Freewill Scapegoat

Mike Manea responded to the quote of Walter Martin. Here is my response:

If I may, can I suggest that the article might be missing the forest because of the trees regarding the Investigative Judgment? Would it be possible to set aside for a second what E.G. White says, the exegesis of Hebrews or the attempt to save face after the disappointment of 1844? Maybe, just maybe, this Adventist idea has something to contribute to Christian theology.

You may suggest whatever you want, but it will require more than suggestion to convince me. The issue is that her writings are at the center of these controversies. So, if she is authoritative in your eyes, then she must be a part of the conversation.They could, but that doesn’t negate the fact they are wrong.

The Protestant Reformation brought to the forefront the idea that salvation is by grace through faith. But historically, this concept has been understood in three different ways within Protestantism depending on whether one believes in Free Will or not:

The doctrine of Justification remains the same to all Protestants. So, it really isn’t an issue of Calvinism and Libertarianism.

“Calvinism – Salvation is offered only to the elect who are predestined to believe, repent and persevere. There is no free will. (Presbyterians, Reformed etc.)

Salvation is offered to everyone who hears the Gospel and only is applied to the Elect.

Once Save Always Saved Arminianism — Salvation is offered to everyone freely but we have the free will to accept it or reject it. However, having accepted salvation, we can no longer choose to turn away. (Most Baptists, non-denominational)
Regular Arminianism – We have free will to accept Christ and free will to turn away later after having accepted Him. (Methodists, Free-will Baptists)

This is true.

Protestants have been debating these three positions for hundreds of years before there ever was a concept of an Investigative Judgment(IJ). And, the arguments used against the IJ apply to the Regular Arminian position as well. For example, one of the texts used in the article is, “He that hears my word and believes him that sent me has everlasting life and shall not come under judgment but is passed from death to life.”
This text is not only a problem for Adventists but for all Regular Arminians. Someone can hear God’s word, believe, have everlasting life, but then later lose their salvation, according to non-OSAS Arminians. So that person must then pass back from life unto death and most likely get judged anyway. In other words, let’s not single out Adventist soteriology when the exact same soteriological debate predated Adventism by centuries.”

The argument works for both positions, but for different reasons. The Arminian maintains that one can become unregenerate. That they go to a state of not believing. That is contrasted with those who remain believers and go to eternal life. The difference is that you may have a believer that doesn’t own up to his calling and is punished. The difference is the fact 7th day Adventism doesn’t have a perfect Savior. The Arminian that believes salvation can be lost doesn’t understand the new state of the being at peace(Rom. 5:1) or in Christ(Rom. 5:12-19)

But what exactly does the IJ have to contribute to the development of Christian theology?

Legalism.

“Within the non-OSAS framework, Arminians have always struggled with assurance. If salvation can be lost, what if I’ve already gone too far? What if my latest sins have caused me to fall away so much that it is now impossible to renew me to repentance again?”

They usually don’t frame it as that, but rather as they have the ability to choose not to believe.

The IJ resolves this dilemma using the Sanctuary model. The sanctuary had two compartments, the holy and the most holy. Throughout the year, intercession took place in the Holy and on the day of Atonement, judgment took place in the Most Holy. The idea here is that Jesus as our high priest plays two distinct roles. He has the ministry of being our intercessor and, on the day of judgment, our Judge. However, He doesn’t take up His role as judge until the day of judgment. For now His entire focus is on intercession and salvation.

This resolves the determinism vs indeterminism? Both incompatibilism and compatibilism are compatible with what you said.

In other words, the non-OSAS Arminian can come boldly to the throne of grace knowing that Jesus is not judging him right now for His sin but only interceding on his behalf. This doesn’t mean that he can continue carelessly in his sin since there will eventually be a judgment. But the judgment will not happen until later after his death. As long as he lives, he can have the assurance that no matter what he does, his Saviour is still extending him mercy and interceding on his behalf. Basically, the IJ doctrines provides the theological basis for assurance under a non-OSAS Arminian framework.

I don’t see how introducing this is, in fact, an explanation of determinism and indeterminism. So, I don’t know how you come to that conclusion.

But what good is a doctrine of assurance that is exegetically wrong?

None and that is why you should reject 7th day Adventism.

The basis for the IJ is not actually the book of Hebrews, Leviticus or the Daniel 8:14. Rather, the IJ has it’s basis in Arminianism, as mentioned, and in another Adventist doctrine, the doctrine of Soul Sleep.

That doesn’t make sense. Usually, people argue from the text for such an important theological position. This is utterly separate from the issues revolving predestination. So, Libertarian freedom in no way concludes the Investigation Judgement.

Almost all other Arminians believe that people go to heaven or hell immediately at death. Therefore, if there is to be a judgment before they receive their punishment, this judgment must happen throughout their life or immediately after death. Because Adventists believe people rest in their graves and don’t receive their rewards until the second coming, the IJ does not need to happen until shortly prior to the second coming. So again, the basis for the IJ is not any of the things mentioned in the article but Arminianism & Soul Sleep.

This is relevant to the article in no way. There may be an intermediate state. How do you deal with Lazarus and the Rich man(Luke 16)?

Moreover, the reason as Adventists we believe in Free Will and Soul Sleep is because we reject the influence of Greek ontology on Christian theology.

So, your only escape from the pagan ontology is to accept physicalism and Libertarian Freedom. Which are found in ancient Greek thought. You avoid Paganism with Paganism.

From a very early period through church fathers with Platonic/Neoplatonic leanings (ex. Clement, Origen, Augustine) ideas about God and Man, Classical Theism and Dualism, were superimposed on Christian theology.

The idea of an immaterial soul predates that of the Greeks. It is found in early religions of Animism. It is also important that the New Testament writers also didn’t correct their Greek counterparts. Paul being the Apostle to the Greeks fully understood whom his audience was. The only serious alternative to Classical Theism is the Pagan view of mutable divisible beings. The irony of your arguments is quite apparent to me.

We believe that when someone truly adopts the Sola Scriptura principle and reads Scripture without this bias, a different picture of both God and man emerges from Scripture.

I think you have bias and that it is impossible to read the scripture without them. We need Scripture in its historical-grammatical meaning to challenge or beliefs.

The Calvinist concept of predestination stems from Greek notions of a timeless God and not from Scripture taken in its entirety. The same goes for the idea of a disembodied soul going to heaven or hell at death.

That is simply a false accusation and your only alternative is to accept other Pagan concepts. The scriptures give evidence for an immaterial side of man (Luke 24:39) and it is utterly incoherent for propositions to be meaningful apart from minds. Which entails absurdity.

In any case, since I’ve already gone too long, the article’s critique of the IJ misses the boat because it misunderstands the systematic reasoning behind the doctrine.

I disagree and think your response is contrary to the Bible and good reason.

God bless.

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About TheSire

I'm a Christian, Trinitarian, rational scientific anti-realist, Baptist, Van Tilian, Covenant theology, Inerrancy, Substance dualist, Classical theist, Protestant, Reformed, and a particularist. Here is a place where I take information from many different sources and place them in a useful format. My influences are Steve Hays, Dr. James Anderson, Dr. Greg Welty, Dr. Vern Poythress, Dr. John Frame, R. C. Dozier, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, Ronald W. Di Giacomo, R. C. Sproul, Dr. James White, Dr. Paul Helm, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Paul Manata, Turretinfan, Milton Friedman, James A. Gibson, and others. " You're one of the most intricate thinkers I know so if you believe something I would like to understand why and be challenged to think about it." Tyler Vela I'd like to thank Vincent Ransom for the profile picture.

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