Sunday, May 10, 2009

Theological Throwdown

I am offering you a challenge, a Theological throwdown. Our pastor, Pastor Gene preached a message about Romans 8:28, which sparked some discussion. So here is my throwdown.

There are verses in scripture that SAY we have been predestined.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:29-30 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us [2] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Eph 1:3-6 (ESV)

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
Eph 1:11-12 (ESV)

There are also verses that speak about the elect

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior
Titus 1:1-3 (ESV)

To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
1 Peter 1:1-2 (ESV)

and election

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
2 Peter 1:10 (ESV)

These are stated emphatically in scripture, no inference needed. It says we are predestined. Find me the verse that STATES we have free will. No inference. What I mean is:

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Tim 2:3-4 (ESV)

From this verse, you can make an assumption there is free will, but this verse does not say there is free will. You can argue from this verse that God is letting humans had free will and has a desire that man choose Him. You can also say that from the context, this verse is talking about the responsibility of the believer to be involved in the work of the Gospel, and the focus is not on the lost, but that's another blog.

So, all my theological minds, find me the verses that speak DIRECTLY of free will. No inference. Find a verse that supports free will with the same sort of logic that support predestination. Ready? GO!

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