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Archive for September, 2007

This is the final video of the series. This is the shortest of the three at a little more than 5 minutes and like the other two, Mr. Berner doesn’t offer anything more than an emotional appeal against Calvinism. Mr. Berner does nothing to properly exegete any of the few Bible versus he uses, the only argument he presents is that of free will without properly fleshing it out.

In this final part of the series, he has lost what little steam he had in the first video. He again uses 2 Peter 3:9 out of context and has had to repeat the same arguments from the first video. This only goes to show that Mr. Berner does not understand Reformed Theology or the Doctrines of Grace. Not once does he take scripture to prove ANY of his assertions nor does he ever give an expositional support for his beliefs. Sadly, Mr. Berner has refused to reply to anything I have written here. I really want to know what he has to say about what I wrote regarding Romans 9 and 2 Peter 3, because the first time I asked him about it, he didn’t have an answer then either.

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Misrepresenting Calvinism Part II

Here is part two of Mr. Berner’s attempted refutation of the Doctrines of Grace or Calvinism. Things do not improve as far as being able to properly present a Biblical refutation rather than having to rely on emotional appeals and misrepresentations of Calvinism. Rather than point out every single one of Mr. Berner’s mistakes I will try and make two or three major points to show how Mr. Berner has fallen short of his goal.

This video follows directly after video one so there is no introduction and the video starts where the first one left off. His continuation goes on with an argument made by many atheist to try and refute Christianity. The problem of evil. Before I continue I want to be sure to point out that Mr. Berner does not escape this problem of evil, but he never addresses how he explains the evil in the world. His problem of evil is greater than that of the Calvinist.

Like many atheists, he has to put aside reality and go to a hypothetical to try and disprove the truth. God is a loving God, He is all knowing, all powerful and He is a personal God. Mr. Berner’s god is none of the above. Did Mr. Berner’s god know that something bad was going to happen? If he didn’t, then he is not the God of the Bible. Mr. Berner needs to explain why these bad things happen as well. His god either, didn’t know it was going to happen, never planned for it to happen and was surprised when it did, knew it was going to happen but was either powerless to do anything or chose not to do anything.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” Mr. Berner never addresses passages like Genesis 50 or Romans 9. Mr. Berner has yet to exegete ANY verse to make his claim. There is no purpose for the evil that occurs according Mr. Berner. The Bible tells us that all things happen for the glory of God, he works all things according to the council of His will, Eph. 1:11. Mr. Berner, since he has a misunderstanding of the depravity of man and he seeks to place human will above that of the Triune God of the Bible. All men are sinners and are thus under the righteous judgment of God. Romans 9:22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory… It is Gods power that is demonstrated in the destruction of the sinner and ultimately His Glory. God will judge the sinner and save the righteous.

At around 2 min. plus, he again talks about Gods love, and sinners. He again asserts that God doesn’t hate sinners. Mr. Berner, the Bible teaches that God hates sinners. Proverbs 6:16-19, Psalms 5:5, Malachi 1:1-3. Does not the Bible teach of the destruction of the sinners? Mr. Berner maybe doesn’t know that God doesn’t hear the prayers of the sinner, Isa. 1:15, John 9:31. It is becoming more and more apparent that Mr. berner is the one guilty of what he is accusing Calvinists of being, he is blind, sick, foolish. It is him that is in the ditch!

Beginning at about 3:50 into the video, Mr. Berner once again attempts to deal with election and predestination according to Romans 9. In the first video he tried to make the claim that Romans 9 was of national election, now he is attempting to show that God’s election and foreknowledge is based upon God looking into the future to see who would love him. This is what Dr. Ergun Caner calls “elected, because I selected” theology and is not supported by scripture. I exegeted Romans 9 in my first rebuttal to Mr. Berner. Romans 9:11 clearly shows where Mr. Berner is wrong. So, it’s not because of anything the twins had done, either good or bad but to demonstrate God’s purpose. Then Paul, again asserts, just in case you didn’t get it in the first part of the verse that election is not based on ANYTHING the individual does, Paul states later in the same verse “not because of works, but because of him who calls”. Paul clearly writes in this verse that election is not based on anything the person does.

