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July 18, 2011

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That makes a lot of sense, but it sure does raise a lot of other questions.

"Why would a morally Good Man (Adam) choose to sin?"

Maybe: It is the wrong question? Sort of....

There is a coherent framework wherein the choice away from Other, toward Self, toward I-Will-Be-As-God, arises, as it did before Adam is created, within Lucifer, and arises again in Mankind (Adam).

When we remember that God, or the Bedrock of Reality "IS" Love, we find inside of that the perpetual Self-Other or I-You forever birthing the Singular-We (think of a Marriage) and therein the very Foundation of Creation lands on this very Motion Among and Between Real Selves: God and Man. And God tells us He will make Man in "His Image", which is "that" image.

And, we can offer, within that Triune One, Love Himself, there is forever a kind of Gethsemane, wherein a very Real Self forever says toward and unto a very Real Other, "Thee I Love, Thee I delight In" and on and on wherever Real Selves Really Love Real Others. If God is Love, "this" is. And, if "this" is real, so too the very real freedom to do otherwise, to move away from Other and towards Self, towards the Alone of the Isolated-I, which is what we find in Lucifer who, by so doing, becomes intrinsically void of any "We". This is the Exit out of "I-You", or out of that "Singular-We", or out of Love, the Fall out of Heaven. And it is our Fall too.

The context where such can happen, or at least such a door can be forever present can be accounted for in the context of a Reality that will be in the Image of "Love Himself" b/c in that Reality the "Everywhere and Always" is Self and Other, Other and Self, the We, that triune I-You-We that "is the fabric of love". We're told Marriage is an Echo, a Pattern, of this business God is about in this business of Creating. And, if so, then so too the Open Door out of Love as anything less is not Love as we mean Love.

But, that said, I think the real question is not, "Why A Free Self" (Adam, or Mankind) but rather, "Why Create if the door to a Fall will come with the business of Creating a Real Self in the Image of Love Himself?"

I have my own ideas which, to me, make sense, but it would take about 200 pages to paint a picture which was coherent at all points. I'll put in my book....but, to me, the riddle of a Free Man, and Love, and Self, and Other do tie together in a way that is feasible.

But, if we know the Fall will come, why create? I hesitate to ask b/c I know this will degrade into a discussion about universalism vs. anything else, and that makes no difference whatsoever because that whole topic or discussion is attempting to base every solution on outcome (the means justifies the ends) and we are told we cannot see the outcome, nor even comprehend it, and so it is an error to run to the end and try to work backwards, when we are told we cannot see The End. At the Beginning we are told the End will be Image-Of-God (let Us create Man in Our Image), which is Love. We are told that AND we are ALSO told we cannot see what "THAT IS" yet. I think we can only know what we are shown, or given, which is NOT "the whole show".

I would offer that if we feel we can slice all of this thin enough to get us to a point of satisfaction that brings us "Beyond Trust" (in Him) then we are wholly mistaken, as, I believe, in our current status, God will not PERMIT us to get to THAT point.......God means to both save us and grow us up (we are in desperate need of both) and I wouldn't bet against God here, but I do think we are entitled, even commanded, to search the scriptures and ask these kinds of questions about Adam and Satan and God and Fall and The-End-Game and all of that.

I would only caution us to remember that our own Cleverness in these pontifications will not be permitted to get us past Trust. The Tree of Knowledge will never, CAN never, become a substitute for having to "just take God's word for it". "Having-To-Trust-In-God" and having to "just take God's word for it" is Eden, and here we are, and TRUST is not something He will allow us to dispense with, no matter how clever we are or how solid our arguement is or how hotly we scream it. "Trust" will, for now, in This-Now, in This-Garden, with This-Species called Adam, remain.

Hast God really said.....?


I don't know. But, this I do know: God Loves.

....sorry...I meant the ends justifies the means... and Etc...


Video quote:


Greg said "Man was created Good but not Immutably Good" and I think that is a key point.

Somewhere here, in that concept, is a bridge over into the Pattern we are given in Christ.

