Facebook Discussion on the Atonement

I came across an interesting discussion on Facebook involving the atonement. The question revolved around whether or not Jesus has “forgiven and paid the price for those who are in hell.”

The original poster, in answering the question, said:

“Yes I do believe that Jesus has paid the price for them but has [sic] not forgiven because they didn’t respond in faith!

The provision is unlimited but the application is only by faith. So those who are in hell are not there because they are sinners & Christ did not provide an atonement for them but rather that Christ provided the atonement for them but they rejected it.”

The objector then replied, inter alia, the following:

“With all due respect, I think your position that [Jesus paid but they suffer for their rejection] fails for 2 main reasons: (A) Logical Reasons & (B) Biblical Reasons…

A. Logical Reasons

Logically the position is incoherent because it fails to account for those who never heard the gospel. Here are 3 questions to consider:

i. Did those who never hear the gospel reject it?

ii. Shouldn’t they be saved because Jesus died for them and they never rejected it?

iii. If your answer to (II) is “yes”, then why bother preaching the gospel? Ignorance would be bliss [Literally], wouldn’t it?

Furthermore, it would be a logical contradiction to claim Jesus died for all sins of all men and yet send them to hell for the sin of rejection. If Christ died for ALL sins then He also died for the sin of rejecting the gospel. Your only way out is to claim that rejecting Christ is not a sin? Do you want to take this exit route?

B. Biblical Reasons:

Biblically, people are sent to hell not for rejecting Christ but for their sins and disobedience:

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 5:6)

In the context of Ephesians 5, a list of sins are presented, none of which have anything to do with rejecting the gospel. We find a similar list in Colossians 3 and Paul repeats the same warning

“For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:6).

Nowhere does the Scripture teach that the provision is unlimited. It does teach, however, that faith itself is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9).”

The Logical Reasons Objection

The Incoherence Objection

i) Incoherence 1

One option to avoid the incoherence is to view things from a Molinistic framework[1] – namely that, before the foundation of the world, God middle knew which individuals and/or people groups would freely accept or freely reject the Gospel should it be presented to them.

In light of this knowledge, God actualizes a possible and feasible world in which some individuals who would freely reject the Gospel are not presented with the Gospel. Paul Copan puts it as such:

“God has arranged this world in such a way that those who never hear the gospel would not have responded to it even if they had heard it. Those who are beyond the reaches of the Gospel in the actual world could be those who would never have responded to the Gospel in any possible world.”[2]

These individuals are still deemed to have rejected the atonement which was provided for them because the atonement would have applied to them had they freely chosen to accept it.

Another option to avoid the incoherence is to embrace the inclusivist position in the context of those who have not heard the gospel. John Sanders explains that, for the inclusivist, “The unevangelized may be saved if they respond in faith to God based on the revelation they have.”[3]

Inclusivism advocates that “salvation found only in Jesus Christ is made universally available.”[4] This universal availability should not be confused with universalism which espouses that “no human being will be condemned or allowed to suffer pain and separation forever.”[5] Universalism teaches that all will be saved.

John Sanders provides some Scriptural support for inclusivism:

“Inclusivists glean from various biblical texts an optimism of salvation, for they see God working outside the bounds of ethnic Israel as well as the church. God made a universal covenant through Noah, and God’s choice to work through Abraham was for the purpose of blessing the nations (see Genesis 12:3). Scripture mentions several nations for whom God provided land by driving out the previous inhabitants (see Deuteronomy 2:5, 9, 19, 21–22; 2 Kings 5:1). The prophet Amos declared that God had performed events similar to the exodus of Israel for other nations (see Amos 9:7). Attention is drawn to the so-called “holy pagans” in scripture.[33] God seems to have looked favorably upon non-Israelites such as Melchizedek, Jethro, Job, and the Queen of Sheba. On several occasions Jesus commented on the extraordinary faith He discerned among Gentiles such as the Canaanite woman (see Matthew 15:21–8) and the Roman centurion (see Matthew 8:10). Though God was doing a special work in Israel, God was working and was known outside her borders.

The Gentile that inclusivists highlight is Cornelius, a God-fearing uncircumcised Gentile who prayed continually. One day an angel informed him that his prayers and alms were a memorial offering of which God took note, and he was given instructions to send for Peter (see Acts 10:4). Peter arrives and informs the household about the redemption in Jesus, whereupon the household is baptized in the name of Jesus. In light of these events, Peter declares, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him” (see Acts 10:34–35). The welcome of God extends outside Israel and outside the church.”[6]

This view seems to also find support from Acts 17, Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill.

Acts 17:22-31 NASB

[22] Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.

[23] For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

[24] The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

[25] nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

[26] and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

[27] that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

[28] for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

[29] Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.

[30] Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,

[31] because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Caveat: I do not know if this is a position held to by the original poster but from my understanding of incoherence 1 and inclusivism, in the context of those who have not heard the gospel, the latter would resolve the incoherence.

Caveat: The author does not hold to inclusivism and is concerned about views within the inclusivist camp that result in a reduced necessity to preach the Gospel.

ii) Incoherence 2 & 3

Incoherence 2 does not hold water because the original poster also explicitly said that those in hell “didn’t respond in faith.” This shows that a mere ignorance about the provision of the atonement of Christ would not be sufficient to save a person.

I will not address incoherence 3 in light of my observations regarding incoherence 2.

The Contradiction Objection

If indeed the original poster believes that those who are in hell are there only because they rejected Christ’s atonement, this would be inconsistent with the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Death in Romans 6:23 is used in contrast to eternal life, indicating that death refers to spiritual death/separation from God. Thus, it is clear that because we are sinners, we are deserving of hell.

