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“Need” tastes like an apple

February 25, 2008

Didn’t God know Adam and Eve would “sin”? I get asked that a lot by believers and non-believers of God. I read something this morning in 1 Peter, of course I’ve read a hundred times, that really stuck out to me. 1 Peter verse 20 speaking of Jesus…”God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.”

So if God knew before hand that Adam and Eve would “bite” and taste sin then isn’t His whole plan a little manipulating? I don’t think so.

What is the one thing He asked Adam and Eve not to do? Eat from the “tree of knowledge”. Why? Would they become like God himself if they had? If so, and they were instantly imparted with everything God enveloped then they wouldn’t need anything or anyone in their own lives. (these are just my own scattered thoughts here)

If we all had HIS knowledge we wouldn’t need each other. Take God out of the picture, if you can, for just a second. Isn’t it our differences, our needs, our fears, our questions, that draw us to others? How lonely might it be if we truly didn’t have a need or desire for relationships, friendships and companions? How….aimless life would be.

So back to the garden. IMO God didn’t want to manipulate. He didn’t want an aimless creation. So He withheld the one thing to prevent that. Much like we do with our children. Many times I have sat back knowing exactly what my son or daughter needed but choose to withhold it for their benefit for a time…until they are ready to receive it and are prepared. That’s not manipulation. That’s wisdom. That’s care. Love.

I believe He allowed the enemy to convince Eve to “bite” so that it would be “man” causing the sin (missing the mark) instantly creating a need…ultimately God. Sinning, doing exactly what He asked them not to do, was “mans” choice, not Gods.  It instantly set in motion a need for more. An instant journey of eternal discovery and wonder.

For some, that journey leads us straight to God. For others it leads them to…others. Either way, it is our choice – not the demand of a manipulative God. Our choice. It has been from the beginning.

I know there is a lot more to be said on this. It’s much deeper than this. Just a few thoughts.

Any of your own?

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63 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2008 10:08 am

    God coming down to die on the cross for all of us wasn’t a response to the fall of man. Before God even created Adam and Eve, that He knew He would have to send his only begotten Son to shed His blood and save us all.

    From the Genealogy from Adam to Noah to how the entire Mosaic Tabernacle was setup (note the arrangement of the tribes of Israel around the Tabernacle), God knew exactly what was going to happen when He created us and planned accordingly.

    Our God is a Perfect God.

  2. February 25, 2008 11:16 am

    wow this is a deep subject! lots of thoughts, but you knew that huh?

    God knew the choice that Eve and Adam would make. (did you ever read John Piper-Desiring God?) God is happy with HIMself, and HE desires for us to desire HIM. So the choice had to be made to fulfill HIS plan to save us, and thus giving us a greater choice-to choose HIM, to love and adore HIM, to come into perfect fellowship with HIM by our choice. Adam and Eve had perfect fellowship with HIM before choosing to eat from the forbidden tree, But beginning like they did, they didn’t choose the fellowship that they had. Don’t know if any of that makes sense.
    What Joe said is right on!!! and what an awesome plan, and not in the least minipulative. I think that God allows the enemy to do things because HE can turn it around for HIS greater good, and everything is part of the plan…like the enemy and God are in this serious chess game, and the enemy is always in Checkmate!

  3. February 25, 2008 1:19 pm

    Joe said:

    “Before God even created Adam and Eve, that He knew He would have to send his only begotten Son to shed His blood and save us all.”

    That’s an interesting concept. How would you reconcile the idea of Jesus paying for the sins of all past present and future…with God, in what could only be characterized as mass genocide, in wiping out EVERYONE, man woman and child excepting ONLY Noah’s family?

    If Jesus was to pay for the the sins of EVERYONE, why was there need to exterminate everyone except Noah’s brood?

    R.

  4. Elaine permalink
    February 25, 2008 2:18 pm

    I love your thoughts on this! I don’t have much to add but love that it is God who has control over the universe and the whole master plan. God has trusted us as individuals, with choices in our own lives. It is an honor and I can only hope I am choosing wisely.

  5. February 25, 2008 3:04 pm

    Robert,

    The reason for The Flood wasn’t because Noah’s bloodline was righteous and others were not. The Book of Hebrews referred to Noah as righteous but the word really to be used was unblemished.

    What is the difference?

    Noah was a human, just like you and me. He was not a saint and not free from all sin. (There has been only one and that is Christ Jesus.) But Noah’s genealogy, from Adam through Seth down through Enoch through Methusalah through Lamech and finally to Noah was just that: human.

    Genesis 6:4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

    sons of God are angels or in this case, fallen angels.

    daughters of men are just that, daughters of men.

    The lust of the fallen angels produced offspring akin to giants or titans. Not to get ahead of ourselves but these same giants (Numbers 13:33) occupied the promised land before the Israelites could settle and one other famous hybrid, Goliath. Of course, in many other historical literature (most famously, Greek) speaks of giants and titans.

    Obviously, the flood did not stop more fallen angels from trying to reproduce but before the flood, God saw their numbers to be too great and their wickedness to be too much for God to bare.

    Noah’s family was spared because they were the very few who were human and would also would follow the commandments of God. Noah found grace in the eyes of God. Again, this is not a reaction to the fall of mankind but rather, God knew how Noah would be and he will be tapped to do God’s work.

  6. February 25, 2008 3:44 pm

    I’m staying out of this one. 8)

  7. February 25, 2008 3:51 pm

    why?

    😉

  8. February 25, 2008 4:04 pm

    Robert, in the Bible righteousness is determined by believing God, soooo in Noahs case building an ark while not living near a body of water and not really seeing rain before…that was a huge factor in believing and obeying what God had asked him to do…God wiped out the earth due to the lack of choices in his favor, see HE is still God what we think or don’t think has no impact on who HE is, it doesn’t change HIM at all.

