Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Solution to ALL Doctrinal Error: last post for 2009

I will be away from my computer until after the New Year holiday, so for my last post of 2009 I will provide the solution to all doctrinal error.

1) Stick with what scripture says.

2) Do not add to (or take away from) what scripture says.

3) Admit personal ignorance or lack of understanding where applicable.

4) Do not try to cover up ignorance or lack of understanding by parroting a pre-digested theological viewpoint.

5) Do not adopt or promote man's words and teachings as if they were equal to scripture in authority.

6) Do not under any circumstances put your trust in an isolated, out of context proof-text.

And finally and most importantly, not ignoring any of the above…

7) Seek and ask for the Holy Spirit’s revelation.

[I first wrote these points to specifically address the matter of “election” but recognised that a wider application is also appropriate.]


Anonymous said...

And you think that anyone really believes they themselves are guilty of any of those errors?

Onesimus said...

It all depends on how honest someone is with themselves and how much they want the TRUTH no matter what its cost.

Unfortunately some find the doctrines of man to be more appealing and will cling to them no matter how much they contradict God's revelation of Himself given by His Spirit through the whole of scripture.

Anonymous said...

Guilty, guilty, guuillllttttyyyy!!!
But so forgiven, and loved, and secure in that love! Greetings, and Happy New Year, old friend, from your favorite Calvinist! Except I'm not! A Calvinist, I mean, and I can only hope I am your favorite among that clan with which I very loosely associate myself. Yes it is me, that shameful holder of the “doctrine of demons”. How I have missed your trenchant comments, dear Useful Servant!

I was just now at Endtimes, at the dreadful Mark Driscoll thread, looking to make a copy of a post I wrote, for my own blog, and I saw a lovely comment you made to me, and the pull here was simply irresistible! Except it is resistible! At any rate, I am so glad I didn't resist it, and here I am now, so contentedly telling you all my random thoughts, and happily knowing yours. Isn't that the point? I know only one thing for sure, now Onesimus, and that is that I want to know only one thing, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I am so safe, just staying there in the shadow of the cross; and that is my one "solution for all doctrinal error.”

Oh, all right! I will confess to buying myself an ESV study bible (and Grudem is the General Editor!)for Christmas, but I promise I will look at only the helpful maps and charts! At any rate I will try!I just love the ESV translation, it is so lyrical and clear. Leland Ryken, the Lit Prof at Wheaton, whose writing I admire, has an article on "Reading the Bible as Literature." (Can I read that? It sounds very unCalvin!)

All these unrestful issues; I will just rest in His care and keeping, knowing He is making me to know Him more and more, as I mix faith with love, and obey His call, and as my heart leaps up in “Amen” to all the wonder of His word. Even the hard sayings, yes, no matter what the cost they are to me. Ah, the riches of His wisdom, His ways past finding out!

And you my dear friend, who has acted like an astringent to all the muck in my brain, what a piece of work you are! I never knew; what a Renaissance Man! I am green with envy at your garden (ah, but then you don’t have artichokes, three magnificent specimens, as I do. So I repent of coveting! And I have so many Australian natives, including a lovely Greveilla (sp) that is blooming in a wonderfully seasonal red right now, and cheering my heart as well. I will think of you, and pray for you, whenever I look at it now.

Then to look at your book blog. Oh dear. Stabs of that green stuff, straight to the heart! Ah, but then I look at a photo of my dear children, looking so angelic! They will endure forever, and my work there too, Oh boy, I have to quit now! I know I am worser and worser ridiculous. Gotta get the little angels back on task. And me.

You are welcome to my own blog. Be kind to my amateur attempts at poetry, although I would benefit from your critique, so I humbly bow my head before the mighty sword of your pen. You will find only the faintest whiff of Calvin there, and that would be at the “About Me” page, where I share my stirring testimony, in full, unedited. It is humiliating to see what the Lord had to do to me, to shepherd me into his flock. But I will not debate those issues, anymore.

Sorry to be so verbose. I have been sick since New Years so all this good healthy feelings have gone to my head, and I am a little giddy. If I can only find BB …where was he posting? He probably needs a fresh cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun right now, too!

