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Re: [christian-philosophy] Re: The fall

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  • Paul Mikulecky
    Hello Harvest, ... I am amazed that people on this list are so adverse to logical thinking. Logic is synonymous with clear thinking. It seems to me from this
    Message 1 of 32 , Jun 1, 2001
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      Hello Harvest,

      > but I feel scripture can be used as the most effective
      > argument over any kind of logic or assumptions.

      I am amazed that people on this list are so adverse to logical thinking.
      Logic is synonymous with clear thinking. It seems to me from this
      statement and others like it, that people pit logic *against* Scripture,
      and this is surely unclear thinking in and of itself. If we have good
      logic, it simply means that when we argue then the conclusions that we
      make actually do follow from the premisses we select for the argument.
      Logic is empty and void without premisses. The source for these
      premisses is experience, feelings, memories, beliefs, knowledge, etc.
      and yes, Scripture. Therefore, to pit logic against Scripture is to be
      illogical - i.e. unclear in our thinking since we make a category

      When you argue your position. It must both be logical and it must be
      Scriptural. Moreover, there are implications to our interpretations of
      Scripture. Sometimes we interpret incorrectly and the result is that our
      conclusions based on the premisses are absurd (as in the case of your
      position). The problem may not be in the logic (though there may be
      that), but the problem then is in our interpretation. You cite many
      passages to support your view, but you do very little exegesis to
      support your interpretation which is unfortunate.

      > Scripture should be
      > our primary source of exegis.

      Of course. No one has argued contrary to this. For some reason you think
      my analysis of your position is coming from some source other than
      Scripture. This is a false assumption. I simply take what *you* say, and
      show you, if I am correct, how incoherent your thought is, how incorrect
      your interpretation must be and what that incorrect interpretation
      logically entails, etc.

      > I believe in comparing scripture with
      > scripture with the starting point of the testimony of Jesus.

      Of course the hermeneutical principle of interpreting Scripture with
      Scripture is wise. But there are other hermeneutical principles that
      must apply as well. Often you seem to ignore these or are simply unaware
      of them.

      > See my
      > post on Interpreting scripture that deals with that.

      If you have something pertinent to say regarding our discussion, please
      re-iterate it and show how it applies. Even if it means cutting and

      > At this time,I
      > will go over some of the points of your reply. Please excuse my
      > grammar and at the times the awkward way I use my wording. I will try
      > to become more efficient and effective in this matter.

      Grammar is very important. You have seen that simply missing the word
      'by' changes the meaning of something entirely. I appreciate your effort
      in this matter.

      > Also I will be
      > brief.

      No need to be brief. Just clear.

      > For more scriptual references and arguments,see my post
      > Calvinism is not the answer.
      > Also my post on The way to be saved is
      > very helpful even though it is not a treatise on Calvinim or
      > Arminism,it pretty much illustrates the concept of total depravity
      > within the context of Gods general calling from scripture without
      > going into specific explanation or exegis.

      Actually, if you think something applies directly to our current
      discussion, please include it. I spend enough time in analyzing specific
      posts that I do not have the time to go hunting and analyzing more
      posts. So, instead of pointing me somewhere else, instead of deflecting
      my criticism, please address it directly. Deal with the analysis and
      bring to bear whatever you wish against it as you deem appropriate.

      > I said:
      > The fall left mankind in total helpless state like Rich indicates.
      > Free will is not a percusor to salvation.
      > I meant that salvation cannot come from the will of man.It is because
      > of the fall of man. It produced total depravity with inability to
      > overcome it.(John 1:13 KJV) Which were born, not of blood, nor of
      > the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

      Ok, but you are contradicting yourself as your entire thesis ultimately
      boils down to salvation coming from the will of man, my previous post,
      the part you haven't addressed deals with this.

      > If you see some of my other post on this group,you will see I
      > acknowlege that there are different theological systems under the
      > name Arminism which some actually believes pretty close to where I
      > stand which would make me an Arminian.

