September 21, 2014
I. SCRIPTURE Read the rest of this entry »
August 31, 2014
Wilbur Pickering’s The Identity of the New Testament Text
Several years ago, I did some research on the subject of Bible versions. The subject is of immediate interest to English speaking Christians because of the wide variety of Bible versions available. Which is the best one to use? The question is complicated by the fact that there are two separate issues to consider when judging the value of a Bible version. The first issue concerns the method of translation used (static equivalence vs. dynamic equivalence). This part was relatively easy: if God inspired the very words of the Bible, then a good translation would strive for ‘static equivalence’, or a complete and accurate correspondence between the Greek and English words. A Christian needs to know precisely what God wrote in his holy Word (2 Tim 3:15-17). But the second issue concerning the best version of the Bible, is the type of text underlying the translation, and it proved to be much more complex. Nevertheless, I believed that the solution ought to be plain and simple enough that every one of God’s people could understand it. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27, 2014
(Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the Feb. 2003 edition of Outside The Camp.) Read the rest of this entry »
May 27, 2012
The following is part two of an e-mail I wrote a few months ago. The first part can be found here.
- It is flat out a lie. In Gethsemane, Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself (John 1:1), prayed an illogical paradoxical contradictory prayer. He prayed, “Take this cup away from Me” (Mark 14:36). That request was against the logic of God’s perfect eternal plan for both Christ and the salvation of mankind. It was paradoxical to be asking for that which cannot be. It was contradictory to God’s prophetic word (e.g. Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 53; etc.). Sovereign Redeemer Assembly (outsidethecamp.org) has a god of their own making. They have “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptiable man” (Romans 1:23).
Christ’s prayer in Gethsemane may not be easy to understand from a human perspective, but it hardly demonstrates that God is “illogical paradoxical [or] contradictory”, especially when it was accompanied with the request, “Yet not what I will, but what You will .” Christ was in perfect submission to the will of the Father, and for Mr. Fish to suggest otherwise is simply repulsive.
In this confession under “II. God, C. Divine Attributes” they write,
“1. God is all-knowing, everywhere present, unchangeable, and not able to be limited.”
The last phrase, “not able to be limited” is again a lie, as Jesus said in His impossible prayer in the garden, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You” (Mark 14:36). The eternal infinite all-powerful God can be limited. His ability to be limited is well illustrated in His wrestling match with Jacob. Even after dislocating Jacob’s hip, the Lord still requested for release saying, “Let Me go, for the day breaks” and Jacob refuses saying, “I will not let you go unless You bless me” (Genesis 32:26). The Lord then blesses him, and Jacob releases him. Jacob “struggled with God” and prevailed (Genesis 32:28; Hosea 12:3-4).
Evidently, Darwin is getting as irrational as he thinks God is. How the story of Jacob wrestling with God proves that God can be limited is beyond me.
Under “II. God, D. Predestination. 1. Election” they write,
“d. When Scripture speaks of God’s covenant, it does not mean a conditional agreement or contract between two parties; rather, it means a bond of friendship and fellowship that is unilaterally enacted by God. [Gen 15:12-21; Lev 26:44-45; Deu 4:31; 7:6-8; Jdg 2:1; 2Ch 13:5; Psa 89:3; Isa 54:10; 55:5; Heb 6:17-18; 8:10]”
They lie here as well when they say, “it does not mean a conditional agreement”. God’s covenant is both unilateral (e.g. Romans 8:29-39; etc.) and conditional (Romans 11:20-22; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; Hebrews 10:26; etc.). Of course, when you are stuck on one’s own idea of logic, contradiction, and paradox, then truth is therefore rejected based on a man-made standard of logic, contradiction, and paradox.
