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You're aware, I hope, that the term "born again" is inaccurate. The actual phrase is "born from above". "Born again" can obviously be inferred but it detracts from the real force of the meaning.
You're also aware, I hope, that Ms. Barber is a full-on hard-core Calvinist, even to the point of interpreting the word "world" in John 3:16 as applying only to the elect. Calvinists cannot even offer a correct Gospel message if they believe that God loves only a few of the inhabitants of that "world." "I have good news for you. There is a remote possibility that God may love you and chosen you to part of His family."


I'm glad you're finding interesting blogs to comment on, Stan, and Dory's is one of the best.

Jeff Downs

If you are not aware, Marty Minto is scheduled to be on The Dividing Line today. It will be archived as well.


Whoa, Stan, I wouldn't strain gnats over the term "born again" or "born from above." Being "born from above" comes, by definition, second to being "born from below"...ergo "again." Numerous translations use "again" as an accurate carrying of the idiom into English. In fact, the original ridicule directed at the Greek term "born from above" is more simply and accurately carried over in the more commonly known "born again."

As far as LaShawn's Calvinistic interpretation of John 3:16, I have to agree that I had the same thoughts. Under no circumstances can the greek term for "world" in that verse be applied to the elect. God loves all, and some are saved (adopted) -- any well-intended alteration of this difficult concept begins in and leads to error.

To the real point: there is no Christian reason for Minto to be fired. I certainly believe that the listening audience of Christian radio is more accomodating to both sound doctrine and doctrinal controversy than the producers of programming. If Christian radio becomes indistinguishable from Lite 104.5 FM or Oldies 92 in its ability to do little more than serve up audio anesthesia, I'd rather they drop the "Christian" conceit altogether.


It's a bit sad to me that on this issue--a point on which all Christians ought to be able to stand as one and proclaim together that salvation is through Christ alone--that the discussion so quickly degenerates into a discussion of issues that divide us.

I'd be happy to discuss the differences between Calvinism and Arminianism. It would be a great debate topic, (It probably would need to be broken down to more narrow points of doctrine.), and I'd be pleased to host it as a Wittenberg Gate Debate should two people choose to debate it. However, if that happens, I doubt either side would gain much from using John 3:16 as a proof text of their position.

But, of course, this isn't the point of this issue at all. This is a situation in which a man was fired because he responded to a direct question about a man's salvation by humbly avoiding making himself the judge of another man's soul and instead referring to what the Bible says are the conditions for someone to be saved.

I have no idea if Pastor Minto is an Arminian or a Calvinist or somewhere on that broad spectrum that lies between the two. I don't know because his remarks, as reported, don't reveal it. And that's the point.


I think if Pastor Minto hadn't used the words, "born again," but had instead merely said that if the Pope had faith in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation, he would have been fine.

He probably also would've been fine if he hadn't been attacking Catholic beliefs. The news stories are pretty vague, but I really wouldn't be surprised if he were an anti-Catholic, Jack Chick style protestant.

As I said, the news stories are pretty unclear (why muddy a sensational story with context?), but jumping out to defend this man is, at least, premature.


I'm from Pittsburgh (with an "h" -- something that keeps getting dropped from the blogs I'm reading about this) and I've listened to WORD for a few years for specific programs. Sometimes Marty's voice got to me, and I wouldn't listen to him. Sometimes he was spouting and it wasn't relevant to me at the time. Usually, though, he was pretty careful to draw his comments from an honest and open reading of scripure -- and if that means, jpe, builder of straw men, that he's a Chick style protestant, then so be it. Let's keep in mind, regardless of what your stripe: As Dory said, Marty did not take upon himself the role of judge over the pope's soul and Marty quoted scripture in his statement about the pope's eternal state. That's it. Period. Same thing when he was on with Buchanan. In fact, there it was pretty clear at the end of the discussion that Buchanan's beef was with Scripture and not Minto. And it would be nice if those of you who don't like what he said would be honest and admit that's where your beef lies also. As one blogger notes, this is where the danger of soli scriptura gets ya. Now that's a mouthful.


and if that means, jpe, builder of straw men

I think you misinterpreted me. My comment was pretty modest: the news reports have been slim on details, so maybe conclusions should be withheld until more information is forthcoming.

I think the context of the show is important: if he were a Jack Chick acolyte, and often railed against papistry (which some protestants do, right?), then his seemingly benign comment about the fate of the Pope's soul take on a new dimension, and evince an incredible lack of judgment.

If he did think that Catholics are idolaters and pagans and not Christian by dint of being Catholic, he may very well be right - but that's not the point. When Reagan died, for example, many people were lining up to criticize him in the most offensive ways. The thing that got to me and many others wasn't so much the substance of the criticism, but the timing and offensive manner in which it was couched. Let others grieve before you start consigning the dead to hell.

Certainly the papistry-criticisms could have waited a few weeks. Like I said, I don't know if Minto's radio persona was anti-Catholic. It it were, though, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to can him for lack of judgment. There's a time and a place for robust critism; but have some decency and wait until the man is buried.


Here's an absurdly thorough round-up of reaction and info.


What's "anti-Catholic"? Being Protestant?

Funky Dung


I'm sorry you found my thoroughness absurd, but I thank you for the plug. ;)


You know, in the end, I don't think God will care about whether or not a person is "Born Again," however you define it. If a person has had a deep abiding faith from childhood without a born again experience, does that consign them to hell? Or maybe, quite possible, is the important issue that a person have a personal relationship with God, and a heart that seeks to follow his will? Yes, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and the only way to Heaven is through Him, but how do we know how Christ reaches each and every person? I believe my responsibility is to have a personal relationship with Christ, and that my life should testify to that, otherwise faith is meaningless. And if Minto alienated listeners by consigning to hell Protestants and Catholics alike who don't necessarily buy into the evangelical definition of "born again" then maybe, just maybe he deserved to be fired. But then, I didn't work there, and I guess I'll never know the whole story.


I know this is an old post but I had to comment. First and foremost, the pope of any age is as much ANTI-CHRIST as a person can be (which can easily be supported by scripture). But the fact is stated clearly in scripture that without being born again, a person cannot go to heaven. Jesus said Repent or Perish. The Bible's clear, without salvation it's hell!

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