Sunday, April 09, 2006

More on the Debate: The Big If

One COC man wrote me to say that Mr. Hafley had good arguments that I avoided by using "original language arguments." That made me smile. The Bible was witten in Hebrew and Greek. When I made an argument using the original languages, I wasn't making anything other than a Bible argument. What it says in the Hebrew and Greek is what it says. I was simply showing the audience what the passages were saying. His criticism showed a tremendous amount of ignorance further confirmed by his false COC teachers.

One blooper saw me in my 20 minutes at one point present the first class conditional sentence. There are four conditions of sentences in the New Testament Greek. The first class condition is considered the 'Simple Condition' and assumes that the premise (protasis) is true for the sake of argument. The protasis is formed with the helping word ei ('if') with the main verb in the indicative mood, in any tense; with any mood and tense in the apodosis (The protasis is the "if" clause and the apodosis is the "then" clause). I showed the audience and Mr. Hafley that some of the conditional sentences that he used to teach we could lose our salvation were not stating a possibility but a reality. I used two examples. One was Colossians 1:21-23: "21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister." The "if" clause in v. 23 is a first class conditional, and here it has the understanding of "since." They would continue in the faith---that was a guarantee. There was no possibility they would not continue. This is not giving a condition of possibility but one of reality.

Mr. Hafley came right back and used Colossians 1:21-23 anyways, as if we said nothing. He said that the "if" meant there was a possibility that someone might not continue in the faith. The language of the verse does not and cannot mean that at all. He simply acted like we said nothing. In this first class condition, we must assume that those God preserved blameless would certainly remain grounded and settled. To make a possibility to lose salvation is not only putting in something that is not in there, but aboslutely condtradicting what is already there. These were really important arguments for the COC that had no Scriptural foundation at all.


Caleb said...

This post makes me wonder about the King James. If the original text in Colossians means "since" then why does our King James say "if?" It seems confusing.

Michael McNeilly said...

Great article. Does Priest Hafley claim to know anything about the original languages? Studying Greek makes our English look really bad.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Well, no translation old or modern translates the 1st class conditions "since," so you can't pin anything on the KJV really. "If" still indicates a condition in the English, which this is, and for someone who is saved, they should know that they must continue grounded and settled even though they also will. They must and will continue grounded and settled.

Ruth said...

Ok...Mr.B....I have followed this thing since I first heard about this Big Time Eternal Debate. I must tell you this whole thing is somewhat confusing. I read my bible; know about salvation, etc. From this side I almost say I see a case of two "inflated egos"...blasting away. So, my question do I know who won? Is'nt it the Christian that actually wins?
Just sign me ..."Confused".

Jeff Voegtlin said...

Michael McNeilly said: Studying Greek makes our English look really bad."

My question is what English looks bad? My English grammar? My English Bible? This could be an unnerving statement. I need some clarification. From either Kent or Michael.


Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Ruth. Do I know you? Paul debated. Reasoning from the Scripture is part of spiritual warfare. The Bible has only one interpretation. It can't both teach you can lose your salvation and you can't lose your salvation. The Bible clearly teaches eternal security. By debating, not only can you preach a true gospel, but you also earnestly contend for the faith. The truth will stand up under scrutiny. Wanting to win the debate is not an ego thing, Ruth. What do you think of the ego of calling someone ego-headed? Having confidence in Scripture and seeing false doctrine as foolish is not ego-headed.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I don't know what Michael meant by that, but I'm going to predict he didn't mean it like it came out. The English is not bad. Translation does not always catch the nuances of the original language, but it doesn't make it bad. It is bad, however, and maybe this is what he meant, when someone doesn't study and look up words and then makes arguments from the English when the Greek says something totally opposite. They obviously are not representing the translation or the Greek, so the English isn't bad; their interpretation is bad.

Ruth said...

Well...Mr.B..I will give you that the bible teaches "once saved always saved' it in Greek or English; but please correct me IF I am wrong..( like I think you would'nt) but is'nt there a scripture that goes something like.."don't keep on babbling..' Matthew 6:7. I realize it is in reference to prayer, but perhaps it could be applied to other things. Perhaps in Luke 9? Jerimiah 8:9? Or I guess my favorite is 1 Corinthians:20. Tell me Mr.B which are you? In reading your Blog just which "cemetery" did you go to get ur lernin? what kind of books? What is an "indipendint'Babtist? 4 gurlz? Tell me I know what you are saying? And, no you do not know me nor do I know you. Except to say...We are all children of the same God.

Kent Brandenburg said...

2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. The idea of shun would not be in the context of debate, but in the context of don't fellowship with these people. God is certainly the Father of all men in one sense, and does say that one time in Scripture---Ephesians 4:6, "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." But that He is your Father, the source from which you came, does not guarantee that you are His child. Ruth, John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." The children of God become so by faith. 1 John 5:1 says, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." You become born of God by believing that Jesus is the Christ, that is, that He is Lord and Savior, the Messiah of the world. Anyone that does not believe in Him is not born of God, nor a child of God.

I went to Maranatha Graduate School of Theology. An independent Baptist is someone who has the Bible as sole authority for faith and practice and is not under any association, convention, or other type of religious hierarchy. Ruth, I wrote like that with a sense of humor. I hope you realize that...smiles.

Ruth said...

Well done Mr.B,pardon...Pastor Brandenburg. I realize we all have the freedom of choice in how and where we worship. So, am I to assume you are referring to "Southern, Texas, etc Baptist?" It has always been my understanding they preach once saved always saved;Holy Trinity, etc. I do know in the past years SBC has had some major problems. But that is the doing of man and not God. There are a multitude of biblical translations..I'm gonna go out on a limb and would never approved of any of them? Then there are the"new found ones"....The Book of Judas? But of course you would know that.
Can't say I ever heard of that "cemetary". So, do you have a Masters degree?
And, I am greatly impressed that you do have a sense of humor...I feel somewhat encouraged.
Blessings of the day..

Dave Mallinak said...

I was a little surprised to see that Mr. Hafley commits such an obvious fallacy. Is it true that someone might not continue in the faith? Of course. But from that, to argue that God will then not reconcile that person is wrong. Dead wrong. And this passage does not say so. The passage argues that if you continue, etc., then God has (already) reconciled you to present you holy and unblameable, etc. That is grace, and evidence of salvation. The passage is speaking of faith and works. The passage does not argue that if you don't continue, then God has not reconciled you and will not present you blameless. In logic, we call that denying the antecedent. It would be the same as arguing that "If I am a father, then I am a man. I am not a father, so I am not a man." So clearly, Mr. Hafley and anyone who uses this passage as a proof text abuses their audience and inserts what they want into the text. Meanwhile, how does one continue in the faith grounded and settled? We can because Christ has reconciled us in order to present us holy and unblameable and unreprovable. And we will by faith! Are we holy and unblameable and unreprovable? In his sight we are. God calls those things which be not as though they were (Rom 4:17)! Glory to God!

Anonymous said...


I think you would have a very hard time explaining John 15 and Romans 11. I also wonder what your thoughts on Hebrews 10:24-31 and the parable of the sower??