Questions & Answers
Assumptions regarding the whole world?
Good questions about the whole world being redeemed. As a matter of fact I have been working on a subsection called the Whole World for a while now. I've been working up to the subject for well over a year in my section called The Argument, and I had planned on it way before I started hearing the Mike Williams views being presented so it really had nothing to do with universalism. Amazingly, as I hear and read bits and pieces of the viewpoint I am seeing much of the same rethinking of verses and concepts in what I have discovered. But I am seeing one fallacy in it that is the very same as found in the Free Will and Calvinist viewpoints ... and that is, upon what basis do we define the world?
This is what makes this whole thing so difficult! I used to think that there could be no common ground between those two opposing views, but there is. The fallacy is that both insist that the world can be defined by the people in it. The only difference between the two in that aspect is that one says that it is everybody while the other says that it is a portion of everybody. The simple reality of the world has become more incredibly obvious to me.
For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved. John 3:17
The word "should" is conditioned upon something, but not upon a human factor. It was spoken in advance about what Jesus was about to do. In other words, the saving of the world is contingent upon the finished work of Jesus. It was his purpose to save the world.
Now, the suggestion that "all in Adam" have gotten transferred into Christ and are therefore now spoken of as "all in Christ" is just not found in the Bible. And where do you find anything that comes even remotely close to the popular phrase, "saved, but just don't know it yet?"
Of course, we know that Free Will teachings say that Jesus did the work for all people and now it is left up to each to decide what they are going to do with it ... and the variations range from good-deeds kind of works to the work of faith. That whole teaching is flawed to the core. Calvinist teachings say that Jesus did the work for only a select portion of everybody, which means that the world is defined as the world of the elect (I heard a preacher actually work that one out). This concept of the world totally misses everything John had been leading up to from the beginning of his account.
Do you mind if I give you a little bit of my history? My own background was founded in Free Will teachings in the 60's and 70's and then moved to teachings of election and predestination from the mid-80's to mid-90's. The whole time I refused to be called a Calvinist ... for many reasons. I hated the division it demanded as well as the suggestion that we need to adhere to a man. Even more so was the fact that Calvinism is so doggoned legalistic! Someone showed me an article written by a Calvinist where they categorized people like me as Ultra-Calvinist because while we held to the fact that God was sovereign (does what He will) that we took grace too far in teaching that law is not needed for our daily lives. Calvinists hated people like me because we gave them a bad reputation! The reasons I aborted my views on Free Will are still valid and it was through the Calvinist viewpoint that I was challenged to examine those views and to come to a place where I realized that God is the one in control and that it is not up to us. I could go on, but I think that is more than enough for now. :)