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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:24 pm 
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I am mostly staying out of this, but trying to exegete fine details via Greek verb tenses is a dicey business since no tense always means the same thing. If I read one more book or web page with the phrase "The aorist always means" on it ....


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:31 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I am mostly staying out of this, but trying to exegete fine details via Greek verb tenses is a dicey business since no tense always means the same thing. If I read one more book or web page with the phrase "The aorist always means" on it ....

That's quote right in general, Obi. Wallace own text offers eleven different types of present tenses (which is why I keep talking about syntactical classifications), and not all of them make any kind of use of the imperfective aspect. Wallace simply used John 3:16 as an example of how the imperfective aspect of the present could be translated, and I'm pointing out why that's a bad translation. I don't blame Wallace, actually, for making the mistake. When he wrote GGBB, we hadn't made the advances in discourse grammar that we have now. Regardless, the issue was only raised to illustrate how DTS isn't anything like a free grace school anymore. When your leading Greek scholar says something like that, you know the school's theological perspective has shifted . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:35 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
By His Mercy wrote:
But doesn't the perfect imply past action with continuing results

No. You are confusing the perfect tense with the perfective aspect. See my quote from Porter above. Nathan said you studied at Dallas. If so, you should know better. Here are Wallace's own comments on the matter: https://books.google.com/books?id=XlqoT ... &q&f=false


OK, sorry, let me back up and ask. Can you elaborate more on what you meant: "his translation makes the participle perfective"

Thanks,
-BHM


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:31 am 
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I can try, but I don't think I can really do a good job of that without getting into a long explanation of the differences in tense and aspect and the related syntactical classifications. Bottom line: forget tense. Forget what you were told about the perfect tense meaning a completed action with ongoing results. That's just something we tell first year Greek students to get their toes in the water, so to speak.

I'm not talking about tense at all. I'm talking about aspect. An action can either be described as perfective/completed or imperfective/incomplete. So normally certain tenses line up with certain aspects. Normally the perfect tense verb has a perfective aspect. Normally the present tense verb has an imperfective aspect, and so on. But, again, you'd do better to forget tenses all the way around. Just think in terms of aspect. And if the terminology gets confusing, replace all my references of "perfective" with the word "completed." See the parade analogy to help you understand further.

Given that, the question is, what is the aspect of the participle in John 3:16. Let's be clear. You cannot say that just because the verb is in the present tense that the aspect is continual/imperfect. That is just not true (first year Greek mistake). It is usually true, but not always. But let that pass. My point was simply and only this: Daniel Wallace, in his textbook Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, takes the aspect of the present participle to be continual/imperfect. And that's fine. He can do that, because that is a perfectly normal use of the present tense. So what I'm doing is accepting his premise for the sake of argument. Let's accept for now that the aspect of the participle really is imperfective/incomplete. So on this view, John is telling us that the belief is ongoing. Fine.

So in order to bring out the force of that aspect of the verb, Wallace suggests the translation, "continually believes." Seems good, right? Seems to bring out the ongoing nature of the belief, right?

And my point is that it does not, and ironically, his translation actually makes the aspect of the verb (NOT THE TENSE) to be perfective/completed. The reason is that the ENGLISH WORD "continual" (which Wallace is supplying in his translation) encourages the English reader to look at the verb in question "from the outside." When I ask if I've "continually believed," I'm looking from start to finish. Even if the finish is nothing more than "up until the present moment," as in "If I continue to exercise, I will lose weight." Here, the "continue to" encourages us to look at our "exercise" as a totally finished program. I am really saying, "If I am successful in finishing my exercise program over these next few months, then I will have lost weight." The entire phrase becomes perfect in meaning.

Now, that perfective aspect is not in any of the verbs themselves. The verbs are in a non-perfect tense. But the aspect comes about by the way I'm using the words. And so we have effectively made the verbal phrase perfective/completed. And that's what Wallace's translation does. And therefore, Wallace's translation is incorrect, because if we start from Wallace's premise that the aspect is imperfect, then our final translation must reflect an imperfect aspect. But by supplying the English "continually," we ironically have the reader understanding it as a completed action.

