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John 6:37 Question #55741
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:19 AM
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:19 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,715
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Is the following explanation of John 6:37 a typical Arminian, or Semi-Pelagian theologian’s exegesis

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”


Quote
First the Scriptures do not contradict themselves; instead, they are perfectly harmonious (Dt. 32:4; 1 Cor. 14:33a).When one encounters a passage, therefore, that may appear to conflict with plain-spoken texts contained elsewhere in Scripture, he must look carefully at the more obscure text and determine if there is a reasonable way to bring it into harmony with the other.

Having said that, let us further emphasize this point. No sacred text must be viewed in any way that would negate the following fundamental truths.

(1) Man has been granted free will (Mt. 23:37b; Jn. 5:39; 7:17; Rev. 22:17).

(2) His salvation is dependent upon his personal acceptance of divine grace, in obedience to the requirements of the gospel of Christ (2 Thes. 1:7-9; Heb. 5:8-9; 1 Pet. 4:17).

To suggest that God, before the world’s foundation, chose certain ones to be saved, and others to be lost, independent of a personal reception of truth, is a doctrine that cannot be sustained by the Scriptures — regardless of the number of sincere people who subscribe to it.

There are several crucial questions that must be addressed in connection with John 6:37.Whendid the “giving” of certain people to the Son take place?In what sense does the Father “give” these people to his Son?What relationship does the “giving” bear to their “coming” to him?And, what is the significance of the promise, “I will in no wise cast out”?Let us take each of these in order.

(3) When did the “giving” take place?The idea that believers were unconditionally “given” to Christ, in the eternal counsel of God before the foundation of the world, is negated by this very passage.The verb “gives” (didosin) is a present tense form, indicating action in progress; the Father, at that very time, was in the process of giving certain ones to his Son.This passage cannot possibly be employed, then, to establish a “done-deal” gift back in pre-world eternity.As Reynolds noted, “‘The giving’ implies a present activity of grace, not a foregone conclusion” (17, p. 201).

(4) In what sense did God “give” people to his Son?The terms “gift” and “given” are frequently employed idiomatically in the Scriptures to denote divine favor as expressed in Heaven’s redemptive work on man’s behalf — without there being any inclination of an “unconditional election.”

For example, David prophesied that Jehovah would “give” the “nations” (Gentiles) to Christ as an inheritance (Psa. 2:8; cf. Acts 4:25-26). Surely no one will contend that all Gentiles were unconditionally predestined to salvation irrespective of their response to divine truth.Even the most cursory examination of the book of Acts, from chapter 10 onward, reveals that the Gentiles were admitted into redemptive favor by yielding to the requirements of the gospel.Salvation was not as a consequence of an eternal decree independent of human obedience (cf. Acts 10:34-35,43; 11:14; 15:8-9; 1 Pet. 1:22-23).

(5) What relationship is there between the “giving” and the “coming” in John 6:37?There is a significant connection.The “giving” represents what God has provided in the great plan of human salvation; the “coming” represents the acceptation of that plan as manifested in the sinner’s obedience.

When former Baptist minister Robert Shank issued his book, Life in the Son, it produced shock waves among Calvinists.Professor William Adams of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary characterized the book as “one of the most arresting and disturbing books” he had ever read (p. xiii).In this instructive volume, Shank has a special Appendix, “Whom Does the Father Give to Jesus?” in which he discusses this very passage.Therein the author fires this parting blast:

“There is nothing about God’s gift of believers to be the heritage of the Son who died for them which somehow transforms the Gospel’s ‘whosoever will’ into a ‘whosoever must’ and a ‘most of you shan’t.‘There is nothing about it which binds men in the strait jacket of an antecedent decree of positive unconditional election and reprobation, while insisting that they are ’free’” (p. 339).
(6) Our final question is this: “What is the meaning of the affirmation, ‘I will in no wise cast out’?”Some allege it suggests the dogma of the impossibility of apostasy, i.e., that no one “given” to Christ in the eternal scheme of things could ever be lost.The child of God, therefore, can never fall from grace — or so it is claimed.

The passage does not even remotely suggest this pernicious doctrine.Even Albert Barnes, who subscribed to the Calvinistic doctrine of the impossibility of apostasy (see his comment at Matthew 7:23), conceded the following, with reference to John 6:37b. “This expression does not refer to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, but to the fact that Jesus will not reject or refuse any sinner who comes to him” (pp. 246-247).

This admission, combined with the scriptural declarations that God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9), and that “whosoever will” may come to Christ, are death blows to the theory that some were chosen by God for salvation, and others for damnation, before the world began.Perhaps no dogma has ever been so misguided.


Tom

Re: John 6:37 Question [Re: Tom] #55742
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:09 AM
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,674
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Posts: 13,674
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Quote
First the Scriptures do not contradict themselves; instead, they are perfectly harmonious (Dt. 32:4; 1 Cor. 14:33a).When one encounters a passage, therefore, that may appear to conflict with plain-spoken texts contained elsewhere in Scripture, he must look carefully at the more obscure text and determine if there is a reasonable way to bring it into harmony with the other.

Having said that, let us further emphasize this point. No sacred text must be viewed in any way that would negate the following fundamental truths.

(1) Man has been granted free will (Mt. 23:37b; Jn. 5:39; 7:17; Rev. 22:17).

(2) His salvation is dependent upon his personal acceptance of divine grace, in obedience to the requirements of the gospel of Christ (2 Thes. 1:7-9; Heb. 5:8-9; 1 Pet. 4:17).

1. His first statement is correct... which falls under one of the fundamental axioms of biblical hermeneutics "The didactic interprets the symbolic", or put another way, "The clear interprets the unclear". IF one claims that John 6:37 is unclear, then the first thing that one must do is read the CONTEXT of the passage, which in this case makes the meaning clear. IF the context doesn't resolve the alleged difficulty, the consult the didactic passages that speak specifically to the subject, e.g. Eph 1:1-13; Rom 8:28-30, 9ff, et al... DONE DEAL!! Any further claim that Jn 6:37 is unclear shows another more serious problem; refusal to accept the divine origin of the Bible and its ultimate authority.

2. Notice, this man's immediate personal bias and presupposition which controls his interpretation; a) man has a 'free will', aka: man is the sovereign, and b) salvation; regeneration, justification and sanctification is dependent upon man's decision and obedience, aka: faith+works=salvation, which is a direct contradiction of a plethora of didactic passages, e.g. Jh 1:12,13, 3:3,5,16, 5:39,40, 10:25-29; Rom 3:28, 9:7-16; Gal 2:16, 3:10-12; Eph 2:1-5, 8-10; Titus 3:5; Jas 1:18, et al.


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Re: John 6:37 Question [Re: Pilgrim] #55745
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:09 PM
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:09 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,715
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim
Thank you for that answer.
As I thought about your answer, previous conversations with Arminians/Semi-Pelagians came to mind. Especially where you mentioned faith +works =salvation.
As you are probably aware, when you say that to them, they do not like it very much.
In fact they accuse us of using straw man tactics. Lol

Tom

Re: John 6:37 Question [Re: Tom] #55749
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:09 AM
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:09 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 142
Ga. U.S.A.
Mckinley Offline
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"A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant." STEPHEN CHARNOCK
Re: John 6:37 Question [Re: Tom] #55750
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:23 AM
Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,674
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

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Posts: 13,674
NH, USA
Originally Posted by Tom
As you are probably aware, when you say that to them, they do not like it very much.
In fact they accuse us of using straw man tactics. Lol

I answer their angst and rejection by using my little 'presuppositional' diagram with response which can be found here: By Grace Alone?. grin


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