2 Peter 3:9

An inveterate list-maker Quixote is. He’s proposed a new list: the top-ten list of most frequently misinterpreted Bible verses. This is a work-in-progress, and all are encouraged to submit their candidates; supporting rationale and justification is optional, but correct identification of the interpretational or hermeneutic error involved in the misinterpretation garners extra logic and style points for your entry(s). As a point of order, it might be acceptable to propose a Scriptural passage in lieu of a singe verse, if several commonly misinterpreted verses are linked together in a manner whereby they cannot be segregated, or if the misinterpretation requires several verses. Combining isolated verses to convey a systematic misinterpretation, however, is unacceptable for the purposes of this list.

Quixote’s first entry, and this in no way suggests this entry should or will be ranked number one, or even make the list, I suppose, is one of the most commonly cited verses in the New Testament: 2 Peter 3:9…

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. KJV

Interpretational error category: context

Beware of citing biblical verses out of context. A verse on its lonesome may be equivocated faster than you can say good. OK, well, the logicians are laughing, anyway…The primary reason this verse is cited with such frequency is its seeming disagreement with unconditional election, the Reformed doctrine that God has elected some but not all to salvation based solely on the purpose and pleasure of His good will. Nonetheless, what does this verse teach?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise. What promise? Without context, we may simply engorge the word promise with any meaning we so desire.  Fortunately, Peter did not leave us to wonder or surmise. In fact, he defines precisely what he means by promise in the opening verses of his epistle:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  2 Pet 1:3-4

But who are the we and us in the above verses that God has promised? Again, Peter does not leave us to question the identity of those God has promised: Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Pet 1:1. Thus, it is those who have received a precious faith through the righteousness of Jesus Christ who have received the promise of God. Indeed, 2 Pet 1:1 makes it exceedingly clear that 2 Peter was written to Christians–those with faith–and not the world. This becomes redundantly obvious as we track through the epistle:

8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet 1:8

10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 2 Pet 1:10-12

16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Pet 1:16

19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 2 Pet 1:19-20

1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. 2 Pet 2:1

3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. 2 Pet 2:3

1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you [Note: the first epistle of Peter was addressed to God’s elect]. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 2 Pet 3:1-3

As if this were not clear enough, note the contrast between the saved and lost in 2 Peter. I apologize for length, but it fully captures the contrast, and, after all, it is the Bible, which we’re supposed to enjoy:

1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; 11yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. 12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.

 13They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

17These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.” 2 Pet 2

3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 2 Pet 3: 3-7

Could there be a clearer dichotomy between the saved and lost in this epistle? Now, Peter proceeds directly to 2 Pet 3:8-9:

8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

If you’ve made it this far, here’s the question: who does Peter refer to as beloved and us-ward in these two verses? In the context of the epistle, it’s a rhetorical question. He’s referring to the saved, to those who have the great and precious promises of God. Next question, equally rhetorical in context: who are the any and all in verse 9? It’s certainly not the ungodly men of verse seven for whom the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire and judgment. It can only be Peter’s audience; those to whom he addressed both of his epistles: the elect of God, those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours. Any other reading is fatal to the understanding of not only this verse, but the entire epistle.

What is God saying to His elect, then? Ironically, 2 Pet 3:9, understood properly, is one of the strongest passages in the Bible arguing for perseverance of the saints. God is not willing that any [of you] should perish, but that all [of you] should come to repentance. Please don’t think I’m adding words to the biblical text. Something has to be incorporated to complete the thought, and, in context, it must be Peter’s audience. What else would we put? Any what? All what? God is not willing that any [ungodly men] should perish, but that all [dogs that return to their vomit] should come to repentance?  The context and contrast preclude this interpretation. Be sure to grasp the contrast…here it is again: 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.

