American Catholic Truth Society

Debate on Justification - Live Cross Examinations
April 5, 2003
(All times MST)

Peter Pike, Calvinist, aka TheCalvinist; nick: <PeterPike>
Kevin Tierney, Catholic, nick: <iceman>
Scott Windsor, Host/Moderator; nick: <BigScott>

[Begin Logfile]

[16:00] *** BigScott sets mode: +m
[16:00] <BigScott> OK, no one else can talk but you two
[16:00] <iceman> scott, care to introduce what's going on?
[16:00] <BigScott> We are in the middle of a debate on Justification... this is a cross examination portion of that debate.
[16:01] <BigScott> I'll allow the participants to introduce themselves and post their respective websites
[16:01] <BigScott> Peter...
[16:01] <PeterPike> My name is Peter Pike. I am a Calvinist currently living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I run
[16:02] <BigScott> and you are taking the affirmative
[16:02] <PeterPike> Yes, I suppose that's important info too :-)
[16:02] <BigScott> Resolution: "Sinners are justified only once by grace alone through faith alone"
[16:02] <BigScott> OK, and taking the negative is Kevin...
[16:03] <BigScott> (aka "iceman")
[16:03] <iceman> umm, that would be me :-)
[16:03] <iceman> shall I start my inro
[16:03] <iceman> intro*
[16:03] <BigScott> your intro and website... (yes)
[16:04] <iceman> I truly thank you all for being here tonight, to discuss an important issue. My name is Kevin Tierney, I live in Michigan, I run the Defenders Apologetics Ministry, which is located at
[16:04] <iceman> It is my hope that this discussion reveals God's truths to us fallible human beings
[16:05] <iceman> I'd like to have everyone engage in a moment of silent prayer before we start this debate, if that is ok
[16:05] <PeterPike> Don't forget our troops :-)
[16:05] <BigScott> OK, and for clarity sake, when you finish please type (end)
[16:05] <iceman> amen *end*
[16:06] <BigScott> amen
[16:06] <PeterPike> okay [end]
[16:06] <iceman> Mr. Pike, the e-podium is yours
[16:06] <BigScott> OK, since Peter is taking the affirmative, it has been agreed that he goes first...
[16:06] <iceman> start timing once the text appears
[16:06] <BigScott> you have 15 minutes of asking questions, during that time Kevin can answer questions, but not ask new ones.
[16:07] <BigScott> I'll start timing when Peter posts his first question.
[16:07] <PeterPike> Thank you. Mr. Tierney, in your latest rebutal you stated that I had not dealt with "The issue of Repentance in Romans 2" My first question for you is, can you demonstrate where Paul is speaking of works of repentance in Romans 2?
[16:07] <PeterPike> [end]
[16:07] <BigScott> 16:07
[16:08] <iceman> That would be a clear logical inference I believe that in Romans 2:4 I believe, Paul mentions that God draws men to repentance. Later in the passage, they are seeking glory from God, not men, and they are judged by their works. It would be clear that if they are in a right relationship from God, they have repented from sin. This is more so since in the beginning of Romans 2, he comes out with some poor remarks, it is doubtful they had a right rel
[16:08] <BigScott> ice, you truncated
[16:09] <iceman> stop the time
[16:09] <PeterPike> This is the last I got: "it is doubtful they had a right rel"
[16:09] <BigScott> it is doubtful they had a right rel (ended here)
[16:09] <iceman> ok I'll reanswer it, and then we'll start the time, my bad
[16:09] <iceman> let me continue from where I left off
[16:09] <PeterPike> Just put in a sentence at a time, and I won't ask a question until you write "end"
[16:11] <iceman> I ended that phrase with it is doubtful that they had a right relationsihp with God before then, that is before repenting from their sin, which Paul mentions repentance in verse 4 (end)
[16:11] <BigScott> FYI - timer is stopped with at 2 minutes... will restart when Kevin finishes his answer.
[16:11] <PeterPike> Is Romans 2:12-13 specifically referring to works of the Law?
[16:11] <iceman> well of course not, since Romans 3:28 says by faith apart from works of law (end)
[16:12] <BigScott> (timer restarted at 16:11)
[16:12] <PeterPike> Let me quote Romans 2:12-13 for you then: For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified". Iis Paul speaking specifically of works of the Law in Romans 2?
[16:13] <iceman> no he is speaking from works froma different perspective. Works of law equals works of debt, obligating God. Jews believed that by circumcision, they obligated God. That is anathema in Paul's mind (end)
[16:13] <PeterPike> Can you demonstrate that position from the text itself?
