Interpretation · Doctrinal · Calvinism

Calvin’s Concerns – Proverbs 16:4, 1 Peter 2:8 & Jude 4 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – 1 Peter 1:1-2 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Jeremiah 13:23 Revisited

Calvin’s followers seek to justify their teaching with verses that, with just a little bit of explanation, seem to reinforce their philosophy.

You know – the Romans 9 passage, or maybe 1 Corinthians 2:14.

Some of these passages, without considering alternate views (i.e. listening to only Calvinist teachers!) tend to reinforce the Calvinistic thought pattern.

This series of video podcasts will provide a discussion that many Calvinists may have never heard, or considered.

Take a few minutes, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Humble Yourself

A few weeks back, I published the first of a series of posts offering 60 second short discussions on alternatives to the popular Calvinistic teaching in our churches these days.

The videos were provided by Dr. Leighton Flowers, and addressed a number of topics that related to Calvinism and it’s resultant effects on the believer.

Since then I have provided a few additional videos describing different aspects of a provisionalist perspective on the Scriptures.

The following video, (although not a 60 second short!) supplies a response to the following Calvin Concern.

How can someone humble themselves without God’s help? (Careful now – strawmen are lurking about!!!)

Take a 7 minute break and consider Dr. Flowers response to this question, and try to have an open mind.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 9

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our ninth blog post will begin with Revelation 20:15

This outline is taken from pages 162 – 163 of the aforementioned book.  I have simply added the verse referred to for the readers convenience.

Wicked are in the Lake of Fire

Revelation 20:15

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Entrance to the Lake of Fire is based on your name not being found in the Book of Life. 

Kindly note that the permanence of a name in the book of Life is not defined here.  That is, there may be a condition that names are added to and or removed from the book of life.  Or one other possibility is that all souls have their name ( a new name?) in the book of life, but that those who are in the Lake of Fire have not received their new name yet. 

The giving of new names is not uncommon in the Word.  Consider Abram, Jacob, Simon and Saul.

Either of these conditions may be possible

Revelation 21:8

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Lost sinners will be in the Lake of Fire. 

This is a fact stated clearly in the chapter we refer to. And yet, I do not see a reference to duration of time a lost soul suffers in this verse, unless the second death is interpreted as being eternal or everlasting.  That is not clearly stated here, and we all know that the first death was not eternal or everlasting if God gets involved. 

I would appreciate if someone could comment on the second death, and the duration being defined by way of a Bible passage.

They are outside the gates of the New Jerusalem

Revelation 22:14-15

Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.

Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Entrance to the city and the right to the tree of life is only for those whose robes are washed.  This is the prerequisite of entering the city.

It is interesting that the verb in the first verse is in the present tense, as in “Blessed are those who wash…”, not “Blessed are those who have washed…”

The “nations of the earth” are the enemies who opposed Christ

Revelation 20:3, 7

and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison

Satan is thrown into the “pit”.  This is not necessarily the Lake of Fire.

They are not allowed inside the New Jerusalem

Revelation 21:27

But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This truth was stated above, and is a reminder that only those who are redeemed may enter the New Jerusalem.

A river of Living Water flows from the Center of the City where the throne of the Lamb is.

Revelation 22:1

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

This verse implies the river flows from the center of the city to the outskirts.  Granted that this is implied, yet a few verses later, we find that the trees planted beside the river are for the healing of the nations.  Is this the same group that were deceived by Satan and were not redeemed?  That are in the Lake of Fire??

All who are thirsty are invited to come and drink freely

Revelation 21:6

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

Revelation 22:17

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Check out Luke 16:24 to find out who is thirsty. 

This is one of the great evangelistic verses found in the Word and yet it seems we are in the middle of two groups –  the redeemed in the city, and the damned in the Lake of Fire.  What are we to make of it?

The gates of the city are always open, and will never shut

Revelation 21:25

and its gates will never be shut by day–and there will be no night there.

The City of God will always show hospitality.  As we are instructed in this life, so be it in the next!

The tree of Life bears fruit every month, and the leaves are for the “healing of the nations”

Revelation 22:2

through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Remember it is the nations that are healed, and not the saints, for we have already been healed.  Granted, as believers, we will partake of the tree of Life since the Lord Jesus is the source of all Life and the only true Tree of Life!

Again I ask why the trees provide fruit for the healing of the nations, if the nations who were deceived by Satan, are condemned eternally in the Lake of Fire?

The nations will walk by the light of the glory of God, and the Kings will enter into the city

Revelation 21:23, 24, 26

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,

They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.

Okay.  The nations and the kings of the earth will enter the City. 

Note that the verse does not state that some of the nations and some of the kings of the earth will enter the City.  THE nations.  THE kings of the earth.  This is truly an amazing verse and worthy of considering the implications of this train of thought that the apostle John seems to be providing. 

Only those whose name is in the book of life enter the city!

