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June 30, 2016

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“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15–16)

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

As described in the original challenge (at http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2016/06/challenge-we-cant-really-know-were-right-and-other-people-are-wrong.html) the underexposed traveler is tempted to question everything upon the *startle* of perceiving that which transcends all normative constructs. And of course that very perception forces us, both by logic and love, God-ward.


The Sine Qua Non of Tolerance:

It is okay to disagree.

Disagreement, even strong disagreement, is not, indeed cannot be, what constitutes the essence of "in"-tolerance. In fact, to approach one another and reality with such a premise is to end up, finally, in an array of reductio ad absurdums of our own making which transport us inescapably into the pains of a deflationary view of worth when it comes to one another and into the pains of a deflationary view of truth when it comes to all truth predicates whatsoever.

The presuppositional composition embedded in Tolerance amid all the affairs of the question, Are There Objective Truths About God? carry us, necessarily, into objective truth as the bedrock buttressing the essence which constitutes tolerance.

An excerpt:

“If this weren’t bad enough, it seems to me that Radical Pluralism is also self-refuting. We need only ask ourselves, “Is Radical Pluralism objectively true?” It claims that “There is no objective truth about the word;” but that statement purports itself to be an objective truth about the world. It says that “Each individual constitutes reality,” so that there is no objective reality; but that is itself a statement about objective reality. It states that the proposition “Truth is pluralistic” is objectively true, which is self-refuting.

The Radical Pluralist cannot escape this incoherence by saying that it is only from his perspective that there is no objective truth about the world. For if that is true only from his perspective, that does not preclude that there is objective truth about the world, in which case his perspective is objectively false. If he replies that it is only from someone else’s perspective that there is objective truth about the world, then it follows that all truth is perspectival, or that Radical Pluralism is objectively true, which is incoherent.

Why is it, then, that in our day and age so many people seem attracted to pluralistic and relativistic views of truth, despite the fact that they are both preposterous and self-refuting? I believe the attraction is due to a misunderstanding of the concept of tolerance. In our democratic society, we have a deep commitment to the value of tolerance of different views. Many people have the impression that tolerance requires radical pluralism with regard to truth. They seem to think that the claim that objective truth exists is incompatible with tolerance of other views because those views must be regarded as false. So in order to maintain tolerance of all views, one must not regard any of them as false. They must *all* be true. But since they are mutually contradictory, they cannot all be *objectively* true. Hence, truth must be relative and pluralistic.

But it seems to me pretty obvious that such a view is based on an incorrect understanding of tolerance. The very concept of tolerance *entails* that you disagree with that which you tolerate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t tolerate it; you would agree with it! Thus, one can only tolerate a view if one regards that view as false. You can’t tolerate a view which you believe to be true. Thus, the very concept of toleration presupposes that one believes the tolerated view to be false. So objective truth is not incompatible with tolerance; on the contrary the objectivity of truth is presupposed by tolerance.

The correct basis of tolerance is not [and indeed cannot be] pluralism, but the inherent worth of every human being created in the image of God and therefore endowed with certain God-given rights, including freedom of thought and expression. That’s *why* Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” The basis of tolerance is not relativism, but love.” (W.L. Craig, emphasis added)

It is the case that [A] tolerance itself presupposes objective truth and [B] loving one’s enemy – the sine qua non of tolerance – obtains in and by the transposition of Logos – in and by love’s eternal sacrifice of self – in and by “…… the God who is glorified by sacrificing Himself for creation and not by sacrificing creation for Himself…..” (Fischer) instantiating within time and physicality in and by the many corridors of correspondence seamlessly converging in the singularity that is Christ.

We must employ a proper definition of both tolerance and of respect and such is not constructed in a consequentialist frame. That is to say that *regardless* of any particular view and any particular conclusion which may emerge the proper frame necessitates expunging from all dialogue [1] moves which force us into a deflationary view of worth when it comes to one another, and expunging from all dialogue [2] moves which force us into a deflationary view of truth when it comes to our conceivable truth predicates – whatever they may, in the end, be.

Which carries us full circle back to the underexposed traveler's *startle* reaction:

Disagreement isn't driving the move into dialogue.

Agreement isn't driving the move into dialogue.

Rather, as the earlier comments touched on, the driving force is [A] the inherent worth of each individual and the natural extension of that which manifests in [B] that which is the sine qua non of tolerance vis-à-vis love, respect, and self-sacrifice.

"We Can’t Really Know We’re Right and Other People Are Wrong"

Ok, this is just plain dumb. You've just made a proposition. Lets call this proposition, "We Can’t Really Know We’re Right and Other People Are Wrong" capital P. Do you really know that you are right about P?

If you know that you are right about P, then you've refuted P. If you don't know about P, then what in the world are you stating in the first place?

Love the glasses Alan!

Alan (1) completely failed to respond to the actual challenge. Then (2) he made an argument with a very large, embarrassing hole in the middle of it.

(1)The challenger was emphatically NOT an empiricist. He wasn't saying anything about knowledge being based on science. He was saying that there are many SPIRITUAL paths which people all over the world follow. "And those people feel the same kind of assurance, peace and goodness that I do," he says. That is, he was not relying on empirical evidence to confirm the truth of his connection with God through Christianity. He was relying on feelings. And he saw that others have those same feelings, even though their paths to God are different. This is not empiricism.

It is also not relativism, not moral relativism let alone relativism about all knowledge. He is saying that it appears that there is more than one way to God, and that the only basis for claiming that Christianity is the ONLY way is a single book. Since the situation is symmetric (other people have their books, and similar assurance of being right) he sees it as arrogant to claim that only Christianity is right. Here's the OED's definition of arrogance:

"The taking of too much upon oneself as one's right; the assertion of unwarrantable claims in respect of one's own importance; undue assumption of dignity, authority, or knowledge; aggressive conceit, presumption, or haughtiness."

If we skip 'conceit' and 'haughtiness', this seems just. Christianity, with no greater warrant than other religions (with their books and their miracle stories), claims to be the only true one -- an "unwarrantable claim" and "undue assumption of authority."

The challenger is not claiming that each religion is true for its believers but not for others. He is saying that it appears that there are many ways to God and therefore that the Christian claim to exclusivity is FALSE.

(2)Having set up his straw man -- empiricism combined with skepticism about all non-empirical knowledge -- which has nothing to do with the challenge, Alan then purports to refute it by eliciting a sense of moral certainty about the slave trade. If a person can feel certain that the slave trade is wrong then the straw man burns, Alan implies (an invalid argument). However, doesn't it seem a little embarrassing that slavery was approved of in both the old and new testaments? True, after the Enlightenment, some Christians became convinced that slavery was wrong and unchristian. But the slave trade and slavery-based economies were largely run by Christians, and they argued against the abolitionists using scripture. They believed they were good Christians, and they did have the better biblical sources. So how does a person's sense of certainty about the wrongness of the slave trade support the truth of Christianity?