He too is born Sinless, but NOT Perfect. And, then, on top of that, we are told He "was made perfect" through His suffering. He did not start out Perfect. He became Perfect. To avoid the error of thinking God "became perfect" we have to remember that this arena of Christ is New On The Scene, aka it's Not God, but God-In-Man, or Man-In-God, or the Word Made Flesh. The Perfect Word (Christ) enters the Imperfect Man, and becomes the first of many to come in that "New Creation".

He truly is the A to Z.

I think the mutable being transformed into the immutable speaks towards both the issues of Genesis and towards the "New Man in Christ".


Why create if fall was potential? John Stonestreet(contemporary of Koukl) addresses this by asking, among other things, could it be somewhere in God's plan that this would ultimately be more for HIS glory? It's hard for us to comprehend, but we have to believe that it somehow IS more for his glory to create a world in such a way. Ravi Zacharias also addresses the same types of questions by saying we can philosophize and theorize, etc. but ultimately we must trust God that he is sovereign and his plan is best.

Clarification:

"The Perfect Word (Christ) enters the Imperfect Man..."

As in Christ who is the Word, which is God, which was with God, which was God, and which Became Flesh....

don't know if that came through clearly etc....

Here's a question/thought:
I often hear Calvinists say that free will is incompatible with a truly sovereign God, since it makes God a spectator, and puts man in the driver's seat, controlling his own destiny. But if Adam has true moral freedom to choose obedience or disobedience, and of course God has always been sovereign, then free will IS compatible with a totally sovereign God. The same situation arises when we think of Satan's fall...
Thus, when we consider the sinner's ability to exercise saving faith in Christ to salvation, the Calvinist would state that God's COERCION is needed, whereas I would state that PERSUASION is needed (since true love cannot never coerce).
In summary, a sinner choosing or not choosing Christ does not minimize God's sovereignty any more that Adam choosing or not choosing to obey God.

Aurelio, I'm not speaking for all Calvinists, but just myself. Whether free will is compatible with a truly sovereign God depends on what you mean by "free will" and what you mean by "truly sovereign." As you probably know, both of these phrases are understood in more than one way.

As for me, I subscribe to compatibilist free will, and I think God's sovereignty entails that everything that happens happens because God intended it to happen. I do not think free will in this sense is incompatible with God being truly sovereign in this sense.

But I suspect what you mean to say is that Calvinists believe libertarian free will is incompatible with God determining everything that happens. I don't think that's necessarily the case. Molinism provides an explanation for how it's possible for God to determine everything that happens even if we have free will. The only problem is that the Molinist explanation puts limits on what God COULD determine. God is limited by what he knows people would freely choose to do given certain circumstances. So God could only determine people to do what he knows they will do anyway.

But absent Molinism, I would agree that if we have free will in the libertarian sense, then God is not sovereign in the sense that he determines everything that comes to pass.

If Adam has libertarian freedom to choose between good and evil, and if God determines which choice Adam will make, I don't think it would follow that libertarian freedom is compatible with God being sovereign in the Calvinist sense. Rather, I think it would follow that logic has no place in this world since it would mean that contradictions can actually happen. The scenario you're suggesting strikes me as being incoherent, so nothing follows from it but incoherence.

That is, unless I'm wrong to think you're suggesting a contradiction. If it's not a contradiction, then of course libertarian free will is compatible with God being sovereign in the Calvinist sense.

I'm not sure what you mean by "coercion," and how it differs from "persuasion." Coercion, in most contexts, mean the same thing as "to force," and "to force" means "to compel against one's will or desire." But that isn't what Calvinists think. Rather, Calvinists think God changes the condition of the heart, causing people to desire Christ. People choose Christ because of their desire. Since they do so willingly, Calvinism doesn't entail coercion--at least not in the sense of forcing against somebody's will.

But if, by "coercion," you mean "to cause somebody to have a change of desire or preference which results in a particular behavior," then I see no difference between "coercion" and "persuasion." The effect of persuasion, if it is successful, is to cause a change of mind or a change of heart.

