Challenge to Rey

I’m issuing a challenge to Rey. I want to know what he does with the following Scripture:

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (Jn 17:1-26, emphasis added)

About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on May 14, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. 1 Timothy 2:4-6

    Who will have ALL men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom FOR ALL, to be testified in due time. (emphasis added)

  2. Cory, in these passages you posted, is it not possible that Jesus is referring to His apostles? Those that He was given or those who followed during His time on earth?

    • Caleb,

      I think that’s a good question. In fact, verse 20 seems to confirm that when it says, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.” This implies that He is now referring to some other group. The end of verse 21 sets the scope: “so that the WORLD may believe that You sent Me.”

      Problem is, He then starts using the same language of “whom you have given me” (v.25) with the rest of the world too. This is reminiscent of John 6 where Jesus says that it takes some work of the Father to make people come to Him, i.e.,
      v.44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him”
      v.65 “no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father”
      Also other such verses like Acts 13:48: “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”

      The question now is, What does it mean for the Father to draw/give/grant/appoint people to this thing that puts them into Jesus’ hands?

      • The Father draws them through the word of the apostles. They were appointed to eternal life because the Father previously appointed that whoever would follow the word of the apostles would have eternal life. There is no need for the elaborate system of puppetry with which you blaspheme the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

  3. Let us all put aside foolish inherited systems of so-called ‘orthodoxy’ from our minds and read the text afresh for ourselves while using some simple reading comprehension.

    Let us Compare John 17:6 with 17:20.

    John 17:6 “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”

    John 17:20 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”

    Clearly, there are two groups under discussion. The FIRST is a group of men given to Christ by the Father. The SECOND is a group of people who believe through the preaching (or word) of the first group.

    Who then is the FIRST group? Who are these men given to Christ by the Father? The fact that the group given to Christ by the Father are none other than the 12 apostles themselves (and them alone) is explained by Christ himself in verse 12, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” He kept all the men that the Father gave him, except one who was the son of perdition (i.e. Judas Iscariot). Clearly he is referring to the apostles not to all Christians for all time.

    The SECOND group is simply all Christians of all time who believe based on the word of the apostles.

    In other words, you cannot use this passage to prove your system of predestination unless your contention is that only the apostles will be saved, because Jesus himself clearly indicates the only men given to him by the Father were the 12, and he kept all of them but one. Then comes a second group who believes based on the word of the remaining 11.

  4. Actually, we should extend this a bit and say that the FIRST group would cover everyone who walked with Jesus while he was on earth, including Matthias who later replaced Judas Iscariot as the 12th. Even so, it cannot be made to cover all Christians for all time.

  5. Might I also interest you in a challenge, Cory. Explain how Calvinism could be true and yet these comments be false. John Wesley in a sermon on Calvinism said that if Calvinism were true “one might say to our adversary, the devil, “Thou fool, why dost thou roar about any longer? Thy lying in wait for souls is as needless and useless as our preaching. Hearest thou not, that God hath taken thy work out of thy hands; and that he doeth it much more effectually? Thou, with all thy principalities and powers, canst only so assault that we may resist thee; but He can irresistibly destroy both body and soul in hell! Thou canst only entice; but his unchangeable decree, to leave thousands of souls in death, compels them to continue in sin, till they drop into everlasting burnings. Thou temptest; He forceth us to be damned; for we cannot resist his will. Thou fool, why goest thou about any longer, seeking whom thou mayest devour? Hearest thou not that God is the devouring lion, the destroyer of souls, the murderer of men? Moloch caused only children to pass though the fire: and that fire was soon quenched; or, the corruptible body being consumed, its torment was at an end; but God, thou are told, by his eternal decree, fixed before they had done good or evil, causes, not only children of a span long, but the parents also, to pass through the fire of hell, the fire which never shall be quenched; and the body which is cast thereinto, being now incorruptible and immortal, will be ever consuming and never consumed, but the smoke of their torment, because it is God’s good pleasure, ascendeth up for ever and ever.” How do you get around this fact, that Calvinism makes God more the enemy of mankind and more cruel than the Devil himself?

    • He follows that up with “O how would the enemy of God and man rejoice to hear these things were so!”

