Thursday, June 29, 2006

Total Depravity - Mark’s 1000 word rebuttal

Romans 5-2nd Edition

Papasmurph argued in his rebuttal to Micah’s opening statement, that the entire human race has Jesus as its “spiritual head”. He additional accused Micah of advocating a “restricted headship” because Micah rightly noted the context and applied the “alls” in Christ, to the elect. He said:


In Romans 5:12-21 Paul uses Adam, as a type of Christ. But Adam was not a saviour was he? No, he is only a type of Christ because he is the federal head of the human race (physically), while Christ is federal head of the human race (spiritually). In Micah's interpretation Jesus has a lesser headship. For Adam is head of the whole race but Jesus is only head of the elect. This restricted headship does not fit the scope of Romans 5.

In contradiction to his own rebuttal however, Papasmurph cited L.A. Mott approvingly, saying:


(Verse 17) The effects of Christ's obedience is “much more” comprehensive because the resulting justification covers the "one transgression" and the "many transgressions." By the transgression of the one physical death reigned through the one (unconditionally). "Much more, those who receive (conditionally) the abundance of grace (the reconciliation) and the gift of righteousness (forgiveness and being counted righteous by God) will reign in life through One, Jesus. “The effect of Adam’s sin comes upon all when they are joined to Adam (by physical birth); the effect of Christ’s act of obedience is potentially for all, but is only actually experienced by those who are joined to Christ in baptism (cf. 6:3). (L.A. Mott, Life Through One Man: Jesus Christ the Second Adam, 58)

Looking at the citation from Mott, it is clear he too limits the all of vs. 17 to those that are in Christ. Mott posits the same position that Micah posited in his opening statement. This is the same position Papasmurph referred to as “restricted headship”. So Papasmurph, which is it? Is the “all” in Romans 5 “restricted”, or not? You have argued for two contradictory positions. You have refuted yourself.

Secondly, with regards to Romans 5:12-21, Papasmurph’s answer to our question is completely arbitrary. The “all’s” in verse 17 refer to those in Christ, and those in Adam. But the “all’s” in verses 18 and 19 refer to all of mankind without exception. Upon what basis does Papasmurph make this distinction? What in the context gives him the right to differentiate between the “all’s” in vs. 17 and the ones on verses 18 and 19? I can see nothing that allows for Papasmurph to make the distinction he is making. I truth the reader will see so as well.

Thirdly, Papasmurph inserts numerous statements that the accomplishments in Romans 5 are “conditional” while others are “unconditional”. This is clear eisegesis. There is nothing in the context of the passage, nor is there anything in the grammar of language that requires us to insert these “conditional” and “unconditional” markers in the text. In fact, upon the Calvinist understanding of Christ’s ability to be a perfect savior, these passages make perfect sense without Papasmurph reading anything into them. None of the effects of the sin of Adam are conditional. No man ever met a condition to receive the punishment for the sin of Adam. Likewise, the effect of the work of Christ is unconditional. Christ perfectly provided justification of life for all who are in Him. All who are in Him are made righteous. Papasmurph simply inserts unilaterally (again) what he needs to prove.

Fourthly, Papasmurph pleads “context” as proof that “justification of life” in 5:18, refers to the ability for God to raise everyone from the dead, even those who are condemned. He says he derives this from context, but nowhere does he show how the context demands this. Papasmurph’s definition doesn’t make sense in Romans 5, or the rest of the book for that matter. In 5:18 justification is set over against “condemnation”, a legal term referring to someone’s status as a lawbreaker. In Christ, we are declared righteous before that same Law. This make sense of the context. A humorous exercise would be to say to yourself “ability to be raised form the dead” in every place where Paul uses “justified” in Romans. It will show anyone who cares about handling the text rightly, how bizarre Papasmurph’s interpretation is.

· Romans 8-Man in the Flesh

We asked Papasmurph how he could include a true Christian in his definition of “a natural man” in Romans 8. Rather than answer our question, he once again proceeded to assert his position (and avoid completely answering our question). I urge the reader to look at Micah’s question to Papasmurph, and see if Papasmurph even tried to answer what was asked of him.

In addition to avoiding our question, he simply stated again “Having said that, the natural man still has free will, so the syndrome is not necessarily permanent or irreversible.” This is the entire issue under debate. Rather than merely assert this, I beg Papasmurph (some time before the end of this debate) to please prove this. He says this “condition” is neither permanent nor irreversible. This is only partially. True, yes, this condition is reversible, but only because in regeneration God enables man to once again desire spiritual things, they are no loner foolishness to him (1 Cor. 2:14). In his natural state, however, the text explicitly states that this condition is in fact permanent. The natural man is none of Christ’s (8:9). His mind is therefore set on the flesh, resulting in death (8:6). The natural man, who has his mind set on the flesh, “can not please God”. This is the explicit testimony of the text. Papasmurph has been asked repeatedly to answer this, and he refuses to.

· For Another Man’s Sins?

Papasmurph objects to the idea of one man dying for another’s sins. He says it is unjust. I would remind him that our Savior was punished for another man’s sins. Papasmurph’s objection makes the atonement impossible.

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