And the evidence for that is in CC's own posts. He wants to argue that if a person loses their faith then they lose their eternal life. After all, they haven't continued to believe. And maybe he's right, theologically. But he is very wrong linguistically. For that very argument means that he is stepping back and looking at the entire continuum of faith as a whole/completed event. And he is saying that, the event having been completed and found to have terminated prematurely, the predicate "has everlasting life" does not apply! So I hope you see that his own argument shows the pragmatic impact of his translation. He's taken what should have been an imperfective/incomplete aspect and translated and argued in such a way that he understands the participle as perfective/complete. And therefore, that translation is wrong.

I don't know if that's any help to you at all, but I don't know, again, how to make it any clearer without really going back to the fundamentals and talking about and giving multiple examples first of tense, then of aspect, and then of the various types of syntactical classifications of each to show you the force of what I'm getting at.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:10 pm 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
And you are not doing eisegesis, is that right? So saying that ‘believers’ will be saved, and then defining that as not only ‘those who believe,’ but also ‘those who do not believe’ (because they have stopped believing) is pure exegesis?
TheJack wrote:
I've not done any exegesis of this passage here. I've offered a translation and critiqued what I see as a bad translation from Wallace. I've offered why. Don't respond with an ad hominem as if they only reason I'm critiquing the translation is because of my preferred theology. You have to respond to my argument, not my assumed motives.
Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You didn’t seem to have any problems replying in your normal manner: «What you are doing here is what a lot of people do…»

Closet Catholic wrote:
To be a believer, you have to, you know, believe. If you stop believing, you are not a believer, and consequently you don’t have eternal life. Easy. And that is perfectly captured in Wallace’s translation.
TheJack wrote:
Quite right, you've perfectly captured Wallace's translation.
TheJack wrote:
Now, if you want to talk about how to properly exegete John 3:16, we can certainly do that. And if we can't agree on a translation, we can do it in Greek. What say you?
No, I have perfectly captured your translation, «All believers have everlasting life.» I completely agree with that translation. That sentence tells us that believers have eternal life. Non-believers do not have eternal life. Or do you disagree? Can we be saved without faith?

If believers have eternal life, that means that if you stop believing, you do not have eternal life, since you are no longer a believer. Your translation perfectly shows us that we are saved by faith. And that if we loose that faith, we also loose salvation.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:11 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
By His Mercy wrote:
But doesn't the perfect imply past action with continuing results

No. You are confusing the perfect tense with the perfective aspect. See my quote from Porter above. Nathan said you studied at Dallas. If so, you should know better. Here are Wallace's own comments on the matter: https://books.google.com/books?id=XlqoT ... &q&f=false
So this is not an ad hominem?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:35 pm 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You didn’t seem to have any problems replying in your normal manner: «What you are doing here is what a lot of people do…»

I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're getting at. Would you please clarify?

Quote:
No, I have perfectly captured your translation, «All believers have everlasting life.» I completely agree with that translation. That sentence tells us that believers have eternal life. Non-believers do not have eternal life. Or do you disagree? Can we be saved without faith?

The underlined part is not in the text. That's an inference you are drawing from it. Maybe valid, maybe not, but it isn't in the text. Suppose I said, "Everyone in my family is American." Does it therefore follow that those not in my family are not American? Of course not. This is simply a categorical statement: All X is Y. But that statement does not imply that "No ~X is Y."

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If believers have eternal life, that means that if you stop believing, you do not have eternal life, since you are no longer a believer. Your translation perfectly shows us that we are saved by faith. And that if we loose that faith, we also loose salvation.

Again, the text just does not say this. Perhaps it is true, but you can't get that out of this verse.

Closet Catholic wrote:
TheJack wrote:
By His Mercy wrote:
But doesn't the perfect imply past action with continuing results

No. You are confusing the perfect tense with the perfective aspect. See my quote from Porter above. Nathan said you studied at Dallas. If so, you should know better. Here are Wallace's own comments on the matter: https://books.google.com/books?id=XlqoT ... &q&f=false
So this is not an ad hominem?

Why, actually, yes it is. Good catch, and thank you for pointing it out.

