theo-illogical cartoon drawing by nakedpastor david hayward

*** I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join my other site, It’s an awesome online community of a great diversity of kind people waiting to listen to what you have to say. Or if you’re the silent type, just listen in and learn! You are NOT alone on your journey. Honest!


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52 Responses

  1. Jacquie says:

    I am really looking forward to getting back into the forum/website as I was unable to access it while in hospital….and I sure missed all the friends I have made there after only a couple of short weeks. Empathy, non-judgemental atmosphere all the way.

    All=Awesome=All No one is excluded from participation unless they are abusive, preachy etc. Nothing but 100% support from members and David Hayward. Watch the intro video and find out more 🙂

  2. Steve Martin says:

    He died and forgives ALL.

    But only SOME trust in that death and forgiveness.



    Who knows.

  3. The difference between heavenly and earthly mathematics

    Think I’ll plump for the Master Mathematician on this one!

  4. nakedpastor says:

    i “like” you too 🙂

  5. shelly says:

    He died and forgives ALL.

    But only SOME trust in that death and forgiveness.



    Who knows.

    Actually, Scripture answers that.

    Consequently, then, it is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of God, the Merciful. For the scripture is saying to Pharaoh that ‘For this selfsame thing I rouse you up, so that I should be displaying in you My power, and so that My name should be published in the entire earth.’ Consequently, then, to whom He will, He is merciful, yet whom He will, He is hardening. (Romans 9:16-18, Concordant Literal New Testament)

    So then, it doesn’t depend on a person’s desire or effort. It depends entirely on God, who shows mercy. Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have put you in this position for this very thing: so I can show my power in you and so that my name can be spread through the entire earth. So then, God has mercy on whomever he wants to, but he makes resistant whomever he wants to. (same passage as above, Common English Bible)

    In other words, God chooses to reveal himself to some people but not to others. Eventually, though, *all* will have God revealed to them, but in his time.

  6. Brigitte says:

    Pharaoh was hardened after he had a gazillion opportunities to be merciful or reasonable. He was not a puppet. In fact, he was the divine dictator.

    As we talk about hardened criminals: the first time they may feel really conflicted, the second time becomes easier, until it becomes a way of life and of thinking and believing. All the sudden might makes right and a psychopath has been formed.

  7. Christine says:

    Trying to distance yourself from Luther, are we Brigitte? He believed in predestination as an essential element of salvation by faith alone. He reasoned that if saving faith was something we achieved – through choosing to believe or achieving right thinking – as opposed to a gift from God freely given to some and not others, it would just be another form of salvation by works. Faith was given or denied by God, as there was nothing humans could do toward achieving their own salvation.

    There are places where the bible takes all of these positions – that we are saved by grace alone, saved by belief alone, and saved by works alone. Interesting, no?

  8. Brigitte says:

    Christine, Lutherans discuss predestination only the positive sense. The thing about Pharaoh, I put into my own words, but comes from a Luther devotion and quote. Pharaoh had acted in this manner for a long time.

  9. Brigitte says:

    Come to think of it the devotion I’m thinking of is by C.F.W. Walther.

  10. Christine says:

    Brigitte – Whatever Lutherans discuss, Luther believed in predestination – for heaven and hell – and believed you couldn’t have salvation by faith alone without it.

  11. Christine says:

    Btw, what would be “predestination only a positive sense”? Some people get a free pass to heaven and others either earn it or don’t?

  12. Brigitte says:

    Lutherans don’t say that God sorts out people like a roll call for heaven and hell. The place to read about this would be the Formula of Concord. If you really would like to know, I can find you the specific parts in an internet link.

    We talk about salvation in terms of pure grace and therefore it is God’s gift that we can’t earn or even strive for, being dead in our trespasses. We don’t have Calvin’s irresistible grace. And so if people go to hell it is because of their own fleeing God, rather than their predestination to hell. Hell is the not wanting God and the not wanting God and the not wanting his forgiveness, but a running and fleeing from him. So hell in a way is a choice. The whole thing does not entirely hold together in human logic, but the idea is that God would like to have everyone saved and has thus redeemed the entire world by Christ’s work. If someone does not want to be part of that, that is their own rejection.

