The Ancient Paths is the television ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah (a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.) The program airs every Wednesday night at 8:00pm MST on KTMW-TV20 (a channel that covers all of Utah and parts of the surrounding states).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Ancient Paths - Episode 14: The Sovereignty of God, an Interview with John Minichino

This is the fourteenth episode of "The Ancient Paths" Christian television program, hosted by Pastor Jason Wallace. In this episode, Pastor Wallace discusses the sovereign nature of God with special guest John Minichino. The program airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm on KTMW-TV20, a station that is available in Utah and parts of surrounding states. The program is sponsored by Christ Presbyterian Church in Magna, Utah. (Originally aired 3/12/08)


Joe said...

I think it’s wonderful that the Pastor lets us post comments. And also that he let Alma say a few things, sometimes without even trying to lead him into a trap or catch him in his words. I’m trying to gain a better understanding of the views of salvation taught by the Pastor, and of good Christians with different views, and I would like to clarify what I believe about God. I don’t know any active LDS that has expressed some of the views which the Pastor attributes to them: that grace is not “all that necessary,” or sin is not “all that bad,” etc. We do believe that we are dead in sin, and also that God is sovereign. But the Pastor got it right that God is an exalted man. I don’t understand why this is shocking to some, or why all Christians don’t believe this. I realize this misunderstanding is partially due to attempts in the early Church to conform doctrine to the science of the times, taught at Egypt’s Alexandria and other schools. Back then, as now, some felt it necessary to appeal to scholars and intellect for an understanding of God, and they synthesized their faith with certain philosophies. (Proving one of these philosophies wrong got Galileo in trouble years later.) The god created by Xenophanes and others: the incorporeal One, without body or parts, is really one of Plato’s Forms, but not the God of the Bible. Because of the philosophies of men many, including the Pharisees, Muslims and others, could not accept the fact that God could be a man, with a body, and live on earth (see John 10:33 for an example, and note the rebuttal in 34, it’s very true, but we are often ostracized for agreeing with Jesus on this, but those who receive the word are truly called “gods,” it was written in God’s Word, quoted by Him (Jesus) while He was here on earth, and it can’t be revoked by men.). But, in spite of a science that taught that God was not capable of existing in the material, with parts or companion, we know God was truly born of woman (John 1:1-2,14; Luke 2), took a body, was “man” living on earth (1 Cor. 15:21 &45; 1 Tim.2:5), and suffered and died, redeeming us, and became an exalted or glorified being (John 7:39 & 12:23), resurrected with that body, “for a spirit hath not flesh and bones,” etc. Jesus was perfect with His body, which He still had after ascending to embrace his Father. We too, in being buried with Him, and born again with Him (in the resurrected sense and spiritual sense), and becoming joint heirs with Him to the throne, if we become perfect, as we are commanded, would have a body also. These truths should be central to all Christian faiths, but many Christians, now, and anciently, especially those educated at Alexandria, took Plato more seriously than they should have, and interpreted the Bible for all of us, from the platonic and other points of view. Divisions and schisms also rose: Gnostics, Chalcedonians and non, Egyptian or Coptos (whose Pope authored the Nicene Creed), Catholic, Protestant, and Modalist (those holding to the Patrapassionism condemned by early Church Fathers but accepted by many, especially now--where if there is any part to God, any material, passion, or companion, that would make God less than perfect, thus Jesus and His Father are the same being, thus the Father suffered on the cross etc.) and hundreds more. Later the Muslims would thoroughly reject any the truth that God is plural, and the truth that God became man born of woman, died, etc. They could only accept Jesus in His role as prophet, not as God or God’s Son, from God has no companion. But the Bible tells us that God is one, but not companionless as some claim (the wall of the Dome of the Rock calls Allah companionless as a denial of Christianity, as it was), and He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” etc. Nevertheless, wars were fought and people were tortured and killed for not accepting certain philosophical and religious views and even Christological Creeds. This is part of the reason a restoration was needed, with prophets etc., to clarify. For God would have us understand Him, as He Himself would describe Himself, speaking as He always has, not as men philosophy. I don’t have any unkind feelings for those who believe differently than I do. I’m sure it is difficult to let go of things which have been in human minds for so many years, and are essentially riveted. But, ideas from the schools, such as the earth being at the center of the cosmos, or God being incorporeal, are not Biblical. So really, all Christians, especially Patrapassionists, should believe that God was once man, living on earth, and then glorified and resurrected with a body of flesh and bone etc. Those LDS I know also tend to believe these truths: that Jesus is not his own Father, even though Jesus is God. And if God the Son can live on an earth with a body, why mock us, (as Sandra has in her books and the films she makes, working so hard), so why persecute us for claiming that God the Son is one with His Father in that respect, too? Jesus was a man, and lived on earth, in a body, and he plainly took that material body to His Father, into that place where His Father lives. How can this be? That is, we think it not robbery that Jesus is like His Father and our Father, in both material body and spirit, and this God is God.
I hope that clarifies a little about where we’re coming from.
The LDS understand, also, that God is sovereign in salvation and all things. It is only by Him that we are, and only by Him that we are saved. He rewards everyone according to works (Rev. 22:12), but saves us by His gift of grace. This is central to LDS belief. Pop religion tends to focus on the book of Romans, and it is true that there is a special election for literal Israel, those broken off by unbelief, that election is a long story, but elect souls will be born into the covenant, and if they abide not in unbelief, they will one day all be gathered and saved (and God knows the future, so apparently Paul is saying that will happen, and is, through the preaching of the gentiles, but they and all will and must call upon God (work) if they will be saved (Romans 10:12-14), but we can’t truly call upon a God in whom we have no faith, and whose commandments we do not believe or keep, for we must repent (2 Cor. 7:10; Acts 17:30), be baptized and born again of water and spirit, (Mark 16:16; Luke 7:30; John 3:5), have faith (Rom 3:3; Eph. 2:8 ), and works (Philip 2:12; James 2:24), for Jesus plainly said that if we won’t enter His kingdom if don’t keep the commandments, doing the will of His Father, not just saying Lord Lord, but doing (Matt 6: 21- 26 ) those things he told us to do on the mount. And we will be the least if we teach people that they don’t need to keep His commandments (as I have heard many “Christians” teach), and if we aren’t more righteous than the Pharisees, then we will, in no case, enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:20-21).

Anonymous said...

I would ask if you consider yourself more righteous than the Pharisees, and if so, how do you define such a righteousness? It is my understanding that the Pharasees were quite meticulous in their law-keeping. If you actually believe that you can be righteous in your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors, you stand in exactly the same place as the Pharisee Jesus describes in Luke 9:9-12.
Joe, if I could appeal to anything, it would be that you read the Gospels using the plain meaning of the words, without using other LDS writings as a filter to understand the true meaning.

reformedNJ said...

The arminian or modern presentation of the Gospel, which I once preached, is definitely foreign to the Gospel preached by the apostles. In essence Jesus is pleading with unbelievers, through the Church, to please come to Him so He can save them. Oh please come, won't you? Pretty please? This I don't believe is the God of the scriptures! He can save to the uttermost, He does all His good pleasure! If God desires to save, He does. Does He save all? He could, but He hasn't. Doesn't the Potter have the right to do what He wishes with the clay? Making one vessel for honor and another for dishonor. Doesn't the Father give to the Son persons whom the Son will raise up in the last day? Doesn't the Son say He loses none of them? God is the one who reaches out to take hold of His elect, not sinful man who doesn't even have the ability to take hold of God on his own initiative.