Bible Survey – The Fall

bible-pagesThe next installment of Bible Survey has been posted.  The Fall recounts the events of Gen. 2:4 – 3:24, and offers plenty of food for thought.  I’m sure you will wonder why some things were left out.  These posts are so long as it is, even though there were other things I would have liked to have said.  Perhaps it will happen in the comment thread as people respond or ask questions.  I think there are 3 points of interest that could spark debate:

  1. I definitely take the view that man has free will, and plainly deny predestination in my explanation of original sin.
  2. Marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman; at least, marriage that honors God as it was given by God.
  3. Genesis 3:15 is the first hint at the announcement of the Gospel.  The notion of Jesus appears as early as the third chapter of the Bible.  God knew even then what he was doing, and Moses writes it down without having a clue.

Link to The Fall at Bible Survey.

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3 thoughts on “Bible Survey – The Fall

  1. Clark,

    Can you explain what you mean by this?

    I definitely take the view that man has free will, and plainly deny predestination in my explanation of original sin.

  2. I simply wanted to be upfront about not being a 5 point Calvinist, rather than take someone by surprise as they read the lesson. I caefully and thoughtfully considered each point of Calvinism a few years ago, and would probably make a good 3 1/2 point Cavinist. The criticism of Calvanists will be that I am therefore a Palageian, and that there is no middle ground. I disagree, and belive the truth of the matter to be in between those two extremes. Rather than list several ascpects of each school of thought that I do not believe, I will try to offer a concise statement of what I do believe is the truth of our salvation as described in scripture.

    I believe that each one of us is naturally born into a sin nature. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves, and stand in need of a savior. God offers salvation through Jesus Christ. There is nothing limited about the saving power of his shed blood. The Holy Spirit acts to draw people to Jesus Christ. He does not pick and choose which people he will draw, and the Bible does not indicate that he does. Upon hearing the Gospel, the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sins, and the attraction to come to Jesus is there. Many people will reject this call of the Holy Spirit, the only sin for which there is no forgiveness. Each person that hears the Gospel and is capable of understanding will be called at least once, and some of us had many opportunities to respond. Do we save ourselves? No, we are not capable of forgiving ourselves, nor of making peace between ourselves and God. God offers salvation through Jesus Christ, and sends his Spirit to invite us to receive. We do not do anything to save ourselves by choosing the free gift of salvation that God offers. We can’t do it on our own, but by the same token God doesn’t do it to us against our will.

    Calvinists have a lot of good analogies about how we would never choose God because we are naturally evil and will always choose sin instead. The dog choosing a steak over a worn boot is a good one; but it is not the same. Being able to choose God during our time of conviction by the Holy Spirit is a gift of God. It is a window of opportunity when God allows us to see ourselves as we really are, in order to make a choice between life and death. The Bible is clear that many will choose sin and its deception over the narrow way that leads to life.

    I am lead to believe from my study of the scripture and personal conviction that salvation is not thrust upon us forcably and aginst our will. I say to my Calvinist friends that the Apostle Paul is an extrodinary case, and his experience on the Damascus road is not the model that many (if any at all) follow.

  3. The above comment is lengthy, and I apologize.

    I need to also say that the teachings of Calvinism are widely accepted by many in my denomination. There are no doubt 5-point readers of this blog who I run the risk of offended, or at the least they will be trying to convert me. Having different views is one of those things about the Christian faith. Hopefully readers that differ on Calvinism, infant baptism, the rapture, celebrating Christmas, the communion table and many other issues can continue to dialog about our beliefs. I look forward to a healthy exchange of ideas that involves lots of explanation and very little finger pointing. This blog is read by Protestants, Catholics and a few atheists. I think we all stand to learn something from each other.

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