    So, positive is that God calls and the elect believe. But there is not any one in particular that has been singled out for perdition, whom God’s love is not available to.

  13. Christine says:

    Hi Brigitte – You’ll notice I’m making a distinction between Luther’s theology and Lutheran theology. I’m really much more interested in the former than the latter. (He was a facinating guy who made a significant contribution to early modern European history, which I studied once upon a time.) It is interesting, though, that Lutherans disagree with Luther on what is thought to be the defining point of his theology. (Luther and Calvin were in agreement on predestination – it is their followers that have made a distinction.) Maybe you ought to have also changed the name?

    On what present-day Lutheran believe, I find this new (in historical terms) notion about fleeing from God to be quite ridiculous. One cannot intentional flee from something they do not believe exists. Presumably, one would need to be undeniably convinced of God’s existence first, and of a particular God, and then make conscious decision of rejection to be a candidate for hell. This would be a very small number of people indeed – far from the sum total of all non-Christians and all unrepentant (even of unconscious, unrecognized sins) sinners. This does absolutely nothing to address the central questions left when departing from Luther’s original premise – namely, if one must believe first to be saved – how is that belief not just another form of salvation by works?

  14. Brigitte says:

    Christine, can I just ask you something: are you really asking me anything or are you just trying to irritate me? Do you have anything to back up what you are saying? What quotes are you looking at? I have already referred you to the Formula of Concord, but this seems to be of no interest. Calvinist like to talk as if Luther could be incorporated into their system by having Luther as “one of the reformers”, but Lutherans (we did not chose the name, nor do we follow what Luther says, but what the confessions say) have some very big problems with what Calvin and Zwingli, etc. have to say. They would like to have Luther as one of their own, but it is not so. Luther and Calvin have huge differences.

  15. Christine says:

    No, Brigitte, I’m really asking. Nor am I a Calvinist trying to co-opt your church father. It’s a basic theological question. I don’t see why it would annoy you.

    I studied transitions in early modern European history – the Protestant reformation being one of the main ones. That included understanding why Luther’s theology created such a dramatic shift. It included looking at the differences between the views of Luther, Calvin, Erasmus. (Luther and Calvin end up disagreeing about the nature of communion, not salvation. The disagreement between them was relatively minor, but inflated by their more radical early followers.) This is the academic, historical view. Recently, I picked up one of my old text books – from the only religion course I took on the subject – and reread the chapters about Luther and Calvin, so it’s fresh in my mind. (Justo Gonzala’s The Story Of Christianity Volume II, if I recall correctly. He is a church historian. He presents this as the modern academic consensus and among all the scholar’s I’ve read on the subject, indeed, none presented it any differently.) I think my interest in rereading it was sparked in part by you, actually, claiming earlier that Luther was not a reformer, which I thought was interesting.

    (Again am not saying anything about Luther*an* beliefs, of which I know very little, other than the fact that they don’t believe in predestination in the way that Luther did. I am not saying anything about what you or your church believes, so it has nothing to do with the theological documents of your church, formulated after Luther’s death.)

    I had already converted to Christianity when I was studying this, and my church at the time traced its understanding of justification of faith to Luther. So, when I 
    did these studies, I was quite disturbed to read that Luther’s view of it *required* predestination and it stuck with me. I rejected at the time the notion that coming to belief was a “work” on our part, but only because it made me uncomfortable.

    My former church ascribed to the God-that-created-a-rock-He-can’t-lift theology – that God wanted all to be saved, but was only about to circumvent the system of justice or His sense of justice in place since the founding of the world. So, Jesus needed to die and His death saving power was not sufficient for all, but needed to be consciously accepted (in some people’s view with a specific prayer) in order to take affect. God was limit and Jesus’ death was limited. But the part of that view that really didn’t hold was the notion of justice – that the smallest lie merited an eternity of torture as just punishment. Obviously, this is not justice in any meaningful sense.