Hence, what a wonderful and reassuring verse for those who love, and are loved by, God. There’s one last detail that sweetens the verse immeasurably. Those who misinterpret this verse are forced to conclude that the willing mentioned in verse nine must be God’s permissive or preceptive will. These wills of God, as in the ten commandments, may be disobeyed. Thus, 2 Pet 3:9, in this sense, describes a God who desires everyone to be saved, but does not ensure that anyone will be saved, perhaps, to some, even at times losing those He attempts to save. But given our preferred interpretation, it’s actually God’s decretive will Peter describes in 2 Pet 3:9–as in let there be light.

Read the verse once more, Christian, knowing that it is you God has in mind, and that He wills your salvation as certainly as He decreed let there be light:

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Amen.

39 comments

  1. Randy says:

    Well done, but no verse gets abused more than Jeremiah 29:11. When’s the last time you’ve seen verse 10 mentioned along with it?

  2. Quixote says:

    I agree, Randy…a constantly abused verse, especially within the *prosperity gospel*, utilized to suggest that God only allows good in our lives. Here it is in context:

    This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

    Now that you mention it, I’ve never seen or heard vs 10 included when commonly quoted. The thought this verse is frequently used to express is much better captured in Romans 8:28, I think. Definitely a list candidate, Randy…

    BTW-thanks for dropping by.

  3. Arizona Samson says:

    Interesting read on your take of 2 Peter 3:9, friend. Not that I agree with you Quixote, but interesting read nonetheless.

    Your interpretation of this verse poses a problem for the Calvinist in attempting to reconcile the Reformed doctrine of Limited Atonement with that of Perserverance of the Saints.

    If Peter is speaking of the elect in 2 Peter 3:9 then he is also implying that those same elect may lose their salvation when he states ” not willing that any should perish”.

    Quite the quandry indeed.

  4. Hey, Arizona. Not a Calvinist, myself, but if I understand the OP correctly, Marc’s arguing that “not willing” involves the effective will of God–that is, because God is not willing that any should perish, none of the elect could. I think that’s what he means about this being one of the strongest verses for the P in TULIP.

    So to make an alternate argument, we’d have to show from the Bible that this understanding of “willing” is unsupported by Scripture.

    @Marc
    Stop your chuckling at this turn of events, Papa Bear. 😉 I can hear you from Canada.

  5. Marc Schooley says:

    Samson my good friend,

    So glad you stopped by…dissent and disagreement always welcome, especially from you. Cat’s pretty much said what I would say, which is briefly addressed in the third to last paragraph. Nevertheless, it was a real pleasure to boot up and see you at the site, Samson. I’m hoping everything is well on your end. God bless you friend.

    @Cat

    “Not a Calvinist, myself”

    Yet.

    “So to make an alternate argument, we’d have to show from the Bible that this understanding of “willing” is unsupported by Scripture.”

    Or, more specifically, that this understanding of willing is not in play in 2 Pet 3:9, I’d think.

    “I can hear you from Canada.”

    No doubt you can.

    Her comment here with regard to chuckling is not aimed at you, Sam, in case you were wondering…

    btw-Did Shema put you up to this?

  6. “Yet.”

    Ever. 😛

    “Her comment here with regard to chuckling is not aimed at you, Sam, in case you were wondering…”

    Providential understanding, Marc.

    I’m poking fun at myself, Sam, for defending a side position–can’t call it opposing, for I’m neither Calvinist nor Arminian, but the tertium quid.

  7. MS says:

    “I’m neither Calvinist nor Arminian, but the tertium quid.”

    AKA: semi-pelagian :)

  8. AKA: has incorrigible friends. I barely know what a semi-Pelagian is, at least in modern terms…

  9. shemaromans says:

    “btw-Did Shema put you up to this?”

    Why would you think that, Ray? Samson freely chose to visit and comment. :p

    “AKA: has incorrigible friends.”

    You’re an observant, intelligent woman, Cat!