Revelation 21:27

But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Find your name in the Book of Life my friend. Look to the Savior for your Life, for He is all of Life and able to rescue the humble, giving grace to the one who comes to Him in faith.

He is good! Do not ignore His grace!


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 8

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our eighth blog post will begin with passage Hebrews 12:6-11

Passage 8

Hebrews 12:6-11

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

As we visit this passage, we find that there are a number of verses within the passage that are helpful to Mr. Giles discussion, primarily reflecting on the nature of chastening and how it benefits the recipients, and reflects on the purpose of the discipline.

Mr. Giles initially refers to John 3:16, to remind the reader of the love of God for the entire world, and connects this passage to this thought. He then calls the readers attention to the phrase “all have become partakers” of God’s discipline. Hs argument is that all of humanity become partakers of God’s discispline, since God loves the world. The author of Hebrews then goes on to describe the result of the discipline (for all) in the receiving of life.

Mr. Giles also approaches the purpose of discipline, or God’s intended purpose of chastisement, and that is of restoration, of discipline being for “our profit”. The concept of punishment for the sake of retribution is not broached in this passage but the restorative love of God is, and the end result in that holiness is produced. At no place within this passage is the concept of God’s wrath.

Mr. Giles gives us a progression that is based on the teaching of God’s love for the world (John 3:16), that goes like this

  1. Everyone endures discipline
  2. Everyone is treated as a son or daughter
  3. Everyone endures a “painful” discipline
  4. Everyone becomes a partaker of His holiness

For Mr. Giles argument to convince me, I would need to understand the authors intended audience. My current understanding of the passage is that it relates to believers, and that all believers go through a disciplinary process.

He has assumed in a few of his texts that all of humanity are “in Christ”, which admittedly is a difficult teaching to follow. In my opinion and at this time in my life, it is a weak argument but the following verses were provided to show the Fatherhood of God for all of humanity.

Acts 17:26-28

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,
that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
for “‘In him we live and move and have our being‘; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Ephesians 3:14-15

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

Luke 3:38

the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Ephesians 4:4-6

There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call–
one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

In all of the verses he has provided, there is an argument for seeing all of humanity possibly being considered, and I will leave it with my readers to arrive at their own conclusions.

If you happen to have passages that would provide additional support for this teaching, please provide. I am always willing to understand this teaching, but currently do not see this passage (Hebrews 12:6-11) as strong as some may assume.

Our next post will address Revelation chapters 20 – 22. It shocked me more than the Philippian passage. I hope you will join me.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 7

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our seventh blog post will begin with passage 7, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

Passage 7

1 Corinthians 3:11-15

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw–

each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Is Paul referring to all of humanity in this passage?

How about every Christian in this passage?

Or might Paul be referring to leaders in the church as the “one laying a foundation?

Many times the New Testament speaks of the apostles as foundations of the church, and as those who laid a foundation. Just one verse before Mr. Giles suggested passage above, we find the reference to one laying a foundation, namely Paul the apostle. Could he be referring to himself, and his fellow apostles, as the topic of this passage?

I tend to think that he is specifically referring to his peers in this instance, and that when the Day arrives, the work (of building the early church) will show if the apostles perform faithfully.

After all, Paul speaks of the fire testing “one’s work”, and that the test will reveal the type of work, that is on the foundation. The foundation is not in discussion here, it is the superstructure, the church as a body, that is the object under investigation. The church built on the foundation will be tested.

The church in Corinth had leadership issues, struggling with Paul’s apostleship. Paul was speaking of the worth of the work he had done, and in a sideways manner, spoke of his work as worthy of the testing. Some may build with cheaper material – that is the builders decision, yet the fire will come and test each builders material.

But look – great news – both builders will be saved. Those who built on the foundation with good materials, and those who built on the foundation with bad materials.

I am not sure this passage supports the teaching Mr. Giles suggests, since it appears that the topic is Christian leadership and the testing of it’s quality. Note that this is a rewards passage (vs 14), and the only ones referred to in the passage are the ones that build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.

What are your thoughts? Share your opinion below and lets chat!


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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 14 – Romans 9:11

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the sixth (and final) portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

God is saving a people unconditionally Romans 9:11 according to election God promises to save a people and He can’t wait around for someone who has no desire or the ability to come. I will rely on scripture that he shows mercy unconditionally to whom he chooses.

Romans 9:11 – though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad–in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls–

I suppose my friends comments – “God is saving a people unconditionally Romans 9:11” is a bit confusing for me in that the verse does not speak of salvation but of election. I fear he may be equating “election” with “personal individual salvation” and in the proof text verse he has supplied through this series, I have found no convincing argument to agree with his assumption.

Paul gives us the purpose of election, and I find one of the better explanations of election to be found at Soteriology 101.

For this final response, I would like to supply a video for your viewing pleasure and consideration. It is an overview, and under 5 minutes in length.

How about you? Are you convinced that God has “determined” your salvation? Are you convinced that God has “determined” some to burn in hell, eternally, consciously and without relief? How do you see the passages we have discussed in this series?

