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Here's my response to this week's challenge:
Posted by Brett Kunkle on April 25, 2013 at 02:48 PM in :Brett Kunkle, Apologetics, Challenge Q&A, Video | Permalink
So basically, God allows us the freedom to believe different things. That's pretty straightforward.
What I want to know is why God wants us to believe a particular thing as opposed to doing a particular thing.
What's really cool about religion is that you can sometimes act in obedience even when you believe it's not going to work out. Like Indy Jones when he stepped on the invisible bridge. It was a leap of faith because he really believed he'd fall into the chasm, but he stepped out there anyway, in obedience to the writings.
John Moore |
April 25, 2013 at 07:05 PM
I see a large portion of Jesus's teaching pointing to behavior as ultimately significant. "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me....Lord, when did we see thee hungry?" etc. The gestalt of Jesus's teaching, and I believe he was misunderstood because of it, is that right belief does not necessarily result in right action, but right action is always approved.
There are so many variations of belief about God, even within the Christian church; what ultimately is "right" belief?
Perry Shields |
April 25, 2013 at 09:59 PM
The video answer to the challenge asks, “Is it logically possible to create a morally free agent and at the same time ensure that they behave or choose in a particular way?”
That is a good question. It would seem the answer is no at some point. Of course, that in no way means that the Isolation and Privation of The-Self (what we like to call ‘Evil’) could possibly never be known by Man, for The-Self is but that very Distinct which we find within the Triune God. There is no GodAnd. No. Some things will not be otherwise. Whether we dive into The-Other Who simply is Uncreated Love and therein taste, and fully so, from top to bottom, of Actual Actuality’s I-You-We which just is Self-Other, or, whether we dive into The-Self and therein discover Love’s Rescue, His Embrace, and by such a Ransom taste, and fully so, from top to bottom, of Actuality’s I-You-We which just is Self-Other, man will know, or, will taste, or, will see, and, in seeing, in beholding, become as He is. In His Image. Whole by Parts, Parts by Whole, whichever for –tis no God-And. That cannot be otherwise, for Power has declared of W1, this World, the only possible world which houses an Agent, a Beloved, fashioned in Love’s Image, “Let Us create man in Our Image”. Other worlds are possible. Only, they would necessarily lack an Agent, a Beloved, in Love’s Image. The whole problem with this whole show is that the Perfect-1, the Only God, the One-Actual-Actuality (there can be only 1 actual actuality) Who just Is-Love has chosen, for whatever reason, to beget yet more love. Yet even this it seems cannot be otherwise (perhaps), for this is just what love does there within the embrace of Two, who, within and by embrace, beget yet that Third Distinct, which is its eternally begotten Child, the Singular-We, of which it is said, -Tis both I and You. This is just what Love does. Love begets yet more of itself, and this forever, ad infinitum. Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self is forever poured out and therein Love’s Beloved is forever filled up. This is why He tells us, “Drink of Me and you will never thirst again”. For by drinking such Living Water as His peculiar eternally emptying-out and His peculiar eternally filling-up it is not that one will never thirst again, but, in all truth, one cannot thirst again. I wonder sometimes, that there never has been a first there within Him of such things as these, and I think that all roads, that is to say, All Trees, are forever fully Actual there within Actual-Actuality Himself. Children do run. Oh, do they like to run. Of course, there comes a time, a place, somehow, I do not know how, where Knows-Not is no longer Mercy’s call from atop His Tree, atop His Throne there with Love’s Crown of Thorns, for where Love’s Light shines, darkness is no more. If it will be Love, then one must shout We!, You and not I! Her and not Me! and forgo that fatal call of the Self which so delights in I! Yes I and not You! Me and not Her!.
Love is quite another shout after all, and to the uttermost: "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine!" Song of Solomon 6:3
April 26, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Satan has right beliefs. He knows who, and what, and when, and why. And his legions with him.
It seems there is some other something which is in play.
This is not to say doctrine is of no consequence. It is only to say it is that and some other something.