The position I suspect the original poster holds to, because of his use of the phrase “sinners,” is that those in hell are there because of their sin and though they were offered a way to avoid hell, by way of Christ’s atonement, they rejected it. This, of course, is merely my inference and is subject to correction by the original poster.

The logical contradiction raised by the objector arises because of a conflation of the provision and application of the atonement. In a previous article, I compiled 4 responses to John Owen’s Double Payment Argument.[7] Response 1, would be the most relevant to the discussion at hand:

“The provision and application of the atonement must be distinguished. After all, “Eph. 2:1-3 makes clear that even the elect are under the wrath of God, “having no hope” (v.12) until they believe.”4 However, “the moment the debt is paid the debtor is free, and that completely. No delay can be admitted, and no conditions can be attached to his deliverance.”5.

What can be deduced is that the atonement is only applied upon the profession of faith. “… as 2 Cor. 5:18-21 makes clear, reconciliation has an objective and subjective aspect to it. The death of Christ objectively reconciles the world to God in the sense that his justice is satisfied, but the subjective side of reconciliation does not occur until the atonement is applied when the individual repents of sin and puts faith in Christ.”6

Consider the Day of Atonement. It was for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year (Leviticus 16:34). An Israelite applied the benefits of the annual atonement by humbling his soul and not doing any work on that day (Leviticus 16:29). If a person will not humble himself on that day, he will be cut off from his people (Leviticus 23:29). As for a person who does any work on that day, he will be destroyed from among the people (Leviticus 23:30).7″[8]

Further biblical examples, demonstrating a distinction between the provision and application of the atonement, are as follows:

i) “The blood of the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:6, 21) was provided for all of Israel (Ex. 12:3), without a hint of it being only for an ‘elect’ group within Israel.  But the fact that the blood of the Passover lamb was provided for all Israel didn’t automatically guarantee that all Israel would benefit from it.  The blood became effectual only after it was applied to the door posts (Ex. 12:7, 22); the blood itself didn’t save anyone.  Any Israelite who failed to apply the lamb’s blood to their doorpost would thus have failed to receive any benefit from the death of the Passover lamb, in spite of the fact that they could have, as they were provided for.”[9]

ii) “Because the people of Israel became impatient and complained against God and Moses (Num. 21:4-5), God sent fiery serpents among the people, and the serpents bit the people, so that many people died (Num. 21:6).  When the people acknowledged their sin, they asked Moses to pray to God for them (Num. 21:7). God answered Moses’ prayer, saying,

“‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.’  So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.” (Num. 21:8-9)

The bronze serpent was a provision for “everyone” and “anyone”. But the fact that the bronze serpent was provided for all Israel didn’t automatically guarantee that all Israel would benefit from it.  The bronze serpent became effectual only after someone looked at it by faith.”[10]

iii) “The cities of refuge were a provision for the manslayer (Num. 35:9-15). Furthermore, it was a provision for any manslayer – the people of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner (Num. 35:15).  But the fact that the cities of refuge were provided for any manslayer did not automatically guarantee that any manslayer would benefit from them.  The city of refuge was only effective as long as the manslayer entered, and stayed within, the boundaries (Num. 35:26-28).  Any manslayer who refused to either enter in (in the first place), or remain in, the cities of refuge would thus fail to receive any benefit from said cities, in spite of the fact that they could have, as provision was made for them.”[11]

It would not be a logical contradiction to say that Christ died for the sins of all men and yet some are sent to hell for rejecting the provision as Christ’s death does not necessitate an automatic application of the atonement.

Another way to possibly put it is that Christ’s death is sufficient for all but efficient/effectual for some, the latter being those who do not reject the provision/respond in faith.

Even the Synod of Dort used similar phraseology:

“Article 3: The Infinite Value of Christ’s Death

The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin; is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world.”[12]

“Article 8: The Saving Effectiveness of Christ’s Death

For it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of his Son’s costly death should work itself out in all the elect, in order that God might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. In other words, it was God’s will that Christ through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant) should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to him by the Father; that Christ should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, he acquired for them by his death). It was also God’s will that Christ should cleanse them by his blood from all their sins, both original and actual, whether committed before or after their coming to faith; that he should faithfully preserve them to the very end; and that he should finally present them to himself, a glorious people, without spot or wrinkle.”[13]

G. T. Shedd, 19th century theologian, appears to have shared this view when he said:

“Christ’s death is sufficient in value to satisfy eternal justice for the sins of all mankind … Sufficient we say, then, was the sacrifice of Christ for the redemption of the whole world, and for the expiation of all the sins for all and every man in the world.”[14]

The Biblical Reasons Objection

I would agree with the first 4 paragraphs of the objector’s reply in the event the original poster does take the position that individuals are only in hell because of their rejection of the provision of the atonement.

With regards to whether the provision of the atonement is limited or unlimited, this is and has been a matter of immense debate.[15] This debate cannot be settled by way of a one liner assertion that the atonement is unlimited (the original poster’s position) or that it is limited (the objector’s position). It is even debated whether or not John Calvin himself held to unlimited atonement[16] or to limited atonement.[17]

The objector takes an overly simplistic position in arguing that “nowhere does Scripture teach that the provision is unlimited.” Ron Rhodes, a 4-point Calvinist, has a list of Bible passages hinting in favour of unlimited atonement.[18]

As for use of Ephesians 2:8-9 to argue that faith is a gift from God, this is also a debatable matter. Daniel Wallace, Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary,[19] has noted:

“[Ephesians 2:8-9] is the most debated text in terms of the antecedent of the demonstrative pronoun, τοῦτο. The standard interpretations include: (1) “grace” as antecedent, (2) “faith” as antecedent, (3) the concept of a grace-by-faith salvation as antecedent, (4) καὶ τοῦτο having an adverbial force with no antecedent (“and especially”).”[20]