How fitting that he closes with Daniel 12:10. Mr. Berner doesn’t seem able to understand the verses I have cited, based on Mr. Berner’s own criteria, is he one of the wicked?

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Offline 111 contacted

Last night I contacted the maker of the anti-Calvinism videos. I invited Mr. Scott Berner to respond to my rebuttal of his refutation of Calvinism. Sadly, he declined. He sent me five messages through YouTube, none of which actually dealt with anything I had written in any scriptural way.

Scott,

I have listened to your 3 part refutation of Calvinism. You have misrepresented Calvinism and the Bible to support your man made system. I invite you to read my blog at http://souldesaenz.blogspot.com/ where I have gone through your first video and shown it’s errors. I would hope you would post any and all explanations to my rebuttal on my blog.

I look forward to your replies.

Until then, may God bless the study of His word.

Jesus Saenz

Hello Jesus Saenz,

I have been over this a great many times with Calvinists in the past two decades. When men put men up as idols, they become mad on their idols. This applies to Catholics as well. It does no good to argue with those who cannot see, because God is able to give them sight, but because of their froward hearts they are not given such a gift from God.

Jesus said it like this, “Let them alone, if the blind lead the blind they shall both fall into the ditch.”

That is why I call Calvinism a DEEP DITCH. You may have noticed the title?

You will serve your idols until God opens your eyes. It does no good to play games with you. You cannot hear the truth, nor see wisdom. You are just like your teachers.

May God grant you repentance unto life,
Amen.
SDB
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Dear Jesus Saenz,

My name is Scott Berner. That is the “name I go by.” Ok? I have given scritpure to back up my “pre-supposition”, time and again. Yes, “if the Bible teaches this type of free will, then man is a moreal free agent. His will is free to choose to do good or to do evil.” You certainly have that much right, though you don’t believe it. The Bible does teach it, from beginning to end.

I thought I would go and look at what sort of merry-go-round you had constructed. It is so typical it I can hardly say the words.

The blindness Calvin has laid upon his followers is so utterly consistent, so hopelessy indidious, and always the same.

You have my sympathy, Jesus Saenz. Truly and sincerely.

If you hate these on Calvin, you may hate as well those on the truth of conditional salvation in the series on Hebrews 6,10,12, Eph 5, Gal 5, 2 Pet 1-2, 1 Cor 5. There is a tremendous amount of the Bible there for you to trod under Calvin’s blind boot. You could rant for months on just that material alone. Good hunting.

In the Blessed Grace of God,

(quite conditionally and gratefully)
SDB
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Dear Mr. Berner,

I will go back and input your name, Sir, rather than your YouTube user name. When I first wrote my blog I was ignorant as to what your name is.

I want to thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog as well as to reply to me, I am sure your time is valuable and you would rather not spend it dealing with someone whom you disagree wholeheartedly with.

Yes Sir, you did provide scripture to back up your presuppositions, as did I. The thing is, Sir, I took the scripture you provided and within the context of the verse, paragraph, chapter, book and the entire Bible, demonstrated how your use of those scriptures was incorrect. You merely used one proof text to support your view of free will, I took passages that show that man’s nature is sinful and thus makes choices based on that sin nature.

Since you did not address my exegesis of your use of Romans 9 as well as your use of 2 Peter 3:9 and moved on to Hebrews, Ephesians, Galatians, 2 Peter and 1 Chorinthians then you agree with my interpretation? In your video you appeal to logic, reason and truth. If we are to discuss these matters of truth then it is logical and reasonable to expect that we demonstrate, using scripture, how we arrive at the conclusions we have. Sir, I addressed your issues with Calvinism presented in the first video as well as the scripture you used. It is reasonable to expect for you to do the same with what I have presented before moving on to other passages.

I thank you for your sympathy and do not doubt the truth fo your sincerity.