[16:14] <iceman> Again, I would say it is quite obvious, since he says we are judged by our works, and those who do good are given eternal life. Yet those who do the works of the law, and expect salvation, are not given eternal life
[16:15] <iceman> Those who are rewarded by God are not obligating God, since as Paul says in Romans 11, who has ever given to God, that he should repay him. This is also cognate with verses such as John 5:28, James 2:24, and the verses from matthew I quoted in our debate
[16:15] <iceman> I let Scripture interpret Scripture (end)
[16:16] <PeterPike> Letting Scripture interpret Scripture, what reason do you have to take the works of the Law spoken of in Romans 2:12 differently from the works of the Law spoken of in Romans 3:20, where it is said, "By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight"?
[16:16] <iceman> well one Romans 2:12doesn't explicitly say works of law. Furthermore, we find out how the works being condemned are defined in Romans 4:4, to the one who works vs. the one who believes
[16:17] <iceman> the fact Paul implies debt, signifies thatit is in a contractual sense, not out of a faith that worketh through love, Gal 5:6
[16:17] <iceman> (end)
[16:17] <BigScott> (8 minutes left in first cross exam)
[16:18] <PeterPike> What is Paul speaking of in Romans 2:12 if it is not works of the Law, given his statement: "For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law" etc.?
[16:18] <iceman> he's speaking simply of the law in general, that those who are without the law will perish without the law. (end)
[16:19] <PeterPike> You said in your first rebuttal "The fact is, it does not talk about [Phinehas'] religious zeal in Numbers...." Can you reconcile that with Numbers 25:11, which says "Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites; for he was as zealous as I am for my honor among them, so that in my zeal I did not put an end to them"?
[16:20] <iceman> that zeal included a work as you know, the slaying of the people in the temple. He was credited with righteousness for this. I believe the problem is, Phinehas was already right with God before this
[16:20] <iceman> why did he need to be credited with righteousness since he was already a priest for God? (end)
[16:20] <PeterPike> Would I be justified before God if I killed a Jew who had a wife who was not Jewish?
[16:21] <iceman> that was not the act, the act in itself was cultic actions in the temple, which Phinehas stopped. That is what God Credited him with righteousness for (end)
[16:21] <PeterPike> Was anyone else justified at the time the Phinehas did this who, in fact, did not do what Phinehas did?
[16:22] <iceman> well yes, those who weren't engaging in cultic acts and were right with God, this passage is not talking about intial justification (end)
[16:22] <PeterPike> Is it not the case, then, that it is the *FAITH* behind the action that justified Phinehas, and not the action itself?
[16:22] <BigScott> (3 minutes)
[16:23] <iceman> you're creatinga false separation, the act flowed from the faith, and the act itself, standing up and interposing, as the Psalms say, is what credited him with righteousness for generations to come (end)
[16:23] <PeterPike> How do you know that the Psalm was referring to the act and not the faith that Phinehas had, which motivated him to act?
[16:24] <iceman> It said Phinehas stood up and interposed, this was credited to him as rightouesness for generations to come, it didn't say his faith, faith is obviously assumed, since one does not stand up for GOd's honor if they don't have faith
[16:24] <iceman> (end)
[16:24] <BigScott> (1 minute, time for one more question from Peter)
[16:24] <PeterPike> You wrote in your opening statement: "So therefore, since the same Greek word for faith, pistis, is used, when James speaks of faith, he is speaking of a false faith, instead of the true saving faith we are supposed to have. This is impossible."
[16:25] <PeterPike> Yet Donald Burdick, in "The Expositor's Bible Commentary" in Vol. XII, pg 182 says, "The word 'such' is the translation for the Greek article that appears before *pistis*, 'faith.' James is asking, 'This faith can't save him, can it?' The article refers to the faith described in the preceding question-faith not accompanied by works."
[16:25] <PeterPike> ." Can you give us one reason why we should accept your claim that it is impossible for there to be a distinction here rather than the distinction Donald W. Burdick, A.B., Wheaton College; B.D., Th.M., Th.D., Northern Baptist Theological Seminary makes?
[16:25] <iceman> well one, the word "such" does not appear in the original texts, that is an inference drawn. It simply says can faith save him? That is a word inserted
[16:26] <iceman> (end)
[16:26] <BigScott> (OK, time's up - Kevin may answer this question and then we'll begin Kevin's time when he askes his first)
[16:26] <iceman> I'm sorry, can I request about a minute break, I have to goto the bathroom, oops
[16:26] <PeterPike> np
[16:26] <BigScott> no problem
[16:26] <iceman> ok sorry guys
[16:26] <BigScott> timer starts when you post your first question...