Even John Calvin himself was of the opinion that, “… they commonly misinterpret this text, and restrict the word ‘gift’ to faith alone. But Paul is only repeating his earlier statement in other words. He does not mean that faith is the gift of God, but that salvation is given to us by God, or that we obtain it by the gift of God.”[21]




[1] Molinism is a view of Divine Providence, advocated by Luis De Molina, which espouses inter alia that “[God’s] middle knowledge, although being eternal, reflects what the creature will do freely and depends on what it will do, thus it does not necessitate A doing B.” [Alexander Aichele, and Mathias Kaufmann, A Companion to Luis de Molina (BRILL, 2013), pp. 372-373]

[2] Paul Copan, “True for You, But Not For Me”: Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless (Bethany, 1998), p. 128

[3] Salvation in Christ: Comparative Christian Views, ed. Roger R. Keller and Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2005), 299–325

[4] Gabriel J. Fackre, Ronald H. Nash, and John Sanders, What About Those Who Have Never Heard?: Three Views on the Destiny of the Unevangelized (InterVarsity Press, 1995), p.22

[5] “Our Spiritual Perspective.” ChristianUniversalist.org. Accessed October 2, 2019.  https://christianuniversalist.org/beliefs/

[6] Salvation in Christ: Comparative Christian Views, ed. Roger R. Keller and Robert L. Millet (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2005), 299–325.

[7] “Collection of Responses to the Double Payment Argument.” LaikosTheologos.com. Accessed October 2, 2019. https://laikostheologos.com/collection-of-responses-to-the-double-payment-argument/

[8] Ibid.

[9] “Feedback: Arminians Limit the Power of the Atonement.” ArminianTheologyBlog.wordpress.com. Accessed October 2, 2019. https://arminiantheologyblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/feedback-arminians-limit-the-power-of-the-atonement

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] “Canons of Dort.” CRCNA.org. Accessed October 2, 2019. https://www.crcna.org/welcome/beliefs/confessions/canons-dort

[13] Ibid.

[14] William Greenough Thayer Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Volume 2 (Scribner, 1888), p. 464

[15] In favour of limited atonement, see e.g. From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective, eds. David Gibson, Jonathan Gibson (Crossway, 2013). In favour of unlimited atonement, see e.g. David L. Allen, The Extent of the Atonement: A Historical and Critical Review (B&H Publishing Group, 2016)

[16] “Calvin and Calvinism.” RTKendallMinistries.com. Accessed October 2, 2019. https://rtkendallministries.com/calvin-and-calvinism: “When I discovered for myself that John Calvin did not believe in limited atonement I was both thrilled and sobered … Calvin taught that Jesus died indiscriminately for all people. Calvin taught that although Jesus died for all people, He made intercession for the elect only. That is four and a half point Calvinism”;

See also Curt Daniel, “Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill” Ph.D. diss., University of Edinburgh, (1983), 819–22 which contains an extensive 50 page appendix entitled “Did John Calvin Teach Limited Atonement?” (pp. 776-828); P. L. Rouwendal, “Calvin’s Forgotten Classical Position on the Extent of the Atonement: About Sufficiency, Efficiency, and Anachronism,” WTJ 70 (2008), p. 328; David Ponter, “Review Essay (Part One): John Calvin on the Death of Christ and The Reformation’s Forgotten Doctrine of Universal Vicarious Satisfaction: A Review and Critique of Tom Nettles’ Chapter in Whomever He Wills,” Southwestern Journal of Theology, 55.1 (Fall, 2012): 138-158. Part Two can be found in SWJT 55.2 (Spring, 2013): 252-70

[17] See “Calvin, Indefinite Language, and Definite Atonement by Paul Helm.” Monergism.com. Accessed October 2, 2019. https://www.monergism.com/calvin-indefinite-language-and-definite-atonement-paul-helm; “John Calvin’s view of Limited Atonement – by Dr. Roger Nicole.” APuritansMind.com. Accessed October 2, 2019. https://www.apuritansmind.com/arminianism/john-calvins-view-of-limited-atonement/

[18] “The Extent of the Atonement—Limited Atonement versus Unlimited Atonement.” RonRhodes.org. Accessed October 2, 2019. http://ronrhodes.org/articles/the-extent-of-the-atonement.html

[19] “Daniel Wallace.” DTS.edu. Accessed October 2, 2019.  https://www.dts.edu/people/daniel-wallace/

[20] Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Zondervan, 1996), p.334

[21] John Calvin, Commentaries, Volume 11 (Eerdmans, 1959), p. 145



The Literature and History of the New Testament (1915) [Lesson 6]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

The Messiah

(pp.31-35)

A) About the author of the chapter:

John Gresham Machen “studied at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the universities at Marburg and Göttingen. In 1906 he joined the faculty of the Princeton Theological Seminary …

He left Princeton in 1929, after the school was reorganized and adopted a more accepting attitude toward liberal Protestantism, and he helped found Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.” [1]

[1] https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Gresham-Machen

B) Chapter Summary:

The promised king of David’s line at last has come. Acts 2 : 30; II Sam. 7 : 12, 13; Ps. 89 : 3, 4; 132 : 11. And David’s son is David’s Lord—David’s Lord and ours. Acts 2 : 34, 35; Ps. 110 : 1; compare Matt. 22 : 41-46.[1]

1. The New  Testament Appeal to Prophecy

“This speech of Peter [in Acts 2:17-21] is typical of the preaching of the early Church. The appeal to prophecy was absolutely central in the presentation of the gospel.”[2]

