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September 06, 2013

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There is actually some legitimate psychology to the idea that more-intelligent people can be vulnerable to egocentrism-related lapses in wisdom. Robert Sternberg is a former President of the American Psychological Association, and one of the leading researchers on wisdom from the perspective of cognitive psychology. He wrote an article in 2004 explaining the disconnect between IQ and wisdom:
http://www.psycontent.com/content/xl03h6281234x250/

His ideas are also found in this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Why-Smart-People-Can-Stupid/dp/0300101708/

If believers are so much less intelligent than their non-believing counterparts, why do they repeatedly make wiser choices?

The book of James, Chapter 4, comes to mind, specifically verses 6 and 10. Humility.

We have (had) lots of objective tests showing that White folks are (were) smarter than Black folks.

Now, the bias there was clear. With intent. With agenda. As if some such trait sweeps across and grants IQ.

Nonsense then and now. And, if in the reverse, if believers have a higher IQ than non-believers, well, nonsense as well.

All the under-educated potential geniuses and world-changers out there which we could hope to find in both unbelievers and believers. If only we could minister to them. Feed them. Clothe them. Bring them face to face with education and opportunity.

All this class warfare along these lines is sophomoric and short-sighted. I guess we need never go to India’s millions of starving Hindus with educational opportunity (limited resources after all). The brains in those skulls aren’t worth the limited resources. I mean there is only so much to go around and we should invest wisely. We ought instead go to the poor and starving in, say, some area of Russia now fully atheistic as the brains inside those skulls are more human, more potential-ized, smarter, than the brains inside the skulls in the starving Hindus.

How ridiculous to believe, and even argue, such of the brains inside the skulls of starving Hindus as compared to the brains inside the skulls of starving atheists.

There are seven billion people in the world. Anyone want to make a choice on where to invest limited educational resources? Shall we go to the starving adult believers in India? To the starving adult atheists in Russia?

The depths of dehumanization which athe-ism always succeeds in sinking into never stops surprising me. It just can’t help it, indifference being its [A to Z], an [A to Z] which is entirely focused on Self-Perpetuation. At any cost.

Love’s [A to Z] is quite another matter.

The article.

Why fuss? Neither intelligence nor wisdom can cause either belief (Romans 8:29) or the lack thereof (2 Corinthians 4:4). Right?


Atheists are among the most religious people on earth. So is everyone else.

It's never a question of whether you will serve a god. It's only a question of which god you will serve.

The correlation between I.Q. and religion is the same as the correlation between I.Q. and having skin covering your body.

Oh please. How come believers cannot recognize even the most obvious logical fallacies. Notice the author wasn't brave enough to name his sources. Once again we have an evangelist fulfilling his job description by just making stuff up.

"Nearly three-fourths of all studies since the 1920s that investigated a correlation between intelligence and religious affiliation have found that the proportion of atheists, agnostic individuals, and deists increases dramatically as you move up the scale in school grades, exam scores, and IQ tests. The remaining fourth of the studies show no correlation; zero reviews suggested that people in organized religions are more intelligent than those with secular beliefs. The apparent conclusion to draw from the data is that people who are more intelligent tend to disbelieve religious superstitions."

Poof.

“Atheists are among the most religious people on earth.”

That’s hilarious! Once again we have a Christian ashamed that they are religious and their critics are not. We don’t see atheists getting together once or more a week and then singing, shouting and screaming about something OTHER PEOPLE frightened them into believing. Atheists don’t need strength in numbers to convince them that many other people believe what they do.

Now, having provided the Sternberg information, I'll give my take on the actual meta-analysis. I am a psychology professor and a published researcher in the psychology of religion. I examined the methods of the study and do not find obvious flaws. This is a solid finding that (as Boris angrily pointed out) replicates other studies. The question is interpretation.

My interpretation of these data is essentially the opposite of the study authors', though I would say that it is just as legitimate. One of the authors' explanations for the difference is that more-intelligent people are more likely to be nonconformist. I'm fine with that. However, the authors took that to be an indicator of intelligent atheists maverickally (I'm going to pretend that that's a word) rising above the crowd. I look at that same pattern form the opposite perspective. This means that less-intelligent people are more likely to believe whatever the surrounding culture tells them. In a majority-Christian culture, this would mean that the less-intelligent are more likely to be Christian. So my take on it is not that atheists are so awesome, but that the presence of greater numbers of less-intelligent people in the theist camp is pulling down our average.

The authors briefly touch on this possibility toward the end of the article. They admit that all of the studies in their meta-analysis are from Western countries (87% from the USA). they authors engage in a bit of hand-waving speculation (hand-waving that conveniently maintains the awesomeness of atheists), but essentially admit that they do not know what would happen in a majority-atheist culture.