And now we see why Darwin wants to have a God who is irrational: he wants a covenant that is both unilateral (thereby exalting God’s grace), and at the same time conditional (thereby exalting Man’s free will). Again, notice that Mr. Fish makes no effort whatsoever to deal with the verses put forth by the Confession. Let’s look at a few of those verses:
Deu 7: (6) For you are a holy people to Jehovah your God. Jehovah your God has chosen you to be His own treasure out of all the people on the face of the earth. (7) Jehovah did not set His love on you or choose you because you were more in number than any people, for you were the fewest of all peoples. (8) But because Jehovah loved you, and because He kept the oath which He swore to your fathers, Jehovah has caused you to go out with a strong hand, and redeemed you from the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
Isa 54: (10) For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My mercy shall not depart from you; nor shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says Jehovah who has pity on you.
Heb 8: (10) Because this is the covenant which I will covenant with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, giving My laws into their mind, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
These verses describe God’s covenant with his people, and there is no conditionality here whatsoever. In fact, these verses demonstrate that the covenant God made with his people is completely unconditional.
Now for the verses that Mr. Fish refers to:
Rom 11: (20) Well! For unbelief they were broken off. And you stand by faith. Do not be highminded, but fear. (21) For if God did not spare the natural branches, fear that it may be He will not spare you either. (22) Behold, then, the kindness and severity of God: On those having fallen, severity. But on you, kindness, if you continue in the kindness. Otherwise, you will also be cut off.
God’s covenant with his elect is not actually in view here. The context of this quote is the cutting off of the Jewish nation as the exclusive people of God, and this verse deals with the bringing in of the Gentiles as a whole, not the election of individual Gentiles. The nature of God’s covenant with elect individuals is spelled out a few verses later:
Rom 11: (27) And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. … (29) For the free gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.
Darwin also refers to:
2Ti 2: (11) Faithful is the Word: for if we died with Him , we also shall live with Him ; (12) if we endure, we shall also reign with Him ; if we deny Him, that One will deny us;
The non-conditional nature of this verse is actually shown in the very next verse:
2Ti 2: (13) if we are unfaithful, that One remains faithful; He is not able to deny Himself.
Finally, Darwin also refers to:
Heb 10: (26) For if we are willfully sinning after receiving the full knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice concerning sins,
The people being spoken of here are not those who were truly converted, but only said they were, perhaps even deceiving themselves. They are like the seed that is sown on stony ground (Mat 13:20-21): they had “received the word with joy” and had “the full knowledge of the truth” but they “had no root in themselves”, so when persecution arose they fell away and left the assemblies (Heb 10:25). That didn’t show that they failed to meet a condition of any kind; instead it showed that they had never been regenerated to begin with.
Under “II. God, D. Predestination. 2. Reprobation” they write,
“e. God does not have any love toward the reprobate or any desire to save them,”
That is in direct opposition to Jeremiah 8:19-9:6; Micah 1:3-9; John 3:16; Romans 11:32; 1 Timothy 2:4; etc..
Let’s take a look at the verses Darwin mentions:
Jer 8: (19) Behold, the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land! Is not Jehovah in Zion? Or is not her king in her? Why have they provoked Me with their carved images, with foreign vanities? (20) Harvest has passed; the summer has ended, and we are not delivered. (21) For the breaking of the daughter of my people, I am broken. I mourn; horror has taken hold on me. (22) Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no healer there? Why then has the healing of the daughter of My people not come? (9:1) Oh, that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! (2) Oh, that I had a lodging place for travelers in the wilderness, that I might leave my people and go away from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous ones. (3) And they bend their tongues, their bow is a lie. And they are not mighty for the truth on the earth, for they go from evil to evil. They also do not know Me, says Jehovah. (4) Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, and do not trust any brother. For every brother will supplant, and every neighbor will walk as a slanderer. (5) And everyone will deceive his neighbor, and they will not speak the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies. They weary themselves to commit iniquity. (6) Your home is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me says Jehovah.
Mic 1: (3) For, behold, Jehovah is coming out of His place, and He will come down and walk on the high places of the earth. (4) And the mountains shall melt under Him, and the valleys shall cleave themselves, as wax before the fire, as waters poured out on a steep place. (5) All this is against the transgression of Jacob, and against the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what are the high places of Judah? Are they not Jerusalem? (6) And I will make Samaria into ruins of the field, planting places for a vineyard. And I will pour down her stones into the valley, and I will uncover her foundations. (7) And all her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, and all her gifts for harlotry shall be burned with fire. And I will make all her idols a desolation. For she gathered it from the reward of a harlot, and they shall return to the reward of a harlot. (8) Because of this I will wail and howl; I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackal, yea, mourn like the daughters of an ostrich. (9) For her wounds are incurable; for it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem.