I agree with you that a sinner choosing or not choosing Christ does not minimize God's sovereignty, but I suspect you mean something different by "choose" than I do. If you are using "choose" to mean "an act of libertarian free will," then I'm not sure I agree with you unless Molinism is true and God only intends for people to do what they would've done anyway. But I define "choose" as "an act of compatibilist free will," which is to say that a person chooses when they act on a desire or motive. I do not think choosing, in the compatibilist sense, diminishes God's sovereignty any more than Adam choosing or not choosing to obey God.

Greg does seem in this video to subscribe to libertarian free will in the case of Adam before the fall, but this is where Greg and I disagree, even though we are both Calvinists. And he's not the only Calvinist to have that point of view, which is why I'm only speaking for myself here.

God created Adam as sinless, in that there was no Law to break. Upon giving the Law to Adam in its fundamental form, in worked just as it does now, provoking sin.

Dave he did give two laws: Eat of all that you see, and, but not this one tree. One prohibitive law, and one entirely liberating law, so to speak. But the "first" word to Man is to eat freely of all that you see. The other tree was as Lucifer's "I-Will-Be-As-God", or, I, I, an only I, or Self and not Other, which is the inverse of love, which is the fall.

Where there is love, there is forever and always the Other and the Self.

Dave if loving my wife, if knowing her, if doing so enters me into the presence of Other, and into love, via marriage, then so be it. And if we call this very presence of Other a "provocation of sin" then we have not known love. If that is how one sees "the presence of the beloved" (as a burden towards provocation) then the Other is not beloved, and the Self has not tasted love.

If one has not tasted of a kind of death, a death of one's Self, and if one has not tasted of a kind of total loss, a total loss of one's Self, then one has not tasted of the very thing we call love.

If Love, then Death, and if the Death is not of the Self, then it will mean the Death of the I-You (and singular We) which that initial Death of the Self whould have permitted.

Anyone who has known love, knows this.


"If you choose the "I" then in that day You will surely die" so to speak for the I-You-We will therein be aborted as the I which chooses only It-Self becomes an isolated "I" void of the I-You, void of We, void of Community, void of Love. And it finds itself cast by its own hand out into the Alone. And if God is Love, He is Community, that triune and singular We, and therein we see that to be cleaved off of or out of the I-You-We is to be cleaved off of Love Himself, which is to Fall out of Heaven. Such was Lucifer's Fall, and Man's as well. We see it in Lucifer, then in Eden, then again at the tower of Babel, and on and on....


When the God who "Is-Love" declares, "Let Us make Man in Our Image" we must with open eyes see this entire fabric racing in.

For those of you who do not buy what Calvinism is selling, that is, that everything is determined by God, here is an interesting article...

http://evangelicalarminians.org/node/1190

The Bible teaches that free will, at least in Adam exists.

The Bible also teaches that God is essentially omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, provident and so on.

These are not really questionable claims.

The conclusion we must draw from these claims is that the Bible teaches that compatibilism is true. Compatibilism is also philosophically defensible, and indeed, may be the only philosophically defensible position. (if you are an incompatibilist, then God Himself cannot be free in light of the Divine attributes)

Thus, hyper-Calvinism (such as you see Luther anticipating and pushing in the Bondage of the Will as an antidote to Erasmus) that rejects Freedom of the Will simply because of the Divine Attributes is unscriptural and false.

Likewise, Arminianism, which attempts to weaken the Divine attributes because of a commitment to freedom of the will is also unscriptural and false.

So scripture teaches that human freedom and divine pre-destination are quite compatible. The failure of fallen humans to be free is not based on the Divine attributes of omniscience, providence and the rest, but on the moral sickness we inherit from Adam and Eve.

WisdomLover,

If it is anything less, then Love is not Love and the dance between God and Man, Man and God, that is the business of Love, is either trickery, or rape, or mechanical and robotical.

Love with any undercurrent, or even a hint, of trickery, or rape, or manipulation, or of automaton mechanisms is not Love in the sense that we mean love. In fact, such a view would reduce the Love that breathes between God and Man, Man and God, Self and Other, Other and Self, to nothing better than is found in the slavery of Determinism in which all things whatsoever are in the end a kind of Slave inside of Choiceless, Wantless, Involuntary "net-reactions" to a collection of "Attributes" or "Forces".

If God is Love, and if God and Man are to be that unique Other-Self dance as is found inside of what we mean by Love, then I think your description is the only valid description.