Continued blessings,

Jesus Saenz
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Dear Mr. Saenz,

I do not doubt your sincerity either, by the way.

I mentioned in the beginning of our discourse that I did not intend to debate these issues and gave you the reason for such a decision.

I do not want to offend you unnecessarily, but must tell you that I do not intend to read all of your oppositions to the work the Lord has called me to do on His behalf.
I read the first portion of your rebuttal and responded to you on that part only, as it is the crux of the issue. Free will to choose. The Bible tells us that man is a “free agent” as you provide the term.

Foreknowledge is the key to understanding election. God’s foreknowledge. He foreknows all He will bring into this world and makes elect those He foreknows will love Him with a pure heart. Those who will choose Him if given the opportunity to do so. He makes provisions of grace and blessing for, intercedes on behalf of, and gives ears to hear to those He so foreknows and elects. He enables them to choose Him and does not hinder them from doing so. Such election takes place only after His divine determination and foreknowledge of their choice to love Him and commit their hearts to Him wholly. From before the foundation of the earth He knows every one of His elect that will come into this world.

Only after such a Divine Determination of Grace, based upon Foreknowledge, may He begin to intercede on behalf of His chosen and elect children. He does so with complete and perfect righteousness and supreme holy justice. His grace is upon His elect based upon this determination.
(continued)

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He cannot choose some to be elect and others to not be, based upon anything other than a just determination. He is always just and can be nothing else but righteous.

Making some elect without basing such a determination upon a righteous judgment is impossible. God is never arbitrary and always judges according to His expressed will, the Word of God declares it. He magnifies His Word even above His own Name.

This is my position today, and ever will be my position. It is the position of the Holy Scriptures and accordingly reveals the holiness and righteousness of God and is the only position that truly shows Him to be completely consistent with His own Law and Word. It justifies God, it confirms Him as faithful to His every declaration of truth and righteousness. It is the only position that truly brings glory to God. It is completely consistent with the scriptures.
(continued)
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After over twenty years of study and prayer and after holding different positions, based upon the understanding I had in those times, to the best of my ability, I have come to this conclusion and for me it is most unshakable.

Regarding Ad Hominem:

It is perfectly consistent with scripture to judge a man by his fruit. The Lord called them “scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites.” You have declared the ungodliness of the pedophile priesthood of Rome, correct? Is that not their fruit? Also regarding the inquisitions? No? Calvin’s burning people at the stake is no different. The Lord Jesus said, “no bad fruit comes from a good tree.” It is action that is breaking God’s law and denying the example and testimony of Jesus Christ. This is not ad hominem, it is judging the fruit of a tree. That tree is not faithful to Christ, he justified himself in all he did with his private interpretation of scritpure. This proves him to be an unreliable sourse of Biblical exegesis. His doctrines prove the unscriptural nature of his doctrine. A lost man, masquerading as a servant of Christ cannot possible rightly divide the Word of truth. All his work must be rejected. Christ said, “why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say.” If a man does not follow Christ and has not the Spirit of Christ, “he is none of His.” We must choose Jesus if we will follow Jesus. We must choose the Word if we will follow God. Amen.

May God Continue To Lead You To More Perfect Understanding,

SDB

PS> I have not loaded this communication with scritpure for the simple reason that you have seen them all before, but to no avail. Only when the Lord opens your understanding will they all become clear to you. Judging from my experience, this is a gradual process that can take years. I cannot do that for you. He must. There is no profit in strife.
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Sadly, as is usually the case with people trying to refute the Doctrines of Grace, their arguments degrade to an emotional appeal. They wish to concentrate only on God’s love but say very little about his righteousness, sovereignty, holiness or omnipotence. Once you begin to understand God’s righteousness and holiness, how much he hates sin and cannot abide with it, not even a little. Only then can you begin to understand what grace is, it cannot be demanded nor worked for otherwise it is no longer grace, then maybe passages like Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated, will be seen for what it is. When one reads this verse from Romans, the surprising thing shouldn’t be that God hates but rather, that he loves us, the filthy sinner. Oh, how humbling it is to know that I can’t take credit for my salvation, all the glory goes to God.

