Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Caner's First Post - A brief comment

Well, Dr. Caner has his first post up. Click the title here to read it. I must say that I am much more impressed with his ability to size himself up (though you will see that he still thinks he has done something to earn the mercy of Christ) than I am to hear his diatribe against Calvinism. With that said, I appreciated many of the comments he made in his opening blog. I appreciated his insistence that it was God and His grace that worked in his life and the appreciation for other brothers in Christ. I appreciated his openness about his own shortcomings and in some cases sin, though he did not refer to them as that.

However, right at the end he did take a little jab at the truth and it is for this reason that I post the new "confused" logo above. Here is his quote:

I repented of my sin, and was liberated by Christ's mercy (in that order, by the way).

In that order??? When I became a believer I thought the same thing, UNTIL I read the Scritpures for myself. I knew something had taken place in my life before God and I knew that it didn't come from me, but from outside of me. This man claims to have been a believer for over 20 years and yet claims God's grace while still promoting the fact that in order to get the mercy of Christ he had to repent. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not grace that is works.

Grace is both unmeritted favor and enabling power. Grace grants the new birth. Grace grants faith. Grace grants repentance. Your works grant debt. Your works grant sin. Your works grant death. This is the difference between the monergists and the synergists. If I must do something to receive the mercy and grace of God, then it is no longer grace. The apostle Paul said:

Romans 11:5 Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Paul speaks here of the fact that there still remains a people among the Jews who are God's elect and they are that by grace, not by heritage or works. Repentance is works. It involves works. I am all for repentance. I am all for works, but let's be clear: Repentance is the fruit of those who HAVE RECEIVED THE MERCY OF CHRIST, not step one in receiving God's mercy. Works naturally follow the believer. I will note the order of all of these things from the words of the apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from Ephesians.

(1) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

God chose us from before the foundation of the world and did this out of love to be to the praise of the glory of His grace, according to the good pleasuer of His will, not ours.

(2)7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

God's purposes were fulfilled in the cross of Christ, in order that He would redeem us and place us into the body of the Savior and that in time we might trust in Christ. Notice all through this text what the reasoning is: the praise of God's glory! If we wonder why we are saved, it is not primarily Heaven. We have been saved for the glory of God. Heaven, in all honesty appeals to the flesh of man because it is a glorious place with no "bad things", compared to Hell, which is the eternal judgment of God spewing forth His wrath against the ungodly and unbelieving...and yes, that too is in the presence of God.

Then the apostle states, in chapter 2 of Ephesians, how these things take place and what their proper order is, in contrast to Dr. Caner.

(3)1 ¶ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

We were dead in sin. He uses the metaphor of death to show forth the reality of a spiritual resurrection. This runs all throughout the Old and New Testament. We conducted ourselves as those who live in death. We choose death and not life. We showed forth our spiritual heritage as sons of the devil. Ah! But God intervened! God is rich in mecy and love (vs. 4)

When we were dead (vs. 5), God quickened us or made us alive or raised us up. He resurrected us. Notice there is nothing in here about us doing anything, except conducting ourselves as children of wrath. Does that sound like repentance to you? It is by grace that we are saved, not the works of the flesh, no matter how spiritual they sound.

(4)6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

He exalted us and placed us into Christ. He made us kings and priests. And for emphasis, Paul makes it clear in verses 7-9 that all of this is to show forth His work, not ours and that none of it comes from us, but from the grace of God (vs. 8). CAUTION: Vs. 9. Don't boast: Neither in your faith, your repentance, your works of righteousness or any other thing. Our boast should be exclusively, soley and wholey in God.

Notice where works come in and BTW these are obviously works of repentance.

(5)10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Works are the product of the workmanship of God. We are new creations. We did not create ourselves, but were recreated in Christ Jesus and from the new creation there flows good works, which God has ordained that we might walk in them.

The Holy Spirit is so clear that it continues to amaze me that so many cannot see the obvious flow of the text and what God has done in the salvation of men. I truly pray the Dr. Caner will repent of his heretical leanings in this matter. They are against the Scriptures and they are against the God that he claims has been so gracious to him. May he drop his "short fuse" and quick temper and as Paul stated, "(have) the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."


Gordan said...

Tim, no kidding, if I could distribute this article of yours to every Southern Baptist on the planet, I would.

This is such a key issue. It always has been, but I have a sense that it is even more so now within the whole Baptist world. Again, not claiming to prophesy here, but I'm thinking we're approaching a sort of cross-roads moment in American Christianity. Of course, that could be just my own inflated sense of the importance of my times.

Thanks for your work. I have always liked to hit on 1 Samuel 2:25 in this topic, where the prophet claims that the reason the evil sons of Eli had not repented is that God withheld repentance from them, having chosen rather to slay them. What's the Arminian explanation for that?

Tim said...


I have used 1 Samuel 1 & 2, contrasting Samuel with the sons of Eli. What is amazing is that Eli does not do the right thing to correct his sons and it is according to God's plan, as you stated, for it was God's desire to slay them. Eli was accountable for his role. His sons were accountable for theirs and neither one was outside the sovereign, and I might add will, of the Living God.

How does an Arminian answer this? LOL. Several folks that I read when I taught on the subject merely passed it off that this was merely "evidence" of their hardened condition without taking into account the truth of what is actually said. The NAS renders it the best in stating that, "FOR the LORD desired (chaphets), to put them to death." This was somethings that God desired or delighted in. It was not an unholy delight, mind you, but a determined event in which God demonstrated His wrath against their sin and I might point out that God ended up doing just that not only because He desired it, but also because Eli would not do what the Law required him to do concerning his sons and that was to bring them before the judges, which would have led to their deaths. God help us to be firm in our discipline with our children regarding sin.

This is one area I try to work hard at. I don't want to be overbearing on things that are not sinful (majoring on minors) and then laxed on things that are (minoring on the majors). I do not know what God has appointed for my children, wrath or grace, but I am trusting that He will show them grace. After all, he showed me, a totally depraved sinner grace. Would He not be gracious to show it to those who have come from my own loins? I pray that He will and I encourage them to follow after our Lord Jesus Christ.

Calvinist Gadfly said...

Tim, great post! keep it up brother.

Gordan said...

Well, against all my better judgment, I went and read Caner's first blog post.

I guess I should not have been surpised at the overall tone and content, since I have visited his homepage. Is it just me being critical, or does this guy seem to be terribly impressed with himself (but he knows better than to just come right out and say it, so he tosses in the off-hand remark about how reflecting on himself is so humbling...)?

I sincerely hope that his future entries are more theologically and/or biblically oriented, and less Ergun-centered.

Seriously, who wants to read anybody's blog if all it does is document what I did yesterday and how that made me feel? I mean, get a diary already.

DOGpreacher said...

nice job on this post, Tim.

...yes, Ergun is smitten with Ergun it would seem!