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February 11, 2014

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"I should make clear first that I don’t think arguments are needed for rational belief in God"


Well, I guess that settles that! Let's all go home.

Plantinga is always quick with an analogy.

I can' explain gravity, therefore I will make a magical to be responsible for gravity, that way my single braincell can quit worrying about why I don't float off into space.

Delusions result from making crap up.

I suppose your thinking is that it is suffering and sin that make this world less than perfect. But then your question makes sense only if the best possible worlds contain no sin or suffering. And is that true? Maybe the best worlds contain free creatures some of whom sometimes do what is wrong. Indeed, maybe the best worlds contain a scenario very like the Christian story.


So is Plantinga saying that heaven is not the best possible world? After all, there will supposedly be no sin or suffering there. No freedom either.

And I thought Plantinga was a Calvinist. What's all this talk of free creatures? This is another example of the Calvinist using the idea of human free will when it suits him and jettisoning it when it does not. He does this, of course, to make his theology appear less odious than it is. At least John Owen and Jonathan Edwards followed the logic of their own theology to its inevitable conclusion. Plantinga is just a wannabe.


Think about it: The first being of the universe, perfect in goodness, power and knowledge, creates free creatures. These free creatures turn their backs on him, rebel against him and get involved in sin and evil. Rather than treat them as some ancient potentate might — e.g., having them boiled in oil — God responds by sending his son into the world to suffer and die so that human beings might once more be in a right relationship to God. God himself undergoes the enormous suffering involved in seeing his son mocked, ridiculed, beaten and crucified. And all this for the sake of these sinful creatures.


Of course, the problem is that the omniscient, omnipotent creator is not surprised at all by the rebellion of his creatures. He, in fact, caused their rebellion to happen. At least Plantinga's hypothetical earthly tyrant did not set up his pitiful subject to fail. The rebel freely chose his own action. God, on the other hand, predestined the destruction of the reprobate from the foundation of the world for eternal destruction for his own glory. And boiling in oil is a finite punishment. Not so for God's planned punishment.


I’d say a world in which this story is true would be a truly magnificent possible world. It would be so good that no world could be appreciably better. But then the best worlds contain sin and suffering.


He really does believe that our earthly existence is better than heaven. It's in black and white right there.

And personally, I think a world in which children didn't die of leukemia and hundreds of thousands of people didn't die in tsunamis would be a much better world than the one we live in. But what do I know? I'm not a professional philosopher.

AJG,

So is Plantinga saying that heaven is not the best possible world?

Heaven isn't a possible world at all. A possible world, in possible world semantics, is a total description of how thing might be or could have been. Heaven is only part of a possible world. It's not the whole kit and kaboodle. It's one thing to say that some part of a possible world could be some way; it's another to say that a whole possible world could be that way.

And I thought Plantinga was a Calvinist. What's all this talk of free creatures?

In Plantinga's free will defense, he offers the free will scenario is a possible state of affairs because the state of affairs need only be possible, not actual, to show what he intends to show--that God and evil and compatible.

But besides that, lots of Calvinists subscribe to libertarian freedom in at least some aspects of life. Greg Koukl does. Plantinga may be among them.

Of course, the problem is that the omniscient, omnipotent creator is not surprised at all by the rebellion of his creatures. He, in fact, caused their rebellion to happen. At least Plantinga's hypothetical earthly tyrant did not set up his pitiful subject to fail. The rebel freely chose his own action. God, on the other hand, predestined the destruction of the reprobate from the foundation of the world for eternal destruction for his own glory. And boiling in oil is a finite punishment. Not so for God's planned punishment.

Not all Calvinists subscribe to double predestination--the idea that God predestines not only the elect to salvation but also the non-elect to damnation. Although God knew what the fate of each would be, it is incorrect in the view of a lot of Calvinists (especially those who subscribe to libertarian freedom in some cases) to say that God causes their rebellion to happen. It would be a contradiction to say that somebody freely rebelled while saying at the same time that God caused them to rebel. You can't determine an undetermined event.

And personally, I think a world in which children didn't die of leukemia and hundreds of thousands of people didn't die in tsunamis would be a much better world than the one we live in. But what do I know? I'm not a professional philosopher.

