God's word to Cain [it is always good to go back to first instances]
It is even better to go back to the OP.
The OP concerns a particular rendering of scripture, and in particular, its logical structure.
So no other passages are particularly relevant.
I sincerely appreciate the work you have put into your post above (you have structured it well, and with appropriate typeface too), but this thread is not about the overall argument of Calvinism vs anti-Calvinism, but simply about the rendering of "all men" at 1 Ti 2:4 within its own literal context.
Yes the purpose is to delete the verse from the anti-Calvinist's arsenal, but the actual focus is not on the greater debate between the 2 camps, but the verse itself.
Just to put you all out of your misery, the crux of the argument is found at about the mid section of the commentary under v5 in the OP. (Mr Muzic is aware of this, which is why he avoided that section of the OP. And he has been made aware of it previously when the thread was created under a slightly different title.)
So off you all go to find it and mull over it.
I like many of your ideas Col, but you worry me...I think I prefer God's word to your post.
The particularism in salvation does not come from the atonement but from the nature of the provision i.e. the cross...it attracted Abel but repelled Cain, it is designed to repel the proud unrepentant sinner, the seed of Satan.
While I uphold predestiny and election I reject that there is any limit with God.
The cross is a blessing or a curse, life or death...the seed of the woman will choose it, the seed of the serpent will reject it.
God foreknew the seed of the woman, He did not foreknow [in the biblical sense of the word] the seed of the serpent. Predestiny therefore pertains only to the church.....but Adam and Eve had other children. THAT'S where Calvin goes wrong.
God raised up Pharoah but a more thorough understanding of God's UNlimited mercy will show that the nation of Egypt was divided many, many, held Moses and Aaron in high esteem and God dwelt with them on account of it.
But Egypt whether pro Moses or pro Pharoah were neither God's election. Israel was God's election.
Considering this testimony then, we are told not that it testified (merely) to the singular fact of Christ’s giving Himself as a ransom (of which fact it was not possible to testify anyway, for there could be no proof in the (mere) outward appearance of the Lord’s crucifixion that such was indeed a ransom), but rather, to the compound fact of His giving Himself "a ransom for all", which is, and taking our Christian faith as a given, at least objectively verifiable.
Accordingly, we note that if this “all” stood for “every single man”, what would be required as objectively-verifiable testimony, would be the subsequent conversion of every single man. Else how could it be "testified" that He had given Himself a ransom for all?
There is no implication here whatsoever that the testimony would require the conversion of every single man. This is where Collosians imposes Calvinism on this verse, pushing the Calvinist version of "Limited atonement" upon the Scriptures, such that all who are ransomed must receive eternal life.
The fact is that Christ's death and resurrection was a testimony given in its own time, and at the perfect time, where 12 disciples and a hundred or so other believers could begin this new ekklhsia of Christ and have it flourish.
But it isn't as though this event was completely unknown at any time after the fall. The promise of Christ begins in Genesis 3, when every living human at that time was told there would be redemption. And there were those who bore witness to this truth continuously from the time of Adam, and the Church continues to bear witness continuously from the time of Christ.
So, in a very real sense, the promise of Christ's sacrifice and the reality of it have been available to all men. The problem, as Romans 1 puts it, is that men reject the message.
So, we've just seen in v4 that God desires all men to be saved, and that we should give thanks for our leaders so that we might live in peace in order to preach the gospel without interference (see v7 below). And, as Collosians admits, verse 5 breaks the back of Calvinist limited atonement.
The problem is that verse 6 does not save him.
You see, Collosians, in dissecting this passage has lost its message:
7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Paul's desire for peace with the governments of the world is do that he can preach by becoming "all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some."
So, when we put the passage back together without the Calvinist assumptions, this is very clearly evidence that God desires all men (in all times, everywhere) to be saved, because the ransom was made for all men (in all times, everywhere), as a testimony both to a promise fulfilled for all history past, and as an invitation to all to come in the future, and Paul's desire to reach all men causes him to ask Christians everywhere to live in peace with their government, giving thanks on behalf of all men for it.
I don't care how systematic your theology is, until you show me how biblical it is.
2 Tim 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
the "all men" means "all kinds of men irrespective of race, colour or background".
Yes, once again I agree with that. And since each person is one of a kind, it means that God desires all individual persons to be saved without exception. Because I happen to be white, God will not reject me because of that; because I am English, God will not reject me because of that. Because I come from the background I come from God will not reject me because of that. In fact nothing prevents God from desiring that I or anyone else be saved. I could hardly have expressed it better myself. Well done for coming to this perspicacious conclusion.
And, as themuzicman has said, that is a very good reason to pray for the leaders of your country so that you can go out and tell everybody the good news and thus more and more of God's desire for everyone in the Gospel will be realised.
Total Misanthropy. Uncertain salvation. Luck of the draw. Irresistible damnation. Persecution of the saints.
Last edited by Desert Reign; May 23rd, 2012 at 08:44 AM.