David Platt: People Who Never Hear the Gospel Will be Condemned to Hell. No Exceptions!

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“You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas.”  Davy Crockett


According to Platt, those who never hear the Gospel are going to hell! No exceptions!

This will be a short post but may provoke much discussion. David Platt, one of the increasingly aging “Young, Restless and Reformed” types created a stir by apparently definitively stating that those who have not heard the Gospel will not go to heaven. The Christian Post published: David Platt explains why people who never hear the Gospel won’t see heaven.

“Not only are all people guilty, but there’s no amount of good we can do to overcome our guilt. All people are condemned for rejecting God. And that’s true regardless of whether or not someone has heard the Gospel,” Platt said.

Platt questioned the audience if they think it would be just for God to condemn someone to Hell if they never heard the Gospel.

“I think the answer to that question is ‘no.’ They’re not accountable for what they’ve not heard,” he said. “At the same time, that doesn’t mean they go to Heaven because they’re condemned for rejecting the God that has been clearly shown to them.”

The Christian Post makes the point that Platt never deviated from his message.

Platt continually expressed throughout his sermon that if someone dies without the opportunity to hear the Gospel before dying, they will be permanently separated eternally from the Lord.

It’s your fault these folks are going to hell.

Platt appears to be clear that this condemnation includes folks like those who lived in a small, isolated town in Tibet during the 4th century. Those who never heard the Word, and who will be going to hell. Not only that, that was probably the fault of all Christians living during the 4th century.

Platt said every Christian should make an effort to “reach the unreached” people groups worldwide with the Gospel before it’s too late for many souls.

“What that word ‘unreached’ means is not just lost. It’s not just that they’re sinners who are separated from God by their sin,” Platt explained.

Platt makes a strange argument, given that he is a die-hard Calvinist.

Platt makes the typical argument that if it was true that those who have not heard the Word can go to heaven, then the worst thing a Christian could do is tell them about Jesus because they would be forced to respond. Then they might not choose correctly which is an odd argument from a Calvinist. According to Calvinists, the hearer must respond in the way God created him to respond. He has no choice. So this argument holds no water.

CS Lewis gave us the soldier of Tash and deviated from Platt’s perspective.

It appears that Platt left out an essential person in the debate: God. Would not the Author of The Book of Life be capable of knowing what is going on in the hearts of those who stand before Him? CS Lewis imagined this scenario in The Last Battle of The Chronicles of Narnia. A soldier of Tash (Tash was evil) found himself in the Narnia version of heaven. He spoke to Aslan (the Christ figure aka The Lion), saying he could not understand how he got there, given his past.

“Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, though knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”

Fr. Farley, a Greek Orthodox priest, also appears to disagree with Platt.

I learned the following from listening to a Greek Orthodox priest, Fr. Lawrence Farley. You can listen to his explanation on YouTube, beginning at about 12:30. He believes that those who have not heard the Gospel, like the folks in 4th century Tibet, will be judged by the light they have been given. He quotes extensively from Romans 2:6-16, 28-29 NIV.

6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
11 For God does not show favoritism.1
2 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.
15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)
16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.
29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Fr. Farley suggests that the law is written in the hearts of all humankind. We are judged by our response to the light we have been given. It is not the absence of truth that leads to condemnation but the conscious rejection of the truth. The one who seeks the light and lives consistently will be judged on what he has been given. The one who should be worried is the one who has been given the light and rejects it.

I stand in Fr. Farley’s camp. What about you? (Dee prepares to hide under the kitchen table with the pugs. Fire away!)

Comments

David Platt: People Who Never Hear the Gospel Will be Condemned to Hell. No Exceptions! — 197 Comments

  1. I’m with you on this one. That ancient liturgies describe God as the lover of mankind. Modern theologies turn him into the loather of mankind.

  2. I’m not a theologian, but I find it hard to believe that God who is love and delights in creation is going to send to hell ppl who have never heard the Gospel. How is that their fault/error? I agree that this feels like manipulation of the flock to make them feel guilty for not evangelizing harder.

    Pete Enns (progressive Christian) has brought up this question: has the great commission been fulfilled already as far as spreading Christ’s name throughout the earth? (Yep, there may be some spots where it’s not known, but by and large, ppl are aware.) I lean toward a yes on this question. In my mind, that yes means I need to focus more on loving like Christ, instead of just getting His name out.

  3. I am so weary of this. Growing up I remember the Sunday School classes that debated what would happen to those deepest in the African jungles that a missionary could not reach. The answer was that God would have some special dispensation to “save” them.”

    The argument is based on the theory that God is such a jerk that everyone that has not heard the “word” burns in Hell, even if they were not in a position to hear it.

    And once again in the world of NeoCals, the doctrine of grace crashes and burns . . .

  4. (from OP) “And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.”
    I just love the story of Emeth (the Calormene officer).
    And just look how many evil things are being done in our world in ‘Christ’s’ name, including so many reported here on this site.

  5. I think about this a lot. I lean on Romans 10:13-14 to help me. I would agree with Platt but take no joy in anyone perishing.

    Here is my dilemma from a conservative Baptist perspective: So if people hear the gospel and reject it, they go to hell….. but if they never hear the gospel they have a chance? Then I would argue that I may play a role in a person’s condemnation by sharing the gospel with them.

  6. George:
    I think about this a lot. I lean on Romans 10:13-14 to help me. I would agree with Platt but take no joy in anyone perishing.

    Here is my dilemma from a conservative Baptist perspective: So if people hear the gospel and reject it, they go to hell….. but if they never hear the gospel they have a chance? Then I would argue that I may play a role in a person’s condemnation by sharing the gospel with them.

    I refuse to believe in a God that would send you to hell if you never heard the gospel.

  7. “Platt makes the typical argument that if it was true that those who have not heard the Word can go to heaven, then the worst thing a Christian could do is tell them about Jesus because they would be forced to respond.”

    This is the very reason that traditional (non-Calvinist) Southern Baptists should be concerned about the New Calvinist takeover of the SBC. Such preaching is contrary to the long-established mission of Southern Baptists (before Mohler and his NeoCal army) to take the Gospel message throughout the world. Perhaps this is why Platt recalled 1,000 veteran foreign missionaries when he was President of SBC’s International Mission Board. He cited a funding shortage, but perhaps his theology played a roll in it. No one would accuse the NeoCals of being evangelistic.

  8. So, this idea that we must still reach the unsaved is rather strong amongst Calvinists. In hind sight, it’s illogical. But we were definitely taught that the unreached heathen are going to hell via sheer ignorance.

    Many years ago I heard of a man who struggled with the Calvinist faith (and therefore Christian faith) because he had lost an infant child to cancer and his pastor had been unable to claim that the child would be in Heaven because the child was not old enough to comprehend his sinful state and recognize Christ as savior. Basically, because the Bible doesn’t specifically say that God saves all children under age X, or even all children of believers under age X, then there was no absolute assurance that this man would see his non-verbal, deceased child in heaven.

    I couldn’t understand why that pastor didn’t understand that if Salvation comes from God, and God controls whether or not you can accept him, why God couldn’t give an infant sufficient faith to be saved. It seemed obvious to me that God would give the infant whatever level of faith was necessary. I also felt that this theology was really problematic if you consider perhaps someone who is intellectually disabled. Does the person with severe downs-syndrome go to hell because God didn’t give them enough intellect to comprehend their sin and repent and turn to God? And in Calvinism we believe that God intended that child to be disabled from the beginning of time. I really don’t believe that this is what God means when the Bible talks about “vessels of wrath.”

    How could anyone tell a grieving parent that their child is definitely, or most likely in hell? Or it’s unknown?
    How could anyone claim that intelligence has any role in salvation?
    How could anyone call a God like this merciful?

    This version of Predestination begins to sound a great deal like the Divine Right of Kings! “I happened to be born to the right person, at the right time in history, SUCKS TO BE YOU! To bad, so sad.”

    My own conclusion, more recently:
    1) I believe that Christ came for everyone. That anyone who believes will have salvation.
    2) I believe that God knows the future
    3) I also believe that God is fundamentally a merciful God. This includes mercy to those whom society has no use for. Everyone, without exception.
    4) It is illogical to claim that God would hold someone responsible for something God never providentially brought into their lives, if one believes that God is both just and merciful. Whether that be intellect, or exposure that is at fault for the lack of knowledge.
    5) Someone once pointed out to me that Matthew 25:34-46 talks about “the righteous” who are doing God’s work on earth, but have no idea they are, and God brings them into Heaven, and they are confused, asking “when did we serve you?” I think there are people going God’s work right now, who have no idea who God really is. And the Bible is very clear, they will be saved.

    Are they saved through works? No. We are told they are not. But does God ignore people and leave them out just because they haven’t heard of Him? Or perhaps, the only version they have heard of is this false judgmental hard master that they reject could possibly be God? Are they really so wrong to reject a false teaching about God? Are they wrong to say they couldn’t believe in such a harsh God? Do we really think that God is going to say: “You rejected the church’s false teaching about me. You knew this was not the true God they were teaching about, but you didn’t make it far enough to figure out completely on your own, who I really am, so off to hell you go!”

    I think Heaven is going to be a very interesting place, with lots of people who had no idea it even existed. And I suspect that hell may have some individuals who were convinced of their own salvation but completely missed God in the process.

    But maybe I have a unique perspective because I was saved at 3, and don’t remember not being saved? And I have had countless people doubt my faith, because I don’t remember being saved, inspite of them witnessing the fruit in my life. So the idea to me of believing prior to having the knowledge or comprehension to really understand what salvation is all about, is not all that strange. You just work out your salvation as your grow.

  9. “ According to Calvinists, the hearer must respond in the way God created him to respond. He has no choice.”

    This is not entirely accurate regarding what most Calvinists believe or teach. More accurately, they believe that none of us will choose Christ without the Holy Spirit regenerating our hearts. This is based on scripture which is believed to teach that apart from Christ, we are spiritually dead and blind and will not come to Jesus unless the Father draws us. Without this regenerating work, it is believed that all of us will choose to reject Christ in our spiritual deadness.

    Calvinists don’t believe God creates people to respond a certain way. They believe He chooses whom will receive that gift of regeneration. It is by grace we have been saved, through faith… and even that faith is a gift, so that none of us may boast. Without that gift of faith, rejecting Christ will be all of our choices.

    I’m not going to enter into a theological debate here. My main interest is in addressing an unintended misrepresentation. Often, as a Calvinist, I read things here (including in comments) that I feel are mischaracterizations or misrepresentations of what I believe or who I am as a person simply because I ascribe to Calvinistic theology.

    I want to encourage greater care in referencing Calvinists as a group. They are a lot of arrogant, unyielding, too black and white Calvinists out there, but many of us strive to avoid being that way.

    Ironically, most Calvinists would do well to embrace the humility of their namesake, who insisted on being buried in an unknown and unmarked grave and would roll over in that grave if he knew anyone was calling themselves a Calvinist.

  10. George: Here is my dilemma from a conservative Baptist perspective: So if people hear the gospel and reject it, they go to hell….. but if they never hear the gospel they have a chance? Then I would argue that I may play a role in a person’s condemnation by sharing the gospel with them.

    I think you’re comparing apples and oranges… But I may be misunderstanding what you’re trying to say, so please bear with me as I process out loud.

    If a person hears the gospel once and rejects it right in that moment, it doesn’t mean they’re immediately condemned to hell for all eternity. The gospel seed may need time to sprout to fruition before they “accept” it. It may take a second person sharing the gospel. Or third, or fourth, etc. Basically, as long as they’re still alive, there is still opportunity for them to accept the gospel.

    If a person never hears the gospel, God (being all-knowing and able to see into our inmost hearts) probably knows how they would respond if the opportunity were presented. And can act accordingly.

    As for you, or anyone for that matter, playing a role in another individual’s condemnation… Nah. God’s more powerful than that. If you drop the ball, he will be able to raise another to take your place in sharing the gospel.

