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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Friday, February 24, 2006
Drawing the line...
The Caner/White debate is capturing some attention momentarily in the Christian blogsphere. Not being a southern Baptist, nor having a stomach for what really amounts to politics, I haven't been following it too closely.

It did get me to thinking however, about some of the places we as Christians draw lines.

Unity in Doctrine
There are academic theologians today who are not Christians. Not that they have heard a false gospel, or have joined the wrong church - I mean that their interest in Christianity and theology is entirely academic. They don't pretend to be saved, or even believe in God. They openly pursue theology, not as a spiritual interest, but as an intellectual one.

You might find it surprising that some of these academic theologians agree with you doctrinally, that is, no matter what your particular theological bent happens to be, you are very likely in doctrinal unity with many atheistic theologians.

My point is not to belittle your doctrine - surely yours is correct, the point is that doctrinal unity has nothing whatsoever to do with Christian unity.

That might be a hard pill to swallow if you have invested yourself in thinking to the contrary, but I stand on it. NOTHING to do with Christian unity.

Unity in Christ
While the unsaved, <insert favorite seminary> educated, doctor of theology might agree with you doctrinally, there can be no "unity in Christ" between the two of you because he (or she) is not "in Christ."

We accept that every believer is "in Christ" positionally and even forensically, yet not all Christians are "in the Spirit." It is Christianity 101 I know, but allow me to spell it out for the newbies, you are placed in Christ the moment you are saved, but you are not "in the Spirit" but "in the flesh" so long as you live with your mind set on the flesh and not the things of the Spirit. That is, if you're not living moment by moment in continuing obedience to the Spirit of life, you're in fact living in the flesh - and as long as this remains the case every Christian endeavor you pour yourself into will only produce "carnal" results (that which is born of the flesh is flesh after all).

So everyone who is a child of God will have "unity in Christ" - but this unity is forensic - that is, it is declared and true even though that declaration doesn't come with an "experience" (ie. a man who is married goes from being "single" to being "married" - it is a real change, but there is no experiential or fundamental change to the individual (he doesn't suddenly have a "married" feeling)...)

This unity therefore is foundational and positional, I have a brother, but that doesn't mean that he and I get along...

Unity in the Religion/Denomination
This is very similar to unity in doctrine in that you don't have to be born again to experience it. Islamists, Buddhists, Catholics, Mormans, and Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, Presbyterians, (to name a few) experience unity in their religion or denomination- that is, for the most part they agree upon the way they will conduct themselves according to religious or denominational standards. It is a unity of "practice" if you will.

Unity in the Spirit
Where unity in Christ is forensic, unity in the Spirit is experiential. These are Christians who are living the crucified life - that is, they are not ignoring the Spirit of God within them - but obeying Him. These will have genuine unity in proportion to their obedience to God's Spirit.

Note: I have been on about this in the past week or so, so bear with me for restating myself here: I stand justified before God because Christ's righteousness has been imputed to me - and only because Christ's righteousness has been imputed to me. Some err at this point however. They think that our job is to be filled with gratitude, and in the strength of our gratitude we should obey the law - and they label this obedience as "sanctification" - that is, they imagine that sanctification is a human work empowered by a grateful heart. This paints sanctification as something you do for God rather than something God does to you.

While it is right to remember that our own righteousness counts for a hill of beans when it comes to being justified - that doesn't mean that we never acquire personal righteousness in the Christian walk. If we imagine that we never really acquire genuine righteousness we are saying there is no such thing as sanctification. The trouble is, we think of righteousness in terms of orthopraxy proper Christian conduct, rather than setting ourselves apart for God's holy purpose through continual obedience to God's Spirit. Our "righteousness" doesn't come from obeying the law, but obeying the Spirit who penciled that law. We don't become sanctified by "acting sanctified" - but by submitting ourselves to God who sanctifies us.

