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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« The "Issues, Etc.," Interviews on Eschatology | Main | What Can I Do? Two Options for Non-Partisan Political Activism »

Discussing the End-Times on "Issues, Etc" (Updated)


I'm going to be on Issues, Etc., this entire week (Tuesday through Friday) discussing eschatology.  I'm on from 2:15 p.m-3:00 p.m PT.

You can listen live here:  (Click here: Issues, Etc. Radio Program), or wait for the daily programs to be archived.

Todd Wilken (the host) is one of the best interviewers in the radio business, and I always enjoy being a guest on Issues.

Here are links to my books, which we'll be talking about throughout the week.

Click here: Riddleblog - Man of Sin - Uncovering the Truth About Antichrist

Click here: Riddleblog - A Case for Amillennialism - Understanding the End

Reader Comments (37)

Should be really good programs. WELS doesn't usually recommend too many non Lutheran books, but they do recommend "A case for Amillennialism."

After all, it is the historical church view -- not like the dispensationalist view which is only a couple of hundred years old, and may be running out of time with all of the false predictions.

Issues, Etc. is a great program. In an irony of ironies, they will have WELS President Mark Schroeder on their program, but not the LCMS President!
July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
I can hardly wait. Thanks for what I am sure will be some great iPod material!
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNathan W. Bingham
Until you go out among dispensationalists you do not realize how "foreign" amillenianism is to these folks. You will get ostracized quickly if you start trying to express a covenant theology and amillenial viewpoint. I even ran across magazines and much literature which was speaking against full and partial preterism. R.C. Sproul was especially picked on for some reason by these aggressive dispensationalists. I had to spend two months among them and they are very set in their theological presuppositions. They are not real big on listening to opposing viewpoints either. That is really what attracted me towards Reformed and Lutheran theology in the early 90's- they always gave the opposing points of view a fair hearing. The dispensationalists do not do this. They usually severely misrepresent the covenant theology and reformational theological points of view. Therefore, we really have to be able to explain our theological presuppositions with much more care and accuracy. There seems to be a rather nasty battle brewing between the more aggressive dispy's and the covenant theologians which will make the battles with the emergents and growth type Church's seem lame. The dispy's are much theological astute towards their reading of the scriptures then the emergents and growth types are. The dispy's are a very willful group and are much more bold and obnoxious towards those who oppose them.
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
The dispy's are also a very patriotic group. They hate Obama. love to watch current events, are pro-Israel to the max and have no qualms about voicing their political views from the pulpit. This all naturally follows from how they read the scriptures. It is amazing to me that black people actually fall in line with their points of view considering how anti-Obama they are. If you express other political ideologies among them they quickly quiet you or shame your viewpoint. If Reformed folk are considered not real relevant to the black community the dispy's are much worse. This, it seems to me, is an issue that needs to be looked at much more deeply then it has been in the past. Race relations, with all the immigration which has occured in the U.S. in the last 2 decades, is certainly a critical issue these days. How we best can communicate the reformational message to these various cultural groups is certainly something we will have to struggle with in the upcoming years.
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y

This would probably be overstepping your bounds as a guest, but you should ask Todd why he treats covenant theology the way he does on the show.

When I first became a Calvinist refugee at an LCMS church, I began listening to all the past Issues, Etc., episodes I could find. I heard him do two shows about covenant theology. Both times, he said that it leaves us under a covenant of works. In one, he interviewed a fellow Lutheran pastor (who had attended Westminster in Philadelphia) about covenant theology! That strikes me as being about as fair as having an episode of WHI with only Mike and Kim, in which Mike interviews Kim about why Lutherans get their doctrine of the sacraments so wrong (because, after all, Kim did study under Rod)!
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Good points Chris, it certainly is confusing to me sorting out the differences between the Calvinists and Lutherans. You hear such things as the Calvinists just made clearer what the Lutherans began. This has a very interesting history to it which I am starting to do some research on. It turns out that Melanchthon was in close correspondence with Calvin after Luther died and they tried to reconcile some of their differences. Calvin looked upon Melancthon as one of his mentors. Melanchthon's compromises got many of the Lutherans in trouble back in Germany and the second Martin and his cohorts had to deal with a lot of the mess. It is easy to be judgemental from on far but the pressures these reformers were under were life and death situations which we have a hard time relating with today.