    (This works both ways. If generic-you can’t claim a role in another individual’s condemnation, neither can generic-you claim a role in their salvation. If you hadn’t been there, God would have been able to use someone else in your stead. The result between God and the individual in question would have been the same regardless of whether it was generic-you or someone else being used as the instrument. Basically, a person’s salvation is between themselves and God alone.)

    Why bother evangelizing, then (generic-you might ask)? To quote a former pastor of mine, Paul Thome, “If you’ve got to be dead to get into heaven, you’re saying that Jesus has nothing to offer this life now.” Personal salvation isn’t JUST about getting into heaven. It’s also about growing in the fruits of the spirit in the here-and-now. It’s about receiving the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” etc. The person who is never evangelized to may still get into heaven once they’ve died (see above), but won’t be able to enjoy any of the perks of a personal relationship with Jesus prior to that without the gospel having been shared with them.

    At least, I think that’s how it works out. But I’m not omniscient, so don’t take my word for it.

  11. I guess I have to ask if God can be defeated by the fact that missionaries didn’t make it to Tibet to preach the gospel in the 4th century? Or any place else for that matter. It’s like humans have this amazing power to defeat God’s desires according to David Platt.

    For the record, Buddhism didn’t make it to Tibet (600s) until over a millennium after Gautama is supposed to have lived. It was just that isolated.

  12. “Fr. Farley suggests that the law is written in the hearts of all humankind. We are judged by our response to the light we have been given…

    I stand in Fr. Farley’s camp. What about you?”
    ++++++++++++

    yes, i think that’s how i see it, too. it’s hard to articulate, but i like how that is worded.

    as i see it, the good news is for now. the bridge between God and human beings is for now.

    it’s just so practical.

    it’s a privilege to be a human being.

    God wants to partner with us here and now.

    for joy, for fun, to enjoy the pleasure each other’s company, to comfort, to cheer on, to build things together…

  13. “People Who Never Hear the Gospel Will be Condemned to Hell.”

    If this were true, it would be literally the most important — and absolute worst — fact in the world. Amazing how the Bible never once says any such thing, then.

  14. ES: Many years ago I heard of a man who struggled with the Calvinist faith (and therefore Christian faith) because he had lost an infant child to cancer and his pastor had been unable to claim that the child would be in Heaven because the child was not old enough to comprehend his sinful state and recognize Christ as savior. Basically, because the Bible doesn’t specifically say that God saves all children under age X, or even all children of believers under age X, then there was no absolute assurance that this man would see his non-verbal, deceased child in heaven.

    I couldn’t understand why that pastor didn’t understand that if Salvation comes from God, and God controls whether or not you can accept him, why God couldn’t give an infant sufficient faith to be saved.

    Actually the real issue here is that if someone is sadistic enough even to suggest your baby is burning in a notional eternal punishment you have a monster of abuse right there and should walk away.
    If you have unfortunately been so taken in by this sadism that this is actually an issue for you, psychological help will help undo this. It used to be called ‘cult programming’.

  15. One of the frustrations during the takeover at my previous church was that this sort of thing was turning us all into lawyers—reading the bible legalistically and defensively.

  16. HereIStand: My main interest is in addressing an unintended misrepresentation. Often, as a Calvinist, I read things here (including in comments) that I feel are mischaracterizations or misrepresentations of what I believe or who I am as a person simply because I ascribe to Calvinistic theology.

    I have had many conversations with people who claim to be Calvinists, and there are two issues that emerge in nearly every conversation where the truth of Calvinism is questioned:
    1) Calvinsts very often feel personally attacked when Calvinism is questioned. Ideas are cold and lifeless, and should be attacked without mercy to see what stands. People should be loved and respected, and at the same time it should be ok to challenge their beliefs. It’s very difficult to have a conversation with a person when they feel like you are attacking them when all you are doing is questioning ideas they believe.
    2) Every argument against Calvinism is rejected as a misrepresentation of Calvinism. I have become convinced by now that there is no such thing as Calvinism because it’s impossible to get a definition of it that is not considered a misrepresentation by one Calvinist or another.

    I don’t see people on this site attacking Calvinists for their Calvinism. I see a lot of push back against Calvinism, and attacks on public figures who are jerks (who in some cases also call themselves Calvinists).

  17. My own view is that “we don’t know” due to a paucity of biblical data, and that one’s views on this matter will ultimately depend on something else such as one’s underlying theology of “what God is like.”

    OT says very little about post-mortem realities. The NT data that forms the strongest support for theories of unending post-mortem punishments comes from Jesus’ “gehenna” sayings and from the final chapters of Revelation. There are arguments that I find persuasive (see, for example, Brad Jersak’s “Her Gates Will Never Be Shut”) that Jesus’ warnings were about future “under the Sun” torments that would overtake the people of Israel in the soon-coming war with Rome. If that’s right, the strongest remaining textual support is the ‘fiery lake’ vision in the final chapters of Revelation. I don’t have a compelling alternative theory of what that vision refers to, but I do note that the non-visionary preface of the book says that the visions recorded in it concern things which must soon happen, and the non-visionary conclusion of the book says that “the time is near.” If these statements are not to be interpreted literally, I’m not sure what argument can be consistently made that the vision of the fiery lake must be interpreted literally.

    I’ll note, finally, that there is an argument, that looks persuasive to me (part of the persuasiveness is probably rhetorical — the author, David Bentley Hart, is an excellent writer — but I think that the underlying argument is sound, and presents one with a dilemma about what it means to affirm that “God is good”) that conventional infernalist theology is incompatible with other aspects of theology, specifically the affirmation that God is both ‘good’ and ‘Creator ex nihilo.’

    The full text seems to no longer be available at the publisher’s site, but at this writing, it can still be accessed here:

    https://docslib.org/doc/11775852/god-creation-and-evil-the-moral-meaning-of-creatio-ex-nihilo

  18. 1 – which gospel.
    2 – how great commission? Just a little bit great?

    “Teach them EVERYTHING I have instructed you”

    The entire Bible condemns those who reduce and twist its meaning. It’s n o t directed against a n y o n e e l s e .

  19. Susan: I’m not a theologian, but I find it hard to believe that God who is love and delights in creation is going to send to hell ppl who have never heard the Gospel. How is that their fault/error?

    Jonathan Edwards is a hero to many New-Calvinists, so much so that you can purchase “Jonathan Edwards is my Homeboy” mugs and t-shirts. In one of his writings, Edwards claims God’s glory requires he eternally punish evil, and that his goodness would barely shine forth without eternal evil. He said God needs to punish people eternally in in order to maximize the happiness of the saved.

    In another writing he wrote this:
    “When the saints in glory, therefore, shall see the doleful state of the damned, how will this heighten their sense of the blessedness of their own state, so exceedingly different from it! When they shall see how miserable others of their fellowcreatures are, who were naturally in the same circumstances with themselves; when they shall see the smoke of their torment, and the raging of the flames of their burning, and hear their dolorous shrieks and cries, and consider that they in the mean time are in the most blissful state, and shall surely be in it to all eternity ; how will they rejoice!”

    That writing goes on to describe how saved parents of the non-elect will have no pity for their own children, and will praise God as their children scream in hell.
    (see https://www.biblebb.com/files/edwards/contemplated.htm for the disgusting details). It’s no wonder that Calvinists can become hardened and cold in light of this teaching.

  20. Samuel Conner: My own view is that “we don’t know” due to a paucity of biblical data, and that one’s views on this matter will ultimately depend on something else such as one’s underlying theology of “what God is like.”

    Of all the major and minor issues argued about during the seven ecumenical councils, the nature and duration of hell was not one of them. If it were an important topic, it would have been addressed. The only thing the early church fathers agreed upon was the reality of heaven and hell, not the details. This means one can believe in eternal conscious torment, conditional immortality, or ultimate reconciliation without being a heretic. But many Christians will make their view a litmus test of orthodoxy.

    The view of heaven and hell by Eastern Christians is very different from the Western view. It takes a bit to get used to, but it solves some of the problems in the Western view, such as whether atonement is limited or unlimited. While there is variety in their view, here is summary that captures it pretty well:
    https://www.orthodoxroad.com/heaven-hell/

  21. Ted: this sort of thing was turning us all into lawyers—

    Walkin’ & talkin’ like the group that trolled Jesus back in his day. The “snakes”, “white-washed tombs”, and in the end the 30-shekels-for-an-execution (of the Son of God) gang. “Woe to” exponentially, Jesus said.

    Maybe the reason they go on and on about the place of Eternal Fire is because that’s what’s on their own horizon. Projecting.

    In any case, overreach, for sure.

  22. Ted: One of the frustrations during the takeover at my previous church was that this sort of thing was turning us all into lawyers—reading the bible legalistically and defensively.

    That’s because the New Calvinists focus on the jots and tittles of law, rather than preaching ‘the’ Gospel … they are modern day Pharisees.

  23. Luckyforward: I am so weary of this. Growing up I remember the Sunday School classes that debated what would happen to those deepest in the African jungles that a missionary could not reach. The answer was that God would have some special dispensation to “save” them.”

    I bet that debate included Romans 1:18-20:

    “For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.”

  24. By Platt’s reckoning, my parents condemned me the minute they took me to Sunday school. That means we’ve condemned our kids.

    Christianity becomes a death cult.

    Children have a better chance if we never expose them to the bible or church.

    While I’m now a universalist, I’m more inclined to accept Lewis’ assertions.

    The other option is to accept that god is a monster.

  25. ES: if one believes that God is both just and merciful

    Many Christians, and Calvinists in particular, describe God’s justice and mercy like they are polar opposites, as in “some people experience God’s mercy, and all the others experience his justice.” But the Hebrew concept of justice is much more related to mercy than to punishment. OT justice is focused on putting things in the right order and doing right by people. It includes retributive justice, but not as its main emphasis. Isaiah 30:18 is an example:
    “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
    Justice and righteousness in the OT are nearly synonymous, so much so that the words for them are often swapped when translated into English.

  26. Ken F (aka Tweed): I don’t see people on this site attacking Calvinists for their Calvinism. I see a lot of push back against Calvinism, and attacks on public figures who are jerks (who in some cases also call themselves Calvinists).

    During my long tenure as a non-Calvinist Southern Baptist, I knew several classical Calvinists. I found them to be civil in their discourse and respectful of other expressions of faith. My beef is not with the “Old” Calvinists, but the “New” Calvinists which declare they alone hold truth and that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the one true “gospel” that the rest of the church has lost. Stealth and deception are their modus operandi; arrogance is their mantle.

  27. Folks should have stopped taking Platt seriously years ago when he declared that a sinner’s prayer was superstitious.

  28. HereIStand: Without this regenerating work, it is believed that all of us will choose to reject Christ in our spiritual deadness.

    Some Calvinists claim God actively predestines the reprobate to hell. But it seems most claim he merely passes them over for salvation. He could have saved them, but passed them by. Ironically, this equates God with the priest and the Levite who passed by the injured traveler in the parable of the good Samaritan.

  29. No need to hide, Dee, not going to fire away at all. Our years among those of Wesleyan persuasion brought some different views than many today hold.

    First, Platt does not consider universalism or conditionalism. Ok, for the sake of argument if he is correct regarding ECT, he as you said denies predestination by his own arguments.

    Perhaps he should consider another view: as you said, or quoted, each person is responsible only for their response to the light they have. Many believe from nature, as Romans 1 teaches, all have enough light to respond. But assuming for arguments sake Platt is right and salvation requires hearing the gospel and responding to it, he should consider this: an omnipotent God would know before anyone comes into being whether or not that person would accept or reject Christ. An all loving God would make sure that all who will respond positively will get that opportunity. Therefore, no one will be in hell solely because they never got the chance to hear the gospel.

    Basically Platt is playing an old card, long preached by some Baptists and some in hard core hell fire and damnation versions of Wesleyan, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian as well as Hauge Lutheran Christianity. This card puts the blame for one person’s damnation squarely on the shoulders of the people the preacher wants to have give more money, spend more time, or exert more effort to bring the preacher’s goals to fruition.

    It flies in the face both of predestination and free will. It means if you choose wrong it somehow is my fault. Or it means if I disobey God you go to hell, not me.