I hesitate to say these things as I am unschooled in formal theology and things such as Erasmus and hyper-Calvinism (and other things mentioned by you guys) are not in my arena of well rehearsed thought. But, of what I know of Him, and of His reach into Us, there is no Involuntary whatsoever, nor rape, nor manipulation, and etc. There is the frightening and shocking In-Your-Face weighty-ness of His declaration to all of us that we are of the utmost value to Him, the very Bedrock of Reality, and that He means to make us into His Image, and that such a Door stands wide open.

That Eternally Sacrificed Self stands as the Door and tells us He is Himself the Way. And then He spreads His arms wide and He gives Himself away, wholly, for His beloved Other.

This is Love.

The idea that Divine predestination would amount to manipulation or automation already includes the unscriptural and false assumption of incompatibilism.

I think there is an Open Door in front of the Beloved both Into & Out of union with the Other. A one way door, which would preclude "Yes, but please Sir no thank you" is not Love's Door. If my Beloved refused my eternal advances, what shall I do? If my Beloved is not wholly free to refuse my eternal advances, shall I find Joy at the alter of such a marriage?

And etc....

It seems Calvinists believe there are Non-Calvinists who are near and dear to the heart of God and enjoy His House forever as well.

I am not familiar enough with Cal vs. Hyper-Cal vs other brands-a-going.