A minor edit to my previous comment:

He is saying that it appears that there are many ways to God and therefore that the Christian claim to exclusivity is FALSE, or at least that it lacks sufficient rational basis in face of the counter-evidence.

Christianity satisfies the challenger's criteria as a spiritual path.

Else: the challenger is asserting a true Pantheism and all else as false.

Well good luck then.

Of course, if Pantheism, then Christianity is valid "too".

The challenger *does* have the option of the painful trio of [1] retaining God and [2] bailing on feelings and [3] bailing on (true) Pantheism.

The challenger can bail to avoid the embarrassing reductio of his criteria, but then the pains of asymmetry emerge as he is forced to draw distinction after distinction after..... distinction.....

From:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-intuitions.html

As my recent post on Jackson’s knowledge argument indicated, contemporary philosophers are often going on about “intuitions.” Sometimes (as with Jackson) the point is to suggest that some argument one wants to rebut rests on nothing more than a disputable intuition. But intuitions are also often appealed to in a positive fashion, as a way to support some claim or other in metaphysics or ethics. Hence we have John Rawls’s well-known appeal to what our “considered intuitions” about justice have to tell us. Hence we have Daniel Dennett’s method in philosophy of mind of appealing to what he calls “intuition pumps” – thought experiments designed to draw out and fortify certain intuitions in defense of a certain line of argument. (By the way, “intuition pumps” are not only the latest thing in philosophical methodology. It seems they are also the latest thing in women’s footwear. Who knew?)

Now, the term “intuition” has a respectable traditional use in philosophy, to connote the mind’s direct grasp of abstract objects or fundamental a priori truths. But that is not the sort of thing that those who appeal to “intuition pumps” or “considered intuitions” in ethics have in mind. As Alan Lacey notes in an entry on intuition in the Ted Honderich edited volume The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, “recently… the term ‘intuition’ has been used for pre-philosophical thoughts or feelings, e.g. on morality, which emerge in thought experiments and are then used philosophically.....

>> He is saying that it appears that there are many ways to God and therefore that the Christian claim to exclusivity is FALSE, or at least that it lacks sufficient rational basis in face of the counter-evidence.

The challenge is constructed on the concept of an equal viability of all religious forms to derive truths, without ascertaining if these be universal truths or truths adequate to the individual.

This objection limps for several reasons:

1) world religious systems present doctrines that are conflicting. In violation of the law of non-contradiction, in a case of A or non-A, while both may be false, both cannot be true. In terms of exclusivity, one must be true. In this regard, some religious systems are truer than others.

2) world religious systems center on one chief tenet, of which there is no agreement. Buddhism seeks the solution to the problem of suffering. Christianity seeks salvation through forgiveness of sins. Judaism seeks the moral life. Islam seeks the advancement of a universal realm under Sharia law as the attainment of perfect world peace. Which is the best path, which still offers deficits?

3) religious systems can be homocentric or theocentric. Prince Siddhartha endured much in meditation and contemplation before deriving the teachings that made him the enlightened Buddha. Jesus came to reveal and fulfill the will of His Father. Some seek personal fulfillment. Others reveal the nature of the transcendent God. Which of the two has the capability of finding higher levels of truth other than convenient truths?

4) the challenger seemed to place a feeling of personal satisfaction or contentment as the ultimate grounds of what establishes religious truth. What if this be an unstable basis?

In short, does a pragmatic religion work, or is there more to be expected?

>> True, after the Enlightenment, some Christians became convinced that slavery was wrong and unchristian.

Actually, the manumission of slaves by Christians was done as far back as the Church fathers in the times of the declining Roman Empire. Clement of Alexandria wrote for the better treatment of slaves. Chrysostom advocated for the voluntary freeing of slaves. In the third century, the rite of manumission was practiced usually around Easter where a master presented his slave to be received as a freed brother.

We think of the emancipation movement to be a mighty torrent of the modern age. Still, in the earliest days of the era we call C.E. or A.D., there were mild undercurrents of liberty based solidly on the freedom promoted in the Gospel.

DGFischer, I don't know what you mean by "In terms of exclusivity, one must be true." Logically speaking, all religions may be false. Among those which claim to be the only true religion, AT MOST one can be true.

There are those who believe there is truth in all religions, for instance those (like Aldous Huxley and Huston Smith) who embrace what they call "the perennial philosophy" or "primordial tradition". That is, religions are partially true; they share a true core, but each contains much that is false.

DGFischer, your early Christian stories of manumission are interesting, but none implies that any early Christian thought the institution of slavery was wrong. I looked up Chrysostom. According to www.academia.edu/238306/John_Chrysostom_on_Slavery, "The manumission of slaves in Chrysostom’s thinking has not to do with a disposition against the institution of slavery, but is instead aimed against the practice of accumulating wealth." Owning many slaves for him was a form of gluttony. He recommended owning only one or two, or even going without any at all.

Alan Shlemon's argument is incredibly naive about our moral intuitions. He shares this with most Christian apologists. But to be fair, not only most Christians, but most people (especially those who are brought up in a mono-culture) have this problem. Our moral intuitions just seem obviously true. Poor perplexed Greg Koukl, when he has been ranting recently, seemingly at his wits' end, about common sense and its violations by "the left", is expressing this naive view that what is right and wrong is JUST OBVIOUS and should be acknowledged by any sane, honest person. He seems to assume that our moral sense is given to us by God as absolute knowledge.

Shlemon just assumes that common sense gives us trustworthy, incontrovertibly true, objective knowledge that slavery is wrong. That is his paradigm example of a moral truth. Why is it wrong? Everybody knows why it's wrong: it violates fundamental, universal human rights! Moreover, these are equally held because, as we all know, "all men are created equal." But there's the rub: the very idea that there are universal human rights held equally by all dates from the eighteenth century. (The "rights of Englishmen" preceded universal rights, but they were traditional rights of English citizens, not human rights.) Human equality is tied to this notion of rights; that is what we are equal with respect to. We DO "take these rights to be self-evident." But they were not always so. The Bible did not give us this view, nor did early Christians, who shared the "common sense" of their age. Modern history did.

Even more modern history gave us racial equality with the civil rights movement. And very recent history is giving us equal rights and respect for LGBT individuals. That is common sense now for some (including the majority of young Americans), but not for others. That is because common sense changes. It benefits from experience -- if we let it.