These two lengthy sections show God’s sorrowing over the apostasy of national Israel, but by no means shows that God loves those who go to Hell. National Israel was symbolic of God’s spiritual Israel, who will never end up in Hell.
Joh 3: (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1Ti 2: (4) who desires all men to be delivered and to come to a full knowledge of truth.
These two verses were already explained in the Confession in section II.D.2.e:
Scripture, in speaking of God’s love for “all men” and “the world” is not speaking of all men without exception. Rather, these words refer to God’s love for all men without distinction – that is, regardless of their nationality or status.
Rom 11: (32) For God shut up all in disobedience, that He may show mercy to all.
As I said above, God’s covenant with his elect is not actually in view here. The context of this quote is the cutting off of the Jewish nation as the exclusive people of God, and this verse deals with the bringing in of all the nationalities of the Gentiles.
If God loves those in Hell, then he will be eternally sad that he couldn’t save everyone he wanted. Poor God. Poor, helpless, ineffective, powerless God. If that is the ‘God’ that Darwin Fish wants, he is welcome to it. I prefer the God of the Bible, who does what ever he pleases, and noone can oppose him (Psa 115:3, Dan 4:35, Rom 9:21).
Under “III. Man. B. Human Nature After The Fall and Before Regeneration” they write,
“1. Adam and Eve sinned by believing the devil’s lie and eating the forbidden fruit. [Gen 3:1-6]”
Adam did not believe the devil’s lie (1 Timothy 2:14).
Here is 1Ti 2:13-14:
1Ti 2: (13) For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived has come to be in transgression;
Notice the context: Paul’s point isn’t even about Adam; it’s really about Eve, and the reason for her subjection to Adam in the family order. Adam was not directly deceived by the Devil as Eve was, but he certainly “believed the devil’s lie”, as the Confession says.
But according to Darwin, the devil didn’t even lie:
Under this same section in “3.” speaking of the serpent’s words to Eve they write,
“according to the devil’s lie, ‘You shall be as God.'”
That was/is not a lie. It was true on that accord what the devil said. They would indeed “be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5) as the text further illustrates. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and when they ate of it they became as God knowing good and evil.
Adam and Eve did indeed come to “know good and evil” in that they themselves became evil, but that’s not at all what the devil was implying. The implication was that God was lying, and Adam and Eve would not ever die from eating the fruit, but become “as God” in everything. So, yes, the devil did lie, as Jesus himself testified:
Joh 8: (44) You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you desire to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own, because he is a liar, and the father of it.
Under “IV. Jesus Christ, C. His Work” they write,
“2. . . . while upon the cross, Jesus Christ, as a perfect representative, substitute, and sacrifice for His people, became a curse for His people and suffered the unmitigated fury of God the Father, which was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell.”
The Bible does not teach it “was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell”. They should not be adding a concept to God’s word that is not there (Proverbs 30:5-6).
Well, let’s see if the concept is in God’s word:
2Co 5: (21) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Gal 3: (13) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written, “Cursed is everyone having been hung on a tree;”
1Pe 3: (18) Because even Christ once suffered concerning sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;
In order to be a substitute for his people, Jesus had to suffer what his people deserved. And what they deserved was the torment of eternal hell for their sins. Thus “Jesus Christ, as a perfect representative, substitute, and sacrifice for His people, became a curse for His people and suffered the unmitigated fury of God the Father, which was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell.”