    Totally paints God out to be a monster, grants humans way more power over other souls than even God, and in general is just insanity.

    But by Platt’s own testimony he has never, to use Baptist terms since he is one, gotten saved. His “faith” is purely transactional.

  30. Jack–agreed re universalism. However, many of us in that camp do hold to hell. Some see it in this life, some after. Some see it literally, some metaphorically. Those of us that do hold to a real “hell” believe it is cleansing, a “burning off” off our sins and dross.

    For those in Christ, who have their sins forgiven, the cleansing may be anticipated more like a wonderful hot shower with lots of soap and shampoo after a hard day shoveling manure in the muck and mire. Something to look forward to and long for.

    For those not in Christ, who cling tenaciously to their sin, it is probably going to be less than pleasant. Hitler cannot take his evil with him into heaven. And when it is that pervasive, the removal is going to be a rather harsh cleansing.

  31. Max,

    While not intending to defend Platt, I think there can be conscientious concerns underlying views such as this. In particular, I think that there are many people on the predestinarian end of the theology spectrum who are concerned to maintain a very strong distinction between grace and works as the ground of forgiveness. On the other side, it is possible to view “the sinner’s prayer” as the thing that saves oneself — and I have heard itinerant evangelists use language that suggests this, urging people whom they have led in “the sinner’s prayer” to look back to this prayer if they ever in future doubt that they are saved.

    Many predestinarians reckon that regeneration precedes conscious faith, so that someone who prays “the sinner’s prayer” was already saved before they prayed.

    It may sound like nit-picking, but the question of whether repentance is a fruit of regeneration or is its necessary precursor is important in certain theologies.

  32. Samuel Conner: the question of whether repentance is a fruit of regeneration or is its necessary precursor is important in certain theologies

    Yeah, that’s the stuff that religious debates have raged over for centuries. I prayed a sinner’s prayer when I was lost and undone and I can tell you that my life began to change at that point and is still in the process of conforming to the image of Christ as I continue to pray. Genuine repentance can do wonders for one’s soul.

  33. Max: My beef is not with the “Old” Calvinists, but the “New” Calvinists which declare they alone hold truth and that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the one true “gospel” that the rest of the church has lost.Stealth and deception are their modus operandi; arrogance is their mantle.

    Yes! This is an excellent summary of the so-called new Calvinist approach. This very thing drove me from a 9Marx church into a kind and loving Lutheran community. It was not an easy exit, and I carry a good bit of anger towards my former church. Still, I am so thankful that my eyes were opened and that I was able to escape.

    Also, I really appreciate the tone and tenor of the discussions here at TWW. The commenters don’t always agree, but there is always an underlying respect and kindness. A rare thing on the interwebs these days.

  34. I do not even have to read the article to know that Platt thinks he has become God. I know the Word well. Nowhere does it say that. This is a topic that is addressed absolutely nowhere. The Word does however say to “not go beyond what is written.” To do that is to add to the Scriptures one’s own opinion which makes the speaker into one of the Godhead. The logic is simple and straightforward. Platt is an arrogant false teacher. Period.

  35. Regarding the fate of the unevangelised, WGT Shedd’s observations reflect the common view of the Reformed – “ It does not follow, however, that because God is not obliged to offer pardon to the unevangelized heathen, either here or hereafter, therefore no unevangelized heathen are pardoned. The electing mercy of God reaches to the heathen. It is not the doctrine of the church that the entire mass of pagans, without exception, have gone down to endless impenitence and death. That some unevangelized men are saved in the present life by an extraordinary exercise of redeeming grace in Christ has been the hope and belief of Christendom. It was the hope and belief of the elder Calvinists, as it is of the later. The Second Helvetic Confession, after the remark that the ordinary mode of salvation is by the instrumentality of the written words, adds (1.7): “We acknowledge, meanwhile, that God can illuminate men even without the external ministry, how and when he pleases, for such lies within his power.” Westminster Confession 10.3, after saying that “elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when and where and how he pleases,” adds: “So also are all other elect persons [regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit] who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word.” This is commonly understood to refer not merely, or mainly, to idiots and insane persons, but to such of the pagan world as God pleases to regenerate without the use of written revelation. One of the strictest Calvinists of the sixteenth century, Zanchi, whose treatise on predestination was translated by Toplady, after remarking that many nations have never had the privilege of hearing the word, says (chap. 4) that “it is not indeed improbable that some individuals in these unenlightened countries may belong to the secret election of grace, and the habit of faith may be wrought in them.”
    Similarly, Calvin’s view of Hell is worth noting – “ The lot of the reprobate
    Now, because no description can deal adequately with the gravity of God’s vengeance against the wicked, their torments and tortures are figuratively expressed to us by physical things, that is, by darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth [Matt. 8:12; 22:13], unquenchable fire [Matt. 3:12; Mark 9:43; Isa. 66:24], an undying worm gnawing at the heart [Isa. 66:24]. By such expressions the Holy Spirit certainly intended to confound all our senses with dread: as when he speaks of “a deep Gehenna prepared from eternity, fed with fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it” [Isa. 30:33]. As by such details we should be enabled in some degree to conceive the lot of the wicked, so we ought especially to fix our thoughts upon this: how wretched it is to be cut off from all fellowship with God. And not that only but so to feel his sovereign power against you that you cannot escape being pressed by it”

  36. Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy): new Calvinist approach. This very thing drove me from a 9Marx church into a kind and loving Lutheran community. It was not an easy exit, and I carry a good bit of anger towards my former church. Still, I am so thankful that my eyes were opened and that I was able to escape.

    Many who comment on TWW had the same experience. Rather than toss out what they learned in the NeoCal valley, they comment here to inform and warn others. So glad that you escaped their snare, Roy, and have found a loving church home. Love is not in the New Calvinist toolkit.

  37. Platt’s theology is the logical outcome of both the Calvinist and Arminian views, both of which focus on the legalities of our guilt before God (see Ted’s comment above). If you read the sermons in the book of Acts (except for Stephen’s – he was doing something else), you quickly see that the whole point of the good news the first Christians announced was the Resurrection. Our ultimate problem is the consequence of lack of trust in God at the first – severance from the Source of Life (you will die) and thus fear of death, the power of which is used by the enemy to keep us enslaved to sin – Heb 2. If the power of death is broken, then we are set free from that slavery to live as the human beings God created us to be, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Our ultimate issue is not guilt but rather mortality. It’s there, all through the New Testament – death, Christ’s and that of Christians as well (either actual bodily death or figurative dying) is always connected to the Resurrection. That’s why EOrthodox theology sees what the GodMan Jesus Christ our savior accomplished over that weekend in AD 33 as One Thing: Pascha.

    There are historical and philosophical reasons why guilt became the main problem in western Christianity. It was never so on the Orthodox and Syriac side of things. Yes, we are guilty, but what good does it do to be forgiven if there is no Resurrection? Being judged by the light we have been given isn’t simply a way to mitigate the horrific Calvinist view of God – it was the teaching of Christianity until pretty much the 10th century.

    Just fyi, Fr Farley is not Greek; he’s a priest in the Orthodox Church of America, which has its roots in the missionary activity of Russian monks in Alaska at the turn of the 18th to the 19th century. My parish is OCA, and most of us are not “ethnic” Orthodox. (And no, our ruling bishop is not the unfortunate, misguided and probably very frightened fellow in Russia; ours lives in the DC area.)

    D.

  38. Susan: I’m not a theologian, but I find it hard to believe that God who is love and delights in creation is going to send to hell ppl who have never heard the Gospel. How is that their fault/error?

    Because Gawd Hath Said, of course.

    This dilemma was hashed out in the early Middle Ages with the concept of “The Baptism of Desire” and “Virtuous Pagan”, personified by Emeth the Calormene in Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle.

    I agree that this feels like manipulation of the flock to make them feel guilty for not evangelizing harder.

    i.e. “Wretched Urgency”, in the words of the prophet Internet Monk:
    https://imonk.blog/2016/04/07/64264/
    (Archive site; pictures missing, hard to navigate unless you know what to look for.)

  39. Susan: I’m not a theologian, but I find it hard to believe that God who is love and delights in creation is going to send to hell ppl who have never heard the Gospel. How is that their fault/error?

    Because Gawd Hath Said, of course.

    This dilemma was hashed out in the early Middle Ages with the concept of “The Baptism of Desire” and “Virtuous Pagan”, personified by Emeth the Calormene in Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle.

    I agree that this feels like manipulation of the flock to make them feel guilty for not evangelizing harder.

    i.e. “Wretched Urgency”, in the words of the prophet Internet Monk:
    https://imonk.blog/2016/04/07/64264/
    (Archive site; pictures missing, hard to navigate unless you know what to look for.)

  40. Max: they alone hold truth and that they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the one true “gospel” that the rest of the church has lost.

    Just like others before them whose “one true gospel” was Mein Kampf, the Communist Manifesto, and/or Quotations of Chairman Mao.

  41. No exceptions huh? (from the title of the main article up-top)
    Let me say it out straight, the god manufactured by Platt and his tribe is a monster.

  42. Ted:
    One of the frustrations during the takeover at my previous church was that this sort of thing was turning us all into lawyers—reading the bible legalistically and defensively.

    Like all the horror stories of Rules Lawyers back in the Dim Times of Old Testament D&D.

    I remember D&D melee encounters where every to-hit roll was followed by up to half an hour of arguing the Rules back-and-forth, quoting Chapter-and-Verse from the Rulebooks. (Which at the time were the pre-AD&D “Three Little Books plus Greyhawk, literally a garage-published binding of Gygax’s Dungeonmaster scribble notes with no context to fit them into.)

  43. What seems to us a hopeless condemnation of ‘those other sinners’ crashes into Christ’s recorded words in St. Matthew’s Gospel and comes into conflict with the Christ Who had pity on those who ‘were without a shepherd and were weary and worn and fainted’ . . . .

    So, what DOES the Lord Christ use as a way to ‘measure’ a broken human’s soul ? Was there maybe even one forgotten act of kindness somewhere on the journey that ‘mattered’ in God’s Eyes as an eternally meaningful act of love freely given without thought of self???? and is there, in some ‘final’ moment, a ‘redemption’, a ‘healing’ that we cannot fathom in that ‘space’ between the final moments of the ‘life’ and the ‘death’ of a human person? is some awakening of renewed life still possible in that moment ???

    Is there anything rational or logical about the kind of saving love shown by God when we look at Jesus Christ and Him Crucified?
    No.
    Not in our world.
    Only in the Kingdom of God can we see, with our eyes opened, the great Mercy of God that is Our Lord Christ

  44. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I guess I have to ask if God can be defeated by the fact that missionaries didn’t make it to Tibet to preach the gospel in the 4th century?

    If God can be defeated by Joe Biden and the Electoral College, He can be defeated by “missionaries not making it to Tibet in th 4th Century”.

    (Enter the Spiritual Warfare Experts who alone stand between God and defeat. What would God ever do without them?)

  45. Ken F (aka Tweed): 2) Every argument against Calvinism is rejected as a misrepresentation of Calvinism.

    And thus further PROOF of Calvinism via the “No True Scotsman Calvinist” route.
    Like any Conspiracy Theory’s True Believers.

  46. In Mr. Platt’s hubris, as ‘knowing’ how God will treat those who do not know Christ,

    can we detect a faint whiff of ‘I thank God I am not like those other sinners’????

    I wonder if Mr. Platt knows that it was NOT the Pharisee in the temple that God justified?

    Do neo-Calvinists so cherry-pick their ‘man-made’ theology from certain parts of scripture that they MISS the whole teaching that God’s grace is given to the humble of this Earth, and not to the self-righteous pride-filled know-it-alls??????

    Man-made neo-Calvinist theologies fail logically in this way:

    They do not realize that ONLY God can know the wounded hearts of our human-kind;
    and that the human heart, in its pain, will seek out and find the ONLY Presence Who knows its need.

  47. Samuel Conner: he NT data that forms the strongest support for theories of unending post-mortem punishments comes from Jesus’ “gehenna” sayings and from the final chapters of Revelation.

