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Quotes of Author: Wayne-grudem-and-jeff-purswell

1.
The doctrine of concurrence affirms that God directs, and works through, the distinctive properties of each created thing, so that these things themselves bring about the results that we see. In this way it is possible to affirm that in one sense events are fully (100 percent) caused by God and fully (100 percent) caused by the creature as well. However, divine and creaturely causes work in different ways. The divine cause of each event works as an invisible, behind-the-scenes, directing cause and therefore could be called the “primary cause” that plans and initiates everything that happens. But the created thing brings about actions in ways consistent with the creature’s own properties [which God unchangeably gave and sustains], ways that can often be described by us or by professional scientists who carefully observe the processes. These creaturely factors and properties can therefore be called the “secondary” causes of everything that happens, even though they are the causes that are evident to us by observation.

The doctrine of concurrence affirms that God directs, and works through, the distinctive properties of each created thing, so that these things themselves bring about the results that we see. In this way it is possible to affirm that in one sense events are fully (100 percent) caused by God and fully (100 percent) caused by the creature as well. However, divine and creaturely causes work in different ways. The divine cause of each event works as an invisible, behind-the-scenes, directing cause and therefore could be called the "primary cause" that plans and initiates everything that happens. But the created thing brings about actions in ways consistent with the creature’s own properties [which God unchangeably gave and sustains], ways that can often be described by us or by professional scientists who carefully observe the processes. These creaturely factors and properties can therefore be called the "secondary" causes of everything that happens, even though they are the causes that are evident to us by observation.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 145.


2.
If human beings are continually evolving for the better, then the wisdom of earlier generations (and particularly of earlier religious beliefs) is not likely to be as valuable as modern thought.

If human beings are continually evolving for the better, then the wisdom of earlier generations (and particularly of earlier religious beliefs) is not likely to be as valuable as modern thought.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 138.


3.
If the inevitable processes of natural selection continue to bring about improvement in life forms on earth through survival of the fittest, then why should we hinder this process by caring for those who are weak or less able to defend themselves? Should we not rather allow them to die without reproducing so that we might move toward a new, higher form of humanity, even a “master race?” In fact, Marx, Nietzsche, and Hitler all justified war on these grounds.

If the inevitable processes of natural selection continue to bring about improvement in life forms on earth through survival of the fittest, then why should we hinder this process by caring for those who are weak or less able to defend themselves? Should we not rather allow them to die without reproducing so that we might move toward a new, higher form of humanity, even a “master race?” In fact, Marx, Nietzsche, and Hitler all justified war on these grounds.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 138.


4.
In approaching this question, it is best first to read the passages of Scripture that most directly address it. We can begin by looking at several passages that affirm that God did, indeed, cause evil events to come about and evil deeds to be done. But we must remember that in all these passages it is very clear that Scripture nowhere shows God as directly doing anything evil but rather as bringing about evil deeds through the willing actions of moral creatures.

In approaching this question, it is best first to read the passages of Scripture that most directly address it. We can begin by looking at several passages that affirm that God did, indeed, cause evil events to come about and evil deeds to be done. But we must remember that in all these passages it is very clear that Scripture nowhere shows God as directly doing anything evil but rather as bringing about evil deeds through the willing actions of moral creatures.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 147.


5.
In general, we may say that some sins have more harmful consequences than others if they bring more dishonor to God or if they cause more harm to ourselves, to others, or to the church. Moreover, those sins that are done willfully, repeatedly, and knowingly, with a calloused heart, are more displeasing to God than those that are done out of ignorance and are not repeated, or are done with a mixture of good and impure motives and are followed by remorse and repentance.

In general, we may say that some sins have more harmful consequences than others if they bring more dishonor to God or if they cause more harm to ourselves, to others, or to the church. Moreover, those sins that are done willfully, repeatedly, and knowingly, with a calloused heart, are more displeasing to God than those that are done out of ignorance and are not repeated, or are done with a mixture of good and impure motives and are followed by remorse and repentance.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 219-220.


6.
[Original sin] does not refer to Adam’s first sin, but to the guilt and tendency to sin with which we are born. It is “original” in that it comes from Adam, and it is also original in that we have it from the beginning of our existence as persons, but it is still our sin, not Adam’s sin, that is meant.

[Original sin] does not refer to Adam’s first sin, but to the guilt and tendency to sin with which we are born. It is "original" in that it comes from Adam, and it is also original in that we have it from the beginning of our existence as persons, but it is still our sin, not Adam’s sin, that is meant.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999.