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Misrepresenting Calvinism

Here is a video series I found on YouTube. This is part one of three from a user whom goes by the name of offline 111. He doesn’t like Calvinism and was nice enough to post this three part refutation of this theological system. He does not seem to be familiar with what Calvinists actually believe nor with his Bible. I will go through his videos, one at a time and show where he is mistaken.

In his introduction, offline 111 who’s name is Scott Berner, begins his refutation of Calvinism by first making light of it. He says that he will talk very little about it, that he doesn’t need to say much. He poisons the well and makes a genetic fallacy in his argumentation. Since he does not believe that Calvinism can be true, therefore nothing they say is correct. That is an example of using flawed reasoning to come to your conclusion. This is the thesis he carries forward to refute Calvinism. He never attempts to deal with any scripture used by Calvinists to defend their views nor does he attempt to portray the views of any Calvinists fairly. His attack is reduced to straw man arguments.

At @ 45 seconds he then uses the argument of free will to refute the Calvinists view of monergistic soteriology. He uses Joshua 24:15 as proof text.

15(A) And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD,(B) choose this day whom you will serve, whether(C) the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or(D) the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.(E) But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Mr. Berner never establishes what he means by free will. He merely asserts, and presupposes it’s validity. If the Bible truly teaches this type of free will, then man is a moral free agent. His will is free to choose to do good or to do evil. Man has as much right to not accept Gods grace as much as he can not accept sin. If mans will is free, then he is not bound by sin, thus he is morally neutral. He is neither good nor bad and not bound by either. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches us about the the condition of man since the fall of Adam.

It seems as though Mr. Berner has confused a denial of free will by Calvinists with a denial of an ability to choose. This is wrong. He never cites any writers, theologians, preachers, pastors or lay people to establish this straw man argumentation. Mans will and thus his choices are bound by his sin. Although man can choose to do good in the eyes of men, he can’t will to do what is good in the eyes of the Lord. Natural man is a slave to his sin. John 8:34, 2 Tim. 2:25-26 , Romans 6. Freedom of the will is in clear contradiction to what the Bible teaches about sin and it’s power over the natural man. Man is not capable to do what is good, Romans 8:7. Therefore, there is no freedom of the will since it is a slave to sin.

@ 1:24 there is an ad hominem attack against John Calvin. This becomes an emotional appeal to try and refute Calvinism, ignoring logic and reason, more importantly he never cites scripture. @ 1:30, he claims that Calvin was lost and there is no way he was saved. It is doubtful Mr. Berner has ever read anything written by Calvin, for if he had he never would have used the “by their fruits you shall know them” card.

At @ 1:50, Mr. Berner begins talking about election. It does not seem as though he understands what election is. God does not make one elect, rather God of His own will elects from all of humanity whom the elect will be. Election occurred before the foundation of the world, Eph. 1:4. @ 2:05, Yes, God chooses! It has nothing to do with mans “free will”.

Starting at @ 2:35, he uses another straw man argument. “The elect will be saved, in spite of themselves”. He makes assertions that it is contradictory to scripture yet doesn’t provide any scripture to prove it. He places a higher importance to man’s reason and intellect to that of God as if man knew better than God. This sort of belief system is humanistic. It is the arrogance and pride of the fallen humanity that finds monergistic salvation so unpalatable. It is mans sinful pride that wants to take credit for choosing or demanding Grace from God.

@ 3:40 he makes more assertions about how Calvinism perverts and makes a mockery of God and scripture. Not once does he show how.