Speaking as someone with a bit of experience in the psychology of religion, I do not dispute their findings, but I found the article to be strongly biased in language and interpretation (as a side note, they did a very poor job handling Allport's theory of I/E orientations).

The bias of interpretation here employed in the unjustified fixed, false belief of egoism is no different than the bias of interpretation employed in the unjustified fixed, false belief of materialism. But then the egoism which materialism's bedrock of indifference inevitably buttresses is necessary and thus unavoidable. The wisdom of uncreated love reveals the mental errors in those fixed, false beliefs which, but for bias, cannot stand.

Piltdown Man. Lysenko's version of (aka Soviet) science. The practice of meteorology in the 1960's (thank God science is an improvable system!). Cold fusion. The East Anglia disclosures. And now this survey, the topic of all these thoughtful posts. All within a span of roughly over one hundred years! Wowsers!

scblhrm, you are so right in your assessment in your 6:16 post. IQ has been the creator of many misadventures involving sexism, racism, eugenics testing, sterilization of "inferiors" ... One of those enlightening reads I did years ago was The IQ Controversy by Block and Dworkin (editors). This collection of essays demonstrated the shortcomings of the Stanford-Binet tests introduced by Lewis Terman in 1916 and the political policies he pushed.

Boris, in re your remarks >> Notice the author wasn't brave enough to name his sources. Once again we have an evangelist fulfilling his job description by just making stuff up.

I draw your attention to the yellow words within the article itself. They are called hyperlinks. They supply the details and the sources backing up Wallace's research. It would pay you well to examine them before declaring such accusations.

Charles,

This means that less-intelligent people are more likely to believe whatever the surrounding culture tells them. In a majority-Christian culture, this would mean that the less-intelligent are more likely to be Christian. So my take on it is not that atheists are so awesome, but that the presence of greater numbers of less-intelligent people in the theist camp is pulling down our average.
You sound here like you accept the premise that science can address questions like this.

But you are a Christian, right?

I think the Bible says God made all these choices before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:3–4)

The non-elect, no matter how smart, cannot choose God.

The elect, no matter how dim, cannot resist Him.

Why think there would be any particular connection between intelligence and salvation?

RonH,

You seem to confuse Will with IQ and then these with Love.

My grace is sufficient.

That meets every person right where they are. We are all in different locations. He voids all deficit.

scblhrm,

Did you choose God?

If not, could you have?

RonH,

He voids all deficits for the whole world. For all persons. God did not create us so that He can, now, finally, get busy with actualizing what He wanted all along: damming us. Every Christian knows that. Or should. You confuse and misuse the terms Will, IQ, Love, and now scripture too.

scblhrm,

Did you choose God?

If not, could you have?

Hi RonH, I see you are referencing scriptures here now, it would seem in an effort to deal within the Christian system of thought. I applaud you for this. Consider, further along in the Eph reference, that God chose some for salvation before the foundations of the world, according to the kind intentions of his will. Here's vs.9:

"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself

Another scripture you might consider in 1Cor.:

" 1Cr 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

1Cr 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,

1Cr 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,

1Cr 1:29 so that no man may boast before God."

Whatever Charles meant to say, he can answer for, but scripture reveals that not many are wise[worldly], mighty, noble. However, it is in God's intention, and that those who are elect are made willing, some of which are wise,noble,rich,etc.., the reprobate are left alone. iow, if God doesn't act first, no one would betray their nature and choose to believe-this is what biblical revelation informs men of.

RonH,

Of course you can love Love. He's chosen to love you. You're not better than anyone else nor am I nor is any man. You can choose. So can all. He is partial to no one. Grace has outreached IQ and all such artificial barriers you may toss into the arena. Don't worry about Time nor Space; Enoch demonstrates the eternal fact hood of Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self. In-Sufficiency can't evade All-Sufficiency. It's impossible.

RonH,

I can choose to open the door or close it. He's gifted me, and you, to do so. Whosoever wills. I've chosen to open.

You can too.

You don't have to, though.

He loves you, RonH. Love's Grace to you is no different than His Grace to anyone, including me, thankfully.

Whosoever wills. I've chosen to open.

You can too.

You don't have to, though.

I think this is contrary to what the Bible says.

Brad,

I'm not sure what you are getting at with 'according to the kind intentions of his will'. Etc.

I think the Bible says clearly and repeatedly: The saved and the unsaved are equally incapable of choosing God. God chooses the saved. Period.

Do you believe that?

Are you saying He just happens to choose the smart or wise?
Are you saying He makes the chosen smart or wise?

I hear you: you are not answering for Charles.