    I think for many, the idea that non-believers or “unrepentant sinners” are rejecting God is easy for people who grew up Christian, raised Christian and raised with the values that they view as Christians. For them, to believe or do otherwise would be a rejection – of their culture and upbringing. For those of us who came to faith later and were not raised in it, not doing so would have simply been the status quo and conversion is the rejection – of what we knew before. To not convert and to reject are such very different things.

    And so, coming to the right belief is a work. One that those raised in the faith do automatically and unconsciously, but that others of us either succeed or fail at, thereby either earning or failing to earn our salvation. What I’m asking you is how you get around that.

  16. Brigitte says:

    Dear Christine, I’ll try and read this really carefully on the weekend and respond. In the meantime you might even clarify this more. You may understand that I read Luther as a primary source all the time, that I’ve read the Bondage of the Will, memorized the Small Catechism, etc., read a lot about reformation history. Of course, Luther is a reformer to us, but not “a” reformer. He is THE Reformer, to us. Calvin and others are more like heretics to us. So, when you vaguely tell me something from some textbook, you will understand that I will be wanting to speak from primary sources, as they are all available and voluminous and are currently read all over the world in many languages.

    So much for tonight. I am not meaning to be ornery.

  17. Christine says:

    Ok, Brigitte. That’s fine. And I appreciate your clarifications about Luther. That helps.

    But rather than debate what Luther believed, which probably would be a long and somewhat unhelpful conversation, perhaps you might simply explain to me how your view of justification by faith (whether or not it is Luther’s) is not actually just another form of justification by works (with coming to a correct belief being the “work”), as I outlined above. I think that would be more helpful. If official Lutheran doctrine actually *explains* this (rather than just stating it without explanation), then please feel free to quote from it and I will read it.

  18. Gary says:

    I’m late to the conversation and have very little to add…but I do have an editorial comment. It seems to me we place undue deference upon certain views of men like Martin Luther. He had some great ideas. Of course he had some very terrible ideas as a known racist and chauvinist. Additionally he refused to allow reason to be part of his mental process if he felt it called into question elements of the “faith”.

    I submit the following citation as an example of my meaning…

    “Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters… It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night… We Christians must be different from the philosophers in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.”

    – Martin Luther, Luther’s Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis, ed. Janoslaw Pelikan, Concordia Pub. House, St. Louis, Missouri, 1958, pp. 30, 42, 43.

    And of course one of my favorite examples…

    “People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool [or ‘man’] wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

    – Martin Luther, Table Talk

    Fact is Martin Luther was just a man who had some good ideas. We are free to learn from him or to reject his thoughts outright as he had no more claim to the truth than any other.

  19. Brigitte says:

    Gary, I believe we have stated that we do not believe in every word Luther ever said. However, he was a very profound man whose work had profound impact. So let us handle him in this way. Also, especially table talks are just things people wrote down he supposedly said while entertaining. Would you like to have every word you said at table written down and quoted as gospel truth? Luther, of course, spoke gospel truth, but he also needs evaluating. We know that. The only thing, as a Lutheran, that I stand by, are the Confessions. All the other stuff by Luther I often find highly pertinent, though it has to be taken in context also, and therefore, it is good to carefully study the whole field of reformation history, etc. (Though, I don’t particularly want to disavow what he says here. He has a very high view of scripture and so do I.)

    Anyhow, Christine asked me about justification.

    I think the simplest way I can put it is a quote from the Small Catechism re: the Lord’s Supper. This is also where we differ from Calvin in regards to sacraments and what they mean and what they give. So let’s go with that for now.

    “What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?–These words, ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,’ show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

    How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?– Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: ‘given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’ These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: ‘forgiveness of sins.’

    Who receives this sacrament worthily?–Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training. but that person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’ But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, bur the words ‘for you’ require all hearts to believe.”

    We can get many things out of this, mostly, however, the invitation and the comfort to believe that this is “for me”, “pro me”. This believing is not a “work”; this receiving gifts in the sacrament are not “a work”. It is like when you have dinner with your friends. It’s free. It’s joy. It means the relationship is good. And if the relationship wasn’t good, it is now restored because of the putting the past behind and the coming together.