“Israel had looked not merely for a king, but also for a prophet and a priest. Peter, after his first arrest, for example, could appeal to the notable prophecy of Deuteronomy: “A prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me.” Acts 3 : 22; Deut. 18 : 15, 19. The author of Hebrews could appeal to the priest after the order of Melchizedek, Heb. 5:6; Ps. 110 : 4, and to the symbolic sacrifices of the temple which found their fulfillment on Calvary.”[3]

“What Old Testament passages has Paul here in mind [in 1 Corinthians 15]? With regard to the death for our sins, the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah was probably in his mind. That passage was being read by the Ethiopian when Philip met him, and Philip made the passage a basis for preaching about Jesus. Acts 8:27-35. With regard to the resurrection, it is natural to think of Ps. 16 : 10. Paul himself quoted that passage in his speech at Pisidian Antioch. Acts 13 : 34-37.”[4]

“The appeal to prophecy did not begin with the apostles. It was initiated by Jesus himself. “To-day,” said Jesus at Nazareth after the reading of Isa. 61 : 1, 2, “hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.””[5]

2. The Messianic Hope A Preparation for the Gospel

“When the gospel was preached to pure Gentiles, a great deal of preliminary labor had to be done. Under what title should the claims of the Saviour be presented? “Christ” to the Gentiles was almost meaningless, till explained. “Son of God” was open to sad misconception. There were “sons of God” in Greek mythology, but they were not what the early Christians meant to show that Jesus was.”[6]

“In the synagogues, ” Christ” was no new term, and no new conception. In the synagogues, one proposition needed first to be proved, ” This Jesus … is the Christ.” Acts 17 : 3. If that were proved, then the rest would follow.”[7]

“It will be remembered that the synagogues attracted not merely Jews but also Gentiles. The Gentile “God-fearers,” as well as the Jews, were acquainted with the Messianic hope. Even the Gentile mission, therefore, was prepared for by the prophets of Israel.”[8]

Continue reading “The Literature and History of the New Testament (1915) [Lesson 6]”

The Lord’s Prayer (Part 1)

Verse: Matthew 6:9

A) English Translations

 

KJV: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name

NASB: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name

NLT: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy

B) Greek

Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς· 

ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου

Source: https://www.nestle-aland.com/en/read-na28-online/text/bibeltext/lesen/stelle/50/60001/69999/

 


Source: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/6-9.htm

Continue reading “The Lord’s Prayer (Part 1)”

Introduction to the New Testament (1915) [Chapter 9]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

The Epistle of Romans

(pp.77-83)

A) About the author of the chapter:

Louis Berkhof “graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1900 …

In 1902 he went to Princeton University for two years earning a B.D. degree …

In 1906 he was appointed to the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary. He assumed the presidency of the seminary in 1931 …” [1]

[1] http://www.calvin.edu/hh/seminary_presidents/semm_pres_berkhof.htm

B) Chapter Summary:

Contents

“This Epistle consists of two clearly marked but very unequal parts, viz, the doctrinal (1:1—11:36) and the practical part (12:1—16: 27).”1

“I. The Doctrinal Part, 1: 1—11: 36. In this part we have first the introduction, containing the address, the customary thanksgiving and prayer, and an expression of the apostles desire to preach the gospel also at Rome, 1: 1-15.

In the following two verses the apostle states his theme: “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith,” 1:16, 17.

After announcing this he describes the sinful state of the Gentiles, points out that the Jews are likewise guilty, and declares that their prerogatives do not exempt them from punishment but rather increase their guilt, 1: 18—3: 20.

He then defines the righteousness which God has provided without the works of the law, and proves that this is revealed in the Old Testament, is the basis of a Christian experience that is rich in spiritual fruits, and proceeds on the same principle of moral government on which God dealt with Adam, 3:21—5 : 21.

Next he replies to the objections that on his doctrine men may continue in sin and yet be saved; that his teaching releases men from moral obligation; and that it makes the law of God an evil thing, 6:1—7:25.

In the following chapter he shows that on the basis of man’s justification by faith his complete sanctification and final glorification is assured, 8:1-39.

Having stated the way of salvation through faith, he now points out that this does not conflict with the promises given to Israel by showing that these pertained only to the elect among them; that the rejection of Israel is due to their refusal of the way of salvation; that it is not a complete rejection; and that in the end the Jews will be converted and will turn to God, 9:1—11: 36.”2

“II. The Practical Part, 12:1—16: 27. The apostle admonishes the Christians at Rome that they be devoted to God and love one another, 12:1-21. He desires that they willingly subject themselves to the civil authorities and meet all their obligations, 13:1-14. He enjoins upon them due regard for the weakness of others in matters of indifference, and the proper use of their Christian liberty, 14:1-23. Then he holds up to them Christ as their great example, and speaks of his purpose to visit Rome, 15: 1-33. Finally he sends a long list of greetings to Rome and closes his epistle with a doxology, 16:1-27.”3

Continue reading “Introduction to the New Testament (1915) [Chapter 9]”

List of Non-Calvinist Theologians

The following are theologians, listed alphabetically, who are non-Calvinist in their soteriology. They may, and most probably do, differ on other areas of theology but at least in soteriology, they do not hold to what is commonly known as the Doctrines of Grace or TULIP.4

A

    • A. Philip Brown II
    • Adam Clarke
    • Adam Harwood
    • Adrian Rogers
    • A W Tozer
    • Allen Coppedge

B

    • Balthasar Hubmaier
    • Ben Witherington III
    • Bill T Arnold
    • Brian Abasciano

C

    • Charles Finney
    • Charles Swindoll
    • Chuck Smith
    • Clark Pinnock
    • C S Lewis
    • Craig Evans
    • Craig Keener