Presumably you don't answer for the OP either. He says

I think folks with higher IQ’s may be more inclined to reject God...because they are far more likely to reject any authority other than themselves.
as if it were up to anybody but God to do any rejecting here.

RonH,

I stand by Love's good news to you. And, should I speak of Love's Gift to each individual "you" on Earth, and tell each "you" of Grace's Gift, one at a time, planet-wide, in none of those one-on-one conversations would it be a lie.

As you seem to be familiar with Hyper- Calvinism you may think there are individuals for whom that news is a lie, is not true for. Well, that's understandable.

We'll, then I'll tell each individual You on Earth of Love's Gift through Grace and therein spread some lies.

You're a smart guy RonH.

Imagine that. His Grace is withheld from "you". My preaching of the Gospel to "you" of Love's Gift through Grace to "you" is therein a lie, a telling of a falsehood.

Brad B, I urge you to employ, say, 100 verses instead of the usual 65 or so, and (I'm nobody, an amateur, I know), focus on His Triune Image, willed from A to Z.

In Genesis God calls His Own creations Good. There is no glory there but for Him. Lucifer thought otherwise.

I know. I'm nobody; or an amateur. Forgive by boldness here.

Hi RonH, my point in responding to you is to let you know that if you are going to understand the Christian position, you'll need to do it by inspecting the scripture...even against what we all say to you. This is what I applauded you for in the first place.

The phrase "kind intention of His will", is the NASB wording of vs. 5 which is followed up with "to the praise of the glory of His grace". What it means is that it is God's kind intentions, or "good pleasure" to save some, and it is for His own reasons no matter how it statistically appears, but it is to highlight and glorify His grace.

This verse from Romans 9 says:

"So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy."


Next point:
I'm not really responding directly to the OP in this case, just trying to facilitate a fruitful conversation if possible.

Continuing on:
That all said, the Bible reveals that all are dead in sins, and that it is God who moves first.
Here's a sampling:

"John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."

Eph 2:5"even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)"

1 Cor 2:14 "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."

1 Jn. 4:19 "We love, because He first loved us."


So yes, no man chooses God while estranged from Him...neither does he desire to. If one desired to, he certainly can choose to believe, there is nothing stopping him outside of himself. No one is hindered from outside of his own person.

One last thing, the means to salvation although ordained by God occur through agents and second causes...primarily, He chose the foolishness of preaching although immediate regeneration isn't out of the question.

"

Rom 10:13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

Rom 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”



So, it isn't as though regenerated dont have to respond in faith...they do-because they have a desire to.

God doesn't violate anyone's will, He changes it [restores life/born from above] by grace in those who believe.

RonH,

None of us have hope but for His Gift of motion: any motion. You mispeak when you think you can't choose. Brad agrees we must exercise Grace's Gift and choose (motion out of Self). Or refuse (motion into Self). I urge you to see the truth of that and to see the truth that the Gospel to you, to all "you-s" is never a lie, never the telling of a falsehood. "You" employed one-on-one in preaching never morphs the Gospel into a lie or "falsehood". In other words, RonH, I am 100% certain that Love's Gift through Grace, through Christ, IS, absolutely, for YOU and for all "you-s". "Lie" isn't applicable there. Ever.

Ron-

Notice that the surveys attempt to correlate intelligence (as measured by a variety of, mostly dubious, metrics) and religiosity (under a variety of poor definitions, mostly aimed at ensuring the outcome of the study).

The surveys to not attempt to correlate intelligence and election.

You're response to Charles regarding election, therefore, misses the point.

WL,

I don't know that the surveys 'attempted' to correlate anything. Do you?

You use measure in one case (intelligence) and define in the other. 'Define' is the right word in both cases.

I don't know that there was an 'aim' involved in any of them. Do you?

As to the rest: I have thought about all this more than I've said about it and the saved/religious distinction you've raised is one of the things I've thought about without mentioning it.

Missing the point? That seems a bit strong and conflicts with the most, if not all, of testimonies I've heard. There seems to be a very strong connection between (reported) salvation and subsequent religiosity. I'm relying on that connection which I get, not from the studies, but from what I hear. Your mileage may vary.

As if IQ could ever open a door which Christ, and no other, has opened for the world. How silly.

RonH,

Grace outreaches, Ransom out-performs, all barriers, even Time and Space. The motions here amid Man-God, God-Man, are in His hand and no other and no man has any assetts which some other man lacks. IQ, opportunity, exposure, Time, Space, Gender, Color, and so on just cannot weigh in. Ever.

RonH,

Another avenue through which you can have peace in His motioning within God-You, You-God, and have assurance of His Gift in such beyond all barriers, all deficits, all insufficiency, is simply that no man can, ever, in preaching this good news to you, or to any other 'you', be preaching a lie.

scblhrm,

Where do you get the idea that Christ has 'opened the door for the world?'