    You can leave predestination right out of it. It is not always a good thing to ponder. You can also see the high view of God’s word. When he says “this is” and it is, and when he says “for you”, then it is for you. You are welcome if you believe that he forgives you there.

    So much. Yours.

  20. Gary says:

    “Gary, I believe we have stated that we do not believe in every word Luther ever said. However, he was a very profound man whose work had profound impact. So let us handle him in this way.”

    Brigitte, you are free to “handle him” in any way you see fit. I will treat him as a man who in some ways I agree with and in others I believe he had significant shortcomings. I respect much of what he accomplished considering his time. As for whether or not he “spoke gospel truth”…I suppose that could be said of many of us. None the less he also spoke that which is highly questionable. He was, after all, just a man.

  21. Christine says:

    Brigitte – That’s all fine. That you view. But you didn’t really address my question.

    By “work”, I simply mean anything done in our own strength. One physically takes communion. Taking communion is an action. It is a work. But neither of us believes in salvation by digestion, so I don’t see how that’s relevant.

    I don’t want to “leave predestination right out of it”, because my question to you is about predestination – it’s how you can possibly see your view as neither salvation by works and neither predestination. According to Luther, it was one or another (which I disagree with, but only because there is a third option for, which is universalism).

    Let me put it this way: Either faith is something entire given by God, or it is something at least partly contributed by the believer. If it is entirely God, then clearly God has decided who will and will not have faith and (according to justification by faith) who will and will not be saved. If faith is something the believer does even partly in their own strength, then it is a work, and therefore salvation by faith as you’ve presented it is just another form of salvation by works. No?

  22. Christine says:

    To clarify my view of Luther: To me, he is an historical figure – a particularly fascinating and compelling one. Determining his particular views is to me purely an academic exercise – I in no way consider him authoritative. But It does interest me that Lutherans keep his pivotal doctrince but remove what to him was an essential corollary.

  23. Brigitte says:

    I’ve already said that it is not entirely resolvable in our current state and with human logic. Luther said that these things would make sense by the light of glory. Such as, the psalmist could not explain and fretted over why the rich proper though evil and the good man is put down. This makes more sense by the light of the NT gospel. There is eternal life (and punishment.) Similarly, the question of why some believe and others don’t, is not resolvable. I find this tremendously helpful, to just leave it there. Certainly, God has said that he would like all people to be saved and that Jesus died for the entire world. We only know what we are told and we may proclaim this and not a whole bunch of theorizing. And I am telling you, too: the Lord Jesus, true God, from eternity and true man born of the virgin Mary, is your Lord, who has purchased and won you from sin, death and the power of the devil, with his suffering and blood. It is for you. You are called to live under him in his kingdom, forgiven, free and joyful. You, you, you. 🙂 And me, me, me, too.

    Of course, people don’t want to hear about sin or devil or other dangers and threats, but this is part of the package. We are always in danger and we are always curved in on ourselves and what we want, so living in love and humility is a major challenge for us. It is a daily dying and rising and starting over. This why the supper is a regular strengthening and even though we have to get ourselves physically there, it is not a “work” but a “gift”. In Roman Catholic understanding it was the merit of going that counted. You could even get others out of purgatory, etc. And even Luther said that if you don’t go at least so many times a year you could hardly call yourself a Christian. BUT it is not in the performance of the thing. It is in the remaining in the relationship and the nurturing of it. It is about what is being communicated to you and the people you are with. As it is improper to reject gifts, it is also not proper to not desire the comfort and strengthening and forgiveness offered in the sacraments, and also shared in the community.

  24. Gary says:

    “Of course, people don’t want to hear about sin or devil or other dangers and threats, but this is part of the package. We are always in danger and we are always curved in on ourselves and what we want, so living in love and humility is a major challenge for us. It is a daily dying and rising and starting over.”

    Everything is so black and white to you that you sincerely believe those of us who have a different view of grace simply “don’t want to hear about” all the icky stuff I guess. You don’t seem to be able to even comprehend that we may have come to an entirely different conclusion from yours based upon intellect and reason and it still be faith.

    I find this very sad.