Mr. Fish continues:
Moreover, Sovereign Redeemer Assembly prove themselves to be devils (slanderers, διαβολοι [diaboloi] “devils” 2 Timothy 3:3) under “IV. Jesus Christ. C. His Work” where they write,
“6. Those who deny the effectual work of Jesus Christ, claiming instead that the blood of Jesus Christ atoned for everyone without exception (including those in hell), deny the very heart of the gospel. They do not believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, these self-righteous boasters believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. These blasphemers deny that Jesus Christ made full satisfaction for sins and that Jesus Christ accomplished and ensured salvation for all whom He represented. They trample underfoot the precious blood of Jesus Christ, treating it as something of no value. They glory and boast in themselves, for whatever one believes makes the difference between salvation and damnation is what one glories and boasts in. There is not a single one of these blasphemers who is a child of God. [Psa 25:14; 74:18; 94:4; 139:20; Pro 30:12-13; Isa 28:14-18; 42:8; 48:11; Joh 16:8-14; Rom 3:27-28; 4:2; 10:3; 16:17-18; 1Co 2:12; 2Co 10:3-6; Gal 1:8-9; 6:14; Eph 2:8-9; Phi 3:18-19; 1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 3:2-5; 4:3-4; Heb 10:29; 1Jo 2:22-23; 4:6; 2Jo 9]”
In the above quote they slander those who believe the truth (Christ did die even for those in hell) and falsely accuse them of being “blasphemers” who “believe that it is the effort of the sinner that makes the difference between salvation and damnation”. They accuse them of denying that “Jesus Christ made full satisfaction for sins”, of trampling “underfoot the precious blood of Jesus Christ, treating it as something of no value”, and not being “a child of God”. Believing Christ died for even those in hell does not in any way dictate such slanderous accusations. But, according to their logic, it does.
If Christ died even for those in Hell, then his work on the cross was, in and of itself, insufficient to save everyone for whom it was intended. And that is blasphemy. It denies that Jesus made full satisfaction for sins, treats the blood of Christ as a thing of no value (especially when compared with the Almighty Free Will), and is a glorying and boasting in self. It is self that makes the difference, rather than the work of Christ.
In condemning the Christian Confession of Faith, Darwin Fish has shown us that he has a bible that is full of paradox and contradictions, a god who will be eternally sad that he was unable to save vast multitudes of people he loves, and a christ whose blood was unable to pay the sin-debt of vast multitudes of people he loves. Then he wonders why we call him and his brothers in Satan blasphemers. Darwin Fish’s false gospel of a powerless christ, uncertain promises, and the worship of man’s Free Will is from the pit of Hell, and will carry him back there if he dies believing it. Let everyone who believes it repent and believe the true Gospel:
The gospel is God’s promise to save His people, giving them all the blessings of salvation from regeneration to final glory, conditioned exclusively on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, totally apart from the sinner’s works and efforts. It reveals the righteousness of God – how God is just to justify the ungodly based on the work of Jesus Christ alone. The gospel is not merely the fact that Jesus lived, died, and rose again, considered apart from the purpose of these truths, which were accomplished to establish a righteousness for all whom Jesus represented. [Gen 15:5-6; Psa 103:2-12; 130:3-4; Isa 1:18; 45:21-25; Jer 33:14-16; Mat 1:21; Joh 3:16; Act 13:32-39; Rom 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 4:5-8,13-25; 10:4,15; 1Co 15:1-8; 2Co 1:20; 5:21; Eph 1:3-2:22; 3:6; Col 1:5; 2Ti 1:1,9-10; Heb 10:4-17]
For more information, please see:
May 20, 2012
The following is part one of an e-mail I wrote a few months ago.
Recently, my attention was brought to a website that offers a critique of the Christian Confession of Faith. The following blog post (http://www.atruechurch.info/archivedblog2.html, 2/12/2012) is written by Darwin Fish (elsewhere on this site, he assures us that, yes, that is his real, given name).
Mr. Fish begins with an e-mail he received that enquires about his view of the “Outside the Camp” website:
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:40 PM
Have you ever researched”outside the camp”?(ousidethecamp.org)Please give me feedback .I have known mass delusion is everywhere. Including me.The Holy Spirit has testified of Jesus to me.But I can’t find the truth.I know it is all my fault .I am self-seeking in my seeking.Anyway please provide feedback on this site.Itseems to have something.–Thanks-Jeremy Jenkins
Now here is Darwin’s reply:
Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: ?