  9. February 25, 2008 5:18 pm

    Tam – I really struggle with this concept of an all-knowing God.
    BUt you know what?! He knows how it ends! :o)

  10. February 25, 2008 5:55 pm

    I have never completely understood that and I think you did a great job with interpreting it in a way we can relate to. Bravo! =)

  11. February 25, 2008 6:08 pm

    Robert: Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. That verse speaks for itself. Every human being on the face of the earth, except Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives, refused to turn away from sin, violence and corruption. The result was God’s judgment. As harsh as the destructrion was, no living person was without excuse. God also used the flood to separate and to purify those who believed in Him from those who didn’t. Throughout history and the Bible, this cycle has taken place time after time. Separation and purification. Judgment and redemption. We’re headed there again by the way…this time will be final. Gee, not much warm and fuzzy in that…sorry.

  12. kim permalink
    February 25, 2008 9:11 pm

    beautiful words. thank you!

  13. February 26, 2008 2:13 am

    GG-seperation and sanctification…purification…before being a believer it angered me too, but once coming to the realization that I could be one of the ones that HE saves..it was a no brainer to want to be on the winning team…yea sometimes my brain is shallow, but my God in never shallow, and it is open to all…

    R- how long can you swim? I would have been drowned in Noahs day, glad I have a chance to walk on the water today! Yay God!

  14. February 26, 2008 4:27 am

    Sometimes I perceive the beginning of our story as God, the author who starts the draft, we make a mess in the interim of the chapters, and having Jesus cleaning up our sins becomes the happily ever after.
    The End.

  15. February 26, 2008 1:22 pm

    I love that it is a choice. Relationships are a choice.
    Great insights.
    Much love,
    Angela

  16. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 5:37 pm

    Hi Darla,

    “but once coming to the realization that I could be one of the ones that HE saves..it was a no brainer to want to be on the winning team”

    Never being one to shy away from a challenging concept…

    is it possible that if you are the catalytic cause of your realization of the virtues of the gospel

    then

    Christ’s sacrifice didn’t actually save you, it was in fact your decision that saved you?

  17. February 26, 2008 5:44 pm

    hmmm…. but without the “sacrifice” first there would be no realization of it or of its the need. (?)

    i’m not darla.

    i’m sorry

    😀

  18. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 6:01 pm

    nono it’s an all-skate, fer sure.

    Though what you said is theoretically true after the Cross, it does present difficulties in the Old Testament.

    As well, it doesn’t speak to why some don’t realize nor why they don’t see the need.

    And even more difficult is that Christ’s own name means God saves. When the cross is discussed in the NT, and when redemption and restoration in general is addressed in the OT, it is said that God does it.

    Accomplished redemption is what is said of God’s activity even before the birth of Christ, (Luke 1, after Zacharius can finally talk.

    And why is it not of us? It is not an answer that people like but over and over and over God redeems, not enables for redemption, for his glory that none may think that it was some characteristic of their own that effected their redemption; some softness of heart, some insight, some enculturation, some intelligence (Robert would say, some lack of it..hahah)

    I don’t want to be perceived as being antagonistic, it is only that I cannot see how the bible says something different but am willing to look more closely at it.

  19. February 26, 2008 6:23 pm

    I love that God loves me enough to allow me to choose. It makes my choice that much sweeter, in striving to be like Christ and in accepting Him in my heart.

    Although heartbreaking for God when He had to kick Adam and Eve out into the world, I imagine he foresaw all those making the choice to live in Christ…and knew that even then…the choices of Adam/Eve led to others having the choice to live in Christ for generations to come. THE CHOICE…to be a Christian is and should not be taken lightly. It’s not a do-over…it’s a tough path and only those who choose to take it on should walk down it. God never promises an easy life, but He promises to be our rock…our shelter in those tough times.

    I also love that God forgives…I’m sure Adam and Eve although disciplined for their actions as any child should be…truly and fully understood the grace of God’s love through His forgiveness.

    Sorry….babbling….I’m sure I’m way off the subject of your post. I’m medicine headed out tonight and just trying to stay awake. 😉

  20. February 26, 2008 6:45 pm

    It is by grace that we are saved not by works.

    Thought…if Christs name means God Saves – then wouldn’t my “theory” hold for OT times? Beings God has always been, well, Him – then wasn’t He the God that saves then? Accomplished redemption.

    Funny. You’re not being antagonistic J. I think we’re all willing to look closer into the Word. At least I hope so 😉

  21. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 6:56 pm

    “Thought…if Christs name means God Saves – then wouldn’t my “theory” hold for OT times? Beings God has always been, well, Him – then wasn’t He the God that saves then? Accomplished redemption.”

    Not quite a home run, but at least a triple, I say! And I agree, in that, it wasn’t a sacrifice to which people were looking for salvation but God himself through grace by faith.

    The reason I think you are holding up at third is that if God saves, but your “theory” still needs us as the catalyst, then redemption is incomplete. As I have said elsewhere, (antagonistically!) the cross accomplished nothing and Deut 30, Ezekiel 36, Jer 31, Isaiah 9 and 53 were just educated guesses.

    I am antagonistic when I decide to be, not that that clears anything up. There isn’t anyone here who doesn’t have the love of Christ sloshing all over the place, and antagonism is so, well, anti-protagonistic, which is what this seems to be.