BHM, I sincerely apologize for the personal attack. That's always unacceptable. I'll try my best to see to it that it doesn't happen again.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:54 am 
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TheJack wrote:
The underlined part is not in the text. That's an inference you are drawing from it. Maybe valid, maybe not, but it isn't in the text. Suppose I said, "Everyone in my family is American." Does it therefore follow that those not in my family are not American? Of course not. This is simply a categorical statement: All X is Y. But that statement does not imply that "No ~X is Y."
TheJack wrote:
Again, the text just does not say this. Perhaps it is true, but you can't get that out of this verse.
Everything must be read in context. John 3:16 doesn’t stand in isolation (the verses didn’t exist as verses until the 16th century). We need to read that verse in context. By that I do not, here, mean the context of the New Testament (for example Romans), but the context of John. And John makes clear that faith is needed for salvation. Take, for instance, John 3:36: «Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.» Now, this can of course be read as telling us that we need to obey, be faithful, have works as a fruit of salvation, in order to obtain eternal life. But I’m guessing you reject that. If we grant that rejection as true, it seems that the only possible interpretation is that obedience is here a reference to faith itself (which is reminiscent of the interpretation you offered for Rom. 1:5, where it is said that ‘the obedience of faith’ refers not to «obeying all that God has commanded,» but «specifically to obeying the command to believe the Gospel»). Now, if we say that disobedience here refers to non-belief, then it follows, yet again, that, non-belief results in condemnation, which means that those who loose faith will be condemned.

Yes, I know that the verse doesn’t specifically say that those who loose faith will be condemned, but it tells us that those who do not believe will be condemned. And those who have lost faith do not believe.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:28 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Closet Catholic wrote:
Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. You didn’t seem to have any problems replying in your normal manner: «What you are doing here is what a lot of people do…»

I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're getting at. Would you please clarify?

Quote:
No, I have perfectly captured your translation, «All believers have everlasting life.» I completely agree with that translation. That sentence tells us that believers have eternal life. Non-believers do not have eternal life. Or do you disagree? Can we be saved without faith?

The underlined part is not in the text. That's an inference you are drawing from it. Maybe valid, maybe not, but it isn't in the text. Suppose I said, "Everyone in my family is American." Does it therefore follow that those not in my family are not American? Of course not. This is simply a categorical statement: All X is Y. But that statement does not imply that "No ~X is Y."

Quote:
If believers have eternal life, that means that if you stop believing, you do not have eternal life, since you are no longer a believer. Your translation perfectly shows us that we are saved by faith. And that if we loose that faith, we also loose salvation.

Again, the text just does not say this. Perhaps it is true, but you can't get that out of this verse.

Closet Catholic wrote:
TheJack wrote:
By His Mercy wrote:
But doesn't the perfect imply past action with continuing results

No. You are confusing the perfect tense with the perfective aspect. See my quote from Porter above. Nathan said you studied at Dallas. If so, you should know better. Here are Wallace's own comments on the matter: https://books.google.com/books?id=XlqoT ... &q&f=false
So this is not an ad hominem?

Why, actually, yes it is. Good catch, and thank you for pointing it out.

BHM, I sincerely apologize for the personal attack. That's always unacceptable. I'll try my best to see to it that it doesn't happen again.


Hi Jack

Oh, no problem at all. I graduated there in 1989 and I'll soon be 60. I remember parts, but not all...please be patient. I actually majored in NT and from what you said above, it looks like there's been some linguistic development in recent years. I've got the standard works used in my time, and of course Wallace. To me, Wallace's book is more of a collection of his picks of what the older "classics?" say (BDF, MHT, Moole, Burton, Metzger, Zerwick, etc.). We used BDF as the text for Advanced Grammar plus the prof's notes (Hall Harris). Perhaps BDF is too dated now.