I am sure many scholars today are delving into these issues. It is true that covenant theology was developed after the reformation by the Calvinist theologians. It is also true, from what I have read, that some of the major Lutheran theologians did not agree with the distinctions between the different types of covenants revealed in the Old Testament. The Lutherans just liked to stick with the Law and Gospel distinctions rather then develope a rather intenslely thought out covenantal structure in God's dealing with man. The Lutherans thought that the Calvinists were drawing too much by reason from the scriptural texts. The Calvinists thought the Lutherans were making an antithesis between Law and Gospel in the mind of God and using their reason to draw this conclusion. I am not sure of the implications of these viewpoints and will let others more learned than me teach me. Anyone else with more insight than I want to pipe in here?
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
>Until you go out among dispensationalists you do not realize how "foreign" amillenianism is to these folks.

I know of one pop dispensationalist who has equated "replacement theology" with the great end times apostacy ("hold on to your prophecy resources"), and another who thinks that's what John was referring to when he spoke of the "synagogue of Satan, those who say they are Jews and are not". Ohhh, feel the love.

Oh, well. Good listening, I'm sure, whenever it does finally make it to the podcast for download.
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter"lee n. field"
lee n. field,

"Oooh feel the love!" Yeah, there is not a whole lot of love expressed when it comes to eschatology and much more heat than light is often expressed. Sensationalism abounds and clear biblical exegesis is a rarity.
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
John Y:

You mention that you are trying to sort out the differences between the Calvinists and the Lutherans.

The best approach to take is to examine the Confessions of both and compare them with the Scriptures.

Chris: If you go to Bible with an analogy of faith, that the Bible is true in everything that it says, you will come away a Lutheran.

If you prefer to use a method that uses a lot of man's logic, you'll be a Calvinist. Example: Calvinism teaches: "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death," from the Westminster Confession. The Bible knows nothing of a predestination unto eternal death. On the contrary, man alone is at fault, if he is lost.

The Lutheran view on the sacraments is based on the clear teaching of Scripture. As you know, I have went to great lengths in giving the Lutheran views.

Let the Scriptures be your guide. Where the Bible is silent on certain issues, be silent and don't get into areas of speculation that go beyond what the Scriptures teach.

Luther and Calvin had almost identical views on God predestining His elect to salvation, but Luther wisely let the paradox stand.

You state that you went from the LCMS to becoming a Calvinist. I went from being a Calvinist to becoming a Lutheran.

Both the Reformed and the Lutherans have a great understanding of the doctrine of justification -- which most other Christians do not. And, there are many similarities between both camps. But, the Bible as summerized by the confessions will certainly dictate the differences.
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

Your approach of comparing the confessions of the Lutherans and Calvinists is probably an easier and perhaps better route to take then the one I have gone down these last few years. This still does not answer some of the problems that still surface between the two traditions. Both traditions still accuse each other of using reason wrongly in coming to some of the conclusions they reach in each of their respective traditions and confessions. Both were using certain philosophical assumptions in reaching some of their confessional conclusions. This is where it gets confusing and to stick to what the scriptural text says is sometimes difficult to do. We can often come to some differences in interpretation depending on what philosophical assumptions we bring to the table. Someone else please help me here- that is about as far as I can go at this time with what I know. Perhaps I am looking too deeply into the matter and causing more confusion in my own mind then is really there. However, from dialoging with both Calvinists and Lutherans that is where I stand at this point in time.
July 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
In taking a quick look at the Reformed arguments for their Cov't. Theology:

Cov't. of Works: God commanded perfect obedience from Adam: Do not eat of the tree and you will live. Adam broke the Cov't. (Hosea 6:7 and Romans 5.)

The Cov't. of Grace, runs along side of the Cov't. of Works. It starts in Gen 3:15, and runs along until the second coming of Christ. It has different administration of covenants which build on the others. They are: The cov't. of Noah, the Cov't. with Abraham, the Sinaitic Cov't., and finally, the new testament dispensation of the Cov't. of grace.

I just wanted to be fair to the Refomed, and try to give an accurate portrayal of their Cov't. Theology.

The cov't. of grace which runs along side of the cov't. of works, at least in my understanding of it, would not leave the Reformed under the cov't. of works.

The Lutheran hermeneutic of the law and the Gospel, is a much more simplified understanding of the 66 books.