Plantinga goes into this in more detail in his book, God Freedom and Evil. He argues in there that there are some possible worlds that it's not feasible for God to create. But even without that qualification, while we can agree that it's better for people to not have leukemia than to have leukemia, it may still be the case that the best world, when all things are considered, happens to be a world in which some people get leukemia. After all, a state of affairs in which somebody gets leukemia is not a total description of a world. It's only part of a world. And it could be that the greatest possible world happens to be a world in which some parts of that world are not the greatest possible states of affairs.

Heaven isn't a possible world at all.


On that, we agree. ;)


In Plantinga's free will defense, he offers the free will scenario is a possible state of affairs because the state of affairs need only be possible, not actual, to show what he intends to show--that God and evil and compatible.

But besides that, lots of Calvinists subscribe to libertarian freedom in at least some aspects of life. Greg Koukl does. Plantinga may be among them.


I understand this and it's inconsistent. Either you think that God is sovereign and everything that happens happens because he ordained it or you do not. There is no room for human freedom if you do.


Not all Calvinists subscribe to double predestination--the idea that God predestines not only the elect to salvation but also the non-elect to damnation. Although God knew what the fate of each would be, it is incorrect in the view of a lot of Calvinists (especially those who subscribe to libertarian freedom in some cases) to say that God causes their rebellion to happen. It would be a contradiction to say that somebody freely rebelled while saying at the same time that God caused them to rebel. You can't determine an undetermined event.


Double predestination is the only position that makes a bit of sense. The Calvinists who deny it are not taking their position seriously. There are only two sets of people: (a) elect and (b) reprobate. If God chooses the set (a) and none of those in set (a) can resist his choosing, then he has also chosen set (b). When I choose which cereal I'm going to eat in the morning, I also choose which cereals I will not eat by virtue of having made the first choice. There are only two possible outcomes.

And of course it's a contradiction. That's why the Calvinist calls it a divine mystery. Kind of like how God creates each human life with a sinful nature and then punishes him for being exactly what God created him to be.

Let's make sure we know what heaven means here. Heaven= The metaphysical space where God resides. Some people think ancient people were stupid and thought that heaven was really a place just outside the sky. Ancient people understood that heaven is a reference to a metaphysical place.

The Christian claim in scripture is that at one point, the physical world and God's metaphysical space intersected as one (Eden), and that post resurrection, the two will become one again. God's original intention was for the two to be one. However (I lean towards open theism), I don't particularly think that God knew for sure that things would end up in sin. I think God knew what all possible worlds would be, but in order to have free will, God might not have known that human beings would sin. The tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden in reality represents more than just a lack of obeying a command, but it represents the idea that human beings do not need to rely on God, but are Gods themselves.

So God knew that his creation could go awry when he created it, but he created anyway. It's not different than people who have children. But even so, God also knew he could fix the issue if needed and provide a fix through Jesus.

If you believe like this, then the best possible world is not the present one, but the one that will be in the future - post resurrection. There's no reason to assume that people will not have free will in this situation. But if you are in the best possible world, why would you choose otherwise? That is why we are given a lifetime to choose whether or not we will participate.

Of course atheism is irrational!

We don't walk into any building - even just a tin shack - and assume it came into being by itself, through just time and random chance. The universe, the earth, and even a single newborn infant are far more complicated than any building that's ever been built. But atheism tells us ALL of this came to be just by time and random chance.

How is that rational?

We don't walk into any building - even just a tin shack - and assume it came into being by itself, through just time and random chance. The universe, the earth, and even a single newborn infant are far more complicated than any building that's ever been built. But atheism tells us ALL of this came to be just by time and random chance.

And any god is infinitely more complex than a universe he created. Where did he come from?

Where did he come from?

Who Created God?

And actually, God is not complex in the way that we're talking about when we talk about material things that were created by an agent with a mind. He's not material. He has no integrated parts working as systems to accomplish a purpose. It's an equivocation to talk about minds being complex and material objects being complex. That's just using the word "complex" to mean two different things.

AJG

You really nailed the inconsistency of semi Calvinists. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Hyper sovereignty and libertarian free will cannot logically co exist.

Have the guts to go one way or the other.

Goat Head 5

Of course, libertarian free will and atheistic materialism are also logically inconsistent. Any atheist materialist who thinks their actions aren't completely determined isn't taking their position seriously.

Goat Head 5

Atheism is implausible.

It might be true, but it takes a lot of faith to conclude that the mathematical/chemical underpinnings of the universe happened to be there at the right time, that abiogenesis took place based upon a digital genetic code that happened to be there at the right time, and through a mind-blowing sequence of random mutations that at every stage had to be at least neutral for natural selection to select for them.

