A 90 minute Radio Free Geneva responding to this video (which I play in its entirety) where Dr. Leighton Flowers attempts to “DeCalvinize” Romans 8:28-30 by insisting this is actually only about Israelites God “knew” in the past.
Take a look at this article. Let’s start out with some truth: American Dawn Orwick is the proper, logical, truthful 35-39 year old sprint champion. Rhys McKinnon, a biological male, is a radical (and very aggressive) advocate for the destruction of logic and science in sports who has taken advantage of the current cultural madness to collect for himself a couple of rainbow jerseys at the expense of biological females by competing as a pretend-female. Test his genetics: XY. He did not “transition” (a dream term that may or may not include emasculation and chemical alterations) until WELL after puberty, and hence has all the biomechanical advantages that males have: bone structure, muscle structure, lung capacity, etc. Beware: Rhys is well trained in twisting the science to make himself appear legit, but the reality is there for anyone who wants to dig past the rhetoric. This is a middle-aged guy beating the girls in sprint on the track on a bike, nothing more.
Now, you may buy into the current cultural madness about the fluidity of gender, or the autonomy of the human mind that allows it to be something other than what genetics and history and logic say it is. You have the right to believe the earth is flat, too. But notice the title given this article: “Slams Transphobic Critics.” He who controls the language wins, especially in a day when almost no one trains the young to think clearly and critically, honoring logic, consistency, and coherence as means by which we show ourselves to be seeking to think God’s thoughts after Him. The term “transphobic” is one of the attack terms developed over the past few decades that by its mere use ends logical conversation and debate. It actually has almost no inherent meaning when analyzed. The Greek term φόβος means “fear.” As my dear Greek professor said in class long ago (I may have been the only person paying close attention), “Now, the Greek term for fear means….fear.” A wise observation. So phobias are irrational fears–well, at least, they were back when language was supposed to correspond to reality and truth. Today you simply take a cause you are promoting, such as homosexuality, or transgenderism, and you attach “phobe” to the end to create a word-weapon that has absolutely no connection to reality. A “homophobe,” logically, is a person with an irrational fear of their own gender. But, of course, what is meant today is anyone who in any way opposes the supremacy and celebration of homosexuality. So in the linked article we read of Rhys McKinnon slamming “transphobic critics.” What needs to be understood by any clear thinking individual is that what is being said is completely different than what is meant. A “transphobic critic” is simply someone holding to the view of gender that has been held by humanity for the entirety of recorded history. No one before, at the earliest, 1970, could have possibly understood the use of “transphobic” that appears here. But transphobic is even less meaningful than homophobic because the operative term “trans” is a fantasy: no one can “transition” so as to be truly transgender in the first place. You cannot change the XY chromosome to an XX chromosome. You cannot go back and change history. Yes, this is the drive behind the horrific abuse of children, seen in the evil woman in Texas seeking to destroy her son’s life and identity. But there simply is no such thing as “transitioning,” and holding it out as a hope for happiness is one of the reasons why those who fall for the lie end up with an even higher suicide rate than before. So the idea again is, “transphobic” means “anything that does not bow down to the radically changed worldview that does away with biological gender.” In other words, all of mankind was “transphobic” for all of history. Consider that.
So let’s make one more observation before we conclude. “Womanphobic” just doesn’t work as a word. So we have a different term that has flown into prominence in our vocabulary over the past few years: misogynist. Thankfully, at least, it once again points us to the importance of Greek in the development of our terminology, for it comes from μισέω, to hate, and γυνή, woman. But that is not how it is being used in common conversation. There are true misogynists in the world, and they are a loathsome bunch. But look at the comments, made by Christians, in response to John MacArthur’s comments last week. Since JM does not buy into egalitarianism (and all this “soft complementarianism is just egalitarianism dressed up in enough make-up to get it through the door) he rejects the proposal that the Scriptures just forgot to provide qualifications for women elders in the church. He actually, positively, believes the Scriptures present a created, purposeful, fulfilling, and good distinction between men and women in their respective roles in church and family. So what term did I see being used by all the “woke” progressive “evangelicals” about his comments? Misogynistic. Woman-hating. No, no, that’s not what they meant. Well, it is what they said, and the term intentionally carries that kind of negative meaning. Words matter, and what this showed is that many leaders in “BigEva” today are just as willing to abuse language by using terms like misogyny as all their fellow travelers on the left are willing to abuse terms like homophobe or transphobe. Words matter, and words often expose the worldview better than anything else. Pay them close attention.
