Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Romans 4 & Psalms 32

Romans 4 is a landmark explanation of Eternal Salvation by grace through faith alone. It clearly contrasts faith to works, and is absolutely clear that faith is not meritorious. Something that is meritorious has "merit" or is worthy of praise or reward.  As important as this is the chapter goes on to be clear that justification is by imputed righteousness, not imparted righteousness. That is to say that faith is accounted as righteousness, not that the one who has faith becomes or is made righteous in practice. 

This one chapter, even if it stood all by itself alone in the Bible which it does not, separates Christianity from every religion ever dreamed up by man. 

Last night at a men's Bible study I was searching for a Psalm and I ran across Psalms 32. I read the first few verses and I realized something I have missed. We'll start in Romans 4 and then look at the Psalm. 
Romans 4:1-8 
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
7 “ Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”
Perhaps you are familiar with the Rabbinical teaching method of speaking the first few lines of a passage in order to bring the entire passage to the mind of those who are hearing you? Jesus Christ did this from the Cross when He spoke "My God, My God! Why have You forsaken Me?" These words are often thought of as His being in despair in His flesh - but it was not. There was no "moment of doubt" on the  Cross. He remained obedient unto death, as we read in Philippians 2:8. He was declaring that the prophecy of Psalm 22:1-31 was being fulfilled before their eyes. 


With that in mind look at Romans 4:6-8 and then read Psalm 32 which I will now quote. 
Psalm 32:1-11
A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,  Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.  Selah   
5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.  Selah 
6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found;  Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble;  You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah
 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule,  Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. 
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! 
This is an amazing teaching!!

It might be noted immediately that Paul's quote stops halfway through verse 2. Of course the Scriptures were not separated into verses in Paul's time.  Some will say that "in whose spirit there is no deceit" shows that the person has a "changed life" but look at the rest of the Psalm.  This deceit is defined as keeping silent about your sin instead of confessing it to God. David explains the misery of trying to keep this deceit, but offers the solution in verse 5. Psalm 32:5

David goes on to explain in verses 6 & 7 that God's faithfulness is why those who know Him pray to Him knowing that He hears and will act.

Psalm 32:8-9 switches to God's words to David and these words are most instructive with regard to the Lordship Salvation point of view, or the "become a slave to be saved" view as it is being presented so often recently.  David declares in Psalm 32:5 that he confessed his sin to God and that God forgave David. This is something that has happened already, and now God is telling David what He will do now.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
God tells David that He will instruct and teach David in the way he should go. Paul by pointing us to this passage in context of Salvation, faith and works shows us that God's words to David are also to us. So listen  up!

In verse 9 God tells David to not be like a mule that must be harnessed and overcome in order for it to come to it's master.

This is what Lordship Salvation, and the most recent love affair with the concept of slavery as an illustration of Salvation in Christ Jesus tells us. That we must become bridled, have our will overcome, and be drug to Christ as a slave in order for us to be saved.

Did you listen to God speaking? Do you hear His words? Do not be like that! This is not God's will. God's will is that you would be forgiven and that you would listen to Him and let Him guide you in the way you should go. Not as a slave, but as a disciple - a student.

Hear how the Psalm closes.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! 
I hope this is a help to many!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

On My Walk

So here I am a couple of weeks into my retirement from the Canadian Forces and I'm being recruited by a very large defence contractor to go back to work on the same base I retired from as a civilian. It's a new career that would build on everything I've learned already yet require me to step up and learn so much more. I've decided to follow the challenge and see where it takes me.

I'm also working on several books, with not a lot of progress this past week. I've been very sick for the last two weeks - retirement doesn't sit well with me perhaps?

The specter of Lordship Salvation raised its insidious head at my Brethren assembly recently.

We have unity on the Gospel at the assembly. We do not spend any time talking about "Free Grace" or "Lordship Salvation" or anything like that. Frankly, we just get on with preaching the Word.  Longtime readers of On My Walk will know that I am very uncomfortable with accepting a label or title for my beliefs. One cannot control what the label means to the person who reads or hears it. To some Free Grace is equated with the Brethren of old, with the likes of H.A. Ironside... to others Free Grace is associated with the Grace Evangelical Society. There is a gulf of difference between them. Likewise there is a gulf of difference between various interpretations of Lordship Salvation.  We are charged to 'preach the Word' and so that's what we do. Blogs, conventions and meetings are good places to deal with various heresies, the pulpit is for preaching the Word.