  22. February 26, 2008 7:13 pm

    Hmm, interesting! I’d never thought of it that way before. I’ll have to ponder this one a bit …

  23. February 26, 2008 7:25 pm

    Did Robert ever come back? Did I miss him?? No rebuttle? I’m enjoying the chatter here, but have nothing new or better to offer, just enjoying the good read. 😉

  24. February 26, 2008 7:44 pm

    Jason – when you say “Christ’s name means God Saves” exactly to which name are you referring? While you’re at it, what do you mean “the cross accomplished nothing?” (I’m new to this blog).

    It seems like this thread is asking whether or not anyone that lived before the Christ got to go to heaven, and whether Jesus died for them or (was he part of the equation). I’d say, read Hebrews 11. I am actually reviewing an unpublished book right now that suggests that Jesus’ work on the cross didn’t extend back to the dawn of creation but was rather an extension of the work of redemption that began with creation. The other suggests (and it is the theme of the book) that FAITH (more like TRUST) is the driving force behind the redemptive process. It’s an interesting assertion, but seems to be soundly formulated.

    The other main topic seems to be the concept of choice, or volition, and whether/how that plays a role in our redemption.
    I believe we absolutely have choice – otherwise we’d all be puppets in a huge (dare I say divine) comedy. Tam, I’d have to disagree with the enemy ‘convincing’ Eve to eat the apple if you mean somehow that it was Satan’s fault and not Eve’s. She chose to eat – and I believe the sin was not the actual eating in and of itself, but the disobedience. Was it inevitable? Unfortunately, yes – any of us would have done the same thing.

    Our “role” in the process is not to earn, maintain, or retain some level of goodness that compels God to act redemptively towards us; it’s simply to choose to put our TRUST and our FAITH in what God has done for us – which is clearly that the Christ paid the penalty for our sin and cleared the way for us to have the restored relationship with our Creator, God.

    Think of our restored relationship as a gift – nicely wrapped, and tied up with a bow – sitting there for us to receive. It has our name on it, “TO: FROM: God” It’s our gift – it has our name on it. (there’s not even a gift receipt!). We can carry that gift around with us for years, but until we unwrap the gift and open it, we haven’t really experienced or truly received the gift.

    anti-protagonistic? I do not think you use that word correctly…

  25. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 8:22 pm

    hiya beefourdee,

    ooo cool!

    Christ’s name wasn’t “Christ”, so I hope you didn’t get the impression that that was what I was saying. I was referring to the Hebrew meaning of Jesus, just as the angel in Matthew 1:21 places the name Jesus and the meaning appositively.

    I’d be interested in hearing some of the sound formulations of the book you are reviewing.

    The issue of the Cross having accomplished nothing seems unavoidable to me in light of multiple issues regarding your presentation of volition, as I see it. Every hypothetical you presented is dependent on us. If it is a gift, which God is depending on us to open, then Christ’s death is potentially in vain. God saves no one, he only provides for the possibility. And in light of Romans 3,that Paul indicates that no one seeks God, why, in your formulation, we would choose to open the gift at all must be dependent on something about us, some characteristic in us, not from God because then our will is being tampered with, and a characteristic of our own becomes that which determines who enters into the Kingdom and who doesn’t. Perhaps some of the sound reasoning in the book may illuminate how this can be biblically, because I don’t recall our characteristics being salvific biblically speaking.

    Faith being a gift as well, do we have to open that, too?

    “anti-protagonistic? I do not think you use that word correctly…”

    I’m glad yer thinkin but perhaps you could share why.

    tag.

  26. February 26, 2008 8:42 pm

    I don’t see anyway around it except God has offered and we choose to accept. God wants our choice which proves our intent. He wants oir heart. That can only be aomething thata given. He stands at the door and knocks. We have to open. We dont create the opportunity we just choose.

  27. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 8:45 pm

    B-

    Could you help me out scripturally with some of that? Ears are open.

  28. February 26, 2008 9:22 pm

    Passages in Romans speak to being justified through Jesus and His act on the cross and that our redemption is given based on our belief.

    Isn’t that a decision on our part?

  29. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 9:23 pm

    Before I accept your premise I need to see a verse.

  30. February 26, 2008 9:26 pm

    Romans 3:22-24(NIV)

    22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

  31. February 26, 2008 9:52 pm

    B, (not MY B, as in Vinny)

    No I didn’t mean at all that is was Satans fault. My intent of this was to show that it is OUR choice. Plain and simple.

    “It seems like this thread is asking whether or not anyone that lived before the Christ got to go to heaven, and whether Jesus died for them or (was he part of the equation)”

    I think this verse answers to that… Romans 3: 25&26

    25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

    I just LOVE that!!!

    J,

    “Not quite a home run, but at least a triple,”

    I got to 3rd base with Jason! 😯

  32. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 10:02 pm

    thanks.

    First, context. Paul just got done citing Scripture in a loose manner indicating that no one does good and no one seeks God. One way or another, this summation of the previous two chapters must be the lens through which we read this.

    Second, and I know people find this irritating, but we need to use language the way it is structured; the case of “faith” is such that the word translated through can mean, at best, a conduit, an agent, or, dependent on its context, “on account of”.

    This passage without question indicates that this righteousness apart from law is for all who believe.

    But from where comes this belief? In the context of the universality and totality of damning sin, Paul indicates that no one is interested in such things. How does belief come to a people who have no interest in the object of saving faith?

    The word for “through” is appropriately translated, it is as a conduit, not as a basis, for redemption, because the universal lack of interest in the true God precludes the very interest in the true God necessary for saving faith, that is, saving faith does not exist in humanity according to Paul’s formulation of the hearts of people. So this formerly absent characteristic is now present. But how?

    Just to change the verse, if we look at one of the most clear propositions in the bible, Ephesians 2:8 we find that neither “grace” nor “saved” nor “faith” match up with gift. The “gift” matches none of those words, and, with the Greek, either refers to none of them (which is absurd) or it refers to the whole thing.

