In a post to the Clark List, Phil Johnson said:

<<After all, Christ IS truth incarnate, and ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid in Him. Therefore to reject ANY truth is, in some sense, to set oneself against Christ.>>

Phil was using this argument to argue that we should not be so judgmental when a person rejects a particular truth about the gospel (in this case, limited atonement), since ALL error and rejection of truth, no matter what it is, is anti-Christ and anti-gospel, and thus I would have to judge any person who rejects any truth whatsoever (even if it is not directly connected to the gospel) as lost.

And in another post to the Clark List, Michael Sudduth said:

<<Since anything and everything follows from what is contradictory, a believer who holds any two contradictory beliefs *should* also believe all Five Points of Arminianism, since they follow logically from any contradiction. If Carpenter admits that he holds any contradictory beliefs, then he believes what entails Arminianism. Of course Carpenter may not see that some of his beliefs are contradictory, or see that these beliefs entail Arminianism, but in that way he is in a similar situation as some Arminians who grasp neither their contradictions nor the implications of many of their beliefs.>>

Michael was using this argument to argue that ALL inconsistency leads to Arminianism, and thus if we judge Arminians lost, we should judge everyone who holds to inconsistent views lost.

Now haven't I heard parts of these arguments somewhere before? Haven't I heard that since ALL sin is a denial of the gospel, we cannot judge someone lost based on the person's denial of the gospel? Haven't I heard that since ALL sin is an endorsement of and belief in a false gospel, we cannot judge someone lost based on the person's endorsement of and belief of a false gospel?

Somebody tell me where I've heard that before.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Marc


Phillip said:

> However, there are many (so-called "4-point Calvinists"), holding
> a doctrine
> of unlimited atonement, who nonetheless believe the ONLY
> difference between
> elect and reprobate is the sovereign election of God. They
> believe salvation
> is all God's work.


The missing element in the "4-point Calvinist" position is that salvation is all CHRIST'S work. They do not believe that salvation is conditioned totally on the work of CHRIST. Thus, they cast shame and reproach upon the honor of God's redemptive character.

> Now, seriously, how can anyone be out of harmony with truth and yet be in
> union with Christ, who IS the truth? Is this not one of those dreaded
> contradictions?

No. To be in union with Christ is to be perfect in our persons because Christ's righteousness is imputed to us. However, in our character and conduct, we are still sinners. Thus, we still believe error. But we who are Christians ARE NOT in error about the ground of our salvation.

> Moreover, employing the same logic by wich you make particular atonement a
> cardinal doctrine, shouldn't we say that ALL truth is equaly
> portentous, and
> there is no legitimate distinction between primary and secondary
> doctrines?


There IS a legitimate distinction between primary and secondary doctrines. All error is not damnable error. However, you are implying here that the doctrine of the atonement is a secondary doctrine. The atonement is the HEART of the gospel. Without the doctrine of the atonement, there is no gospel. The cardinal doctrines relate to the person (God-man mediator) and the work (atonement and righteousness) of Christ.

> And, to be as reasonable as possible, suppose we just limit this principle
> to truths revealed in Scripture. What if someone has an unsound view of,
> say, the question of whether infants should be baptized? What if
> after being
> exposed to sound teaching on the matter, the person retains his erroneous
> notions about infant baptism? Do we automatically deem him a
> Smoking Son of
> Satan?


No. Although I know some who would say that if one is confronted with ANY error and does not repent, we should consider him lost. This is wrong.

> This is no hypothetical. I have had dealings with an upstart cult that
> teaches this very thing: No point of biblical truth is properly treated as
> secondary. ANY error, on ANY doctrine, is sufficient to consign the person
> in error to the ranks of the reprobate.


This is wrong. The Bible most definitely makes distinctions between sins. There are some sins that manifest a person's lostness; these are sins that no regenerate person can commit. There are other sins that are common to both regenerate and unregenerate.

Examples of sins that it is impossible for a regenerate person to commit:

a. saying we have no sin (1 John 1:8-10)
b. denying that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22-23)
c. transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)
d. preaching a false gospel (Gal. 1:8-9)
e. believing that works help gain or maintain salvation (Gal. 5:2-3)
f. blaspheming against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31)

> How about you, Mark? Will you ultimately label people unredeemed
> for any and
> every point of disagreement with what you teach?

No.

>Isn't that the direction
>you're headed?


This is certainly what I've been accused of. I believe that I have brothers and sisters in Christ who do not agree with me on everything I believe.

> Or are you there already?

Apparently some on this list think I am!

--Marc


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