    Remember that “gehenna” was also the name of the Jerusalem City Dump, which sounds like a discard pile. The Hinnom Valley, defiled as a location of human (child) sacrifice to other gods.

    If that’s right, the strongest remaining textual support is the ‘fiery lake’ vision in the final chapters of Revelation

    I also read somewhere that “lake of fire” could also have been an idiom for a volcanic vent.
    Anyone remember Halemaumau crater at the summit of Kilauea?

  48. Max:
    Folks should have stopped taking Platt seriously years ago when he declared that a sinner’s prayer was superstitious.

    It can be when you tunnel-vision onto it and it alone.
    It can be when Saying the Words becomes the alpha and omega of your Salvation.

    Not helped by a parade of “soul-winners” who deliberately chip away at any assurance you might have had so they can lead you in it again and put another notch on their Bible for brownie points on J-Day. After becoming a notch on half a dozen Bibles that way, you wonder if the whole thing’s BS from day one.

  49. Headless Unicorn Guy: And thus further PROOF of Calvinism

    I am becoming convinced the only people who truly understand Calvinism are ex-Calvinists. Many ex-Calvinists spent decades studying the deep things of Calvinism as firm believers in Calvinism, but even they get accused of not understanding Calvinism after they reject it. There is an assumption that no one who understands it can reject it.

  50. Muff Potter: Let me say it out straight, the god manufactured by Platt and his tribe is a monster.

    They make his wrath/hate certain but his mercy/love contingent, because his glory requires it.

  51. I have discussed this concept before, but will use a different example. As Dee likes to post pcitures about our Universe, and the beuaty of it, I also want to point out the complexity/ conundrum..
    All evidence pionts to a “big bang”, yet the concept of initial the “start” is a “sigularity”.. i.e. a word used by Hawkins for a condition we can not physically, or really mathematically understand… or the concept that the Unverse is expanding, yet there is “nothing” on the other side that it is expanding “into”..

    My mind can not comprehend this, just like implcations of Qunatum Mechanics… yet it works..

    So, “reglion” deals with “metaphysics” which is “beyond physics”…IF we can not even comprehend the “physical world” how can we comprehend the “metaphysical world??
    So, we “look through a darkened glass”, and people like Platt just show me how ignorant they are….

  52. Lowlandseer: Now, because no description can deal adequately with the gravity of God’s vengeance against the wicked,

    In Calvinism, what difference do preaching and prayer make since the non-elect cannot choose to escape hell and the elect cannot choose to escape heaven? Weren’t their destinies determined in eternity past with no regard to anything they choose?

  53. Ken F (aka Tweed): In Calvinism, what difference do preaching and prayer make since the non-elect cannot choose to escape hell and the elect cannot choose to escape heaven?

    It strokes and reassures the Elect that they are the Elect.

  54. Ken F (aka Tweed): Many Christians, and Calvinists in particular, describe God’s justice and mercy like they are polar opposites, as in “some people experience God’s mercy, and all the others experience his justice.”

    I’m very familiar with this definition. It is definitely what I grew up with.

    I’ve had several life experiences that taught me a much different perspective that didn’t fit my theology. My idea of justice and mercy became much more symbiotic, rather than opposites. It is both just and merciful to the victim of crime to expose the crime. Likewise, it is both just and merciful for the perpetrator to be held accountable in some fashion – so they have the opportunity to address their behavior and whatever caused it. But interestingly, many punishments, purely because they do not restore the state of being prior to the infraction, are neither just nor merciful. That is what God does. He can restore, and administer justice and mercy to both parties. Interestingly, I find it easier to forgive my enemy when I have a symbiotic definition of justice and mercy.

    And I agree, justice is more about doing what is right than about punishing what is wrong. It’s about righting the wrong. Fixing it. Repairing it. Mercy is about seeing the wrong in the first place. Kind of? I’m still working this out.

  55. Max: he declared that a sinner’s prayer was superstitious.

    Interesting. I’ve seen people treat the sinner’s prayer as superstitious. I’ve also seen people treat quiet time as superstitious. And really every other form of religious practice. But any of it can be practiced in a way that is not superstitious.

  56. christiane: Do neo-Calvinists so cherry-pick their ‘man-made’ theology from certain parts of scripture that they MISS the whole teaching that God’s grace is given to the humble of this Earth, and not to the self-righteous pride-filled know-it-alls??????

    Funny thing about Pride… it’s not always easy to spot your own. Or to correctly identify which attitudes are pride and which are counterproductive self-flagellation. We often get it backwards.

  57. From the article:

    “Platt asked if there is “any greater injustice than 3 billion people going to an eternal Hell while all the people who know how to go to an eternal Heaven sit back and do little to nothing?” 

    “”We spend most of our money on ourselves. We give some of our money to churches and ministries. And we spend most of that money in churches and ministries on making ourselves more comfortable in our churches and ministries. And then there’s a small percentage of the money that we give to churches and ministries that goes toward what we normally call missions overseas to other countries,” Platt said.” He added that roughly 1% of American Church funds regularly go to missions to reach the unreached people groups overseas.

    “”We’re fooling ourselves if we think we’re passionate about giving to missions while we’re ignoring 3 billion people who’ve never heard the Gospel,” he stressed. As his sermon came to a close, Platt told the crowd that they “have been put in a time and a place where there are more opportunities to get the greatest news in the world to people in the world than ever before.””

    From the 2018 article here entitled ,David Platt Steps Down as President of the SBC’s International Mission Board’:
    “983 Southern Baptist missionaries and 149 staff in the U.S. accepted the IMB’s offer of voluntary early retirement or resignation”

    One of Max’s comments from that post seems particularly relevant:

    “As I understand it, “voluntary” meant that they had to accept the offered retirement/resignation packages promptly since there would be no guarantee of any provision for them later. Platt cited an IMB funding shortage in his reduction of these veteran foreign missionaries (primarily non-Calvinist), but SBC during the same period spent $60 million per year to plant 1,000+ churches led primarily by New Calvinists. Reckon what theological persuasion new missionaries will be if/when IMB returns to better financial health? Such leaders in corporate America are are called axemen – they are used on a short-term stint to reduce workforce and budgets.”

    One question is: where are the accompanying words of caution and condemnation for those entrusted with leadership of entities like international missions boards that may not seem to properly prioritize distribution of resources nor exhibit sufficient transparency, accountability, and oversight as an organization? If an encouragement seems to be give, give, give, wouldn’t such a track record work against people feeling confident to give in a major way to such organizations, which would seem to put the onus on those in charge to focus their energies on addressing that thoroughly and quickly?

    As the gist of what is being sent appears to concern people’s outreach priorities, why does does it appear we haven’t ever gotten a sufficient, readily-available breakdown from people involved during what Max described about the IMB as to why things went the way they did, as well as where things currently stand?

    Plus, what about the concern that has to be present as to what the current crop of Platt / TGC / T4G / NeoCal / SBC seminary-influenced outreach workers would actually see as the Gospel message and what they would teach? I recently saw some reports from someone connected with overseas outreach who if I recall correctly was trying to “plant“ a church, had pictures of the materials for study that included works from John MacArthur, and had a picture with a certain SBC seminary official associated with the family sendoff.

    Given the track record there and questions of transparency, priorities, etc., couldn’t there be issues of confidence as far as how financial support of those connected to such intuitions and movements would bear fruit? Is an issue Platt and others might want to focus on — besides a focus on people potentially being selfish— be the issue of people having reticence of support related to previous and / or current experience with outreach organizational shortcomings? Could that reticence concern how outreach support is used (and sadly, how trustworthy or not many of those currently being sent out are as far as doctrinal, theological, and overall priorities)?

  58. Ken F (aka Tweed): Many ex-Calvinists spent decades studying the deep things of Calvinism as firm believers in Calvinism, but even they get accused of not understanding Calvinism after they reject it.

    Well, it should be obvious, that if they really understood it, they wouldn’t have rejected it. Or perhaps, if their teachers hadn’t done such a terrible job of explaining it wrong, they wouldn’t have rejected it. (SA)

    My personal experience is that I was trying to make sense of the idea that God is Providential and Omniscient. And somehow had to deal with the fact that the Bible clearly states that we have free will, and will be held responsible for our choices. And God is merciful. How do those things work together? I eventually came to the conclusion that this paradox is better explained as one of the mysteries of God (like the Trinity) rather than trying to logic it out to the bitter end.

    Calvinism provides one explanation, but the logical conclusion of that explanation is that God is the author of both good and evil, which any decent Calvinist will absolutely deny. The challenge is that Calvinists do not agree at which point they exit the that logic’s trajectory. So you have some teach much closer to the line where God becomes both good and evil, and others exit much earlier. And each of those is convinced that theirs is the actual Calvinism.

    Then you have the fact that some Calvinists (like my parents) were raised in other Christian variations and have mitigated some of the Calvinist beliefs with other ideas. But they raised their kids in Calvinism without the benefit of any other teaching regarding free will, and their kids come up with a WAY stricter version of Calvinism, and the parents are a bit clueless as to why. My mom and I have had this conversation, where it turns out, her Calvinist views have always been mitigated by her Anglican upbringing and her Moody Bible Institute education. That is how she somehow taught me that God had pre-picked my future spouse, when she didn’t actually believe that. Boy was she surprised, when as a teen I parroted this back to her. And I was surprised when she told me that no, she didn’t think that God had a one and only specific person planned for me since the beginning of time, but that I had responsibility for choosing.

  59. No matter what one thinks about matters of judgment, it is ultimately in the hands of God. It seems good to trust God with matters of judgment. There seem to be many verses that express God‘s perspective, including one of the most famous discussing God’s actions related to how He “so loved the world”, and the following verse that touches on judgment:

    John 3:16-17
    “For God so loved the world that He gave the only begotten Son, so that everyone believing in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

    It also seems good for believers to concern themselves with what they are called to be doing, and having done so, ultimately entrust matters into God’s hands:

    John 21:20-22 — “Having turned, Peter sees the disciple whom Jesus loved following, the one who also had reclined on His bosom at the supper and said, “Lord, who is it who is betraying You?” Therefore having seen him, Peter says to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus says to him, “If I desire him to remain until I come, what is it to you? You follow Me!””

    Matthew 28:19
    “”Therefore having gone, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And behold, I am with you all the days, until the completion of the age.””

    Romans 8:35
    “And Philip, having opened his mouth and having begun from this Scripture, proclaimed the good news to him—Jesus.”

    1 Cor. 3:6-7
    “I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept it growing. So neither the one planting nor the one watering is anything, but only God, the One giving growth.”

    Part of doing what they are called to do appears to include prayer for “all men“, once again having to entrust these others to God:

    1 Timothy 2:4
    “First of all, therefore, I exhort entreaties, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings, to be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all those being in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable before God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

  60. ES,

    “Interesting. I’ve seen people treat the sinner’s prayer as superstitious. I’ve also seen people treat quiet time as superstitious. And really every other form of religious practice. But any of it can be practiced in a way that is not superstitious.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    as in ‘new agey’?

    -since God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are invisible…

    -yet every belief and theory christianity says it embraces indicate that ‘they’ are here now in the moment…

    -and what’s more, are within us…

    …seems to me at some point the practice of such theories will of necessity resemble something called ‘new agey’

    or at the very least physically expressive and experiential (along the lines of charismatic/pentecostal).
    .
    .
    unless theory and practice are unwittingly divorced from each other (due to logic leaps because one is uncomfortable with the obvious logical implications)

  61. elastigirl:
    ES,

    “Interesting. I’ve seen people treat the sinner’s prayer as superstitious. I’ve also seen people treat quiet time as superstitious. And really every other form of religious practice. But any of it can be practiced in a way that is not superstitious.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    as in ‘new agey’?