God bless you,
-BHM


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:03 pm 
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Thank you, BHM. Sounds like you were there near the end of DTS' "glory days." There have been a lot of advances in linguistics in particular over the past twenty years--actually, the advancement has been in biblical scholars finally getting around to applying advancements in linguistic studies--but that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a great school in its day (and in many ways, it still is). I'm not as impressed with Wallace as I used to be, and some of that is for the same reason you cite here. But he has done a pretty good job of distilling a lot of current ideas into an understandable format. I do hope that future editions of his work take what discourse grammarians are saying more seriously. *shrug*

CC,

It is certainly true that we need to keep things in context. I'm sure you can appreciate, though, that "context" can't be an excuse to read foreign ideas into the text. As you note, none of the verses say you can lose your salvation. The substantive point I think you're trying to make is that 3:18 says that unbelievers are already condemned. I have some questions on just how John uses krinw, but let that pass. I don't think John is picturing people being in a state of belief or unbelief--when in this state, they are ho pisteuwn and in that state, ho mh pisteuwn. I don't think the metaphors he uses throughout this section permit that reading. Further, while 3:18 does not talk about the unbelieving being condemned, the immediately following phrase is "because he has not believed . . ." It doesn't seem to hang well together to speak of a person who has lost their faith one who "has not believed." Again, in 3:36, I think we have the same idea. There, John tells us that the apeithwn will not see (future tense) life, but wrath of God abides (present tense) on him. The idea of apeithwn isn't merely unbelief, but rather a resolute determination not to be persuaded--a willful blindness. Again, that doesn't seem to hang together (to me) to talk of someone who once was persuaded, obedient, and believing but who lost that faith as being intentionally and willfully blind. In short, it seems to me that you are reading way too much into this text. What John is saying is relatively straightforward: the person who believes has everlasting life. The unbelieving person is already judged and condemned because their unbelief is willful. He's not talking about ideas related to OSAS or backsliding. Again, I think his grammar and metaphors show pretty clearly that he's simply talking about whether or not a person has ever placed their faith in God through Christ. I can see how you can see that. But I think it's only visible if you're looking for it, which means, in my judgment, it comes from outside the text. He's not talking about who is "really saved" within the world of Christendom. He's talking about the pagans of the Roman world and the willfully blind Jews of his day who are not only rejecting the gospel but killing Christians. Let's not impose, then, a Sitz im Leben and related concerns that are, at best, centuries after John, back onto him when we interpret what he was telling us.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:41 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Thank you, BHM. Sounds like you were there near the end of DTS' "glory days." There have been a lot of advances in linguistics in particular over the past twenty years--actually, the advancement has been in biblical scholars finally getting around to applying advancements in linguistic studies--but that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a great school in its day (and in many ways, it still is). I'm not as impressed with Wallace as I used to be, and some of that is for the same reason you cite here. But he has done a pretty good job of distilling a lot of current ideas into an understandable format. I do hope that future editions of his work take what discourse grammarians are saying more seriously. *shrug*


If you ever get a chance, point me in the direction of some of those modern advances.

Quote:
CC,

It is certainly true that we need to keep things in context. I'm sure you can appreciate, though, that "context" can't be an excuse to read foreign ideas into the text. As you note, none of the verses say you can lose your salvation. The substantive point I think you're trying to make is that 3:18 says that unbelievers are already condemned.


I believe in salvation totally by grace, which gives you election/predestination. And vice-versa, election implies it's all grace. I don't think the concept of "losing one's salvation" makes sense. One is either elect to be saved or not, and God will infallibly bring about the salvation of all the elect. None of them will lose salvation. All good comes from God (that explains everything here).

Regarding Jn 3:18, I'd say "judged already" (NASB) "condemned already" (KJV)...(yes, krinw can mean to separate, judge, condemn) means "stands judged", "stands condemned" under God...i.e., is unacceptable, guilty, deserving of God's wrath at present. But that could change. Unbelievers can become believers anytime. The Spirit goes like the wind, nobody knows where and when. Sure, you might say a foreign idea has been introduced here. I tend to interpret from what I know the Bible teaches as a whole. There's immediate context, the particular writer's theology which affects their choice of wording (biblical theology), the context of the whole Bible (systematic theology). But yes, I agree, "context" is a doorway to eisegesis. But then again, when something is worded oddly, don't most interpreters nudge it into a certain meaning (hopefully true lexical meanings) so it fits into their perceived theology?

Quote:
I have some questions on just how John uses krinw, but let that pass. I don't think John is picturing people being in a state of belief or unbelief--when in this state, they are ho pisteuwn and in that state, ho mh pisteuwn. I don't think the metaphors he uses throughout this section permit that reading. Further, while 3:18 does not talk about the unbelieving being condemned, the immediately following phrase is "because he has not believed . . ." It doesn't seem to hang well together to speak of a person who has lost their faith one who "has not believed."