Quickly it goes like this: Law; any imperative or command, or any passage which shows God's judgment, wrath or hatred of of sin. Gospel; any passage which shows God's love, grace, mercy, comfort or salvation.

Lutheran's use the the letters S.O.S for both the law and the Gospel. Law; S.O.S.: Shows our sins, Gospel; S.O.S.: Shows our Savior. Law: Do and don't, Gospel: Done. (What a great way to read and to understand the Bible!!)

I'm off to work, so I don't have a lot of time to get into it. Also, I like to stay sharp on some of these issues, in order to explain them to others accurately.

One thing that makes pastor Kim a great teacher, is that he gives an extremely accurate opinion on theological issues. We should all strive for the same thing!
July 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

Here is what I take from your post. Both Lutherans and Reformed read the scriptures with Christ as the main player in all 66 books. You have to have a Christ centered hermenuetic or everything falls apart. The Reformed Cov't of works is the same as the Lutheran understanding of the Law. The Reformed Cov't of grace is the same as the Lutheran understanding of the Gospel. What I do not get yet is what is the difference? Are they not saying exactly the same thing?

With this foundation in each respective tradition where do the differences stem from? Why are Lutherans so against using the word covenant and why are the Reformed so bent on understanding the scriptures from the aspect of the Covenants God made with man?
July 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Yeazel
John Y:

You're making me work too hard! Pastor Kim likes to refer to Lutherans as cousins in the faith.

On Kim's "Who said that", a couple post's back, you'll see my post on the attributes of Christ (His human, and divine attributes, from a Lutheran perspective). It takes way too long to re-type it. That's one difference between the Lutherans and the Reformed.

Others are: 1. The sacraments. 2. Election 3. Hermeneutics: Lutherans: Law and Gospel, Reformed: Covenant. There are many other things, which can be found in the confessions of both camps.

One thing that should be noted, is that there are different Calvinists with different confessions. Lutherans all go by the Book of Concord (which my pastor says is the only confession larger than the Bible itself!) If they claim to be Lutherans, and they don't go by the Book of Concord, they are NOT Lutherans.

You can't say that the Law and Gospel theology is the same as Covt. theology. It is not.

Calvin started (just a little bit), the cov't. theology concept. It was further developed by other Calvinist theologians like, perhaps, Louis Berkhof, among others.

They probably should have left it with the way that Calvin started to understand it.

Why? I believe that the Reformed have added way too much to it, way more than what really should be there for their particular hermeneutic.

Why throw the Covt. of Nature with Noah, the Cov't. with Abraham, and the Sinaitic covt., which precedes the N.T. era of the cov't. of grace into the mix? It is just way too much unnecessary stuff.

The Reformed theologians need to tweak it, and to cut out all of the excess stuff that is not really even needed. It needs to be simplified so that many of their people can understand it. In this case, more is not better.
July 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
John Y:

Before I forget. The Reformed also have "The Covenant of Redemption."

Here is according to Louis Berkhof, Reformed theologian:
"In the covenant of redemption we have an agreement between the Father, as the representative of the Trinity, and the Son, as the representative of His people, in which the latter undertakes to meet the obligations of those whom the Father has given Him, and the former promises the Son all that is necessary for His redemptive work. This eternal covenant is the firm foundation of the Covenant of grace."
July 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

This is becoming more clear as we take this step by step approach. Have you read John Kleinig's new book Grace upon Grace? He is a Lutheran pastor and seminary professor at Australian Lutheran College in Adelaide. He is also an Old Testament scholar. It is Lutheran spirituality at its best which instructs us Lutherans how to take what we learn in the Divine Service each Sunday and apply it to our stations in life we find ourselves in each day. The practice of daily meditation on the scripture, continual prayer and watchful spiritual conflict and battle brings the accomplishment of what Christ has already done for us into our daily struggles we find ourselves involved in. The sections on the conscience are wonderful on how God through Christ's work daily cleanses our consciences by our appeal to our baptism and the continual forgiveness we receive each Sunday in the Supper. The devil and his cohorts go after our conscience and they try to thwart and confuse the teaching of His Word and abolish the proper administration of the sacraments. It takes a continual watchfulness and vigilance to apply the powerful word and blood of Christ to our daily struggles. The good news is the devil and his cohorts cannot touch us even though they will savagely try to deceive us, try to lead us into sin or cause others (often times other Christians) to sin against through slander or other means. This just gets us stronger as we simply apply the tools that Christ has already won for us. It was a very clarifying read for me although I have found that the spiritual struggles only intensify as you use the tools God has given us to overcome.

