Reformed Theology teaches that regeneration which is the act of the impartation of eternal life is a work of the omnipotence of God. God speaks and it is done much as God did when He created in Gen 1.

Turretinfan said...

"How exactly does Rome deny the omnipotence of God in salvation?"

Saying that God does not accomplish what he tries to accomplish is to deny God's omnipotence.

"I think that you are confusing 'soteriology' with 'authority'."

I have no idea why you think that.

-TurretinFan

Acolyte4236 said...

Except that Aquinas, Albert, Anselm, and Scotus teach that God elects some to glory without the possibility of their falling away. Somehow I think there is a fair chance you are misinterpreting this statement.

Turretinfan said...

Acolyte,

It's just yet another thing with respect to which Rome is discontinuous with the medieval theologians.


-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Dear TF,

What of the evangelical command for all me to repent and believe? Is this not as sense in which God wishes all men to be saved?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

There's an important difference between God demanding repentance and faith and God wishing to save them.

louis said...

Repentance (2 Tim.2:25) and faith (Eph.2:8) are both gifts from God, and the instrumental means he uses to save those whom he will, according to the purpose of His will (Eph.1:5).

Godismyjudge said...

TF,

There's an important difference between God demanding repentance and faith and God wishing to save them.

Are not God's commands His will (at least in one important sense)?

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

Louis,

Does not God also desire that whosoever believes have eternal life?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Dan:

You wrote: "Are not God's commands His will (at least in one important sense)?"

They are what he wants us to do. Not what he wants himself to do to us.

You wrote: "Does not God also desire that whosoever believes have eternal life?"

"Whosoever believes" is a group exactly co-extensive with the elect.

-TurretinFan

ChaferDTS said...

"Whosoever believes" is a group exactly co-extensive with the elect."

That is a good point. Arminians usually always say " whoseoever " when I have discussions with them . I end up pointing out the same exact thing as you did there. Somehow they read " free will " in to the text and fail to take in to consideration such passages as John 6:44;65 and other passages which refers to the efficacious drawing or calling which brings a person to faith in Christ.

Godismyjudge said...

Dear TF,

Please allow me to rephrase. Has not God promised to save believers, such that if anyone believes, God will save them?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"Has not God promised to save believers, such that if anyone believes, God will save them?"

There's no promise in that exact form, if the form matters. God will, however, save all who believe and "all who believe" is exactly co-extensive with the elect.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Dear TF,

That almost sounds like a 'no' response, if it was intended to directly answer my question.

What about passages saying "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" or "if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to foregive us our sin"? Do you see them as materially different than what I said, and if so, in what respect(s)?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"That almost sounds like a 'no' response, if it was intended to directly answer my question."

Oh, so the form was important. I was afraid of that. Hence my response.

"What about passages saying "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" or "if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to foregive us our sin"? Do you see them as materially different than what I said, and if so, in what respect(s)?"

Formally different, not materially different.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Have you considered that one of the ways the expression "God wishes all to be saved" is cashed out is that A) God wants all to believe and B) if they believe, He will save them?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Yes.

Hence my eagerness to point out the difference between God wishing to save people, and God wishing people to be saved.

Which gets us right back to your initial comment and my response to it.

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Ah, but isn't that just leading us to some different sense for the phrase God desires all to be saved may be understood? Or are you saying the sense I brought up (i.e. A & B) is invalid?

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

GodIsMyJudge:

"Ah, but isn't that just leading us to some different sense for the phrase God desires all to be saved may be understood? Or are you saying the sense I brought up (i.e. A & B) is invalid?"

I'm saying that you're basically off the topic of the post. I'm not getting into whether your assertion is itself correct or not. The question is not the general question of whether there is a sense in which God wishes all men to be saved, but rather the specific question of whether "All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved."

Godismyjudge said...

"All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved"

My guess is the author of that statement ment something roughly equivalant to what I said.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

And you think Rome condemns your position by rejecting the statement? Hard to believe.

Godismyjudge said...

No. I think Rome rejects the denial of A & B, but I affirm A & B.

God be with you,
Dan

louis said...

You see both sides of it here: "Repent and be baptized... for the promise is for... everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." (Acts 2:38-39)

Also here: "and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48).

Turretinfan said...

What Rome rejects is "All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved."

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Presumably because they believe that not all taht God's desire to save end up saved. IOW, to get what they think you have to reverse the statement.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

"Presumably because they believe that not all taht God's desire to save end up saved. IOW, to get what they think you have to reverse the statement."

They think it is heretical to hold the position that I hold, and that Scripture teaches, namely "All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved."

-TurretinFan

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Turretinfan,

My biological brother just got into town so I am going to have to run shortly. This will have to be my last post on this little exchange. I wish you and yours a happy thanksgiving in Him.

I don’t agree that Rome was condemning your view – maybe what they thought was your view, but not you’re view.

First, the Pope and his assistants were Catholics and so it seems natural that they would use native terms and meanings. As such, the focus was A & B, not your view.

Second, they might have been Dominicans (sometimes called Thomists) and as such would have held to unconditional election similar views to the will of God you do. Of course they would also held to A & B and expressed it in terms of God desiring all men to be saved. In which case it would be a both/and rather than an either/or situation.

Third, if we assume the statement cannot be understood in a Dominican sense or even as opposed to the Dominican sense, then we should understand the statement as coming from an anti-Dominican point of view. In which case, they would have likely thought your view on the will of God as absurd and contradictory. In which case, they couldn’t have meant what you mean. Rather, they would have still meant A & B and just thought you were inconsistent on that point.

As an example, supporting all this, consider Trent’s condemnations of justification by faith. At first glance they seem clearly to condemn the protestant view and dare I say the Gospel itself. However, there statements were made in Catholic terms and as such they ‘missed’ the Protestant view that they perhaps took aim at.

Thus not everything that looks like a condemnation from Rome is in fact one. And I say this to you, since you have demonstrated the skill and accuracy to guide through these subtleties and persistency in research to unearth the true issues of which there are a plenty.

God be with you,
Dan

Turretinfan said...

Dan:

It is, of course, possible to misinterpret even seemingly plainly worded condemnations.

That said, I see a lot of speculation from you, and not much reason to think that I've misunderstood what the condemnation means.

The context seems to support my understanding. The context is this:

29. Outside of the Church, no grace is granted.

30. All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved.

31. The desires of Christ always have their effect; He brings peace to the depth of hearts when He desires it for them.

32. Jesus Christ surrendered Himself to death to free forever from the hand of the exterminating angel, by His blood, the first born, that is, the elect.

While I appreciate your attempt to avoid a conflict between Scripture and Rome, in this case Rome condemned the truth.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Acolyte:

You got your chance to state your position once. Once is enough.

-TurretinFan