Common sense is not an adequate moral argument because our moral judgments rely on our sense of what is real and true about human beings and human nature. And in these times of change, our senses of these things are no longer common. To return to Shlemon's argument, this is where empirical facts should come into play. Not that empirical truths are the only truths, but they bear on morality.

Is it true that some transgender people can only lead honest, happy, fulfilled lives in their transgender identity? If that is true, should that lead us to revise our understandings of gender and sex and human nature and what is sinful? Or, for those who embrace biblical inerrancy, is all moral learning forbidden? Must all common sense be frozen to that of Rome, or to America circa 1955?


First it's not about knowledge, then it's all about knowledge....and all atop a series of straw-men....

The Skeptic will, and is, at this point tell, telling, us that the Christian is, via history and historicity and genre and scripture coming to a more full understanding of things and that “IF” God existed the Christian would have never needed to go through that process.

One would think the Non-Theist who comments on a Christian blog would actually want to interface with, well, you know, Christian truth claims with respect to the interface of God, Man, and Knowledge.

Anyway, let's look at some of the Critic's Non-Christian straw-men:

The Skeptic’s approach to Mankind’s awareness of God inside of Time and Physicality is quite unscriptural as the approach has elements of these presuppositions built into them on several levels:

[1] When Christians assimilate new information, insights, and symmetry, that is evidence for no-god.

[2] When Christians refuse such assimilation of new symmetry, that is evidence of the unthinking nature of Christianity, and hence of no-god.

Given [1] and [2], well the Christian is just out of luck.

But of course.

Moving on:

[3] Christianity teaches a *static* Mankind where such awareness of God is concerned inside of Time and Physicality. Change inside of Time is contrary to the Christian paradigm.

[4] Christianity teaches that *Non-Static* beds of symmetry amid Mankind’s awareness of truths about God and His Means and His Ends cannot be helpful nor truthful because *STASIS* in the awareness and knowledge of God inside of Time and Physicality is the Christian paradigm’s definition of Man/Knowledge/God.

(...see also [1] and [2] above...)

[5] In Scripture it is always the case that the Majority Opinion and Statistical Percentage Winners about God both inside of Israel and inside of the Body of Christ have always been the most Godly and Righteous and Accurate and Truth-Based vectors. According to Scripture.

Well there we have it.

Christianity in a nutshell.

At least according to uninformed Skeptics.

So, in all five points, we find that the Skeptic’s premises and conclusions about the Christian’s metaphysics – about the interfacing of God and Man and Knowledge – is but a straw man. Actually several smaller straw-men all wrapped into one big straw-man.

As if just piling on layers can change the fundamental nature of things.

Let's add [6] to our straw-men.....

"Common sense is not an adequate moral argument..."

[6] Christianity claims as its moral explanatory terminus that which rests entirely upon feelings and cultural normative constructs which (themselves) feed into, constitute, our moral sense of things.

One would think the Non-Theist who comments on a Christian blog would actually want to interface with, well, you know, Christian truth claims with respect to the interface of God, Man, and Knowledge.

The happiness experienced by countless folks in the Roman Coliseums was genuine circa Rome 100.....

Isn't it about time Gerald modified his moral compass accordingly?

I mean, that's the metric.

Or, at least, that's all that's been offered.

Gerald,

It's not clear that, on your terms, anything you are saying makes any sense.

At all.

Is there such a thing as *a* human *nature* on your view?

You know, actually and irreducibly as in the case of, say, the egalitarian self-giving of love's ontology vis-à-vis Christianity there within love's timeless reciprocity (...constituting those peculiar processions within "Trinity"...)?

If you do *not* posit an irreducible love vis-à-vis Mankind, then what counts as evidence for and against what? And how does that work (go through to the bitter end) short of equivocations / false identity claims at some point (on your end)?

"Evidence" here, on Non-Theism is, so far, just question begging. If it's scientism/physicalism well then so be it. Only, don't think you're actually getting anywhere. If there are other categories of knowledge, then there are other categories of reality. Else, a bit of a semantic dances seems to be going on in your reach for "evidence".

Evidence:

Personal interfaces involve love's ontology, which involve, well, a trio of words or concepts. Words like [1] "self/I" and words like [2] "other/you" and unavoidable concepts like [3] "us" or "unicity". Obviously it's unavoidably triune (love's irreducible nature) and that kind / category of an irreducible (rock-bottom) with respect to reality is *un*available to you (so far).

Based on your terms (so far).

The whole show (every bit of it) on your view is (you haven't claimed otherwise) void of *a* human *nature* such that scientism / physicalism ascends by default and is found declaring every bit of what matters, every bit of what is morally true, to be ever malleable, ever morphing, and cosmically finite such that "love" "itself" (therefore) also suffers the pains of the same 'reductio' as she also sums to the effervescence of layers of nature's fundamental, non-rational, and loveless (indifferent) photon cascades (or whatever collocation of cascades any Non-Theist wishes to posit).

It's not really helpful of you to posit the malleable if you're not willing to be upfront with your own terms with respect to neuro-biology and reality's (and therefore Mankind's) fundamental causal nature or fundamental "rock-bottom".

Hence the question, is there *a* irreducible moral ontology (and therein human nature) on your view or does "it" (whatever you point to) also, eventually, unpack to something other than the fundamental / irreducible?

If it (the unavoidably triune geography of those three words described earlier) *is* irreducible on your (Non-Theistic) view, please explain how that works and lives prior to the arrival of neuronal sodium pumps (neuro-biology).

Where is your irreducible *nature* with respect to *man* if you in fact posit one?

These questions have to be asked because love's unavoidably triune and demonstrably supra-normative reciprocity *is* the highest ethic, only, you don't seem to agree and so unpacking *why* you disagree with such an obviously true [A] experiential reality and such an obviously true [B] metaphysical and moral explanatory terminus warrants, well, concern.

And, again, if you do *not* posit an irreducible love vis-à-vis Mankind, then what counts as evidence for and against what? And how does that work (go through to the bitter end) short of equivocations / false identity claims at some point (on your end)?

Context is everything:

Quote:

Against equality

What Nietzsche most hated, and the demise of which he most looked forward to, was the egalitarianism that Christianity had introduced into Western civilization. As he writes in The Will to Power:

The “Christian ideal”..… attempt to make the virtues through which happiness is possible for the lowliest into the standard ideal of all values…(185)

“Through Christianity, the individual was made so important, so absolute, that he could no longer be sacrificed: but the species endures only through human sacrifice – All souls become “equal” before God: but this is precisely the most dangerous of all possible evaluations! If one regards individuals as equal, one calls the species into question, one encourages a way of life that leads to the ruin of the species: Christianity is the counter-principle to the principle of selection….”