[16:27] <BigScott> tell us when you return, until you do, I will unmoderate the channel...
[16:27] *** BigScott sets mode: -m
[16:27] <David> great chat
[16:27] <BigScott> anyone can talk now
[16:29] <BigScott> :-) or not
[16:29] <PeterPike> I'll just wait for Kevin :-)
[16:29] <BigScott> understood
[16:29] <iceman> ok back
[16:29] <PeterPike> wb
[16:29] <David> welcome bak
[16:29] <David> *back
[16:30] *** BigScott sets mode: +m
[16:30] <iceman> drank too much iced tea ;-) can I start now
[16:30] <BigScott> OK, channel is back on moderation...
[16:30] <PeterPike> Yup
[16:30] <BigScott> please
[16:30] <iceman> ok Thank you. Mr. Pike, when Paul references Genesis 15:6 in Romans 4, is he speaking of the moment when Abraham was justified? This will effect how I proceed, since I've heard different answers from different Evangelicals (end)
[16:31] <BigScott> (16:30 begins the timer)
[16:31] <PeterPike> Romans 4 is refering to justification, as demonstrated in verses 2-3.
[16:31] <PeterPike> [end]
[16:32] <iceman> ok so in Genesis 15:6, is it not true sir in your opinion, this was the point at which Abraham was justified? (end)
[16:33] <PeterPike> That is the point that Paul was making in Romans 4. [end]
[16:33] <iceman> ok thank you for clarifying Mr. Pike. One does not have faith in God until one is justified correct, since faith is a gift From God, right? (end)
[16:34] <PeterPike> One does not have genuine faith until one is regenerated. One can certainly have "faith" that isn't genuine faith. That is the whole point of James 2, I might add.
[16:34] <PeterPike> [end] (I keep forgetting that part)
[16:34] <iceman> but you would say that one can only have a genuine faith if one is justified right? (end)
[16:35] <iceman> Mr. Pike?
[16:35] <PeterPike> You are mistaken in the order of salvation, which was why I spent time on it in my opening statement. One must first be regenerated by the Spirit, which causes the person to come to real, genuine faith, at which point God justifies the individual. Hence, faith comes before justification in logical order.
[16:36] <PeterPike> [end]
[16:36] <iceman> ok so in Genesis 12, we see Abraham has great faith, well before Genesis 15. Paul references this in Hebrews 11. Are you telling me that Abraham while he was regenerated in Genesis 12, having such great faith he saw the kingdom of God, yet he wasn't justified until many years later? (end)
[16:37] <iceman> in Genesis 15?
[16:37] <BigScott> (8 minutes left)
[16:37] <PeterPike> First, the passage does not say the faith that Abraham had in Genesis 12 was *saving* faith. You are assuming that all faith is the same; but as I pointed out, James makes it clear that there is a difference between real faith and a dead faith. Not all faiths are the same.
[16:37] <PeterPike> [end]
[16:38] <iceman> ok yet Abraham had such great faith, he left his home, having no clue where he was going, and he had a vision of the Kingdom of God. That's not a saving faith? (end)
[16:38] <PeterPike> Balaam did not have saving faith when he prophecied what God told him to.
[16:39] <PeterPike> Therefore, one is not required to have saving faith in order to do "great" things.
[16:39] <PeterPike> (Sorry, hit enter too soon above). [end]
[16:39] <iceman> so you would say that Abraham, while he had an enormous trust in God, following God solely, having no clue what he was doing, yet this wasn't saving? Do the people in the context of Hebrews 11 have a saving faith? (end)
[16:39] <iceman> he mentions Noah, Sarah, etc, (end)
[16:40] <PeterPike> Abraham was not called justified until Genesis 15. That's why we say what the Scriptures said--Abraham was justified in Genesis 15, as the Scriptures say.
[16:41] <iceman> actually it says Abraham was credited with righteousness, it doesn't say explicitly that is the point he is justified. Moving on
[16:41] <iceman> here's my next question
[16:41] <iceman> What does Christ mean when he says "I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, you will not inherit the Kingdom of God? He then goes into the famous "you have heard it was said, but I say unto you" discourse
[16:42] <iceman> that's my question (end)
[16:43] <PeterPike> Obviously if someone has false righteousness, as the Pharisees did, then in order to be saved one must have a genuine belief in Christ, and that would of necessity exceed that of the Pharisees.