      • Wesley continues, representing the Devil’s response when the Devil is converted to believing in Calvinism:

        How would he cry aloud and spare not! How would he lift up his voice and say, “To your tents, O Israel! Flee from the face of this God, or ye shall utterly perish! But whither will ye flee? Into heaven? He is there. Down to hell? He is there also. Ye cannot flee from an omnipresent, almighty tyrant. And whether ye flee or stay, I call heaven, his throne, and earth, his footstool, to witness against you, ye shall perish, ye shall die eternally. Sing, O hell, and rejoice, ye that are under the earth! For God, even the mighty God, hath spoken, and devoted to death thousands of souls, form the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof! Here, O death, is they sting! They shall not, cannot escape; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Here, O grave is thy victory! Nations yet unborn, ere ever they have done good or evil are doomed never to see the light of life, but thou shalt gnaw upon them for ever and ever! Let all those morning stars sing together, who fell with Lucifer, son of the morning! Let all the sons of hell shout for joy! For the decree is past, and who shall disannul it?”

      • To read the whole sermon, search for Sermon 128 of John Wesley’s Sermons, the title being “Free Grace.”

      • He goes on with:

        Yea, the decree is past; and so it was before the foundation of the world. But what decree? Even this: “I will set before the sons of men `life and death, blessing cursing.’ And the soul that chooseth life shall live, as the soul that chooseth death shall die.” This decree whereby “whom God did foreknow, he did predestinate,” was indeed from everlasting; this, whereby all who suffer Christ to make them alive are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God,” now standeth fast, even as the moon, and as the faithful witnesses in heaven; and when heaven and earth shall pass away, yet this shall not pass away; for it is as unchangeable and eternal as is the being of God that gave it.

    • I gotta agree with Wesley on that one… one point would the devil have to go around trying to take souls if they had already been predetermined? One more thing… let us not forget the most powerful Christian statement of all, that sums it up… John 3:16-17.

      “…that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish… but that THE WORLD through him might be saved.” (emphasis added of course)

  6. If I might also get your response to the dribble that our good Calvinist friends at Triablogue have posted alleging that the Parable of the Prodigal Son is “inept” and wrong, my response to that is here for those who wish to see it.

  7. The Prodigal son parable is the story of man(kind) having gone out/away from Father in Adam and returning home in Christ.

    • Sorry, but that doesn’t work. If the prodigal son is all humanity at once, then who is the elder son? The story must represent two types of men, hence it has nothing to do with a ‘solidarity’ with Adam at all. But you see, what they’re saying at Triablogue is that the story is “inept” and that the picture of God as a Father who allows his children to go astray but always desires them to return is wrong, because they say he’s a puppet-master (they even literally use the term). Granted they are quoting someone, but it is clear they are doing so with full approval.

      • That’s not only my interpretation but AW Tozer and others as well.

        As far as who the older brother is?

        It’s you Rey, it’s you. The older brother is “in Father’s house” but is religious, focused on beliefs and protocol, instead of relationship.

        That’s the best way I know how to say it respectfully.

      • Ummm, admittedly I’m not a theologin… so pardon if I sound like a numbskull, but wouldn’t the elder brother be Jesus? Just like Esau and Jacob… Jacob had to present himself as Esau to his father to falsely claim the birthright. Is this not the same case? Humanity can only present ourselves to God through the elder son, Jesus, so that we may claim a birthright that we don’t deserve.

      • The older brother is the guy who hates the notion that sinners can repent and be accepted by the Father and who requires that live a perfect life on his terms rather than be saved by repentance on the Father’s terms. The older brother has something in common with those who say none is righteous: he refuses to acknowledge that the Father accepts repentance. No matter how full the prodigal son’s repentance is, nor how far he progresses in holiness, the older brother will always tell him he’s a dirty sinner and worthless as dung because the older brother doesn’t understand that what the Father seeks is repentance rather than a perfect life with never having sinned. He has ignored that passage where Christ says there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who REPENTS than over 99 righteous men who need no repentance. He refuses to understand, just as Calvinists refuse to acknowledge man’s ability to repent.