I hope you get that: Holiness comes from the Spirit of God, and not from actions that appear holy. When we obey God's Spirit, denying ourselves, God begins to sanctify us - He changes us from within. It isn't a mind game, it isn't an intellectual decision, it is a genuine miracle that happens - we change, our old self dies day by day, and our new self lives.

That is why there is unity in the Spirit - because there is perfect unity amongst those who have died to themselves, it is only amongst those who are still in their death throes that we find disagreements.


End of Unity Types
We could make more, or have fewer "types" of unity, the point isn't to see how many ways we can define unity, the point is to identify what constitutes genuine Christian unity. There are really only two types of unity, in Christ, and in the Spirit. The unity in Christ is familial, while the unity in the Spirit is practical.

The bottom line is that practical unity isn't doctrinal, it is spiritual. The church has no unity unless men are obedient to the Spirit of God. The answer to the question,
"If Jesus could tolerate Judas without ever giving the impression that they were doctrinally at odds, why can't -we- all get along?"
is simple - we cannot expect to behave like Jesus unless we are obedient to the same Spirit that Jesus was obedient to.

Until the church wakes from its slumber, there will be no practical "unity" - though we might experience a more pragmatic unity - denominational, religious, or doctrinal. But that isn't fellowship, it is just intellectual agreement.
posted by Daniel @ 7:03 AM  
38 Comments:
  • At 8:36 AM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Amen brother, I agree with you 100% on this point.

    When we walk by the Spirit our lives will begin to reflect Christ, and our minds will be conformed to His thinking. This is really a foundational principle for all christian fellowship.

    Good post Daniel,

    Jim

     
  • At 9:16 AM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Judging from the last to posts, I think you are the only one who reads my blog anymore ;-)

    Thanks Jim (a.k.a. -the- loyal reader).

    Dan

     
  • At 9:16 AM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    doh, I mean "last two posts' I am not awake yet I guess.

     
  • At 9:55 AM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    I would comment, but as someone wiser than I has said, who wants potato chips after a fine meal?
    Actually, can I ask a question?
    I'm afraid I'm going to sound ignorant, but it's too important not to ask. Even with all my previous comments about recognizing the Spirit's voice (small, quiet - always agreeing with Scripture - etc. - and I believe there are times when I know it's Him), do you always recognize when you are walking in the Spirit? That is, how do you, Daniel (and other folks reading this too), know when you are "in the Spirit" (as opposed to feeling, emotion or even intellect)?

     
  • At 10:22 AM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, I am faithful to the bitter end bro. :~)

    Jim

     
  • At 10:30 AM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Susan, in my experience "walking by the Spirit" is a learning process. Just like Jesus said, "My sheep know My voice and they follow Me", We must learn to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us. He will never contradict His written word, that is our guarantee.

    It is the Holy Spirit through His Word that separates the soulish from the spiritual. Many times we will think something is from the Spirit when it is actually a soulish desire on our part. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to conform us to His image and make us more like Christ.

    We must be willing and obedient. I hope this helps a bit.

    God bless,
    Jim

     
  • At 1:08 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Susan, I would only add to what Jim has said in order to offer more "spin" on the same theme - that is, Jim really nailed it, and I am not adding to what he said, I am simply restating it another way so that by looking at the same thing in a different way we might get a better picture of the whole.

    In John 3 we read, "the wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it goes" - in the original Greek this is a pun: the Greek word "pneuma" can be translated as Spirit or Wind, likewise the Greek word "Phoné" can be translated as both voice or sound. Thus the verse is a pun in the Greek, the Holy Spirit speaks to whom He wishes and that person hears His voice, but cannot tell where He comes from or where He is going.

    If I was to blow upon a pool of perfectly still water, you would see the ripples. If however, the water was disturbed, I could blow all I want, and you would not be able to discern what was from my breath, and what was from the previous disturbance. Likewise, if the pool is frozen, I can blow all I want.