RonH

Clarification:


"Grace out-reaches, Ransom out-performs, all barriers, even Time and Space. The motions here amid Man-God, God-Man, are in His hand and no other and no man has any assets which some other man lacks."


By ".... no man has any assets which some other man lacks..." we mean simply that no man has any assets period. At all. Man brings nothing to the table. The motions therein amid God-You, You-God, and so on take place beyond all such “barriers” which we consider to be “barriers” but which are to God nothing at all, the only barrier being sin, which He has also out-reached, out-performed, dissolved.

RonH,


The news of this work of God, and God alone, and not of Man, never could have been otherwise, as there are no roads in Eden by which Man can evade Love’s Means nor Love’s Ends, which is Himself. Nothing is contingent on Man. The good news of this everlasting and unchanging work of God through Christ, through Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, this Gospel, preached to every ear in all the world will, as it is whispered into any and every ear of you or I or any other person just never is a lie whispered in a man's ear. As you are familiar primarily with a flavor of Hyper-Calvinism and/or Atheism, you have your own reasons to view the work of God as a lie. That is understandable. Not to worry. God will find you. You’re welcome to explore other descriptions of Love’s [A to Z] besides Atheism’s cherry-picked verses / straw-men and Etc. I’ve not the intention or time here to draw it all out or produce a proof-text list as you are, I am confident, quite familiar with such. You’re a smart guy, RonH.


RonH,


It’s a matter of you. Of RonH. No matter who we tell of God's Gift, of God's Love, of Christ's Work, whatever "You" we address, one-on-one, in any place, in any time, whatever "You" we tell of Christ's standing at the door, of Christ's knocking, of His Blood's Ransom of your sin, utterly, of Christ's Ransom wholly paying for, purchasing, your life, of that once closed door now being opened by Christ for you, now being Christ Himself, and on your behalf, and so on, whatever ear of whatever “You” we thus whisper such into, we never will have, not once, told you a lie.

scbrownlhrm,

Hyper-Calvinism?

Familiarity with the Bible seems, so far, to bring familiarity with Calvinism. That could be temporary. But you have not offered a reason why it should. Where did Calvin get it?

RonH

I told you, RonH, no proof text list here. Try again. The result will be the same. Always.

The reason I won't dive into the whole proof-text-war thing has a few reasons behind it.

First, this is nothing new and lots of “material” is out there, and for quite a long time. I find a few (not many) incorrect assumptions and attempted gap-fillers within Armenian-ism and Calvin-ism and in the purely Lutheran category, though I find, for the most part, in all of them, precision. For the most part. I can’t wholly sign-on to any of the three. I know that is not satisfying. Apologies. And where there is a divergence or inability to fully house and contain verse A and verse B and verse C, and so on, such as is found in the Triune Topography of “Both One and Three” of Love’s Core Nature, of God’s Core Nature, then I find no discomfort with injecting the word and into those places rather than asserting “Love is just singular and not also the plurality of unity within e pluribus unum , or, an exclusion in the opposite direction…. “Just three” and not also One in the Great-I-AM there in God’s Pure Self, and so on.

What does pure Mathematics say of Love here? As I pray for me and my wife I pray for, well, Self, and for, well, Other, and for, well, that singularity of unity that is a third and very present distinct which just is E Pluribus Unum. Love is One. Love is Three. And so on. Here’s the rub: in pure Mathematics, in pure Logic, One-And-Three violates some rules. But we all know and taste the topography which I have just described amid me and my wife. This is why Love and Logic are the two eyes which grant man the end of ad infinitum. Love void of Logic assassinates Love’s Triune Image and leads to Universalism for it thinks the motion into the Self in Privation is impossible, or can be destroyed by God and yet have God maintain Power’s Willed Image of His Own Triune. And: Logic void of Love also assassinates Love’s Triune Geography for it thinks the motion into Other can be impossible or destroyed by God, or “withheld by God”, and yet have God maintain Power’s Willed Image of His Own Triune, and this leads to, well, I’ll list a few things here: God expressly willing Christians sinning (God cannot say “I do not Will the Christian’s sin” from before Creation, from forever), or, expressly creating me so that He can damn me, or, to the preaching of the Gospel into this or that man’s ear becoming the preaching of a Lie. Universalism and these other errors are the same Category of Error, only in reverse directions. Scripture, Eden, Man, God, Sin, and so on all, we find, house no, none, zero, inconsistencies. I do not declare to you a Lie when I tell you of the Gospel. Ever. In any Time, Space, or Place. None of this is complicated. The core is the difficulty of the business of the truth that Actualized is not, ipso facto and necessarily, the Willed, in all directions. Huh? What did He say? Does the Math add up here? Can Love be thus? Can God?