But, this is from one Calvinist (Spurgeon)

~~~~ "There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer-I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it. But far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one "of whom the world was not worthy." I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven."


And, I will add, for the sake of what I feel is needed, which is Focus on what God "is", which is Love, and on what He has announced in regards to Mankind: a Marriage, and We the Bride, and He the Groom:


I think there is an Open Door in front of the Beloved both Into & Out of union with the Other. A one way door, which would preclude "Yes, but please Sir no thank you" is not Love's Door. If my Beloved refused my eternal advances, what shall I do? If my Beloved is not wholly free to refuse my eternal advances, shall I find Joy at the alter of such a marriage?

The idea that having a choice precludes divine providence, omniscience and so on already includes the unscriptural and false assumption of incompatibilism.

It doesn't matter which side you spin it from. Scripture requires that we say both that God is in absolute control, and that Adam and Eve, at least, were completely free to choose.

Any other position, Calvinist or Arminian, is unscriptural and false. Indeed, those who pose the question "Are you a Calvinist or an Arminian?" as if those are the only two possible choices, almost certainly have an unscriptural and false presupposition. They are almost certainly incompatibilists.

In order to truly love God, must we be free to follow Him or not follow Him?

Let us assume that this is true.

Even so, God is not in the position of a human lover. God knows before the foundations of the world what our free choices will, in fact, be. He knows with 100% certainty and with the full freedom to make a different world with free creatures who make different free choices.

But He made this world, and not that other world. Why?

Because He planned before the foundations of the world that the free creatures in the world would make just the free choices that they do in fact make. He knew with 100% certainty what He would get if He made this world. He got, right down to the least whim of the least of His free creatures, exactly what He wanted.

God is in absolute control. And the free creatures in the world are absolutely as free as they can be. Or at least, any lack of freedom they experience has nothing to do with God's fore-ordination of events.

Bringing us back to the main topic of this thread. Adam freely sinned because that is exactly what God wanted Him to do. Without the fall, there could be no Cross. The Cross is the center of Creation.

As a point of clarification, some Calvinists think that the reason humans are not free is that freedom is, in principle, incompatible with the Sovereignty of God. I have been referring to these Calvinists as hyper-Calvinists.

It's the mark of the hyper-Calvinist that he'll ask the question "Are you a Calvinist or an Arminian?" as if those were the only choices.

But plenty of Calvinists recognize that Adam, at least, had freedom of the will and that there was no conflict with Divine Sovereignty that he should have had that.

Our current lack of freedom is not because of God's Sovereign Nature, but because of our morally diseased souls. There is nothing at all unscriptural about this view. And I totally agree with it. My disagreement with such Calvinists is on other issues.

Anyway, that's why I'm careful to make the distinction between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism.

"God wants Man to Sin".

.....good stuff to work with.... I think you are half right; and half wrong. Can we guess the whole show and use Man's Perspective and Man's scales to weigh God's Thoughts? Evil Happens so God wants Evil. That is HALF right, and half wrong. That is applying Man's Cleverness (which is Finite and limited to Man) to God's Planning.

It is like the five year old who thinks his parents enjoy looking at neat little bugs b/c they have piles of logs by the Fire Place and on those logs are neat little bugs. He has no concept of the Fire Place and Gas and Electric and the Physics of Energy. But how can he?

It is a matter of using the wrong Perspective (which is a good thing when used for the right application) to figure out the wrong set of Real Things for which it is wholly void of the proper lenses and thus void of the ability to know exactly. That child's parent's care nothing whatsoever for little bugs; and in fact they will kill them if they should find them, as they are a threat towards the child they love.

But there is the child, "My parents WANT little bugs!!"

But even this, my analogy of your analogy, is using the Finite incorrectly, for I assume that I don't assume.

.....The Finite wrestles with the Infinite....

I started this topic with my own caution to myself about thinking we can get past Trust and make it to a "full grasp of the whole show". Now I am finding myself telling another person that, "No, actually, God does not want me to Sin..."

"God wants Man to Sin".


Off to dinner....but more tomorrow....there is Truth in that somewhere.... but not quite the way the Calvinists, nor the Non-Calvinists (both of whom enjoy the company of Love Himself in His Bliss) think of it.

Sometimes a half-truth is worse than a whole non-truth.

But not this time.....

WL, I'm a compatiblist for philosophical reasons. I think compatibilism held both before AND after the fall. I even think God has freedom in the compatibilist sense. I don't think anybody anywhere at any time has ever had or will ever have libertarian free will. Would you consider me a hyper-Calvinist, a Calvinist, or something else?

Hi LHRM, you started off this recent response to WisdomLover with a set of quotation marks that do not contain what WL said, if you were replying to this statement:

"Adam freely sinned because that is exactly what God wanted Him to do."

I dont think WL would agree with your phrase nor does scripture support the idea that God wants MAN to sin, in a general sense, otherwise He'd be in conflict internally. That men sin contrary to His word coupled with the idea that nothing comes to pass apart from His foreknowledge [foreordination] means that He approves what will be the end of mans sin. This accounts for the scriptures that plainly describe His supernatural involvement in certain sins of men yet so as to not taint God's honor with the charge that He has authored sin.

