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  1. Right, a good saying is that theological discernment is not only knowing right from wrong but right from almost right. A little bit of poison in wholesome food can be undetectable and quite deadly.
  2. "The best way to get rid of the Devil, if you cannot kill it with the words of Holy Scripture, is to rail at and mock him." "I often laugh at Satan, and there is nothing that makes him so angry as when I attack him to his face, and tell him that through God I am more than a match for him" Martin Luther
  3. Hey James! Glad to see you back. I'm on a mobile device until sometime in April so I won't be able to post comprehensive material. Just something to consider, fear, that is God fearing is a fruit of regeneration: Jeremiah 32:40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. Lemme ask you a question, does Matthew 7:21-23 strike fear in you? For me it does. What does fear look like you ask, well, I live in California and when standing on the rocky shore where the massive waves crash from the ocean I have a sense of fear. The sense of fear I have is in a form of respect for the sheer power before me which would easily smash me against the rocks or just simply wisp me away into oblivion. How much more should I fear (awe over His power, His majesty, etc) the Lord our God, Creator of the entire universe which I will stand before one day? I mean imagining the floor beneath my feet fanning open and seeing all the starry firmament beneath. The Creator of heaven and hell before me. If by my works will I dare say before Him I deserve heaven because I......... Matthew 7 strikes fear in my heart.
  4. Literal Interpretation WWW.REFORMEDANSWERS.ORG Why do Reformed Theologians reject literal interpretations of prophecy?
  5. Don't know if I could marry a whore or prostitute. Who had it worse, Moses, Jonah, or Hosea? Moses never saw the promised land. Jonah was swallowed up by a fish and spit out on a shore to preach to those he abhorred. Hosea married a whore and had children, "they are not my children."
  6. We've seen it "all". "All" we know is that whosoever loves civil rational discourse is welcome!
  7. To me this is glaringly obvious. If one does not believe Christ paid for their sins then they do not exhibit saving faith in Christ and consequently demonstrate that they are not the recipient of Christ's saving works. Faith is a double sided coin, one confesses and repents turning from sin and simultaneously turning to Christ for forgiveness of their sins. Again, again, and again, man centered religious doctrine is based on man's works. Not believing Christ atoned and propitiated them is trying to split a coin in half. They are focusing on their "act" of confessing, repenting, and turning in an attempt to separate man's works from God's works. In monergism God initiates salvation, God begins a good work and finishes it in the entire salvation process. Synergism suggests half of the work is of man. The focus of a Synergist is on themselves. Consider John 5:39-40 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life." Note the audience Jesus was addressing in the surrounding context. These Jews turned to the Scriptures and made the Word of God into doctrines all about "I, ME, and MYSELF". They rejected Christ and His works and made them all about man's works. They even emphasized obedience to such an extent that the resulting Pharisee doctrine lost the message. This was in contrast to the very same act which the Bereans had done in Acts 17:11 when they looked towards the Scriptures to understand whether these things were so. Both of these groups performed the same "act", that is, they turned to Scripture but one group is trying to "exalt themselves" and the other is simply turning to Scripture as the authority over the matter in truth. One group is extremely religious, and I'm sure they'll point out in John 5:40 "yet you refuse to come to me" and point out that "I must come" but John 6:44 says No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. The ability we establish in Total Depravity or Inability is then a preliminary basis for our next theological doctrine. We established a doctrine from Scripture and then we move onto the next BUT we do not forget our doctrine when moving onto the next. For example No man can come to me T for Total Depravity or Inability Unless the Father U for Unconditional Election who sent me draws him I for Irresistible Grace And I will raise them up L for Limited Atonement on the last day P for Perseverance of the saints. Using simple logic if T, U, and I are true then L and P follow. We don't get to P and forget about the TUIL. I'm off to church, my last Sunday here in California! 🙂
  8. The study of theology is a basic assessment from Scripture in study of God. Theology is theocentric rather than Religion which is man-centered in the study of human behavior. The difference between theology and religion is ultimately the difference between God and man.
  9. The fact that you admit 1000 is used symbolically but not in a figurative literary genre which uses symbolism.
  10. Apparently we were under a "vicious attack" by a hacker according to our host. Our server was suspended until the nature of the attack was understood and additional security measures could be implemented.
  11. Kinda amusing that you'll call lumping the people in the boat lunacy rather than commenting on the lunacy of those in the boat. Unbelievable.
  12. In twelve minutes, John Piper pulls apart some of the tensions between Calvinism and Arminianism. Believing the whole Bible, with all of its varied pieces, is not a small or simple thing. A theology that makes sense of all of Scripture will require a great deal of mystery. Are we willing to admit that the Bible can say two things that seem to our minds to be contradictory and, in the end, not contradict each other after all?
  13. Right, the entire process of being saved by grace through faith is ALL a gift from God. In Ephesians 2:8 the "this or that" in "this is not your own doing" or "that not of yourselves" refers back to the entire process of salvation and not only regeneration which Paul has explained in both chapters 1 and 2 of Ephesians. "The neuter pronoun "this" may refer to the one of three things: the "grace", the verb "saved" the noun "faith". Some think it refers to "faith" or "grace" because it is the closest in context, but a Greek grammar problem makes this not very possible. The fact that the feminine nouns "faith" or "grace" do not match the neuter pronoun "this". Pronouns in Greek should agree with the the nouns they modify. Therefore "this" cannot refer to "faith" or grace" exclusively. Some want "this" to refer back to the verb "saved" but again the antecedent would be a masculine participle. Since the word "this" is neuter we have to conclude that "this" refers back to the whole process of salvation that Paul just described. The process of being saved by grace through faith is ALL a gift from God. THIS whole package deal is not our own doing so as to eliminate human pride and boasting. Therefore grace is a gift from God, being saved is a gift from God, and faith is a gift from God. All of these parts fall under the neuter pronoun "this". What in Ephesians 1 points to anything that the Elect have done? 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory. Furthermore, Ephesians chapter 2 states the timing of regeneration: 4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. God is love but love is not God. What I mean by that is that our human notion of love is not to be projected onto God but God is the standardbearer for how we understand love from Scripture. I'm taking a break from the computer for the rest of the day. Enjoy ladies and gents!
  14. Right, lower case catholic is the universal church we belong. The Catholics name their church Catholic which is with a capital C. Those blasted Catholics make us start a new sentence which begins with the word catholic in lower case! In all seriousness, Satan is a master counterfeiter. So much confusion based on this that a lot of people reject the Nicene Creed because they believe we are professing the Catholic church rather than the universal catholic church. We are truly catholic but the Catholics abandoned the true faith.
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