I don't event think about someone who lost their faith here, but I suppose it's part of the whole picture. Here, you've got present active participles. I've gone with tense...the one believing, the one not believing. You might be taking it w.r.t. aspect, but still, that would be ongoing belief, not necessarily past/present/future, but still, ongoing in a sense, right? You seem to be trying to make a point that some critical difference is going on here, and I'm not seeing it yet.

Quote:
Again, in 3:36, I think we have the same idea. There, John tells us that the apeithwn will not see (future tense) life, but wrath of God abides (present tense) on him. The idea of apeithwn isn't merely unbelief, but rather a resolute determination not to be persuaded--a willful blindness. Again, that doesn't seem to hang together (to me) to talk of someone who once was persuaded, obedient, and believing but who lost that faith as being intentionally and willfully blind. In short, it seems to me that you are reading way too much into this text.

But I'm not thinking about someone who had faith and lost it. Nobody knows if that will happen or not. I am saying the warnings Jesus gave to His own disciples in those parables in Mt 24 and 25 apply to you and me, not some for non-Christian gentiles, others for non-Christian tribulation Jews, etc.. Jesus told them "you know not the hour", "you also must be ready." I believe they apply to us. And I believe Jas 2:24 applies to justification in the eyes of God, not onlooking mankind. James was chewing them out for showing favoritism, and said "judgment will be merciless to those who show no mercy" and immediately following is the "faith w/o works" passage with James' summary of what he meant...justified "not by faith alone." (2:24). But I digress...!

Quote:
What John is saying is relatively straightforward: the person who believes has everlasting life. The unbelieving person is already judged and condemned because their unbelief is willful. He's not talking about ideas related to OSAS or backsliding. Again, I think his grammar and metaphors show pretty clearly that he's simply talking about whether or not a person has ever placed their faith in God through Christ.

I agree with your first two sentences. I might agree with the third. But I think he's talking about what one is doing right now, and how they stand in God's eyes as a result. What if someone believes like a Muslim? Human belief. The repentance of the world. "Doing religion."

2 Cor 7:10
"For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death."

God-given sorrow vs. "human religion" sorrow, e.g., being a Christian because your family is, by tradition, by culture, but not because the Father drew you to Jesus per Jn 6:44 - all of them will come per Jn 6:37. The elect will all be drawn and will persevere.

Quote:
I can see how you can see that. But I think it's only visible if you're looking for it, which means, in my judgment, it comes from outside the text. He's not talking about who is "really saved" within the world of Christendom. He's talking about the pagans of the Roman world and the willfully blind Jews of his day who are not only rejecting the gospel but killing Christians. Let's not impose, then, a Sitz im Leben and related concerns that are, at best, centuries after John, back onto him when we interpret what he was telling us.


OK. but I don't see a present participle having to mean "who has never believed." That seems like it's coming from outside to me.

-BHM


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:07 am 
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By His Mercy wrote:
If you ever get a chance, point me in the direction of some of those modern advances.

See the aforementioned Stanley Porter, Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament, with Reference to Tense and Mood (1989). Also his Idioms of the Greek New Testament (1992). Buist Fanning's Verbal Aspect in the Greek New Testament (1991), along with Porter's Verbal Aspect, helped get this whole ball rolling and is an important read. Daniel Wallace refers to Fanning a lot, and where Fanning and Porter part ways, Wallace tends to follow Fanning.

So that gets you started in issues around aspect. With regard to discourse grammar, I'd start with Steven Runge's Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament. That's the best text I know out recently that gets into that material, but it does a good job of showing the impact of linguistics on the field of exegesis (a need first really popularly recognized in the English world, I think, in James Barr's The Semantics of Biblical Language (1961)). There's a lot more that could be said about DG, but that text alone will get you a long way.

Other than that, again more generally, I'd highly recommend Moises Silva's Biblical Words and their Meaning, which is less about DG or even verbal aspect than it is just about getting a good grasp on lexicography vs semantics, as such things a very easy to confuse. That work was first published in '83, so you may be familiar with it; it was revised and expanded in '94, and I think it made one of the more important contributions to the field in relatively recent history.