Anyway, someone brought the theology of Lordship Salvation in and I was afraid at how it was received  by many. Many didn't immediately recognize it because they don't spend near the time that I do examining it. Some did recognize it though, and I'm thankful for that. Discussion with the Elders led to a clear and decisive move to ensure such theology is not preached to our assembly met with my approval and great relief.

In short we retained unity in the Gospel, and that's a big deal.

I've found that since I'm retired from the military and so no longer subject to moving around the world, and since we've decided to stay here in this city that the importance of everything at my assembly has greatly increased. Everything matters, I mean really matters and this is a new development in my walk. I've always loved those I fellowship with, and it has always been important that they are doing well. Now though, this importance is overwhelming.

So that's where I'm at on my walk right now. How are you doing?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Make Your Election Sure

2 Peter 1:1-15 is a section of Scripture that stands in stark contrast to the concept that 'saving faith' is a faith that works, or a faith that perseveres, or a faith that DOES. Most specifically 2 Peter 1:5-9 indicates that works must be added to our faith, it is not our faith that works.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
I've written about this passage before, and made no small point of verse 9. That a person who has faith, but does not add these things to it can forget that they were saved. This is a shocking revelation for anyone who believes in the TULIP concept of "Perseverance of the Saints." However, today I want to talk about the one part of 2nd Peter chapter 1 that gets used to support the idea that "true saving faith works." 


2Pet 1:10 
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
A proponent of the view I'm opposing might say: 
If you're really saved you'll do all the things that Peter wrote about; so make sure you're really saved.
On the surface this statement and conclusion has an appearance of some validity; if the point is that one can have assurance of salvation by seeing these things happening in their life. The person might note that the one who forgets that their sins were purged (Verse 9) would have no assurance of salvation.

On the surface perhaps... but it's convoluted isn't it? This is taking all of what Peter wrote and twisting it two different ways. One that really saved people do these so if you're really saved then you'll do them. The other that this is about assurance.

Now I've had multitudes of conversations with people who hold to Lordship Salvation, and Perseverance of the Saints about these tests of salvation. I have consistently found that their arguments jump back and forth between testing the validity of one's salvation and offering assurance to those who are saved.  When the one is shown to be false they simply move to the other; wash rinse repeat ad nausuem.

Instead of continuing the cycle let's see what Peter says his point is.


2Pet 1:10-11 is the whole point, not just verse 10 by itself.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For so an entrance!!! The NIV renders this as a "rich welcome" into the eternal Kingdom. This whole passage is about ensuring fruitfulness and experiencing the nature of Christ in your own life while we are here - so that when we go to Heaven we will be greatly rewarded for bringing glory to the Name of Christ.

But instead of just reading a short snippet and hoping we have the context correct, let's look at the whole passage.

He begins the section with these precious verses 2Pet 1:1-4
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We may be partakers of His divine nature - according to His promises! Then of course we read how we can partake by adding the various things of His nature to our faith in 2Pet 1:5-9. (see above). Peter then finishes the passage with these encouraging words 2Pet 1:12-15
12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
It is because of our promise of being able to partake, and the great rewards that await those who do that Peter will not be negligent to remind us always of these things - even though he knew those he was writing to were established. He is so passionate about this that he wants to make sure that his reminders continue even after he is deceased.

He's not concerned that these people may not really be saved. He's not concerned that they might not know if they are saved or not. He is concerned with the fruitfulness of their walk, and the richness of their entrance into Heaven.

So Brethren, add to your faith all the things of Christ's nature and you will have a rich entrance into Heaven.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Free Grace Blog

Brother Liam Moran has a new (as of December 2010) Free Grace blog titled Into This Grace.  Liam has a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctorate of Ministry from Andersonville Theological Seminary and a BA in Pastoral Studies from Moody Bible Institute.

Please check Into This Grace out, Liam's passion for protecting and proclaiming the message of God's grace is a drink of cool refreshing water for anyone who also carries this same burden in their heart; like I do.

Right now he's looking at how assemblies of believers search for Pastors. Specifically dealing with search committees, transition and candidacy.  This is something I'm going to be reading this week with interest because my own assembly is considering a candidate for the position of Associate Pastor.

Please pray for Liam and for the ministry that God would have for him through his blog!