This universal love of men is in practice the preference for the suffering, underprivileged, degenerate: it has in fact lowered and weakened the strength, the responsibility, the lofty duty to sacrifice men. (246)

What is it we combat in Christianity? That it wants to break the strong… (252) (from http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/06/adventures-in-old-atheism-part-i.html )

End quote.

On Christianity’s terms:

The value and equality of worth which saturates every person lands in the lap of the immutable love of the Necessary Being – the triune God […. in Whom we find Trinity’s unending processions vis-à-vis love’s timeless self-giving….]. That irreducible landscape is in fact the very wellspring not only of love’s ontology but also of our own immutable value.

If reason is in fact “truth-finder” then, on naturalism, there is not even the possibility of the morally *un*-reasonable, as all lines end in me, in the self, in the sound of one’s own voice. Oddly, even there the regress doesn’t end as I too am but an effervescence of we know not what.

Whereas, if in fact the fundamental “shape” of reality is the triune, is love, is God, then reason as truth finder shall (factually) be morally *un*reasonable should she chase after some other shape, as all lines which fail to map to reality are, simply, fictions.

Hence:

When we say, if we say, that the highest ethic is love, reason as truth-finder discovers that such a claim upon the nature of reality either maps to the fundamental shape of reality or it does not. But if love is the fundamental shape of reality such that reason as truth finder shall (factually) be *un*reasonable should she chase after some other shape, well then we have come upon something of reciprocity, something of self/other. Something triune.

My original post on this page was really directed to Alan Shlemon pointing out how he completely missed the mark in his response to the challenge. DGFisher then made an insightful response to the challenge the way I had characterized it, and responded to my point about slavery. Then I responded to Fisher. I have not responded to scbrownlhrm and will not be doing so. I made very determined efforts to communicate with him in two other threads, and though not completely without value, ultimately my attempts were very frustrating and time-wasting failures. I will not repeat that mistake. We are mutually unintelligible.

Gerald,

It's simple:

You've succeeded in coming full circle back to the Challenger's original predicament.

In doing so, however, your arguments are not aimed, cannot be aimed, at Christianity.

A simple example:

You claimed that common sense isn't an adequate moral argument.

Well, the Christian agrees with you.

Do you now know that? Do you not know that moral intuition isn't the whole of Christianity's moral framework?

Another simple example:

You also presented a supposed problem with knowledge changing with respect to slavery.

But the Christian does not affirm "stasis" with respect to God, Man, and Knowledge. Nor does the Christian affirm [1] through [6] as discussed earlier in the context of God, Man, and Knowledge. Nor does Law/Moses define Moral Excellence given that God actually hates X's which Moses/Law fails to ban/denounce, and in fact merely regulates and retains.

Did you not know those things about Christianity?

Given your available categories you are also stuck (here) counting (as moral evidence) that which sums to observational variability within the arena of neuro-biology.

(Well, unless you posit moral realism somehow, which is itself un-enslaved from said variability, from said neuro-biology (different categories)).

But (since you’ve not done that) what you are left with is just Non-Theism in another wrapper.

Which means you’re just begging the question as to observational reality and any real moral explanatory terminus.

Even worse, all malleable X's in that arena (therefore), or all moral claims (therefore) in all places and in all times are found to be “…..converging ontological equals….” given your terms of "evidence" in that afore mentioned question begging.

Which brings us back to the challenger’s mindset of “It’s all good” in that the act of drawing distinctions beyond feelings becomes impossible.

“Metaphysical armistice” arrives as *ALL* acts in all times in all places, and (therefore) *ALL* motives, means, ends, changes, fluxes, and moral paths reduce to unity, to equality. But that horrific sort of equality isn’t what anyone is actually defending here, Christian or Non-Theist.

Well, the newer brand of Non-Theists of late are far more intellectually honest, ever ready to disassemble, to deconstruct. While refreshing, none of them seem to be present in this current thread.

But that sort of equality is all you (and the challenger) have succeeded in defending.

At bottom.

________________________


If pointing out how you're not even addressing *Christianity* isn't intelligible to you, well, it probably makes sense given that you actually believe that common sense is the Christian's breadth and depth and width when it comes to the moral paradigm.

As for the question of "Is there such a thing as *a* human *nature*..." wherein irreducible and immutable worth and love constitute "Man's Nature", well you may not understand that either. But there are books about such things. They're typically found under "Christian" genres.

As opposed to Non-Christian, that is, as you are clearly conflating the two.

Given the Non-Theists available categories (so far) he is stuck (here) with blinders over his eyes, he is stuck (here) counting (as moral evidence) that which sums to observational variability within the arena of neuro-biology.

That line (blinders on) of *evidence* forces a horrific and sickening category of "equality" (as already alluded to) and hence on that self-negation alone we rationally reject it (and hence the dis-reasoning which forces it) given the fact that it not only violates but in fact annihilates the immutable and irreducible value and worth of every human being, for obvious reasons.

But there is a very different category of equality which is itself affirmed by logic, reason, and love.

The value and equality of worth which saturates humanity, which saturates (in fact) every individual person lands in the lap of the immutable love of the Necessary Being – the triune God […. in Whom we find Trinity’s unending processions vis-à-vis love’s timeless self-giving... the triune's unending reciprocity...]. That irreducible landscape is in fact the very wellspring not only of love’s ontology but also of our own immutable value.

As already stated:

When we say, *if* we say, that the highest ethic is love, reason as truth-finder discovers that such a claim upon the nature of reality either maps to the fundamental shape of reality or it does not. But if love is the fundamental shape of reality such that reason as truth finder shall (factually) be *un*reasonable should she chase after some other shape, well then we have come upon something of reciprocity, something of self/other. Something triune.

Alright, Brownie, you've drawn me in again. I'm such a sucker. But just to clarify my purpose in discussing common sense, not to be drawn into a long, verbose discussion in which you constantly tell me preposterous things that I am supposedly compelled to believe.

I had in mind the beginning of Greg Koukl's June 29 podcast in which he's tearing his hair out over the fact that others don't see what he believes to be just "common sense". Of course, common sense is completely in line with his version of Christianity. And that assumption by so many Christians of the complete alignment of their version of Christianity with their version of common sense is what I was referring to. (It kind of surprises me, actually. I thought Christians would see how absurd on the face of it are their core beliefs -- the incarnation, the resurrection, substitutionary atonement, eternal life -- but that they believed despite that, or perhaps because it is absurd, as Tertullian said. But no, for Christians like Koukl, this is evidently a common sense faith. The gospel, the resurrection, the whole kit and caboodle, they were raised on it; it doesn't seem strange or remarkable to them. In fact they can't understand how others can disbelieve it.)

