Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Coffee Song

Welp, I'm drinking coffee again! I realized that there's about 5 calories in each cup. Using Equal instead of sugar, and non-fat milk instead of Half & Half is also helpful. Mmm, coffee.

I'm currently dividing my Bucks time between three locations: my Bucks on Stapley and the US60, Southern and McClintock, and now Southern and Longmore (Adam's store). What can I say? I'm totally addicted!

To all my peeps in the Valley of the Sun: STAR 97.5 FM is the new jazz, oldies, blues and swing station. It's great. Spread the word.

On another random note, would you like to know what radio stations I listen to and in what order? 103.9 (non-corporate alternative radio), 101.5 (corporate alternative radio), 96.9 (they claim to be a mix of the 80's, 90's and today. But really they're most of today and U2. Haha), 97.5 (w00t), 99.9 (the Christmas station - during Christmas season), and 102.5 (country).

While listening to STAR 97.5 I heard a Frank Sinatra song that is really funny. Here's the lyrics, enjoy:

Way down among Brazilians
Coffee beans grow by the billions
So they've got to find those extra cups to fill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

You can't get cherry soda'Cause they've got to fill that quota
And the way things are I'll bet they never will
They've got a zillion tons of coffee in Brazil

No tea or tomato juice
You'll see no potato juice
The planters down in Santos all say no no no

The politician's daughter
Was accused of drinking water
And was fined a great big fifty dollar bill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

You date a girl and find out laterShe smells just like a
Her perfume was made right on the grill
Why they could percolate the ocean in Brazil

And when their ham and eggs need savor
Coffee ketchup gives 'em flavor
Coffee pickles way outsell the dill
Why they put coffee in the coffee in Brazil

So your lead to the local color
Serving coffee with a cruller
Dunking doesn't take a lot of skill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

Who thinks it would be funny to hear this playing at Starbucks? =)

*Buzzed on a caffeinated high*

Just the Basics

I was at my Bucks tonight reading (yes, actually reading) John Frame's No Other God - A Response to Open Theism when I a girl sat down in the chair next to me (doesn't this sound nice so far?). Anywho ... she asked what I was reading. I showed her and told her a little about it. We introduced ourselves to each other. Her name is Dawn. She recently left the Roman Catholic Church and is searching for a good Evangelical church. She seemed to have an understanding of the gospel, and I think she might be a Christian. In any case, I recommended The Roman Catholic Controversy by Elder James as a good intro to the differences between the bondage of Rome's false gospel and the gospel of Scripture. In describing the book I was able to go over some of the major differences between the two gospels.

Dawn's friend, Jenn, joined us a few minutes later. Jenn is a former Latter-day Saint who presently doesn't know what to believe. I recommended two books to her (both by James): Letters to a Mormon Elder and Is the Mormon My Brother? Thankfully, God provided the time for me to explain the difference between the polytheism of Mormonism against the Bible's monotheism. I also touched on the Trinity.

We finished, and then was kicked out of Starbucks (isn't that how it always happens?).

Pray for Dawn - that she would find a good church and get grounded in her faith.

Pray for Jenn - that God might be pleased to grant repentance unto life to her.

Opportunities like these are what I live for. Praise God for the opportunity.

Oh, I just HAVE to make one quick comment =). How do you suppose the Emerging Church would have had me interact with these girls tonight? They probably wanted me to share my "story" with the girls, being careful to remain Politically Correct (apologizing for the Crusades, poking fun at the Republican party, etc) and as non-offensive (avoiding terminology like "Rome's false gospel") as possible. Near the end of the conversation, I might have invited them to my church. At no point in our conversation would I have preached the gospel to them. However, if I felt bold enough I might have said: "God bless you," or better yet: "Jesus loves you," but I would have strayed as far from the gospel of Christ as possible. Six months later, as Dawn and Jenn "dated" my church, and became disciples in the church community, THEN they make a public profession of faith.

Hmmm ... I like my way better =)

Btw, I am not opposed to inviting people to church. What I am opposed to is an unwillingness to preach the gospel to folks, and instead depending on your pastor alone to preach to your friends and family.

LOL. I crack myself up.

Signing Off,
The Rusted One

Steve Updates

If you've been following the blog, you know that I've been dialoguing with "Steve the Arminian." He responded to this email by avoiding my exegesis.

