Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sola Paul (satire)

In this post I would like to look at the extent of the atonement. By using proper exegesis of scripture it can be proven with certainty that Jesus died to effectually secure salvation for Paul of Tarsus. And for Paul alone.

First, let's take a look at Galatians 2:20. This is the most important verse in the Bible, because it explicitly states the extent of the atonement (bold mine):

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
"

This verse is key. It indisputably proves that Jesus loved and gave himself only for Paul.

It's worth noting that some theologians have used other passages in a vain attempt to apply the atonement to others for whom it was not intended. These heretics fail to make an important distinction. Ambiguous verses should always be interpreted in the light of more explicit verses. Galatians 2:20 very clearly limits the scope of the atonement to Paul, and Paul alone. Other less clear passages should be interpreted accordingly.

If Galatians 2:20 was the only verse that dealt with the extent of the atonement, the heretics might have a point. Fortunately it is not. Let's take a look at some other clear passages:

In Matthew 18:12 we learn that the shepherd only wanted to save one sheep. In fact he abandoned 99 sheep to save the one (bold mine):

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?"

This passage is so clear. It proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the shepherd found and saved only one sheep (Paul). The shepherd left the 99 other sheep on the hills. By doing this the shepherd maximized his glory. Moreover, he increased the appreciation and adoration of Paul, whom was effectually retrieved. If other sheep could have been retrieved, it would have diluted the value of the shepherd's act.

The same parable is presented in Luke 15:4-6 (bold mine):

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'"

One again, we see the shepherd saving only one sheep. He leaves the reprobate sheep in open country, puts the one sheep on his shoulders, and goes home.

Theologian James White gives additional insight on the use of the word sheep (bold mine):

"The good Shepherd lays down His life in behalf of the sheep. Are all men the sheep of Christ? Certainly not..."

Before commenting on this quote, it is necessary to exegete White's use of the term "sheep". To the non-educated it may appear that he is using the word "sheep" to refer to more than one person. This is not the case. In English the word "sheep" can be singular or it can be plural. Here are some examples:

Singular example: Look! there is one sheep over there!
Plural example: Look! There are a boat load of sheep over there! We must be in New Zealand!

Non-English scholars do not often note this subtle distinction in the usage of the word "sheep". Nor do the misguided plural atonement heretics who resort to man centered thinking instead of exegesis. White's context is plain. When he uses the phrases "the sheep" and "the sheep of Christ", he is referring to only one sheep. Never once does White say "boat load of sheep", nor does he refer to New Zealand. He says only "the sheep" (which of course we know is Paul).

Now let's get back to God's word. Another important passage to look at is Acts 9:3-7 (The Damascus Road story). In it we see with crystal clarity that Jesus chose only Paul: (bold mine)

Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"....the men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

This passage indicates that only Paul heard Jesus' voice and saw a light from heaven. The men with Paul heard the voice but did not see the light. The light was not for them, it was only for Paul. This proves that Paul's fellow travelers were reprobate. Of course they would be, they were not Paul.


Philosophical Arguments on the Atonement for Paul:
There are only three philosophical arguments to be considered.
1) The atonement was for everyone
2) The atonement was for no one.
3) The atonement was for Paul.

We know that 1 is false, that is universalism. We know that 2 is false because Paul was saved. Option 3 is all we have left. The atonement was for Paul.



Common objections to Atonement for Paul:

Q: What about the many passages that speak about "the world"? Isn't the world more than Paul?

A: In light of the explicit context of Galatians 2:20, it is clear that the ambiguous passages that refer to "world" are more accurately translated as "the world of the one elect person whose name is Paul". Remember, ambiguous passages should always be interpreted in the context of explicit ones.


Q: But doesn't Romans 1:16 state salvation is for both Greek and Jew? How can this be the one person Paul?

A: Quit imposing your own biased interpretation on the word. Read scripture and let it speak for itself. Paul easily answers this objection in 1 Corinthians 9:20-21 "To the Jews I became like a Jew...To those not having the law I became like one not having the law..." You see, Paul is both Jew and Greek. Romans 1:16 refers only to Paul.


Q: What about Mary, Jesus mother? She wasn't Paul and yet the Bible says she was blessed.

A: What are you, some kind of closet Catholic? Your line of thinking always leads back to Rome.


Q: This whole system is not fair. If only Paul is saved, what about everyone else who perishes? This is a bum deal for everyone except Paul.

A: Paul anticipates your objection and addresses it in Romans 9:20 "Who are you oh man to talk back to God?." In other words this may seem unfair from your fallen human view, but it is God's sovereign choice to individually and effectually save Paul and Paul alone. This gives God more glory, and makes Paul's salvation more valuable. Don't talk back to God.


Q: I'm not talking back to God, I'm saying that your system distorts the character of God.

A: You have an odd concept of fairness. Only one person usually wins the lottery too, but you don't complain about that do you? Sometimes no one wins the lottery and this makes the jackpot even bigger. If everyone won the lottery it wouldn't do anyone any good. For example if the jackpot was $1 million and 10 billion people won it, they would each only get 0.01 cents. What a ripoff! The same concept applies to salvation for Paul. He hit the jackpot.


