January 26, 2014
This week, in my refutation of the e-Sword module “5 Points of Calvinism Refuted”, which is taken from material written by Steve Rudd and published on the ‘bible.ca’ website, I’ll continue looking at our author’s arguments for the doctrine of Conditional Election. (To see the rest of the posts in this series, select ‘Steve Rudd’ in the ‘Categories’ drop down list to the right.) Read the rest of this entry »
January 19, 2014
I am continuing on in my refutation of the e-Sword module “5 Points of Calvinism Refuted”which is taken from material written by Steve Rudd on the website ‘bible.ca’. This week I’ll begin looking at our author’s arguments against the biblical doctrine of Unconditional Election. (To see the rest of the posts in this series, select ‘Steve Rudd’ in the ‘Categories’ drop down list to the right.)
But first, let’s review the true meaning of this doctrine, and its importance for the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »
January 12, 2014
Continuing in my refutation of the e-Sword module “5 Points of Calvinism Refuted”, which is taken from material written by Steve Rudd on the website ‘bible.ca’, we come now to our author’s remarks on the doctrine of Unconditional Election. (To see the rest of the posts in this series, select ‘Steve Rudd’ in the ‘Categories’ drop down list to the right.) Read the rest of this entry »
January 5, 2014
Before continuing in my discussion of the bible.ca website, and the “5 Points of Calvinism Refuted” e-Sword module, I would like to reiterate a couple of points. Read the rest of this entry »
December 29, 2013
Continuing in my refutation of the e-Sword module “5 Points of Calvinism Refuted” (see also part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12), our author, Steve Rudd, continues his examination of some verses put forth by those who believe in the doctrine of Total Depravity. And once again, before getting to his arguments, let’s review the true meaning of this doctrine. Here is how the Christian Confession of Faith defines and explains it:
2. In so doing, Adam and Eve fell from their original state of innocence into a state of spiritual death and depravity. The guilt and defilement of Adam’s sin has been imputed to all whom he represented (all his natural posterity). The spiritual state of total depravity into which Adam fell has been transmitted to all whom he represented, and all whom he represented became physically subject to decay and death. [Gen 3:7-8,16-24; 5:3-5; Psa 51:5; Rom 3:10-18; 5:12-14,19; 8:5-8; Eph 2:1-3; 4:17-19] (Christian Confession of Faith, III.B.2)”
In his excellent sermon on Romans 3:9-18, Marc D. Carpenter describes Total Depravity this way:
“In a nutshell, total depravity is the doctrine that every unregenerate person is corrupt. CORRUPT is the opposite of PURE. Now when most people hear words like “corrupt” and “depraved,” what do they think of? They think of the outwardly morally bad people. They would say that terrorists like Osama bin Laden are depraved. Or they would say that child-molesters and perverts are depraved. They say, “Only a depraved mind would do this.” But to be depraved is to be UNRIGHTEOUS! To be depraved is to lack perfect righteousness! Now it’s for sure that Osama bin Laden and child-molesters and perverts are depraved. But so is EVERYONE who does not have a righteousness that equals God’s righteousness! The moral Jews were JUST AS DEPRAVED as the immoral heathen! There’s another aspect to depravity, and that is INABILITY. Those who do not have a righteousness that equals God’s righteousness are TOTALLY UNABLE to produce that righteousness or to obtain that righteousness. And not only this, they are TOTALLY UNABLE to even believe the gospel wherein the only righteousness that God accepts is revealed! They CANNOT believe it! In fact, they HATE it! ”
Now for Mr. Rudd’s comments:
1Co_15:20-58. It does not say “as in Adam all are dead or born dead”
2. Yes all men die when they sin, just as Adam died when he sinned. “die” implies former life
3. Notice “as in Adam” all die proving that every man is born pure like Adam was
4. This section is parallel to what Paul said in Rom_5:12-21(See above) If all men automatically die because of Adam’s sin then all men are automatically saved by the cross.
