More on views of inspiration

From The Monthly Journal of the American Unitarian Association, Volume 8, (1867), page 155-157:

The emphasis in italics [or rather, non-italics, because wordpress inverts them in blockquotes] is theirs, the emphasis in bold is mine. Comments in brackets [] are my words.

Upon few subjects of theology are options so fluctuating and uncertain as upon this. One one extreme stands the doctrine of inspiration maintained by Gaussen (translated by Edward N. Kirk, D.D.), who asserts that every word contained in the Bible was communicated by inspiration, and contains infallible truth. On the other extreme is the view (represented in this country by the author of  the “Discourse of Matters pertaining to Religion”), that the writers of the New Testament were no otherwise inspired than good and wise men always are, and that their writings are full of error both of fact and principle. These two doctrines are definite and perfectly intelligible; and, adopting either, we have no difficulty in applying it. Adopt the first, and reason, conscience, observation, experience, must all yield to the letter of Scripture: adopt the second, and you may set aside as puerile, false, or wicked, any assertion or command of Scripture which does not suit your opinions, tastes, or prejudices.
But between these two doctrines there is a vast mass of floating opinions, difficult to define or fix. Some say, the “Bible is not a revelation, but the record of a revelation.” Some say, “the thoughts were suggested, but not the words.” [Which I say is very sensible.] Others contend for what they call an inspiration of superintendence; that is, the writers were watched, and restrained if they were going astray,–an inspiration like the warnings which Socrates received from his demon, who never told him what to do, but only check him from doing wrong. Some say, “Parts of the Bible are inspired, others not,–Paul was not inspired to send for his cloak, nor David to curse his enemies.” Others say, “There are degrees of inspiration: all parts are inspired, but some in a greater and some in a less degree.” Bishop March thinks a man may believe in the truth of the religion who does not believe in the inspiration of the record. Grotius says, “It was not necessary that the historical part of the Bible should be dictated by the Holy Spirit: it was only necessary that the writers should posses a good memory.” Marsh thinks we should be gainers, if we considered the evangelists as not inspired at all; for then their testimony would be more valuable as witnesses: but the writers of the Epistles must have been inspired. Some Catholics have contended that the writers of some books were not inspired, but that the Holy Spirit made these books Holy Scripture, after they were written, by testifying (through the Church) that there is nothing false in them. Milman thinks that the inflexible love of truth of a true Christian would be sufficient to guarantee of his fidelity as a writer.
The extreme positions of those who contend for a plenary inspiration of every word, and of those who deny all peculiar inspiration, seem to be perfectly intelligible, definite, and clear; but untenable. The positions of those who stand between these points is often more reasonable, but vacillating, and not precise.
The source of this difficulty is twofold: first in the method of inquiry usually pursued; second in the absence of a precise idea of inspiration in its essential nature…..

I think rather the problem is hit pretty fair on the head by the Catholic comment that writings uninspired were added to the Bible by the Church (i.e. the Catholic church). Only, the Church’s judgement that they contained no error was faulty (especially with respect to the Pauline Corpus).

Furthermore, even with respect to those books that were inspired, I would have recourse to the theory of degrees of inspiration before I would admit any inspiration whatsoever in Mark, Luke, or John, for I will not admit these subpar gospels on the same high level with Matthew.  Yet, even with Matthew (the most inspired book of the New Testament) we must have recourse to a theory that the “Church” thought itself an adequate judge to add in a few verses here and there that were not inspired but that they judged to be correct (from the fictions of their Catholic brains). Of such nature, I would rank the zombie pericope (Matt. 27.51-54) in Matthew, as well as the story of the virgin birth and the bogus claim that Isaiah 7 has anything to do with prophesying of Christ, not to mention the bogus interpretation which the Catholics interpolated into Matthew for the parable of the tares, which interpretation is itself a tare, for it is obvious from the parable itself that the point is that the devil will sow tares into the scriptures, but they make up verses purporting to be Jesus explaining the parable which gives it a sinister meaning. And their artifice on this point is exposed easily, by reading Eusebius’ Church History, for the first author to ever give an interpretation of the parable interprets it as of the tares being corruptions in scripture, a writer prior to Ireneaus in 180 AD, but Ireneaus interprets it inline with the tare of an interpretation that now defaces the holy gospel of Matthew.