  25. Brigitte says:

    Gary, I was asked to explain my belief and when I discuss the human condition in negative ways, I include myself in this. You don’t have to come at me with one more “how sad”, “how unloving”, “how intolerant” or whatever. If you disagree with something and some point needs discussing, it can be discussed. It’s a simple as that.

  26. Gary says:

    You really have no idea how demeaning a characterization it was do you? In your mind those who embrace salvation for all simply “don’t want to hear about sin or devil or other dangers and threats”. These are your words Brigitte…not mine. I am pointing out how insulting such a view is to those who genuinely believe scripture teaches an entirely different truth than the one you proclaim.

    This is my point. I DO find this sad. “It is as simple as that”.

  27. Brigitte says:

    We’ve obviously hit a nerve. If scripture teaches something other than what I have said, then you can quote it to me. Or is it all supposed to be taken metaphorically and therefore can be interpreted completely according to personal intuition? I have recently met people who think that. In that case, we can’t come up with any kind of teaching at all, and as corollary all doctrine is bad. That I have heard lots, too. The people who talk to me like that are theosophists and mystics, according to their own description. With them the Bible is nothing but myth and they spell everything in small letters and bring themselves to even say or type “God” or “Jesus Christ”. But the Bible is still good for them for their own person spiritual meditation and insight.

    This is not how Luther views scripture, as you have demonstrated previously. And this is not how many people view scripture. How do you view it, Gary? Just asking?

  28. Brigitte says:

    There is supposed to be a “can’t” in the “bring themselves to say or type” sentence.

  29. Christine says:

    Brigitte: “I find it tremendously helpful [not to think]… We only know what we are told…”

    I think you’ve finally answered my question. You don’t ever bother to try to understand it.

    You realize if everyone had that attitude, there never would have been a Reformation.

    And now I know that the great injustice of those who simply didn’t come to know there was anything to accept being tortured for eternity doesn’t keep you up at night at all. You just stick your fingers in your ears and let God rationalize it.

  30. Gary says:

    So now Brigitte…your case seems to be that if my view if different then yours it must be because I don’t take scripture as seriously as you do.

    This is not only sad…but really funny as hell.

    You seem to have made it your life’s pursuit to study and learn everything you can about what you have been told to believe. I guess if you find great comfort in never having to think for yourself then more power to you. But it would be refreshing to see you, just once, do something other than simply parrot the views of others. Many great theologians believe scripture teaches something radically different than you do. I have yet to see you even acknowledge that possibility.

    I know it must seem foreign to you…but you really are allowed to think…to question even.

  31. Brigitte says:

    Neither of you have really brought in anything of substance. But I will admit defeat. I am a mindless, heartless zombie, no where near as kind and loving and understanding as you are. Bless your days.

  32. Gary says:

    OK – Now I am laughing my ass off.

    Good one Brigitte. 😉

  33. Brigitte says:

    I had given up on the usefulness of this thread but a friend of mine would really like to share this with you, Christine, on Luther and Calvin.

    It is an excellent paper, which I also read some time ago. It may be too much brainwashing for you Gary, though. (I am sorry for you have suffered in your upbringing by not being allowed to get an operation and such, which is utter nonsense, of course. We, in our denomination, call medical care and all such useful arts and sciences first article gifts. They have been all give to us for good uses by the Creator of heaven and earth, who gave such people and their gifts to work together.

    Anyhow, here is the link. (NP, himself might also find it helpful.) Cary’s paper starts on 265. Very, very well done.

  34. Christine says:

    Wow, Brigitte. I don’t know what you expected from us, but I would have answered any question you asked and I really tried to understand your point of view (which was actually my main objective – understanding your view).

    If you don’t want to discuss it, no one’s forcing you.

    Alternatively, you could try to explain why you’re so convinced official Lutheran doctrine is flawless and shoudn’t have to withstand critical examination – but likely that will go in the same direction this conversation has.

  35. Brigitte says:

    Christine and Gary, I believe such a situation is called a “double bind”, as explicated by Gregory Bateson, or else “crazy making”, as I believe explained by C.S. Lewis or Screwtape, or whoever.