I don't have that kind of faith.

The concept of multiverses that makes our universe the "lucky" one that is fine-tuned for life is far-fetched and offers religious people the counterargument that an infinite number of universes allows, by definition, at least one universe (maybe ours) where there is indeed a supernatural being in control of things.

Also, I've yet to hear a convincing atheistic argument for the evolution of morality that goes beyond the very unsatisfactory concept of reciprocal altruism, which does nothing to explain (and runs contrary to) what humans value most: selflessness and sacrificial love.

At the very least I would be a deist.

GH5-

"Libertarian freedom" is incompatible with determinism for the same reason that bachelors are unmarried. By declaring species of freedom to be libertarian freedom, you are declaring incompatibilism to hold for that type of freedom. Likewise "Compatibilist Freedom" is compatible with determinism for the same sort of reason.

But neither of these tags tell you one thing about what freedom is. When you say that libertarian freedom is incompatible with theological determinism, my temptation is to say "No duh! And in other news, triangles have three angles"

Let us, instead of using self-fulfilling monikers, consider a type of freedom that no one would deny is real freedom and ask whether that is incompatible with theological determinism.

Let us suppose that, just for the sake of argument, an individual, X, has the ability to create ex nihilo all the conditions necessary to make some proposition, P, true. Likewise X can create ex nihilo all the conditions necessary to make P false.

Could anyone deny that X has a full freedom with respect to the truth of the proposition P?

Now, is that freedom in compatible with, for example, Divine Sovereignty.

One can, of course, play the same tricks with the term "Sovereignty" that one plays with "Freedom" by declaring it to be "Hard" or "Hyper" or some such. Where all one means by that addition is that this determinism is incompatible with freedom come what may.

Again, I suggest that we consider describing Sovereignty in such a way that no one would deny God is Sovereign provided that He has the properties in question, but without presupposing an answer to the compatibility question.

Let's suppose that God is Omnipotent. And that means that God can create ex nihilo all the conditions necessary to make any logically possible proposition true. So God is free, in the sense just described, with respect to every proposition. What's more, the power involved in God's freedom with respect to a proposition, P, is logically sufficient for the truth of P...that is, there is no logical possibility that some other being could prevent P from being made true, given that God tries to make P true.

Now, add to this Omnipotence the claim that God also, by His very nature, exercises His Omnipotence with regard to every single proposition. That is to say, He creates everything there is, with an irresistible power, ex nihilo.

There can be little doubt that such a God is as Sovereign as it is possible for a being to be. In particular, if God is Sovereign in that way, then double-predestination, as a metaphysical proposition, is true.

Is freedom as described above, then, compatible with Sovereignty as just described.

It might seem that when God makes a proposition true or false (as He does for all of them), there is no room for anyone else to be able to make that same proposition true or false.

But this is actually not the case.

There's plenty of room for anyone to exercise even the radical freedom I described above with respect to a proposition, P, so long as when they make P true, God also makes P true, and given that were they to make P false God would also make P false.

In other words there's plenty of freedom available within the limits of Divine concurrence. Nor does Divine concurrence place any limit on God's Sovereignty, since God's will prevails in all disagreements.

If I am marketing a concert, and I choose certain people to get tickets, by giving some to friends of VIPs, am I preventing any other person from attending?

I have chosen set A, but that does not preclude anyone not in that set, merely that certain people are preselected.

Forgive the word count please:

We have to be careful that we do not allow our reasoning to say of God and of all X’s, "It was His will that I just did X", for, we have various X's in which His Word tells us such is not the case, ever. That is to say, when Scripture says of X, "God Wills It Not", and we find our reasoning concluding, "God Wills It", we have here a decision to make. And in particular, when we attach either of these statements to Man's statement of "I shall do / I just did" such is still, perhaps even more so, ever clear, concrete.

The definition of Concurrence ought not bring me to the place where I say of all X's, "I shall do, and He wills it" or, "I just did, and He willed it". I think (perhaps?) I arrive at the same place as Wisdomlover, only I think I arrive there by a different route, housed within Loves’ fully Singular/Triune necessitations. I find within Concurrence the coherence of this, “X did not, necessarily speaking, have to be, though X is”. Man’s Image, willed by Power, gets us there.