    This makes the very conduit through which we are justified as much a gift from God as his grace and our salvation.

    This would clear up the space between Romans 3:11 and 3:22, but it creates a considerable void in the theory of free will and and of volitional praxis. That is, if no one seeks good and no one does good, if we are all sinners, then how do we imagine free will – in the way we assert, as one who comes to faith volitionally – can result in saving faith? Volition, as it appears biblically, is the chronic propensity to sin, not the potential for love or faith.

    the big eyed holy crap smilerguy cracks me up everytime.

  33. February 26, 2008 10:14 pm

    Hmmm…

    Well I understand where your coming from and I see we won’t have an eye to eye view on this, but that’s fine. I grew up Baptist, but I still believe in free will 🙂

    I do think Paul was speaking to a culture that was horrid and sinful and not to the church or even to those who already believed. I understand context, but I think that the culture he was in at that time speaks a lot to the context. This is not to disagree with your statement that all are inherently not good.

    “That is, if no one seeks good and no one does good, if we are all sinners, then how do we imagine free will – in the way we assert, as one who comes to faith volitionally – can result in saving faith?”

    The key word for me in both Ephesians 2:8 and in Romans 3:23 is believed…not faith. Faith is the thing, belief is the act. I like vs 25 as tam brought up as well.

  34. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 10:56 pm

    I cannot disagree strongly enough with your second paragraph. You have no reason to presume something different about their culture than ours or anybody else’s. The idea that one can suggest that context speaks only to some culturally-bound period in time, for no good reason, teaches anyone anywhere to make the same argument out of ignorance, so that they can set aside the Scriputure that is cutting deepest.

    Brent, you can’t make that assertation without undercutting every single teaching in the bible. Sorry for speaking so strongly, but understand that, without any proof, what you have just done is to culturally relativize verses upon which hinge the rest of Romans. You have sidelined promises like “neither height nor depth…”. I challenge you to defend the idea that Paul is speaking anything other than universally.

    I don’t see “believed” in an english translation of Ephesians 2:8-10. But regardless, the roots for faith and belief are the same. They are only translated differently so as to not sound redundant. It can just as easily be translated “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who have faith,” which does not solve the black spot between 3:9 and here.

    But there is a more serious problem with your attempt to distinguish between faith and belief, saying that one is the noun and the other is the verb. This means that your theology is that by an act of ours we are saved, to which Paul would undoubtedly cry, anathema! It is an act of yours, a deed of yours, a behavior of yours resultant from a characteristic of yours which results in salvation. This is a characteristic our ours, then.

    Your distinction makes those passages nonsensical and assures that in your formulation Christ did not redeem you, he only enabled you do decide for yourself. You actually did the saving, for if you didn’t act, you weren’t redeemed, thereby Christ is not truly a redeemer.

    Your argument for a narrow cultural hermeneutic is also problematic in Romans 4, again remember, Paul’s lens is no one seeks God, no one has done good, and yet Abraham’s own faith, 1800 years prior, is defined in the same manner that is, he does not act, he believes, which makes your distinction false. Can we possibly think that Paul is unaware of what he has just mushed together in this pesher regarding people chronically inclining away from God? How can we understand that those who don’t seek God (read: everyone) suddenly are?

  35. February 26, 2008 11:13 pm

    Again Hmmmm…

    All I was saying about culture at that time was that it was known to be pretty ungodly. Roman culture was known to be very idolatrous and fleshly. this is not to imply that cultures now arent only to say that, if I was in his shoes and saw what I saw and heard what I heard I would say the same thing.

    Your words are strong, I don’t mind that, but I am not sure they are needed. I think besides and armenien versus calvanist argument here, we are pretty much on the same page. I won’t win an argument there. Your smarter than me and I am good with that 🙂

    The Word believed is in 4 of the versions I looked up. “english”? They were all in english, so not sure what you meant there. I am not really a King James dude, so maybe that’s where I got off base.

    “Your distinction makes those passages nonsensical and assures that in your formulation Christ did not redeem you, he only enabled you do decide for yourself. You actually did the saving, for if you didn’t act, you weren’t redeemed, thereby Christ is not truly a redeemer.”

    Huh??? I actually have said the opposite of this. Apart from Christ I am nothing and have nothing. Whether I choose something or not, does not make it less valuable or non existent.

    So, If I don’t have to choose it, then I am just saved? No one needs to do anything, just be alive and we are assured of salvation? Does it not matter what we think or believe? I am not talking works here, I am talking pure and simple acceptance.

  36. Jason permalink
    February 26, 2008 11:52 pm

    “All I was saying about culture at that time was that it was known to be pretty ungodly. Roman culture was known to be very idolatrous and fleshly.”

    Brent, those are Psalms! Written to Jews! He is talking about jews and greeks and his Roman audience, and everybody everywhere. I don’t understand your hesitancy in this. It really makes no sense at all. Do you believe that Romans 12:1-2 is for the Romans only? You must to be consistent.

    My strongest words had little to do with different theologies, they had to do with the manner in which you interpreted the scripture you cited. You universalized the one you chose, but the context of the one you chose you discarded because it did not suit the reason you chose it.

    You simply cannot do that. It has nothing to do with smarts or dead French and Dutch guys. It has to do with words and what they mean. You cannot chose to say “I accept this part of Romans but not the foundational reasons Paul said them.” The words have order, the Romans were about the same as we are and the Jews were certainly much better as far as “idolatrous” and “fleshy”, but the words are still being written of them, and in 2 and the beginning of 3 to them. Romans 1 makes no Roman/non-Roman distinction.