Sam-

I'm not sure what you mean by libertarian free will. If you mean simply "freedom that is not compatible with Divine foreknowledge, providence, power etc." then, of course, I agree with you. There's no such thing.

However, this gets mixed up sometimes with the so-called 'compatibilist' analysis of freedom. That is, something like this:

X is free to so act that A is true =
If X wanted to so act that A is true, X would so act that A is true
Sometimes the phrase "libertarian freedom" is used to refer to freedom as described by any analysis of freedom that is not the 'compatibilist' analysis.

I'd prefer to call the 'compatibilist' analysis of freedom the conditional analysis. For the simple reason that this analysis is neither necessary nor sufficient for the truth of compatibilism. That is

  1. It is possible for freedom, taken in a non-conditional sense, to be compatible with some forms of determinism, AND
  2. It is possible for freedom, taken in a conditional sense, to be incompatible with some forms of determinism.
Either way, I do not believe that the conditional analysis of freedom is adequate.

Here is a view about freedom that, I think, is unquestionably not a conditional analysis. Indeed, I think most people would view it as 'libertarian'.

X is free to so act that A is true =
X has the power to create, ex nihilo, conditions sufficient for the truth of A, and X has the power to create, ex nihilo, conditions sufficient for the falsehood of A.
It seems me, indeed, that the freedom just described is as 'libertarian' as freedom can get. It also seems quite obvious that the freedom just described is compatible with any form of determinism derived from the Divine attributes. Why? Because God Himself has that freedom. If this ultra-libertarian freedom is compatible with Divine determinism, then any reasonably described form of freedom is compatible with Divine determinism.

Now, on the question of hyper-Calvinism, since you are a compatibilist, you are, ipso facto not a hyper-Calvinist. By saying that you are a compatibilist, you are saying, in effect, that humans might not be free, but if that is the case, it is not because of any incompatibility of freedom and the Divine attributes.

Hi Sam, I wonder what you think God's freedom has to be compatible with? One thing I believe is true about God is that He's not libeterian-ly free either--maybe this is your point. No person, created or Divine is neutral in the way that would be necessary for true libertarian freedom. If this is what you mean by compatible[with Himself], I guess I follow you.

Brad-

I think it makes sense to say that God both does and does not want men to sin. This works in the same way that dieters both do and do not want to eat ice cream.

Is there an internal contradiction in the desires of God (or the dieters)? No. The term "want" is used in two different senses. There are some things that one wants, all other things being held constant. And there are some things one wants, all things considered.

If all other things are held constant, the dieters want the ice cream...because among the other things held constant is their weight. So they want the ice cream, given that they can eat it without gaining weight. Likewise God wants sinless obedience, given that He can still pour out His redemptive love.

But when you take all things into account, the dieters want to lose weight, and eating the ice cream is not compatible with that, so the dieters do not want to eat the ice cream when they take everything into account. Note that the dieters take no pleasure in refraining from the ice cream. They refrain in spite of the fact that it would be more pleasant not to.

Likewise, if there is to be a cross, then there has to be sin. And, taking all things into account, God wants the cross, so God does not want sinless obedience in that sense. Note that God takes no pleasure in the sin. His plans included the fall in spite of the fact that it would have been more pleasant not to have a fall.

Sometimes other words are used to talk about this distinction. I believe Calvinists will sometimes talk about the secret will of God. Evangelicals sometimes speak of the permissive will of God. These both map to the idea of what God wants, all things considered.

The difference is that, when you describe things in the way I do, you see that the distinction is not about theologically mysterious motivations. It is about psychologically familiar motivations. The analogy with the dieters shows how the distinction works quite nicely.

So LHRM may have gotten my point OK (depending on which sense of "want" he was using when He said "God wants men to sin").

What I mean by "libertarian free will" is the idea that our actions are not determined by an antecedent causes or conditions, including a person's own desires, motives, inclinations, biases, etc.

What I mean by "compatibilist free will" is the idea that our actions are determined by our strongest motive, desire, inclination, bias, etc.

I blogged on the question: Does God have free will?

WL/Etc,

I don't agree with "everything" Spurgeon says, but, I mean to start with this quote of his, and then, from there (later today hopefully) I mean to move into two other areas. And those two "other" areas deal with, 1) what Spurgeon (in this quote) calls the "convergence" of the two lines, and 2) the Reality that there are Thoughts that God has that are not even existent within the frame of Adam (thoughts above our thoughts), and 3) The implied, and real, lack of our telescopes to see over distant horizons (Pre Fall, Post New World) via an intrinsic lack of Lens within our Eyes (His thoughts are not our thoughts) and 4) the fact that God lives and moves, and THINKS, and PLANS, in dimensions and avenues we cannot "grasp" as in No-Time or Zero-Dimensions (rather than our three) and on and on and, most importantly, 5) when we find ourselves against the brick wall of those first 4 our tendency is to "Attempt the Convergence" which Spurgeon mentions in this quote and in that "Attempt" to "describe" what is outside of our very framework to know (zero dimensions, no time, thoughts and PLANING-ACTS beyond us) we begin to stray by saying things which do not fit inside of scripture, such as God wants Evil, or God commanded Adam "Don't eat" to set him up to pull