    We start off with a frozen heart - one that is absolutely dead. At salvation, God melts that heart, but the waters are not still because of our sin. Trying to be a good Christian by following the law doesn't do a thing to settle the waters, because our sin hasn't gone anywhere.

    But as we turn from religion to Christ, that is, when we begin to look for the "Spirit moving on the water" as it were, then we begin to discern Him - imperfectly at first (as would be expected), but more profoundly and in proportion to our willingness to submit ourselves to God. The waters are not calmed because we stopped sinning outwardly, but they are calmed because we submit to Christ inwardly.

    Again, this is not a "voice" thing, but rather a heart thing. I have been married now for almost fourteen years. My wife and I understand one another so well that sometimes we don't have to speak out what we want, but we just give a look, and the other knows what is meant or wanted. It is the same with the Sheep. It isn't that they understand English and the Shepherd calls to them, "Hey, if you're my sheep come with Me" then they rationalize it and say, "Hmmm, I am one of His sheep, so I will follow" - it is more primitive, they hear His "voice" - the sound of which is "familiar" to them. As our focus turns to God, the things of God come into focus. We begin to recognize the "sound" of God's voice.

    We are using pictures and whatnot to describe truths that are spiritual and because these are pictures, they will be imperfect - spiritual things must be discerned spiritually - and that means turning to God in prayer, and trusting that He -will- speak to you. Really, you can't "do it wrong" – when you ask the Spirit of God to direct you, He will give you direction. If you hang onto your sin, you will never be sure what is being said – but if you put your sin on the cross, you will begin to recognize God’s “voice.”

    Let me know if that helps, and Jim, feel free to add anything.

    Daniel

     
  • At 1:14 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    By the way - when I say "Put your sins on the cross" I do not mean that they are not there until you put them there, because the moment you were saved all your sins were put there - what I mean when I say that is that you must believe your sins are truly there - agree with God that they belong there, then count on the fact that this is where they truly are. Reckoning yourself dead indeed to sin is the same as taking up your cross, or denying your -self-.

    Just wanted to be clear.

    Daniel

     
  • At 1:34 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    "If you hang onto your sin, you will never be sure what is being said..."

    Daniel, I think that is one of the keys. As long as we cherish our sin and refuse to repent and confess it, we will not hear our Saviour's voice clearly. It is this kind of Christian that is double-minded and unstable in all his ways.

     
  • At 2:02 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Daniel, that clarifies things greatly. As usual, I'm going to need to meditate and pray on it, but your words elucidate the understanding. Thank you.
    Jim, yours too, but I'm not clear on what soul is vs. spirit. Is soul the intangible part of us that is 'us' while alive? And the spirit the part that lives on after death (until joined with a resurrected body)?
    I'm embarrassed to even ask these things, because they seem elementary, but I don't think I'm alone in not understanding these things.
    Thank you both.
    Oh, and incidentally, it's the same in the Hebrew. "Roo-ach" means both wind and spirit. (I don't know Greek, but wouldn't pneuma also mean 'breath'? I'm thinking 'pneumonia,' 'pneumatic', etc – perhaps with some allusion to 'life' -).
    Interesting that you'd bring up this Scripture example, Daniel, because I used that exact Scripture from John 3 over at Moorhead's about two weeks ago (I’m reading through the book of John now), including the last critical part of that passage: “…so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
    But someone took me to task on it - telling me that ‘sometimes when we have an idea that has been put in our mind, then we read into a passage of scripture, sometimes it can sound like that idea, even though it really isn’t.’
    To me, the opposite is true. What I’m learning on blogs that follow Calvinist theology, I find to be borne out in Scripture.

     
  • At 3:12 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Susan, that is a most profound question and sadly one that many believers do not fully understand.

    The word pneuma means exactly as you thought it means. In fact this is the very description of God breathing life into Adam making him a living soul. Further scripture tells us that Christ Jesus (the last Adam) has become the lifegiving Spirit.