“I am self-seeking in my seeking.”
Unless that changes, you will perish. See Romans 2:6-10.
In regards to that website, you have given ear to false lips (Proverbs 17:4). They are false.
So, right off the bat, Darwin has judged us to be “false lips”. This is promising; I respect someone who makes judgements of true and false, so long as they are based on the correct standard. Sadly, as we will see, Darwin Fish not only has a false, but a paradoxical and illogical standard for judging.
For one, they admit to being ecumenical. They write in the preface of their “Confession Of Faith” that their confession is,
“truly ecumenical in the good sense of the word.”
There is no good sense of the word in our venacular …
Here is the full sentence that Darwin has quoted from:
“From the outset, it was our mission to make a Confession with which every true Christian could agree in full, thus making it truly ecumenical in the good sense of the word.” (http://www.outsidethecamp.org/ccfpreface.htm)
The preface of the Confession was written by Marc Carpenter, and there is a reason he specifically wrote that the Confession would be “truly ecumenical in the good sense of the word.” That reason is to make it obvious that he was talking specifically about an ecumenicity that is based on the Gospel, (which is something that “every true Christian” believes) and not false standards like experience or emotions. There really is a “good” sense of this word whether Mr. FIsh wants to recognize it or not.
… nor in their context, since they also claim in this preface regarding their “Confession of Faith”,
“The other Confessions leave room for their adherents to speak peace to those who believe false gospels; this Confession does not.”
Since their confession is not exaustive regarding the “doctrine of Christ” (2 John 9), and since the Biblical “gospel” is “the word of truth” (Ephesians 1:13, i.e. “every word of God” Matthew 4:4), their claim is actually a lie and it most certainly does “leave room for . . . adherents to speak peace to those who believe false gospels”.
First, notice that Darwin doesn’t spell out what precisely the Confession is missing with regard to the “doctrine of Christ.”
More importantly, however, the Gospel is not “every word of God”, as Darwin has misquoted Mat 4:4. Man certainly is “to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”, but that doesn’t mean that every word that proceeds from the mouth of God is the Gospel.
Here is a quote from Marc Carpenter’s sermon “The Gospel – What It’s Not” that addresses the erroneous view that the Gospel is the entire Word of God:
It’s a very popular notion among those who profess to believe the doctrines of grace to define the gospel as everything that is contained in the Bible. Now what difference does this definition make? Isn’t it true that the entire Bible records the very words of God? Yes. Isn’t it true that God’s Word must be believed? Yes. Isn’t it true that the gospel is contained in God’s Word? Yes. Isn’t it true that the gospel is throughout God’s Word? Yes. So why is defining the gospel as the entire Word of God such a horrible error? Well, let’s think about it for a little while. If the gospel is the entire Word of God, then how is the gospel preached? Does the preacher have to read or preach the entire Bible in order to preach the gospel? Well, the advocates of this definition have a little out that they will always mention eventually. They will say, “No! A preacher doesn’t need to read or preach the entire Bible; instead, a preacher can read or preach ANYTHINGin the Bible and still preach the gospel.” So they believe that the power of God unto salvation isANYTHINGin the Bible. Now notice what this means about BELIEVINGthe gospel. Mark 16:16 says that those who do not believe the gospel will be damned. If they were consistent, they would have to say that those who do not believe EVEN ONE PARTof the Bible are lost. And, as I mentioned in last week’s sermon, you can’t believe what you don’t know. So, if they were consistent, they would have to say that someone who doesn’t know that Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah,” which is from Numbers 26:33, they are lost. But no – they do not say that someone who doesn’t know about a particular truth in the Bible is lost. Instead, they say that WHEN THIS MESSAGE IS PREACHED, they will believe it. And UNTIL IT IS PREACHED, a believer can be ignorant of it. Now this is all well and good, when it comes to the daughters of Zelophehad. But what about when it comes to the work of Christ that demands and ensures the salvation of all whom He represented? Here we get to the bottom of it all, and the real reason why some would want to define the gospel in this way. They use the SAME REASONING for the daughters of Zelophehad as for the atoning work of Christ. After all, since it’s ALLthe gospel, one passage of Scripture is no different than any other passage of Scripture when it comes to salvation.