[16:43] <PeterPike> [end]
[16:43] <iceman> yet he mentions things we must do, this would suggest an inward change in the individual from the old way, If we would automatically do this, with the imputed righteousness of Christ, why say this? (end)
[16:44] <BigScott> (2 minutes)
[16:44] <PeterPike> The point of the things that we must do is that it is impossible for anyone to do them. In fact, I would put this right up with Romans 3 as demonstrating my view. By the Law, none can be saved, and Jesus is teaching how bleak the Law is.
[16:44] <PeterPike> [end]
[16:44] <BigScott> (one more question from iceman)
[16:45] <iceman> so Christ says you have to do this, but not really since noone can do it? (end)
[16:45] <PeterPike> Christ doesn't say you can do this. He is giving what the commands are. He is not saying that it's possible to obey them. This is why grace is necessary in the first place. [end]
[16:46] <PeterPike> BigScott--is that it then?
[16:46] <BigScott> yes
[16:46] <iceman> wouldn't the grace of God be able to transofrm them? (end0
[16:46] <PeterPike> Thanks, Kevin :-)
[16:46] <iceman> oops didn't realize I was outta time
[16:46] <BigScott> now... open it up...
[16:46] <BigScott> round robin time
[16:47] <iceman> well Pete, you know one thing I"m gonna say inmy rebuttal ;-)
[16:47] <PeterPike> *lol* Yes indeed. Although I have a response to that too :-)
[16:47] <PeterPike> The transformation is the process of sanctification.
[16:47] <iceman> that was a good fierce, yet polite exchange Pete, thanks
[16:47] <iceman> hey hey hey I can't respond! I'm oiutta time! lol
[16:47] <PeterPike> np, ice.
[16:48] <PeterPike> What does this round robin thing mean anyway?
[16:48] <BigScott> I have set aside another 40 minutes - or is that all you intended?
[16:48] <BigScott> a more open ask and answer time
[16:48] <iceman> we could do a second round if you want Pike, I got the time
[16:48] <PeterPike> I thought this was it. 1 round. I actually have to go in about 15 minutes.
[16:48] <PeterPike> I could come back another day though.
[16:48] <iceman> that's fine
[16:48] <iceman> we'll call it at that
[16:49] <PeterPike> Alright :-)
[16:49] <BigScott> OK, then let's open the channel for any open questions of the participants before Peter has to leave
[16:49] <PeterPike> No prob.
[16:49] *** BigScott sets mode: -m
[16:49] <BigScott> OK, channel is open....
[16:49] <iceman> any questions anyone?
[16:49] <David> let me review my notes one minute
[16:49] <Balthazar> I have one, if I may?
[16:49] <iceman> sure who is your question for
[16:49] <Balthazar> May be off-topic, just let me know.
[16:50] <iceman> I have no problem with that, Mr. Pike?
[16:50] <PeterPike> I have no problem. Audience questions are *NEVER* on topic....
[16:50] <iceman> lol
[16:50] <Balthazar> lol
[16:50] <BigScott> :-)
[16:50] <iceman> it's normally sola scriptura hehe
[16:50] <BigScott> go ahead Balthazar
[16:50] <Balthazar> iceman: Are the canons of the Council of Orange accepted by the Roman church?
[16:50] <iceman> yes
[16:51] <iceman> I haven't studied them lately, but yet
[16:51] <iceman> yes
[16:51] <iceman> they draw a lot of augustine, and since augustine is one of our primary theologians on justification, we do accept them
[16:51] <Balthazar> iceman: Are you aware that they teach, quite clearly, the foundation doctine of Calvinism, namely the total inability of man to save himself?
[16:52] <iceman> umm, Canon 1 of Trent teaches that as well
[16:52] <iceman> we don't negate Grace, as even Mr. PIke acknowledges
[16:52] <iceman> we're not Pelegian
[16:52] <iceman> even Calvin said amen to canons 1-3 of Trent
[16:53] <Balthazar> iceman: Thank you.
[16:53] * PeterPike wonders if someone has a question for him now :-0
[16:53] <PeterPike> :-)
[16:53] <iceman> the debate isn't about grace vs. us, it never has been
[16:53] <PeterPike> Got about 10 minutes, plus or minus, left.
[16:53] <David> I don't have any questions, thank you
[16:54] <BigScott> Mr. Pike, if I may, the "faith" that Abraham had in Genesis 12 was not a "saving faith" but later in 15 it was?