7.
If all of life can be explained by evolutionary theory apart from God, and if there is no God who created us (or at least if we cannot know anything about Him with certainty), then there is no supreme Judge to hold us morally accountable. Therefore there are no moral absolutes in human life, and people’s moral ideas are only subjective preferences, good for them perhaps but not to be imposed on others. In fact, in such a case the only thing forbidden is to say that one knows that certain things are right and certain things are wrong.

If all of life can be explained by evolutionary theory apart from God, and if there is no God who created us (or at least if we cannot know anything about Him with certainty), then there is no supreme Judge to hold us morally accountable. Therefore there are no moral absolutes in human life, and people's moral ideas are only subjective preferences, good for them perhaps but not to be imposed on others. In fact, in such a case the only thing forbidden is to say that one knows that certain things are right and certain things are wrong.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 138.


8.
If in fact life was not created by God, and if human beings in particular are not created by God or responsible to Him, but are simply the result of random occurrences in the universe, then of what significance is human life? We are merely the product of matter plus time plus chance, and so to think that we have any eternal importance, or really any importance at all in the face of an immense universe, is simply to delude ourselves. Honest reflection on this notion should lead people to a profound sense of despair.

If in fact life was not created by God, and if human beings in particular are not created by God or responsible to Him, but are simply the result of random occurrences in the universe, then of what significance is human life? We are merely the product of matter plus time plus chance, and so to think that we have any eternal importance, or really any importance at all in the face of an immense universe, is simply to delude ourselves. Honest reflection on this notion should lead people to a profound sense of despair.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 137-138.


9.
God’s whole being is present in every part of space, or at every point in space, it is also necessary to say that God cannot be contained by any space, no matter how large.

God's whole being is present in every part of space, or at every point in space, it is also necessary to say that God cannot be contained by any space, no matter how large.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999.


10.
We must therefore affirm both that God has no succession of moments in His own being and sees all history equally vividly, and that in His creation He sees the progress of events over time and acts differently at different points of in time; in short, He is the Lord who created time and who rules over it and uses it for His own purposes. God can act in time because He is Lord of time.

We must therefore affirm both that God has no succession of moments in His own being and sees all history equally vividly, and that in His creation He sees the progress of events over time and acts differently at different points of in time; in short, He is the Lord who created time and who rules over it and uses it for His own purposes. God can act in time because He is Lord of time.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999.


11.
Our ultimate conviction that the words of the Bible are God’s words comes only when the Holy Spirit speaks in and through the words of the Bible to our hearts and gives us an inner assurance that these are the words of our Creator speaking to us… Those who are Christ’s sheep hear the words of their great Shepherd as they read the words of Scripture, and they are convinced that these words are in fact the words of their Lord… They hear their Creator’s voice speaking to them in the words of Scripture and realize that the book they are reading is unlike any other book.

Our ultimate conviction that the words of the Bible are God’s words comes only when the Holy Spirit speaks in and through the words of the Bible to our hearts and gives us an inner assurance that these are the words of our Creator speaking to us... Those who are Christ’s sheep hear the words of their great Shepherd as they read the words of Scripture, and they are convinced that these words are in fact the words of their Lord... They hear their Creator’s voice speaking to them in the words of Scripture and realize that the book they are reading is unlike any other book.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999.


12.
A doctrine is what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic. This definition is directly related to…systematic theology, since it shows that a “doctrine” is simply the result of the process of doing systematic theology with regard to one particular topic.

A doctrine is what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic. This definition is directly related to...systematic theology, since it shows that a "doctrine" is simply the result of the process of doing systematic theology with regard to one particular topic.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, www.zonderan.com, 1999, p. 20.


13.
Reformed theologians say that God deems His own glory more important than saving everyone, and that (according to Romans 9) God’s glory is also furthered by the fact that some are not saved. Arminian theologians also say that something else is more important to God than the salvation of all people, namely, the preservation of man’s free will. So in a Reformed system God’s highest value is His own glory, and in an Arminian system God’s highest value is the free will of man.

Reformed theologians say that God deems His own glory more important than saving everyone, and that (according to Romans 9) God’s glory is also furthered by the fact that some are not saved. Arminian theologians also say that something else is more important to God than the salvation of all people, namely, the preservation of man’s free will. So in a Reformed system God’s highest value is His own glory, and in an Arminian system God’s highest value is the free will of man.

Reference:   Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, Zondervan, 1999, p. 291, www.zondervan.com.