The very word “gospel” means good news. God’s Gospel is not just news about every subject in the Bible, but good news about a very specific subject – the person and work of Jesus Christ. Trying to shoehorn the entire rest of the Bible into the Gospel is a bringing in of another gospel (Gal 1:8-9).
In fact, they themselves speak peace to an aberrant gospel, limited atonement. In their confession under “II. God, D. Predestination. 2. Reprobation” they write,
[e.] “Jesus Christ did not die for the reprobate in any sense,”
Under “IV. Jesus Christ. C. His Work” they write,
“6. Those who deny the effectual work of Jesus Christ, claiming instead that the blood of Jesus Christ atoned for everyone without exception (including those in hell), deny the very heart of the gospel.”
The gospel teaches exactly that. Christ did indeed die for people who perish (those in hell). See Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:11; Hebrews 10:29; 2 Peter 2:1; etc..
Now, section IV.C.6 is an odd choice to show that we believe in the doctrine of Limited (or Effectual) Atonement. Section IV.C.2 is a much better choice, since it actually puts forth that doctrine:
The consummate act of obedience that Jesus Christ paid to the law was in suffering the ultimate penalty for the disobedience of His people that the law demanded. Thus, while upon the cross, Jesus Christ, as a perfect representative, substitute, and sacrifice for His people, became a curse for His people and suffered the unmitigated fury of God the Father, which was equivalent to suffering the very pains of hell. This was not for any guilt He had contracted Himself but for the sins of His people. Their guilt was imputed to Him, and He suffered the penalty their sins deserved. His finished work on the cross appeased God’s wrath in full toward all for whom He died and paid the ransom price in full for all for whom He died, guaranteeing the salvation of all for whom He died. [Gen 22:13; Exo 12:3-13; Lev 16:21-22; 17:11; Psa 22:1-18; 32:1; Isa 53:1-12; Dan 9:24-26; Zec 13:7; Mat 26:28; 27:35-50; Mar 15:24-37; Luk 23:33-46; 24:46; Joh 11:49-52; 19:16-30; Act 17:3; 20:28; Rom 3:24-25; 5:6-11; 1Co 1:30; 5:7; 6:20; 15:3; 2Co 5:21; Gal 1:4; 2:20; 3:13; 4:5; Eph 1:7; 2:13-17; Col 1:14,20-22; 2:13-14; 1Th 5:10; 1Ti 2:6; Tit 2:14; Heb 2:9-10,17; 9:12-14,26-28; 10:10-18; 13:12; 1Pe 1:18-19; 2:24; 3:18; 1Jo 1:7; 2:2; 3:5; 4:10; Rev 1:5; 5:9]
Darwin’s quote of section IV.C.6 rather than IV.C.2 raises some interesting questions. Since section IV.C.2 puts forth an effectual, rather than merely a limited atonement, is Darwin unable to refute the doctrine of Christ’s effectual atonement? And since section IV.C.6 really talks about Universal Atonement advocates being lost, is he actually offended more by that than by the doctrine of Effectual Atonement? That would be pretty hypocritical, considering he seems to judge us as lost. It’s not beyond some people, though.
Let’s take a moment now to look at the Scripture verses Darwin produced in favor of Universal Atonement:
Rom 14: (15) But if your brother is grieved because of your food, you no longer walk according to love. Do not by your food destroy that one for whom Christ died.
Even assuming that the “destruction” spoken of here is eternal destruction, Paul is not putting forth a case of an actual person for whom Christ died being destroyed, but merely a theoretical person. His point is to show the fearful effects of this theoretical case, if it were possible.
1Co 8: (11) And on your knowledge the weak brother will fall, he for whom Christ died.
