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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conversations with a Synergist, Part 1


Dialogue can be good. When we come face to face with someone who holds a different theological view from our own views, especially if we disagree with their views, it's best to ask them and come to an understanding.


What do they believe...why do they believe it? When we witness of the Lord's truth as found in His Word we need to do it with several things in mind:

#1- Assuming we're not rebuking someone we have spiritual responsibility for...we need to approach the person with love...

#2- We need to have truth as the ultimate goal...not the idea of winning a debate...

#3- If we really believe #2 we'll be open to having our own theology challenged...and if we find that we're wrong we need to admit it and move over to the truth as its been revealed.
#4- We need to let the other side define what they believe...and then hold them to Scriptural accountability and contextual consistency.

Well...I've been having an online debate with an Independent Fundamental Baptist preacher that preached a sermon that was very anti-reformed/Calvinist. This sermon got a lot of attention...mainly because it was filled with errors, misunderstandings of the reformed position...and just a bit of venom. I purposefully approached the pastor in a loving, respectful...and yet firm manner about where I thought he was in error. So far it's been very civil and I think both of us are enjoying the discussion.

I'll be posting some of the discussions and I'll keep his name out of it. My hopes is that the reformed listeners with be strengthened in what they believe and the non reformed synergists will honestly take a good look at the inconsistency of their position.

Here is the main theme of our discussion...he said in the sermon that "I can deal with Romans 9 in 30 seconds...they're going to have a lot tougher time dealing with all the whosoevers in the Bible." He then goes on to say that "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Rom 9:13) has "nothing to do with salvation. That whole passage has nothing to do with salvation."
This is what I called him to task on...he didn't answer the Romans 9 passage in context and I can answer the "Whosoevers" of the Word. Next post will be a synopsis of our online debate. For now...read Romans 8-9 and ask yourself this question;

What does Romans 8 have to do with Romans 9? Can you divorce the verses preceding v. 13? What is the whole passage about and do you believe that Romans 9 is about God's corporate choice of nations for His purposes...or is it somehow about individual salvation?
Talk to you soon...for now, study to show thyself approved!
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> posted by Jim Leavenworth at

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