Mr. Rudd is correct when he says “It does not say “as in Adam all are dead or born dead””. But the verse also doesn’t say “all men die when they sin”. So what does it say?
for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1Co 15:22)
In what way do ‘all’ die in Adam? And how does it reflect the way that ‘all’ will be made alive in Christ? Here is a segment of Marc Carpenter’s sermon on Romans 5:12-21 that discusses this question:
“So how do all of Adam’s descendants become guilty? It’s that “I” word again: IMPUTATION. The guilt of Adam’s sin is IMPUTED to all whom Adam represented. Remember – IMPUTATION means “charged to the account of.” So the guilt of Adam’s sin is CHARGED TO THE ACCOUNT OF all whom he represented. Have you ever wondered why the sin of EVE was not charged to the account of the human race, since she’s the one who sinned first? It goes back to the idea of REPRESENTATION. Adam was the REPRESENTATIVE HEAD of Eve. Not only was he the representative head, he, as a man, was the head of his wife. So Eve COULD NOT have been the representative head of the human race, because SHE HERSELF had a head that was over her. Okay, back to the fact that the guilt of Adam’s sin is charged to the account of all whom he represented. When an unborn baby is conceived, the guilt of Adam’s sin is charged to the account of that unborn baby, and he becomes really, actually guilty in God’s sight and deserving of everlasting punishment in hell.
Now someone might ask, “So God will send someone to hell who has never sinned?” The answer is NO. When the guilt of Adam’s sin is imputed to a person, a principle of sin is IMPARTED into that person. And that principle of sin is the only principle there is in that person. Thus, whatever the person does is sinful. That person, from the moment of conception, is defiled by sin. If one of these infants dies in this state, he will go to hell. By the way, I am NOT saying that all infants who die in infancy go to hell; the Bible shows that there are some infants whom God regenerates and causes to believe the gospel, even before they are born. …
Romans 5: (12) Because of this, even as sin entered the world through one man,
Sin entered the world through one man, which is Adam. Notice right away that sin entered the WORLD. Adam did not sin as a private person, because if he did, the sin would have died with him. But sin ENTERED through him and was SPREAD from him. Next, let’s read the first part of verse 18:
Romans 5: (18) So then, as through one deviation [it was] toward all men to condemnation,
The one sin of Adam was TOWARD all men to condemnation. Now to the first part of verse 19:
Romans 5: (19) For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were constituted sinners,
Through disobedience of one man, Adam, the many were CONSTITUTED sinners. So the sin of Adam was TOWARD all, and through this sin, all were CONSTITUTED sinners. Remember back in Romans 3:22, where the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul says that the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ is TOWARD all and UPON all those believing? Here’s a parallel. The sin of Adam is TOWARD all and UPON all whom he represented. TOWARD all means given to all, and UPON all means imputed to all. If someone is CONSTITUTED a sinner because of one man’s sin, this CONSTITUTION must mean that the sin of the one man was IMPUTED to those whom he represented, especially in light of the last part of verse 19, where it says that because of the obedience of Christ, the many shall be CONSTITUTED righteous.”
All whom Adam represented in the garden of Eden die in him, because his sin is imputed to them. Likewise, all whom Christ represented on the cross are made alive in him, because his righteousness is imputed to them. This is how it can be true that all human beings can die in Adam while not all human beings are made alive with Christ, even though the work of Adam and the work of Christ are parallel – because all human beings were represented by Adam, but not all human beings were represented by Christ. The work of Adam and the work of Christ are parallel in that the work of both is effectual for all whom each one represented, but each one represented different groups of people.
More from Mr. Rudd:
Eph_2:1-22. The NIV mistranslates the Greek word “sarx”- (flesh) “sinful nature”. (see Rom_7:1-25 above)
2. The verse speaks of a lifestyle of practicing sin, “walked according to the world, living/indulging in lusts/desires of the flesh” It does not say we were born that way, only that we walked in sin. The sins mentioned were committed not inherited.
3. The phrase, “by nature” does not refer some inherited condition at conception, but a habitual lifestyle. Thayer, the Greek scholar, defines the word “phusis” (nature), “the nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature, a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature.” If someone says, “Driving is second nature to me” we understand the meaning. The same Greek word refers to the Gentiles when they “by nature do the things of the law”
4. Two chapters later (4:17-19) Paul says the cause was a “hard heart, callousness” and “giving themselves over” to evil. No hint of inherited nature anywhere in Ephesians!