I am sure the Calvinists used a similar approach in their daily spiritual lives but I am also sure there were some differences also. What Luther and Calvin accomplished in their work while they were alive certainly is impressive and it is interesting to find out how exactly they did it. They were very aggressive in what they taught and sought for greater and greater clarity in regards to the Word and Sacraments.

I went a bit off course here in our discussion and will try to bring it back on course in trying to resolve the differences between Calvinists and Lutherans. Can we work side by side with each other or will the differences eventually divide and fracture us? I am not sure about that yet but I know I draw alot from both traditions.
July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Y
Good post John, I'll have to check out that book.

I think that the best way for Lutherans and the Reformed to dialogue, is through programs like the White Horse Inn and Issues Etc.

I also feel strongly that the laity and the pastors in both traditions should spend much more time in study.

How can a person in the Reformed and Lutheran traditions be in those churches for years, and not even know what in the hell they teach?

I've said it many times, when someone asks us what we believe, we should pick up a Bible and immediately go to all of the Scriptures and demonstrate to them what the Bible teaches.

My pastor, the host's of the White Horse Inn and Issues Etc. set a good example for us all -- on how we should know our particular traditions.
July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle
Aren't Calvinistic Baptists the real Reformers?
July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Svoboda
I finally got to listen to the Tuesday edition of Issues, Etc.

Pastor Kim makes a lot of great arguments in the discussion. As he states, it is important to let the new testament interpret the old testament.

I always use a lot of the arguments that Kim uses when I talk to the dispensationalists.

How the dispensationalists hate the Roman Catholics, when many of them teach that the "carnal Christians" will have to go through their tribulation period. Ironically, that is nothing more than a seven year purgatory.

A few other arguments: Their view has Christ coming three times. 1. At the incarnation 2. During the rapture of the church 3. After their seven year tribulation period, before the 1,000 year reign.

The Bible teaches that Christ only comes twice. The first time to seek and to save that which is lost (us). The second time at His second coming.

How funny it is, that they actually teach that those that are converted during the seven year tribulation period enter the so called 1,000 year reign of Christ in their non-glorified bodies, and the life spans of these folks revert back to about 950 years or so.

Some of these folks actually give birth to unbelievers, which are judged right on the spot. Basically, this brings back the fall again after the return of Christ in judgment. It brings back the Garden of Eden all over again. (Didn't Christ say that His kingdom is not of this world?)

Another error of the dispensationalists, is that they teach that the resurrection of the believers and the unbelievers are separted by this so called 1,000 year reign of Christ. This also conflicts with Christ in John 5: 28 & 29 in which He says, "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out -- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."

Please folks, notice that there is not a separation of a 1,000 years between the two resurrections. Want more proof? Daniel 12:2 says, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt." Again, there is not a 1,000 years that separate the two resurrections.

They also have the Jews going back to the old sacrificial system again during the 1,000 year reign of Chirst -- when Christ actually fulfilled all of those sacrifices. The dispensationalists go back to types and shadows.

When I bring all of these arguments, and more up to the dispensationalists, many will just throw up their arms in disgust, and refuse to discuss it. They stubbornly (stiff necked) want to persist in their false doctrine.
July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

I've revisited this page after posting my comment to Kim earlier in the week, and I can't help but respond to some of what you've said. Before I do, understand that I have been a Calvinist refugee, worshiping at an LCMS church for the last 5 years (in my rural town, my choices are theonomy, mainline liberalism, and Rick Warren).

Your caricatures of Lutheran and Reformed hermeneutics are old and tired. I appreciate them about as much as you would appreciate hearing that Lutherans have abstract concepts of Law and Gospel, whereas the Reformed genuinely try to exegete the text, finding concrete expressions of Law and Gospel in God's covenants. Please: let's try talking TO each other, instead of lobbing insulting caricatures AT each other from our respective trenches.