The motion amid and among the Uncreated’s Singular/Trine [Self-Other-Us] finds the necessary provision of that landscape, of His Image, in Man, for, He wills such. That is to say, He wills of the Self that is Man those open doors into and out of all that is Self, into and out of all that is Other, and, therein, into and out of all that is [Self-Other], as in the Singular-Us, for, all such actualities are fully actual in God. God-In-Man, Man-In-God is necessarily availed to Man, for, in God the fully triune is fully actual, and, also, just the same way, Man in Privation is necessarily availed to Man, for, in God there is also the Self in Privation (The Great-I-AM is fully actual). The Self in Privation brings in necessary differences, however, amid the Uncreated vs. the Created, for such in the Uncreated is All-Sufficiency (He cannot sin whether in privation’s singularity or in His innate triune, each being fully actual, each being God), whereas, by necessity, such privation is in the Created necessarily In-Sufficiency (the Created can sin).

We begin to approach, in such a Willed Landscape, all the business of Un-Willed Actualizations retaining full and necessary coherence as applied to any Created Self housed within that wider, larger Landscape willed by Power. Such permits me to say, emphatically, absolutely, of X, that God never willed such, and also that God never willed I do such.

There isn't God-And. There is God-Less-Some-Thing, as we bridge into this landscape of Evil.

Evil is but God-Less-Some-Thing, that is to say, Evil is but Love-Less-Some-Thing, that is to say, Evil is but Love’s E Pluribus Unum, Love’s Self-Other-Us, less-some-thing, wherein we find the Created Self in Privation, rather than in the fully singular, fully triune [Self-Other-Us].

All Selves are capacitated to shout, "I-AM!" for Power wills such (at least for Man), for, He Himself can and does so motion. Just as, all Selves (willed to be in Love’s Image) are fully capacitated (were / can be) to shout “Us!”, for, He Himself can and does so motion.

It just so happens that the Self in Privation in God, which does exist in God, and is, in God and in no other, the Great-I-AM. All-Sufficiency. Whereas, for Man, that same Motion into the Pure Self is just as actual and is, necessarily, not the great i-am, not All-Sufficiency, but purely and totally In-Sufficiency, that is to say, on definition, Love-Less-Some-Thing, which is simply the Loveless, the Outside. Such may exist, but need not. Of course, once such does exist, by Man’s Will and not God’s, we can say two things with absolute certainty: First, it need not have been (necessarily speaking), and, second, once such is the case, Man can, there in the Dark Outside, full of Faith (Hebrews 11) knock and knock all day long but the Ceiling of his Reality is, at best, that Dark Outside, and he is there totally dependent on Other, on Immutable Love, to come down into his hell and, thereby, vanquish all such vacuums. Of course, that is just what Love did.


Man cannot miss God in Eden for Gethsemane necessarily awaits him both in obedience and in disobedience, as does Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self. In-Sufficiency cannot thwart Love’s Means, which is Love Himself, nor can he thwart Love’s Ends, which is Love Himself.


Satan told Man the only way to those means, those ends, is to disobey. He lied.


[All-Possibilities] in all directions are fully Known by the far wider [Ultimate Actuality], fully Willed the right of [Actualization] by God, within which we find that there is one direction He Willed/Wills for Man, and another which He did not / does not Will for Man. Who knows how many worlds He makes, for [All-Possibilities] for any created anything is but some small corner within [Ultimate Actuality]. In this world we know which vector the Created Self chose. Many worlds are, it seems, actualizing / actualized, as many worlds as are possible perhaps, but all worlds end in His Means, in His Ends, which is Himself, for He fills all in all, for such cannot be otherwise.

If we are slaves to the Dark Outside, to Love-Less-Ness, we are so by our own hand necessarily, and if we have any hope of liberation from such enslavement, such rests entirely in His Hand necessarily. We knock to no avail. He knocks and all is availed. We need not open. It is Good to open though, for, in all possible worlds, Love is Better than Love-Less, that is to say, God-In-Man (Love-In-Man), Man-In-God (Man-In-Love), Love’s fully singular, fully triune [Self-Other-Us], E Pluribus Unum, is better than the Created Self in Isolation.

Lest we mistake the Created for the Uncreated here: God in Isolation is God. That is to say, Immutable Love in Isolation is Immutable Love, whether the Great I AM, Fully One, or whether the Trine God, Fully Triune, for, “Immutable E Pluribus Unum” necessitates such.

Apologies,

Replace the few "Trine"'s with "Triune".......


Who created God?

All evidence tells us that all "things" in this universe fail to self-account, thus Hawking leaves Time and Material and travels towards Genesis 1:1, the Timeless Immaterial.