I have offered multiple times to discuss with my friend over the phone, but without any response. If any are out there that would like to discuss one on one, I would appreciate the opportunity to understand your position.

I thank you for following this series of posts discussing a Calvinists response to an earlier post. I do hope you will join me in our next series of “Considering the Bible” and take part in the discussion.



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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.


Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 6

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my thought process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our sixth blog post will begin with passage 6, Philippians 2:10-11

Passage 6

Philippians 2:10-11

so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This passage surprised me. Not that every knee should bow and every tongue confess.

No, I have always understood this passage to describe every soul that has ever existed to come to the realization of the Lordship and Deity of Jesus Christ, either joyfully as believers confessing the Lord or grudgingly under compulsion, by those who rejected the Messiah in their lives on earth.

It makes sense and caused no challenge to my general thinking of the afterlife. After all, I was on the “right side” and it wasn’t an issue for me at the time. No cause to research the passage any further, until I picked up Mr. Giles book.

This passage, when considering the translation of the greek word exomologeō within the passage shook my thinking. You see, this greek work is translated as “confess” in our passage, as in

…every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue exomologeō that Jesus Christ is Lord.

This word is not the simple word for confess, as in agreeing, or saying the same thing as another. That would be the Greek word homologeō, and I think it is obvious that the last few letters are similar to the word mentioned above. The difference is the beginning of the word, and Paul used our special word here in Philippians instead of the simple word for confess.

So, what’s the big deal Carl?

This word, exomologeō that we find in our passage in Phillippians has the following definition found in Thayers Greek Lexicon. (underline by author)

….. Philippians 2:11 R G L text Tr text WH]; (ἐξ either forth from the heart, freely, or publicly, openly [cf. Winers Grammar, 102 (97)]); active and deponent middle to confess, to profess;

Notice the difference? It isn’t simply confessing. It’s more than that!

Ok – let’s try The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon

ex-om-ol-og-eh’-o 

  • to confess
  • to profess
    • acknowledge openly and joyfully
    • to one’s honour: to celebrate, give praise to
    • to profess that one will do something, to promise, agree, engage

There is a difference in the reason for the confessing. Notice the first sub – bullet above. To acknowledge openly and joyfully.

Joyfully? What?

I have always understood that those who rejected the Messiah would confess Him as Lord, but under compulsion, and grudgingly. If every tongue confesses joyfully of the Lord Jesus Christ, that messes up my nice tidy eschatology.

Why would someone who hated Jesus his whole life, and at the end, when there is no hope of redemption, no hope of love or mercy, but only eternal fire and conscience eternal torment, why would that person joyfully confess Jesus as Lord?

Paul states that every knees will bow and every tongue joyfully confess (exomologeo) that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God.

What are we to make of this finding?

How good is this good news???


Additional study for those interested!

Consider the use of this Greek word in the New Testament, and see if this definition of “joyfully confess”, fits your previous understanding. Let me know if one or more of these verses “pop” for you. I’ll tell you now – Philippians was a surprise, but a couple more below brought some additional light to the message.

Matthew 3:6: “him in Jordan, confessing their sins.”
Matthew 11:25: “Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven”
Mark 1:5: “the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.”
Luke 10:21: “in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven”
Luke 22:6: “And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them”
Acts 19:18: “many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.”
Romans 14:11: “to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Romans 15:9: “as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles,”
Philippians 2:11: “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,”
James 5:16: ” Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that”
Revelation 3:5: “book of life, but I will confess his name before my”

Thanks for joining and considering the Bible with me. Your thoughts are always welcome, and I look forward to discussing the Word with you.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 5

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our fifth blog post will begin with passage 5, Colossians 1:14, 19-20. Mr Giles provides a very good introduction to the passage and supplies points that I had never considered before. I do hope you will take a few minutes to consider this passage with me.

Passage 5

Colossians 1:14, 19-20

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

As my readers may notice, this passage is the Colossian equivalent to the previous post Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 4 on this topic.

With this difference, Paul makes a slightly astounding comparison. But before we get to the comparison, consider the following two key verses in this book that defend the complete and utter unapologetic claim that Jesus is God Almighty.

Colossians 1:19 ESV – For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

Colossians 2:9 ESV – For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

Notice that both of these verses state that the fullness of God, all the fullness of God, not a portion of the fullness of God, not a certain percentage of the fullness of God, but all the fullness of God dwells in Him. He is the Messiah – God with us! The term “all” in these verses are the basis of this claim, in that Paul did not state –

For in Him deity dwells

Dang, we can say that about believers and we are simply beggars at the throne of God, granted tremendous privilege’s based on the righteousness of our Savior! He is the One in whom ALL the fullness of Deity dwells

OK Carl – as a believer, I understand and believe that Jesus is God. What is the point?