We can look into that odd pleurality amid unity which this age so hates called Marriage for a pattern, a type, an echo of that epicenter from which all life springs.
April 26, 2013 at 06:26 AM
>> This is not to say doctrine is of no consequence. It is only to say it is that and some other something.
Your post made me ponder to what extent we are qualified as "Christian" in spite of a wide variety of beliefs. What is the minimal position one may have to be Jesus' follower? John concludes his gospel thus ... these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. (John 20: 31)
In understanding our place in Christ's kingdom, what places us there, but a confidence in the work of Jesus in behalf of sin-ridden humanity. His work, not our assessment of His work. In our bickering over faith alone, faith and works, faith deriving works, and any other variation of this theme, it is the ministry of Jesus on which we bank all things. In the long run, it is not so much the lengths to which we appraised the nature of God, but the wondrous grace of God that forgives us our misappraisals.
April 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM
DGFischer I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head. It seems that no matter what Insufficiency believes or in fact even knows it is just of no help at all to Insufficiency. Knowledge is of no help where that odd new creation is concerned for what zygote can birth itself? Confidence and Banking-On are the very gift of Him to all men and as such all Glory goes to Him. Ransom is from Him and Him alone and “it is the ministry of Jesus on which we bank all things” brings in the only verb we have to offer, and it is not Seeing (Satan sees more than we) nor is it Knowing (have we not learned that Tree’s fruit yet?) nor is it mustering up the trust but is instead just that motion of banking on, of trusting wholly in. When He knocks, should we thus take Him up on His “if any one open the door” and therein thus open it is said He will not refuse and here is the only place I find Insufficiency having any hope of All-Sufficiency. What Trust but that which He has given to me? What sound of knocking but of His Hand upon my soul? What Sufficiency but that of He Who so knocks? All is from Him, all is from that One named Ransom Who calls us My-Beloved!. Shall I refuse Him? It seems we can. It seems some will. It seems we will bank on Self or we will bank on Other.
April 26, 2013 at 01:11 PM
“God should just compel us, if not into Himself, than at least into right beliefs.”
Well, what of that? In an odd sort of way Lucifer and the First Adam shed some light on these false hopes of Knowledge and Seeing providing our escape, and, ultimately, how Love’s Volition trumps such compelled knowledge for Insufficiency full of Sight is still just, well, Insufficient and lest Love’s Volition so motion that Insufficient one into All-Sufficiency Himself, then, well, it can only be insufficient. We have no hope but Him, but Life, and to think my knowledge will save me or to think our knowledge will save us is but the Fall all over again, is but Babel all over again, and thus this cry of ”compel us to know!” is but one more whisper heard there in Eden’s con.
As for compelling us into Himself, well, again, Love’s Volition is Man’s fated Image and no Created-Self can in actuality pull the Uncreated into itself, regardless of what it, in itself, ever does. The Uncreated, it seems, must spread His arms wide, and pour Himself out, and offer the All Sufficient Cup, and the Insufficient, having thus swallowed up, and having thus been swallowed up by, All-Sufficiency, then finds in itself a Sufficiency of which it had not formally known. In good faith we note the action of two wills there within ‘swallowed up’ and within ‘swallowed up by’. But, we must note, that without the action of the later, the former has no hope. It seems to me both are very present, the former and the later, and we simply cannot deny these two motions of these two wills, nor can we deny that the later has provided all things, for, but for it, the former is hopeless, for it is just not sufficient in its own Self, no matter what it does, no matter what it sees, no matter what it knows, no matter what it is aware of. No. Sufficiency is only found when we are God-Man, Man-God, that is to say, joined to Him, that is to say, in the condition or state of Self-Other, Other-Self, and it is never found in the Isolated-Man, that is to say, in the Isolated-Self, which is but hell’s privation.
