Saturday, September 01, 2007

J.I Packer and the Five Basic Truths

Five basic truths, five foundation principles of the knowledge about God which Christians have, will determine our course throughout. They are as follows:

1. God has spoken to man, and the Bible is his Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.

2. God is Lord and King over his world; he rules all things for his own glory, displaying his perfections in all that he does, in order that men and angels may worship and adore him.

3. God is Savior, active in sovereign love through the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as his children and to bless them accordingly.

4. God is triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it and the Spirit applying it.

5. Godliness means responding to God's revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God's Word. This, and nothing else, is true religion.

~ From Knowing God by J.I. Packer

Note that Packer is/was a Calvinist... and note number five that states "responding to God's revelation"... Makes me wonder what some of the "truth war" blogs and people that toss around "semi-pelagian" as a derogatory name might think... it sounds as if Packer is saying man must respond to be saved!

On a personal note here I agree with Packer, though I think that I have a different understanding of "obedience" than Packer does.

Be Blessed,



rick said...

Good post - I like the 5 points of Packerism.


Regarding your comment on point 5. As with every time we group people and views, there is 'wobble' within that. There may be Calvinists as you say but I and those I read allow very much for the will of man. The focus is on the "free" part. We would say that man can (and must) respond. The difference between us and you is that we drives that man's response.

So, Packer's point 5 is not inconsistent with that. We can still disagree on the driver but he is not contradicting "our" thinking. In fact, I have recently been blessed to join a group of like-minded bloggers, Reformed Charismatics ... go figure. That drives the truth-war absolutely group nuts.

iggy said...


I understand that there is "wobble" the issue is people like team pyro, or over at dead theologians, or Mike Ratliff, or Tony Rose... and on and on do not.

I know a few of those do read me on occasion.

My "issues" with Calvinism are the questions (which I have yet to do a post one) I often ask but never get a good answer... or that the answer I have so far adequately answers my own question better than the answer given by those in Calvinism... (Did that make sense it did when I re read it! LOL!)

Often though the answers I get are so "wobbly" that they negate the very thing they are answering.

Such as "totally" depraved seems to contradict Iraenius who stated man as a free will and can make moral choices. I think man without God can make a moral choice, yet the issue is that man is not developed enough to sustain the "rightness" of that choice. Meaning we give a good start but will fail somewhere down the road. For "all have sinned" and "no one is righteous".

In Romans chapter one, Paul states that that though man knows God, they worshipped creation instead. To the point that God gives them over to a depraved mind.

How can a totally depraved person be given over to be more totally depraved?

I have been told that this is "pre-adamic" yet Paul never states that and I am sure he would have mentioned Adam instead of referring to "men"... also I do not remember Adam sleeping with another man!

I have been then told "totally" is not "totally" which then negates their own argument that "totally" depraved means what it states and how it was meant.

So, right off the bat I see I am in trouble! LOL!

I see that Adam and Eve were innocent... not "perfect" as some state. In that they knew no sin... nor did they know disobedience. Then Adam disobeyed and in that the Covenant of death was given (as Isaiah calls it)...

So I see that sin is not passed on physically, but because of the lack of development on mans part to know what to do with the knowledge of good and evil (that is crucial as knowledge of good and evil is different knowing what to do with it) man falls short the Glory of God who is Jesus. Man is born innocent yet under the Covenant with death. In that he receives the wages of death for his sin.

Well that is for starters... again I will flesh it out later in a post maybe part 4 of "Why I am not a Calvinist".

Again, I see in Calvinism much to be gained as I do in the Catholic and other traditions... I may not agree yet the perspective I so appreciate.


rick said...

iggy - quick comment if I may on the "T"otal Depravity point. I like RC Sproul's respelling of TULIP, I think it more accurately captures the points trying to be made.

For "T" he uses "R"adical depravity. The idea is that we are totally 100% depraved. While our righteousness is truly as filthy rags, a non-believer can still manage to perform a kind act, etc.. The point is that every aspect of our being is affected by sin such that we are slaves to it. It has radically changed our very nature - we are children of perdition.

But there is good news ...

DAVE N said...

I disagree with your statement that man is born innocent. The Scriptures do not teach that, do they? Job 15:14; Job 25:4; Ps 51:5; Rom 5:12;

Also, you said, " I think man without God can make a moral choice" According to whose standard? Your's? I think its irrelevant! Lets talk about what God thinks, not Iggy. God is not interested in morality (according to man) He is interested in righteousness (obedience)! Rom 6:16; I John 2:29; 2 Cor 5:21;
Lets keep the main thing, the main thing.