Let’s go back to the context of the original verses

Colossians 1:19-20

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Paul introduces the same phraseology as in Ephesians, but this time the “all things” is compared with the deity of the Lord Jesus.

This causes me to stop and consider how to understand Paul’s message. In Ephesians, the “all things” of verse 10 was related to the mystery of God’s will, set forth in Christ. The Ephesian passage speaks to uniting “all things” in Him. This passage speaks of reconciling all things to Himself.

Reconciling, dear reader!

The Greek term used in this passage is ἀποκαταλλάσσω apokatallássō, and is used to define three different actions by God toward sinners.

  • to reconcile completely,
  • to reconcile back again,
  • bring back a former state of harmony

You see, an argument in the Ephesian passage could be that the unity referred to is a forced unity, a uniting of all things based on the authority of the Messiah. Jesus is the Lord and has all authority and this may be Paul’s intent in Ephesians.

The argument of authority only doesn’t hold water for me in this passage, unless my readers can provide a cogent reason for reconsidering. Paul is speaking of reconciliation, that is a bringing back, a relationship being returned to between God and “all things”. Reconciliation is an action that screams of relationship, of two “people” looking at each other, relating to one another, at peace with one another!

Returning to consider the “all things” of verse 20, we read in Romans 8:22 that all of creation groans until the redemption of our bodies, yet when I read that passage I default to excluding most of humanity in the “all of creation” description.

Should the “all things” of Colossians 1:20 condition our thinking when we read a passage such as Romans 8:22?

Yet the “all things” of Colossians 1:20 must refer to a portion of humanity, since we know that some have not been reconciled. Therefore the “all things” must be understood to refer to “some things”. And if that is true, should we understand verse 19 to teach us that some of the fullness of the Godhead dwells in the Messiah?

If not, why not? Why would Paul change the intent of the term “all” from one verse to the next. It seems a difficult verse to argue against from the Universalist Reconciliation stance.

Your thoughts?


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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 4

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our fourth blog post will begin with passage 4, Ephesians 1:7-10

Passage 4

Ephesians 1:7-10

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ

as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Mr. Giles continues with his list of Bible passages, providing Ephesians 1:7-10 for our consideration this morning. Sometimes I like to read the passage identifying the pronoun as I read through the passage. Lets try that with this passage.

Ephesians 1:7-10
In him (Christ) we (believers) have redemption through his (Christ’s) blood, the forgiveness of our (believers) trespasses, according to the riches of his (Christ’s) grace, which he (Christ) lavished upon us (believers), in all wisdom and insight making known to us (believers) the mystery of his (God’s) will, according to his (God’s) purpose, which he (God) set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

God has lavished grace on believers. This grace includes the redemption we cherish, and the forgiveness of our trespasses. Although I previously thought of these two aspects of our relationship to God as being the same thing described in two different ways, I believe these are two separate acts of grace provided to the saint. See Simple Thoughts – Colossians 1:14.

Paul is speaking of the multiple benefits of the grace of God to the believer.

God has allowed believers to know the mystery of His will. Within the will of God, His purpose is in the Messiah, as all things of God are centered in the Messiah. In the Messiah, God has invested all of His will, all of His plan and all of His love.

If my thinking is correct, Paul has elevated the Christ to preeminence and only rightly so. He is the Lord of all. So why does Paul continue with the phrase “to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth”

Unity is a grand theme in the Scriptures. This is not revelatory as the Word often describes God’s pleasure in the unity of the brethren. This is referring to the life of the brethren, yet is this the intent of the apostles message?

The term “unite” in this verse is the Greek word anakephalaioō, and I am not going to ask anyone to pronounce it!

Thayers Greek Lexicon is somewhat helpful.

In Ephesians 1:10 God is said ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, to bring together again for himself (note the middle) all things and beings (hitherto disunited by sin) into one combined state of fellowship in Christ, the universal bond

Vines also is referred to below

Eph 1:10, RV, “sum up” (AV, “gather together”), of God’s purpose to “sum up” all things in the heavens and on the earth in Christ, a consummation extending beyond the limits of the church, though the latter is to be a factor in its realization.

Ok, the plan of God is to sum up, or “combine” all things in heaven and on earth. Our God is a rebuilder, One who brings together. It is a teaching that Paul identifies later in this book when he teaches of the Christ knocking down the wall of separation between the Jew and the Gentile. Could Paul be breaching this topic in our verse here? It is a common method of his to introduce a topic somewhat generally, prior to the main teaching being fleshed out.

Maybe.

But what are we to make of the term “all things”. So generic. So “fuzzy”.

Could Paul mean all souls that are in heaven and on earth? All things certainly sound inclusive, and may actually mean all things, without exception. It is a possibility!

Could we be dogmatic on this verse? Certainly not, since it is so generic, so “fuzzy”, and yet there are “fuzzy” passages in the Old Testament, that in thier fulfillment, was much more expansive than many (all?) could have hope for or believed.

With this passage that Mr. Giles provided, a possibility of Universal Reconciliation is allowable in my thinking at this time.

