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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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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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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Unconditional Election in John 10 - part 1
doe, ram, ewe...
Rose posted an edifying devotional by J. Vernon McGee, on the text of John 10:27-29 the other day, and I couldn't help but respond to it, for in that passage we not only find eternal security, which Mr. McGee's devotional highlights, but we also find the root cause of eternal security - the unconditional election of every true believer.

To be sure, this isn't the first text one would go to if one wanted to "prove" that the bible teaches the unconditinal election of the individual believer, but nested in the dialog of John 10 we find it, and my first comment drew some attention in that direction:
The sheep are already owned by the Shepherd - that is, they don't suddenly become his sheep because they respond to his call - they respond to his call because they are his sheep. It isn't really that subtle, but some miss it anyway and putting the cart before the horse they get confused about what is being taught.

When I responded to the gospel, I was one of those 100 sheep. I didn't become one of those hundred sheep by responding to the gospel - I responded to the gospel because the Lord is my Shepherd - if the Lord were not my shepherd, I would not have responded to His call. It isn't that I became one of his flock when I responded to the gospel, it is that my status as one of his flock became manifest when I responded to His call. The call goes out to all the sheep in the fold, but the ones who reject the gospel demonstrate that they are not of Christ's fold.
Rose responded within 10 minutes with the sort of pre-emptive and pregnant question I typically ask intended to draw out an answer that will eventually be used against the argument being made. So I wanted to be careful in how I replied to that. No one likes to knowingly shoot themselves in the foot, even if deep down they know that sometimes it is the best thing for you. Her question was this::
How does an earthly shepherd aquire sheep, Daniel, and how does that relate to the parable?
Now to me this seemed to be one of those questions that if you answer it directly you affirm the premise - you know, if someone asks you whether you have stopped beating your spouse, any answer which doesn't address and dispel the premise (that you beat your spouse) is an affirmation that you do. So I didn't want to answer the question in a way that would suggest something other than my own understanding of scripture - in this case, I didn't want to answer in a way that suggested that sheep (Christians) became the property of the Shepherd (Christ) through the purchase (atonement), but I wanted my answer to reflect what I believe - that Christ redeemed His own, and that the "purchase" was not an act of aquisition, but rather of redemption as scripture teaches. So my answer, which stood unquestioned for a day at least was as follows:
Rose asked, "How does an earthly shepherd aquire sheep?"

An earthly shepherd purchases a flock of sheep with currency.

Rose also asked, "... and how does that relate to the parable?"

We should be careful about mixing metaphors at this point. To be sure, Christ did not "purchase" His flock - He redeemed it. Understanding the difference might help one to understand why the sheep are already the property of the shepherd.

Purchase suggests that one is aquiring something that was never their own, but redeemption suggests that one is paying a debt to retrieve something that one already owns.

Christ is our Redeemer, He paid the "purchase" price to redeem us, but make no mistake - His flock was already His before He ever redeemed it, otherwise it would have been a purchase and not redemption.
And that would have been the end of it, except for one comment that came the following day, the sort of comment which suggested that election was simply divine fortune telling, and that God loves everyone, and that all of us have a real God given, bible recorded opportunity to respond to the gospel.

I will post my reply to that in the next post, and you will see that this is where my take on John 10 comes into play.

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posted by Daniel @ 1:05 PM  
  • At 9:27 AM, March 02, 2007, Blogger Rose~ said…

    Daniel, You are amazing! Where do you get all the time to log these things in such detail?

    Rose responded within 10 minutes with the sort of pre-emptive and pregnant question I typically ask intended to draw out an answer that will eventually be used against the argument being made.

    I didn't know I was so clever. I was just trying to make converstaion ... instead of laying out my thoughts - that can be boring. ;~)

  • At 1:01 PM, March 03, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Rose, you're clever. ;-0

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