    As for the difference between soul and spirit, I could give you a lengthy discourse but I just came across this awesome message yesterday by pastor Adrian Rogers.
    It explains this matter extremely well. Here is the link.

    http://resources.christianity.com/details/lwf/20060223/ff6b8820-e621-4b09-8481-c83705cb4de1.aspx

     
  • At 3:16 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Susan, you could also try this link. Click on view archives under today's broadcast and click on the message entitled "How to practice the presence of God".

    http://www.lwf.org/

     
  • At 3:55 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Many thanks, Jim!
    I'm off to check out the links now.

     
  • At 4:03 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Jim,
    I can't seem to locate it in other than audio format (having a three-year-old underfoot doesn't lend itself well to audio formats; I need to print things out for study).
    However, that title jogged my memory. I have a book by the same title, written by a Brother Lawrence. I need to pick it up again. It may also shed light.

     
  • At 4:22 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    I should point out that Pastor Adrian, while a respected conservative evangelical, was also staunchly and vocally opposed to both reformed theology and Calvinism.

    I would suggest checking out how John MacArthur answers this specific question: here.

    The question about whether a man is dichotomous or trichotomous is not one with a simply answer - I think Thomas Simmons gives a fair comparison of both views here.

    Trichotomists interpret verses such as Hebrews 4:12-13 ("piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit") as doctrinal - insisting that it "teaches" a trichotomy, while Dichotomists see this colorful and even poetic speech, since elsewhere in the new testament the two words are used interchangeably as having the same meaning. It is one of those things where we bring our baggage with us. If I think there is a trichotomy, I brush over the verses that show the impossibility of it. If I think there is a dichotomy, I regard the verses that suggest otherwise as hyperbole or poetry.

    Study to show yourself approved!

     
  • At 4:37 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Thanks, Daniel.
    Now that it's been about five or so times that I've been referred to the Bible Bulletin Board, it's starting to sink in that during these types of discussions, I need to check there first.
    Showing myself to be slow, but like the tortoise, I intend on finishing the race.

     
  • At 4:43 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Slow? Having an interest in spiritual matters doesn't make you seem slow to me, it makes you seem genuine.

     
  • At 4:54 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, I do not know anything about Adrian's theology other than this message I heard from him. This has got to be one of the clearest explanations from scripture I have ever heard of the tripartite nature of man.

    Now this does not mean that the soul and spirit can actually be divided into separate entities but rather clearly gives us a picture of the makeup of man and his relationship to God. To simply say that soul and spirit are interchangeable words is rather simplistic and silly. Why would God use two different words to describe the same thing?

    Quite frankly, I am becoming more concerned about reformed theology all the time. It's seems nothing can be taken literally be must mean something other than face value. That is a bit scary and leaves many things open to subjective interpretation.

    I fear that the understanding of dichotomy may be a mild version of the ancient doctrine of dualism.

     
  • At 5:59 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Jim,
    I just finished listening to Dr. Rogers' sermon, and with all due respect to Dr. Rogers, I found it to be a collection of bare assertions unsupported by the Scriptures they were imposed upon.

    Rogers says: God is triune, therefore everything he created reflects that triune nature. That is an assumption not based on any Scripture, but forced into it.

    I recommend listening to Carey Hardy's 2004 Shepherd's Conference seminar Two's Company... Three's a Crowd, which you can find here. You'll have to pay for it, but if you want exegesis, here it is.

     
  • At 6:07 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    David,

    That is one assumption you mentioned, is there any others you noticed? While the nature of God in creation may not be expressly stated is there not ample evidence to that truth?

    I am wondering if we would rather line up with the doctrines of men that the truth of God's Word.