Alan Shlemon's argument with a hypothetical non-Christian naturalist asked the non-Christian whether slavery is wrong. He relied on a positive answer, based not on Christianity, but on common sense. Of course it is wrong, the non-Christian acknowledges. But if we know it is objectively wrong, Shlemon replies, then it follows that naturalism is false, he claims. Only God can guarantee objective values, and the next step is to argue that God is the Christian God. So the argument relied on our access to objective moral truths by our moral intuition, or, more colloquially and less specifically, by common sense. Common sense is thought of as simply the acknowledgement of the obvious. (I think Koukl, in his rant, used the word 'obvious' in exasperation, probably more than once. I see this as a grave failing in an apologist, the inability to see how and why one's opponents' views make sense to them. He even called them stupid.)

In my comment I pointed out that our common sense deliverance that slavery is wrong is historically contingent, and stems not from Christianity but from the Enlightenment. Early Christians did not share this belief. They loved their slaves, and even felt brotherly love toward their Christian slaves, but they did not conclude from this that they should free them or that slavery was wrong. The idea of equal rights was undreamt of.

American Christians believe that individualism, liberty, equality and democracy are Christian values (not Enlightenment ones). That is just common sense (not secular philosophy). If asked, they can root around in the Bible to prove it. Gender identity is "a made-up concept." It violates common sense; it's not in the Bible; the Bible says "male and female created He them," and this is supposed to prove that their common sense about gender roles is grounded in scripture -- it is timeless and absolutely true -- and anyone who disagrees is a tool of the devil. There cannot be new moral insights which contradict the old verities. Common sense doesn't change. The Bible doesn't change.

I was just pointing out that common sense does change, and therefore the Bible (for those who believe it is the source of all their common sense moral judgments) changes too. The unconscious and unacknowledged inference from historically contingent common sense to eternal moral truths bequeathed us by God is invalid. So Christians should take their traditional views and their interpretations of the Bible that validate those views with at least a grain of salt. We learned, somehow -- from culture, from philosophy, from experience, from testimony by actual slaves -- that slavery is wrong, even though the writers of the Bible assumed the opposite. Maybe we have more to learn.

That's all I was trying to say about common sense. I was not defending atheism or asserting any particular view of metaphysics or moral philosophy.

Gerald,

It isn't clear why you think there is a disagreement in any of that.

We seem to agree, that is.

[1] Clearly *stasis* where moral knowledge is concerned isn't Christianity's narrative with respect to Man, God, the Good, and moral knowledge.

[2] Clearly moral intuition isn't the Sine Qua Non with respect to Man, God, the Good, and moral knowledge (on Christianity).

[3] A simple example of "narratives" in-play is the obvious reality that Law/Moses regulates, rather than bans, X's which God in fact hates (such as, say, divorce). The Atheist and many Christians take that as God liking, loving, said X (or said divorce), the fragmentation of love within X (or within families). But scripture assures us that God hates such X's.

So much for Moses as the end of definitions.

Of course, if God hates the ends of Moses, which He Himself temporarily places, if in fact *definitions* within Scripture's singular metanarrative precede and outdistance the contingent, and in fact begin and end within the immutable love of the Necessary Being, in Christ, well then the whole collection of these supposed “problems” just evaporates as we are forced to *define* the fundamental nature of things by something very, very enigmatic. Scripture states that God hates X. Yet He regulates, contains, limits, rather than bans, X. And yet some still seem to conclude that X is therefore The-Good.

Why? Where do definitions of “The Good” begin? End? What is it, exactly, that is “going on” within Scripture’s singular metanarrative?

Even worse, all of that is defined in the OT alone. All of which precedes the 1600's by about 3000 years. Give or take. The NT affirms all such definitions of course.

Given [1], [2], and [3] you're just not arguing against anything which Christianity recognizes. You're arguing against Non-Christian premises, definitions, and narratives.

Moving on then:

Moral intuitions in your paradigm (however) force upon you that horrific sort of convergence of ontological equals, and hence cannot actually provide (ontological) insight regarding any irreducible moral reality.

Fragmented moral knowledge is predicted by Christianity's moral paradigm which ends in the immutable love of the Necessary Being.

Observational reality affirms that prediction.

Whereas, on Non-Theism:

There is (factually) *no* irreducible moral shape to be "fragmented" in the first place, and hence there is nothing for our moral intuitions to even discover, or even to be instantiated.

Gerald,

Also, moral definitions are culturally contingent in your paradigm.

Not in Christianity's.

If you don't like the unavoidable fact that love's unavoidably triune geography vis-a-vis love's timeless reciprocity defines all vectors of the Imago Dei from the get-go, well, that's no reason to think you can just expunge, well, God from scriptiure's metanarrative.

Doing so, and defining Christianity without the Triune God, leaves you arguing (again) against something unrecognizable to Christianity.

So once again you're stating a Non-Christian premise as if it applied to Christianity's truth claims, as if Christianity's truth claims about moral knowledge are vulnerable to your (Non-Christian) premises.

As already stated:

When we say, *if* we say, that the highest ethic is love, reason as truth-finder discovers that such a claim upon the nature of reality either maps to the fundamental shape of reality or it does not. But if love is the fundamental shape of reality such that reason as truth finder shall (factually) be *un*reasonable should she chase after some other shape, well then we have come upon something of reciprocity, something of self/other. Something triune.

Gerald,

Perhaps this will help:

The supra-normative exists, on Christianity. It entails irreducible reciprocity. It entails fragmentation. Darkness. It entails discovery, restoration. Even instantiation, the means of which necessarily involve, but supersede, the knowledge of good and evil.

On Non-Theism, there is no darkness, for there is no supra-normative, and hence nothing to be restored, or lost, or instantiated.

Brownie, if you don't disagree with anything I said, that's fine with me. My remarks were about a brand of thinking I hear from Christians who speak in an offended tone about changes in our society as attacks on both Christianity and common sense as if these were virtually one and the same, neither ever changed, and both spoke with the authority of God. Your brand of Christianity was not the target since, though your thought no doubt has many sources, common sense is surely not among them.

Gerald,

Of course moral intuition is a part. But not the whole.

I don't know of anyone here at STR who thinks otherwise.

You keep setting the stage with Non-Christian backdrops and then simply plow ahead as if that finds for your performer a Christian audience.

It doesn't.

Gerald,

You are free to interchange "moral intuition" with "common sense".

Some Non-Christian / Non-STR audience somewhere is surely listening as if it applies to them.