In case we make the mistake of thinking of Love and of Choice there within the Triune as something akin to the fickle ebb and flow of feelings and/or various mirrors of mutable dopamine surges and malleable serotonin reuptake receptors within our varied neuronal synapses, there is a slightly better description of just what love and choice actually are within the Uncreated as compared to the Created, with their necessary differences in capacity for Self-Sufficiency in an opening piece titled “April 15, 2013: Why Is a Good God More Plausible Than an Evil God?” with the post of interest dated April 21, 2013 at 07:03 AM.
As for “Compel in me the right beliefs” I find a bit of help in looking into the First-Adam, and into Lucifer, now Satan. It’s probably not very helpful to anyone but me, but, well, if you don’t mind:
So then, shall we force one to see the truth of all things?
And so it was. Lucifer is blinded by Sheer Actuality and though he wills to look away he cannot for such a Will cannot overpower Light, and thus Satan is born and is yet still blinded by the glaring realization in his eyes which cannot close. Though he still squints in pain with that painful glare streaming in from all directions with the Truth of all things by which he knows his time is short what shall we say of this one named Lucifer, who is now Satan, or of that other sharing his condition, that one called the First-Adam? Yes, they are, were, compelled to see there in the lap of God atop His Knee and though they stare into His Face, that Face we now thirst for again, such did not, and will not, magically provide the escape we think such Knowing surely must provide. No. Such compulsion of such Sight is not the mechanism of Love’s Volition and thus cannot overpower, and thus cannot replace, Love’s mechanisms within its Volitions and therein catapult us into the lap of God. It is Love which rides yet higher then mere awareness in Love’s Triune. These two species, Angel and Man, one with legions and the other with children, though once compelled to See-Him, help us in that they reveal the truth of escape and what escape “is” or “how” it takes place. The legions are yet still compelled and cannot close their eyes to His Intolerable Light yet these are without Hope for they have once and for all been granted their Delight and this from their starting height which is none other than that Sightline from within Heaven itself.
But we, Man, are not made to start at such a height there in Eden. No. We are made a little lower than the Angels, those Angels who knowing His Spirit Face to Face in Heaven’s Fullness yet blaspheme that One and Holy Spirit. And what of that sin of theirs, those holy angels? It is said that such a sin as that one sin is the only sin which shall not be forgiven. And how can it be forgiven? For it is chosen from the Highest Sightline any Created Self can ever have. Why the way-back is withheld from that particular choice from that particular sightline is, well, only God knows. And what is the Angel’s Delight which shatters Hope despite eyes which cannot close? It is simply that motion into The-Self wherein no created self can ever know All-Sufficiency. Of course we know God within “Triune Distinct Agencies” can only know All-Sufficiency whether He shout from within His I! or His You! or His We! Each is but the Great I-AM and can thus shout I! with a Net Yield of but All-Sufficiency. “All-Sufficiency” is just impossible for any Created Agent and this we see by simple default. And Satan and his Legions are left with what? Only that Isolated-I thus void of the Uncreated Other, or, if that bothers us, void of the You which is God whereby the Created-I can know Life, and so Satan is necessarily void of any possibility of “Itself-Jonied-To-God” within any flavor of a Singular-We, and, being in Hell's Pure Self these Angels are therein God-Less, and, as God is love, thus Love-Less by sheer definition in Hell’s Isolation or Privation.
But what of that species of children for whom there seems to be a Way Back? This species, which is our own, are not like Satan and his Legions for we are made a little lower, at least to start it seems, for though Satan falls from Heaven we fall from some other place and our sightline is thus truly different though not forever so. For us, and it seems not for them, we are fated to be fashioned into His Image and though made, at first, lower than the Angels, it seems Love’s Eternal Begetting has a Wedding, an Amalgamation prepared for Man-In-God, God-In-Man though no such height is prepared for Angels. “The last will be first” seems a Truth not only here but up there too. Another difference is that we see that those Legions are yet still compelled to see the What and the Who and the Why and are yet Hopeless. No. Hope is not in Seeing alone. No. We are different. We are not thus compelled to see, and, we know that lack of compulsion just does not matter for Seeing just is (in itself) of no consequence at all with that other species called Angels. Nor did it matter for that one of our own species, that certain First-Adam. That other species, those Legions of Angels truly get it and cannot Hope. We, our species, half the time, truly miss it and yet can Hope.