     
  • At 6:59 PM, February 24, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I realize the thread of comment has veered from the original post, but wanted to say I have appreciated a couple of other comments Daniel has made at another site so followed him to here.
    It is refreshing to hear someone (other than myself) talk about the necessity of repentance, 'taking up our cross' - dying to self, as the path of sanctification.
    I have been frustrated with the 'saved at the cross' now 'do the right things' pattern. Tried that for many years, watched others try it too, but 'inside' I was very unsanctified and 'carnal'(I do prefer that very descriptive word) and knew it!
    When I learned that sin still lives in me, and learned to put into practice 1 John 1:9 - wow! What a difference it has made in my life. God changes me!
    Got a long way to go, but the joy and freedom is worth the 'dying to self'. Hard? Yes! Worth it? Absolutely!
    Eunice

     
  • At 7:00 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Jim,
    That is the major assumption on which every assertion is based, and it is just that - an assumption. Doctrines can't be based on assumptions. Lacking solid exegesis, Roger's sermon is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

    To answer your question directly, no, I do not believe that there is any evidence at all in creation of the triune nature of anything, including God. Scripture teaches the Trinity. Nature says, "There is a God."

    I do believe that the nature of God can be seen in nature to a limited extent, but only in a general sense. Nature does not teach doctrine; only Scripture does that. Nature may demonstrate Scriptural doctrines, but Scripture is where we must begin. Exegete the Scripture first, then, if creation demonstrates it, point that out.

     
  • At 7:36 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    David,

    I agree that scripture must be our plumb line for all truth.

    However, it seems to me you have thrown out Dr. Rogers entire message based upon one assumption. I get the feeling that there are deeper issues underlying this motive and I would love to know what they are.

    Do you not agree with his basic premise that God's habitation has changed and God's ultimate dwelling place is in the Church, His corporate body?

     
  • At 8:40 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Jim, I haven't listened to the sermon myself, so I can't comment on it, and I trust your judgment that it is in fact a very good presentation of the tripartite position.

    "To simply say that soul and spirit are interchangeable words is rather simplistic and silly."

    Well, I don't know about silly, but I -was- going for "simple." My anticipation was that the readers would understand implicitly that my linking to scholars who answer the question in detail, would suggest that I personally would be forgoing any handling of the issue in great depth. I am sorry if I gave the impression that I was defending the dichotomous position in earnest.

    Quite frankly, I am becoming more concerned about reformed theology all the time.

    My hope is that this concern is productive - driving you into scripture to see whether these things be so. No man has ever suffered from being too biblical.

    It's seems nothing can be taken literally be must mean something other than face value. That is a bit scary and leaves many things open to subjective interpretation.


    I hope this is poetic hyperbole ;-)

    The bible was written by real people and reads that way. All of it is inspired, inerrant, and infallible - but that doesn't mean that it reads like a cook book. It is rich with poetry, imagery, sarcasm, hyperbole, all forms of human expression.

    I suppose there is some "art" involved in recognizing the difference between a doctrinal assertion and "stylistic flair" - but truly, these differences are not that subtle, and if we force ourselves into the habit of reading in context (as opposed to taking a verse out of context) we can usually identify the way in which something is being said.

    I have never imagined (not even for a moment) that the "enemies of the cross of Christ" (c.f. Phil 3:18) are in fact enemies of the piece of wood Christ was nailed to. We see plainly that scripture uses figures of speech, likewise when Christ says, "you blind guides, you strain out a gnat and swallow a camel" - I don't imagine that Christ is talking about gnats and camels.

    This means that when I read in Hebrews four that the word of God is a being personified metaphorically as a "sword" - I don't imagine that I am off in la-la-land when I anticipate the text that follows will be an extension of the metaphor, that is, in describing the "sharpness" of a the metaphorical sword, I do not expect a sudden and abrubt switch back to a literal sense; so that when I hear, "piercing even to the division of soul and spirit" - I do not immediately insist that there is such a thing as a division between soul and spirit, anymore than I would insist that there is an actual distance between "as far as the east is from the west"

    Like yourself, I too am concerned that we refrain from subjective interpretation - but I do not share you fear that reading the bible in context is opening us up to such dangers - rather, I think it restricts the opportunity for errant and speculative interpretation. The reformed position holds to "sola scriptura, and it is worth your while to give it a read, as it may not mean what you think it means, and most of us would add this important caveat: Scripture interprets scripture, that is, what the Spirit's telling us through Scripture is unlocked by, tested by, qualified by, and balanced by, the rest of Scripture. That doesn't leave us lots of room for wild and open interpretation, but rather restricts our interpretation so that it always lines up with the balance of scripture.