    • I’m finding this all very interesting… but I also see parallels between the elder son and Jesus… perhaps not the angry part… but it seems that Jesus is trying to explain a small bit of His own nature, especially in Luke 15:31, “…Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” Also I should mention the part where the son proclaims that he never transgressed his father’s commandments… yes this seems very much a parallel to Jesus… and come to think of it, perhaps the angry part… because remember before Jesus dies on the cross, He says “Father why have you forsaken me?” If Jesus was man enough to weep over the death of Lazarus, then why could He could also not be man enough to feel anger for this instance?

      Shucks I could be speaking heresy here I suppose… but I’m praying about this while I’m studying and I’m doing my best to remain in the spirit and this is what’s coming to me. Just ponder what I’m saying here… not that this has anything to really do with the initial topic… BUT tangents are good 🙂

      • remember that Jesus was as much of a man as He was (is) God during His time on earth.

      • also remember the incident in the temple with the money-changers… Jesus was fully capable of anger.

      • and keep in mind I’m not saying I’m right here… I’m just proposing the idea… may God correct me if I am off course.

  8. Interestingly enough, Cory, though I know you challenged Rey with this, you also helped solidify my stance against Calvinism. But, ever since you introduced it to me it just never made sense in my mind, and we’ve debated on it quite a bit in months past. I know by our friendship that you seek to serve the God of the bible, regardless of how Rey portrays you. And while you and/or I may both be wrong on our theology, we both believe in the risen Son of God, and thankfully He sees our hearts. It is not my job, nor Rey’s job to condemn you even if we are in disagreement. Like I’ve said many times before, and will continue to say many times again, the bible says we are to seek out our own salvation with fear and trembling, NOT ANYBODY ELSE’S (and no I don’t mean to forsake the great commission, I just mean we can’t force our views on another… you know the saying… you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink).

    And with that, I think my time with this thread is done, lest I find another tasty nugget to bite into 😀

    • Cable, please understand that I’m not the type of guy who likes condemning anyone. Nor will I condemn you for disagreeing on who the elder son in the parable is. Even if your position is technically heresy by someone’s definition, I don’t see it as destructive to the Bible’s and inspiration’s end goal, “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17) Calvinism, however, is much different, and this is why I oppose it so vigorously. The issue is that while Calvinists may not forsake the great commission per say, they do pervert it, because to them the gospel is not the love of God for all mankind, nor the free grace of God, but rather the gospel is the bad news that God decreed everyone to sin so he could damn everyone to hell and then he held a lottery and whoever won gets to be irresistible forced into salvation while everyone else including non-elect infants goes to hell no matter what and for things that they really had no choice in for God forced them by an irresistible decree to sin. Honestly, the Calvinists need to forsake the great commission, because each and every one of their converts is made twice the child of hell as themselves. And those who don’t convert they tend to turn into atheists. Plus, they seems to focus much of their proselytizing energy at converting Christians to believing in their blasphemy rather than heathens to believing in Christ. Its obvious why, namely that no heathen could ever be made to love Christ by their system which proclaims him to be the author of evil and worse than the devil! Basically, all their system and all their evangelism does is either turn irrevocably turn heathens away from Christ, weaken the faith of Christians, or totally destroy Christians and make them atheists. You may be convinced by respect of persons that Cory seek to serve the God of the Bible, but the facts are against it. Anyone who seeks to paint the God of the Bible as the cause of all human sin and as only loving some of mankind, only those who won a cosmic lottery, and of condemning infants for a sin they had nothing to do with, is not seeking to serve the God of the Bible but to fight against him at every turn and turn everyone they can away from him to Pagan religions or atheism. The only way to see it any different is by respect of persons. Just because a Calvinist might be a nice guy to have a secular conversation with does not make his motives pure concerning his attacks on Christianity. Jews can be nice guys to have secular conversation with as well, yet Paul calls them enemies of the gospel. Atheists can be nice guys to have secular conversation with, as can Muslims, even the radical terrorist kind! I once worked with a Muslim who was a really nice guy generally, and yet he said if he was in Iraq he would join Al-Queda! Don’t be fooled by pleasant small talk. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

    • Caleb, sorry for the typo in misspelling your name.

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