  10. Marc Schooley says:

    “Why would you think that, Ray? Samson freely chose to visit and comment. :p”

    Ah, yes, Shema, but you could have freely choose to put him up to his free choosing :p

  11. shemaromans says:

    Good point, quixote. However, would Samson then have freely chosen if he chose what I intended for him to choose? :)

  12. Marc Schooley says:

    Infinite regression seems to be one of the philosophic bugaboos for a libertarian (usually thought of a “free”) view of the will. If there’s no inclination for the will–if it is completely free of all influence–how does it ever choose? If it’s an act of the will that enables a choice causally, then that act of the will itself–the choice to choose–would require an act of the will. Which itself would require one, and so on.

    But, perhaps the will has this mystical power by which it can choose without any inclination or influence. Besides positing a metaphysical mystery as a foundation for your view of the will, in that scenario, which seems to posit an effect without a cause, what significance could we attach to an act of the will if it acted for no discernable reason?

    Generally, I wish a libertarian view of the will to be true, but it seems to me that compatibilism is much more satisfying philosophically, though not without its own difficulties. Roughly, compatibilism states that determinism and freedom may coexist. The will in this view acts in line with a chain of causality. Thus, I, although libertarians might argue, would say that Samson freely chose.

    He chose exactly what he wanted, so even if it were determined, he chose freely. What better definition of free will is there than to choose exactly what one wants, pursuant necessarily to his strongest desire?

  13. Oh, egads. We’ve got him going now…is there a Prozac for philosophy? 😀

    Marc, to get serious for a moment, what would you cite as philosophical source material for the argument of the will that you’re presenting? I realize you’re referencing theological ideas, but I have it in my head that, like cl’s Aristotelian argument, the Greeks did some of this stuff too. Educate a non-philosopher, if you would.

    “You’re an observant, intelligent woman, Cat!”

    Why thank you, dear, and same to you. I mean, really. What *are* nice girls like us doing in a place like this?

  14. Marc Schooley says:

    You can get all you want online over at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, with scores of references and bibliographic entries to check out. It should point you in all the directions at once.

    I would cite Freedom of the Will, by Jonathan Edwards, as source material for this argument for the theological leaning. He doesn’t use the terms, but the ideas are roughly the same. And if you can weather run-on sentences, it’s a great read, even if you disagree with it.

  15. “even if you disagree with it.”

    You assume so much!

    I really enjoy Edwards. But something twigged in there, and I was sure I’d read something to do with arguments of human will like a really long time ago, before becoming a Christian. I cannot place it, and it’s bugging me now.

    I’ll poke around Stanford. Thanks.

  16. Marc Schooley says:

    “You assume so much! ”

    *Yet* lives, I see…

  17. Incorrigible. Irreclaimable, intractable, hopelessly delinquent, obstinate, oppositional, irretrievably juxtaposed, subtended of spirit. A veritable walking hypotenuse…this being the side of a triangle which is opposite the right angle…

  18. Randy Brandt says:

    One might wonder if Cat sleeps, what with posting on every blog known to man while writing five or six essays a day at her own. No wonder the kids get a little wild at times. “Mommy, I stepped on a rusty nail and it’s poking through!” Cat: “So get a hammer and pound it back–I’ve got some comments to write.”
    Anyway, I’ll dispense with the tertium quid cop-out (ahem!) by invoking the Law of the Excluded Middle. Let’s go with monergist and synergist (as all semi-Pelagians must) and be done with it. I cheerfully plant my Ephesians 2 flag on the soteriological hill and await the barbarian hordes’ assault.

  19. Randy Brandt says:

    In case I wasn’t clear at the end, my flag screams, “Monergism,” along with Hebrews 12:2 and a host of other Scriptures.

  20. You do realize, Randy, that the wild (but not uncultivated) children have a response to those who might think of denigrating their quiet, unassuming little wallflower of a mother: “Mommy, do you need us minions to attack?”

    You just keep waving that screaming flag, my friend, and have fun with that. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue reading Schaff. The game is afoot.