Also, a full treatment of moral intuition and its many errors and pitfalls within the pains of Mankind's privation (which includes all of us still today) isn't going to be pasted into every essay which mentions moral intuitions. For the Non-Theist to argue as if the absence of that long segue counts as its non-existence within Christian philosophy is disingenuous.

Gerald,


On my last comment, FWIW:

I agree that any assertion of "obviousness" that seems too bold isn't helpful. But this is a blog with easy to find segues, hence, see my last comment about every essay needing a paste of yet another essay *else* the Non-Theist argues as if no tedious unpackings are fully present and accounted for within Christian philosophy.

That's just disingenuous.

It's also disingenuous to paint with a wide brush in response to an angry outlier.

Every essay isn't going to have pasted within in five other sub-essays.

Not in this forum.

People write books for "that".

Typo.... Should be....


Every essay isn't going to have pasted within it five other sub-essays.....

I wasn't trying to paint with a wide brush. I wasn't talking about Christian philosophy at all. I was talking about a particular foible that we all suffer from -- the tendency to universalize and absolutize our own particular, historically contingent point of view. It is virtually impossible to escape that. There are various partial remedies: exposure to other points of view, both historical and cultural, really getting to know people who disagree with us, self-criticism and self-examination, and above all humility. I can't say I'm particularly good at any of them.

It does seem to me that Christians face particular challenges in this respect, because (correct me if I'm wrong) they are continually being told that they know the truth. They believe that God is the source of morality and they believe they know God and his word, so(?) they believe they know morality. In fact, for many Christians, absolute knowledge of absolute moral truth (they love the word 'absolute') is one of the chief boons of their faith, and something they would not know how to live without. Humility, when it comes to moral judgments, is not in their vocabulary. I know this is not all Christians. But they are the most outspoken, the most political, and the most dangerous.

Gerald,

Sorry for the hiatus. I took some holiday time away, and returned to try to catch up on the exchange.

Don't know where to start, but the conversation seemed to turn from valid universal religious truth to "common sense." So many angles, so many places to start. I'll try this point:

>> I was just pointing out that common sense does change, and therefore the Bible (for those who believe it is the source of all their common sense moral judgments) changes too.

Yet, my problem is where you establish your foundations of "common sense." Egalitarianism. Kowtowing to the culture (which the true Church refuses to do, thus the end of gladiatorial contests and slavery through peaceful means). The innate ability of science to resolve that the miraculous. We have gone far afield. But I propose that none of these are true bases for what we call "common sense." Egalitarianism has the weakness of some people/ideas being more equal than others, and that dissent against an established code of proper political/cultural norms and ideals is based on hatred and out-moded thinking. Thus these must conform to the politically correct.

Egalitarianism = totalitarianism. That is not a good example of common sense.

I find that "common sense" is founded on the logical, rational, and purposeful. We cannot begin to think that this is based on altruistic ideals. Even a thief can use "common sense." Evading police checkpoints (CS); robbing a police station (max Dummheit).

Thus Koukl is correct in his thoughts on gay marriage. Remember, logical, rational, purposeful. Thus,

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MARRIAGE IN SOCIETY?
For traditional marriage, it is for the birthing and raising of children in a protected environment to present a next generation ready and capable to fulfill their roles as citizens of the country. In that gay marriage can perform many (but not all) of these stipulations, they assume a form of marriage. But at this point, it is a matter of egalitarianistic principles. They can too. But in doing so, it trivializes the nature of marriage from being foundational to society to an expression of sexuality in form of commitment.

I have studied much of the philosophic concept of constructivism to wonder at the essential lack of "common sense." I may attribute to it. The issue of "Reality molds us" versus "We mold reality." If reality is a colossus not easily subdued, we may claim a lot of cultural change. But in the end it may be delusional.

>> Is it true that some transgender people can only lead honest, happy, fulfilled lives in their transgender identity? If that is true, should that lead us to revise our understandings of gender and sex and human nature and what is sinful?

Yes, and if it is false?

We will have to revise our revisions.

This line of posts have led us hither and yon. (No problem, the path taken was entertaining.

To get it back on track:

Truthbomb Apologetics has a recent entry dealing with a short paper (50 pgs) by Dr. Gary Habermas, called The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Among the Major World Religions. It speaks of six essential claims specific to Jesus Christ and Christianity which leads one to question the "all roads lead to God" concept. I'm half-way through and has been an intriguing read.

http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2016/07/free-e-book-uniqueness-of-jesus-christ.html

Gerald,

Yes, "absolute".

Everyone houses irreducible value and worth vis-à-vis love as Mankind's highest ethic.

As in the irreducible and immutable landscape of love's timeless reciprocity.

Christianity can't acquiesce there given the fact that ultimate reality (God) *is* love and therein we find DGF's nuance of "Kowtowing to the culture (which the true Church refuses to do, thus the end of gladiatorial contests and slavery through peaceful means)....".

As already described, your appeal to non-stasis where knowledge is concerned and to fragmented knowledge in the arena of good and evil affirms, not your paradigm, but the Christian narrative.

That is why you were asked questions which have to be asked of you.

Because you reject love as reality's fundamental shape (the Triune God) and therein you reject the fact that love is the highest Ethic.

Given the fact that love's unavoidably triune array of personal interfaces emerges and given the fact that that same topography is demonstrably supra-normative and given the fact that love's egalitarian self-giving constituting those timeless processions within the Triune God both reveal and instantiate love's timeless reciprocity, we rationally conclude an absolute and irreducible shape to reality: love *is* the highest ethic such that reason as truth-finder actually can be morally *un*reasonable should she (reason) chase after some other shape.

Only, you don't agree and in fact you cannot agree given your chosen means and ends inside of Non-Theism.

Therefore: unpacking *why* you disagree with such an obviously true [A] experiential, common sense reality, and such an obviously true [B] metaphysical and moral explanatory terminus, is a viable question given that your rejection of love's rationally demonstrable status as Mankind's highest ethic warrants, well, concern.

Quote:

Against equality

What Nietzsche most hated, and the demise of which he most looked forward to, was the egalitarianism that Christianity had introduced into Western civilization. As he writes in The Will to Power:

“Through Christianity, the individual was made so important, so absolute, that he could no longer be sacrificed: but the species endures only through human sacrifice – All souls become “equal” before God: but this is precisely the most dangerous of all possible evaluations! If one regards individuals as equal, one calls the species into question, one encourages a way of life that leads to the ruin of the species: Christianity is the counter-principle to the principle of selection….”

This universal love of men is in practice the preference for the suffering, the underprivileged, the degenerate: it has in fact lowered and weakened the strength, the responsibility, the lofty duty to sacrifice men. (246)(from http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/06/adventures-in-old-atheism-part-i.html)

End quote.