But the mission of Christ, his Messiahship, his authority, none of this hinges on the perfection of the New Testament…and never has.  If it had, how could so many people in the past (particularly among unitarians) have held to a “lower” view of inspiration, and yet clave to Jesus Christ so much?

The Evangelical lie that “the Bible is a take it or leave it book” just produces atheists. Rejection of perfect inerrancy produces Christians, and yea, it alone produces Christians.  Because were lip-service is given to inerrancy, every passage on morality is rejected, and only the most vile passages (Romans 9) from Satan himself are listened to.  Where “inerrancy” is given lip-service, there Calvinism is lurking in the corner, waiting to devour your soul.  There is the spirit of antichrist.

Verbal (dictational) inspiration, yea or nay?

The following is from Bibliotheca Sacra, Volume 35 (1878) pg. 785-786: A few arguments against verbal or dictational inspiration can be gleaned from the described attempt to defend it.

Dr. Cunningham is valiant in answering various objections against his theory [i.e. "complete and plenary verbal inspiration"]. Thus “Paul sometimes discovers a doubt and a change of purpose as to the time of his journeyings,” etc. (Dr. Hill); but Paul was verbally inspired to express his doubt and change of purpose (pp. 3380, 381). He spake as a fool when he boasted; but he was verbally inspired to state that he thus spake (pp. 382, 383). The evangelists differ from each other in repeating the same discourse or sentence of our Lord; but the Spirit accommodated himself to the faculties of the inspired men, and in this accommodation “left room for whatever diversity in their narratives was consistent with their veracity and accuracy” (p. 383). The verbal differences found in uninspired witnesses are deemed a sign of their truthfulness. Is it quite certain that such verbal differences “could not have been produced by the Holy Spirit, who had resolved to use the instrumentality of men’s faculties in this matter, and to use them in such a way as to make the works produced contain plain internal evidences of their integrity and veracity as men?” (p. 387). The author of one Gospel may have quoted from a previously written document; in directing him to quote from it the Holy Spirit directed him to use the words of it. In 1 Cor. vii. 12, the words “I speak, not the Lord,” were suggested or dictated by the Holy Spirit. It is commonly objected to the doctrine of verbal inspiration that the writers of the New Testament do not cite the Old Testament in its exact translation, but cite it in the translation of the Seventy, even when this translation is inaccurate. Dr. Cunningham, however, founds an argument for verbal inspiration on the manner in which the New Testament quotes from the Old. He refers to those passages “in which Christ and his apostles manifestly base an argument upon the precise words employed in the quotations they adduced from the Old Testament. This we find they did in many cases, and this affords a proof that they reckoned the Old Testament verbally inspired” (p. 369)
There are some objections against his theory which Dr. Cunningham does not answer in a very positive way. He admits that “Christ unquestionably promised his apostles verbal inspiration when they should be brought before kings and rulers” (p. 365). He would of course admit that the promise made to the original disciples extended to the apostle Paul. Paul, then, had the promise of verbal inspiration when he was brought before the Jewish Sanhedrim [sic]. But Dr. Cunningham says: “There has been a difference of opinion among commentators as to the warrantableness and the innocency of Paul’s conduct recorded in Acts xxiii. 6,7; some holding that it lay within the limits of legitimate prudence and dexterity, and others that it did not, but partook somewhat of the character of an equivocal artifice. The inspiration of the Scriptures is not affected by these doubts or difficulties about some of the actions of good men recorded there, and neither is it affected by similar doubts or difficulties in regard to some of their sayings or speeches, which are also recorded without any very certain intimation being in all cases given to us as to whether the sayings and speeches were themselves suggested by the Holy Spirit, and in all respect accordant with God’s will” (p. 351). See also the remarks on the speech of Stephen (pp. 351, 353)