  21. Randy Brandt says:

    “Schaff” is preferable to “chaff,” certainly. I rather fancy Philip myself. Wish I had more time to read him. As for the minions, I’d never dare to denigrate their mother, so the pitchforks and scythes should remain ensconced within the barn, machine shed, or whatever you utilize. Bring out the sword of the Lord!

  22. Matt says:

    Cathi – Never

    Never say never, Cathi!

    If you want the Coles Notes of compatibilism, here you go.

  23. MS Quixote says:

    “The game is afoot.”

    Holmes is exceptional, and this is one of my favorites.

  24. Shemaromans says:

    That’s almost as good as “the gamer’s a foot.” :)

  25. MS Quixote says:

    “Anyway, I’ll dispense with the tertium quid cop-out (ahem!) by invoking the Law of the Excluded Middle. ”

    Hey Randy,

    The law of the excluded middle here would claim something to the effect that “either it is the state of affairs that monergism and synergism represent the full range of views describing man’s and God’s activity with regard to saving grace, or it isn’t the case that monergism and synergism represent the full range of views describing man’s and God’s activity with regard to saving grace.”

    I don’t think that Cat was positing a tertium quid outside of those options. Her comment, specifically, was “I’m neither Calvinist nor Arminian, but the tertium quid.” There do exist other choices other than Calvinism and Arminianism, for instance, Molinism/Pelagianism/Hyper-Calvinism/Free Grace/4 point Calvinism, so I think her statement holds.

    Arminianism is a loaded system that many non-Calvinists do not wish to be identified with or pigeonholed within. For instance, I’m fairly certain Cat self-describes as a 3.5 Calvinist; thus, the Arminian label would not be attractive to her, and I wager this is what she had in mind with her TQ.

    Hence, in fun, I gathered all Cat’s tertium quid options under the heading of semi-pelagianism, supposing that she would not opt for either a Calvinist or other non-semi-pelagian (gotta love three hyphons) position.

    But which of the excluded middle claims above is true? I’m not certain, but I’m thinking the latter, whereby the dichotomy is sufficient to handle the standard Calvinist/Arminian disagreement–I’m thinking this is what you intended with your “as all semi-pelagians must” clarification–though not necessarily inclusive of every conceivable system.

    I can envision a position whereby God makes a prevenient grace available to all mankind who are not totally depraved, yet does nothing to woo people to saving faith through the Holy Spirit (envisioning does not entail biblical support, btw). This would not seem to be adequately defined by the normal conception of salvific synergism whereby both God and man participate actively in faith prior to regeneration, keeping in mind that a post-regenerative synergism is present within Calvinism.

    Accordingly, I think the dilemma offered between monergism and synergism is yet too undefined. Within monergism we could locate a full blown pelagianism–with all the work potentially achieved by man, ironically–and hyper-Calvinism. And, as above, I’ll wager there are some other conceptions floating around out there that require definition. I could be wrong here, but I think it’s at least important to keep the thought in mind.

    For the standard argument, however, I think your dichotomy is spot on, and a useful point of demarcation, especially when considering the biblical data. With that said, however, as you’re well aware, semi-pelagians staunchly deny that man adds any work to his salvation, another facet of synergism constantly requiring clarification.

    Either it’s true that man is a causal factor of his salvation hierarchally prior to regeneration, or it is not true that man is a causal factor of his salvation hierarchally prior to regeneration. I think that’s how I’d put it, which distills fairly quickly to the age-old disagreement over whether faith precedes regeneration, or not…

    At any rate, feel free to roll on with this stuff as y’all see fit–I just ask that no individual be singled out and piled on here–not that I feel the need to preach this to y’all–without their willing participation. I think Matt had a good point about this at his blog: http://seekingtobefaithful.blogspot.com/2009/10/whats-most-important.html.

    Certainly, you guys are all highly valued here because we’re all brothers and sisters.