Gerald,

Since you reject the absolute of love as reality's fundamental shape and therein reality's highest ethic (absolutely), what *do* you interpret to be reality's (absolute) fundamental causal reality? Does it map to physics? If not, to what does it map? You cannot claim agnosticism as you have already rejected love as reality's highest ethic.

Gerald,

I agree that tone matters to message. Qualifiers laced throughout statements about moral landscapes can certainly be helpful. I think as Christians we fall down too often there. Also, there is that bit earlier about the Non-Theist expecting an essay which mentions moral intuitions to have 5 sub-essays pasted into it, and counting the lack of such pastes as the absence of such within Christian philosophy. A bit of fairness on both sides helps address that issue of tone.

That is clear.

I think it is (also) clear that:

First:

Your appeal to non-stasis where knowledge is concerned and to fragmented knowledge in the arena of good and evil affirms, not any Non-Theist paradigm, but the Christian narrative.

And:

Second:

An appeal to the absolute is inherent in all views.

As in:

The reason both the A-Theist (No-God) and the Theist (God) must defend their respective view is simply that both the Theist and the Non-Theist have beliefs about Actuality's primordial datum, Actuality's irreducible causation(s) which just are beliefs about either God or else god, about reality's rock-bottom. This has an immediate and direct impact upon the fundamentally different conclusions which we make about Man, Mind, and Reality in *any* setting with respect to *any* path from non-being to being. Both the Theist (God) and the A-Theist (No-God) has his own terminus of explanation -- the Christian his God and the Non-Theist his god. Those who claim to be floating in a kind of thoughtless-space utterly void of thoughts about reality’s causal rock-bottom are simply unwilling to defend their own explanatory termini. As such they provide far more noise and static than reason and sense.

Third:

When it comes to emotions, intuitions, and knowledge, the Christian paradigm neither “starts” with any of those three nor “ends” with any of those three. As contingent beings, and in particular as contingent beings within the pains of privation, all three are fallible, and, just the same, all three are faculties or powers decreed by God as elements within the Imago Dei.

Regarding moral knowledge:

On Christianity, we see just why it is that our under-exposed traveler is startled when he encounters, probably for the first time, the irreducible worth of all human beings as the reality of that which transcends all normative constructs impacts all of his emotions and intuitions.

The supra-normative exists, on Christianity. It entails irreducible reciprocity. It entails fragmentation. It entails darkness. It entails discovery, restoration. In particular it entails instantiation, the means of which necessarily involve, and supersede, the knowledge of good and evil. On Non-Theism of course there is no darkness for there is no supra-normative, and hence nothing to be lost, nor seen "only in part", nor restored, nor instantiated.

Emotions, intuitions, and knowledge:

When it comes to emotions, intuitions, and knowledge, the Christian paradigm neither “starts” with any of those three nor “ends” with any of those three. As contingent beings, and in particular as contingent beings within the pains of privation, all three are fallible, and, just the same, all three are faculties or powers decreed by God as elements within the Imago Dei.

Regarding moral knowledge:

On Christianity, we see just why it is that our under-exposed traveler is startled when he encounters, probably for the first time, the irreducible worth of all human beings as the reality of that which transcends all normative constructs impacts all of his emotions and intuitions.

The supra-normative exists, on Christianity. It entails irreducible reciprocity. It entails fragmentation. It entails darkness. It entails discovery, restoration. In particular it entails instantiation, the means of which necessarily involve, and supersede, the knowledge of good and evil. On Non-Theism of course there is no darkness for there is no supra-normative, and hence nothing to be lost, nor seen “only in part”, nor restored, nor instantiated.

Some (perhaps) helpful links:

[1] Robert C. Roberts, “Emotions as Access to Religious Truths”. Faith and Philosophy: Volume 9, Issue 1, January 1992. Robert C. Roberts, Pages 83-94, DOI: 10.5840/faithphil1992913

https://www.pdcnet.org//pdc/bvdb.nsf/purchase?openform&fp=faithphil&id=faithphil_1992_0009_0001_0083_0094&onlyautologin=true

[2] “Un-intuitive Metaphysics

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2015/08/unintuitive-metaphysics.html

[3] “Intuition”

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/07/on-intuitions.html

[4] Feser discussing a particular knowledge argument

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/07/when-frank-jilted-mary.html

DGFisher, you quoted me and then responded:

>> Is it true that some transgender people can only lead honest, happy, fulfilled lives in their transgender identity? If that is true, should that lead us to revise our understandings of gender and sex and human nature and what is sinful?

Yes, and if it is false?

We will have to revise our revisions.

Is your "yes" an acknowledgement that a revision MIGHT be in order? If so, I agree with you that we need to continue to learn from experience. If it turned out we were mistaken, we would need to revise again. It is an empirical question whether certain people can only fully thrive by living a gender identity that does not match their birth sex. It is also an empirical question whether there are certain people who can only fully thrive in a loving relationship with a partner of the same sex. If these are true, then I believe that our understandings of gender and sex and human nature and what is moral and immoral in human relationships should be revised to fit the facts.

Your argument against gay marriage is bad, and that's why it lost in the courts. We recognize marriages between couples who can't have children, whether because they are too old or for some other reason. These are full-fledged marriages. We recognize families as fully families with adopted children, and gay couples can adopt. It does not take any special "egalitarianistic" principle to recognize gay marriages along with those others as full marriages. Your denigration of gay marriage as merely "an expression of sexuality in form of commitment" (whatever that means) instead of being a formalization of a stable, loving, committed relationship between two people, while par for the course among Christian apologists, is unjustified and biased. Same-sex marriage does not trivialize marriage, it honors it. It is you who trivialize gay marriage.

You ask me where I establish my foundations of "common sense." Common sense has no foundations. Common sense is whatever seems obvious to people in a culture at a time. There may be some basis for it, there may not. It may be based on some hard thinking or investigation that someone did once, or it may merely reflect superstition or prejudice. It is what everybody "knows", or would know if they gave it a little thought. You open a door by turning the door knob. The moon is far away and the stars are farther. You can get a cold by being too cold. The soul leaves the body at death. Marriage is between a man and a woman. Blacks are inferior to whites. Gender always matches sex. America is the greatest country on earth. That sort of thing. Common sense.

It's a very useful thing to have in order to act quickly or make snap judgments without needing to think. But it's unreliable. That's why it should not be surprising that it changes. The writers of the various books of the Bible had the common sense of their age and culture. A good example: the story of the spotted sheep in Genesis 30:37-39. For ages it was common sense that offspring could be affected by what their mother saw while pregnant. Another: the various places in the New Testament (John 12:24, 1 Corinthians 15:36) in which it is claimed that a seed must die before it bears fruit. That seems like common sense. You plant it in the ground, like burying the dead. Then up comes a new life. Except we know now that if a seed dies, it will never bear fruit.