    To be consistent in reading texts this way you must look to the promises in Romans, for instance Romans 8:28, as being directed to Romans only. You can’t have it both ways. Or Philippians 1:6 only to people in north-eastern Greece.

    “The Word believed is in 4 of the versions I looked up. “english”? They were all in english, so not sure what you meant there. I am not really a King James dude, so maybe that’s where I got off base.”

    I was only addressing that you said “believed” was in Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 3:23, neither of which is the case in the ESV, NASB, NIV, NET, NRSV, and the KJV, the exception being the NLT, which has considerable verbal problems, which a price paid for translational clarity. None of which speaks to the translational realities.

    “So, If I don’t have to choose it, then I am just saved?”

    There is a cause of redemption, an effector of propitiation and that is Christ’s death and resurrection. Period. This is how the New Testament speaks of it in total. Faith being a means or an agent does not at all address the source of the means or the agent. It only says that the agent is there acting as a conduit of sorts. But if Christ’s death and resurrection actually and not just theoretically is the cause of salvation, which is universally what the NT has to say about it, then the agent cannot also be the cause. If Christ died for your sins, you will come under conviction, you will cry out in repentance and contrition, you be declared righteous, not made to be righteous, on the basis of Christ’s death alone. The idea of faith being the agent and Jesus actually, not just possibly, saving people can be harmonized if the enlightenment invention of free will is not made to be the cause of redemption, which it is in your formulation. Yes, it is. In your fomulation there is grace just out there waiting for all. That is not redemption. That is a God who is powerless to redeem his people and his creation, like Christian’s story of the sad old guy standing on the other side of the road, hoping that things go well, but being mostly out of the actual saving picture. It is impossible to merge your view of salvation with what the God of the bible has to say about himself and his power.

    This is an issue of the glory of Christ. All those promises which are exchanged on blogs so often, if it is our faith which effects it, then we can only count on the promises to the degree that we can keep the faith. Which is taught, I know, and it is a massive insult to Jesus and all he has done for us.

  37. February 27, 2008 1:53 am

    J-Christ saved me, hands down the only one who could/can. It was still my choice to bow to HIM and allow HIM to take over in me. hahaha I should have seen that coming with you.

    Brother I am in! and you will have to live with me through all eternity 🙂

  38. February 27, 2008 6:25 am

    I have returned…

    (My children inflicted a nasty stomach virus upon me…not pretty)

    My word I have tapped on a hornets nest here haven’t I?

    OK It will take me DAYS to read through Jason’s comments and answers (this is no ‘dig’ at you Jason, just an acknowledgment of the complexity of your statements) BUT I would like to address Deb’s and Joe’s responses to my original query.

    I will suspend my complete and utter disbelief in the whole concept of a world wide flood for the purposes of argument. So let’s assume that I ACCEPT that there WAS indeed a flood in all human life other than Noah and his family was snuffed out.

    My original question asked WHY was this necessary IF God already planned for the redemption of ALL humanity, past, present and future?

    Joe posited that the reason for the flood was to rid the world of human-angel hybrids that had evidently been mucking things up in a big way.

    OK, another suspension of disbelief on my part is required here. So let’s assume for a moment that yes there were the offspring of a angels and humans running amok. God is all powerful. Why the hell would he need to wipe out every one? That’s a fat lot of collateral damage, wouldn’t you say? Couldn’t he have just created a virus to attack the hybrids only?

    Deb’s answer to my question was VERY different than Joe’s. Basically her understanding was that ALL humanity no matter how young was beyond redemption. Even a 2 year old? To my mind that is a stretch.

    Joe views the flood as a scorched earth policy to rid the planet of angel human hybrids (WOW!) and Deb sees it as divine justice for humans beyond redemption which pretty much makes the redemptive power of the death of Christ moot.

    So which is it?

    R.

  39. February 27, 2008 6:31 am

    Darla said:

    “R- how long can you swim? I would have been drowned in Noahs day, glad I have a chance to walk on the water today! Yay God!”

    I seriously hope this wasn’t directed at me.

    My understanding of the aftermath of the great flood… God was pretty much said to Noah: “You know that whole flood thing? Probably not my best moment. So I wont be doing that again. I promise.”

    So whether or not I can swim a long time seems a pointless and more to the point mean-spirited question!

    R.

  40. February 27, 2008 7:21 am

    Robert, I am never mean spirited…its just not me..it was more of joking- i apologize if I overstepped my friendship with you. hope you are feeling better.

  41. February 27, 2008 7:29 am

    It’s OK Darla…

    I just took it badly. I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

    We’re cool! 🙂

    R.

  42. February 27, 2008 7:37 am

    Jason, I’m just not seeing all the confusion here and I am sure it is just the typing that is confusing.

    I am hesitant in nothing. I simply stated how I would respond if I were in Paul’s shoes. If I knew what he knew(present and past) and saw what he saw(with God’s light and without) I would speak the same way.

    “In your fomulation there is grace just out there waiting for all. That is not redemption. That is a God who is powerless to redeem his people and his creation”

    In my last response to you. I asked you a question you didn’t answer. Can you focus on this for a second.

    Do you believe that no one needs to do anything, just be alive and we are assured of salvation? Does it not matter what we think or believe?

  43. February 27, 2008 8:56 am

    That’s why. 🙂

  44. February 27, 2008 9:04 am

    Jason – I wanted to make sure you were referring to the Hebrew form of that guy’s name before I commented. The meaning I found was “he will save” – though I’m sure we can’t be exactly sure. I’m not an english major, but there seems to be a difference between saves (present tense?) and will save (future tense?).