    -since God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are invisible…

    -yet every belief and theory christianity says it embraces indicate that ‘they’ are here now in the moment…

    -and what’s more, are within us…

    …seems to me at some point the practice of such theories will of necessity resemble something called ‘new agey’

    or at the very least physically expressive and experiential (along the lines of charismatic/pentecostal).
    .
    .
    unless theory and practice are unwittingly divorced from each other (due to logic leaps because one is uncomfortable with the obvious logical implications)

    As in: “I regularly say the sinner’s prayer, just in case.”

    or: “I’m so stressed right now, and so busy that I am not getting my quiet time in and then when my day goes wrong I know it is because I didn’t have my quiet time.”

    Basically, a belief that they need to do religious practice “X” and if they fail to, that is why the car’s tire went flat, or whatever else went haywire in their day. That to me is superstition. When it comes to the sinner’s prayer, there seems to be a fear among some that they didn’t say it right, and therefore will be damned. So, they say it repeatedly to make sure it sticks.

  62. ES: I eventually came to the conclusion that this paradox is better explained as one of the mysteries of God (like the Trinity) rather than trying to logic it out to the bitter end.

    I’m thinking the same. It seems like some traditions avoid appealing to mystery until there is no other option, but they do a lot of damage to get that far. Others appear to appeal to it too early. I have not figured out the right balance.

    Some things that make my head hurt include:
    – How can an unchanging God have real relationship with his creation since relationship requires the ability to respond to the other, which requires the ability to change? The alternative is a changing God, which seems even more impossible.
    – How and why would/could an unlimited infinite creator create a finite creation, and to become part of that creation through incarnation? Did he create only once, or are there an infinite number of other creations, each with its own incarnation? If not, why would an infinite being create a finite number (one?) creations? What was going on eternity past, if that can even be described, that caused him to create at the “time” he did rather than some other “time”? Logic breaks down with infinities, so this is likely an unsolvable mystery.
    – Why did God not make his revelation more clear? Even if we take as fact the Bible is true and reliable, there are multiple textual variants, which means we can be pretty sure, but not 100% sure, the Bible is accurate. If God could inspire the authors to write inerrantly, why were the copyists not inspired to preserve it inerrantly? Why did it take around 300 years to sort out which books should be included and excluded? And why are there so many other “holy” books out there?

  63. ES: I’m still working this out.

    Me too. But it’s becoming more clear to me that God’s justice and mercy are not opposites. His justice is not without mercy, and his mercy is not without justice.

  64. Max: an arrogant false teacher …

    … but only one example of many in the New Calvinist movement.

    IOW, a fool.

    Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.

    Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

    Proverbs 29:9 If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

    Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

    Proverbs 18:6 A fool’s lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.

  65. Max: an arrogant false teacher …

    … but only one example of many in the New Calvinist movement.

    And another quote:

    “What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself; who gives your arguments a fair hearing and simply persists in his lunacy?” -George Orwell, 1984

  66. Ken F (aka Tweed): Why did God not make his revelation more clear? Even if we take as fact the Bible is true and reliable, there are multiple textual variants, which means we can be pretty sure, but not 100% sure, the Bible is accurate. If God could inspire the authors to write inerrantly, why were the copyists not inspired to preserve it inerrantly? Why did it take around 300 years to sort out which books should be included and excluded? And why are there so many other “holy” books out there?

    What does “inerrant” mean? How is that different than saying the Bible is the “norm” like the ELCA states? The Naked Bible podcast has a unit on “inerrancy” and it is very interesting and perhaps gives a reason for some, but not all of your questions. The reality is that there are a significant number of people who claim that inerrancy is a recent doctrinal claim (last 200 years or so) and that it isn’t historic. I haven’t had a chance to research this for myself yet.

  67. ES: Well, it should be obvious, that if they really understood it, they wouldn’t have rejected it. Or perhaps, if their teachers hadn’t done such a terrible job of explaining it wrong, they wouldn’t have rejected it.

    What’s there to understand?
    An autocratic tyrant who rules by whim and fancy.
    No recourse or redress for said tyrant’s subjects.
    No wonder the Enlightenment birthed new ideas that challenged the old ways of thinking.

  68. ES: When it comes to the sinner’s prayer, there seems to be a fear among some that they didn’t say it right, and therefore will be damned. So, they say it repeatedly to make sure it sticks.

    In those circles (neo-cal), your very existence is an affront to God.

  69. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Petrus Van Mastricht explains these very points in Volume 2 of his massive Theoretical-Practical Theology in the chapter on Reprobation which was my bedtime reading last night. How spooky is that?

  70. ES: The reality is that there are a significant number of people who claim that inerrancy is a recent doctrinal claim (last 200 years or so) and that it isn’t historic. I haven’t had a chance to research this for myself yet.

    Like the rest of fundamentalism, it’s a fearful reaction to modernity.

    Literalism, like any fundamentalism, is/shows a lack of faith. It tries to put the divine in a box of our own making.

  71. Lowlandseer: his massive Theoretical-Practical Theology

    Is there a way to briefly summarize his answer to my question? I am not likely to find and read the whole thing.

  72. ES: What does “inerrant” mean?

    Exactly. It has become a litmus test. Still, the question remains on why God left such a thin trail of crumbs to follow in so many places in the world.

  73. ES, Ken, might I suggest you might really find joy and understanding with the tiny book “40 days of Wesley” by Reuben Job.

    Not Calvinist, not classic or Reformed Arminian, but Wesleyan Arminianism which is very very different altogether.

    The Wesley quotes really are good commentary on the issue of how mercy and justice fit together.

  74. ES,

    “a belief that they need to do religious practice “X” and if they fail to, that is why the car’s tire went flat, or whatever else went haywire in their day.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    ok, i understand.

    (well, i more than understand… i used to fall into this mindset, a long time ago.

    it just got so tiring, and consumed so much time & energy…

    “i’m supposed to be praying at all times… i’m supposed to be praising God at all times…

    well, that’s impossible, but because i wasn’t even shooting for it i must have created fissures that let in all these unfortunate circumstances today…”
    .
    .
    (i really hated admitting this just now.)

    i finally got so exhausted i said “fick it all, with a flying fick”.

    what i have found sustainable is considering God/Jesus/Holy Spirit as my business partner whom i consult at times, and chat with as a friend here and there throughout the day. always very frank.

    if that’s not good enough for this deity, so be it. (although i don’t believe that)

    monologue off

  75. elastigirl: unless theory and practice are unwittingly divorced from each other (due to logic leaps because one is uncomfortable with the obvious logical implications)

    A classic example of this, is the BIG NO NO in some theology circles of using water as an analogy for the Trinity. It can get you accused of the heresy of Modalism.
    And yet the same theo-dudes will prattle on with thousands of words that are almost completely divorced from every day practical reality.
    I think that those guys have lost the charge in their gravity boots and they float about in a kind of ethereal/semantic never-never-land.
    Let me go on record by saying that I think that water is a beautiful analogy for the Trinity.

  76. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Thin trail of crumbs, or is it all we can really “understand”?? As I keep saying, the older I get, the more I am amazed at the physical world, and the more I learn, the more I realize I do not understand it… how much more “metaphysical” concepts like G&D??

  77. What I cannot understand:

    HOW can Platt OPENLY say he knows the Mind of God, when the sacred Scriptures tell him that God’s Ways are far above our ways and God will do what He will do???

    Is Platt, in his pomposity, not afraid of his own lack of humility before the Lord?
    One wonders about his story of how he came to be ‘this way’ . . . has he always shown this kind of hubris?

  78. Jeffrey J Chalmers,

    “Thin trail of crumbs, or is it all we can really “understand”??”
    ++++++++++++++++

    sort of like the physics class i’m required to take at the moment…

    the instructor more or less says, “I laid it all out for you! it’s right there, it’s obvious!”

    i more or less say, “‘tcha, you did no such thing. but go ahead, illustrate it 12 ways to Sunday and i still won’t see it.”

  79. Ava Aaronson,

    AVA, yes, ‘over-reach much’
    but
    what is going on in a community where this kind of hubris is ‘recognized’ and the biblical teachings of Our Lord on humility are ignored????

    is it a form of ego-tism or some kind of mental/emotional aberration that makes men this way???

    That Platt is ‘what he is’ is beyond question.
    It’s the ‘how did he get this way’ that confuses, so smug, so filled with hubris and pride

    is it classic ‘pharisee-ism’?
    or something worse?

    is the man ill?

    Asking ‘why’? just leads to even more questions, but something must be going on inside his head that leads him to make such a fool out of himself in this statement of his, yes.

  80. Lowlandseer: Yes. Reformation Heritage Books.

    They charge $38 per volume. I don’t plan to buy it just to read one section. It would be great if you could summarize the main points that address my earlier comment.

  81. Jeffrey J Chalmers: Thin trail of crumbs, or is it all we can really “understand”??

    Maybe it’s all we should want to understand right now. In the view of heaven and hell by Eastern Christians, everyone will be raised to be eternally in the unfiltered presence of God. It will be a purging experience for all, and for many it will be hell. Maybe it’s his mercy in this age that he seems so elusive.

  82. ES,

    “My own conclusion, more recently:

    1) I believe that Christ came for everyone. That anyone who believes will have salvation.
    2) I believe that God knows the future
    3) I also believe that God is fundamentally a merciful God. This includes mercy to those whom society has no use for. Everyone, without exception.
    4) It is illogical to claim that God would hold someone responsible for something God never providentially brought into their lives, if one believes that God is both just and merciful. Whether that be intellect, or exposure that is at fault for the lack of knowledge.
    ++++++++++++++++

    you may have already chatted about this in your comments (and it’s possible the answer is implicit in what i copied above, here):

    how does 1) sort out with 4)?

    (God doesn’t hold them responsible and they will be saved?)
    .
    .
    .
    bonus questions:

    1. what constitutes “believe”?

    I can imagine going parsing out “believe” in quintuplicate and having to check all 5 boxes (or more) in order for one to “believe” enough.

    I can also imagine a fleeting thought of “ok,…maybe” being belief enough. There may not be enough time for anything more than that.

    2. what does “saved” mean?

  83. ES: So the idea to me of believing prior to having the knowledge or comprehension to really understand what salvation is all about, is not all that strange. You just work out your salvation as you grow.

    Unfortunately, the whole Revivalist shtick has left a lot of Christians with the idea that Salvation has to be in a certain way (Altar Call/Sinner’s Prayer after the Age of Accountablity) causing Instantaneous Total Sanctification (no growth necessary). And it has to be a Moment of Decision/Damascus Road Spectacle or it isn’t real.

    They don’t acknowledge that catechism at an early age or “working out your salvation as you grow” as Real Salvation. It has to be a fully-remembered Moment of Decision AcceptingJesusChristAsYourPersonalLORDandSavior (and may as well be all one word). Nothing else counts.

    And God have mercy on those who do NOT remember the exact year/month/day/hour/minute/second they were Saved.

    The idea of Instantaneous Total Sanctification upon Salvation is also a trap. What if now you’re Saved(TM) but you still have the baggage from before? This can lead to some really psychotic delusional levels of Pretending.

  84. HereIStand: “ According to Calvinists, the hearer must respond in the way God created him to respond. He has no choice.”

    This is not entirely accurate regarding what most Calvinists believe or teach.

    It is if you’re More Calvinist than Calvin.
    Six-point, Seven-point, Eight-point, Die Heretics…

  85. Wild Honey: This works both ways. If generic-you can’t claim a role in another individual’s condemnation, neither can generic-you claim a role in their salvation.

    So much for the size of your Crown of Glory (position and rank in Heaven) being entirely dependent on the number of Souls (not people) YOU Saved. It isn’t about your Sales Record, who sells the most Fire Insurance policies with or without the complementary Rapture boarding pass.

  86. There is a difference between knowing and hope.
    I offer my take for what it is worth

    As a non calvinist I know

    Gods love is everlasting and unlimited
    God Truly loves All men
    God Truly desires that all men be saved and come into truth (thru Repentance)
    Jesus truly died for all men so this could occur.

    This gives me hope that I can be saved and the the Lord will take in anyone who wants to be saved regardless of their circumstances( knowledge of Christianity, mental ability, gross sin, Etc) No one is beyond the grace of God

    Calvinists like Dave Platt don’t seem to have a good handle on who God is or his love for mankind.