Quote:
I believe in salvation totally by grace, which gives you election/predestination. And vice-versa, election implies it's all grace. I don't think the concept of "losing one's salvation" makes sense. One is either elect to be saved or not, and God will infallibly bring about the salvation of all the elect. None of them will lose salvation. All good comes from God (that explains everything here).

Regarding Jn 3:18, I'd say "judged already" (NASB) "condemned already" (KJV)...(yes, krinw can mean to separate, judge, condemn) means "stands judged", "stands condemned" under God...i.e., is unacceptable, guilty, deserving of God's wrath at present. But that could change. Unbelievers can become believers anytime. The Spirit goes like the wind, nobody knows where and when. Sure, you might say a foreign idea has been introduced here. I tend to interpret from what I know the Bible teaches as a whole. There's immediate context, the particular writer's theology which affects their choice of wording (biblical theology), the context of the whole Bible (systematic theology). But yes, I agree, "context" is a doorway to eisegesis. But then again, when something is worded oddly, don't most interpreters nudge it into a certain meaning (hopefully true lexical meanings) so it fits into their perceived theology?

It sounds like we come near a similar conclusion, but we get there different ways. I don't think the election/predestination approach (a la Calvin) is biblical (with all due respect to Chafer and those who followed him at DTS). If you're thinking of DTS, I'm much more in Hodges' mold on such matters.

Other than that, we agree on the idea of krinw (which gets at what I was hinting at to CC). We might disagree, though, on the appropriateness of applying theology to exegesis. For me, that application is a one way street. Exegetical theology leads to biblical theology which leads to systematic theology. We are never permitted to go backwards. That is, our conclusions drawn from systematic theology may never inform our exegetical theology. Where this gets a little more nuanced is when we are looking at progressive revelation. Obviously a NT writer like Matthew is very familiar with the theology of Isaiah, and so a "(systematic) theology of Isaiah" might be permitted to have a role to play in the exegesis of Matthew's texts. But I think at this point we're getting pretty far away from the questions around John 3:18. My point is just that, whatever interpreters tend to do (myself included) when it comes to picking lexical, semantic, and syntactical meanings, they simply should not, as you put it, "nudge it . . . so it fits their perceived theology." An easy error to fall into, I grant. Perhaps it is harder not to fall into it than it is to avoid it. But it's unacceptable all the same. Our job is to get our theology from the text, and absolutely never vice-versa.

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I don't event think about someone who lost their faith here, but I suppose it's part of the whole picture. Here, you've got present active participles. I've gone with tense...the one believing, the one not believing. You might be taking it w.r.t. aspect, but still, that would be ongoing belief, not necessarily past/present/future, but still, ongoing in a sense, right? You seem to be trying to make a point that some critical difference is going on here, and I'm not seeing it yet.

"in a sense" of on-going actually is of critical importance. The "ongoing" faith is not speaking to the reality of a faith that persists moment to moment, much less day to day or year to year. It just means here that John isn't looking at the beginning or end of faith. He's just saying "the believer has everlasting life." It's up to other passages and our theological inferences to ask what that means about issues relating to the question of losing your salvation. What you can't do, which is what CC seems to be doing and what Wallace is certainly doing, is suggest that the present's "ongoing tense" means that not just faith, but continuous faith is a condition for salvation, such that a non-continuous faith is therefore insufficient to bring salvation. That's just doing more with the tense than tense allows us to get out of it. And you can't even say, with CC here, that if it is true that believers have everlasting life that it is therefore true that non-believers do not have everlasting life. Again, that's just not what the text says, and to try to get that out of of tense/aspect is just an abuse of the language.

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But I'm not thinking about someone who had faith and lost it. Nobody knows if that will happen or not. I am saying the warnings Jesus gave to His own disciples in those parables in Mt 24 and 25 apply to you and me, not some for non-Christian gentiles, others for non-Christian tribulation Jews, etc.. Jesus told them "you know not the hour", "you also must be ready." I believe they apply to us. And I believe Jas 2:24 applies to justification in the eyes of God, not onlooking mankind. James was chewing them out for showing favoritism, and said "judgment will be merciless to those who show no mercy" and immediately following is the "faith w/o works" passage with James' summary of what he meant...justified "not by faith alone." (2:24). But I digress...!