    I’ll check with the author – maybe i can forward the whole book to you. It’s an interesting read, and I’m only halfway through with it.

    If I’m reading you correctly, your assertion that the cross is meaningless is presented in the context of there being some action required on the part of mankind – which you reject. So is it safe to assume that you don’t really believe that it was meaningless, that in fact you believe it was absolutely and totally IT – the BIG deal?

    I don’t see my choice as being any way salvific, I see it as having my eyes opened, turning toward God, taking a step in his direction, acknowledging that he’s the real deal.

    Oh, and I don’t agree with Paul’s assertion that no one seeks God, and I would argue that with him if he were here (PAUL – feel free to jump in here). What’s the verse again? In my experience with people they are all seeking something – but they don’t necessarily realize that what/who they are seeking is relationship with their Creator. In this case, I’ll take my real-life experience over what Paul seems to be saying, and chalk it up to I don’t really understand, contextually, what Paul is saying. If I could have a conversation with him directly, I’m sure we could work something out. If you don’t start with this assertion, I’m not sure where to go with the rest of your train of thought.

    BTW – You’re sounding like you’re reformed/calvinistic/hyper-calvinist. I don’t want to make assumptions, but that seems to be the tack you’re taking. If you read back objectively over the last 20 or so posts here, you’ll see you guys are really agreeing on the main idea, but struggling with the semantics of putting it into words.

    So you’re position is that we as humans can do absolutely NOTHING to facilitate our salvation. I agree. I still have to receive it – and that’s my decision. You would say I have no choice in this matter; I say I do. Your answer to Robert then would simply be that God wiped out mankind with the flood because he hated them, and they got what they deserved. After all God will have mercy on who he has mercy on, and will love those he chooses.

    We won’t resolve this argument – nobody’s been able to do so for the past 500 years or so. The productive thing would be to focus on the areas in which we agree – like there is nothing we can do to be saved.

    Oh, and anti-protagonistic just seemed like overkill. Is there a substantive difference between antagonistic and anti-protagonistic? If not, I’d stick with the shorter, terser word for clarities sake.

  45. February 27, 2008 9:14 am

    Robert,

    Two things: One, God didn’t wipe out everybody in the flood. God did save Noah’s family which included Noah, his wife, his sons and his sons’ wives.

    More on this debate:
    http://www.gotquestions.org/sons-of-God.html

    Two, I am sorry that I didn’t pick up on your actual question. I mentioned the Genealogy of Noah as proof that God had a plan for redeeming all of mankind. The redemption was not in the flood but Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus is a descendant of Adam through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, through Solomon to Joseph (Jesus’ father here on earth) for the lineage of kings and through David’s other son, Nathan to Mary (Jesus’ mother), for the bloodrite of the lineage. But what I meant is that the meaning of each of the names within the line between Adam and Noah.

    Adam Man
    Seth Appointed
    Enosh Mortal
    Kenan Sorrow
    Mahalalel The Blessed God
    Jared Shall come down
    Enoch Teaching
    Methuselah His death shall bring
    Lamech The despairing
    Noah Rest, or comfort

    Now put that into a sentence.

    That is good and all but that says nothing of Jesus being the Messiah. Even the Jews still believe that there is a Messiah but that he has not arrived yet.

    However, then we look at the arrangement of the Tabernacle of Moses with the plans given by God himself.

    Check out Numbers 2:1-34. The arrangement of the Israelites in relation to the Tabernacle (Courts, Holy of Holies, Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat) that they would be on the east, south, west and north sides. Keep in mind that southeast, southwest, northeast and northwest were completely cleared.

    With the east side of 180,000, south side of 150,000, west side of 100,000 and north side of 150,000, the Israelites would column out from the tabernacle outward.

    In other words, draw a box. Then draw bars (as representative in a bar graph) starting at the sides of the box one bar going eastward 180,000 units, south going 150,000 units, west going 100,000 units and north going 150,000.

    What does that picture form?

    Why would the Israelites form their camp into the shape of a punishment device that wasn’t even invented until 300 BC by the Persians and fully used by the Romans later on?

  46. February 27, 2008 9:44 am

    I think b4dguy, cleared up the jumbled thoughts in my head quite nicely…

  47. February 27, 2008 9:54 am

    Joe

    I said “all human life other than Noah and his family was snuffed out.”

    So are you telling me that there was NO ONE at all other than Noah and his family worth saving? There were NO other acceptable souls?

    The death of Jesus was supposed to redeem ALL past present and future so why did God exterminate the lot in Noah’s time and then have regrets about doing so after?

    The rest of your response is irrelevant to the original question I posed.

    It’s this type of thing that lead me to my belief that Paul and many after him are trying to join the teachings of Christ to Judaism with bailing wire and duct-tape!

    R.

  48. Jason permalink
    February 27, 2008 10:43 am

    Beefourdee,

    neato! Dig through all my crap..let’s see here…

    The idea of future salvation in Yeshua seems to be one of the possibilities, but I am not sure from where this comes. It may be presented as such within Matthew 1:21, and perhaps it is being defined as such, but I can’t see an imperfect tense (future) in the verb. As well, 1. it is finished, 2. Romans 3:25 indicates that the reason God overlooked sin at all in the past was because of the assurity of what Christ would do. Maybe some see a 3rd person imperfect (future) tense in YSH, the yodh at the beginning can signal an imperfect verb, but it is not so in this particular verb, it is a perfect (It has become, for example). In all my stacks I couldn’t find a difinitive answer.

    I do wonder that if you really believed we can’t really know why you would try to correct.