  87. ES: Funny thing about Pride… it’s not always easy to spot your own.

    And with changes in English (fastest-mutating language in human history), what in the Bible was translated as “Pride” today might be more accurately translated as “Egotism” or “Egomania” or “Megalomania”. Where your exalted opinion of your SELF crowds out external reality.

    In recent correspondence, my writing partner told me that the word “Fool” in the proverb “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God” might be more accurately “Sociopath”.

  88. elastigirl: what i have found sustainable is considering God/Jesus/Holy Spirit as my business partner whom i consult at times, and chat with as a friend here and there throughout the day. always very frank.

    I had a mom, who once told me that she prayed while she ironed. At that time in her life, she was a stay at home military wife, and my dad refused to send his uniforms to the cleaner, so she spent a reasonable amount of time every day getting his uniforms ready for the next. So, she set up a prayer list to go along with the task. Basically, my mom taught me that God walks with us through our day, and the key was not to stress ourselves out about it, but to simply find ways to acknowledge that, or remind myself as I went.

    I re-interpreted this to using 3×5 cards with Bible verses on them as my textbook, place holders. I’d swap them out as I had time. But I didn’t worry about whether or not I had a specific quiet time. If I got one, that was great and a good opportunity to pick new reminder cards. If I didn’t, God was still with me in my challenges. God isn’t going to just abandon me because I had a bad day. It was all about reminding myself that God is with me, not about thinking that I owed God X amount of quality time or else. So fortunately, my mom managed to spare me this particular burden. But it was confusing to watch friends be burdened this way.

  89. ES:
    Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Interesting idea.

    Actually gives it a little more depth; the word “gehenna” to a listener of the time would immediately resonate with all those contexts. Too many Christians only recite the surface “plain words” like an MP3 playback with little or no understanding of what can lie beneath.

  90. Ava Aaronson:
    “… and establish a Continental Reich meant to last a thousand years.”

    … from Ken Burns’ The US & the Holocaust.

    “Propaganda —
    THE REICH WILL RISE!
    THE REICH! WILL! RISE!
    To last a Thousand Years…”
    — Sabaton, “Rise of Evil”

  91. Muff Potter: Let me go on record by saying that I think that water is a beautiful analogy for the Trinity.

    No analogy’s going to be perfect, but the water one is actually very clever when you understand the properties of water:

    There is a “sweet spot” of temperature and pressure called “the triple point” where water can simultaneously exist as a solid, liquid, AND gas at the same time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_point

  92. elastigirl: how does 1) sort out with 4)?

    (God doesn’t hold them responsible and they will be saved?)
    .
    .
    .
    bonus questions:

    1. what constitutes “believe”?

    I can imagine going parsing out “believe” in quintuplicate and having to check all 5 boxes (or more) in order for one to “believe” enough.

    I can also imagine a fleeting thought of “ok,…maybe” being belief enough. There may not be enough time for anything more than that.

    2. what does “saved” mean?

    I’m not going to have pat answers because ultimately, I just don’t have them.

    How does 1 sort out with 4? I don’t entirely know, to be honest. I’m still sorting it all out. At this point, there is a part of me that believes that somehow this is all true and it’s my human logic or words failing that results in the discrepancies.

    I’m also very much in a place of transition within my faith.

    What does saved mean? At this point, probably the very traditional sense of going to heaven.

    What does believe mean? That is harder. It would be simple to say “believe in Jesus” which is true. But I am not really sure it is only that or perhaps only limited to those people. This is a massive point of transition in my faith at the moment. And some of it is directly influenced by what I now know my late brother was facing at the time of his death. It’s hard not to ramble on this because it just doesn’t seem nearly as simple as it used to.

    Interestingly, today’s sermon at my church was about the Rich man and Lazarus. The pastor pointed out that at no point did Jesus describe anything Lazarus had done that would make him morally better than the rich man. All we are told about Lazarus is that he had suffered on earth.

  93. Headless Unicorn Guy: And God have mercy on those who do NOT remember the exact year/month/day/hour/minute/second they were Saved.

    What is really funny about this is that my mother does remember. It was August 3rd, 1986. She was packing for a move and it was a really inconvenient time for her three year old to announce that we had to pray RIGHT NOW!!!!!! Apparently, I prayed a 3 year old interpretation of the sinner’s prayer (that I had never been taught because we weren’t in that kind of church, and I was barely 3, and couldn’t be left in the nursery because of epic melt-downs ie: not even pre-school) and then I proceeded to have a day and night, permanent change in behavior.

    But I remember absolutely none of it. All I know is the still small voice that has “always” been there.

  94. Headless Unicorn Guy: In recent correspondence, my writing partner told me that the word “Fool” in the proverb “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God” might be more accurately “Sociopath”.

    Learning about cluster B personality disorders put a whole new spin on Proverbs for me. Put a whole new spin on David and Saul’s relationship too! From there I realized that the Bible does a great deal of describing abuse and calling it evil.

  95. ES,

    believe….saved….
    ++++++++++++

    seems to me “faith” inherently occupies a murky, mysterious gray-scale world where there are precious few dark charcoal and quite pale things.

    i mean, God is invisible, how can it not be?

    it is a mistake to make faith fill in the missing black and white things. the end result is a totalitarian regime.

    thus and therefore, seems to me much more weight can be given to anecdotal stuff than in a courtroom or logic laboratory.

    (faith and rock-solid, iron-clad case are incompatible)
    .
    .
    so, now i’ll share something anecdotal which to some degree factors into how i see things.

    a friend went to visit another friend’s husband who had perhaps a day or two left to live. he was a blue collar worker, rough around the edges, not a religious person.

    my friend recounted the visit. the husband was not awake. suddenly he rallied, became very alert, and declared “God is amazing!!” he was lucid. there was some more verbal exchange for a while, then he went back to his state of ‘sleep’ (or whatever state a person in that stage of life is in).

    hallucinations? maybe. but i wonder what the liklihood is for hallucinations which when lucid are described in God-terms, for someone who hadn’t previously engaged with belief in God.

    it seemed to my friend and the others in the room that he had had a glimpse of something imminent that was extremely good.

    something which even a person not schooled in religion of any kind somehow knew was God.

    this, along with a number of other things I’ve observed and experienced, do not fit the neat & tidy black & white world of the codified christian party line regarding “saved” and “belief”.

    so we’re navigating a grayscale world.

  96. Jeffrey Allen: Calvinists like Dave Platt don’t seem to have a good handle on who God is or his love for mankind.

    Well, thank God that He cut out these two and other such middlemen by sending Jesus, who then left us with God’s Holy Spirit.

    God has His whack-a-mole work cut out for Him as these middlemen keep popping up over the millennia.

  97. I stopped believing in Hell a long time ago. It feels much more merciful and ethical to go through life not assuming that God wants to punish people for all eternity. A lot of Christian ideas about Hell come from medieval times, not Christian Scripture.

    Of course, a lot of people point to verses and say I’m going straight to the place I don’t believe in. They say I’m not a Christian. These comments are absolutely threats, rather than friendly warnings. The more I hear them, the more they sound like a certain movie character shrieking, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!”

  98. elastigirl: this, along with a number of other things I’ve observed and experienced, do not fit the neat & tidy black & white world of the codified christian party line regarding “saved” and “belief”.

    so we’re navigating a grayscale world.

    And this is something that I have slowly, recently been exposed to, which is why I’m not so sure about what I thought was so true.

  99. elastigirl: something which even a person not schooled in religion of any kind somehow knew was God.

    Born and raised Christian. Was one for 38 years. Then a few years on the fence.

    No voices, no spider sense, just a vivid dream about pancakes.

    Maybe he’ll make an appearance when I have the million years nap.

    Guess everyone’s milage varies…

  100. Jack,

    it is true – everyone’s mileage varies.

    was there real butter and real maple syrup in the dream of the pancakes? i have to know.

  101. Jeffrey Allen: Calvinists like Dave Platt don’t seem to have a good handle on who God is or his love for mankind.

    And yet they will claim that they have the only true handle on all things God.

  102. elastigirl: if that’s not good enough for this deity, so be it. (although i don’t believe that)

    I’m with you elastigirl.
    In their world, you (generic you) can never be good enough for God.
    God can never be satisfied with anything short of perfection.
    And because of this, he had to…….
    And on and on it goes.
    As a father and a grandfather I don’t reject my progeny because they fall short of perfection. So long as they do the best they can with what they’ve got, I’m a happy camper. I hope the Almighty feels the same about me.

  103. Headless Unicorn Guy: There is a “sweet spot” of temperature and pressure called “the triple point” where water can simultaneously exist as a solid, liquid, AND gas at the same time.

    Which is why I chose it (water) to use as an illustrative picture.
    Some theo-dudes have said that the analogy does not hold because (if I understand them correctly) it reduces God to a mundane phenomena.
    And yet they’ll ramble on with expository writing on the Trinity charged and fueled with mysticism that gets more complicated with each passing paragraph.

  104. This very question caused me a lot of distress throughout my youth. The utter injustice of it all made me constantly search for reassurance that most people will not go to Hell, especially ones who never heard of Christ. Growing up in other places and other religions and only rejecting Christianity because that’s how you were taught–I hoped for their salvation as well. I prayed fervently for everybody I heard about who had died, and even those I never heard of, that they had repented before death.

    This eventually drove me to Orthodoxy because their view of Heaven/Hell/salvation was a lot more loving than anything I’d been hearing in the Fundamentalist/Evangelical world. I still pray for the dead and the living, but without feeling that they’re going to burn in Hell if I don’t.

  105. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    No I don’t think so. My original post showed that the Reformed view agreed with what had been expressed in the comments section about the state of those who had not had the Gospel preached to them and that the dramatic references to Hell were descriptive of the state, again as others had commented.
    You tried to divert the conversation away from these points and I referred you to sources that might help you which you declined. Given your other comments in this post it is more likely that you were seeking an argument rather than understanding. And no true Scotsman would want that. 🙂

  106. Lowlandseer: You tried to divert the conversation away from these points and I referred you to sources that might help you which you declined.

    You are consistently uncharitable towards me. Why? I asked for a summary so I could understand, and you refused. Then you gave me a link to a 779 page work in Latin, and then told me to go look for the English version in a place that apparently does not show it for free. How was that helpful? And now you insult me. Why? Why did you refuse to summarize the main points of what you wanted me to read? Or provide a link in English?

  107. If Platt is Calvinist, which I understand he is, then he’s totally consistent with his statements. The gospel for a Calvinist is fundamentally different than everyone else. It’s the fire & brimstone model, and they do alter calls to mimic mainstream Christianity. Calvinist belief is predestination, and the esoteric, doctrinal gymnastics they do to support that position means that whatever Platt says he believes as God’s position on things. The gospel according to Calvinists and others is apples and oranges. We’re not talking the same thing, the assumptions are quite different. Like the atonement. The Calvinists pushed the SBC hard to the penal substitution theory to the extent that you don’t believe it you’re not really Christian. Calvinists even go adrift on the nature of God. Grudem et.al, for example, putting Christ as maybe not exactly co-equal or eternal. It’s all very slippery

  108. Did every one forget this passage from Romans 1?

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    17, For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    18, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19, ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them;6 for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21, Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

  109. Rick Dale: they do alter calls to mimic mainstream Christianity

    The New Calvinists in my area do not do altar calls. Heck, they don’t even talk about Jesus much! It’s all about “God”, little mention of Christ, and nary a word about the Holy Spirit. It’s another gospel which is not ‘the’ Gospel.

    While the SBC has been on the decline for years (members leaving, fewer baptisms, dwindling financial support), the NeoCals finished it off as they took over the denomination by stealth and deception. SBC’s evangelistic and mission efforts are just not the same under NeoCal leadership (Mohler et al.). Platt is but one example of the new tribe in charge. Sad for the millions of non-Calvinist members who were caught unaware by this theological and ecclesiological shift in belief and practice.