“The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders, and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned. But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess 2:9–14)
I want to make a few brief comments on this passage.
1. This passage on God decreeing the elect to salvation comes on the contextual heels of God decreeing the reprobate to eternal perdition. It is in the context of the lawless one’s parousia and Jesus Christ’s parousia:
“and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival. The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan’s working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders” (2 Thess 2:8–9).
As we move closer to the Lord’s return, Paul exhorts believers that the threat of apostasy is real; the warnings are a means by which God perseveres his elect people from the temptation to apostatize (see the many forms in 2 Thess 2 of exhorting to stay faithful).
God is both active in election (“God chose you”) and hardening in reprobation (“God sends on them”).
2. Ephesians is not the only instance where Paul grounds election in love (Eph 1:4). There are other instances such as this passage: “brothers and sisters loved [ἠγαπημένοι] by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation.” We know we are loved by God because (ὅτι) of his act of electing us for (εἰς) salvation. The obverse is that those who are not elected are not “loved [ἠγαπημένοι] by the Lord.” They are rather “those who are perishing” (2 Thess 2:10).
3. “God chose [εἵλατο] you [ὑμᾶς] . . . .” God is the actor performing the choosing, where the “you” is the direct object. Arminians may object by claiming that because the verb εἵλατο (“chose”) is in the middle voice, that leaves room for some activity of so-called “prevenient grace” activated by the creature’s will. Those who typically say this never actually explain how that works. In short, it is a linguistic blunder, or more accurately, it reveals no familiarity with the Koine Greek language. It is used to throw something against the wall and hope that it sticks with the linguistic benighted.
The middle voice rather is subject focused and such verbs “shift attention from the situation itself to the role of the subject” (Decker, Reading Koine Greek, 227), and “[its] specific features is the affectedness of the subject of the verb in, or by, the event denoted by the verb” (Bakker, “Voice, Aspect and Aktionsart,” 24), and “middle voice, in which the subject performs the action but with a self-interest nuance” (Decker, Reading Koine Greek, 227; cf. 235–36; see also Mathewson and Emig, Intermediate Greek Grammar, 148).
4. As if the fact that it is God decreeing and thus performing the choosing for salvation did not make Paul’s point, he emphasizes that this gracious act was done “from the beginning.” This excludes our participation in the sovereign decree of salvation since it was ordained before we were born.
5. “through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” Another feature of salvation that excludes any claim by us to have some efficacious boasting is that salvation is brought about by the work of the sanctifying work of the Spirit (ἐν ἁγιασμῷ πνεύματος). Paul attributes the work of the Spirit in our salvation numerous times (see esp. Rom 8). The work of the Spirit brings about faith in the truth (πίστει ἀληθείας). Arminians who claim that the mention of “faith” must be the determining factor of their salvation has read Paul’s words literally backwards making faith the mechanism by which brings about the Spirit’s work and determines God’s decree before time! It is rather an absurd reading that is indicative of the Arminian tradition. Paul is praising God for what he does for us, something we could not do for ourselves.
6. And this is emphasized by Paul’s very next statement: “He called [ἐκάλεσεν] you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 2:14). Paul uses another electing term, a favorite of his, called (ἐκάλεσεν) (see also the “golden chain of redemption,” Rom 8:28–30). The object of God’s decreeing action, once again, is you (ὑμᾶς).
In summary, Paul teaches that this electing love of God is the basis for his exhortations to have hope, comfort, and faith in trials and temptations to apostatize from the faith. In fact, this sovereign attribute of God’s faithfulness is effective to protect us from even the most evil one in the universe: “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess 3:3).