D

    • Daniel Steele
    • Daniel Whedon
    • Daniel Whitby
    • Dave Hunt
    • David Allen
    • David Arthur DeSilva
    • David Bentley Hart
    • David J A Clines
    • David Pawson
    • Dwight L Moody

E

 

F

    • Frank Turek
    • Frédéric Louis Godet
    • Fred Sanders

G

    • Gareth Cockerill
    • George Eldon Ladd
    • George Fox
    • G K Chesterton
    • Gordon Fee
    • Grant Osborne
    • Greg Boyd

H

    • Harry Ironside
    • H. Ray Dunning
    • Henry Thiessen
    • Herschel Hobbs

I

    • Ian Howard Marshall

J

    • Jack Cottrell
    • Jacob Arminius
    • James D G Dunn
    • J P Moreland
    • Jason E. Vickers
    • Jerry Walls
    • Jerry Vines
    • John Fletcher
    • John Goodwin
    • John Horn
    • John Lennox
    • John Miley
    • John Sanders
    • John Wesley
    • Jordan Cooper
    • Joseph Benson
    • Joseph Kenneth Grider
    • Joseph R Dongell
    • J Vernon McGee

K

    • Keith D. Stanglin
    • Kenneth Keathley
    • Kirk MacGregor

L

    • Leighton Flowers
    • Leonard Ravenhill
    • Leroy Forlines

M

    • Malcolm Yarnell
    • Matthew Pinson
    • Michael Brown
    • Michael Heiser
    • Mildred Bangs Wynkoop
    • Miner Raymond

N

    • Nathan Bangs
    • Norman Geisler2

O

 

P

    • Paige Patterson
    • Paul Copan
    • Paul Ellingworth
    • Paul R Eddy
    • Philip H. Towner

Q

 

R

    • Randolph S. Foster
    • Ravi Zacharias
    • Richard Lenski
    • Richard Watson
    • Robert Picirilli
    • Robert Shank
    • Robert W Wall
    • Roger Forster
    • Roger Olson

S

    • Scot McKnight
    • Stanley Horton
    • Stephen Ashby
    • Steve Gregg

T

    • Thomas Helwys
    • Thomas McCall
    • Thomas N. Ralston
    • Thomas Oden
    • Thomas Osmond Summers
    • Tim Mackie

U

 

V

    • Vic Reasoner

W

    • Wallie Criswell
    • William Burt Pope
    • William Greathouse
    • William J Abraham
    • William L Lane
    • William Lane Craig
    • William Klein

X

 

Y

 

Z

 

Editor’s Note: The list is not meant to be exhaustive and will be updated periodically.



The Literature of the Old Testament (1913) [Chapter 9]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

Judges

(pp.81-91)

A) About the author of the chapter:

George Foot Moore “graduated from Yale College in 1872 and from Union Theological Seminary in 1877, in 1878 Moore was ordained in the Presbyterian ministry and until 1883 was pastor of the Putnam Presbyterian Church, Zanesville, Ohio.

He was Hitchcock professor of the Hebrew language and literature at Andover Theological Seminary, 1883–1902. In 1902 he became professor of theology and in 1904 professor of the history of religion at Harvard University.” [1]

[1] https://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Foot-Moore

B) Chapter Summary:

“The Book of Judges falls into three parts, namely, (1) Judg. i. 1-ii. 5, which intrudes, as has already been observed, between the close of Joshua and its immediate sequel in Judges ii. 6 ff.; (2) Judg. ii. 6-xvi. 31, stories of a succession of champions and deliverers of Israel in the centuries preceding the establishment of the kingdom; (3) Judg. 17-18; 19-21, two additional stories laid in the time of the Judges. In the Christian Bibles the story of Ruth, which also is said to have occurred in the days of the Judges, follows.”3

“Another feature of the book is the systematic chronology in which the frequency of the numbers twenty, forty, and eighty (forty years being in the Old Testament equivalent to a generation) at once strikes the attention; see iii. 11, 30; iv. 3; v. 31; viii. 28; xiii. 1; xv. 20 (xvi. 31). In several other instances the figures vary a little on either side of twenty (eighteen, twenty-two, etc.).”2

“The duration of the oppression is given in the introduction of the story; the period of peace and prosperity which succeeded the deliverance, at the end; see, e.g., iv. 3; v. 31. In the same way the life of Moses is divided into three parts of forty years each; Eli judged Israel forty years; David and Solomon each reigned forty years. It can hardly be doubted that this chronology is artificial, and that the key to it is found in 1 Kings vi. 1, which reckons four hundred and eighty years (i.e. twelve generations) from the exodus to the building of Solomon’s temple; but the actual figures in Judges and Samuel do not foot up to this sum, and there are some gaps in the series, namely, the years of Joshua after the conquest, the rule of Samuel, and that of Saul. The symmetry of the scheme has been broken by intrusions or accidental omissions in the later history of the book.”3

“About the oppressions the author of Judges had clearly no information independent of what he extracted from the stories of the deliverances in his sources. In accordance with his theory of national sin and national disaster he converted what are in the stories themselves local conflicts, involving particular tribes or regions, into oppressions and deliverances of all Israel; where the story tells of raids by the Midianites, for example, the introduction gives them the Amalekites and the Eastern Bedouins for allies, and extends the devastation these wrought across the whole country to the neighbourhood of Gaza. The exaggeration of the evils and the emphasizing of the moral, as in other cases, invited later editors to amplifications in the same spirit. Of the heroes who delivered Israel from its oppressors the author made a succession of dictators (“judges”), who differed from the kings after them chiefly in that their office was not hereditary, and to most of them he gives in his chronology a long reign.”4