  26. MS Quixote says:

    “That’s almost as good as “the gamer’s a foot.”

    I think it’s about 28 degrees or lower in Manitoba at the moment, Shema :)

  27. @Marc

    Thank you for the commentary, Papa Bear. I’ll be studying it and thinking on it, as I do anything you say in a serious light.

    “I just ask that no individual be singled out and piled on here–not that I feel the need to preach this to y’all–without their willing participation.”

    It’s true, I’m not hugely interested in playing the Calvinist-vs-Arminian game, other than a bit of canarding now and then. :-) But there’s been plenty of unrelated background chatter to sustain the congeniality among us.

    Matt is another new buddy. Manitoba has officially taken over the Areopagus. Hand us the keys, and everything will go nicely for you. 😉 Sorry, but we will only say please once.

    @Matt

    Matt baby!!! How’s it cookin’ out your way? :-) Hey, speaking of which, I was barbecuing in the dark, at around freezing temperatures, at my parents’ tonight. Rotten time change, taking my sunlight. But otherwise a very refreshing evening–only needed a light sweater, and was wearing a summer skirt. And hey, the moon’s near full. It’s beautiful out these evenings.

    Thanks for the notes, will look. Nice thread there at Randy’s–will read more thoroughly and thoughtfully when I’m not exhausted.

  28. Randy says:

    @ Marc
    > I think her statement holds.

    Yes, there are other choices (although sometimes pseudo). That is why I threw out a switch in terminology to monergism vs synergism because there is no third way to worry about at that point. Synergism and monergism are essentially negations of each other, rendering other options non-existent. You are right that variations within each can be postulated, or actually exist, but the discussion’s focus quickly sharpens once you start debating monergism vs synergism, especially with a prior mutual confidence in Biblical authority.

    I later saw Cat’s 3.5 comment, which I’d love to discuss at some post-Conference time. I hope I didn’t come across as piling on to my dear sister of the Westman farm country. Her verbiage tends to inspire me to Icarian heights to which I’m likely unqualified to soar. You see what results when a little heat starts melting the wax.

    @Cat
    We’ll investigate the .5 (I can guess the 1.0) post-Conference, on your timetable. You’re already most of the way there, what with imputation, substitutionary atonement, inerrancy, etc. :-) You’re like Matt was a couple of years ago–a Manitoba Calvinist who just hadn’t realized it yet!

  29. MS Quixote says:

    “I hope I didn’t come across as piling on to my dear sister of the Westman farm country.”

    Not at all. It was more of a note to self, Randy :)

  30. “I hope I didn’t come across as piling on to my dear sister of the Westman farm country. ”

    No worries, hoser.

    “Her verbiage tends to inspire me to Icarian heights”

    It’s pretty entertaining, generally. You just keep wavin’ that flag and screaming like an eagle, buddy. You never know. You might get a guest spot on Colbert.
    😀

    “I later saw Cat’s 3.5 comment, which I’d love to discuss at some post-Conference time. ”

    I’ll tell you what: You can read my conclusions when I’m done writing them. I’m actually startled how quickly I’ve started to find support for my thoughts in the very little preliminary research I’ve had time to do.

    However, I’m going into it willing to have my position disproved or altered. I know my ground, but I don’t mind digging it over. It was something promised because of Marc, not because he asked it, quite the opposite, but because I wanted to. I’m now hooked on this course of study.

    “We’ll investigate the .5 (I can guess the 1.0) post-Conference, on your timetable.”

    As I say: You can read my conclusions when I’m done investigating and formulating them, and have them all laid out.

    “You’re like Matt was a couple of years ago–a Manitoba Calvinist who just hadn’t realized it yet!”

    Hardly. Actually I’m a previous identifier as Calvinist who no longer does so.

    I think I just got hit by…was that a drip of wax? Why, yes, yes it was.

    I’ll take Bible-believer, if anyone really needs to stick a label on me.