    Essentially, yes, we are happy to explain, disect, critique Lutheran doctrine. However, if we do we have Gary breathing down our neck about our brain-washed-ness. And both ways, we have constant ad hominems and sighs basically how stupid, sad and cruel this all is. So, if we want to discuss doctrine, agreed?–then let’s talk doctrine and leave out the guilt-trips and sneering.

  36. Gary says:

    Sigh…(pounding my head into the wall makes more sense than this discussion)

  37. Christine says:

    I don’t know, Brigitte… You were the one who said you tried not to think about it, that you didn’t question it, and that you could only know what you were told.

    Is there another way to take that other than that you don’t think about it and believe it without question? I’m just going by what you’ve said.

    If you do think about it and question it (and just said you didn’t for some unknown reason), then I would still be very happy to hear how you explain how coming to a right belief is any different from salvation by works.

  38. Brigitte says:

    We really live in different worlds. Twice I have said now that the reasons why some believe and others don’t are beyond our human understanding and theorizing. We do no good by building a huge systematics on things which are not disclosed. Luther always said that we live by the light of the gospel. It is like a lamp. The further you get away from what we need to know to understand the gospel, certain things are not made clear to us and are more in semi-darkness or completely beyond us. There are certain things we don’t know now.

    And that’s ok. We know what we need to know. Sticking with what we are “told” means, sticking with what we have been clarity in and not going beyond the word. In terms of judgment of people who never heard the message, etc., I am not their judge. All I know is that God has made a way for me to be sure of his love in Christ, and that the day of salvation is now. So everyone may come to it. No one is not called. That we can proclaim. Be reconciled to God. He is ready and waiting and will bring out the robe and ring and fatted calf, etc. He is on his tippy-toes looking out for the prodigal.

  39. Gary says:

    So you say you are open to examining and critiquing Lutheran doctrine…but when pressed you come back with the same old answer of some things are beyond our understanding but we know them to be true none the less. What an incredible cop-out.

  40. Christine says:

    So, you are sure that everyome has a (real) chance? So, you believe in the opportunity for people to accept Christ after death? Oh, right, right… you try not to think about it.

    But since you try not to think about it, then you would never presume that becessarily anyone goes to hell, right? No, you seem sure *somebody* is going to hell…

    You see, Brigitte? As much as you are willing to accept that there are things you cannot know, you still assert absolutely that there are things you *do* know that you can’t know. I have all kinds of respect for agnostic humility, but you only seem to profess this once your other absolute convictions paint you into a corner you can’t get out of.

  41. Christine says:

    I only saw the article just recently. I read the whole thing with quote a bit of interest. It is an interesting way to present the differences between Calvin/Protestantism and Luther. (I disagree with the authors ultimate conclusions, but I don’t dispute any of his historical analysis – which is what is relevant in this instance.)

    I can see why this would explain why you don’t see Luther’s salvation by faith as just another form of salvation by works – but it does so only by affirming absolutely Luther’s belief in predestination. (Calvin only differs in that we can *know* now whether we are predestined, not *whether* people are predestined.)

    My point to you was that, in order for Luther’s salvation by faith to be anything other than another justification by works, it required that there be predestintion. Your article affirms this. The moment that there is a theological departure into a person’s own coming to belief themselves, the author is very quick to call this out as being in fact salvation by works – and describes it a rather difficult work indeed.

    Again, my point was that Luther himself made it clear that it was either/or – predestination or works. (I stated earlier I believed this was a false dichotomy on Luther’s part, but you don’t hold to any of the alternatives, either.) The only thing I am now less clear on is which of the two (predestination or works) forms official Lutheran doctrine – the author presents Lutheran as still holding very much to predestination as per the confessions. Did I misunderstand – do you believe in predestination?

  42. Brigitte says:

    8 For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8 and 9)

    And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)

    O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

    So, here, Christine we have what is taught. We are saved by faith, which is not a work. God foreknows and predestines those whom he also glorifies, etc.

    You will not find a Bible passage that says that people are predestined to perish. If you find that makes no sense, we refer to God’s knowledge and judgement being beyond our searching out. This is what I’ve been saying to you.

