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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thirsty? or Just Not Drinking?

Let me preface this post by saying there is one thing that many bloggers do that bothers me.  I am royally bothered when someone deletes a post that they cannot respond to that contradicts the points they have made in their blog.  I had that experience today on a blog called The Thirsty Theologian.  I don't remember how I became aware of the existence of this blog but I went there today and in just a few moments I knew the guy was a calvinist and I am okay with that.  I disagree with some of the tenants of calvinism and with what I perceive as a reliance on creeds and Calvin's institutes that is just not healthy.  None the less I read a post entitled "Into my heart, into my heart  ..." and posted.  A couple of hours later I went back to the site and my post was gone.  Granted I was not surprised but I left another comment expressing my amazement that a guy billing himself as a theologian would delete the post instead of dealing with the Scripture presented.  

Later he posted the following comment:  "Wesley, I removed your comments because, frankly, they were nothing but incoherent gibberish.  I don't have time to decipher vague mumbo-jumbo."  

My reply was as follows:  "LOL...I don't think that was the problem at all David.  As a matter of fact it was a little too understandable for your liking.  No problem.  Not an unusual reaction at all among you guys."

Now for the meat and potatoes.  His post was a classic defense of what he termed monergism, as he sees it, with Ephesians 2:1.  Here is the heart of his post.
The monergist begins with the fact that the natural man is dead. He is not “mostly dead,” having some ability in himself. But aren’t we called upon to do something? When the Philippian jailer asked his famous question, Paul and Silas did not say, “Nothing! You’re dead! You can’t do anything!” did they? No, they replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:30–31). Surely, God has not commanded the impossible, has he? This should not be difficult to accept. Scripture intentionally makes it quite clear that salvation is impossible. First, we are told that justification is by faith (Romans 3:27–28, 5:1; Galatians 2:16; etc.). Then we are told that faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17), but that hearing, we cannot understand:
Now let me share with you the jest of my response that David found to be so incoherent.

In order to adequately address this subject we must first establish a biblical definition of dead as it pertains to man and sin.  A quick trip to Genesis will provide us with an understanding of the biblical term of death as it pertains to man and sin.  In Genesis 2:17 God promises Adam that if he eats from the tree he is forbidden to eat from that he will die that day.  We all know that Adams heart did not stop beating when he ate the fruit.  Nor was he deprived of the ability to act and respond.  We do see in Adam's response to God's arrival in the Garden that Adam was separated from God and we see in God's expulsion of Adam from the Garden another demonstration of man's separation from God by sin.  That day Adam was separated from God by his sin just as Isaiah 59:1-2 tells us.

This fact is further demonstrated on Calvary as the Lord Jesus Christ bore the sin of humanity He was separated from God the Father in three hours of darkness.  Sin caused the death of Adam the first federal head of man and it was manifested in his expulsion from the Garden.  Sin caused the death of Jesus the second federal head of man and it was manifested in the darkness and cry of the Lord, "My God, my God why has thou forsaken me?"

So the biblical definition of dead is SEPARATION FROM GOD.  This is also demonstrated in the second death where men are separated from God for all of eternity in the lake of fire.  

Ephesians 2:1-10 also demonstrate the fallacy of believing that the "dead" man in Ephesians 2 is unable to act.  He is said to walk in verse 2 and desire and think in verse 3.  His problem is that he is separated from God.

So what is the conclusion of the matter.  First, all men are condemned already because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  Secondly, God, in the person of Holy Spirit, initiates contact with lost man for the purpose of salvation according to John 16:7-15.  Thirdly, man must respond in repentance toward God and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ.

Monergism or synergism?  The Bible declares salvation to be wholly of the Lord and the same Bible declares that men must believe and choose.  Monergism and synergism are nothing more than man's attempts to describe the process of salvation when all any man has ever seen is the results of salvation.  We are as limited in describing the process of salvation as we are in ascertaining the origin of the breeze that we are enjoying or missing (John 3).  We can see results of the work of the Spirit in the life of the person that is converted but Scripture in John 3 makes it clear that no man can see the Spirit working in salvation.

Somewhere in the post I also threw in there the fact that if Ephesians 2:1 makes the natural man totally unable to choose, think, or act in repentance and faith then Romans 6:1-11 makes the Christian totally unable to choose, think, or act in sin.  We know that is not true but we have been freed from the bondage of sin and the punishment of sin by being separated from our sin through the atoning death of Christ.

So what say you ?  Incoherent mumbo-jumbo or is thirsty theologian thirsty because he just won't drink? Perhaps many professing Christians share the same mentality as the thirsty theologian and are thirsty simply because they refuse to drink?

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