Q: But wasn't it a waste of Jesus blood to apply it only to Paul when it could have covered more?

A: Not at all, this was planned by divine decree before the creation of the world. Jesus blood was only intended for Paul, and it effectually secured Paul's salvation. The atonement did not make salvation merely possible for Paul, it secured it.


Q: I don't find this doctrine very motivating to preach the Gospel.

A: That is a straw man. Paul believed this and was very motivated. Besides, scripture commands us to preach the Gospel.


In conclusion, the extent of the atonement is very clear. Jesus death was for Paul, and Paul alone. We all need to throw aside our traditional biases and read scripture in the context that it was intended. Case closed.

16 comments:

The Seeking Disciple said...

You are indeed a heretic. How dare you teach that Jesus died only for Paul! Who are you to teach this limited atonement?

J.C. Thibodaux said...

You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT Seekadoo, Paul clearly spells out the doctrine of extremely limited atonement, when he says,

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? (1 Corinthians 9:24)

Showing that in the final analysis, only one person would be saved (him of course).

Kyle said...

Hey seekadoo: a rant about on Calvinism:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g
?blogID=26398946&postID=2891785867
753572553

Pizza Man said...

Roy, you are letting tradition cloud your judgment. ;)

JC, EXCELLENT point on 1 Cor 9:24. Only one person gets the prize.

Kyle, that link looks strangely familiar...

Kyle said...

Whoops! Dunno why I did that!

Head over to my blog, it's the newest post - complete with a token Calvinists' protest (a typical one, too) =)

J.C. Thibodaux said...

Pizza Man,

I'm glad you can see reason. It's true that many people are under the Jesuit delusion that God wants to save a lot of people, but the true gospel preacher The One and Otis refutes this line of thinking:

1. God is sovereign

2. Since God is sovereign, He controls every aspect of every thing

3. Since God seeks to be glorified and is in control of all events, everything that happens is to glorify God

4. Since everything happens for the glory of God, His glory must be maximized in every event

5. More people go to hell than to heaven (Matthew 7:14), therefore the amount of people going to the lake of fire is greater than the amount of people going to New Jerusalem (pLF > pNJ)

6. since God chooses more people to go to hell, it stands to reason that He is logically more glorified by people being damned than people being saved

7. since God has more glory in damnation than salvation, and since God's glory must always be maximized, the clear conclusion must be that not only are most people are damned, but ALL people are predestinyated to be eternally damned, otherwise God would end up having less glory!!



Otis' line of reasoning covers it philosophically. Singular atonement is all over the Bible and is easy to see -- if your benighted and unregenerate mind isn't too darkened by the Pelagian idol of your own salvation to see it.

Take the parable of the sower for instance, we know from Mark 4:14 that the seed that the sower sows is the word, and we know from John 1 that Jesus is the word, and is therefore the seed, which correlates with Galatians 3,

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)

But notice, there's only ONE seed, not many, so all the other grounds were just hypothetical, the one seed was only sown into one specific spot of good ground, which was Paul. Sorry, there ain't enough for anybody else. People who want to make this out to mean that the word of God was sown in many peoples' hearts (many of whom don't receive it) obviously make a failure out of God, since His word is returning to Him void. Jesus also said,

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. (Matthew 11:27)

Notice it says that Christ reveals the Father to 'he,' not, 'they.' It's clear from sound Bible doctrine that only one person is saved. Some try to interpret this verse using some of them new-fangled Romanist new age bible perversions that say stuff like, "...and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him...", but their attempted corrections of God's inspired translation stem from their ties to the Alexandrian manuscript cult!

Kyle said...

"3. Since God seeks to be glorified and is in control of all events, everything that happens is to glorify God"

Funny satire!

God does not seek to be glorified in the Calvinistic sense, as if God had a swelled ego that needed constant feeding of this type. True, everything that God does glorifies Him, but that's because He is glorious in His amazing character. He is beautiful, and He knows it; He doesn't need to "seek after His glory."

Pizza Man said...

JC, Good stuff, I love it! Otis is the man, and his logic is impeccable. :)

Kyle, nice. I notice he omitted Romans 11:32 in his proof texting. An all too typical C parrot response.

Kyle said...

Yo Pizza Man -

Yeah, it's funny how Calvinists overlook the CONCLUDING STATEMENT to Paul's argument in Romans 9-11, isn't it? =)

Kyle said...

I think I'm going to write an article about how "all" doesn't mean "all" with respect to the universality of sin. I'm sure I could do some exegetical gymnastics comparable to Calvinian efforts.

Kyle said...

I'm having a little sparring match with a Calvinist or two on my latest post. Take a look! =)

Pizza Man said...

Kyle, Looks like you're having fun. Yeah, Romans 5:18-19 is a good example of both "all" and "many" that doesn't make any sense in the Calvinist framework.

Kyle said...

I never cease to be amazed at the self-assurance of so many Calvinists. Its as if they try to win you over with rhetoric...well not this Arminian! =)

JJ said...

Funny

William Birch said...

Pizzakev,

I know I'm a Johnny-come-lately, but that was HILARIOUS! Truly, a work of literary art.

B

Pizza Man said...

Thanks Billy, glad you enjoyed it!