What think you?

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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – 1 Corinthians 2:14

A few weeks back, I published the first of a series of posts offering 60 second short discussions on alternatives to the popular Calvinistic teaching in our churches these days.

The videos were provided by Dr. Leighton Flowers, and addressed a number of topics that related to Calvinism and it’s resultant effects on the believer.

Since then I have provided a few additional videos describing different aspects of a provisionalist perspective on the Scriptures.

The following video, (although not a 60 second short!) supplies a good review of 1 Corinthians 2:14, and might be considered with an earlier post provided on Sept 9th of 2021 – Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 7 – 1 Corinthians 2:14.


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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 3

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it was challenging my thought process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our third blog post will begin with passage 3, Romans 5:18-19

Passage 3

Romans 5:18-19

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

It is interesting, as I look for solid teaching on the rebuttal of this verse, that many teachers go out of the way to explain what Paul is not teaching. In one commentary, by James Montgomery Boice, he makes the following statement regarding verse 18. (italics mine)

All men… all men – Paul is using all men with two different meanings for the sake of parallelism, a common practice in the Hebrew Old Testament, which is similar Paul’s repetition of the phrase the many in Romans 5:15 (note). The first all covers all humanity who are born into Adam. The second all refers to that part of the first all who by grace through faith are reborn into the Last Adam, Christ (Paul repeatedly emphasizes righteousness and faith – see notes Romans 1:16; 17; 3:22; 3:28; 4:5; 4:13. To reiterate – Paul is not teaching universal salvation.)

How is it that in using the same phrase, we can negate Paul’s possible intent simply by referring to parallelism? (I understood parralelism to be a method of teaching that reiterated a particular truth in a parallel phrase – Is that incorrect?)

It is telling that this master teacher has to repeat – “Paul is not teaching universal salvation” This reiteration seems to be provided since without it, the text, when simply read, speaks of “One act of righteousness leading to justification and life for all men”. Paul does not explain how this works out in the plan of God, but does give us a summary of his argument in verses 18-19.

Mr Giles quote is helpful from his book.

“Paul leaves us very little wiggle room to read this any other way than what it plainly appears to say: That in the same way everyone was made a sinner due to Adam’s sin, everyone will be made righteous because of Christs obedience.”

I agree with Mr. Giles logic, and yet I refuse to be a “one verse” Christian. I am sure you may have met the believer who rests his entire trust in a specific teaching on a few favorite proof texts, not considering passages that may provide balance, that may provide the whole counsel of God. I grant that focusing on a few verse to maintain a position is appealing, yet it may not produce the well rounded, mature believer that we are to grow up into.

As I have mentioned many times in this blog, the Bible is not equal to a comic strip such as Garfield. A sideways glance at a verse will not produce a deep faith. An overemphasis on a few verses will not result in a balanced faith.

Is the Universal Reconciliation teaching too good to be true? I would ask my reader why we restrict the good news of the life and death of our Messiah?

Why do we take the elder brothers stance when we consider that the love of God may extend much farther that we understand or comprehend.

How do you understand this challenging verse. Can you find a way to avoid the conclusion Mr. Giles offers above, without referring to other passages, but simply from the immediate context?

I look forward to the discussion.

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.


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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 13 – John 6:29

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the fifth portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verse he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Natural man can’t tell the difference between good and evil and Jesus said none are good except for God. They are responsible because God is Sovereign. He has the right to do with His creation as he sees fit His righteousness isn’t to be judged by fallen man’s sense of righteousness imputed from the Garden of Eden. Belief is the work of God John 6:29

John 6:29 – Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

It has been a while since I have published any responses to the “Calvin’s Concern” series, and coincidentally “tripped” over the video below.

The video walks us through a word for word teaching of the passage, highlighting the intent of the verse, that is, the emphasis on the person of Christ. Jesus third person reference to himself when speaking to this particular audience (Pharisees) shouts out the Deity of His Messiahship. The Scripture speaks of Him, and it serves us well to consider the pre-eminence of His person when approaching the Word.

Beyond the refreshing refocus on the person of Christ in the discussion on this passage, to say that “belief is the work of God” seems to be missing the mark when considering this verse. Does not the passage inform us of the work of God, that is that “you believe”. The directive of action is associated with the audience, and the only work directly associated with God is that He sent His Messiah.

Now that God has sent His Messiah, you need to believe in Him.

The context speaks of Jesus answering the Pharisees in their (sarcastic) request “What must we do, to be doing the works of God? The Pharisees, at this point in the ministry of the Savior, were not humbly coming to the Master for guidance, but mocking Him and seeking ways to entrap Him. Jesus refocused them with this verse, by referring Himself in the same manner that God refers to Himself in the Old Testament, and laying on the Pharisees the responsibility to believe in Him.

As you watch this 2 minute clip, humor me as he speaks the greek, but notice the skill this teacher has is walking us through this famous verse. After his explanation, consider the message that Jesus spoke 2,000 yrs ago. Believe in Him.