  110. Ken F (aka Tweed): Why did you refuse to summarize the main points of what you wanted me to read?

    Obviously Ken, you are not theologically adept or astute enough to understand the fine points of reformed doctrine, so why waste time trying to help you? When it comes to Scripture, you need to forget being taught by the Holy Spirit and merge your mind into the teachings and traditions of men … then you will understand. (all of this tongue in cheek, brother)

  111. Jeffrey Allen: Calvinists like Dave Platt don’t seem to have a good handle on who God is or his love for mankind.

    Dave Hunt covered this well in his book “What Love is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God.”

    There is no doubt that Platt is passionate about what he believes … unfortunately, it is a misplaced passion.

  112. The “Greatest Commission” was given to Jesus Christ by His Father …”conquer death and the grave by taking away the sins of the world”. He did that on the cross and it was accomplished for all people of all time. He will also graciously and scandalously give belief and faith to all in the proper time (ex. the Apostle Paul). Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess (praise) Him! Amen!

  113. elastigirl: was there real butter and real maple syrup in the dream of the pancakes? i have to know

    Oh yes. It was as close to a religious experience as I’ve ever had. Perfect with golden syrup and a pat of butter on top. On the one hand I wanted to just eat with wild abandon, on the other just admire the perfection.

    Full disclosure, I had just cut refined sugar from my diet for health reasons, severe withdrawal may have played a part.

  114. Tom Hill,

    “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”
    ++++++++++++++++

    who are “they”?

  115. Max: Obviously Ken, you are not theologically adept or astute enough to understand the fine points of reformed doctrine,

    Could I have freely choosen otherwise? Should anyone complain if my incompetence maximizes God’s glory? Wouldn’t that be a pot complaining to the potter about another pot?

  116. Ken F (aka Tweed): Wouldn’t that be a pot complaining to the potter about another pot?

    That is the entire Christian experience, to many Christians on the giving and receiving ends.

  117. HUG–totally agree that expecting all to experience total instant entire sanctification is nuts. It also is not accurate Wesleyan theology.

    That said, I had a friend who was Baptist and rejected that doctrine. He was also an alcoholic and cocaine addict. When his wife and step kids left him, he cried out to God to “Please change me, clean me up, or kill me.” And went to bed.

    He woke next morning with no hangover or cravings, never went to detox. No dts and no physical withdrawal symptoms. His doc could not explain it.

    But from that day forward he did the hard work of recovery, won his family back, and has served God faithfully ever since.

    He will tell you to call it what you want, but his heart WAS apparently cleansed instantly. His humanness needed time to learn to live in freedom, but free he was indeed.

  118. Friend: That is the entire Christian experience, to many Christians on the giving and receiving ends.

    Very true. It’s easy to cause damage by equating a person’s theology with their identity. I see this occur in at least two ways:
    1) Attacking a person rather than the theology they push, and
    2) Feeling attacked as a person when it’s only one’s theology being attacked.

    Ideas, such as theologies, are cold and lifeless, so they should be attacked without mercy so that good ideas will stand and bad ideas will fall. But people should be loved, honored, and respected. I don’t always get this right, but I try.

  119. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    We’ll you know that isn’t true Ken. Your many statements over the years about the awfulness of Calvinism (in your view, that is) clearly indicate that you have studied it, compared it with other views and found it unacceptable to you.
    Other people, including me, find it otherwise and I don’t think I’m uncharitable to you at all; I just smile at your frequent misrepresentation of it and occasionally point this out. 🙂

  120. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    But, as we are seeing in our current culture in ‘Merica, religion and politics are many peoples WHOLE identity.. I say this with deep sorrow also…

  121. Muff Potter: And yet they will claim that they have the only true handle on all things God.

    After all, CALVIN alone has God All Figured Out.

  122. Muff Potter: I’m with you elastigirl.
    In their world, you (generic you) can never be good enough for God.
    God can never be satisfied with anything short of perfection.

    Never mind Fear, Utter PERFECTION is the Mind-Killer.

  123. Rick Dale: If Platt is Calvinist, which I understand he is, then he’s totally consistent with his statements. The gospel for a Calvinist is fundamentally different than everyone else. It’s the fire & brimstone model,

    Type exmaple:
    “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by J.Edwards.

  124. ES: How could anyone claim that intelligence has any role in salvation?

    I’m sure they have a Verse for it.

    How could anyone call a God like this merciful?

    The Predestined Elect who KNOW they are His Speshul Pets.
    “Pull up the Ladder – I’M RESCUED!”

  125. Muff Potter: Some theo-dudes have said that the analogy does not hold because (if I understand them correctly) it reduces God to a mundane phenomena.

    Tell these Holy F-tards that the Trinity is a PARADOX. Any analogy to explain or illustrate a Paradox will be an APPROXIMATION, NOT a full Exact Explanation. (And they’re a lot easier to understand than 779 pages of Medieval Church Latin.) And “I accept the Paradox – can you?”

    I’m more and more certain that theology/apologetics fanboys have spent far too much time and energy on things that have no meaning outside their little Geek bubble. Like Medieval Angelology and Demonology and latter-day Exegesis of Prophecy, you end up with huge edifices of cards built on minimal actual source documentation.

  126. christiane: HOW can Platt OPENLY say he knows the Mind of God, when the sacred Scriptures tell him that God’s Ways are far above our ways and God will do what He will do???

    Ah, but CALVIN has God All Figured Out.

  127. Ken F (aka Tweed): Edwards claims God’s glory requires he eternally punish evil, and that his goodness would barely shine forth without eternal evil. He said God needs to punish people eternally in in order to maximize the happiness of the saved.

    But where does God, himself, claim this about his glory? I’ve read through the Bible several times and don’t recall this claim by God.

  128. Bridget: But where does God, himself, claim this about his glory? I’ve read through the Bible several times and don’t recall this claim by God.

    Because it’s not there.
    It has to be manufactured by using inference and clever word sophistry.

  129. Ken F (aka Tweed): Feeling attacked as a person when it’s only one’s theology being attacked.

    I think there’s a 3rd psychological dynamic that can take place. It is possible for one’s theology to have built-in “safeguards” such that if one finds one’s theological ideas challenged, that elicits an existential crisis — “if my theology is wrong, I am in deep trouble for reasons x, y, z”. This can lead one to be very defensive about one’s preferred set of ideas.

    I encountered this years ago in the context of debates about “age of the earth.” My interlocutor was of the opinion that if YEC-ism wasn’t true, then all humanity, himself included, was hopelessly destined to damnation. The theory behind this at-first-glance odd assertion was that Christ died to solve the problem of mortality, and if YEC-ism wasn’t true and mortality pre-dated the advent of humanity (and predated the Fall), the Scriptures were wrong about that, and could not be trusted in other areas, and so could not be trusted that Christ had defeated death. So we would still be stuck in our sins and doomed to hell. (He was willing to continue to affirm the reality of the traditional Western vision of post-mortem punishments, perhaps for reasons other than biblical.)

    Theological ideas have implications that many people consider to be of paramount importance, and that can arouse strong reactions when faced with questions or competing ideas.

  130. Hello everyone.

    If you want to know why your comment hasn’t shown up yet, click on the link just above the box where you type your comment.

    GBTC

  131. Tom Hill: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    Well that stinks. I’m neither Jewish nor Greek. Just thinking of my wasted childhood in Sunday school.

  132. I think CS Lewis got it right. Regarding Platt, he’s a world class hypocrite. He’s founder, CEO and Chairman or Radical…an organization that raises money to reach the unreached…hence the sermon to line his own pockets. Radical’s annoying ads used to be all over my Facebook feed with the preposterous claim that 3.2 BILLION people haven’t heard the gospel. Pretty crafty and manipulative to synergize your sermons with your side gig. The kind of craftiness that allowed him to buy an $800k house at the age of 40. And his book Radical preaches against wealthy living while he flys first class to his photo ops. Who knows if he even believes what he’s preaching….always follow the money…

  133. Samuel Conner: Theological ideas have implications that many people consider to be of paramount importance, and that can arouse strong reactions when faced with questions or competing ideas.

    Very good point. I went through the same pushback on YEC, and other topics such as PSA, nature and duration of hell, sacraments, etc. It is very much like a joke I heard many years ago. A guy walked into a public outhouse and saw another guy going through the contents of his pockets to dump everything into the hole. When asked what he was doing, he replied, “I dropped a quarter down there, and I’m certainly not going in there for just a quarter.” It’s the slippery slope pushed to absurdity.

  134. Bridget: But where does God, himself, claim this about his glory?

    Nowhere. For all their emphasis on sola scriptura, Calvinists fail miserably when they elevate Jonathan Edwards as their “Homeboy.” They should read his all of his writings. Some of his writings are demonic.

  135. Lowlandseer: I don’t think I’m uncharitable to you at all; I

    I asked an honest question and you attributed ill motives to me. You assumed the worst about me and gave me the run-around. That was not charitable.

    Calvinists constantly complain non-Calvinists don’t understand Calvinism. But when we ask penetrating questions that could help us understand we are are typically insulted or dismissed. Why are Calvinists so dodgey? Why won’t they answer reasonable questions that could make a difference? Why do they so consistently avoid dialogue? In my experience, Calvinists are the best apologists against Calvinism. They give me no reason to believe in it, and many reasons not to.

  136. Ken F (aka Tweed): I went through the same pushback on YEC, and other topics such as PSA, nature and duration of hell, sacraments, etc.

    This is why people in the fundagelical fold—especially children—are not supposed to know anyone who believes differently. They might see other Christians, or Jews, atheists, Sikhs, et al., who are well adjusted, not dancing naked around fires, jumping into bed with strangers, robbing banks, and doing all the other thousands of things that people supposedly do if they think the world is older, or women are allowed to work.

    Related: I will Venmo $5 to anybody who can diagram that sentence. 🙂

  137. MJD: The kind of craftiness that allowed him to buy an $800k house at the age of 40. And his book Radical preaches against wealthy living while he flys first class to his photo ops.

    Could you tell me how you found out about this. Todd and I are always looking for info.

  138. As a friend once put it, why would God condemn pagans in remote regions just because Western Christians were too lazy to get off their duffs and bring the Gospel to said regions?

    We are judged according to our lights.

  139. MJD:
    I think CS Lewis got it right. Regarding Platt, he’s a world class hypocrite. He’s founder, CEO and Chairman or Radical…an organization that raises money to reach the unreached…hence the sermon to line his own pockets. Radical’s annoying ads used to be all over my Facebook feed with the preposterous claim that 3.2 BILLION people haven’t heard the gospel. Pretty crafty and manipulative to synergize your sermons with your side gig. The kind of craftiness that allowed him to buy an $800k house at the age of 40. And his book Radical preaches against wealthy living while he flys first class to his photo ops.Who knows if he even believes what he’s preaching….always follow the money…

    You can claim 3.2 billion people haven’t heard the Gospel only if you have a rather sectarian definition of “the Gospel.”

  140. MJD: Who knows if he even believes what he’s preaching….always follow the money…

    Pink Floyd hit the bull’s-eye with their hit single Money.

  141. Oh, and I’m exceedingly glad that Platt will not have anything to say about my fate when I breathe my last.

  142. MJD: Who knows if he even believes what he’s preaching….always follow the money…

    When it’s never about faith but always about the money.

    At this point, it’s pretty easy and logical to conclude that with every (almost every?) organized church we’ve ever belonged to, and with corresponding leaders, it’s all about the money.

    The bottom line: attend a church as a major money donor vs. attend a church but hold back the donations while you size up the situation. Then, compare the 2 church experiences. Night and day difference. Yes, it’s all about the [power of] money.

    Our capitalistic society (IMHO nothing wrong with that) has formed a corresponding capitalistic church (everything wrong with that).

    No longer worshipping God in Spirit and Truth, as Jesus said we should.

  143. Why is there any gospel message at all if one need not hear it and repent and believe (Mark 1:15)? Why did Jesus die if one need not acknowledge his death and resurrection as needful for salvation? Why would Jesus require his disciples to go and make disciples if it’s not necessary? You don’t answer any of these questions and these questions have nothing to do with your disgust with all things Calvinistic. BTW: I’m no fan of David Platt – I find him as hypocritical as you do.