Love/Logic and Certainty/Trust are all at war with one another in that statement. It must be both Love and Logic, and, it will be both Certainty and Trust, at least in this Now, as in: Motions into / out-of the Triune’s Distinct-s amid Self and Other and Unity of E Pluribus Unum cannot be otherwise. Power Wills His Image there in Self, Other, and Unity’s E Pluribus Unum. The Created is necessarily insufficient. Ipso facto. Until Immutability, but that comes further down in this post. In-Sufficiency’s necessary feebleness in the Self’s Isolation, in the privation of Good, in the “Self-In-Isolation”, which is Evil, (which is a motion of Idolatry) cannot be locked out of reach because Love’s Triune Image is Willed by God, and that motion into Evil is thus necessarily available but is not necessarily Man’s only door into God, into Other, into God’s Means, which is Himself, or into God’s Ends, which is Himself, which is Man’s Fate, which is Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self both in Beholding and in Becoming. We see here that Actualized is not necessarily Willed and yet all possibilities remain housed within God and it is the Triune Topography of Ultimate Actuality which makes this fact-hood of Actuality utterly coherent to the Nth degree. We find here that God is entirely Sovereign as just nothing in Eden and beyond is contingent upon Man, for Man finds Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, the Whole, in all directions, and has thus any Part thereof necessarily and is not necessarily limited to the Self’s Privation (the Part) as the Whole awaits him there and elsewhere. Eden is no con, and never was. God was, is, in total control. Man can do whatever he wants and God wins, though, Evil is necessarily available to Man, thus, Man’s loss cannot be locked out of reach, made “un-available”, just as, it is not necessary (both in Logic and in Love) that evil be actualized, and for the very same reason: Power Wills His Image, and thus God will not Himself destroy or withhold such from Man. All possibilities exist in God. Willed Actualizations, the Power of God to house, and thus declare, His Wrath against Unwilled Actualizations, and Necessary Possibilities all remain intact and nothing is sacrificed because nothing is contingent upon Man. We also see that Lucifer thinks the Creature doing what the Creator Wills the Creature to do in using the legs and the voice the Creator gave him to use in running and in singing can somehow motion to steal the credit away from God, and therein he becomes Satan, and, then, Satan tells Man this same lie when He tells Man that the Idolatry of Evil, of Good’s Privation, of God-Less-Some-Thing, of Self-In-Isolation, can offer him (man) more than the Whole that is God can offer him (man). All of that is but a lie and we not entertain it.

Immutability surfaces as a question, often, in here somewhere. Nothing changes here. God’s, or Love’s, Eternally Sacrificed Self, God poured out, God debased, is necessary and unavoidable should Man taste, behold, become Immutable. Man has no hope but that God pours Himself into man, that God first glorify man. The Dying God is the only coherent system out there and we find this nowhere but in the Everlasting Christ Who exists Unchanging and Timelessly. No created creature is all-sufficient in isolation. But Man-In-God, and, God-In-Man begins to open some doors to All-Sufficiency in all motions in every direction. Look at where and how In-Sufficiency finds, houses, All-Sufficiency through Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self. Change is inevitable for In-Sufficiency, and thus Time and Motion is inevitable. While God’s Motions within the Triune are Unchanging, it is inevitable and cannot be otherwise that Man, in Motioning, experience change, and thus Time, pending his amalgamation either within Love or without Love (both are necessarily available per Power’s Willed Image). There are no doors in Eden whereby Man evades Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self or the knowledge of Good and Evil, and to the full. No idol (God-Less-Some-Thing) can ever offer man more than what man can find in God-Alone. In Philippians 4:11 and 4:13 we see the use of the Greek word autarkas. In 4:11 it is translated “content” (I-am-content-in-all-things) and in 4:13 it is given it’s literal translation: “self-sufficient” (in all things). A man here utters the impossible: I am self-sufficient in all things. All motions in all directions now offer Man no possible door to what Evil is. Man here turns the corner of History via God-Poured-Out and states, hints at, the end of the fatality of that Motion-Into-Self which was formally a motion into the Privation of Good, into Evil and necessary In-Sufficiency. Now we find, still, Man, but no longer his insufficiency. Here we find In-Sufficiency having swallowed the Cup of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self, having been swallowed up by God-Poured-Out, and therein whichever way he, man, now turns he finds but God outside of him, but God within him, but Word-Corporeal, and in all directions. Word’s Immutable and Man’s Mutable, by the Everlasting Christ, by God’s Means, by God’s Ends, which is God is Himself, and no other, become One, and what, again, is One? One is not, never is, just One, but, it is also Three, because everybody knows that is just what Ultimate Actuality Is, and here Mutability puts on Immutability. God-In-Man, Man-In-God, Word Made Flesh just cannot be otherwise. Philippians reveals a hint, a brief awareness, of our gestation’s end, as the pain of change begins to give way to Joy. This gestation, this change, this Time, could never be otherwise whether Man motions into Self there in Eden or into God there in Eden. All roads lead to Him and whatever vividness of perceptions Satan offers to us in God-Less-Some-Thing cannot compare, never will compare, and we mean necessarily, to the vividness of perceptions we will discover, necessarily, in our final felicity.