Let me know your thoughts. I look forward to a cogent and precise discussion.

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.



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As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the sixth (and final) portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

God is saving a people unconditionally Romans 9:11 according to election God promises to save a people and He can’t wait around for someone who has no desire or the ability to come. I will rely on scripture that he shows mercy unconditionally to whom he chooses.

Romans 9:11 – though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad–in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls–

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.



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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 2

As I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that seem to support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Of course many may think, as I initially thought, that this teaching didn’t include a form of hell, or that the cross was not necessary. This is not so.

Also, please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Our next post will consider 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Okay lets consider the two verses above, and consider some thoughts on possible interpretations.

One author I read concerning this set of verses taught that Paul is using this passage to teach that without transgression, no death would have come into the world. A man (Adam) sinned and brought death into the world. A man (Jesus) obeyed and brought resurrection into the world. This is true, but is that Paul’s point here, to speak of theoretical truths?

Maybe, but the issue to address from the topic under consideration is the second “all” in verse 22. Yes Jesus brought life and immortality to light for all of creation. Romans 8 teaches that all of creation groans until the redemption is realized. Could “the creature” in Romans 8 passage be considered support for UR? We may need to consider that at a later time!

It seems blunt to say it, but if the first all in verse 22 means all humanity (and it does since all have died, with few exceptions – Enoch, Elijah, maybe Moses), then all shall be made alive. Of course my determinist friends will want to insert “kinds of men” in the second phrase, so that it may read as such…

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all kinds of men be made alive.

Other than adherence to a systematic theology that has a number of Biblical concerns and philosophical problems, inserting text into a verse causes me a wee bit of consternation. Not a fan!

Is there an interpretive solution to this verse that negates what it seems to be saying, and that is that … all die…all shall be made alive”?

Come on Carl – Read the verse!

Paul qualifies each group (those who die, and those who live) by the representative man who brought in the “condition” of death or life. I kind of understand it as..

Since you are in Adam, you will die (all humans are in Adam!)

Since you are in Christ, you will live (all those who have faith in the Messiah are in Christ!)

Although Mr. Giles offered this text as a proof for universal reconciliation, he had to justify the “all in Christ” as being every person ever created. Although he made a valiant effort at proving this particular text, I didn’t find it convincing.

What think ye? Let me know your thoughts.


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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Passage 1

As I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of passages that seem to support an evangelical universal reconciliation teaching. Of course many may think, as I initially thought, that this teaching didn’t include a form of hell, or that the cross was not necessary.

Please do not think that this teaching is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

With this, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Our next post will consider 1 Timothy 4:10

Passage 1

1 Timothy 4:10

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

This verse always confused me as a Calvinist. I remember actually skipping this verse (mentally) as I read through the 1 Timothy. It turns out I tend to avoid passages that conflict with my current understanding of the Word. A difficult position to be in, but then again, we aren’t called to be readers of cartoon comics.

It is important to consider the entire Word of God in formulating a belief, and as I continue to study and ask for direction in understanding, I find I am accumulating more questions than answers. One of these questions is in relation to the teaching on hell. And one of the passages that provides some of God’s thoughts on the topic of hell is the one we are looking at today.

So what does this verse say? Does it teach the damnation of a portion of God’s creation? Or that only some reach the golden shores of heaven?

Of course, if the apostle Paul meant to insert the words “kinds of” so as the verse would read ….the living God, who is the Savior of all kinds of people..

If that is what Paul meant, we might have to begin inserting words elsewhere to make the Word more comfortable for us. But again, I think that is too easy a way out of this possible dilemma, for this verse definitely throws a monkey wrench in our standard “orthodox” way of thinking.

First off, he states that God is the Savior of all people, which seems clear. If he intended to insert “kinds of” into the verse, it would still not resolve the dilemma. (By the way, I am not advocating the insertion of words into any text!) The kicker is the next phrase, “especially of those who believe”. What does that mean?

Paul preached to the nations the necessity of faith in the crucified Savior. He is the great apostle of the gospel of grace, the “faith plus nothing” gospel that began the expansion of the church in the first century, with the growth continuing even today. Who would have thunk it?

So, could Paul be hinting at the salvation of all people, (he seems to state that clearly) but that some “particular” people, those “particular” people that have believed, have already entered into salvation?

No no no.

That can’t be true, since there has to be a hell for those who refuse to accept the Messiah before death. This is utterly impossible. Beyond the scope of the written Word!

And yet…

When the Lord came to earth, He scandalized the religious community with His acceptance of sinners and tax collectors. His love for sinners, (and even Samaritans!) was beyond all the expectations of those who looked for the Messiah.

When the Lord was crucified and rose again, the infant church stayed in Israel. For whatever their strategy was in performing Acts 1:8, it took special revelation to both Peter and that newby Paul for the church to accept those dirty gentiles into it’s fold. His grace and love again expanded beyond the accepted bounds of religious understanding. The Old Testament made reference to the expansion of the Kingdom in many places, and yet the infant church stayed in Israel for years. Why?