The Dark Knight helped me formulate my response. Rather than repeat my arguments, I ... well, here is my response:


So far you have evaded every textual and grammatical argument I provided. You assume the correctness of your own position while expecting me to defend my own, and meaningful dialogue doesn't happen that way. You are injecting a foreign meaning into Jesus' discourse by attempting to read verse 45 back into verses 37 and so on.

I have demonstrated that the Father gives some to the Son, the Father draws some to the Son, and this same group of individuals is taught by the Father and believes in Christ. The sovereignty of God is magnificently displayed in this text.

Steve, you continue to present the argument that verse 45 must be understood *in spite* of what precedes it. That is not how exegesis is done. I, on the other hand, continue to argue that we must begin at the beginning of Jesus' speech, and exegete forward. We must consider verse 45 *in light* of what has come before.

If you choose to evade my textual and grammatical arguments, there isn't much point in continuing our discussion =).
I hope this conversation has been benficial for you.

In Christ,
Casey Ryan

Steve responded within the hour! Here was his latest email:


The only way you can say the below is to have not understood simple flow of thought exegesis. I have answered your exegesis continually (I have agreed with most of it but you stop at v.45) with contextual common sense answers. You however, again and again, refuse to see the flow of thought in the context. I am sorry your tradition has blinded you to common sense flow of thought exegesis. We will have to agree to disagree. But, thanks for the go around. WE WILL HAVE TO AGREE TO DISAGREE. But, I am glad we are on the same side. See you in the Lord.

In Christ,

See. Nice guy. Nevertheless he tabled our discussion because he knows he cannot exegete the passage (in order) and stand by his conclusions.

I must say though, I did laugh aloud when he accused me of being blinded by my tradition when it is he who is blinded to tradition.

Simon (the Dark Knight) pointed out that Steve seemed more interested in preaching at me than having to defend his position. He told me that it's best to end a conversation when it reaches that point anyhow.

And even as Steve demonstrated his willingness to go to any length to defend his traditions, I learned a lot from our discussions. Maybe I should write him and tell him that I'm now a better apologist because of him? Somehow I don't think that would be a wise idea *grin*.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

*Whew* ...

It has taken me roughly five days to write a response to this fellow about John 6:37-45. My previous letter was posted here.

In more ways than one, the process to complete my latest response in our dialogue has been good experience for me in the apologetic realm. I was forced to dive into Greek grammar and interact with the text of John 6 in a way I have never done before. I am also learning to better direct the conversation by utilizing questions and making succinct clear statements.

I hope this is beneficial to you:

Thanks again for the quick reply Steve,

For my third question, I had asked: (3) Is the giving by the Father dependent on anything in man (including their decisions)? If so, where do you find this in verse 37?

John 6:37: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out" (NASB).

You responded by comparing my question to tactics used by JWitnesses. Now, assuming that by the "context" of John 14:28 you meant verses 1-27, I find it curious that you would apply proper methods of interpretation in regards to John 14:28 but fail to apply those same methods to the discourse in John 6.

What distinguishes me from the Witness is that I am not reading my presuppositions or other verses back into verses 37 or 44. Exegesis is not done backwards. Even as you read my letter you are reading it top to bottom to properly understand my meaning. It is the same when you read a book of the Bible: you start at the beginning and work your way forward. So when we examine verse 37 - "pan" (All) is the subject and "erchomenon" (will come) is the verb, with a relative clause in between ("that the Father gives Me"). If the relative clause is removed we are left with the subject and the verb: "All will come to Me." This leaves us with universalism. However, once we add the relative clause back into verse 37 it is clear that the clause is a qualifying statement explaining why not all come to Christ: only those the Father gives to Christ will come to Christ. There is no doubt that the subject ("All") will come to Christ. What determines their coming? Is it the coming that determines the Father's giving, or does the giving determine the coming? Pay attention to the verbs- "didosin" (gives) is an indicative present active; "exei" (will come) is an indicative future active. Therefore the giving of the Father precedes the coming of those given. This leads to the conclusion that the Father's giving cannot be dependent on those being given because the giving precedes the coming.

For questions 4-6, I had asked: (4) What is the final result of the Father's drawing according to verse 44? (5) Do you believe that the Father draws every person who has ever lived or ever will live? If so, why do so many individuals not believe? (6) According to verse 44, is the Father's drawing dependent on anything in man (including his decisions)? If so, where do you find this in the verse 44?