    In the meantime, as mentioned, it’s not a topic I’m real fond of batting around to any great degree. It does seem to be one that brings out strong feelings and quickly leads to strong statements that folks later regret.

    ~Cat, Accredited Representative, Quiet and Unassuming Wallflowers Inc.

  31. Randy says:

    If Cat is a wallflower, I’m an open theist. The whole “previous Calvinist” thing got me really fascinated. I’ve only run into one other one of those, and how he represented Calvinism was not what I believe anyway. I followed the link, and What Love Is This? is beneath you, Cat–shoddy “scholarship” drenched with illogic and factual errors resulting in probably the second-worst theological book I’ve had the misfortune to wade through. Pick The Brighter Tulip and The Dark Side of Calvinism may have been slightly worse. The emergent stuff is horrible theologically, but they tend to be decent writers, at least.

    Watch out for dripping wax–I may be swooping in!

  32. “If Cat is a wallflower, I’m an open theist.”

    Randy! You’re an open theist?!?

    Keep in mind, much as I’ve sworn to defend your honour, my dear ol’ Pharisse, you’re talking to someone who regularly apologizes for any incidental and unintended swashbuckling. I’m not as useful a minion as I appear.

    “The whole “previous Calvinist” thing got me really fascinated.”

    Sure, it’s that dark mystique of mine.

    Note the caveat “identifier as.” As I’ve told Marc, I cut my teeth on John MacArthur, in-depth, for probably the first six or seven years of my Christian life. Digging deeper into the theology of Calvinism turned me off it. However, I’m not into holding any position just so as not to hold another–whether it be calling myself Calvinist so as not to be labelled Arminian, or, y’know, calling myself Bible-believer so as not to be labelled Calvinist.
    :-)

    “shoddy “scholarship” drenched with illogic and factual errors resulting in probably the second-worst theological book…The emergent stuff is horrible theologically, but they tend to be decent writers, at least.”

    Woo. That was scathing of you. I’d tend to disagree with the degree of your scathingness, to the limited extent that I’ve read the thing. I’ve never yet finished Hunt’s book. However, it’s a major piece among the non-Calvinists around my parts, so I’ll do well to have an acquaintance with it, regardless of what my final opinion of it turns out to be.

    And no, that’s not at all what I meant about finding support for my views. I’m not in Hunt right now, I’m beginning biblical study and also taking a look at the Ante-Nicene period. I referenced the post by way of explaining why I’m undertaking this. This might be a better one, about where you came in.

    Marc’s consistently made a point of being the finest example I’ve ever seen of a fully convinced, yet non-pushy, non-obnoxious, truly Christlike Reformed believer, even to his own hurt, as the saying goes. Doing some study is my way of hopefully honouring his Christian principles and the Schooley bunch’s friendship.

    All Hunt does is provide one source of opinion from the modern North American pool, Randy. I’m tackling more than that sphere, and more than just Calvinism.

    I’ll be awhile.

    “Watch out for dripping wax–I may be swooping in!”

    …to the neighbour’s field.

    I’m over here. Trying to study. In peace. Shhh.

  33. shemaromans says:

    “Marc’s consistently made a point of being the finest example I’ve ever seen of a fully convinced, yet non-pushy, non-obnoxious, truly Christlike Reformed believer, even to his own hurt, as the saying goes. Doing some study is my way of hopefully honouring his Christian principles and the Schooley bunch’s friendship.”
    You might want to revise your comment to exclude the “non-obnoxious” descriptor…

    Thank you for your kindness toward the Schooley’s, and the friendship is definitely reciprocated, if only just budding. However, in my opinion you’re honoring God through your studies, not quixote’s biblical theological grounding or Cat/Schooley amity…but you already know that. :)

  34. “in my opinion you’re honoring God through your studies”

    Thanks, Shema, I hope to. It all goes together, in my humble view…

  35. Oh, non-obnoxious…I’ll consult with RedRay and see what revisions we can come up with. 😉

  36. Randy says:

    @wallflower
    “Randy! You’re an open theist?!?”