I agree with him on that.

I disagree that such brings us to his imaginary spheres, which explain nothing, and for which there is no evidence. Not in this universe anyway.


Cosmic Intention comes to the table, as Amy's essay describes.

To be honest, the universal negative here becomes irrational, given the measurable, actual, evidence we have on hand with Cause/Effect vs. Pretend Imaginary Spheres.

And, of course, so many other things, other than sheer existence, become more coherent, plausible, within the confines of Cosmic Intention, in addition to existence.

With explanatory power comes plausibility. Even shadows of God are better than the unreachable Pretend Imaginary Spheres of Hawking.

Shadows, at least, are real.

I've never been able to understand why some people think "Who created God?" would matter.

Why would that question be a theism stopper?

Goat Head 5

Wisdomlover,

I must comment on your post.....

"Now, add to this Omnipotence the claim that God also, by His very nature, exercises His Omnipotence with regard to every single proposition."

But, WL, that is just what someone who doesn't agree with you would deny. If that claim is false your whole argument falls apart. And I will say that it is false.

"In other words there's plenty of freedom available within the limits of Divine concurrence. Nor does Divine concurrence place any limit on God's Sovereignty, since God's will prevails in all disagreements."

Sure, WL, we can have all the "freedom" we want as long as we choose what God has already predetermined.

These are radical re definitions of the words sovereignty and freedom.

I completely disagree. Doesn't square with a good God. If I thought that was the only alternative I wouldn't be a Christian.

Sure glad it isn't.

Goat Head 5

But, WL, that is just what someone who doesn't agree with you would deny. If that claim is false your whole argument falls apart. And I will say that it is false.
I didn't ask you to agree with it any more than I asked you to agree with the analysis of freedom I posited.

What I asked is whether the being so described could be said, by anyone, to be wanting in the area of Sovereignty.

You might well believe that I've gone too far. But do you think that even the most rigorous Calvinist would say that I haven't gone far enough?

I don't think he would. Do you?

So now we have two very full-bodied concepts of freedom and Sovereignty...maybe too full-bodied.

Now we ask the question "Are they compatible?"

I argued that they are.

Now, if they are compatible, then any weaker but more palatable concepts of freedom and Sovereignty are bound to be compatible.

But are they compatible? Was may argument any good?

Here is your objection:

Sure, WL, we can have all the "freedom" we want as long as we choose what God has already predetermined.
The suggestion here, I think, is that God already has made His plan. He's already, for example, tried to make it true that I will watch TV tomorrow. If so, then, come tomorrow, there's nothing I can do but watch TV. For me to be able to do something else, I'd EITHER
  1. have to be able to make it the case that God didn't already try to make it true that I watch TV, OR
  2. have to make it the case that, although He tried, He failed so that it turns out false that I watch TV in spite of God's efforts.
I think even you will agree that item-2 can never happen. I suspect it's not so much the idea that God can never fail in what He sets out to do that you have a problem with. I suspect that you think that there are some things that God doesn't try to force. He just let's them happen on their own (and that's the space in which human freedom has room to operate).

Just to anticipate a misunderstanding, I know you probably believe that there are some propositions God tries to make true, not by directly forcing them to be true, but by forcing other conditions to obtain which then incentivize free individuals to act so that it is true. In these efforts God may try to do some things but not get His way.

He doesn't force me to eat the cheese pizza, but he disintegrates all the other pieces I could eaten instead, even those I would have preferred to cheese, except those that contain the hated olives. He's trying to make me eat the cheese, but not forcing me to do so. And I might, for all God's efforts, eat the pizza with the olives.

Notice though, that in doing this, there were some things that He tried to do where He did force them to happen. He tried to disintegrate the meatapalooza pizza, and that was something He forced. Then He chose to let the rest happen on its own.

In any case, I think this weaker idea of God's trying to make a proposition true is no counter-example to the impossibility of item-2 above, since it analyzes down into trying to make some propositions true by irresistibly forcing them and then letting other things happen on their own. Your object, which I'm sure you have, is not against item-2, but against the idea that God makes these irresistible efforts about everything.

Now, you might think that item 1 is also impossible because, after all, it is too late for anyone to do anything about what God has already tried to do. Tomorrow I can't change anything about today, least of all God's efforts regarding my future TV watching behaviors.

But there are at least two problems I can see with it.