    There is a difference between anti-protagonist and antagonist. To be anti-protagonist is to precent the good causative agent, and to be an antagonist would be to mimic in shape, but not in function, the positive causitive agent, thereby preventing the good. Regardless, it isn’t so much that my use was incorrect, you just didn’t like the way I said it. Nuts.

    Now I’m being antagonistic.

    but regarding not using a word properly,

    hypercalvinist? What do you think that historically has meant?

    “I don’t want to make assumptions”

    Nonsense. Don’t then.

    On to the real stuff:

    “So is it safe to assume that you don’t really believe that it was meaningless, that in fact you believe it was absolutely and totally IT – the BIG deal?”

    Yes, it is safe.

    “Oh, and I don’t agree with Paul’s assertion that no one seeks God,”

    Well, that’s a problem. If I was to come to you regarding any part of the bible, you were to read what it says and assert its dependability, and then I would say to you that what you just read is wrong in my experience, and thereby wrong universally, all you could do would be to note that your deconstructionist chickens are coming home to roost. It is there in very clear words, God’s truth. Is it not safer to presume that your experience is wrong?

    this…sadly now…is becoming a theme.

    “I say I do. Your answer to Robert then would simply be that God wiped out mankind with the flood because he hated them”

    I don’t understand the propositional contrast you are making here.

  49. February 27, 2008 11:31 am

    Jayayess – (why don’t you just call me badguy like everyone else? the only reason there’s a k-rad type ‘4’ in my handle is that someone already had taken badguy (the bastard).

    It sounds like your resources leave open the possibility of a future tense, but I’m not sure why you start referring to verb tense – that is, we’re talking about a name – I guess that’s the nature of the Hebrew language. No wonder it’s confusing.

    I didn’t think I was trying to correct, just asking questions.

    dictionary.com has:

    “antagonist: a person who is opposed to, struggles against, or competes with another; opponent; adversary.”

    “No results found for antiprotagonist.”
    “There are no dictionary entries for anti protagonist, but anti, protagonist are spelled correctly.”
    “There are no dictionary entries for anti- protagonist, but anti-, protagonist are spelled correctly.”

    “protagonist: 2. a proponent for or advocate of a political cause, social program, etc.”

    “anti-: a prefix meaning ‘against,’ ‘opposite of,’ ‘antiparticle of,'”

    So technically, the word doesn’t exist. But I suppose you can add a prefix to any word, so let’s assume it’s valid. Call me obtuse, but I’m not seeing the difference even with your expanded definition. In fact, your definition doesn’t seem to be consistent with the original use of the word in your post.

    But yes, I would say it’s pretty pointless to use words that are not in the everyday vernacular. It’s prideful – and that is my point.

    In my own history or experience (trustworthy or not) hyper-calvinist means “arrogant, egotistical prick; lacking in love, compassion, and humility; eager to engage in intellectual debate and overpower his opponent with his superior intellect and logic” That is, everyone I’ve met that was a self-proclaimed hyper-Calvinist fit that definition to a “tee”.

    I really don’t want to assume that you fall into this category.
    Nor would I like you to categorize me as a deconstructionist.

    All theological precepts start with some basic assertion or interpretation of Scripture. I truly believe that the Bible is the inerrant and inspired word of God; however, I don’t believe we even begin to understand it completely. Whatever label we assign to one another – our knowledge of the truth of scripture is tainted. I’d rather not argue the differences inasmuch as they are not salvation issues. According to your assertions proper understanding is just as irrelevant as our silly notion that we have a choice.

    Try a paragraph break between “I say I do.” and “Your answer to Robert…” and see if that doesn’t clear things up. Or…answer his question and let’s see what that takes us.

  50. Jason permalink
    February 27, 2008 11:32 am

    B-

    “Do you believe that no one needs to do anything, just be alive and we are assured of salvation? Does it not matter what we think or believe?”

    In both questions you formulated a bunch of hypotheticals in which Christ crucified is absent. This is the problem. Your reply, your questions, your issues with God’s sovereignty in salvation avoid the fact that Christ redeemed his people. Your question in the midst of this discussion is at best a tangent and actually more of an asymptote, it just misses the point, which is, Jesus saved his people.

    Brent, your manner of wondering about it reminds me of Romans 9:18.

  51. February 27, 2008 11:43 am

    “your issues with God’s sovereignty in salvation avoid the fact that Christ redeemed his people.”

    Issues? Please clarify, cause I think as b4dguy has said, there are some semantics going on here.

    “wondering about it reminds me of Romans 9:18”

    Wondering? Interesting thought here. So, you think I am “wondering” and my heart is being hardened?

  52. February 27, 2008 11:47 am

    “Do you believe that no one needs to do anything, just be alive and we are assured of salvation?”

    Christ is completely involved in this question. Why do you keep taking Him out of it. I haven’t. I have no other way of looking at it without Him as the center of it. I say He is at the center, that has NEVER been an issue here.

    This question is hyphothetical, because I need YOU to tell me what YOU believe.

    “Christ redeemed his people”

    And these people would be???

    I know my answer, I want yours…

  53. Jason permalink
    February 27, 2008 11:49 am

    omygoodnessbeefour,

    I am so sorry that my word smooshing resulted in all that. Make sure you send me a book of beefourcolloquialisms so that I can pursue less pridefulness in your eyes, because adding protagonist to agonist as used biology is my vernacular, and no one else got their undies in a bundle. Don’t want you to get so distracted, beefour you can move on to something that matters.

    If I was to go into how incorrectly you use hyper-calvinist, the strange problem with you not wanting to assume, but doing it anyway, and how much your own postings seem to reflect the very characteristics which you indicate as those of a hyper-calvinist, in your own, apocalyptic vernacular, I might become sidelined on pointless stuff.

    Crap, I did.