Well? What of all that? Knowledge matters. Only, not as we seem to think. My people die for a lack of knowledge. And Knowledge, though compelled to pierce the eye which cannot close just does not save by itself. Knowledge is a Good-Thing and as such it will come, must come, but, there must be some other something which precedes that Tree. Life itself must precede knowledge and it seems ultimately both will be swallowed down whole by our own species regardless of which Tree we choose there in Eden. Some things cannot be otherwise, that is, for the species called Man whom Power Himself has declared will be made in His (His Us and His Our) Image.
On Sight and Seeing there is a frightful warning to our species, not always, but once Word-Made-Flesh comes on scene. Jesus, Love Made Flesh, tells us of that certain sightline which permits one to recognize in full the One Holy Spirit and, if truly seen, and yet one still blasphemes That One, it seems the Way-Back for the one who thus blasphemes becomes as Lucifer’s Way Back: None. So much for Sight void of some other something solving our dilemma. Yes indeed so much for sight being the magic pill which provides our escape. Our Fall, the First Adam’s Sin, was not that sin though we may in error think it must have been that sort of fall given his sightline. Well, we are made a bit lower than the Angels: but once Word-Made-Flesh comes on the stage everything changes for Man and his Heights and His Sights. Fear not Adam for one day you will rise to enough of seeing to be so exposed to such an irrecoverable fall as Lucifer. And, then, after that, Adam, you will still rise yet higher still and surpass that great height of the Angels. There is a Bride. There is a Groom. There are Two. They will be One. There is no higher height than those who inhabit Heaven’s Kingdom, which we call Angels, which scripture calls the holy ones. Well, there is just One that is Higher than the Kingdom and all its holy ones, and that is the King. What an odd King. Those who inhabit His Kingdom, that great Musician Lucifer, who cannot not see can fall a fall never to return. Yet those made lower than these, those who are but His Footstool, you and I, for these peasants who are half blind this King pours Himself out, and into, and unto. And He therein fills them up, and they, thus filled up, He thus Weds. What an odd Kingdom. What is true in Earth is true in Heaven: the last will be first, and the first last and this is so simply because there is but One (make that a Perfect-1 for our agnostic mathematicians out there) Actual Actuality and He just is Uncreated Word forever pouring out Uncreated Passion of Uncreated Mind shouting from within the zeal of Uncreated Love.
Love’s Volition is some other something. Its compulsion is some other compulsion. Love is compelled, though not as we tend to think of it. In Him we find His Passion’s Compulsion pressing up against, not Other to thus Pour-Out, but against Self to thus Pour-Out. It seems Satan presses up against Other to so possess their mind and body, and thus Take-Other rather than to Give-Self. Sight alone just is of no help because Insufficiency full of Sight, yet void of that Embrace which tethers it to God just cannot be what we call Sufficient. Such compulsion of such Sight is not the mechanisms within Love’s Volitions and thus cannot overpower, and thus cannot replace, Love’s mechanisms amid its Volitions within Love’s Three Distinct-s, pleural, there amid His I, and His You, and His I-You which just is His Singular-We. In case we make the mistake of thinking of Love and of Choice there within the Triune as something akin to the fickle ebb and flow of feelings and/or various mirrors of mutable dopamine surges and malleable serotonin reuptake receptors within our varied neuronal synapses, there is a slightly better description of just what love and choice actually are within the Uncreated as compared to the Created, with their necessary differences in capacity for Self-Sufficiency in an opening piece titled “April 15, 2013: Why Is a Good God More Plausible Than an Evil God?” with the post of interest dated April 21, 2013 at 07:03 AM.
April 29, 2013 at 03:00 AM
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