And here's a vile example of the common sense of the time (not among Romans in general, but among Christians and Jews): Romans 1. Those who have "unnatural" sexual relations are lumped in with those who do "every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; ... they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." -- That is, Paul holds that it is common sense that all these acts deserve death, so those who commit them must know it. (At least common sense is one way of characterizing Romans 1:19-20 -- "what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them," etc. That is, it is obvious without further thought.)

Romans 1 is worse than Trump's claim about illegal immigrants: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. ... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us.[sic] They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." At least Trump said "some, I assume, are good people." For Paul there is no such caveat. All those who have same-sex relations share the evil of murderers and slanderers. "They have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy." It was Paul who was the slanderer. And those who call on Romans 1 join in the slander. But hey! Everybody knows it's true. Gays are disgusting. It's just common sense.

Gerald,

I lie daily. To myself in subtle ways. To others in hedges and shrugs. Even with people I love. Who love me. Half-truths to get by. Sometimes not subtle at all. And I so in the light of day.

I satisfy Paul's criteria.

Daily.

And yet, I am in Christ.

I am the beloved.

First you sacrifice all hope of any moral reality at all, and then you rant about Non-Christian truth claims about me. About all men.

There are blogs to discuss Non-Christian X's.

Don't you think it's time you visited one? Or do you really think Christians recognize anything you're asserting as applicable to their paradigmatic landscape?

Just to be clear: we don't.

Correction:

And I do so in the light of day.

Gerald,

Having sacrificed all hope of any morality at all, you rant about (Non-Christian) moral lines. Lines (moral reality) which you've expunged from the start.

There are Non-Christian blogs who believe it makes sense to expunge all trandscendent moral realities and then talk as if there were such things.

We can add this comment to the last in our growing list of reasons why you clearly don't comprehend Christianity despite continuing to post on Christian blogs.

Gerald,

>> Common sense has no foundations.

Impossible.

I stand by my definition that common sense is grounded in the logical, rational, and purposeful. I have no room for feelings or emotions, since they are deceptive and even volatile. I wouldn't include intuition, since that would be more along the lines of "gut feeling" and not common sense.

...has no foundations. This struck me, since this is more the domain of the whim rather than "common sense." Whims gathers about similar backgrounds and pseudo-evidence to give it some traction. When I read your posts that dealt with this issue of CS, I was terribly confused. I disagree with A - no common sense. I agree with B - loads of common sense. Then the notion of whim came across my mind. Much of what you stated needs reassessment.

Culture is a poor advocate of CS (cannibalism). Idealism often fails (guillotine). Zeal for fairness leads to poor justice (the child who wishes to have his/her way).

Your closing thoughts on Romans One seems to indicate that all the horrible things mentioned in that chapter is solely the world of the LGBT. Hardly. Paul does list several sins in the chapter which includes homosexuality. This issue was discussed elsewhere in this blog.

str.typepad.com/.../06/romans-prescribes-the-gospel-not-execution.html

The sad thing is that many won't get by Romans chapter one. The whim is to pass it all off as lies and chaff at the "judgementalism."

And so they miss out on all that wonderful grace and love of God when it rolls around to Romans chapter five.

We first must be honest with God, before God shows how He honors us.

Gerald,

Please tell us how and why homosexuals are also found in Christ, are the beloved. His beloved.

As for Paul's list, if you tell me again (on my many X's in said list) that I am not in Christ, that I am not the beloved, His beloved, then we'll have our third, or perhaps tenth by now in this thread, reason you clearly have no understanding of the Christian metaphysical topography, of the Christian metanarrative.

We can provide you with links to several Non-Christian blogs at which one can discuss your array of Non-Christian truth claims.


DGF,

I was about to copy and paste one of your comments in (from) the link you provided.

Very helpful.

It'd be worth repeating......

scbrownlhrm, I couldn't care less about anybody's "paradigmatic landscape", whatever that might be. I am responding to actual Christian people and their attitudes and judgments as they express them. My last comment had specifically in mind Greg Koukl's ugly rant at the beginning of his June 29 podcast. He is influencing people politically (though not in so many words) to vote for Donald Trump, in part because he is so offended and perplexed by changing attitudes toward homosexuality and transgenderism. He spoke of those he opposes in hateful terms, as schemers and liars, invoking and praising Romans 1. As an American and a human being, I feel I have the right and duty to point out and try to correct such pernicious error by representing an opposing point of view, even when the task seems all but hopeless, since the purveyors of error are convinced they speak for God. That's why I listen to Christian podcasts, and that's why I respond to them on Christian websites.

Gerald,

Oh. Okay. Sorry. I didn't realize this was just a political thing for you. I thought better of you. I thought you were merely attempting to speak about Christian truth claims and simply going about it in an entirely uninformed and clueless fashion.

DGF,

Apologies.... but...

Quote:

Another example of shoddy journalism. Gain only enough of the story to produce opinion and edit out all the portions which give the full story.

Context matters. The NYT should do better research and at least examine the logical flow Paul presented.

1). God holds wrath for the lifestyle with which the sinful world is enraptured (Chap One)

2). God judges all, even those whose religiosity presents them as morally pristine and outstanding (Chap. 2:1-16 ; note "All have sinned ... 2: 12)

3). Old Testament dependency on moral righteousness based on adherence to the Mosaic Law leads to failure. True spiritual Israel needs an alternative to a perfect righteousness. (Chap. 2:17-29)

4). If you haven't figured it out by now, all people are hardened, incorrigible sinners. (Chap 3: 1-20)

5). Sinners have redemption in Christ. Paul's Introduction to Gospel. (Chap 3: 21-31)

6). Beginnings of understanding Gospel as divine promise, as we see in the example of Abraham (Chap. 4)

And so we have a proper display of Law preparing one for the salvation declared in the Gospel. Both go together. Law without Gospel is horror. Gospel without Law is meaningless blather.

The NYT, playing for sensationalism, looks to the horror.
"All the News that is fit to print."
Yes, "fit" does explain a lot here.

End quote. (of DGF)

Gerald,

Please tell us how and why homosexuals are also found in Christ, are the beloved. His beloved.

As for Paul's list, if you tell me again (on my many X's in said list) that I am not in Christ, that I am not the beloved, His beloved, then we'll have our third, or perhaps tenth by now in this thread, reason you clearly have no understanding of the Christian metanarrative.

We can provide you with links to several Non-Christian blogs at which one can discuss your array of Non-Christian truth claims.

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