John 6:44: "44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day" (NASB).

You responded to all three questions by referencing me to your previous answer to question #3, then by asserting that I was pretexting yet again. My approach to exegesis is different than yours, no doubt about it =). I am attempting to read through John's epistle in order, while you are reading verse 45 back into verses 37 and 44. Notice the sharp contrast: You are reading verse 45 back into previous verses while I am reading verse 45 in light of the preceding context. The reason I included question #4 was to bring out the fact that all who are drawn by the Father are raised up on the last day. There is no distinction in the text between those who are drawn and those who are raised up on the last day - they are the same group of individuals. All who are drawn = those raised up on the last day. This brings us to question #5. If God draws every individual who has ever lived or ever will live, why are not all raised up on the last day? The obvious problem with saying that the Father draws every individual who has ever lived or ever will live is that one is forced to split up the ones drawn from the ones raised up. The text does not allow for such a split. Finally we arrive at question #6. "No one can come to Me," Jesus said. The verb for "can" is dunatai, and deals with one's ability. The verse could be translated: "No one is able to come to Me." How then does anyone manage to come to Christ? Our Lord answers that question with the rest of his statement: "...unless the Father who sent Me draws him;" It is the Father's drawing that brings men to Christ! Men lack the ability to come to Christ until the Father draws them. I have previously mentioned the result of the Father's drawing: being raised up on the last day. Once more, there is no break between those drawn and those who are raised up. Therefore, as verse 37 informs us that only those given by the Father to the Son come to Christ, so also only those drawn by the Father come to Christ.

For question 7, I had asked: "Where do you find the choices of men in verse 45?"

John 6:45: "45 It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."

You accurately pointed out that the verbs "heard" and "learned" are in the active voice. I also agree that everyone who has heard and learned from the Father come to Christ. Where we might disagree are on the meanings of "heard" and "learned." Is the hearing and learning in verse 45 spiritual or physical in nature? If the latter, is the "coming" discussed throughout this discourse physical or spiritual? I will argue that the "coming" of those given and drawn by the Father is spiritual in nature. This is why I will argue that the "hearing" and "learning" in this text is likewise spiritual in nature. The text seems to be pointing again and again to God's work in salvation: the Father's giving, the Father's drawing, and now in verse 45 ... the Father's spiritual communication and teaching. For to have heard from the Father, He must have spoken; and to have learned from the Father, He must have taught. God's divine work is clearly seen. What we have not seen from the text is the choices of men influencing the Father's giving, drawing, communicatng and teaching. Secondly, who is the "All" and the "Everone" in verse 45? The Lord previously defined this for us beginning in verse 37: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me..." then in verse 44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day," and finally in verse 45: "...Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me." One group is being discussed here. We know for sure that this one group will come to Christ. In verse 37, it is those the Father gives to the Son. In verse 44, it is those the Father draws. In verse 45, it is those the Father speaks to and instructs. So the "All" and the "Everyone" is verse 45 is limited to those given and drawn by the Father.

This leads me to the obvious question: are the ones who "hear" and "learn" (vs 45) different than the one who is given (vs 37), the one who will come (vs 37), the one not cast out (vs 37), the one who has been given (vs 39), the one who sees and who believes (vs 40), the ones not lost (vs 39), and the ones raised on the last day (vs 39, 40, 44)?

Next, you wrote: "Define what you mean by libertarian free will please. It is good to not assume we are talking about the same thing."

Libertarian free will is the belief that sinful man, dead in his sins, and with a fallen nature is free to choose or reject Christ.
I look forward to your reply Steve,

In Christ,
Casey Ryan

Friday, October 14, 2005

I'm Old

On Octobert 16th, Case of Base (yours truly) is turning 23 years old! Man I feel oooold! Welp, thats the end of this short entry =)


John 6:37-45

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36"But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." 41Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven." 42They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?" 43Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45"It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. (NASB).

I have recently had some exchanges with a fellow who emailed AOMin about John 6:37-45. He doesnt believe the text supports Calvinism at all. Very nice guy ... a seminary grad who seems eager to debate. Here are some questions I asked him in our last exchange:

(1) John 6:37 says: "37"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out."Is it your position that the "All" that is given by the Father to the Son come to Christ?

(2) Which verb/action comes first in John 6:37 - the giving by the Father, or the coming of those given?