“The stories recount the exploits of local or tribal heroes, and doubtless represent the traditions of the regions or tribes concerned; with the union of the tribes under the kingdom, however, these traditions became the common property of the nation, and more than one writer made collections of them. As in the patriarchal legends, two strands may be distinguished, which have such affinities with the Judæan and the Israelite histories in the Hexateuch respectively that they are naturally regarded as the continuations of J and E.”5

“Judges i. 1-ii. 5, as has been pointed out above, is foreign to the connection in which it stands, and can only have been introduced there by a late compiler or editor. It is a remnant of the most historical, and presumably the oldest, account of the establishment of the tribes in western Palestine. That, in completer form, it had originally a place in the Judæan history (J) is unquestioned, and in that work it may have been closely followed by stories of exploits such as those of Ehud, Barak, Gideon. Inasmuch as it contradicted the theory of the complete conquest and extermination of the Canaanites, it was left out of the works which described the conquest in that way, but scraps of it were subsequently introduced in Joshua, and finally the whole restored in its present position. It is easily seen that the recurring apostasies into Canaanite heathenism, as well as such stories as those of Deborah and Barak and of Abimelech, assume that the Canaanites had not been killed off to the last man, but, on the contrary, were very much alive; and, in fact, the authors of Judg. ii. 20-iii. 4 feel the necessity of explaining why God had allowed these heathen to survive.”6

“The historical value of the stories in Judges is very great. However large the element of legendary embellishment may be in them, they give us a picture of the social and religious conditions in the period preceding the founding of the kingdom which has an altogether different reality from the narratives of the exodus and the wanderings.”7

Jewish Theology Systematically and Historically Considered (1918) [Chapter 6]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

Revelation, Prophecy, and Inspiration

(pp.34-41)

A) About the author of the chapter:

Kaufman Kohler “… was educated at the Universities of Munich, Berlin and Leipzig, (1865-69), and received the degree of Ph.D. from the University of Erlangen in 1868.” [1]

“Feb. 26, 1903, he was elected to the presidency of Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati.” [2]

[1] https://www.jta.org/1926/01/29/archive/dr-kaufmann-kohler-president-emeritus-of-hebrew-union-college-dies

[2] http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/9419-kohler-kaufmann

B) Chapter Summary:

“Divine revelation signifies two different things: first, God’s self-revelation, which the Rabbis called Gilluy Shekinah, “the manifestation of the divine Presence,” and, second, the revelation of His will, for which they used the term Torah min ha Shamayim, “the Law as emanating from God.””8

“Scripture ascribes such revelations to non-Israelites as well as to the patriarchs and prophets of Israel,—to Abimelek and Laban, Balaam, Job, and Eliphaz. Therefore the Jewish prophet is not distinguished from the rest by the capability to receive divine revelation, but rather by the intrinsic nature of the revelation which he receives. His vision comes from a moral God.”2

“In speaking through them, God appeared actually to have stepped into the sphere of human life as its moral Ruler. This self-revelation of God as the Ruler of man in righteousness, which must be viewed in the life of any prophet as a providential act, forms the great historical sequence in the history of Israel, upon which rests the Jewish religion”3

“The divine revelation in Israel was by no means a single act, but a process of development, and its various stages correspond to the degrees of culture of the people. For this reason the great prophets also depended largely upon dreams and visions, at least in their consecration to the prophetic mission, when one solemn act was necessary.”4

“The story of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai is in reality the revelation of God to the people of Israel as part of the great world-drama of history. Accordingly, the chief emphasis is laid upon the miraculous element, the descent of the Lord to the mountain in fire and storm, amid thunder and lightning, while the Ten Words themselves were proclaimed by Moses as God’s herald. As a matter of fact, the first words of the narrative state its purpose, the consecration of the Jewish people at the outset of their history to be a nation of prophets and priests. Therefore the rabbis lay stress upon the acceptance of the Law by the people in saying: “All that the Lord sayeth we shall do and hearken.” From a larger point of view, we see here the dramatized form of the truth of Israel’s election by divine Providence for its historic religious mission.”5

“The rabbis ascribed the gifts of prophecy to pagans as well as Israelites at least as late as the erection of the Tabernacle, after which the Divine Presence dwelt there in the midst of Israel. They say that each of the Jewish prophets was endowed with a peculiar spiritual power that corresponded with his character and his special training, the highest, of course, being Moses, whom they called “the father of the prophets.””6

“The medieval Jewish thinkers, following the lead of Mohammedan philosophers or theologians, regard revelation quite differently, as an inner process in the mind of the prophet. According to their mystical or rationalistic viewpoint, they describe it as the result of the divine spirit, working upon the soul either from within or from without. These two standpoints betray either the Platonic or the Aristotelian influence. Indeed, the rabbis themselves showed traces of neo-Platonism when they described the ecstatic state of the prophets, or when they spoke of the divine spirit speaking through the prophet as through a vocal instrument, or when they made distinctions between seeing the Deity “in a bright mirror” or “through a dark glass.””7

“Except for the five books of Moses, the idea of a mechanical inspiration of the Bible is quite foreign to Judaism. Not until the second Christian century did the rabbis finally decide on such questions as the inspiration of certain books among the Hagiographa or even among the Prophets, or whether certain books now excluded from the canon were not of equal rank with the canonical ones.89 In fact, the influence of the holy spirit was for some time ascribed, not only to Biblical writers, but also to living masters of the law. The fact is that divine influence cannot be measured by the yardstick or the calendar. Where it is felt, it bursts forth as from a higher world, creating for itself its proper organs and forms. The rabbis portray God as saying to Israel, “Not I in My higher realm, but you with your human needs fix the form, the measure, the time, and the mode of expression for that which is divine.””8