I've added Into This Grace to the links and blogs I follow here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Prodigal Son and the Slave Brother

http://www.cooneyillustration.com/zparable-prodigalson.htm
Much is said of the (so called) parable of the Prodigal Son, yet not nearly enough if you ask me! In fact the common name for the parable itself is a big part of the problem. It leaves out half the story!! It leaves out the part about slavery! Perhaps we should call in international conspiracy theorist Dr. MacArthur (Dr. Jones of the Bible perhaps??) who keenly picked up on how there had been an international, near double millennia conspiracy to coverup the concept of slavery in the New Testament scriptures. See The Bible X-Files? and my Final Thoughts on Slave (the doctor's latest book). 

Perhaps there has been a conspiracy to cover up the slavery concept that is clearly portrayed in the original Greek but not often revealed in the English translations of the New Testament? Let's crack the case by going to the source! 

The whole parable is found in Luke 15:11-32, but let's start with a few English translations of verse 29. In this verse we find the complaint of the elder brother to the father who had just accepted his lost son back into the warmth of the family with a celebration! I have bolded the words which are rendered from the Greek word douleuĆ³ which is a from the word doulos which Dr. MacArthur claims to have uncovered 'a conspiracy of biblical proportions' to cover up the true meaning of "slave." douleuĆ³ means "I am a doulos" or "I have been a doulos." Check out Strong's Numbers Greek 1398.

NKJV - which is my preferred preaching & teaching version because of its readability. 
29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 
NIV (2011 - I'm not sure how the previous version rendered it) 
29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.

ESV - The version Dr. MacArthur heaps praise on.
29but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
OK so what's my point? I have to admit I have more than one. Least important is the obvious incongruence between MacArthur's video about his new book Slave, and his video about his new ESV Study Bible. The ESV is said to be an accurate word for word translation, but it calls slavery service? 

More important is the fact that the elder brother had served his father like a slave, and the prodigal son had not - yet the father welcomed him as a son he was delighted with! Read the whole parable again. Luke 15:11-32

The younger son is horrendous to the father, takes off with his wealth and squanders it on his fleshly desires. No one can deny that this was a horrible thing for him to do. Things quickly got miserable for him. He was a Jew and it got so bad that he had to try to feed himself by looking after pigs - unclean animals according to Levitical Law; Lev 11:7 (for example). 

Then the ESV says that the young man "came to himself" Luke 15:17, and decided that even his fathers slaves/servants were more prosperous than he was! Much is said about the son's intent to serve his father, but he never actually said that to his dad. He only managed to say that he was not worthy to be called his son. At that point the father, who had already ran out to meet the young man before he could return home, sent his servants for the finest robes and put a ring on his hand. Then they had a huge celebration! 

Now there is much debate about the application of this parable to salvation. Is this about restoration of fellowship or is it about a sinner getting saved? Is it a son who was always a son who went away and was welcomed back or is it about a son who "was dead, and lost, but now is alive and found"? I actually tend to think of it as a salvation message, he was dead and is now alive.... but it really doesn't matter for the point of this article. 

The elder son had slaved for his father, and the younger son didn't and was not required by the father to do so. They both had full fellowship, and sonship. The only difference is that the younger prodigal one enjoyed the celebration because he knew he was not worthy to be called a son.  Luke 7:47 comes to mind.

God the Father doesn't require slavery for one to be saved. He requires us to see ourselves as we are, and see our need for reconciliation to Him met fully in His Son Jesus Christ. We are not worthy to be called sons and daughters, but He runs out to us and cloths us in the finest Robe anyway. 

Galatians 3:26-29 
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

On Finishing Well

Last week I retired from my career of 20 years and 4 days in the Canadian Forces.  There is almost an endless amount of material from my career that might be worthy of comment, helpful in explaining some truth, or an example of what not to do in a particular situation; however it is my last year of service that truly defines my career.

Over the past few months, as I've been considering what to do next there has been ample time to review previous performance reviews and I've found that I can gladly include every review I can find (the last 7 years) with any resume I give out. I can honestly say that I have served my country well and that I was recognized for doing so. That being said for some time now it has been clear that it was time for me to move on to something new. A lot of situations in my life have changed me, changed my desires, dreams, ambitions and what I am dedicated to; not the least of which was getting saved and learning to help others hear about Christ. The last few years in the Canadian Forces were challenging for me on many levels. I didn't want to be there any more, but I had sworn an oath.