Brad B. is a wonderful asset (in my view) to the hard and tedious work of increasing light in some rather dark places and he deserves better than to be “warred” with and talked down to by the likes of me. It is best for me to just state things as viewed and leave the proof text war out of it. Disagreements need not blind me to Love’s command upon me. I see no, zero, inconsistency in Brad B’ view on his own stated terms. Brad B. is perfectly coherent in those terms he puts forth. And I see no incoherencies in my descriptions of Actuality’s geography on these described terms briefly touched on here. It just so happens that I view those landscapes which I lean towards as descriptions which possess a capacity to house and contain many more verses all at once an thus these descriptions avoid a greater number of tensions amongst all those verses, and so I move in that direction, sometimes reversing and readjusting, and moving forward again. And so on. I think that is what we all are in the process of doing here.

Why Create?


The natural question to ask in all of this is, Why Create? Given that God is Uncreated Love, and that such is therein the only Necessary Being, we find that this question doesn’t actually make sense. Within Love we find that which is perpetually begotten there within the singularity of Unity inside of E Pluribus Unum. Love begets, necessarily, yet more love, as Love within Himself forever pours out, as Love within Himself forever fills up, and in pouring out, in filling up, Love Himself forever begets, ad infinitum, yet more love. In a thread here on STR titled “Is the God of the Old Testament the Same God in the New Testament?” in a post dated: “scbrownlhrm September 01, 2013 at 03:58 AM” this perpetual fact-hood of Love’s necessary landscape comprised of everlasting Dying, everlasting Resurrection, and everlasting Begetting of Love’s E Pluribus Unum is painted in more detail and this question of “Why Create” just may not make any sense without that bit of detail nor without the bit of detail annoyingly put up by me in way-too-long of a post (my apologies) in my previous post in this thread. Against that entire Triune Topography as a backdrop the question of “Why Create?” when God is, in this creating of us, simply begetting or birthing His Own Image, which is Love, which is that very same and thus necessary, everlasting, and unchanging motion which has no beginning nor end, seems to be asking either, “Why does God be God?”, or, perhaps, “Why does Love be Love?”, or, perhaps, “Why does God do within Time that which He forever does outside of Time?”

Now, the first two questions offer much to speak of, particularly the second of “why does love be love”, but this third question really is the question we are asking. The question of Necessity here enters. Love forever begets yet more Love. That is what love does. Within His Own Triune interior those volitional motions amid Self/Other and singularity’s Unity of E Pluribus Unum all land on God Himself, or, on All-Sufficiency, for even the motion into the Self in Privation is, in God, and no other, but a motion into the Great-I-AM. This is so because God is Non-Contingent, because God is All-Sufficiency in every direction. God cannot make a “bad” move. He cannot sin. Every move, even the move into the Self in Privation is but a motion into God Himself. He is not just Three and not also One, but, rather, He is both One Three. Ultimate Actuality’s Triune Topography dissolves all tensions. The question of “Why Create?” is really this question: “Why doesn’t Power create All-Sufficiency in one creative act?” There’s the rub. Well, if Power did not Will to create His Own Image, which is Love’s Triune, then (perhaps) He could, in one creative act, create something and just fill it up with Himself without any possibility of in-sufficiency availed to it. That is possible (perhaps, perhaps not). Only, that is not possible if Power Wills that created some-thing to be in His Triune Image. Once Power Wills His, Love’s, Image, we find we cannot assassinate, ever, or rather we find that He will not assassinate, ever, that Motion into the Self (which exists in Him) nor that motion into Other (which also exists in Him). Necessity here limits Power for nonsense is impossible just as round squares are impossible and Power looses nothing, for nonsense is nonsense even when attached to “God can…..” Any Created Self is, if in His Image, volitionally intact and thus availed of, ipso facto upon coming into existence, the Triune’s own unique geography of motions. Now, there is no such thing as a Created Self which is, in itself, self-sufficient. That is impossible. God cannot create God. Power cannot create All-Sufficiency. We find then that should Love beget Love, He merely needs to be Himself, for in Himself such is Everlasting and Unchanging Motion and such is the case in all directions, in all motions. However, we find that should Love create a being and Will that created being to house His Own Triune Image of Love, then such a created being cannot be in such motions as God Himself is not also in such motions: forced into motion there amid Self, Other, Unity. God can shout, “I and not You!” and have but the Great I AM thus declare Life and Love within Himself. God can shout, “You and not I!” and have but the God of Love thus declare of Life and Love within Himself. He is free within Himself to so do, and, He is One and Three, for, such is Love’s Triune Interior. We find here exactly what we find in the Hebrew God there in Genesis: Love’s Plurality in One Being declaring, “Let Us make Man in Our Image” and then, necessarily the entire set of available and necessary endpoints discussed earlier here in this thread and in that other thread referenced earlier. Power cannot make round squares. When Love creates any being with the intent, the will, to fashion such a being in His Own Image, in Love’s Image we find that there is no possible world other than what we see there in the Hebrew/Christian landscape described earlier here. It cannot be otherwise if Power Wills His Own Image and, also, we found, Immutability comes but by those Necessary Mechanisms also discussed earlier here in this thread.