I’d like to find the works of the Dr. Hill referenced above, but annoyingly in these old books they insist on calling writer’s Dr. So-and-so without ever giving their first names!  Even so, I found the following reference in another book (Inspiration: The Infallible Truth and Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures (1865), pages 249-250) which makes further reference to Dr. Hill’s theory of inspiration:

With many divines, such as Dr Hill, three different degrees of inspiration were believed to be sufficient to accounts for the facts of Scripture, and were found in its pages,–the inspiration of superintendence, of elevation, and of suggestion. An investigation of the phenomena of Scripture induced others, such as Dr Henderson, to multiply the number of varieties to five,–the inspiration of excitement, of invigoration, of superintendence, of guidance, and of direct revelation. But whatever the forms under which it is held, or the number and variety of classifications of the divine element believed to be exemplified in the Scripture text, the fundamental principle is the same. Where nature ended, there inspiration began. When the unaided powers of the penmen were insufficient, a measure of divine help in the exact ratio of the insufficiency was furnished. In proportion as the human element was present and active, there the divine element was absent or passive. Inspiration was meted out in the degree in which memory, or judgement, or expression of the part of the writer failed. The Spirit of God waited on the weakness of man, as the graduated supplement to it.
The origin and occasion for this theory cast no small measure of light upon the character of it. It was introduced avowedly for the purpose of meeting the allegations of error and imperfection in Scripture, and in order to reconcile the existence of real defects with the belief of a divine agency employed in the composition of it. And had there been any foundation of truth in the theory itself, it would have answered the purpose for which it was used. Wherever imperfection existed in Scripture, it was sufficient for the advocates of such a scheme to say that there the human element was present to the exclusion of the divine, and that the error was due to the former in the absence of the latter. The theory was undoubtedly based upon a compromise between the friends and the enemies of inspiration, in which the enemies were allowed to retain the error which they alleged in the sacred volume, and the friends were enabled to account for them, while yet retaining the general doctrine of an inspiration, at least in name.
But the compromise was one fatal to the character of the theory itself. It allowed of the introduction or error into the infallible text, to an indefinite and unknown extent….

The extent is fairly well known, actually: anything that Paul wrote is in error, unless he is merely telling us how the real apostles practiced things.  Where he disagrees with them and seeks to supplant their practice or beliefs with his own, there is putrid error.

Woohoo, I’ve found Dr Hill’s work. Lectures in Divinity – Volume 1 (1833) by George Hill, page 246:

Paul sometimes discovers a doubt, and a change of purpose as to the time of his journeyings, and other little incidents, which the highest degree of inspiration would have prevented. It is allowed that there is a degree of imperfection and obscurity, which, in some instances, remains on the style of the sacred writers, and particularly of Paul, which cannot easily reconcile with the highest degree of inspiration. Once more, there are peculiarities of expression, and a marked manner, by which a person of taste and discernment may clearly distinguish the writings of every one, from those of every other. But had all written uniformly under the same inspiration of suggestion, there could not have been a difference of manner corresponding to the difference of character; and the expression used by all might have been expected to be the best possible.

Certainly the least offensive thing that can be said about Paul is that he’s a crappy writer who just can’t figure out how to get his point across, and as a result, for 1700s years or more (depending on when the person going by the name “Paul” wrote) the majority of his (or her, or their) readers (depending on who really wrote the epistles) have not understood the actual point the author was trying to make, nor did they ever have a chance since the writing was so crappy from the get-go that nobody could possibly understand it.

Paul as historic witness to 1st century orthopraxy

On my last post The book of Acts disproves Calvinism and all Protestantism, for good I’ve decided to make this addendum at the end:

[9/18/2014 7:25 PM (11:31 PM) After more deliberation on Paul, I decided that on the accepting Paul thing I've decided that (for myself) by this I only mean accepting him as a historical witness to the PRACTICE of first century Christianity, not as an apostle nor as an inspired writer, certainly not as an inerrant writer.  The church of Christ accepts him as inspired and inerrant, but I just can't.  For me, whatever he says that is substantiable from the Practice of the Apostles, I will accept, but whatever is his own theory and his own theology, I reject, since he bases it on misuse, abuse, and outright twisting of the Old Testament, not to mention that logic that is not at all logical.]