Now I want to be clear, I love the Canadian Forces. No matter what you might think of the concept, I am proud of the service I gave and of the Force I served in and with. I have been part of an organization that somehow mixes pride with pure unselfishness to stand between the citizens of Canada and danger.

I do not subscribe to "Lifestyle Evangelism" but can't deny that when you live and work as the Lord has instructed that people DO take notice.  I submitted my intention to release, and turned down all further contracts over a year and a half ago. Nearly everyone expected me to stop working, or do the bare minimum. Again and again it was commented that I should be slowing down. Instead, I caught my second wind and found joy in my work again. Overcoming challenges and accomplishing goals were no longer about getting promoted, now they were about me growing and truly working for my earthly masters as though I was working directly for the Lord. It made no sense to anyone - not even my superiors who seemed to be unsure what to do with me.

By the time my last week came around my superiors were no longer surprised that I was continuing to work harder than all my peers. As I was doing the final administration to retire a superior came to me and asked if I could finish a personnel evaluation report - a dreaded task! He was in a bind, and buttered me up by saying the "one guy I can always count on is leaving." I didn't even consider saying no to him, and not one single person in the organization was surprised to find me working away on it three days before I retired. It had become normal to see me to be going above and beyond.

So what's the pay off? Is it just so great to be admired? Hardly. The pay off is that while many of my other (truly saved) Christian co-workers will probably never get the opportunity to credibly share their faith with these supervisors - I did.

It took a lot of work. 

It is not the type of evangelism that I suggest be your primary style. 

It worked. 

As it played out a couple of times the day I left; as I stood in the office of a superior two ranks above me he asked me with a coy face - "Kevin, are you trying to change me?" 

I was able to answer truthfully and emphatically "I would do anything for that to happen, but it's not up to me." Acts 26:28-29

He knew it was between him and God, and that I wasn't asking him to join a club, or a religion. He knew I was serious, and that I wasn't just some flake. He knew God is serious. My mission was complete, those who believe will be saved and those who don't will be condemned. Mark 16:16

As much as I wanted to leave the Canadian Forces two years ago I'm glad the Lord kept me there - just long enough to finish well. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fail-Safe for Fallacy eBook Edition for $2.99

Fail-Safe for Fallacy: Every Believer Can Cut Straight to the Truth was written during a very challenging time in my life. I thought everything was falling apart. Looking back on that time now though; I see God clearing my schedule and focusing my mind so that I could share what He had taught me up to that point. Fail-Safe is my first book. God willing it will be my first of many.

The title may make the book sound intimidating, or worse pretentious, but the book is an easy read and I'm told by many people a very helpful work. Whether you're a new believer, or an old soldier wanting to sharpen your sword Fail-Safe is a great help.  The focus of the book is protecting the Church by protecting individual Believers from fallacy, or false teaching through learning to study the Bible above theology.

If this blog has been a blessing to you then I hope you'll check out Fail-Safe for Fallacy and ask someone else to do the same. The print book sells for $11.69 but the eBook is priced for everyone at $2.99.


If you don't have a Kindle eBook reader you can get the application free for PC, Mac, iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry... the list goes on.

Here's the product description from Amazon.com

This is the eBook edition of Fail-Safe for Fallacy, an easy to read book which helps the reader study Scripture above theology. 
Here is the original book description:
A sure faith and a clear understanding of the Bible is available to every Believer, not just Pastors and theologians. There is no need for any of us to be led astray and have our hopes dashed because they have been built on fallacy. God who cannot lie has breathed out truth in His Word to us in such a way that we each really can understand it.
We live in an age of unprecedented access to knowledge yet the popular media thrives by selling us news bites we seldom verify. Most church goers today get all their theology in 40 minute purpose filled messages on Sunday mornings. Many have almost no ability to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" and so leave the deeper things of God and the sure faith they build to be experienced by only those who have been to seminary. This makes us easy prey for false teachers, and prophets. Shockingly, it mostly goes unnoticed that the lost are being inoculated against Eternal Salvation by false conversion experiences. We need a fail-safe against all this error and God has given it to us in His Word.
Fallacy lays in wait for every unprepared believer but the Bible was written to reveal truth to us. Fail-Safe For Fallacy can help anyone confidently learn this truth directly from the Scriptures. Every Believer really can cut straight through to the truth God has given us in His Word instead of being tossed to and fro by the various doctrines of men.
You can know truth, and be sure of it!