      I have not seen any of your other posts - at least since the time I've
      stumbled into this group, none of your posts seemed to grab my

      > In this post I am using
      > classic Arminism from Jacob Arminius in reference to the arguments
      > used which caused the reformers to produce the TULIP acronym at the
      > Council of Dort.

      The term is Arminianism.

      > A lot of mainsream evangelicals today follow pretty
      > much what was proposed by Jacob Arminius except on perserverence of
      > the saints.

      Yes, and unfortunately they and you have severed their links to the
      Reformation. Since this is not a Reformed view.

      > I deviate from these modern evangelicals on the concept
      > of depravity being limited or total. Classic Arminianism is limited
      > depravity.Mine is total but I know you would argue it is limited
      > since the effect comes out the same. My limited depravity comes from
      > a divine source. Since it is not originated in man,I call mans
      > depravity total.

      What do you mean 'your limited depravity comes from a divine source'? Do
      you mean by it that the depravity *actually* comes from a divine source
      or do you mean that your view of depravity comes from a divine source? I
      suspect it is the latter. If so, we can claim that any teaching we take
      from the bible is from a divine source. But does this mean that it
      somehow *must* be therefore true? Of course not. Many people interpret
      the Scriptures incorrectly. It is therefore possible, that *we*
      interpret it incorrectly. Therefore to claim that an idea is from a
      divine source, is not to claim that the idea is divine. And so it is
      pretty much irrelevant.

      > I am not talking of the entire teachings of John Calvin but am
      > talking of the subject of soteriology through not the direct
      > teachings of John Calvin but from the TULIP acronym proposed in the
      > next century.

      Understood. It is easy to make a broad stroke and alienate people you
      may not be wishing to alienate.

      > Sorry for my grammar. I should of included "by" since that is what I
      > meant.

      Yes, but all we have of what you mean is what you say.

      > The other group was not that specific in grammar and I need to
      > adjust to that.

      We all need to be very careful in our grammar, definitions, logic and
      interpretation of Scripture (exegesis). I count myself in that group.

      > As far as not using "by" on the life of Christ,I do
      > not apologize for that.

      What you said originally was: "Salvation is the life of Christ." What
      senses of 'is' are there? Well, there is one that comes immediately to
      mind and that is of equivalence. That:

      (1) Salvation = the life of Christ

      This is reductionism. If this is correct then you are reducing a complex
      thing into *one* thing, the life of Christ. Now, if this is how you use
      'is', then anywhere we can use salvation, we must be able to use 'the
      life of Christ'. So let's see what happens to this proposition:

      (2) Salvation comes through the life of Christ

      this becomes:

      (3) The life of Christ comes through the life of Christ

      Well, obviously this says nothing of value and hence it cannot be

      Perhaps, though, you mean that the life of Christ, is the *ground* for
      our salvation. That it is because of His obedience, and so in this sense
      it is *because of*, or *as a result of* His life, that we can receive
      salvation. Well, then in this sense I could agree that salvation is the
      life of Christ. But, that is not to say that it is *only* His life that
      provides the ground for our salvation. Indeed it is absolutely
      *necessary* that His entire life, death *and* resurrection be taken into
      account in order for anyone to be saved.

      So what do you add to the argument now? Well you quote Romans 5:10, and
      2 Timothy 2:10 and conclude that:

      > The salvation that was IN,not by, Christ Jesus

      Well I never argued it could not be *in* Christ. I simply said, "...some
      may have argued that salvation comes *by* or through Grace..." I have
      not discounted other copulas that may join salvation and Christ. I have
      not mimimized the complexity between salvation and Christ. The only
      problem I had was that you seemed to equate the two, and if true, that
      criticism still stands.

      You then continue:

      > (1 John 5:11 KJV) And this is the record, that God hath given to us
      > eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
      > Eternal life or salvation in his Son

      I was not arguing against this idea. Of course our salvation is grounded
      in His Son. But it is not equal to His life. It simply means that our
      inheritance, eternal life, is found in His Son and nowhere else.

      > (1 John 5:12 KJV) He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath
      > not the Son of God hath not life.
      > He that hath the Son has eternal life or salvation because the life
      > of Christ is salvation.