Yes, there are differences. But let's not pretend that one tradition is pure and innocent, while the other is wicked and diabolical. That sounds like a major blind spot in terms of the doctrine of original sin! For example, you want to claim that "If you prefer to use a method that uses a lot of man's logic, you'll be a Calvinist...The Bible knows nothing of a predestination unto eternal death." But if you're a former Calvinist, you know where the Bible DOES talk about reprobation: Romans 9:18-23. Now, you're bound to object that this is not what Romans 9:18-23 *means.* But that simply brings us back to my point that we need to talk to each other. We need to discuss the exegesis of this passage together. But to claim that Calvin sat in his lair, scheming one day, and in an autonomous and abstract rationalism, arrived at the doctrine of reprobation is... well... a violation of the commandment against bearing false witness against our neighbor. Okay, you don't like it; but let's talk about what the passage means, and don't pretend that I don't get my doctrine from Scripture.

You see, the same tactic could be used against you. Calvin also said that "Where the Bible is silent on certain issues, be silent and don't get into areas of speculation that go beyond what the Scriptures teach." So I could ask you where the Bible teaches the ubiquity of Christ according to his human nature. I could sinfully claim that no such text exists (because I certainly can't find any). But it would be an expression of Christ's gracious love toward me if I gave you a chance to explain how you arrive at ubiquity exegetically so that we could discuss it like mature Christians.

On the topic of covenant theology: I at least appreciate that you said that the Reformed don't teach that we're under a covenant of works. However, I don't see Reformed theology reflected in what you expressed about the rest of covenant theology. I don't claim to speak for the whole of the Reformed tradition, but I have written a book explaining what I believe is the best expression of covenant theology. It is entitled, "The Tale of Two Adams." I've included the URL to its blog. If you'd like to accurately represent covenant theology in discussions, why don't you pick it up and give it a read?

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Thanks for responding. I really enjoy discussing all of the great doctrines that are a part of our two traditions.

First, you talk about your book, "The two Adams." Let me just mention the fact that I taught Reformed Theology to Jr. High students for three and half years. I loved teaching those kids. In teaching them, I used the Dutch Reformed "Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions."

I learned a ton while teaching the Jr. High students. I have read every single word in Calvin's Institutes, and many other books by Calvin and many other fine Reformed theologians. I have also read all of Louis Berkhof's' "Systematic Theology." So I think that I understand the Reformed Covenant Theology pretty well. (Although I may be a bit rusty.)

Regarding the two Adams, without reading your book, it probably has a lot to do with Romans 5. "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.".......This is the first Adam...... The second Adam was Christ.....

Again, God commanded perfect obedience from Adam, "Do not eat of the fruit of the tree. Do these things and you shall live." Then in Hosea 6:7, we see Adam breaking the cov't with God. Then comes the Romans 5 stuff that I indicate in the above referenced post.

Then there is the cov't of Redemption, which for Christ, is a cov't of works. As the last Adam, Christ obtains eternal life as a reward for faithful obedience.

After that, then there is the cov't of grace, which starts in Gen 3:15 and goes along side the covt. of works through the church age. (The O.T. and the N.T.) In it there are numerous cov'ts which build on the others, which I list in my above referenced post. Really, that is only some of the tons of stuff in it. Again, the Reformed are not left in the cov't of works -- Christ fulfilled it. It's Reformed. It is what it is. You guys can have fun with it, as you attempt to explain it to the masses!

The Lutheran hermeneutic of Law and Gopel, is a much more simplified approach to understanding the 66 books. (Law: Any imperative or command, or any passage which shows God's wrath, judgment or hatred of sin. Gospel: Any passage which shows God's love, grace, mercy, comfort and salvation. Lutherans use the letters S.O.S. for law; shows our sins, S.O.S. for Gospel; shows our Savior. Law: Do and Don't, Gospel: Done. You call it "old and tired." You may think that. But I have explained it to many of the Reformed -- and they love it! It helps them to understand the Bible.

Next you bring up the "ubiquity of Christ." You have a hard time with it. You say that there is no Scriptural support for it. Here, I'll give you some food for thought:

The fullness of the majesty of God was communicated to the human nature is clearly seen from this Scripuure, Col: 2:9, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form."

Because of the personal union of the two natures in Christ the human nature became omnipotent and omnipresent. That also the human nature of Christ is omnipresent we learned from Eph 4: 10, where we are told that Christ ascended "far above all heavens that He might fill all things."

You seem to assume that Christ, who is true human being as well as true God, is subject to the same time-and-space limitations that our human bodies are subject to. To deny or to limit Christ's ability to be present anywhere He wills to be is a form of the ancient heresy known as "Nestorianism."

