May 28, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If you’re curios as to why I chose “The Coalescent Cross” as my blog title, I have updated the ‘About’ page with that info, so please take a moment to look.
March 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Here is every example of the Greek word helkuō (usually rendered draw/drawn/dragged) used in Scripture, in the order it appears:
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me helkuō him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
(John 6:44 ESV)
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will helkuō all people to myself.
(John 12:32 ESV)
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, helkuō it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
(John 18:10 ESV)
He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to helkuō it in, because of the quantity of fish.
(John 21:6 ESV)
So Simon Peter went aboard and helkuō the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn.
(John 21:11 ESV)
But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and helkuō them into the marketplace before the rulers.
(Acts 16:19 ESV)
Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and helkuō him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut.
(Acts 21:30 ESV)
But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who helkuō you into court?
(James 2:6 ESV)
There we have all eight examples of the Greek word helkuō as used in the NT. The first two uses are in question, specifically regarding whether or not helkuō can be resisted. So, let’s find some common ground.
(A) Uses of helkuō that we can all agree implies irresistibility
(B) Uses of helkuō where irresistibility is in dispute
Are we agreed so far?
First, what about the NT’s usage of helkuō in (A) would lead you to believe it can be resisted? If nothing in (A) leads you to believe helkuō can be resisted, what source of Greek knowledge are you using to come to the determination that it can? If you say the usage in (B) leads you to believe this, then how? If you appeal to John 12:32′s use of the Greek word pas, please show how it is definitely referring to every individual, rather than all kinds. Also please note, the word “men” or “people” is not in the text, but rather derived from the context, so it could be read “I will draw all to myself.” Of course, as a Calvinist, I would say the all refers to all that are his, namely, his sheep. If you disagree with this, please support it in your objection. But you cannot accuse me necessarily of theological bias in perceiving the word pas as “all kinds” since the NT uses it this way in some cases (more on this below). So again, what NT use of helkuō leads you to believe it’s resistible?
Second, is it possible you’re allowing your theology to define the meaning of helkuō rather than any reliable source of ancient Greek knowledge? If so, is that safe or wise? I anticipate three possible objections to this:
Objection 1: An automatic defensive posture that insists helkuō is being interpreted correctly as resistible and this based on Greek knowledge, rather than theological bias.
Objection answered: If this is your stance, I am currently under the impression that you will not be able to produce any such reference of ancient Greek suggesting a resistible definition of helkuō. Please produce such a reference and therefore prove me wrong.
Objection 2: Some of you will accuse Calvinists of letting their theology interpret Greek meanings, rather than their actual definition according to ancient Greek understanding. For example, the Greek word pas is under dispute in 1 Timothy 2:4 where it says God wants pas to be saved.
Objection answered: We have clear usage examples where pas does not necessarily mean all in isolation, but can mean all kinds as well. See 1 Timothy 6:10 for an example of pas meaning all kinds and not just all in isolation.
Objection 3: The NT writers used Greek words differently than the secular world at the time. For example, the Greek word logos carries different theological connotations in the NT than it does in the secular world.
Objection answered: First, we’re not necessarily talking about the popular secular usage, although that can help in understanding ancient Greek word meaning. We’re talking about the NT usage. Therefore, with Greek words like logos, we can derive many different ways it is used by the NT writers. I won’t go into that here, because it’s used over 200 times in the NT. However, this really goes back to the first objection, which was already answered.
To summarize, since the NT overwhelmingly uses helkuō in an irresistible way, there is a preponderance of evidence that the NT considers it to be so in all uses. It would be unwise to formulate a meaning of helkuō that is alien to the NT. Of course, if you concede this, it’s only a matter of time until you embrace soteriological Calvinism. If you do not concede this, you are defining Greek terms based on your theology rather than their actual usage, which is a dangerous thing to do.
December 7, 2011 § Leave a Comment
This just so happens to be the inaugural post on my new blog. Just thought I’d mention that.
To explain the title of this post, one of the ways I “meditate” on Scripture is to write out my thoughts on certain passages that just so happen to jump out at me as I’m reading through the Bible. The way I write out these thoughts is in the form of a sermon. I have found this to be very helpful in the meditation process. And to boot, I have a sermon in my archive should I ever be called upon to preach.
Also, I am not sure how frequently I will post a sermon to this blog. The title of this post implies monthly, however, that could turn into quarterly. We’ll see how it goes.
Here is the sermon:
It is based on 1 Peter 2:7-9, and I’ve entitled it “God’s Appointment.” I hope you enjoy, and feel free to post any feedback in the comments section.