[16:55] <PeterPike> BigScott--The faith taht Abraham had in Genesis 12 is not specifically said to have justified him. Given that there are differences in faith, demonstrated by James 2 as well as the passage where Christ says, "Not all who say, 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom" we cannot go beyond what the text itself says.
[16:55] <BigScott> (not typical that the moderator askes questions, but since no one else was....)
[16:55] <iceman> may I interject?
[16:55] <BigScott> of course
[16:55] <BigScott> the channel is open
[16:55] <PeterPike> I don't mind, BigScott :-)
[16:56] <iceman> Mr. Pike seems to alledge that in James 2, he is attacking a dead faith. I would hardly call the faith Abraham had in Genesis 12 a "dead faith" It was so rich, he trusted God above everything else, having no clue where he would go. Surely that is a model for us to live by
[16:56] <BigScott> :-) that's where I was going with this too, iceman
[16:56] <PeterPike> Do you want me to respond to that? :-)
[16:56] <iceman> by all means, channel is open
[16:57] <BigScott> please
[16:57] <iceman> is this going into the text of the q and a or no
[16:57] <BigScott> yes
[16:57] <PeterPike> iceman--if it's all open, it's not part of the "official" debate--I'll put it in if you want. Doesn't matter to me.
[16:57] <iceman> nor me, that's why I asked
[16:57] <iceman> let's just answer it, then we'll decide
[16:58] <BigScott> I'll end the public log when Peter leaves.
[16:58] <iceman> I don't like thinking ahead lol
[16:58] <PeterPike> Okay. Well, I would respond with this--no matter how "good" a person is or what he does outwardly, that does not change his faith from being dead or alive. The living faith springs from regeneration. The Bible doesn't specifically say when Abraham was regenerated; it merely says he is definitely regenerated by Genesis 15.
[16:59] <iceman> I don't see in Scripture regeneration and justification being set so far apart though, many years, where does it show that?
[16:59] <PeterPike> I would also point out--didn't Judas do a lot of "good" with Christ? Yet that doesn't make him, who was predestined as the son of perdition, ever to have salvific faith.
[17:00] <iceman> I would say whie Judas did good, the fact he stopped trusting Christ, and ended up betraying him, negated anything he did beforehand
[17:00] <PeterPike> ice--That would be to assume that his regeneration was in Genesis 12 and not Genesis 15. Sinners who are not saved can still do things that God requires. That doesn't make them suddenly saved.
[17:00] <iceman> yet without faith it is impossible to please God. You said the person does not have a genuine faith until they are regenerated. How is that not a genuine faith?
[17:00] <iceman> it is probably the greatest example of faith in Scripture
[17:01] <BigScott> I wouldn't call Abraham "saved" anyway... :-)
[17:01] <BigScott> not in Genesis 12 or 15
[17:01] <PeterPike> Yes, but is it an example of *saving* faith? That's the issue that's up for debate right now. If you're going to make it salvific faith, you'll have to substatiate that notion.
[17:01] <BigScott> He was "justified"
[17:01] <iceman> well I would goto the context, that surely demonstrates a "saving" faith of Herbews 11, the people before him, and after him had it
[17:02] <iceman> unless you're reading into the text simply what isn't there I believe
[17:02] <PeterPike> Yes, that is another issue Protestants disagree with Catholics on :-)
[17:02] <BigScott> different subject, for another time
[17:02] <iceman> how much more time you got Mr. Pike?
[17:03] <PeterPike> ice--first, it only says that they were doing those acts by faith--it doesn't make any mention of what kind of faith is specifically being referenced. In fact, in this instance you have a problem since, for example, Rahab is mentioned as having faith when she specifically *LIED*.
[17:03] <iceman> care to grill me anymore before you leave
[17:03] <iceman> the lying is what justified her, it was the hiding of God's chosen people from doom, at great risk to herself
[17:03] <PeterPike> If it is the works that must couple with faith, then that would make Rahab's faith non-salvific from your standpoint, wouldn't it? She had negative works....
[17:03] <iceman> isn't what justified her, sorry
[17:04] <iceman> furthermore, James says she was "Justified" same word Paul uses, by works when she hid the spies
[17:04] <BigScott> negative works don't necessarily "unsave" someone
[17:04] <iceman> and it says in the same way as Abraham, noting harmony between the 2
[17:04] <BigScott> or "unjustify" them either
[17:05] <PeterPike> Well, I'd love to chat more but I have to run now! I look forward to speaking with y'all later!
[17:05] *** Parts: PeterPike
[17:05] <BigScott> take care Peter, thanks

[End of logfile]

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