      You are saying that 1 John 5:12 says:

      (4) The life of Christ is salvation
      (5) Therefore he that has the Son has eternal life.

      Unfortuantely, this is typical of your usage of Scripture. It does not
      say (4) anywhere in this passage. Indeed the passage, including v.11 is:

      "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life
      is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son
      of God does not have life." (NIV)

      (6) God has given us eternal life
      (7) The eternal life is in His Son
      (8) He who has the Son has eternal life
      (9) He who does not have the Son does not have eternal life.

      Nowhere in this passage is (4) to be found. Perhaps you think it is the
      same as saying (7). But what does (7) mean? It means that eternal life
      can only be received via the Son. The best that could be said is that:

      (10) Anyone that is in Christ has eternal life.

      or perhaps:

      (11) Anyone that is saved has eternal life.

      Verse 13 continues and says:

      "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
      so that you may know that you have eternal life."

      If you therefore believe in Christ, you may *know* that you have eternal
      life. It says nothing about the idea that "The life of Christ is
      salvation". If you claim it does, then you will be equivocating on the
      word 'life'. In the passage the refrent of life is always 'eternal
      life', and not 'the life of Christ.'

      > Being saved is not only a standing but a possesion.

      Absolutely, but a possession of *what* precisely? What does John say we
      possess in this passage? We would both say, 'life'. But what kind of
      life, Christ's life? No, the term is clear, eternal life, of course.

      > (Gen 15:1 KJV) After these things the word of the LORD came unto
      > Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy
      > exceeding great reward.
      > God is thy shield or salvation. In psalms it states God is our
      > salvation manifold times. This salvation is in the life of Christ
      > that dwels in us.

      First, I would not dispute that God is a shield. Nor would I dispute
      that God is, in a sense, my salvation (i.e the source of my salvation).
      But I *would* dispute your exegesis of this passage. How on earth do you
      get that God is 'salvation' from Genesis 15:1?

      Second, the issue isn't whether or not salvation is *in* or *by* the
      life of Christ. This is a straw man.

      Third, how do you get, from Genesis 15 (or even from the Psalter) to
      salvation "is in the life of Christ that dwells in us"? This is surely
      not found in this particular text. Please show how it is.

      > (John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and
      > the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
      > He is the life. When we possess that life,we also have the standing
      > of life. Life is salvation as seen above.

      First, "Life is salvation as seen above" is patently false. You clearly
      read into the passage (1 John 5) that 'life is salvation' when it
      clearly states that life's refrent is eternal life.

      Second, it is not precisely clear what Jesus means when He says here
      that He is the life. Therefore this text cannot be used to show that it
      therefore clearly means 'life is salvation'. There are a number of
      possible senses this could be taken:

      (12) That Jesus is the water of life (John 7:37ff)
      (13) That Jesus is the source of eternal life (1 John 5:12)
      (14) That Jesus has come to give us life to the full (John 10:10)

      Therefore, we cannot unequivocally say that life here is defined in your
      specific way.

      So far nothing new.

      Then in response to my argument against your dividing the atonement of
      Christ, you never did address the argument. Please address the argument:

      (15) Jesus' death, without Jesus' resurrection is meaningless.
      (16) Jesus' resurrection, without Jesus' death is meaningless.
      (17) Therefore, Jesus' death and resurrection cannot be divided.
      (18) Therefore, Jesus' atonement cannot be divided.

      I'm awaiting your analysis. Perhaps you think you have addressed it with
      the citations you mention, but as you will see they do not support your
      contention. Therefore the argument stands.

      So lets look at what you provide as biblical support for the idea that
      the death of Christ and resurrection can be divided:

      > (Rom 4:25 KJV) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised
      > again for our justification.
      > Definite different aspects of the work of Christ. The actual
      > salvation or justification is by the resurrection.

      First, no one argued that there are 'no distinctions within the
      atonement'. Indeed it is imperative that we understand the death and the
      resurrection as distinct. So yes, they are different aspsects of the
      work of Christ. But this does not prove that one or the other (death or
      resurrection) can be applied to one who is not saved and one who is
      saved. Therefore this adds nothing to your defense.