That is, Paul is a witness to Christian orthopraxy…but when it comes to orthodoxy, he’s a ranting lunatic. None of his logic in Romans and Galatians holds together at all under any logical inspection, nor do his proof-texts have anything to do with the insane doctrines that he tries to prove. He can only be accepted as a witness to orthopraxy, and nothing more….and even there, this function of his must largely be limited to the book of Acts, for the epistles are either written by a mad-man, or heavily interpolated by mad monks.

The book of Acts disproves Calvinism and all Protestantism, for good.

The book of Acts, or rather as the Greek has it Praxeis ton Apostolon, the *Practice* of the Apostles, shows unequivocally that the practice of the apostles was to instantly baptize anyone who confessed faith in Christ, and to me this is sufficient to refute not only the Calvinists but basically every Protestant denomination. In the past, since I was raised in a minority church (church of Christ) that believes baptism is essential to salvation I always felt this need to prove myself, to show that I’m orthodox, that what I believe is true [which made me have a sort of breakdown]…and my major opponents were the Calvinists, not in and of themselves, but because they are the loudmouths in Protestantism, the squeeky-wheels that get the grease, and thus they set the beliefs for all Protestants. Every Prot courts the approval of the Calvinist gurus. In a way that’s what I was doing too, seeking a way to convince them = seeking their approval. But now I couldn’t care less.  The most important thing in the church I was raised in and still attend is baptism, and I feel no shame in that, and no need to even defend it.  The defense is simply a reading of the Practice of the Apostles, because that is their practice!  We can debate election and faith alone, and all the Calvinist non-sense that they’ve convinced all Protestantism of till we’re blue in the face, but it won’t change the fact that the Apostles baptized people instantly as soon as they confessed faith in Christ whereas all Protestants defer it on the premise that justification is by faith alone and therefore it can wait 5, 10, 20 years.  The PRACTICE of the Apostles shows that the Protestant THEORY is false (no matter how well they have twisted the Pauline epistles to prove their theory). Now those who’ve read my older posts on this blog, or my comments from way back on Paul’s Passing Thoughts, know that I have vacillated between hating the apostle Paul and quoting him to prove my case.  The recent revelation of the fact that the PRACTICE of the apostles solves the question of THEORY decisively has cured me of my vacillating hatred of Paul. Why?  Well, just read the book of Acts! Paul practiced the same thing in regard to baptism as all the other apostles (just read Acts and you’ll see) so that means that those passages in the epistles where I once thought Paul was a Gnostic or faith-alonist heretic are certainly being twisted by the Calvinists/Protestants. Paul is innocent (even if he’s not that clear of a writer, which he isn’t). Paul is only trying to explain why the apostles baptized people instantly on the simple confession that “Jesus Christ is the son of the living God” and why they don’t require people to prove themselves (i.e. a probation period of law-keeping or keeping church regulations prior to baptism). But requiring people to keep church regulations for a probation period prior to baptism is exactly what Protestantism is doing! They are putting a probation period before baptism, whether 3 weeks, 6 months, 5 years, 20 years.  And this is what Paul means by justification being by faith not works, that one is made acceptable for baptism (for that is all justification is, being made acceptable for entrance into the covenant [i.e. being made an acceptable candidate for baptism]) by faith alone, not by being required to keep certain works for a probation period first.  The only prereq for baptism that we can check is that people confess their faith in Jesus as the Christ and son of the living God.  (Repentance is required, but we can’t check it, so as far as our ability to control who is baptized, we only have confession of faith as a requirement.)  The book of Acts confirms it by showing Paul baptizing people instantly upon their confession just like Peter and the rest, so Calvinism is dealt the final mortal blow and I have perfect peace of mind. I can finally make peace with Paul.  And I can know with certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt that the church in which I was raised, and of which I am still a member, is right. Because its the only church I know of that follows the PRACTICE of the apostles in regards to baptism.  And knowing this practice helps us understand the THEORY layed out in the Pauline epistles.  So now, like the rest of my brethren (who all accept Paul unquestionably) I can go back to doing the same, knowing that no matter how complicated Paul makes it sound, all he’s really saying is you can’t make people prove themselves before baptizing them, that you have to baptize them merely on the confession that Jesus Christ is the son of the living God, without putting them through a probation period. And he is certainly not saying that baptism is unnecessary, because if he truly thought that, he wouldn’t have baptized every convert he made in Acts(!) just as the Baptists don’t baptize half of their “converts” but just have them pray (or even just mouth) the unscriptural “sinner’s prayer.” Where you find the PRACTICE of the apostles, there you find the true gospel. And along with the apostolic practice will be the apostolic theory.   So seek the practice first.  Find a church that baptizes instantly upon the confession of faith, the scriptural confession of faith not some man-made creed or confessional statement. And once you’ve found that, you will have found along with it the proper THEORY. Practice comes first.  Protestantism has the wrong PRACTICE, so they must of necessity have the wrong THEORY.