“[Judaism] claims its own prophetic truth as the revelation, admits the title Books of Revelation (Bible) only for its own sacred writings, and calls the Jewish nation alone the People of Revelation. The Church and the Mosque achieved great things in propagating the truths of the Sinaitic revelation among the nations, but added to it no new truths of an essential nature. Indeed, they rather obscured the doctrines of God’s unity and holiness. On the other hand, the people of the Sinaitic revelation looked to it with a view of ever revitalizing the dead letter, thus evolving ever new rules of life and new ideas, without ever placing new and old in opposition, as was done by the founder of the Church. Each generation was to take to heart the words of Scripture as if they had come “this very day” out of the mouth of the Lord.”9

 

The Literature and History of the New Testament (1915) [Lesson 5]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

The Jewish Background of Christianity: II. The Judaism of the Dispersion

(pp.26-30)

A) About the author of the chapter:

John Gresham Machen “studied at Johns Hopkins University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the universities at Marburg and Göttingen. In 1906 he joined the faculty of the Princeton Theological Seminary …

He left Princeton in 1929, after the school was reorganized and adopted a more accepting attitude toward liberal Protestantism, and he helped found Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.” [1]

[1] https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Gresham-Machen

B) Chapter Summary:

“Any Jew who really had a message could be heard. He needed only to go in and sit down. Acts 13:14. Paul and Barnabas had no difficulty in making their fitness known. “Brethren,” said the rulers of the synagogue, “if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.” Acts 13:15. They had a word of exhortation indeed. “Jesus is the Messiah for whom you are waiting. He has died for your sins. He has risen from the dead, and is now alive to save you.”10

“The native Jews, it is true, soon came out in opposition. The reasons for their opposition are not far to seek. Jealousy was an important factor. Christianity was evidently too radical a thing to be simply a sect of Judaism. If allowed to continue, it would destroy the prerogatives of Israel. It could not be controlled. Its success was too great. On that next Sabbath in Pisidian Antioch, “almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God.” The Jewish mission had never had a success like that. “When the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy.” Christianity had taken away the heritage of Israel.”2

“One service which the dispersion rendered to Christianity has been illustrated by the scene at Pisidian Antioch. That service was the providing of an audience. Another service was the assurance of legal protection. This may be illustrated by another incident in The Acts—the appeal to Gallio. Acts 18:12-17. There the opposition of the Jews appears in all its bitterness. No doubt that opposition was a serious hindrance to the work of the Church. Just because Christianity was regarded as a Jewish sect, the Christians were subject to persecution by the Jewish authorities. But persecutions by the Jews, annoying though they were, were far less serious than opposition on the part of the Roman authorities. And the latter was, at first, conspicuously absent. Gallio’s decision is a fair example of the general attitude of the Roman magistrates. Christianity, as a Jewish sect, was allowed to go its way. Judaism, despite itself, afforded the Church legal protection.”3

1. The Causes and Extent of the Disperstion

“Deportations of Jews to foreign countries took place at various times. The most famous of those deportations was carried out by Nebuchadnezzar after his conquest of Judah, about 600 B. C. Many of Nebuchadnezzar’s captives did not join in the return under the Persian monarchy, but remained permanently in the east and formed the nucleus of the large Jewish population of Mesopotamia. When Pompey conquered Palestine in the first century before Christ, he carried many Jews as slaves to Rome. Afterwards they were liberated, and formed a large Jewish colony at the capital of the empire. These are merely examples. Part of the dispersion was due to forcible exile.”4

“Harnack calculates that at the time of the death of Augustus there were from four million to four and a half million Jews in the Roman Empire, including about seven hundred thousand in Palestine, and that, if that estimate be correct, then the Jews formed perhaps some seven per cent of the total population. Of course, Harnack is himself the first to admit that such calculations are exceedingly uncertain. But so much at least is clear—the Jews in the first century were surprisingly numerous.”5

2. The Septuagint Translation and the Language of the New Testament

“The name “Septuagint,” derived from the Latin word for “seventy,” has been applied to the Alexandrian translation of the Old Testament in reference to an ancient story about its origin. According to this story, the translation was made by seventy-two men summoned from Jerusalem by Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, in order to add the Jewish law to the royal library at Alexandria. The story is certainly not true in details, and is probably not even correct in representing the translation as destined primarily for the royal library. More probably the translation was intended for the Greek-speaking Jews of Egypt.”6

“The Septuagint is a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into the Greek world language of the period, and into the popular, spoken form of that language, not into the literary form. The translation differs widely in character in the different books, for many different translators had a part in it. Some of the books are translated with such slavish literalness as to be almost unintelligible to a Greek. Everywhere, indeed, the influence of the Hebrew original makes itself felt to some degree. Hebrew idioms are often copied in the translation instead of being remolded according to the peculiarities of the Greek language.”7

“The Septuagint exerted an important influence upon the language of the New Testament. The Septuagint was the Greek Bible of the New Testament writers, and the influence of a Bible upon language is very strong. A good example is afforded by the influence of the King James Version upon the whole development of modern English. It is not surprising, therefore, that as the Septuagint was influenced by Hebrew, so the language of the New Testament also displays a Semitic coloring. That coloring was induced partly by the Septuagint, but it was also induced in other ways. Part of the New Testament, for example the words of Jesus, goes back ultimately to an Aramaic original. All the New Testament writers except one were Jews, and had spoken Aramaic as well as Greek. No wonder, then, that their Greek was influenced by the Semitic languages. This Semitic influence upon the language of the New Testament is not so great as was formerly supposed, but it cannot be ignored. The New Testament is written in the natural, non-literary form of the Greek world language. That is the main thing to be said. But upon this base is superposed an appreciable influence of Hebrew and Aramaic.”8