      Second, here again you use Scripture to try to support your position
      instead of reading the Scripture for what it says. Romans 4:23-25 says:

      "The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but
      also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness-for us who believe in
      him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to
      death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." (NIV)

      Who is it that receives the benefits of Christ's being delievered over
      to death and being raised to life for our justification? Well the
      context is clear, "for us... for us who believe in him". Therefore to
      use this passage to support an idea that the death of Christ can be
      applied to someone who is not saved is incorrect.

      > (Rom 5:1 KJV) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace
      > with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
      > (Rom 5:2 KJV) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace
      > wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
      > It is by faith. A person who does not have faith in Christ is not
      > justified or saved...

      Yes, something is by faith. What? Justification - being forensically
      declared to be not guilty. Therefore we are justified by faith. No
      problem. Yes, a person who does not have faith in Christ is not
      justified or saved. Correct.

      > ... even though he is reconciled and his sins taken as
      > seen in the next verses:

      So what are you claiming here? It appears to me that you are saying:

      (19) A person can have no faith (not be justified, not be saved) but he
      can still be reconciled and have his sins taken away

      That sounds quite dubious to say the least. Let us see where you get
      this idea from. It is unfortunate that you make citations and assume
      that each passage somehow clearly shows your position. What you need to
      do is show why you believe it is saying what you think it is saying. In
      detail. Anyway, you claim your support is from Romans 5:10. Let us see
      what it says:

      "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace
      with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Romans 5:1)

      Clearly the Apostle Paul is speaking of people who have been justified -
      who are saved. Indeed those who are justified have peace through Christ.
      So Paul continues:

      "...through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which
      we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." (v. 2)

      So we have gained access to salvation through faith. And we (the saved)
      are now standing in that grace (and we rejoice). So far we are still
      talking about the saved.

      "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know
      that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and
      character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured
      out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
      (v. 3-5)

      So we just don't rejoice because of all the lovely things that have
      happened to us, be we also rejoice in suffering because we know that it
      produces the characteristics that we need and which are good. This is
      the process of sanctification. Who are we talking about? Still about
      those who have been saved.
      "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ
      died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
      though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God
      demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners,
      Christ died for us." (v. 7-8)

      So now what. Well, who is Paul talking about? 'Us' is clearly still
      those that have been justified, those who have been saved. Paul argues
      that Christ died for those of us who were lost in sin. It's easy, he
      says, for someone to die for an apparently good person, but Christ died
      for the sinner. He continues:

      "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we
      be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's
      enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how
      much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
      Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus
      Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." (v. 9-11)

      And now we've finally reached your proof text. Which says what? Well, it
      is still talking about those who have been justified. Indeed, Paul makes
      this clear and says, "since we have now been justified by his blood..."
      So those who have been justified, before they were justified, while they
      were God's enemies...while there was no loveliness in them (so that it
      may even be expected for someone to die for them if they were lovely),
      while this was going on, God saved them - reconciled them through the
      Son. What an amazing thing. And if God justified and reconciled them
      while they were His enemies, how much more, as His friends, as His
      adopted children, will He ensure that we will actually end up being
      saved. Therefore be at peace.

      All through this entire post Paul speaks of the saved. He does not split
      the atonement, he simply says, if God choose to save us while we were
      ugly and unlovable, how can we doubt, that now as those He loves and
      cherishes, that we would fail to actually be saved.

      So now back to your conclusion based on this passage:

      (19) A person can have no faith (not be justified, not be saved) but he
      can still be reconciled and have his sins taken away

      All along Paul has been speaking of those who have been justified.
      Therefore you cannot say 'A person can have no faith, not be justified
      etc.), when it is clear that in context the referent of 'us' is the
      saved. Your support fails. Then you turn to 2 Corinthians 5:19.

      > (2 Cor 5:19 KJV) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the
      > world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath
      > committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

      So? How does this support (19)? All that it says, in verse 17, is that
      'if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new
      has come!" Moreover, that this reconciliation is from God through Christ
      and God gave the Apostle Paul that same ministry to reconcile the entire
      world to God. That if they are reconciled to Him, that their sins are no
      longer counted against them. That was Paul's mission. This in no way
      supports (19).