[9/18/2014 7:25 PM (11:31 PM) After more deliberation on Paul, I decided that on the accepting Paul thing I've decided that (for myself) by this I only mean accepting him as a historical witness to the PRACTICE of first century Christianity, not as an apostle nor as an inspired writer, certainly not as an inerrant writer.  The church of Christ accepts him as inspired and inerrant, but I just can't.  For me, whatever he says that is substantiable from the Practice of the Apostles, I will accept, but whatever is his own theory and his own theology, I reject, since he bases it on misuse, abuse, and outright twisting of the Old Testament, not to mention that logic that is not at all logical.]

The council of Nicea did NOT operate by majority rule

We have all heard the claim that the council of Nicea was “unanimous.”  Take for instance this paragraph from

This creed was recognized and agreed to by 318 members of council, who being, as Eusebius says, unanimously signed up to it. There only five who refused to sign, objecting to the term homoousios, “of the same substance.” They were Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia, Theognis of Nice, Maris of Chalcedon, Theonas of Marmarica, and Secundus of Ptolemaïs.

Of course, we have a contradiction right there. It was “unanimous” but 5 bishops dissented.  Do the partisans of Trinitarian orthodoxy not know what “unanimous” means?  Be that as it may, the council was even LESS unanimous than this.

From Joseph Priestley’s 3rd volume of his 4-volume work, An History of Early Opinions Concerning Jesus Christ: compiled from original writers, proving that the christian church was at first unitarian (pages 319-320, google books)

According to Eutychius, who is said to have compiled his annals from the archives of the church of Alexandria, there must have been more unitarian bishops than the Greek historians give us any account of. He says that,

there were two thousand and forty eight bishops assembled at the council of Nice, some of whom were Sabellians, who believed that Christ had no being before he was born of the virgin; others saying that God was one substance called by three names, but not believing in the word, or the Holy Spirit, which

he says

was the opinion of Paulus Samosatensis; and that Constantine having heard their opinions, but approving of that of three hundred and eighteen, who held the same doctrine, he appointed them to meet in a large room, and gave them power to make decrees.

The same account Selden, the publisher of Eutychius, found in an Arabian and christian writer, named Joseph, and also in a celebrated Mohametan historian, Ismael Ebn Ali.

So first Constantine widdled the number of bishops down from the full number of about 2366 down to the 318 that upon his interrogation he found to hold a doctrine he could work with to create his new religion, and then he got a “unanimous” verdict from them (minus the 5 of them that are always left out of the count in proclaiming a verdict of 313 out of the 318 as “unanimous”).

Yeah…..that doesn’t sound shady at all, does it?