 

Introduction to the New Testament (1915) [Chapter 8]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

The Epistles of Paul

(pp.87-90)

A) About the author of the chapter:

Louis Berkhof “graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1900 …

In 1902 he went to Princeton University for two years earning a B.D. degree …

In 1906 he was appointed to the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary. He assumed the presidency of the seminary in 1931 …” [1]

[1] http://www.calvin.edu/hh/seminary_presidents/semm_pres_berkhof.htm

B) Chapter Summary:

“Little can be said regarding the personal appearance of the great apostle. In the Acts of Paul and Thecla he is represented as “short, bald, bow-legged, with meeting eyebrows, hooked nose, full of grace.” John of Antioch preserves a similar tradition, which adds, however, that he was “round-shouldered and had a mixture of pale and red in his complexion and an ample beard.” His opponents at Corinth said of him: “His letters are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech contemptible,” II Cor. 10:10 ff. He himself refers once and again to his physical weaknesses. In all probability he was not a man of magnificent physique.”9

“His personal life was full of contrasts, as Deissmann correctly observes. He was encumbered with an ailing body, and yet was a man of great endurance and of almost unlimited capacity for work in the Kingdom of God.”2

“… we obtain the following result:

  • Pauls Conversion A. D. 37
  • First Visit to Jerusalem A. D. 40
  • Beginning of his Work at Antioch A. D. 44
  • First Missionary Journey A. D. 45—48
  • Delegated to the Council of Jerusalem A. D. 50
  • Second Missionary Journey A. D. 5 1—53
  • Third Missionary Journey A. D. 54—58
  • Captivity at Jerusalem and Caesarea A. D. 58—60
  • Arrives at Rome A. D. 61
  • First Captivity at Rome A. D. 61—63
  • Period between first and second Captivity A. D. 63—67
  • Second Captivity and Death A. D. 67 or 68.”3

The Literature of the Old Testament (1913) [Chapter 8]

[Articles in the Summed Up series are intended to be summaries of chapters of selected theological books. The author(s) will be quoted verbatim for the purposes of ensuring accurate representation]

Joshua

(pp.74-80)

A) About the author of the chapter:

George Foot Moore “graduated from Yale College in 1872 and from Union Theological Seminary in 1877, in 1878 Moore was ordained in the Presbyterian ministry and until 1883 was pastor of the Putnam Presbyterian Church, Zanesville, Ohio.

He was Hitchcock professor of the Hebrew language and literature at Andover Theological Seminary, 1883–1902. In 1902 he became professor of theology and in 1904 professor of the history of religion at Harvard University.” [1]

[1] https://www.britannica.com/biography/George-Foot-Moore

B) Chapter Summary:

“IN all the sources of the Pentateuch the possession of Canaan is the goal toward which the whole history moves, from the call of Abraham to the last exhortations of Moses in the plains of Moaba, and they must all have narrated, however briefly, the occupation of the country. The history of the conquest and division of Canaan is the subject of the Book of Joshua. The author has evidently derived his material from diverse sources, and it is reasonable to expect to find among them the continuation of the chief sources of the Pentateuch.”4

“The author of Joshua had for his sources, besides the continuation of P, a history of the conquest by a writer belonging to what is not inaptly called the deuteronomist school of historians, whose thought and style are molded by those of Deuteronomy.”2

“In cc. 1-12 the author of Joshua follows this source almost exclusively, only here and there introducing a passage from the post-exilic narrative (e. g. Jos. v. 10-12); in cc. 13-24, on the other hand, the allotment of the tribal territories and the assignment of cities in these territories to the levites and the priests, are chiefly from the later work.”3

“Both sources [that is, E and J] tell of the rescue of Rahab, and thus presuppose some such story as we find in Jos. 2, where, again, duplication is evident. The interdict on the spoils of Jericho (vi. 17, J), is the antecedent to the story of Achan, whose appropriation of a part of the spoil is the cause of the repulse at Ai (c. 7), and thus the clues can be followed backward and forward. The chief source in c. 8 (the taking of Ai) and c. 9 (ruse of the Gibeonites) also is J, with which the parallel account of E is combined; additions by later hands are recognizable, the most remarkable being viii. 30-35 (cf. Deut. xxvii. 1-8, 12).”4

According to [the account in Judges 1,] the Israelite tribes invaded the country separately or in small groups; their success varied in different regions, but everywhere the walled cities remained in the possession of their old inhabitants; in some quarters the Israelites became subject to the Canaanites, in others they in time reduced them to subjection. This account may not embody a historical tradition — it could perfectly well have arisen by inference from the actual situation at the beginning of the kingdom — but it is at least in a broad sense historical. The case illustrates in an instructive way the fact that the oldest literary sources of the history which we can recover had themselves diverse and sometimes contradictory sources in tradition.”5

“In the Pentateuch it is well established that J and E had been combined by a historian of the prophetic period (JE), though there is evidence that the separate works continued to circulate. In Joshua, also, it is probable that the deuteronomist historian used the composite JE, and that the harmonizing of these sources and some of the religious improvement which runs along with it is the work of his predecessor who combined the two sources. It seems that P also had E independently, and it is certain that later editors of the deuteronomist school added their contributions.”6

“There is no evidence that the author of our Book of Joshua was the same as the author of the present Pentateuch; various indications point rather to the contrary. Nor can the author of the deuteronomist history of the conquest be certainly identified with any one of the hands engaged in the compilation and enlargement of the Book of Deuteronomy; all that can be affirmed is that he was of the same spirit, and that literary dependence upon Deuteronomy, and sometimes on younger parts of it, is visible in many places in Joshua.”7