  43. Gary says:

    In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) and said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. (Acts 1:15-16)

    The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born. (Matthew 26:24)

  44. Christine says:

    You are proof-texting, Brigitte, and I think you know it. There are plabty of passages that have interpreted to say some are predestined to hell… and that we are judged by works… and that all are saved. It’s all in there.

    But, I do want you to explain one thing: If you know that some go to heaven and some hell, and if you know that some are predestined to heaven because they receive the gift of faith and others do not, and if you know there is no way to come to such saving faith on our own (which would be a work)… how can this be anything other than predestination to hell for those for whom God withholds that gift?

  45. Brigitte says:

    Is “proof-texting” permissible? Would you like to Lutheran doctrine bible based or not bible based, because bible based is what is it supposed to be.

    About those going to “hell” (which was prepared for the devil and his angels, we are told, not people, per se), I just have this from my Treasury of Daily Prayer reading (great book from Concordia Publishing House), from yesterday:

    Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, bu the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Phillipians 3)

    We know that God could subject everything and Christ has that power, but he doesn’t. So how does that jive with the freedom or bondage of the will? At this point we walk carefully and prayerfully. And Paul speaks with tears about those who will not listen.

    Along with that reading is a commentary by Luther on a psalm which contains this:

    The appellation “the God of Israel” signifies that our god is none other than the one whom the Israelites once had. It is Christ, whom the Israelites once possessed and of whom we now also say: He who does these things is no longer only Israel’s God but the God of the whole world. Nobody is strong in his own might; no one has the strength for successful resistance to evil. It is God alone who vouchsafes power and strength to all, namely to all who are powerful and strong, so that He alone is blessed and he alone is God. That is the meaning of “Blessed be God!” Or as St. Paul says (2 Cor. 10:17): “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord!” Amen

    To have a God is just this that we pray for help because we can’t do it, and forgiveness for our weakness. And so I can speak with you and plead with you and you with me, but unless God does it and reveals it, we can only take horses to water and not make them drink. And while we can grieve for each other and plead we cannot make people do things or believe things, even ourselves.

    This why everything has to go along with listening to the word, emulating examples and prayer for help. This is why Luther has his evening and morning prayer always asking for defense from the evil one. We all need to watch lest we fall.


    In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.


    In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

  46. Gary says:

    “Is “proof-texting” permissible?”

    I don’t know is it? I just proof texted for you scripture that you said did not exist. I did so without any effort to attempt to evaluate the intended meaning or establish any context because these are precisely what one ignores when proof texting.

    I fully recognize authority based teaching. But interpretation is ALWAYS present no matter who is reading or teaching. Perhaps you miss the spirit of what is meant by “proof texting”.

  47. Brigitte says:

    Have I not explained it five different ways.

  48. Gary says:


  49. Christine says:

    Ok, maybe you aren’t familiar with the phrase “proof-texting”. It generally refers to taking a number of individual versus and quoting them out of context (either their immediate textual context or the broader biblical context) to make a point that could not be validly made otherwise. “Proof-texting” is the height of sloppy, lazy exegesis. Obviously, no one can ban you from proof-texting, but it will never be convincing. Often it will be met with someone accusing you of proof-texting (as I did) or someone demonstrating the exact opposite point through proof-texting (as Gary did) to demonstrate the fallacy.

    On my question about hell, you absolutely refuse to stay consistent. One minute you want to insist there is no works involved because God grants the gift of faith to some and not others as he sees fit (somehow without this meaning He has chosen who is hell-bound), and the next minute you want to insist that people who are going to hell are going there because they refused God (somehow without believeing in God, and the right God, and then accepting this God is someone not a work, even when it is someone a person who have to do in their own strength against their own inherent sinfulness). I’m not sure you can have it either way, but you definitely can’t have it both ways.

    At this point, I’m inclined to think that the inconsistency is due to you not really understanding what it is that you believe (an inevitability, I suppose, when you try not to think about it too much). You want to try again?

  50. Christine says:

    Should be: “…(somehow without accepting that believing in God, and the right God, and then accepting this God is somehow not a work, even when it is something a person has to do in…” Apologies. I went back and reworded and did a massive edit fail.