  1. God is time-independent and hasn't already done anything, least of all already tried to make me watch TV tomorrow
  2. Even if God were not time-independent, He, at least, will have the power tomorrow to do something about what happens today, including His own efforts about my future TV watching behaviors. And given that He does have this power, He can exercise it on behalf of those creatures whom He wishes to be free. As such even if it were true that God tomorrow God will have already, today, tried to make me watch TV, it does not follow that there is nothing I can do, even then about what god tried to do today. And so it does not follow that I cannot refrain from watching TV tomorrow, even though God tried today to make it the case that I do. the most you can say is that I will not refrain tomorrow.

  • Uh oh. I think I left an OL-tag unclosed. Tried to closed it now.

    Hope that worked.

  • Wisdomlover,

    I'm unclear on your separation of cannot and will not....The will not seems certain. Or, at best, it seems to be the sort of thing where, should I press the hot iron on the RIGHT side of the child's hand, to try to get him to move his hand to the LEFT, rather than right, then the child will-not move it to the right, for he wants to move it to the left, and he is perfectly free to move it to the right, into the iron. But I've set it all up such that he will move it where he wills, which is where I will, which is to the left?

    On Love's Triune:

    We find in scripture the unmistakable landscape of more-than-one, of plurality, not only within Man, but, also, set before him. Even, lest we forget, within his God. We need not run from this. In fact, we need to run into it. For distance here equates to precision if in approach, and error if in recession.

    The way I read that (if that is what was meant) is that L/R must entail disobedience too. That is to say, the hot iron will dive into my unsearchable (to me) interior nuances and press here/there such that the Net Summation is that I desire to disobey, God Willing that, or, to obey, God Willing that. And so on......

    WisdomLover,


    If "will not refrain" is certain, then it seems such is a re-wording of God’s irresistible work in every/all of man's motions. All such wording is a re-wording of irresistible in all directions (automaton), only, the word "programming" has been replaced with a more easy-sounding set of syllables. I suppose I would reply with something like, “Okay, God dives into all my subtle and unsearchable (to me) interior nuances and presses His Hot Iron here and there such that the Net-Summation is that I desire to move my hand away from the Iron. And yes, it falls short of programming for the Child is in actuality yet free to move his hand into the iron.” If this is the end of regress, then I suspect I would, it seems, differ, radically, on what the nature of Man in God’s Image actually sums to. Yes, God has the right to so do, but that is not this topic. The topic here is what sort of freedom did He choose to create, not what sorts does He have the right to create.

    As we are both combatable-ists, I suspect you have a bit of a different take on how I've interpreted you thus far. Apologies for unconfirmed assumptions on my end, and that is all they are.


    “Not My will, but Thy will”, seems missing perhaps. That is to say, the Concrete form of this which we must account for given such coming from Christ. I hold, and perhaps we agree, that such a statement is not a mark of sin but is instead God’s Motions amid/among His perfect distinctions within Timelessness manifesting here within Time, wherein, “Prepare for me an Ear, a Body” is uttered freely by God Who chooses/motions within Himself amid/among many perfect distinctions to redeem Man, that slave whose Ear is nailed through (Exodus/Law). God freely chooses to save us. And, He does so by pouring Himself out, and into, the vacuum void of Love which is Man's Privation; vacuums being, themselves, contingent.


    We find in scripture the unmistakable landscape of more-than-one, of plurality, not only within Man, but, also, set before him. Even, lest we forget, within his God. We need not run from this. In fact, we need to run into it. For distance here equates to precision if in approach, and error if in recession.


    His Sovereignty is found wholly intact for there is no such thing as a Door, a Vector, a Reality, which sources to Not-God within this Reality we call This-World. And This-World, as – perhaps – opposed to other Worlds, is Peculiar in that it is fashioned In-His-Image. Man, that is. Atop that Will-Of-Power, all availed vectors are provided by Him (He sources all actuality) inside of which Man finds freedom (amid God’s chosen plurality of vectors, Love’s Self, Other, Us), just as, outside/beyond such vectors is a “place” that just does not, cannot, exist. Herein we find that Man is absolutely constrained by God, just as, Man is not only availed of many vectors (of God’s Choosing), Man is also capacitated to freely motion amid/among them. Of course – necessarily – God's Means and Ends, which is Love Himself, cannot be avoided by obeying nor by disobeying, that is to say, regardless of which Vector Man follows, though, that is another topic – one which tracks without contradiction to its End. Man's peculiar case (which I described briefly in my earlier posts here in this thread….apology for the word count) in the singular Prescriptive-Descriptive of His Singular/Triune Image, willed by Power to exist in Man, gets us there. That is to say, within Immutable Love’s fully singular, fully triune Self-Other-Us we find the Image, the Landscape, which Power Wills to exist in Man / Man’s Reality, and which – therefore – does so exist. ‘Choose you this day’ is neither an outright Con, nor is it – given this topography – Him diving into all my unsearchable interior nuances and putting His Iron here/there until I want what He wants, whether such means to choose Other/Him/Love or whether such means to choose Self/Sin/Lovelessness.