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Discussion About Unconditional Election

So I'm reading Norman Geisler's Second Edition of Chosen But Free copyright 2001 for the first time. It is a discussion about Election seemingly from a "Moderate Calvinist" perspective. It would be reasonable to term myself as a "Moderate Calvinist" in that I tend to hold to a lot of what John Calvin wrote about, but I do not at all go beyond that. An "Extreme Calvinist" is someone who is more "Calvinistic" than John Calvin was, and that would include all 5 Point Calvinists, and many 4 pointers as well. I'm currently at page 69 of 290 (according to my Kindle).

For the most part up to this page I thought the book was presenting a view which is "more Calvinistic" than I am but it is extremely well thought out and presented so I have been enjoying it nonetheless. Turns out I was reading some of my ideas about Calvinism into what the author was writing. Also, he has opened my understanding and I believe my views have changed ever so slightly - functionally, but not practically - if that is clear at all...
I previously believed that Election was mostly about what we are elected to do BECAUSE we have been saved; ie works prepared beforehand for us to walk in, suffering, sanctification, glorification... and that also some people (perhaps John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul) were Elected to Eternal Salvation... that there is a group who were elected to Salvation, but that believing the Gospel was open to every person. I have discussed as much before. See Tripping TULIP Part 3: Unconditional Election. In that article I had these closing thoughts:
This is probably the doctrine I come closest to believing in TULIP. I believe that God has elected some to be Eternally Saved. Many are called, few are chosen sort of thing. However, I cannot let my thoughts decide what Scripture says. Scripture must always define what I think. Theology that is an inch deep and a mile wide comes from the presupposition that Salvation, Justification and Repentance are always about Eternal Salvation.
My struggle with the concept was clear back then, and has been on going since.

The Moderate Calvinist view of Election is well explained in a story shared on pages 68-69 of Chosen But Free. I'm going to quote that story here because I believe it is invaluable to understanding how God can "choose" who is saved, without also choosing who will be damned - and it is this very point on which our understanding either offends all of God's attributes or offends some or all of them.

Discussing a young Believer who is interested in marriage Geisler relates that the man (Jim) is interested in pursuing one of two women, Joan or Betty. Geisler states that the man has three possible courses of action. (1) to propose to neither of them; (2) to propose to Joan; or (3) to propose to Betty. He then notes that the man is under no compulsion to propose, or not to propose to either. It is his "free will" choice to make. Now here is the story, please read it carefully because without the context of the previous 67 pages one may jump to the conclusion that Geisler is making an Arminianistic argument that supposes God is dependant on the decisions of men; he is not.

Suppose further that the young man happens to konw that if he proposes to Joan she will say yes and if he proposes to Betty she will say no. Suppose then, in accordance with this foreknowledge of how she will freely respond, that Jim chooses to propose to Joan. Suppose even that he knew she would be reluctant at first but with persistent and loving persuasion she would eventually--freely--accept his offer. The decision on his part was entirely free, uncoerced, and not based on anything outside himself. But it was also a decision that was with full knowledge of the response and which respected the free choice of the person to whom he decided to propose. This is analogous to what the moderate Calvinists believe about God's unconditional election.
Note here that Jim's election was done according to his foreknowledge, that he determined, but she freely chose. She was not compelled, it was freely Joan's decision to accept. Jim also freely chose, soverignly chose. Yet he did not make his choice a violation of the one he chose. He did not force himself on her. He also did not choose that Betty would remain unmarried. It was not his choice, it was hers.

This view may be complicated to wrap your head around based on one short story, but note this: It lines up, I would say perfectly, with all election passages - including that God does not will that any will perish but desires all to come to repentance. Jim didn't will that Betty would be alone, she wouldn't accept him so she willed that she would be alone. Also - for those God foreknew he also predestined.... Jim foreknew Joan would accept, so he chose her - she wouldn't have been able to marry Jim if Jim didn't ask her. She was reluctant at first and he had to pursue her. She was not seeking him, he was seeking her. Sound familiar?

I find rest in my thinking, a removal of needless tension in the Scriptures, and clarity of understanding with this view.

So that's my take on it, what are your thoughts?