I will not be dogmatic in the restriction of God’s grace and love for His creation, that He loves only some and hates the rest. This is not the nature of God, for the nature of our God is that “God is love”. Universal reconciliation may be offensive to some in the church, and may cause claims of heresy. That is fair, since we are to protect the truth of God. But let us consider all the truth of God, and not exclude the verses that may interrupt of systematic theology. God tends to upset the apple cart sometimes and His glory and grace, in reaching ALL would only be magnified if this is His will.

Granted, there are many questions universal reconciliation needs to address, and I am seeking to find answers with passages in the Word that argue against this teaching. Questions involving New Testament descriptions of perishing, of everlasting punishment, of judgement to come and of “post death conversion”.

It is a wild teaching, too good to be true?!

Surely there must be a hell to avoid. The judgement of our saving God must be a prime motivator in our day to day life, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

What think you? This is the beginning of at least 10 posts that will provide passages that suggest (some quite clearly) of a universal reconciliation. I need your feedback, so as not to be simply hearing myself think.

I look forward to a civil and honest discussion.



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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 12 – John 10:26

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the fourth portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

He told the Pharisees you don’t believe because you aren’t my sheep John 10:26 He didn’t say you aren’t my sheep because you don’t believe That should kill the idea of free will on the spot. If you analyze the Garden of Eden account with Eve you will see the serpent was baiting Eve with free Will through the delusion of gaining the knowledge of good and evil which was a stone cold lie.

Let’s read the verse my friend offers for his argument.

John 10:26 – but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.

My friend offers a verse that makes his point, as he so humbly states. But in the middle of the argument, we always need to consider the context, audience and intent of the speaker.

The Jews were demanding Jesus reveal His identity!

John 10:24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
John 10:25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,

20 Grammar Jokes That All Grammar Nerds Will Definitely ...

It is interesting, that throughout Johns gospel, when he uses the concept of faith or belief, he occasionally uses the Present Active Indicative. I am not a grammar monkey, so I am fully open to correction on this stuff, but let’s see if we can find some insight from “da Greek”.

Below is a list from the Blue Letter Bible (BLB) website of the times John uses this particular verb. I find it interesting, challenging, (and above my pay grade) to understand all the implications, but alas, let us take a stab at it!

Present Tense

When the author uses present tense, I understand it to be continuous (check out BLB resource). It is not defining a past point in time when the action began, but the fact that the action is (or isn’t) “present” (sorry – bad pun!)

Active Voice

[Image - 541901] | Grammar Nazi | Know Your Meme

BLB describes the active voice as occurring “when the action of the verb is being performed by the subject.” As an example, “An ol’ man types on a keyboard”. This sentence tells you that I’m the one performing the action of typing on a keyboard.

The Indicative Mood:

Again, BLB describes this mood as “assertion or presentation of certainty.” I understand it to be a simple statement of fact.

So Carl, what is your point? I’m glad you asked.

It looks like Jesus isn’t telling us of the beginning of the faith of the Jews or of the sheep, just the existence of faith. The present tense is simply saying that the sheep got faith and that the Jew’s ain’t got faith (at that time) in the Messiah.

Could the verse be understood as saying, You do not presently have faith in Me, as evidenced by the fact you aren’t among My sheep, that is one that is acting as a believer. (Or – My sheep have a present visible faith!)

My apologies the the Apostle John for this ragged translation!

It seems to me that Jesus is telling the Jews that faith has a fruit, or is evidenced by a visible attitude towards the Master. An argumentative / demanding position (“Tell us plainly!”) does not reflect the nature of faith, at least not in the identification of the Messiah, which is the point in this passage.

One other issue that I will not labor, but would like the reader to consider, is that this believing in Jesus is in the active voice. Remember, the action of the verb “believing” is being performed by the subject, that is, the sheep. This particular passage describes the activity of faith as that of the sheep, not the Shepherd.

Given this foray into some grammar, it seems the grammar, if correctly understood, leans away from the proof text my friend has provided to support the claim that a particular point in time a sheep (one who is elect) will be given faith. This passage contains Jesus describing the continuous nature/attitude of His sheep at that time towards His claim of Messiahship.

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.




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Calvinism · Contradiction · Doctrinal · Universalism

Book Look – Jesus Undefeated – Intro

Recently I have been in discussions with some friends that read my blog fairly consistently and they have, in an effort to understand my beliefs, have baited me by calling me a universalist.

That is fair, since I may not have defined every specific teaching as they may want, most likely due to the fact I honestly haven’t come to a settled persuasion on some of the teaching they may ask about me.

After all, I am not quite sure how many angels can sit on the head of a pin!

I want to focus on the bigger picture, the fact that He is the One to look to, to love and listen for, and not necessarily “pure doctrine” that is sometimes advertised as being required to be right with God.