We find there that, perhaps, we guess here, it seems that Love Himself, being Timeless, has never known a “first creative act”, and, a little more guessing, it seems plausible that God, being Love, has forever and always, in creat-ing (which has no first) been about the industrious motioning of creating, well, what? Well, love of course!. And here we wonder if all of this topography of Love and Self and Other and E Pluribus Unum and Evil and Good and Created Motioning and Uncreated Motioning and ad infinitum has but no beginning, but no end, and we, any we who are to be in Love’s Image, who are thus created with Love’s Intent, find inside of Time’s necessary Pain of Change all these things and this whether in volition we gaze inward into isolation, as we have done in this world, and also whether we gaze outward into Him on our, any our’s, first motioning leading up to Love’s Final Amalgamations, as it is all one landscape…….. and we know that whatever vivid perceiving-s the former motion of idolatry may have offered us, any us so created, it is but the later motion into Him which will, finally, grant far more, will grant, finally, that Beholding and that Becoming ad infinitum to us, any us so created. Perhaps, we guess again, all such God-Dependent-Things (there are no other kinds) just never have been otherwise and just never will be otherwise. Necessity cannot be otherwise. Why Create? Because God is Love, and Love has no beginning, Love has no ending, and Love is the only story ever told in all possible worlds.

Hi RonH, I have to admit I haven't read through scblhrm's 2 recent posts with care yet, but your question about Calvinism compelled me to tell you that prior to your post, I haven't seen anything from scb that cant be harmonized with the doctrine of justification by faith alone. This doctrine is foundational to Reformed and Lutheran faiths. There is admittedly some teasing out that could be done to point toward something scblhrm wouldn't be happy about, but I dont think that's anything a biblical text couldn't shed some light on.

Bottom line is, it is a distortion to leave men and their willing out of the conversation, another bottom line is that God has commanded all men to repent and believe. The willing is something men take part in, even with the biblical truth of the total depavity of unregenerated men.

Now, your situation isn't unique, but it is generally in reverse order from most men hoping to apprehend reality as it is revealed in the biblical revelation. For most, they began to exibit faith, [have affection for Christ, the bible, other believers], then come to be educated that they were at one time hopelessly lost, and that it was God who first loved them and that their faith was a gift from God, not of themselves. Regeneration preceeds faith.

People receive faith similarly to receiving life in the first place...that is from non life where they have nothing to initiate life, to a state of life. This doesn't eliminate the need for men to respond to the command to repent and believe. The parable of the sower reveals to us that many receive the word[of life] and for various reasons parablized, it doesn't mature...this isn't any fault of the word, it is the duty of men to respond to the command. There is a willing in time and space. That God ordained all that comes to pass...through willing agents, second causes and contingency, doesnt give you or anyone else an excuse or a pass to not obey.

I have a theory, that some mankind who are born again, have the spirit of God, but have had such poor exposition that they dont exhibit fruit of faith, even the fruit of confessing faith. Of course they dont persist in this spiritual lethargy, they come to exibit fruits of faith, sometimes claiming all the way how "they" chose to believe, accepted Jesus as Savior, made a decision for Christ, etc.... This is not coherent with the whole biblical revelation, but nonetheless, salvation is not based on a theology exam.

Back to where I started, you appear to be inquiring into the ordo salutis[order of salvation], making effort to know and understand what is an authentic Christian doctrine, [for what motivation, it isn't important], prior to any sort of exhibition of faith. If perchance, the Spirit of God mixes faith with your knowledge, you'd not be immature in the faith for long, having dined on meat already. Still though, there is the willing, and that willing is completely unfettered within the man. This also, is Calvinism.