    If I’m going to become one, God doesn’t know yet!

    “much as I’ve sworn to defend your honour, my dear ol’ Pharisse, you’re talking to someone who regularly apologizes for any incidental and unintended swashbuckling. I’m not as useful a minion as I appear.”

    So good to see that Brit spelling on “honour” again. I miss those days. A true wallflower doesn’t swash or buckle period. Your minionhood simply needs further growth.

    ” y’know, calling myself Bible-believer so as not to be labelled Calvinist.”

    Or “Jesus-follower” to avoid “Christian”; that’s the in thing now.

    > “shoddy “scholarship” drenched with illogic and factual errors resulting in probably the second-worst theological book…The emergent stuff is horrible theologically, but they tend to be decent writers, at least.”

    “Woo. That was scathing of you.”

    I was being calm, kind and avoiding my visceral response.

    “I’d tend to disagree with the degree of your scathingness, to the limited extent that I’ve read the thing.”

    Have you read my review yet to see some calm factual dissection of the disaster?
    http://www.randybrandt.net/contend/books.php?id=bWhatLove

    “However, it’s a major piece among the non-Calvinists around my parts”

    In all seriousness, the book is a travesty that should embarrass any thinking anti-Calvinist. It’s on a National Enquirer level of scholarship. Hunt simply makes stuff up. It’s infuriating.

    “so I’ll do well to have an acquaintance with it, regardless of what my final opinion of it turns out to be.”

    Agreed. Just don’t take any of it seriously, because the man doesn’t know what he’s talking about. People who swallow this are the same types who believe Gail Riplinger’s “New Age Bible Versions” is scholarly–the “don’t confuse me with the facts” crowd who keeps printing thirty-year-old pictures of the Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru’s basking shark corpse and insisting it’s a plesiosaur. I’m starting to twitch.

    “Marc’s consistently made a point of being the finest example I’ve ever seen of a fully convinced, yet non-pushy, non-obnoxious, truly Christlike Reformed believer, even to his own hurt, as the saying goes.”

    I agree. I’m fully convinced and a Reformed believer. I’ll keep working on the rest.

    “All Hunt does is provide one source of opinion from the modern North American pool, Randy.”

    Indeed. The toddler end of the kiddie pool. The book really is a waste of paper and ink, but a thoughtful person like you reading it and examining some of the facts will definitely move away from his position, so I guess it could be useful, sort of how Geisler’s Chosen But Free made me into a Calvinist.

    ” I’m tackling more than that sphere, and more than just Calvinism.”

    That’s great and I support you all the way, but I beg you to listen to some knowledgeable Reformed folks as well when you’re in that sphere. Anyone who buys imputed righteousness and substitutionary atonement is essentially Reformed–I think you’re pretty close to where I’m coming from anyway.

    “I’m over here. Trying to study. In peace. Shhh.”

    Okay, okay, I’ll go back to work. I had to vent, LaFleur. Congrats again on pulling off the whole conference thing. How beautiful are the sore feet of those who bring the good tidings of truth to Brandon…

  37. Dear Ranty,

    Okay. Breathe, man. My key reference text is always the Bible first and last.

    “How beautiful are the sore feet of those who bring the good tidings of truth to Brandon…”

    Feet are designed by God for His service too, so I guess I’ll accept that blatant abuse of Scripture. But, I kid you not, every muscle in my body is tender. My fingers and hands, even. It’s the weirdest thing ever. However, I’m feeling much better today.

    Signed,

    Girl LaFleur

  38. Randy says:

    I better explain CLD’s sig for our Texan friends. Guy LaFleur was a famed hockey player known as “The Flower” because that’s what his last name means in French. Think purported wallflowers and it should all make sense, at least to Canadians.

    Sola Scriptura!

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