      > (John 1:29 KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and
      > saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
      > The last verse really clarifies it. It took the sins of the world but
      > not all are saved. The reason is salvation is by his life through the
      > resurrection by faith which comes by believing the record.

      The last verse certainly does not clarify your position. If there is
      another sense of 'world' that is possible, then the best that it can be
      for your position is questionable, and the worst is that it is false. If
      I say to you that the entire world is against me, what do I mean? Am I
      not speaking in hyperbole? It seems to me that it was a very appropriate
      time for John the Baptist to use hyperbole. Moreover, even if it is not
      hyperbole, it can simply mean that Jesus has come to take away the sin
      of the world, not in the sense of without exception, but without
      distinction. Indeed it was amazing that the Gentiles were to be entitled
      to these priviliges.

      These passages do nothing to support your thesis. You then quote the
      following in defense of your idea that there is a definite work that is
      involved in each part of the Gospel:

      > (1 John 5:10 KJV) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the
      > witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar;
      > because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
      > (1 John 5:11 KJV) And this is the record, that God hath given to us
      > eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

      Which was shown to not be the case above.

      > (Rom 3:22 KJV) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of
      > Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no
      > difference:
      > (Gal 3:22 KJV) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that
      > the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that
      > believe.
      > So there is a definate work that is involved in each part of the
      > gospel. This explains as seen above how the sins of the world are
      > paid for but yet only few are actually saved. It is the life of
      > Christ that gives life. This is through the resurrection by defeating
      > death.

      How precisely does Romans 3:22 and Galatians 3:22 show so clearly that
      the atonement can be broken appart and used in the way you describe? I
      believe that you need to do some exegesis (show the actual way - in
      their context - in which these passages so clearly show that the death
      of Christ can be applied to a person who rejects Him and the
      resurrection to one who believes in Him). You can't simply cite the
      passages and assume we all therefore must agree with you. Work needs to
      be done.

      In any event, your citations do not explain, nor does the above, that
      the sins of the world are somehow paid for, and yet only a few are
      saved. Nor does it show that the life of Christ give life through the
      resurrection only. The atonement *must* be taken as a whole in order for
      anyone to be saved, and then it *only* applies, in it's entirety to,
      those that are saved.

      > I said I would be brief and so far I not. I addressed some of the
      > arguments on this post,others are addressed in my other post and in
      > Richard U post. He stands exactly where I stand on these issues.He
      > also uses a lot of scripture to back his point.I will address one
      > other thing though.

      I don't much care if you are brief or verbose. What I do care is that
      you handle the word of truth correctly (which, if my analysis is
      correct, you do not). What I do care is that you address the arguments.
      If any other posts are applicable, then use them where applicable. It is
      irrelevant if Richard stands exactly where you stand. He can be in as
      much error as you. The white supremacist groups use a lot of Scripture
      to back up their point, your point is?

      I have spent too much time on this and it is 3:00am and I need to be up
      early. Suffice it to say, for the moment, that your usage of Romans
      8:30, 7:17-23, Heb 10:20, John 1:13, Matthew 16:24-25 are also flawed in
      the same kind of sense as the passages that you use above. Instead of
      reading the passage for what it says, you put what you want it to say in
      its place.


      Paul Mikulecky
    • Aleksandar Katanovic
      [ALDRICH: Another question I have is what do you make of the various passages from OT and NT where God blinds the eyes and shuts the ears of those in the crowd
      Message 32 of 32 , Jun 10, 2001
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        Another question I have is what do you make of the various passages from OT
        and NT where God blinds the eyes and shuts the ears of those in the crowd
        that are not supposed to hear the gospel? (A variation on this theme is
        Jesus talking in parables and, especially in Mark, repeatedly trying, in
        vain, to restrain his disciples from talking to others about the various
        miracles he performs.) To me this is one of the most puzzling things. It
        seems that these passages are strong evidence of unconditional
        election. Those people don't even get the chance to "not-strive." Or is
        it simply that, in that particular moment, they are caught up in themselves
        to such an extent that they would not be receptive to the word of God, so
        God intervenes to keep them from misinterpreting or abusing it, leaving
        open the possibility that later they will be in a more receptive mood?]