Ordo Salutis

The ordo salutis (order of salvation) should be framed in terms of what we must do, not in terms of secret decrees of God and other such nonsense that Calvinism deals in.

Jesus gives us the ordo salutis in Mark 16:16 “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.”

But since baptism has prerequisites, those get involved as well, namely repentance (Acts 2:38) and confession (Acts 8:37).

Thus the ordo salutis is:

1. Believe.
2. Repent.
3. Confess.
4. Be baptized for the remission of sins.
5. Saved. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.”

Some Baptists will instantly object that repentance should precede belief rather than come before it. But this model is based on Acts 2:38 where the men who obviously believed Peter’s message cried out “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”  It was then, after it was obvious that they believed what he was saying, that Peter told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. So here we see that repentance comes between belief and baptism.

What’s got me thinking of the “ordo salutis” (a term not often heard outside Calvinist circles these days) is a video posted on Paul’s Passing Thoughts, on the Gnostic Watch post, where John Macarthur was answering a question and said something like “There’ll be no messing around with the ordo salutis here. We’re serious about the ordo salutis.”  But the Calvinist ordo salutis to which he refers is an abomination. It busies itself with reading God’s mind and with declaring the lie that God’s true will is not the same as his revealed will.

In any case, a site making a brief comparison of the two is here  in which gross sexual metaphor is used by the Calvinists to prove their ordo salutis to be better.  By gross sexual metaphor I don’t mean they get as far down in the gutter as Mark Driscoll (that would be hard to do) but they apply sexual metaphor to something that it is not only weird and creepy but also profane and blasphemous to apply it to.

In my estimation there is certainly much more assurance with an ordo salutis that focuses on our part than one that focuses on God’s part, since that is just too esoteric.  I also think the emphasis on baptism as the final step, the culmination, what one could even call the seal, adds a great deal of certainty and assurance that you really are saved.

I think of it kind of in these terms:

Paul’s teaching in Romans 4-6 amounts to saying that baptism is seal on justification. How was Abraham justified? By works? No, by faith! When was he justified? Before or after circumcision? Before! Why then was he circumcised? As a SEAL. Same story with baptism, right? So if you leave off baptism, you may have been justified for a moment, but you didn’t SEAL it, and it escaped, it seeped out and you lost it. Only those who have SEALED it know they still have it. Thus Romans 6, all about how we know we’re saved because we were buried with Christ in baptism. The Holy Spirit is also called a seal (Eph 1:13) and guess where Peter says we get the “gift of the Holy Spirit”: “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) This is why “faith alone” Protestants are always doubting their salvation. Acts 2:38 is Anti-Gnostic antidote in a can! Macarthur is right that we can’t mess with the ordo salutis. Change it, and you no longer have the gospel, you just have Plato, and the ordo salutis is: Believe, Repent, Confess, be baptized => saved. [But Macarthur, of course, doesn't believe that.]

Over at that gross sexual metaphor link, someone says in a comment concerning the true ordo salutis “At one level (historically), we have the five because you could count them on one hand, so kids could learn them quickly.”  I don’t believe that anyone consciously created it that way. I think it worked out that way because God made it simple.  The same person (obviously having been converted to Calvinism) laments “Too bad we didn’t use two hands, huh?”  Face Palm.   Sure, why don’t we use 100 hands while we’re at it, and put 500 points in our ordo salutis to make it impossible to teach to children, or anyone else.  The Calvinist ordo salutis as presented there shows 12 points, but in reality, the Calvinist version is infinite, because it was purposefully crafted to be impossible to understand.

Romans 3:23 δοξης often means “expectation” in secular Greek, and obviously does here too

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Standard Protestant Translation)

“for all have sinned and fall short of the expectation of God,” (Sensible Translation)

According to Liddell and Scott’s Intermediate Greek Lexicon (also called Middle Liddell) the word δόξα or δοξης  can mean: expectation, an opinion, judgment, the opinion which others have of one, estimation, reputation, credit, honour, glory.  (Its a secular lexicon, which is why its honest on this.)