The verse Mr. Rudd is referring to specifically is Ephesians 2:3:
among whom we also all conducted ourselves in times past in the lusts of our flesh, acting out the wills of the flesh and of the understandings, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest. (Eph 2:3)
I pointed out last week that the Greek word sarx (Strong’s #G4561), like the English word ‘flesh’, has both a literal (Luk 24:39) and a metaphorical (Rom 8:1, 8; Gal 5:17, 24; 1Jn 2:16) meaning. And the metaphorical meaning includes a “sinful nature”.
Similarly, the word phusis (nature; Strong’s #G5499) can mean “a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature”, and in Romans 2:14, which Mr. Rudd also refers to, that’s what it probably means:
For when nations not having Law do by nature the things of the Law, they not having Law are a law to themselves, (Rom 2:14)
However, that is not the only definition of phusis that Thayer lists:
G5449 φύσις [phusis]
1a) the nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature
1a) as opposed to what is monstrous, abnormal, perverse
1b) as opposed what has been produced by the art of man: the natural branches, i.e. branches by the operation of nature
1b) birth, physical origin
1c) a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature
1d) the sum of innate properties and powers by which one person differs from others, distinctive native peculiarities, natural characteristics: the natural strength, ferocity, and intractability of beasts
Note that only one of these six definitions has anything to do with actions. Note also that every other use of the word in Scripture refers, unambiguously, to “the nature of things”, “birth, physical origin”, or “innate properties and powers”:
Because of this, God gave them over to dishonorable passions, for even their females changed the natural use to the use contrary to nature. (Rom 1:26)
And will the uncircumcision by nature, by fulfilling the Law, judge you through your letter and circumcision become transgressor of Law? (Rom 2:27)
For if God did not spare the according to nature branches, fear lest neither He will spare you. (Rom 11:21)
For if you were cut out of the according to nature wild olive tree, and against nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more these, the ones according to nature, will be grafted into their own olive tree? (Rom 11:24)
Or does not nature herself teach you that if a man indeed wears long hair, it is a dishonor to him? (1Co 11:14)
We, Jews by nature, and not sinners of the nations, (Gal 2:15)
But then, indeed, not knowing God, you served as slaves to the ones by nature not being gods. (Gal 4:8)
For every species of beasts, both indeed of birds, of creeping things, and of sea animals, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human nature; (Jas 3:7)
through which have been given as a gift to us the very great and precious promises, so that through these we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world by lust. (2Pe 1:4)
So while the word phusis can refer to actions or habits, the apostles used it far more frequently to refer to “an inherited condition at conception”. And contrary to Mr. Rudd’s theory, there is no modifier like the word “second” in “second nature” to signify that the word is being used in any way other than its normal meaning. Ephesians 2:3 is not referring to a “lifestyle of practicing sin”, as Mr. Rudd expresses it. Rather, it shows us that even regenerate Christians “were by nature the children of wrath”, not by force of habit, but by “the nature of things”, “birth, physical origin”, or “innate properties and powers”.
Finally, Mr. Rudd refers to:
1 John 3:8 1. says nothing about inherited sin rather we “practice” our own sin!
Here is the verse in question:
The one practicing sin is of the devil, because the devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God was made known, that He might undo the works of the devil. (1Jn 3:8)
It is true that there is no mention here of the origin of Man’s Total Depravity. But not every verse that contributes to our understanding of the doctrine has to mention that, if it isn’t important to the author’s argument. The apostle’s argument here has to do with distinguishing the children of God from the children of the Devil:
The one practicing sin is of the devil, because the devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God was made known, that He might undo the works of the devil. Everyone having been regenerated of God does not sin, because His seed abides in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been generated from God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are made known: Everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God; also the one not loving his brother. (1Jn 3:8-10)
What Mr. Rudd should explain to us is how someone who sins is “of the devil”. If a person has the Free Will to sin or not sin however they choose, then shouldn’t they be free from the coercion of the devil as well as free from coercion by God?
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