        I agree with you that there are passages informing us that God does not
        reveal His truth to everybody. You mentioned the biblical reports on how
        Christ forbade people to spread the news about his miracles. However, I do
        not think that the reason for Christ's forbidding people to spread news
        about His miracles, especially those involving healing, has anything to do
        with God "blinding the eyes of people." I think that the reason was rather
        that He did not want to be famous (cf. John 6:14-15).

        Nevertheless, we do have passages, both in the OT and NT, reporting that
        God does not reveal His truth to everybody. In this post I will not deal
        with OT-passages, as for instance the case of hardening Pharaoh's heart. If
        you are particularly interested with the case of hardening Pharaoh's heart,
        please read one section of an article found at:

        In this post, I will only deal with relevant passages from the NT. The
        passages in question are: (1) Mat 11:25, (2) Mat 13:11-16, and (3) John
        12:37-40. Let us take each passage in question. There are two important
        questions relevant for the problem: (a) does God darken people's
        understanding? and (b) if God hides His truth, not revealing to everybody,
        does it imply that God does it unconditionally?

        1) MAT 11:25
        At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of
        Heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and
        prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

        It is clear that God does not reveal "these things" to everybody, but to
        people who are "babes". It does not follow that there are no criteria in
        God's choice of people to whom He reveals His truth. Quite on the contrary,
        since the text informs us one of those criteria. God does reveal His truth
        to those who are "poor in spirit" (cf. Mat 5:3), as "babes" and children.
        [The word "babes" can be interpreted in figurative, "spiritual" sense].
        People rich with worldly wisdom are obviously not poor in spirit.

        THEREFORE, Mat 11:25 does not imply that God hide His truth in an
        unconditional manner, but that there are certain criteria for choosing to
        whom the truth shall be revealed.

        MAT 13:11-16
        He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the
        mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For
        whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance:
        but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

        Therefore speak I to them in parables, because seeing, they see not, and
        hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is
        fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, 'By hearing ye shall hear,
        and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.
        For this people's heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
        hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see
        with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their
        heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.' But blessed are
        your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.

        There are two questions worth considering: (a) did Christ use parables in
        order to obscure His teaching, and (b) does the text inform that God is the
        cause of people's blindness?

        Christ informed his disciples about the reason for speaking in parables:
        "because seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they
        understand." Is Christ's motivation for speaking in parables, therefore, to
        hide the secrets of the God's kingdom? Quite on the contrary, since Christ
        met people who already lacked understanding. Christ's parables were not
        causing their blindness, since they were already blind before He spoke to
        them. Rather, Christ used parables in order to convey a moral lesson or
        truth in a pragmatic, concrete manner, and in so doing, making His truth
        more intelligible. A parable is a story that teaches a moral lesson or
        truth. Although it is not factual, a parable is a story that is true to
        life, where anyone can understand the content of the story. It is designed
        to make one central point by telling one story, and every detail of the
        parable will reinforce that main point.

        If Christ did want to hide His truth, He could choose, in the first place,
        not to teach at all.

        However, does not the v. 11 imply that there are mysteries of the God's
        kingdom which are revealed only to some chosen? It is said that "to them it
        is not given to know the mysteries of God's kingdom." Are there some reason
        why it is not given to them to know "the mysteries"? Who is the one who
        does not give them this knowledge of mysteries? Is it God? Does the text
        answer these questions? I do not think that the text says that God is the
        one who makes it hard for people to understand His truth. Let us see the
        passage from John 12, which will help us to understand Mat 13:11.

        JOHN 12:37-40
        But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not
        in Him, that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he
        spoke: "Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the
        Lord been revealed?" Therefore they could not believe, because as Isaiah
        said again: "He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they
        should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be
        converted, and I should heal them."