You aren't thinking of that, of course. And neither was John. CC is, because he is importing questions and a theology into the text. It's just eisogesis. I'll withhold comment on Mt 24-25 or Jas 2:24 for, as important as those passages are in their own right, they have no bearing on the exegesis of John 3.

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I agree with your first two sentences. I might agree with the third. But I think he's talking about what one is doing right now, and how they stand in God's eyes as a result. What if someone believes like a Muslim? Human belief. The repentance of the world. "Doing religion."

2 Cor 7:10
"For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death."

God-given sorrow vs. "human religion" sorrow, e.g., being a Christian because your family is, by tradition, by culture, but not because the Father drew you to Jesus per Jn 6:44 - all of them will come per Jn 6:37. The elect will all be drawn and will persevere.

With all due respect, this is all what you've drawn from your systematic theology and just irrelevant to John 3. After all, suppose, just for the sake of argument, that John 3 contradicted your systematic theology. At worst you would have a contradiction in Scripture. But more likely, that would mean that you've misunderstood those other verses. So, again, as I told CC, I'm just not going to engage in conversations about other verses, much less in conversation about big theological constructs like predestination and election in order to understand John 3. That's exactly backwards as an approach.

The only real question here is what the word "believe" means in John 3. And that is a lexical and semantic question, not a theological one.

Quote:
OK. but I don't see a present participle having to mean "who has never believed." That seems like it's coming from outside to me.

I don't think it does have to mean "one who has never believed." It's just addressing a present reality. If you are a believer, you have everlasting life. Full stop.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:41 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:02 pm 
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TheJack wrote:

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OK. but I don't see a present participle having to mean "who has never believed." That seems like it's coming from outside to me.

I don't think it does have to mean "one who has never believed." It's just addressing a present reality. If you are a believer, you have everlasting life. Full stop.

What if you're not quite sure?

What if you're 99 per cent sure?

What if you're honest with yourself and admit that you're not 100 per cent sure?

What if you can't be honest with yourself and you convince yourself that you are 100 per cent sure but somewhere inside yourself you are not so sure as you want to pretend you are?

What if you are intellectually convinced that you are 100 per cent sure but your heart isn't convinced?

What if in your heart you are convinced, but intellectually you are not entirely convinced?

What if you have no doubts during the daytime but you have doubts at nighttime or when you wake up in the morning?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:36 pm 
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Then in your times of doubt you are confused and in that moment do not believe in Christ.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:31 am 
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TheJack wrote:
It's just addressing a present reality. If you are a believer, you have everlasting life. Full stop.
Yes, and if you stop believing (for instance if you are convinced that what you believed in isn't true), then you are not a believer.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:51 am 
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Yes, we've been through that. And Daisy's comments, in my view, only serve to highlight the theologicaly absurdity of your position.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:59 am 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
TheJack wrote:
It's just addressing a present reality. If you are a believer, you have everlasting life. Full stop.
Yes, and if you stop believing (for instance if you are convinced that what you believed in isn't true), then you are not a believer.
TheJack wrote:
Yes, we've been through that. And Daisy's comments, in my view, only serve to highlight the theologicaly absurdity of your position.
Do you deny that you are not a believer (in someone or something) if you stop believing (in that someone or something)? Or do you deny at all that people can stop believing in someone or something, should they be convinced?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:16 am 
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Again, we've been through this. It's rather disheartening (and maybe a but disrespectful) to put effort into a response and then have you just ignore it and restate the same arguments.

Bit to answer again: no on both counts. If you stop believing, you aren't a believer, and people stop believing all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Free Grace Theology the logical end Protestantism?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:26 pm 
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TheJack wrote:
Again, we've been through this. It's rather disheartening (and maybe a but disrespectful) to put effort into a response and then have you just ignore it and restate the same arguments.

Bit to answer again: no on both counts. If you stop believing, you aren't a believer, and people stop believing all the time.
It's not 'disrespectful' to disagree with you. You agree that those who do not believe are not believers.

What happens to them, if they do not again start to believe? Will God force himself on them?


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