@3:55 he uses 2 Peter 3:9 to show that God wants all men to be saved. If you look at this verse within it’s context, it clearly becomes a proof test for the Calvinist. In the middle of the verse, “is patient toward you”, the “you” is the pronoun and the subject of the sentence. If you go back one verse and follow the pronoun, “8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The word “beloved” is the pronoun and the subject. If you go to verse 1, Peter is telling the subjects of this letter that this is the second time he has written to them. Now, to find out who this letter is addressed to, we go to 1 Peter 1:1. Peter is addressing this letter to the elect, not to all of mankind. If you follow the pronouns, Peter is writing to the elect, he calls them beloved and it is the elect whom God is not wishing that any should perish but that all(elect) come to repentance.

@4:10, again more assertions he goes on for about a minute of mere assertions. At about 4:50, in light of his misuse of 2 Peter 3:9, should we hold him to his own standards by which he judges Calvinism? Is he then “without light”, is he “cut off from the light of God” and that is why he takes scripture out of context?

@5.25, more ad hominem attacks. He denies the Protestant Reformation, calling them fools.

@7:07, if we do not need any man’s opinion, then why are presenting your opinion on Calvinism and the Bible?

@7:20 he is asking if it is scriptural that God hates sinners. Psalm 5:5 sure seems to show that God hates sinners. This then leads into Romans 9, specifically verse 13. Mr. Berner states that election is according to foreknowledge, that God looked into the future and saw who would love God and who wouldn’t. This is NOT what scripture teaches. He has taken that passage in Romans clearly out of context. Within the context, I will start with Romans 8 verses 26-30. There are some whom claim that Romans 9 is dealing with nations and not people, that is just wrong when you look at what is happening in the previous chapter. Verse 26 shows a personal and not a national appeal, in v.27 Paul writes of a personal intercession of the Holy Spirit according to the will of God, v.28 it is those who are called according to Gods purpose. Again, this is a personal calling not a national calling, since God only worked nationally through Israel but never worked through any nation again. V. 29 begins the golden chain of redemption. It begins with God “doing” all. It is God who is foreknowing, predestining, conforming, justifying and it is God whom is glorifying.

Mr. Berner needs to read past v. 13 to v. 16. Paul clearly wrote that election does not depend on “human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” If according to Mr. Berner, God elects, according to foreknowledge(as Mr. Berner uses the word) he is verging on the heresy of open theism. If then, it is God that is foreknowing, electing, justifying, sanctifying… not to make salvation possible according to mans choice but to save to the uttermost according to God’s purpose DOES NOT make God evil but sovereign.

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Dr. D. James Kennedy

Sadly, Dr. Kennedy has succumbed to the heart attack he suffered a few month back. He passed away in his sleep Wednesday morning, Sept 5

Dr. D. James Kennedy memorial

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On The Road


It was fifty years ago today that The Great American Novel was introduced to the subconscious mind of the counter culture and ultimately to all of America. On The Road, Jack Kerouac’s second novel has been ridiculed by writers such as Truman Capote and held as the herald of a new dawn by others including Bob Dylan.

The novel is about two friends, Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty (Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady), and their adventures across the US shortly after World War II. It is written in prose it’s fast paced and frenetic. This is the birth of the Beat Generation with it’s new language of Jazz and Be-Bop meant for Cool Cats and Hipsters. There is a freshness and spontaneity that can be infectious, the rhythms were that of Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie ans Thelonius Monk. It was the beat, the béat. It is the language of the sidewalk poet, improvised and imperfect.

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I was born into a Roman Catholic home. I was baptized and made my First Holy Communion as well, but I never really saw myself as being Catholic. The day of my FHC was the last time I took part of that sacrament, I ate meat on Fridays during lent, I lit firecrackers in the bathrooms, stole fund raiser chocolates from my catechism classes… then, I refused to go back for my Confirmation. I told my mother I would not be returning and from that day, I no longer saw myself as being Catholic.

I felt my defection from Rome was sealed. When I came to repentance I saw myself as an atheist saved by Grace and not a convert. Since I never sent a writ of defection to the Pope, my defection was never official and chances are that Rome still counts me as one of their followers. I had never thought of it making my divorce from Rome officail until I read this article by Lance King. Seems like an easy venture which I may consider going through.

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