the rug out from under him. The nuance of "want" does not leave God out of the realm of being two-faced (almost) and I see your point about dieting, but (to come later today hopefully) when we begin to "stretch" the limits of what is expressly said, and not said, or revealed, to us, we do so in our attempt to "make these two lines coverge" and in that we begin to create a God who is both against us and for us, who both loves us and also arranges for the destruction of many, and on and on.....and the reason these subtle mis-Q's enter is b/c we are unwilling to STOP and the "BRICK WALL" of the very Reality that Man has BOTH behind him AND in front of him two horizons over which he lacks the necessary lens to properly focus and see beyond, or God's thoughts are beyond ours at SOME point and we seem unwilling in all of these discussions to say WHERE "that ceiling is". We have "the whole show" figured out, and I feel that Spurgeon hints that the "convergence of the two lines" is un-available to us until "then". The evidence for this is, I offer, the fact that we make God a trickster in Eden, and we have YET to say (anywhere here) WHERE is the line in the sand where "His thoughts start" and "our sight line ends"? Is there even such a point?

Pre-Fall and Post New Creation are not expressly given to us in scripture, and all of these discussions deal with those two horizons, and His thoughts and "ways of planning" are as the world of zero-dimensions and no-time, we simply make fools of ourselves in attemtping to "function in that arena" by "detail by detail insisting we know what goes on inside "God" behind the horizon of Pre Fall as well as Post New Creation".

We attribute our 3 Dimesions and our Time to His "thought process" which is destined to lead to error. And so we say "He wants but does not want" or "He knows but He does not know" and etc. It is at those points where the two lines go out of our 3 dimensions, out of our Time, and off into His Zero-Dimensions and His No-Time and there MUST come a point where we must TRUST and say "STOP", beyond "this" I cannnot see. Enter TRUST. And, as I initially stated at the start of this thread, Man will not be permitted to move "beyond trust" with our neat little packaged "whole show" wraps. We will get to a brick wall (I offer He will insist on it) where we must "just take God's word for it". And the temptation of Eden is to Know-As-He-Knows (remember that?). But His THINKING/WANTING are "above" ours and we can "NOT" Know-As-He-Knows (over those two horizons).

So, to start this whole thing, here is the quote. I don't agree with all of Spurgeon but the business of Convergence is important and I mean to move in that direction later:


"Not only are there a few cardinal doctrines, by which we can steer our ship North, South, East, or West, but as we study the Word, we shall begin to learn something about the North-west and North-east, and all else that lies between the four cardinal points. The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will. Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act that there was no control of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I should declare that God so over-rules all things that man is not free enough to be responsible, I should be driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts that few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one part of the Bible that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find, in another Scripture, that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is only my folly that leads me to imagine that these two truths can ever contradict each other. I do not believe they can ever be welded into one upon any earthly anvil, but they certainly shall be one in eternity. They are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the human mind which pursues them farthest will never discover that they converge, but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring."

In the order of choosing good and evil, Greg says of Adam that, '...he was uncorrupted, and he had the ability to choose one or the other. Human beings now don't have that ability. They are corrupted, and they will consistently choose evil...'

So, in light of that, isn't Greg actually implying a fundamental and ontological difference between us and Adam, and if so, how can Christ save us as we are nothing like Adam if we don't have the same capacity as Adam to choose between good and evil?

You know, you can say two plus two equals five all you want.... but it will never be true. You can say that it is compatible for a horse to be a horse and a pig at the same time.... but it will never be true.

If God controls everything than He makes the choices and we don't. For us to have room to make real and meaningful choices God has to voluntarily release some of His "absolute control". This is simple logic. It is either/or and cannot be both/and.

This is apparent even to me, who, as Brad B. repeatedly asserts, is unable to reason logically!

It would seem that God is sovereign over His sovereignty.

LoveHim.....

"I think there is an Open Door in front of the Beloved both Into & Out of union with the Other. A one way door, which would preclude "Yes, but please Sir no thank you" is not Love's Door. If my Beloved refused my eternal advances, what shall I do? If my Beloved is not wholly free to refuse my eternal advances, shall I find Joy at the alter of such a marriage?"

You posted this twice. Can you explain what you mean without the obscure poetic language?

Thanks.

Jeff, how would you define "choice" or "to choose"? What does that mean?

Jeff I'm somewhere near what you are saying in that choice must be both Real and it must be Free or else it is not Choice as we mean Choice and it is not Love as we mean Love. Oddly we are told of a Marriage, a Wedding, a Bride, and a Groom. I think in that arena we must take love to mean love as we mean love, which is Free and Real Selves with Free and Real Others, and etc.

Also, I think God "foreknowing" choices is not the same as "causing" choices....but more later.....gotta run ~~~

Note To Self:


"Take. Eat. And you will See as God Sees, you will Know as God Knows. Hast God really said you shall not?"

I want to see as He alone sees. I will not be still and take His Word for it. He Himself is not enough. I thirst to See more, to Know more. And I will. I Will. I Will. I. I. I.