(3) Is the giving by the Father dependent on anything in man (including their decisions)? If so, where do you find this in verse 37?

(4) John 6:44 says: "44"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."What is the final result of the Father's drawing according to verse 44?

(5) Do you believe that the Father draws every person who has ever lived or ever will live? If so, why do so many individuals not believe?

(6) According to verse 44, is the Father's drawing dependent on anything in man (including his decisions)? If so, where do you find this in the verse 44?

(7) John 6:45 says: "45"It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."Where do you find the choices of men in verse 45?

(8) Are you equating "heard and learned" with "libertarian free will"?

Im sure to post more on this soon =)

Reformation Day / Halloween Costume Parte

Thats Parte (pronounced par-tay) not Party. Friday, Oct. 28th Im having a Reformation Day / Halloween costume parte at my house. The parte will begin at 6:30pm and will consist of food, games, a movie, and some def chill time. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes! Contact me ASAP if youre planning on coming.


JJ and I went to see Serenity earlier this week. I had no idea what to expect, but it was phenomenal! If youre into Sci-Fi at all you will eat this movie up. The plot takes place in the future and imho is pretty realistic. Humanity has not overcome itsfaults but continues to war and so forth. The acting was great. Lots of humorous dialogue. It was a low budget film, but even so had some amazing graphics.

I recommend this movie.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My First Ever "Official" Blog-Spotting Entry

Yes, yes, you have the priviledge of witnessing Rusty's first ever "official" blog-spotting entry. What is blog-spotting? Well according to my vague understanding, the term "blogspot" is referencing another's blog.

Today, I will be blogspotting an entry by Elder James. I was gonna write an entry about Pastor Fry's Sunday AM sermon, but the Doc beat me to it. Here it is.

My Pastor preached from 1 John 5:13 about Christian assurance. This def made the Hall of Fame of sermons in Casey's book.

I would encourage you to listen to it if you have time. You'll love it, guaranteed. Weeeell, if you're Reformed, you'll like it. My Arminian brothers may not like it AS much. =)

A sometimes obnoxious Calvinist,

Christian Fellowship

Adam called me up one night to go chill at Bucks. So we went and hung out. He told me about his day. I told him about mine. He told me his plans for the future. I told him about some funny convos I've had recently. We talked about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - I was on page six ... he hadn't started yet. We talked about girls (in his case ... Jessica *grin*). We then talked about sharing the gospel. Over the course of the night three brothers in the faith joined our table. Our conversation changed directions a bit but every so often we came back to discussions about the Lord or His Word.

On another night, Mark and I met at the new Bucks at Southern and McClintock. We shared what each one was studying in the Word. As has become a habit of ours, we expressed thanksgiving to God who was able to restore our friendship after facing destructive teaching. We had a lot of laughs and reminisced about some of our good times playing Halo and discussing theology at Stapley Bucks. We both look forward to many more fruitful discussions in the future, Lord willing.

Following the AM sermon, I joined Simon and Mike's theological discussion. Both of them have had the opportunity to respond to Jehovah's Witness emails, in light of of a recent blog article posted by James. I was encouraged by their desire to faithfully defend and proclaim the gospel of God with great care. JW's do not often write emails to AOMin, but when they do they can require much time and prepation (and surely a great deal of patience) to respond effectively. Mike and I then migrated over to Rich. They began to reminisce about their days at a former church. Amidst the humorous stories was their steadfast desire to honor God's truth.

Sunday afternoon, I had lunch with Eli and Heather, Kayce, Steve, and another couple from EVBC. We talked about the morning sermons at our churches. We shared about each other's week. The food was great (Olive Garden - tho not as a good as the Mac Shack). I went home stuffed ... and encouraged.

These are four examples in the past week where God has blessed me by the fellowship of His saints. I marvel at the wonderful design of the Church. God encouraged me through believers at other churches, and especially by those at my own fellowship. I'm reminded of a passage Elder James showed me years back: "21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:21). Is not God glorified in His church through all generations? His elect people are scattered throughout this world - in every tongue, tribe and nation. We ought to express thanksgiving for the priviledge of being part of the Church! It is often said that there is no such thing as the 'lone ranger' Christian. But what a true statement! Christians are not meant to be on their own.Christians need the Church. We need to hear the Word of God preached. We need to pray and sing together. We need to love and fellowship with one another. Anywho, I wanted to share these thoughts with you as we go about our busy week.