    I confess, I am not afraid of such a system, I am more afraid of a theology that lacks such a system ;-)

     
  • At 8:54 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Eunice - Thanks for stopping by the blog! There seem to be very few Christians nowadays who are interested in a spiritual walk - it is always refreshing to read that there is one more...

    Welcome, and grace.

     
  • At 9:22 PM, February 24, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, I understand implicity the metaphorical language of scripture. I have no problem with the examples you give, however in my perusals of many exegetical essays I find a certain twisting of scripture to match their view rather than laying scripture upon scripture to gain proper perspective and insight.

    Rather than personally divide the Word themselves, many resort simply to giving the commentary of some famous theologian from the past. I am then further muddled and obscured by analogies that draw wrong assumptions etc.

    Maybe you could answer the following question for me in simple and biblical language:

    What is so inherently wrong with the tripartite view of man, especially when scripture deliniates so well the distinctions?

     
  • At 7:58 AM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Jim,
    I went to the two links Daniel provides above.
    The first is an article by John MacArthur answering the question “What is the difference between soul and spirit?”
    The second is an article by Thomas Simmons discussing the trichotomous and dichotomous theories.
    Both articles expound on the Scriptural discussions of soul and spirit and cite examples given in the old and new testaments.
    I'd answer your question posed here to Daniel if these articles didn't do a much better job than I could. I think these articles answer what you're asking, from a Scriptural basis.
    They were informative reading, Daniel. Thanks.
    I personally now find it edifying to think of the soul and spirit as two parts of one whole - the immaterial part of man. (MacArthur's explanation from Genesis and man's creation makes great sense.)
    Simmon's explanation of the immaterial part being both 'pneuma' (spirit) looking Godward while the 'psuke' (soul) looks earthward, resonates with me. Man's flesh is material (first part) and spirit/soul are immaterial (second part). The immaterial part, "while possessing duality of powers has unity of substance." (Simmons)
    Both links here:
    MacArthur
    http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/1301-D-4.htm
    Simmons
    http://www.pbministries.org/Theology/Simmons/chapter14.htm

     
  • At 9:43 AM, February 25, 2006, Blogger BugBlaster said…

    I appreciate your stuff Daniel, and read it regularly. This post is ringing my bell, so thank you.

     
  • At 12:46 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    What is so inherently wrong with the tripartite view of man, especially when scripture deliniates so well the distinctions?

    If I imagined that scripture did a thorough job deliniating the distinctions between the soul and the spirit I expect that I would not find anything inherently wrong with the tripartite view of man.

    Rather than personally divide the Word themselves, many resort simply to giving the commentary of some famous theologian from the past.

    Truer words have never been spoken. Yet we must be careful when applying them to people. There is an old proverb that says, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail..." - by that I caution you - be careful in dealing thus with those who disagree with you - I suspect that only a few will fit the charge. Likewise, it is hard to appreciate your point, given that you just finished linking to a sermon by another person... ;-)

    I hope you know Jim that I appreciate your giving Susan the best of your understanding in the matter. I would answer your question, but your motive for asking is not like Susan - who asked because she wants to know. Your question however strikes me as being asked as an invitation to dispute..., I doubt that any man can change an opinion once it has settled in (though God can) - and since we both seem settled in our opinions, we must trust God who is able to make us stand. I am satisfied that you love the Lord and see a tripartite nature in scripture.

     
  • At 12:46 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger ThirstyDavid said…

    Jim,

    Sorry to take so long in answering. I'm not ignoring you, I lost my internet connection last evening and just got it back.