What about the two natures of Christ? The Apended to many editions of the Book of Concord has a listing of various quotations from Scripture and early church fathers demonstrating that the Lutheran doctrine concerning Christ's two nautres is the same as that of the early church.

You can find a translation of this document, The Catalog of Testimonies, included in the Readers Edition of the Book of Concord.

Here are some (not all) of the highlights in the Book of Concord, Affirmative Statements, about the person of Christ:

1. The divine and human natures in Christ are personally united. So there are not two Christs, one the Son of God and the other the Son of Man (Luke 1:35; Romans 9:5)

2. We believe, teach, and confess that the divine and human natures are not mingled into one substance, nor is one changed into the other. Each keeps its own essential properties, which can never become the properties of the other nature.

4. The properties of the human nature are to be a bodily creature, to be flesh and blood, to be finite and physically limited, to suffer, to die, to ascend and descend, to move from one place to another, to suffer hunger, thirst, cold, heat and the like. These never become properties of the divine nature.

5. The two natures are united personally (i.e., in one person). Therefore, we believe, teach, and confess that this union is not the kind of joining together and connection that prevents either nature from having anything in common with the other personally (i.e., because of the personal union). The ancient teachers of the Church explained this union and communion of the natures by the illustration of iron glowing with fire, and also by the union of body and soul in man.

12. The human nature in the person of Christ is not denied or annihilated. Nor is either nature changed into the other. Christ is and remains to all eternity God and man in one undivided person. Next to the Holy Trinity, this is the highest mystery, upon which our only consolation, life, and salvation depends, as the apostle testifies, in 1 Timothy 3:16.

Please Note:............. According to our Book of Concord, Christian Visitation Articles 1592, these are some of the doctrines that we feel are false:

I. The expression "God is man" and "man is God" is figurative.

III. It is impossible for God, with all His omnipotence, to cause the natural body of Christ to be at the same time in more than one place.

V. Christ, according to His human nature, rules absently, just as the King of Spain rules the new islands.

Luther says this on the doctrine of Zwingli, regarding the two natures: "If Zwingli's alloesis stands, then Christ will have to be two persons one a divine and the other a human person, since Zwingli applies all the texts concerning the passion only to the human nature and completely excludes them from the divine nature. But if the works are divided and separated, the person will also have to be separated, since all the doing and suffering are not ascribed to natures but persons. It is the person who does and suffers everything, the one thing according to this nature and the other thing according to the other nature, all of which scholars know perfectly well. Therefore we regard our Lord Christ as a God and man in one person, neither confusing the natures nor dividing the person."

Regarding Calvin and double predistination: What do the Scriptures teach? Matt. 5: 41, says, "Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Hell was not created for man. This is going beyond what the Scriptures teach, and it is man's logic.

Calvin taught a double predestination, that is "Eternal life is ordained for some; eternal damnation for others, (Institutes III.21).

Calvin's teaching makes good logical sense but is not taught in the Bible. Predestination or election is used only of believers, please see Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:4-7). Predestination pertains to salvation, not damnation. Ezek: 33:11, "Say to them, As surely as I live, declares the Soveriegn Lord, I take no pleaasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their evil ways and live." 1 John 2: 2, "He is the atoning (propiation) sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." I Timothy 4:10, says "God is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe." Also, 2 Peter 3:9, among many, many others.

Unbelievers are born spiritually dead (Eph 2: 1, 5) and are incapable of coming to faith on their own (Romans 8: 7-8). All an unbeliever can do is reject God. The Holy Spirit brings people to faith through the means of grace, the Gospel in Word and sacraments.

Luther and Calvin taught almost identically on the doctrine of predestination (regarding God's elect), but Luther let the paradox stand, so that he would be square with the Scriptures. Luther stayed away from speculating on issues where the Bible was silent. Out of reverence for the Holy Writ, he wouldn't go there!

Exodus says time and again, "Pharaoh hardened his heart, " before it finally was in 14:8, "The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. Neither here nor anywhere in Scripture do we read that God hardened anyone who did not first harden himself.

A quick comment on verse 22. This verse does not say that God has created anyone as an object of his wrath or prepared anyone for destruction. Unbelievers, like Pharaoh, fit themselves for distruction (by their unbelief).

This took a while for me to finish. Right in the middle of doing this, my pastor came over for our pastor and Board of Elders meeting.

There is so much more that I can say on these topics, (I could go on for days, but I just don't have the time).

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLloyd Cadle

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