        Reading the Gospel of John, especially chapters V to VIII, we observe that
        Jesus is continually using a veiled manner of teaching, and this makes the
        book of John difficult to comprehend. (Observe that Christ's veiled manner
        of teaching is not in the form of parables). Perhaps it is partly because
        of this that misunderstandings have sometimes arisen over a few of the
        verses in John 6 (as vv. 44 and 65). They have sometimes been supposed to
        have some connection with the election of the church. One may see, however,
        that in their context the concern of the references to the Father "drawing
        people to Jesus" is with pious Jews at that time. This helps to explain the
        paradox that many Jews rejected their own Messiah. They rejected Him
        because they had closed their eyes and came neither to Jesus nor to the
        Father for explanation of His teaching. (If interested in the
        non-Calvinistic interpretation of John 6:44, 65, please look at one section
        of an article found at: http://home.chello.no/~akatanov/calvin.htm#john2 )

        Later in the Gospel of John we find one reference to the Isaiah 6 passage
        quoted in John 12: 37-40. There is a difficulty in interpreting this
        passage, for the second of the apostle's quotes does not appear as such in
        any of our versions of Isaiah; (notice the fact that the reported quoted
        words are not written words of Isaiah, but rather that the quoted reference
        is a saying of Isaiah).

        Usually it is interpreted that it is God who have blinded their eyes and
        hardened their heart. This interpretation has a following problem.

        The text says: "He hath blinded (...) I should heal them." Why should it
        change from the third person to the first person if God is the subject in
        both cases? This might be explained if we adopt another possible
        interpretation. In verse 31 of the same chapter John has been talking about
        the "Prince of this world." It may be he is the agent who is blinding their
        eyes. Some support is given to this view by what is said by Paul in 2 Cor.
        3:14 - 4:4,

        2 COR 3:14 - 4:4
        But their minds were blinded; for until this day the same veil remaineth
        untaken away in the reading of the old testament, which veil is done away
        with in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is
        upon their hearts. Nevertheless, when they shall turn to the Lord, the veil
        shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of
        the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with uncovered face beholding as
        in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from
        glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, seeing we
        have this ministry, as we have received mercy we faint not, but have
        renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor
        handling the Word of God deceitfully; but by manifesting the truth we
        commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our
        Gospel be hid, it is hid to those who are lost, whose unbelieving minds the
        god of this world hath blinded, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of
        Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

        To what kind of people did the god of this world blinded their minds? It is
        to those who choose not to believe. The blindness in this context is
        blindness to the meaning of the prophecies of the old covenant - blindness
        to the Messiahship of Jesus. Paul makes it clear, however, that the
        blindness does not remove the individual's responsibility in the matter.
        They are unable to recognize Jesus as their true Messiah, but the basic
        lack in their lives is not insight but repentance. When any of them
        repents, when he turns to God, then the Lord will remove the veil; the
        flood of enlightenment will come. The cure for blindness is repentance. In
        other words, this state of blindness can be cured if they choose to be
        sincere in their search for truth. "For every one that asketh receiveth;
        and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened
        (Mat 7:8)"

        THEREFORE, reading John 12:37-40, we cannot conclude that God is the One
        who blinds the minds of people. And this also could help us in
        understanding Mat 13:11. "To them it is not given" because the god of this
        world had caused their blindness.

        There are other spiritual forces and not only God involved in the relation
        between God and man. This idea is a theme that goes throughout the whole
        Bible. These spiritual forces, variously termed "gods," "angels,"
        "principalities and powers," "demons," or, in the earliest strata,
        "Leviathan" or some other cosmic monster, can and do wage war against God,
        wreak havoc on God's creation and bring all manner of ills upon humanity.
        Whether portraying Yahweh as warring against Rahab and other cosmic
        monsters of chaos or depicting Jesus as casting out a legion of demons from
        the possessed Gerasene, the Bible as well as the early postapostolic church
        assumes that the creation is caught up in the crossfire of an age-old
        cosmic battle between good and evil. As in other warfare worldviews, the
        Bible assumes that the course of this warfare greatly affects life on
        earth. (More on the Warfare Worldview, please look at the posts 1261, 1293,
        1332 and 1335).

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