    You wrote:
    I agree that scripture must be our plumb line for all truth.

    However, it seems to me you have thrown out Dr. Rogers entire message based upon one assumption. I get the feeling that there are deeper issues underlying this motive and I would love to know what they are.

    Do you not agree with his basic premise that God's habitation has changed and God's ultimate dwelling place is in the Church, His corporate body?


    I'm saying that Scripture is more than just the plumb line for all truth, it is the source of all truth. All of our doctrine has to begin with Scripture. We can't juat pull Scripture out to measure the theories we come up with on our own. We can use Scripture to prove many things that are false that way. I believe that is what Rogers has done.

    Since Rogers' arguments for the tripartite division of man are based on one assumption (God is triune, and so is everything else), which I believe is wrong and entirely eisegetical, I guess I am throwing them out. I have no deeper motive. Is it so hard to believe that I just find his premise inadequate?

    I do not agree that God's habitation has changed. The Holy Spirit indwells each individual believer. But that's a separate issue not tied to the dichotomous/trichotomous view of man.

     
  • At 2:27 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Daniel, of all the bloggers out there you are one that I can trust to discuss the hard issues with in an attitude of respect and civility.

    I am not looking for a debate, I may have come across in my shock that way. However, I genuinely want to know why there is such opposition to the views I have expressed? From sola scriptura alone.

    And yes I realize my statement may have been a bit hypocritical by linking to Dr. Adrians messages.

    Anyways I did add some more comments on my own blog to this subject and don't really want to repeat them here.

    Thanks for keeping this discussion civil. May Christ be pleased to reveal His truth to our hearts.

    God bless,
    Jim

     
  • At 2:31 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    Susan, thanks...it looks like I'll have to dig into some of John MacArthurs teachings.

     
  • At 2:40 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jim said…

    David, sorry but I thought plumb line insinuated a base by which everything else in measured and built off of. Our prime motivation for everything we believe and do must be the Word alone. Scripture must be the only reason we need to believe and act upon those beliefs.

    The truth is not popular and has never been popular even amongst the theologically elite. History has shown us that most of the church leaders were ignorant to the reality of God and instead followed the dogmatic rules of a man made religion. The men of God who changed the course of history have always had to step outside the realm of tradition and dogma to stand for the convictions that were not popular.

    I am sincerely interested in knowing the motivation behind the teaching of dichotomy and will listen to the download you gave me.

    God bless,
    Jim

     
  • At 5:02 PM, February 25, 2006, Blogger Susan said…

    Jim,
    I highly recommend reading Simmons' writing here as well. The reason I suggest doing so is that he puts forth an idea (not found in MacArthur's writing linked here) that I previously hadn't considered - that is, two parts of one whole.
    Simmon's analogy in the writing to the two-storied house (flesh being the first story, soul and spirit the second with a sunroof looking skyward [the spirit] and windows looking to earth [the soul]), well, I thought it interesting.
    Simmons states it better than I just did. Give it a read.
    He's no dead theologian (well, maybe he is - I'm not familiar with Simmons - and MacArthur is still alive, isn't he?), but then, I'm not sure that still drawing breath is any qualification for good interpretation of Scripture. In fact, judging by some of what I've read in the blogosphere, I'm quite sure it isn't.
    :-)

     
  • At 1:24 PM, February 27, 2006, Blogger Rose~ said…

    You stole that picture from Sharad, didn't you? ;~)

     
  • At 1:48 PM, February 27, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    Not that I am aware - though it did look somewhat familiar...?

    I did an image search on google for "line in the sand" and it was like the ninth picture or something.

     
  • At 4:41 PM, February 27, 2006, Blogger Rose~ said…

    Sharad must have done the same when writing this post.
    :~)

     
  • At 7:24 AM, March 01, 2006, Blogger Daniel said…

    I expect. =)

     
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