    “our knowledge of the truth of scripture is tainted.”

    As true as that is, saying that the bible is wrong is a couple steps beyond a tainted interpretation.

  54. Jason permalink
    February 27, 2008 11:50 am

    “Wondering? Interesting thought here. So, you think I am “wondering” and my heart is being hardened?”

    That would be an error on my part. I meant Romans 9:19.

  55. Jason permalink
    February 27, 2008 11:54 am

    Brent-

    compare these two paragraphs:

    You say- “Why do you keep taking Him out of it. I haven’t.”

    but notice the proposed action in your first last paragraph of quotations:

    “So, If I don’t have to choose it, then I am just saved? No one needs to do anything, just be alive and we are assured of salvation? Does it not matter what we think or believe? I am not talking works here, I am talking pure and simple acceptance.”

    And then this as well.

    “Do you believe that no one needs to do anything, just be alive and we are assured of salvation? Does it not matter what we think or believe?”

    I am saying that Jesus actually saved his people. And you respond with these questions.

    Are you really not taking Him out of it?

  56. Jason permalink
    February 27, 2008 11:59 am

    “And these people would be??? I know my answer, I want yours…”

    What does that mean? How should I know who they are?

    It is a biblical phrase, used literally thousands of times “my people” “his people”. In New Testament usage it refers to those whom Christ delivers, those whom Christ restores. Not those whom God invites to restoration and deliverance. That is just not there.

  57. February 27, 2008 12:08 pm

    I am absolutely NOT taking Him out of it. I am asking you if I can choose to believe in this Savior called Jesus or not. I have zero issues with God’s sovereignty and what that means to all life, not just “His chosen”. I believe that nothing I do or say or decide or choose will have any determination in whether or not I receive anything. I still believe though, that in this physical life, I can choose to follow or walk away. This does not change anything about who I am and will be in His hands. It just determines the life/path I am living right now.

    “It is a biblical phrase, used literally thousands of times “my people” “his people”. In New Testament usage it refers to those whom Christ delivers, those whom Christ restores. Not those whom God invites to restoration and deliverance. That is just not there.”

    Ahhhh…I think we are getting somewhere. I never said God invited us to something. Christ IS the deliverer and the restorer.

    The question up for debate IS…how is one chosen for restoration and deliverance?

    I can’t answer this, but I refer back to what I said in the first paragraph. I believe that I am able to right now determine my patterns for life on this earth. But I cannot determine what will be done with any of it. I am at the will of God. Whom I choose to serve and whether I receive much or nothing, I am certain of Him and certain that He is my God.

  58. February 27, 2008 12:58 pm

    Smooshing – There’s a good word. I don’t have to look that one up.

    I don’t think anyone else got their undies in a wad because they don’t understand a word your are ‘saying’. Calling it your vernacular is just putting yourself before others – and that is not Biblical. If it’s not motivated by pridefulness, what is it?

    I never said I had a problem with assumptions, I just said I don’t like to do it – not that I try to avoid doing it.

    I haven’t used hyper-calvinist, nor really defined it. I’ve just shared my experiences with those whom proclaim to be one.

    I agree with your last statement about the danger of saying the bible is wrong. I don’t understand why you bring this up, because nobody has done that, and we all agree on this point (as far as I can tell).

    We’re wittling away at the key points of dissent, however. Jesus saved his people vs. Jesus saved all people (or more accurately, Jesus potentially saves all people if they would only acknowledge that he did so).

    There are two types of people in this world – those that know God and those that don’t know God. Those that know him go to heaven; those that don’t go to Hell. Does God love only those he saves and not those that go to Hell? Did he only work to save those that go to heaven and not those that go to hell?

    What difference does it make how you perceive this mystery (the mystery of how it all works)? ?Can anyone of us tell which one is which?

    I do not understand why it’s so hard to get past the semantics of this point and move on to something else.

    I’m sorry to have caused you to get sidelined on this pointless stuff.

  59. February 27, 2008 2:26 pm

    “I agree with your last statement about the danger of saying the bible is wrong. I don’t understand why you bring this up, because nobody has done that, and we all agree on this point (as far as I can tell).”

    There is an assumption that if you agree with a specific interpretation of scripture then you are affirming the bible’s authenticity. If you are in firm disagreement over a ‘fundamental’ point then you are taking your own personal world view, assumptions, needs and prejudices and replacing biblical truth with them. In essence you are denying the veracity of pure scripture and in doing so implying that the bible is ‘wrong’.

    Of course, both sides in any debate can take this line. But IMHO it usually ends in stalemate.

    Did I get that right, Jason?

  60. February 27, 2008 4:25 pm

    *knock-knock* Is it safe to come in?

    (walks in slowly, looking side to side and behind)

    Romans 10: 11-13
    “11As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    I hope “everyone” means “everyone”.

    (high tails out of here!)

  61. February 27, 2008 6:50 pm

    Always late. sigh. Ok, my turn (foreshadowing). We seek Him… He seeks us… That mysterious moment of transformation. What this trail needs now is love. Sweet Love. Sorry.

    Well, not really, really sorry.

    We should hold hands and sing Kume, by Jah. Ok. Ok.

    How about some poetry? YEAH! Now we’re talkin’ goosebumps! Its like a Lifetime movie moment! Head over to your favorite poet’s blog and get your heart rhymed into a better place. click here Quit hovering, for God’s sake.

  62. February 27, 2008 9:40 pm

    TAM opened up a CAN OF WORMS! =) I love you Tam!
    Let me recommend a book because I really need to go to sleep before I read through all of these…
    Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem…so good!

  63. February 27, 2008 9:40 pm

    ps it takes like a year to go through it if you do a chapter a week!

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