Oh, how I miss all you dear ones, and how it makes me look forward to Heaven, when it will no longer be, “Now …Through a Glass Darkly”, but--

Yours very truly,
Karen Butler

Onesimus said...

Hi Karen,
I am very happy that you've chosen to come here and give me directions to your site. I’ve been hoping to contact you but couldn’t find a way to do so.

As soon as I get the opportunity I'll spend some time over on your blog

Bless you

Onesimus said...

Hi Karen,
I now have time to reply to you more fully.
I am very pleased that you have visited my blog and re-established contact. It is always easy to be cut off from people met on public forums managed by third parties.

Since you are not a Calvinist then you have no reason to associate yourself with my “doctrine of demons” comments. That comment applies purely and simply to those doctrines originating from Augustine that were adopted by Beza and are commonly attributed today to Calvinism. They are doctrines that malign God’s name and character by making Him the author of sin. They also accuse Him of unconditionally reprobating the majority of mankind, ensuring they will suffer for eternity in hell. Their reprobation is NOT due to their sin because their fate was determined before their existence (before Adam’s existence) and therefore before sin had entered the human race.
And where would Jesus fit into all of this? His suffering and death would merely be a cruel interlude in God’s predestined plans instead of the sacrificial focal point of His loving, redemptive purposes. Jesus death is meaningless if the destiny of every man and woman had been predetermined without any reference to their personal accountability regarding faith in Him and His sacrifice.

I also own and make use of the ESV – though I refuse to buy a “study bible” in any translation. Someone pointed out to me how easy it is for our memories to become confused about what we have read in the bible, leading us to recall some of the ideas conveyed in the study notes as if they were actually part of scripture. The particular example given was the confusion caused through the Scofield bible and its promotion of dispensationalist doctrine. So many people became convinced that they had read something in scripture when in fact it was Scofield’s notes they were recalling.
I feel we REALLY need to trust the Holy Spirit more instead of relying so much on theologians. So often the Bible is much clearer and easier to understand than we are led to expect.

My experience over the last couple of years has opened my eyes to how much the faith of many has been polluted by men’s theology. I have witnessed some of the most wilful distortions and misapplication of scripture all in the name of supporting a chosen theological path. So often it is incredibly clear that the context of a verse is being completely ignored to force that verse to support something that it was never intended to say. Some of this was displayed in the “millennium” and “third temple” threads on Miriam’s blog. All manner of intellectual contortions were being attempted to avoid the clear and simple meaning in a passage of scripture. I have written more about these issues in some of my articles on this blog.

The Bible I prefer to read is a version of the TNIV which has removed all chapter and verse divisions. It also groups the books in a more logical order (order of being written) instead of according to length (as with the traditional listing of the epistles). This version makes it much easier to read scripture according to its intended context. So far I have not seen any other translation taking this approach.
I also have several other translations which I use regularly for reference and I listen to the ESV on CD in my car.

(continued in part 2)

Onesimus said...

(part 2)

My garden is now at its most productive – but erratic weather patterns over recent months has adversely affected the yields of so many veggies and the flowering plants were tricked into thinking summer had come early with two weeks of extreme temperatures in the last month of spring. We therefore had a very short flowering season with things like roses. They had just started the best display we’ve ever had when the heat dried out their blooms.
Over Christmas we had more rain in a few days than we usually get in several months, so a few things are springing back to life – just in time for the next round of 40+ degree (Celsius) temperatures that are forecast for the coming weekend.

Grevillea’s are one of my favourite flowering plants and we have many different varieties. Unfortunately I can’t grow my favourites in our garden because they are susceptible to frost. Maybe when the garden is more established there will be a protected spot where one can thrive.

My book blog is a new venture through which I’m seeing if I can reignite a stalled writing “career”. So far I am merely confirming that genuinely worthwhile fiction is very hard to find with too much gratuitous sex in most modern “literary” works – and too much questionable theology pervading “Christian” novels. But to many people today “theology” is a very subjective matter, which perhaps indicates why certain books find their way to the “Christian” bestseller listings.

I guess that’s all for now Karen.

May the Lord bless you and your family.