Again, even assuming that the “falling” here is eternal falling, Paul is not putting forth a case of an actual person falling for whom Christ died, but merely a theoretical person. His point is to show the fearful effects of this theoretical case, if it were possible.
Heb 10: (29) How much worse punishment do you think will be thought worthy to receive, the one trampling the Son of God, and having counted common the blood of the covenant in which he was sanctified, and having insulted the Spirit of grace?
Although Paul is again putting forth a mere theoretical person, rather than an actual person, the word “sanctified” here simply means “set apart”; that is, someone who was set apart from the world and its corruptions, but only superficially and not spiritually.
2Pe 2: (1) But false prophets were also among the people, as also false teachers will be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, and denying the Master who has bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.
The word that is here translated “Master” is not “Kurios” (Strong’s #G02962, translated “Lord”) but “Despotes” (Strong’s #G01203, meaning “absolute power”). This shows that the “purchasing” is not with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, but simply refers to the power which God has over them as Creator.
The Scriptures do not teach that Jesus died in any sense for those in Hell. This is because his work on the cross is effectual to save all for whom it was intended. If Darwin would like to deal with the verses put forth by the Confession in favor of effectual atonement, he can be my guest. (He could even start by dealing with the verses put forth in section IV.C.6, which he seems to have conveniently cut from his quote of the section.)
More from Darwin:
They also write in the preface of their confession about “God-hating religionists” who “believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception”. This is actually what God-loving religionists believe. Thus, they declare the gospel of God-lovers to be evil, and the gospel of God-haters to be good. The curse of Isaiah 5:20 & Galatians 1:8-9 is upon them [for more on limited atonement, see www.atruechurch.info/calvinarmin.html, under III. Limited Atonement].
Furthermore, they write in their confession under “II. God, A. The Knowledge of God”,
“7. God is a logical being, and the knowledge that He imparts to His people is logical and noncontradictory. God is not paradoxical or illogical, for God cannot be against Himself. [Num 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Psa 61:7; 117:2; Isa 65:16; Mal 3:6; Joh 1:1; 1Co 14:7-9; 2Co 1:18-20]”
This is faulty on at least three accounts:
- Scripture nowhere teaches it (Proverbs 30:5-6).
This is actually laughable. Did he not notice that the Confession put forth nine verses to prove the doctrine? Is he incapable of explaining those verses?
Further, look at the verse he puts forth to prove his position:
Pro 30: (5) Every word of God is tested, He is a shield to those who seek refuge in Him. (6) Do not add to His words, that He not reprove you, and you be found a liar.
Since this verse has nothing to say about whether God is logical or paradoxical, Darwin apparently refers to it as a warning to us not to look for logic where there isn’t any. But that just brings me back to those nine verses that the Confession puts forth: they aren’t there for no reason. They are there precisely to prove the point that Darwin is opposing – that “God is a logical being, and the knowledge that He imparts to His people is logical and noncontradictory.” Darwin is apparently ignoring this evidence.
2. It is subject to the frailty of human logic and what man thinks to be logical, paradoxical, and contradictory. God has already declared man’s wisdom to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:20; 3:19-20).
Darwin apparently means “illogical, paradoxical, and contradictory”. But that aside, the sentence is still asinine. If Darwin were correct, the Bible would be reduced to pure gibberish, since any sentence could mean literally anything at all. Every single verse of the Bible would refute the Confession, and at the same time every single verse of the Bible would support the Confession. The promises and threatenings of God would be meaningless, no doctrine could be established, and the entire Bible would be completely uninteligible. Perhaps this is Darwin’s true goal, but it isn’t God’s goal. When God says six separate times that he spent a day creating the earth (Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), and then says that he “created the earth in six days” (Exo 20:11) that is pure, non-paradoxical, non-contradictory logic.
2Co 1: (19) For Jesus Christ the Son of God, the One proclaimed among you by us, through me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yes and no, but has been yes in Him. (20) For as many promises as are of God, in Him they are yes, and in Him are Amen, for glory to God through us.
Mr. Fish may be vacillating and inconstant, but God is not (Mal 3:6).
For more information, please see: