John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Friday 4 May 2012

[Thursday 3 May 2012]
  • 05:30 Arrive Hull
  • 08:00 Disembarkation commences
Janet and I were awake before the booked 5.30am alarm-call came. We went for breakfast a bit before the 7am deadline. Then we found seats in the Holyrood Lounge, near Modge and Melvin, and sat and waited — and waited — for our luggage-label colour to be called indicating our turn to disembark. Several people were summoned to the reception-desk, presumably because they hadn’t settled their bill, though one was owed a refund. Among the summoned was Mr. Poor Man.[1]
[1] “Mr. Poor Man” had come to our attention over the past few days because we frequently saw him pass us when we were seated in one or other of the lounges, on his way out to the open deck for a smoke, or on his way back. (Smoking was tolerated in the open-air, though this was a non-smoking ship.) We called him “Mr. Poor Man” because he looked a bit like actor Nick Nolte, who had played the “poor man” character in the 1976 TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man.

Nolte, looking somewhat like our “Mr. Poor Man”, at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2005

Nolte as Tom Jordache in Rich Man, Poor Man.
It was a grey and cold day as we went down the ramp from Deck 5, passed through the passport-control tent, and entered the shuttle-bus, which took us to the large hangar-like building on Alexandra Dock, where we found our cases in the “red” section. I realised with quasi-dismay that I didn’t have my bus pass; it wasn’t in pockets or hand-luggage. Part of the car-park opposite the hangar had been fenced off for taxis, and after a wait just within the cover of the hangar a taxi arrived and we crossed over to it. In the Paragon Interchange waiting room, we repeated the search for my bus-pass, then Janet suggested it might still be in my suit, so she opened one of the cases and there it was!… We went over to Stand 3 ca. ¼ hr. before the bus was due, and when it arrived there was a further wait for it to change drivers. The automatic door was open, so we were standing in the cold wind. We were admitted (10:45) ca. 5 minutes before the bus’s departure. Janet began to feel a bit nauseous on the journey home. We got off opposite the railway station, and crossed over to a waiting taxi in the forecourt.…

Wrote a post on the Facebook page, “UK Friends”, created by Chris Smith:
John Edward Cooper
Friday, 4th May 2012 at 15:12
WINNERS AND LOSERS: Reconciling The Irreconcilable - Arminianism VS Calvinism —
Wow, seriously subversive stuff, Chris!
(Incidentally, one of the reasons I bought Chris Smith’s book is because of what Mark Sumner wrote on the same page:)
Mark Sumner
Saturday, 21 April 2012 at 21:03
Hi Chris, read your book, couldn't put it down, my sentiments exactly! I've been thinking on these lines for years but dare not speak out for fear of shouts of HERESY! HERESY! Perhaps this is the right time to be honest with myself and everybody else. Your book has helped to set me free from such a lot of confusion. I trust I can count on your support when I need it. I will keep you posted as to how things progress when I finally "come out" because Emmanuel/Full Gospel Church is going through a lot of changes right now. Love in Christ, Mark Sumner.
Almost immediately there came a message, but it was not on “UK Friends”, it was a private message:
Chris Smith
Friday, 4 May 2012 at 15:42
Thanks John
did you read the book?
So it wasn’t immediately obvious whether the “Thanks, John” was in reply to my post — in which case it ought to have been obvious that I HAD read the book — or to my message of 21 March 2012. I replied:
John Edward Cooper
Friday, 4 May 2012 at 16:16
I did, Chris. Seriously subversive stuff! — as I posted on UK Friends.

Just to go off at a tangent for a minute—

I don't remember "Mrs Roose" — so was "Mr Roose" a widower when I was around at Fleetwood FGC? I remember hearing second-hand that he didn't believe the Americans had gone to the moon! On a more serious note, when there was a mini-revival at Fleetwood, ca.1966–7, Mr Rouse remarked to a young convert called Sid that if he really had got saved he wouldn't still be smoking — and that was the last we saw of Sid.

Did the Rouses migrate to Fleetwood with your Mum and Dad? I notice on the header of the "Letter to the Congregation" of 1946 that the "Hon. Treasurer" at Radcliffe was "J. Rouse".

a victory gained at too great a cost, like that of Pyrrhus over the Romans at Asculum in 279 BC.

For many years the thought that eternal life for the elect remnant, while the vast majority go to hell, is a "Pyrrhic victory", has been a major obstacle that faith has had to overcome, without any solution. (I have even supposed that if there were a solution, arguably faith would cease to be faith.) Sermons on "the problem of pain" have not even mentioned this, the ultimate pain for the majority! If my faith were not based on other things, for me it would be a clinching argument for atheism. Wouldn't it be more loving for God to remain alone, in his own eternal hell of loneliness, than to create humankind, for most of them to go to eternal hell?

I don't know whether I can embrace Universalism, though; the balance of Scripture seems to me to be against it. I'd like to see a systematic universalist theology that compares scripture with scripture.
Ken Wood posted on “UK Friends”:
Kenneth Wood
Friday, 4 May 2012 at 21:43
Calvinism v Arminianism! both two halves of a whole! George Whitfield! The Wesley bro's. The key verse for me is "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh within you, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure!!" King James version. Someone once said of said version "If it was good enough for Paul to read, then it's good enough for me!!!"
I commented:
John Edward Cooper
Friday, 4 May 2012 at 22:50
I was taught under the Calvinism of Pastors Smith, Sr. and Jr., at Fleetwood, and under the Arminianism of Pastor Wooffindin at Cleethorpes — and in their evangelicalism and life-application there was no discernible difference!
Ken Wood commented in turn:
Kenneth Wood
Friday, 4 May 2012 at 23:10
Yes I think it's possible to get to hung up on doctrinal positions, There is a big wide Theological world out there and lots of freedom in Christ! I learned a long time ago that God is no way subjected to our systematic Theology!! In fact how can you put God into a system????

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