See for yourself. Click the link, then in the first entry, click “Middle Liddell.”

So the sin is not in failing to be as glorious as God, but in failing to meet up to God’s expectations for weak human beings.

If Christ died for all, then why is it that some people will go to hell?

Today a Calvinist asked me their favorite stupid question:
“If Christ died for all, then why is it that some people will go to hell?”

Because Jesus’ sacrifice was a sacrifice.  Seriously, why is it that Calvinists have no clue what a sacrifice is?  A sacrifice is not a direct execution swap.

Its not like the punishment we deserved was to be crucified, so that as soon as Jesus was crucified our exact punishment was taken and now we are the untouchables and can go on sinning, giving God a raspberry and saying “Na na na boo boo, you can’t touch me!”   Although this is what Calvinism teaches.

A sacrifice, rather, comes in stages.

Stage 1: The slaying of the victim, done normally by a layman.  And Jesus was a layman while on earth, per Hebrews.  “For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;” (Heb 8:4)  “For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.” (Heb 7:13-14)

Stage 2: The priest dashed the blood on the altar, or in the case of the Day of Atonement, presents it in the Holy of Holies. After quoting in Heb 5:6 the passage “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” the author shows this only applies to Christ after the resurrection, for he says “who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest ‘according to the order of Melchizedek,’ 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.” (Heb 5:7-11) “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, …but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb 9:24-26)

Stage 3: The sacrifice must be applied.  Even when the sacrifice is made, someone must come to God by it.  “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25)  And typically in the Law, when one offers a sacrifice and does not subsequently eat a certain portion of the meat by a certain time, the sacrifice becomes invalid. “And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning.” (Lev 7:15)  This sheds light on “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” (Heb 13:10)

So then, scripture shows the Calvinist doctrine of atonement, that as soon as Jesus gave up the ghost the few, the brave, the marines, were all saved, is a gross oversimplification and false doctrine.  The application of the atonement is conditional upon faith and repentance at least, if not also baptism and (if one lives long enough afterwards) observing the Lord’s Supper.

“With God all things are possible” means “When you’re with God all things (necessary to salvation or sanctification) are possible to you.”

The phrase “with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:26) is in Greek:

παρα δε θεω δυνατα παντα

3844 (pará) an emphatic “from,” means “from close beside” (“alongside”). It stresses nearness (closeness) which is often not conveyed in translation. 3844 (pará) is typically theologically significant, even when used as a prefix (i.e. in composition). 3844 (pará) usually adds the overtone, “from close beside” (implying intimate participation) and can be followed by the genitive, dative, or accusative case – each one conveying a distinct nuance.

Meaning “close to God all things are possible,” i.e. “with God” as in, when you’re with God all things are possible to you.

“WITH God all things are possible.”

WITH not TO.

Not “to God all things are possible.” But “with God all things are possible.”

That is, it is possible for you to do all things necessary to salvation with God’s help: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

This is not affirming that God can do all things but that YOU can do all things with God on your side. Like in Philippians 2:12-13 “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for God works with you both in willing and doing.” Calvinists through mistranslation, monkeying, and just in general bad interpretation have made the 2nd verse there a reason NOT to work out your own salvation whereas Paul gave it as a reason to do so: You can’t say “No, Paul, I can’t work out my own salvation: that’s not possible. I’m just a weak human…blah blah blah, Calvin said…” because Paul says right there God is helping you, so shut up and work out your own salvation already. Sheesh.

Rest in Peace Google

Google shut down in May.  It now just redirects to normal google websearch.  Google will undoubtedly begin to lose market share when this is realized by bloggers and blog users.  I am completely disappointed, in that I used it frequently to find new blogs.  Since regular search is full of crap websites and things and its not possible to filter them out and get blogs only, google is now as useless as Bing.  I might as well switch now.  This will also eventually spell the downfall of blogging, I suppose, since it will make it all the more unlikely any new users will ever land on your blog.  The age of the free internet press is over. 


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