Don’t get me wrong, we need to look to the Word of truth for truth, and yet we need to go beyond simply truth seeking and mature into loving others that may believe the Word from a different perspective!

If you have a different doctrine of where the New Jerusalem will be (Peoria Illinois?) or if you feel that there will be no dogs in heaven (don’t tell my wife!), I believe it is acceptable to love y’all who have a different view. Golly, it is commanded to love all y’all, believers or non-believers, enemies or friends!

You know that whole “love your enemy” thing applies to those who think differently about God also.

Enough of the general rant, I wanted to introduce the book “Jesus Undefeated”, by Keith Giles in this blog. His topic is Universalism, and the debunking of the Eternal Torment teaching. I picked up this book due to some who claim I am a Universalist. Thought I would find out what I believe, or at least get a bit more familiar with my assumed faith.

I have published two other posts describing this teaching, but they were fairly high level introductory blogs ( God – What is HE Like & Universal Reconciliation & the Church Fathers).

With this series, I would like to begin delving into some of the New Testament passages Mr. Giles brought to my attention, for your consideration, edification and civil discussion.

Initially, as I have stated in previous posts, I was surprised with the number of verses that support an evangelical universal teaching. Please do not think that this teaching I am trying to describe is the same as the “all roads lead to heaven” teaching, which I consider to be blasphemous. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the following blog posts in this series, I would like to provide a number of New Testament passages which teach the universal salvation of all through the redemption that is found in Christ Jesus.

Regarding the book itself, I read it in one sitting, not simply because it was under 200 pages, but that it challenged my though process and I found it enjoyable reading. If this topic interests you, please pick up a copy. It is well worth your time.

Our next blog post will begin with passage 1, First Timothy 4:10.

Talk to you then – Thanks for dropping by!



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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 11 – John 1:12-13

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the third portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

God gave to the man Jesus the spirit without limit. God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to according to Romans 9:16 John 1:12-13.

My friend is telling me that God doesn’t want to give faith to everyone, according to Romans 9:16 (dealt with last post) and the current set of verses being considered.

So lets take a look to see if this set of verses gives support to the claim that God doesn’t give faith to everyone, because He doesn’t want to.

First, let’s read the passage.

John 1:12-13 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

It seems the ability to believe is not addressed in this passage, but simply stated as a condition. The result of the belief is that the one believing receives the right to become a child of God. I suppose I could state that the order of salvation is addressed in this verse, in that belief comes before the right to become children of God, but this isn’t my friends intent with this verse, so I will move on.

I think he is referring to the last three clauses in the verse, to speak of where the belief comes from, but that doesn’t seem all that clear in my opinion.

It seems the “being born” is the action being defined in this passage, in that the “being born” is an act of God. It seems to be a stretch to consider the “believing in His name” as being the object of the action.

So if one believes in His name, the believing one acquires the right to become a child of God. It is the result of the faith exercised in the name of the Messiah, that God provides the life, or in other words, “the birth” of a child of God.

Does the faith of the believing one perform the action of becoming a child of God, of being born? No. The action of being born is sourced, or found, in the will of God, not in any other agency.

One more time for a bit of clarity – The faith allows the believing one to acquire the right to become a child of God. God provides the birth upon the faith that is directed to the Messiah.

This passage doesn’t seem to address the topic my friend is seeking to prove, that God doesn’t give faith to everyone, because He doesn’t want to. As a matter of fact, it seems to be an open invitation to any who would trust in His name.

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.



Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Comment Response 10 – Romans 9:16

As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.

This is the third portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.

Original Comment

God gave to the man Jesus the spirit without limit. God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to according to Romans 9:16 John 1:12-13.

My friend is trying to teach me that God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to, and he refers to Romans 9:16 to support this claim.

So let’s read the passage and try to understand his point.

Romans 9:16 – So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

Ok. I may be a bit daft, but I am not sure where faith is referred to in this verse, unless faith is the “it” at the start of the verse.

So what is “it”?

Let’s consider the immediate context.

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!
Romans 9:15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
Romans 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.

So the “it” in Romans 9:16 reaches back to the question posed in verse 14 – that is “Is there injustice on God’s part?” Faith doesn’t seem to be referred to here. As a matter of fact, this chapter does not address faith until verse 30, (14 verses later!) where it appears that the gentiles received a righteousness by faith. Verse 32 speaks of the Jews not attaining righteousness by faith, but by seeking to attain it by works. This is the only two references to faith in the chapter, and it doesn’t appear to address God’s willingness or reluctance to provide faith to anyone.

Oh, and the subject of faith (or belief) was last referred to in Romans 6:8, speaking of the resurrection, but not of God restricting faith or belief from anyone.

I am not sure why he referred to this verse to teach me that God doesn’t give faith to everyone because He doesn’t want to. Let’s see if the next set of verses in John 1 help us understand his thoughts.

I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.



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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.