I must say I find it extremely frustrating that the debate about God's existence and Jesus' resurrection center around the concept of intelligence. Intelligence is neither here nor there. Most intelligence tests point to whether or not a person will be good at college or school academics, but are unable to measure emotional intelligence, or say, the ability to understand art. My nephew has dyslexia and probably wouldn't score high on an intelligence test. But he is one of the most gifted artists I have ever seen from a very young age. Mostly, I find that the idea of intelligence is often valued far too highly and is not indicative of the ability to have wisdom or even be successful at life. Plenty of people who don't do well on intelligence tests go on to succeed in fields where supposedly high intelligence is a requirement, but who maybe wouldn't do well on an intelligence test. Some "unintelligent" people have managed to succeed in Politics, Art, Business, and other areas. There are actually moments when I think that intelligence might be a modern construct so that Academics can pat themselves on the back.

The question of God, who he is, and who Jesus is goes beyond whether someone is good at school or not. There are people that believe in God who are bad at school, and also those who would score very high on an intelligence test. There are also atheists that fit into both categories.

It's not surprising that those who do well at school might be more likely to be atheists, though. The very idea of the Christian God is that humanity cannot do well on its own, but that we are created to exist and rely on the relationship with God. A person who is educated is usually richer and thereby doesn't need much, and likely also has a higher self-esteem. It's likely that a richer or more educated person is more likely to believe himself or herself self sufficient. The "intelligent" person believes they can rely on their own cleverness and ability.

Brad B,

I agree with you that God calls, literally, actually, all people to come to Him, to repent. The Gospel, in any ear, is never the preaching of a lie. Nor a con. By that I mean He gives the means to thus come. My comments under the Job thread more recently may offer help here.

Brad B,

Sorry. I should have properly labeled the thread of my more recent comments related to these lines. They are in "If God Cannot Be in the Presence of Sin, How Could Satan Have Approached Him" ......and not "Job"....

Jared,

Great point. Pride's "My and not Thy" and Pride's "I and not You" amount to Self and not Other in both trust and motion. Which is Man's fatal privation. This is the inverse of Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self, which pours out and shouts, "Thy and not My"......

Such the God Who is Love has done for us....His beloved...

Man this is an entertaining thread, particularly scblhrm's inability (or unwillingness) to answer simple questions with clarity. Debating with him is like interacting with a Turing machine that has lost its mind and can only answer with vague, overly verbose responses. RonH asked him TWICE two very simple questions: Did you choose God? and If not, could you have? The evasiveness of his responses says it all: he is completely unwilling to engage with RonH in simple direct conversation because he knows it will destroy his position.

Calvinists are excellent at evasiveness. They love to talk about god's sovereignty when it suits them, but then they'll turn on a dime and state that man's free will gives anyone the choice to accept God. They'll then do an about face and call Arminians "near-christians" because they believe in libertarian free will. Depending upon who their audience is, they will change their message to suit their purposes. As much as I detest the theology of men like the Johns (Piper and MacArthur), at lease they are consistent. God's a tyrant who created certain people to destroy them to somehow glorify himself. They don't phrase it that way, but that's what their theology boils down to.

So I'll answer RonH's questions first from the point of the bible and then from the point of an atheist.

Biblical view:
No. One cannot choose god. This is absolutely clear many many passages in the bible. God has predestined everything that will come to pass and you can't get to him. He must come to you. God blinds those who he wants to destroy and opens the eyes of those he wants to save.

Atheist:
Irrelevant. God almost certainly doesn't exist and even if he does, there is no way to intelligently choose one superstition over another. The most reasonable position to take is to assume he doesn't exist at all.

It's amazing how christians can call a god who would act like the god of the bible "good" or "loving". He's more like Allah in that he gets to do whatever he wants simply because he's in charge. You can free your mind of all these paradoxes and conflicting ideas that christians call "mysteries" simply by jettisoning the idea of god altogether. It's quite freeing when you finally realize that the vast majority of mankind will not be tortured for all eternity once they die.

Sept 8th 6:31 PM post.....pretty clear.

Fair enough. It sounds like you've created your own extra nice version of christianity though. That's hardly the theology that Paul espouses in Romans, for example.

If you say so, it must be so. Cherry pick and invent if you must......

AJG,

I once asked you if Love is the highest ethic.

You said no. You said truth is.

If the truth of Love is that truth may, can, does, destroy Love, then you have your truth, the truth you seem to hate here in this thread.

Your truth void of necessary love is I know not what....but you're welcome to believe in it.

Love's Eternally Sacrificed is not a "mystery". I know not this "mystery" you refer to. Love's Triune geography amid I, amid You, amid these in Unity within Love's singular E Pluribus Unum is but the light of day.

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