  144. Muff Potter: will not have anything to say about my fate

    No middleman, now and never.

    What Jesus established once and for all.

    People rushing into church to find their middleman are misguided. Then they are used and abused by their middleman. Then they write books and speak endlessly, on and on about their middleman experiences.

    “Stand fast therefore in your liberty, wherefore Christ has set us free and do not be entangled again in a yoke of bondage.”

    Cut out the middleman and his snake oil, love bombing, pledge drives, and campaigns. No more middleman.

    Church fellowship is lateral, never hierarchal.

  145. Gus Nelson,

    As an exercise, try asking a question: what is worthwhile about Christianity if the threat of eternal suffering is taken away? Is fear the only incentive that matters? Or is a whole way of living summarized in the Sermon on the Mount?

  146. Catholic Gate-Crasher: As a friend once put it, why would God condemn pagans in remote regions just because Western Christians were too lazy to get off their duffs and bring the Gospel to said regions?

    If said pagans are happy without the gospel then bringing it to them and if they reject it condemns them to Heck.

    Better that no one hears the gospel and everyone is then saved.

    Maybe god should have just created the world, let it run, and left it alone. If redemption was needed then it could have been done in another created realm and this one would be saved. Kind of sucks for the other created realm.

    I mean, there could have been a fence around the tree of knowledge or it could have been planted in heaven – out of reach of the children, or the fruit skin could have been created out of Kevlar, or chained to the tree or….what was my point again?

    Maybe Jack should stay away from theology – it’s too much for a poor Pooh-Jack to think about.

  147. Friend: As an exercise, try asking a question: what is worthwhile about Christianity if the threat of eternal suffering is taken away? Is fear the only incentive that matters?

    All too often, YES.

    “If you can’t love ’em into The Kingdom, SCARE ‘EM INTO THE KINGDOM!”
    — KBRT morning host, when the station was going downhill around 1990

    And one side effect of this is to arrest Christians’ moral development at the toddler level:
    AVOID PUNISHMENT AT ALL COSTS.

  148. Ken F (aka Tweed): Edwards claims God’s glory requires he eternally punish evil, and that his goodness would barely shine forth without eternal evil.

    Then did God create Evil to show Himself as even more Good by counterpoint?

    Ever wonder if Theology’s gone off the deep end and nobody will admit to it?

  149. Muff Potter: Because it’s not there.
    It has to be manufactured by using inference and clever word sophistry.

    Remember where the word “sophistry” originated.

    With a Greek philosophical school called the Sophists, who were so into rhetoric and debate that they bragged they could argue anybody into believing anything. ANYTHING.

  150. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    “Ever wonder if Theology’s gone off the deep end and nobody will admit to it?”
    +++++++++++++++++

    ‘tcha…yes

    at some point, it implodes.

    treating people the way you want to be treated emerges tall and structural in the wreckage.

    indestructible, really.

    as i see it, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit are standing tall next to it, too.

    that’s enough. for me, at least.

  151. Headless Unicorn Guy: Then did God create Evil to show H

    In Edwards’ own words:

    so that the shining forth of God’s glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all.

    For all the long-winded details, read section 10 of this link:
    https://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/works2.xi.iii.html

  152. Ava Aaronson: No longer worshipping God in Spirit and Truth, as Jesus said we should.

    In my 70+ years of doing church in America, I can count on one hand the number of churches where I have found that dynamic in motion … where Spirit and Truth were elevated about the teachings and traditions of mere men … where the people of God were unified by fellowshipping together in the Holy Spirit … where you could feel the presence of the Lord because He alone was worshipped. Most churchgoers have never experienced this due to the spiritual leadership crisis in America. Sad.

  153. MJD,
    “Your Annie Armstrong dollars at work”

    This ain’t Annie’s SBC! She would roll over in her grave knowing her name was used to helped finance the New Calvinist rebellion in SBC.

  154. When I think of Platt and other New Calvinists who have brought another gospel (which is not ‘the’ Gospel) into SBC, I’m reminded of a Scripture:

    “If I merely preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast about, for I am compelled that is, absolutely obligated to do it. Woe to me if I do not preach the good news of salvation!’ (1 Corinthians 9:16 AMP)

  155. Re elastigirl: The word “they” in the text in Romans 1.20 refers back to those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness,” i.e., those who reject the truth of God as revealed to them as stated in Romans 1.20.

    Re jack: “neither jew nor greek:” identifying jew and nonjew. You qualify as a nonjew.

  156. Tom Hill:
    “The word “they” in the text in Romans 1.20 refers back to those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness,” i.e., those who reject the truth of God as revealed to them as stated in Romans 1.20.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    So if someone (who has never heard of Jesus) looks at bugs or rocks or plants and Jesus as described in the New Testament doesn’t occur to them, its eternal torment for them?

  157. Tom Hill: Re jack: “neither jew nor greek:” identifying jew and nonjew. You qualify as a nonjew.

    Well blinkers, I just applied for Greek citizenship…OPA!

  158. I’m in line with earlier contributors (e.g., HereIStand, Lowlandseer) regarding the frequent comments about Calvinism in comments on this website. I first found this site due to Dee’s wonderful work exposing the awful truth regarding Iain Campbell (and still pray for Anne, her children and their community). But I find the constant referencing of Calvinism most unhelpful. I am well aware of the conundrums raised in the debate, having taught biblical and systematic theology for 20 years prior to a disabling illness. But it seems churlish to me to denigrate in a group-chat style setting the teaching of evangelicals of the calibre of Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Warfield, Machen, Lloyd-Jones, Stott, Packer, Keller etc etc. Plus it’s possible to work with other believers who differ as to whether regeneration precedes faith, just as Whitefield in the early years of the Great Awakening entrusted his many converts to Wesley, with whom he differed on these things. As I see it, the constant referencing of Calvinism distracts from the important work of exposing the abuse of women and children in our churches and is better suited to a site dedicated to those themes. That said, I remain very glad for this website. Personally, I thank God for Dee’s work on Campbell and although I don’t live in the USA I have learned here, with much consternation, about the membership covenant nonsense at Chandler’s church (and presumably at other similar churches?), which is a clear abuse of power – along with their appalling, public shaming of a woman with a peadophile husband – as well as what’s unfolding within the SBC and more.

  159. Stu J: the constant referencing of Calvinism

    Stu, Calvinism came up most likely in this piece because David Platt is a prominent New Calvinist, famous for his sensational statements. New Calvinism is a totally different beast than classical Calvinism. Platt’s statements about God’s plan of salvation have been so radical that I don’t think most “Old” (classical) Calvinists would agree with him on certain things, including those of the “calibre” you refer to. Frequent commenters on this blog have experienced the stealth, deception and abuse of New Calvinists … their concern, for the most part, is not with Calvinists but the “New” Calvinists who are running roughshod over the American church with their method and message.

  160. Stu J: But I find the constant referencing of Calvinism most unhelpful.

    It would not be such an issue if the New-Calvinists did not push their Calvinism so hard, as if Calvinism is the only viable version of Christianity. The “constant referencing of Calvinism” starts with the Calvinists themselves because they push it so viciously. And we are supposed to shut up and be glad to hear their propaganda? It is pertinent to this post because Platt has been such a forceful pusher of Calvinism, and his teaching here.is not consistent with Calvinism. I would not write about Calvinism it it had not been so destructive to me and to members of my family.

  161. Stu J: But it seems churlish to me to denigrate in a group-chat style setting the teaching of evangelicals of the calibre of Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Warfield, Machen, Lloyd-Jones, Stott, Packer, Keller etc etc. Plus it’s possible to work with other believers who d

    Quoting them verbatim in context is denigrating? How so?

  162. Ken F (aka Tweed): It would not be such an issue if the New-Calvinists did not push their Calvinism so hard, as if Calvinism is the only viable version of Christianity.

    Oh, like this quote from the high calibre Dr. Mohler:

    “Where else are they gonna go? I mean, what options are there? If you’re a theologically minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel-built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just gonna end up basically being Reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism or you’re gonna have to invent some other label for what’s just gonna be the same thing. There just are not options out there. And that’s something that I think frustrates some people. But when I am asked about the New Calvinism, I will say just basically, where else are they gonna go? Who else is gonna answer the questions? Where else will they find the resources they need? And where else are they gonna connect? This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing Paul said. They want to stand with the Apostles. They want to stand with old, dead people. And they know they are going to have to if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

    No other options out there?! New Calvinism is the only expression of Christian faith that preaches and teaches truth?! All non-Calvinists have had it wrong for the last 5 centuries?! Whosoever-will from every tribe, tongue and nation may not come to the precious Gospel of Christ?!

    This is the very reason that 90+% of believers have rejected the tenets of reformed theology for the past 500 years. “My way or the highway” rhetoric from folks of the calibre of Al Mohler is not helpful. New Calvinists are known for their arrogance, not their love.

  163. Max: New Calvinists are known for their arrogance, not their love.

    And we are not allowed to say even a word against them, even when it is pertinent…

  164. Re elastigirl: yes, as the scripture in Romans 1 says, they are without excuse. Further, read Psalm 19.1-6 which confirms Romans 1…creation confirms the self-revelation of God in creation as stated in Romans 1.20.

  165. Tom Hill: Re elastigirl: yes, as the scripture in Romans 1 says, they are without excuse. Further, read Psalm 19.1-6 which confirms Romans 1…creation confirms the self-revelation of God in creation as stated in Romans 1.20.

    I don’t get that.

    Romans 1 talks about there being no excuse for being evil, whether you know god or not. They don’t appreciate creation, not are thankful for it. These are the people who lie, steal etc but doesn’t explicitly state it’s all people. Of course there’s the requisite hangup with sex & condemnation of homosexuality which is typical of Paul’s adherence to “the law”. But there’s nothing there condemning people who haven’t heard the gospel for not responding to something they’ve never heard. Basically it’s stating there’s no excuse for being a jerk just because you never heard of God.

    Paul is actually setting up for his main point about judging others & not getting mired down by whose eating what & other differences between Jews & gentiles.

    Psalm 19 is simply praise of God revealing itself through creation. People aren’t even mentioned.

  166. Ken F (aka Tweed): And we are not allowed to say even a word against them

    … while their words dig a deeper hole for themselves. New Calvinism will pass from the scene after it has done its damage; all aberrant movements of faith eventually run their course.

  167. Tom Hill,

    when it comes to the biblical interpretation you’ve chosen, is there no margin for error? none?

    or is it that you aren’t bothered by erring on the side of inhumane cruelty?

  168. Max: No other options out there?! New Calvinism is the only expression of Christian faith that preaches and teaches truth?!

    Hey, Calvary Chapel and every One True New Testament Church started by every Reverend Apostle Joe Soap three weeks ago claims the Exact Same Thing. There Can Be NO Salvation Outside of US, The Only True Christians(TM)!

  169. Max,

    ‘the only expression of Christianity that teaches truth????’

    so Dr. Mohler came with this mess before or after signing on the trumpism?????

    darkness comes in the land, yes

  170. Jack: I don’t get that.

    Neither do I. Much of what is called evangelicalism assumes a holy and righteous God cannot tolerate us as we are, so his default disposition toward us is wrath, often described as white hot wrath. Think “Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God.” They make has wrath certain and his grace conditional on either choices he makes (e.g., unconditional election) or choices we make.

    The ancient liturgies describe God as the lover of mankind, where his disposition toward us is always love and grace (even when he corrects us). Evangelicalism forgets that God is Christlike.

  171. Jack: Romans 1 talks about there being no excuse for being evil, whether you know god or not.

    You mean there’s more to Romans 1 than the “GAWD H8S FAGS!” clobber verse?

  172. Stu J: I first found this site due to Dee’s wonderful work exposing the awful truth regarding Iain Campbell (and still pray for Anne, her children and their community). But I find the constant referencing of Calvinism most unhelpful.

    Hi Stu
    I am interested in answering this question but I have been tied up with the hurricane and then my mom’s illness. I will try to respond in the next few days and may even write a post answering your concerns.
    Thank you for praying for the Campbells. May they have the peace that passes all understanding.