Back in the day when I was a teenager, the YPF of the Baptist church I attended used to sing the following chorus, based on Isaiah 1: 18:
Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord;
Though your sins as scarlet be, they shall be white as snow;
Though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool.
In the first chapter of Isaiah, Yahweh is directly addressing His people. He makes a case against Judah, pointing out the nation has forsaken Him and how He takes no delight in their show of outward religion. (vv. 13 – 15: “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me; your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of hearing them. When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; when you make many prayers, I will not hear”.
But then, in verse 18, comes wonderful words of promise, hope and instruction. God’s people are invited to reason, not just with ourselves but TOGETHER with the Lord that, though our sins are a scarlet red, He will make them become snowy white.
In that verse, God invites us to reason with Him. Perhaps even argue with Him like Abraham (Gen. 19:22-33) and Jonah (Jonah 4:2).
Reason - Dictionary definition: to think, understand, form judgments by a process of logic ; think rationally, think logically, use one’s common sense, use one’s head/brain.
When God created man, He gave him an amazing brain. Our brain can compute and organize information faster than any man-made computer. For example, if we touch a red-hot poker our brain will immediately send instructions to our hand to pull it away. We don’t ask why. We simply obey.
According to William B. Salt II., MD, a gastroenterologist, our brain and mind are not the same. Our brain is part of the visible, tangible world of the body. Our mind is part of the invisible, transcendent world of thought, feeling, attitude, belief and imagination. The brain is the physical organ most associated with mind and consciousness, but the mind is not confined to the brain. The intelligence of our mind permeates every cell of our body, not just our brain cells.
Paul, in Phil. 2: 5, wrote “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”. That’s as high a standard as can be set. He elaborates further in Phil. 4: 8: “Whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, …. If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.
God has invited us to reason together with Him. In Isaiah 1:18, the issue was forgiveness of sins. I believe He is willing for us to also consider with Him other matters that occupy our minds.
I have previously explained how it was that I ended up joining this Forum after nearly 70 years of holding on to the doctrines of ECT and 5-point Calvinism. My experience can be found Introductions - “Introducing Myself”. I am still studying and learning, helped greatly by fellow members. Questions that I would like to ask of the Lord and of those who appear to have no problem with ECT might include the following:
Is it reasonable that we not only receive polluted and sinful natures because of Adam’s sin (original sin), but we are also regarded as having sinned in Adam such that we are guilty of his act as well?
Is it reasonable that only a small percentage of Adam’s seed should be elected to salvation and the non-elect to suffer ECT?
Is it reasonable that the penalty for 0 – 80 years of sin is to suffer indescribable eternal conscious torment throughout eternity?
Is it reasonable that all who have never heard the gospel message will suffer ECT?
These are only a few of the subjects that I might like to consider together with the Lord. If it was possible to ‘reason together with Him’ on the subject of the atonement 600 years ago, before the birth, death and resurrection of the Saviour of the World, how much more can we do so after the work has been completed?
What might you like to reason/argue with the Lord about?