Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

What in the World IS the "The World" ?

In the previous post, I discussed the meaning of the term "world" (Gk kosmos) in John's writings. I suggested we define it as "all humanity" or "all mankind." While that definition was broadly accurate, it was perhaps a little too vague. Tony Byrne provided some helpful thoughts on a more precise definition - including the following chart, which makes a lot of sense.

So we might more precisely define "World" as "All unbelieving humanity" presently living on the earth. These are the ones God loved in John 3:16, the ones whose sin Christ bears in John 1:29, and the ones for whom Christ is an offered propitiation but not an advocate in I John 2:2. These are the ones who receive common grace, and the ones to whom the Gospel is preached in the general call. I believe this fits the Biblical data, and answers some of the objections presented by those who would prefer that "world" be defined as "the elect." For more on this, see the comments on the previous post.

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