    The necessary differences between Created and Uncreated as it relates to motions among/amid this topography that is Love’s Singular/Triune [Self-Other-Us] were briefly touched on earlier, as overlooking such leads to obvious misunderstandings.


    The Triune finds this Landscape utterly coherent in Him and in His Image, which is, of course, that of Love. That is to say, it is grounded in His Image, this coherency.


    I'll give you the last word, and, as always, I'll certainly read any thoughts you post......because, well, students just do that when their teacher starts talking ~~~

    scblhrm-

    I was distinguishing three different cases.

    Case 1:
    God makes something true by irresistibly creating the conditions that constitute its truth.

    So God makes "There is a penguin on top of my television" true by creating the penguin there on top of my TV from nothing [poof].

    Case 2:
    God does nothing to make a thing true, but let's it happen on its own. At most He creates the conditions that make it possible.

    So God doesn't make it true that the penguin is on top of the television. It got there on its own. Though God did create all animals including penguins. He create the stuff my TV is made of, He created all sorts of thing. But then He just let them act on their own.

    Case 3:

    WL,

    I don't see how your analogy applies.

    If God determines everything, I determine nothing. I might think I am making choices, but in truth that would just be because God decided I would have the fantasy that I am making self determined choices.

    That is certainly possible.

    If I thought that sovereignty meant meticulous control, the temptation of Christ takes on the weird aspect of God talking to Himself. In fact, everything would be God talking to Himself.

    Goat Head 5

    Darn, I meant to preview, not post. I'm not doing the mechanics very well on this thread I'm afraid.

    OK

    Case 3:
    God makes something true, not by irresistibly creating the conditions that constitute its truth, but by creating circumstances that ultimately lead to its being true.

    So God doesn't create the penguin from nothing on the TV. But he did create penguins and TV materials and so on. He also, in the case of the penguin, created the impression in the penguin's mind that there were lots of succulent squids and sardines on the top of my TV and leopard seals lurking in the shadows everywhere else. Then He 'let nature take its course' which resulted in the penguin jumping up on my TV.

    *****

    Now, I made the point about case 3 that it is really a combination of cases 1 and 2. All that creating of conditions that God engages in, either boils down to the flat out irresistible creation of things by God, or to His doing nothing and letting things happen on their own given those things He has irresistibly created.

    But in the long run, my point was simply that no one would deny that if God tries to make a proposition true as in case 1, then there is no question that no one will thwart His efforts. As such, if anything ever happens, we can infer that God was not trying to make it so á la Case 1.

    I also made the point that IF God tries to make every true proposition true, and every false proposition false per Case 1, THEN there is no question about His absolute Sovereignty. I think that the most hyper-six-point Calvinist agree with me on that.

    I do not deny, of course, that the IF-clause is a big IF.

    GH5-

    Suppose that you and God both simultaneously create, ex nihilo, some substance, X.

    Now, you say "Well, if God created X, then I could not have...that's some sort of fantasy talk"

    Why doesn't it go the other way? "If I created X, then God could not have...that's fantasy talk."

    But perhaps you'd agree to that and insist not on one or the other, but that it must be one or the other, and not both.

    But there is no reason whatever that it should not be both-and rather than either-or. The only consequence of such a state-of-affairs is that the existence of X is overdetermined by your creative activity and God's.

    And so what? Tell me why that's a problem.

    Notice that if, as I contend, it's not a problem, then my argument goes through...The most radical conception of freedom is logically compatible with the most radical conception of Divine Sovereignty.

    And because that's the case all more measured conceptions of freedom and Sovereignty are likewise compatible.

    As such, if anything ever happens, we can infer that God was not trying to make it so á la Case 1.
    Obviously, I meant to say "As such, if anything ever happens, we can infer that God was not trying to make it false á la Case 1."

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