~~~~~

Where Love Himself is, the Everywhere and Always is Self and Other, Other and Self, the I-You, and that Third Entity, that odd Singular-We which completes that Triune state of what we mean by love.

The Door into this is Death, so to speak. If Love, then Death, and if the Death is not of the Self, then it will mean the Death of the I-You (and singular We) which that initial Death of the Self whould have permitted.

Anyone who has known love, knows this.

I have tasted this fully with my Wife inside of Marriage, wherein Two Selves have but room for One Self. That is Love. There is a Real and Free I. There is a Real and Free You. There is a Singular We. And inside this Triune Fabric there is, simply, Bliss. We hold that God is Love, and we hold that God is Triune. And we hold that He Knows and Thinks and Sees and Plans in ways which are wholly foreign to Man, in ways which are Above Man's knowing and thinking and seeing and planning.

Something so simple is yet one more reason for us to hate, to divide. John 17 is truly a prayer of Faith given our current condition as a Body. But, there will be a Bride, a Spotless Bride.

If I know every Mystery, but have not Love, I am nothing.


Note to Self....

Do not ask LHRM dumb questions....

Sam,

What do I mean by choice or to choose...

Two or more alternatives are available. Through our own will, or volition we pick one of the alternatives. This is a choice. This is choosing.

If there is only one alternative, or if we are capable of only picking one of many alternatives, well, that would not be what I would call a real choice.

Jeff-

"God has to voluntarily release some of His "absolute control". This is simple logic."

Has to? Really?

Volutarily? Really?

I'll tell you what's simple logic. Anything that an individual does because he has to do it isn't voluntary.

If you want to claim the freedom and Divine predestination are incompatible, please provide any reasonable analysis of freedom whereby a contradiction is provable from the claim that both freedom and predestination exist.

If not, please refrain from invoking 'simple logic' when you've made no effort to provide any.

BTW Jeff-

I assume you are a libertarian on the issue. That is, you would argue this way:

1) Freedom and complete divine control are incompatible.

2) Freedom exists.

And therefore

3) Divine control is not complete.

If so, welcome to the wonderful world of heresy! To deny that God is in complete control is to deny at least one of the following:

A) God creates everything.
B) God is omnipotent.
C) God is infallibly omniscient.

So which do you deny?

One "could" offer that, perhaps, "If God cannot create a Self who is both Free to accept Him and Free to reject Him, then He is not omnipotent".......


"God if there be but 10 righteous men in this city, spare it" and God spares it. "God if there be but 1 righteous man in this city, spare it" and God does so. "Can" He end, right there, all sin whatsoever via a final and complete Judgement? Of course. Will He? Would He? No, for He has by His Word declared He would not; such is divine restraint. And He honors His Word above His name.

Can God make Real and Free Selves? Of course. "Will" He micromanage each flux of will and intent and motive within such an Agent which He has declared Free to Choose? Of course not, lest they choose not. "Could" He? Of course, but He will not for He has declared by His own Intent and His own Motive and His own Word that such would not be, as this newly created Agent will himself stand and choose. Such is divine restraint. And He tells us He honors His Word above His Name.

If God sets out to go about creating a world of Free Agents who have a Real Capacity for Love toward Him and toward one another, we can be sure that whatever Act of His which, though possible, would short-circuit such a Plan will be by Him also restrained, for He wills A and not B, and He has Declared that A will be a Real A, although B is within His capacity.

"Control" here allows Real Freedom. What an incredible gift from our creator, that of choice, that of love.

And, "If" Love, "Then" Freedom, or else we do not speak of real love.


We hold as Christians that there is a declaration of a Wedding, and of a Bride, and of a Groom, and of a Love, and of a Union wherein Two, and even Many, become One. And we have John 17. And, we hold that God is perhaps omnipotent enough to pull such a thing off.

.....but this is a dive into shallow water as it's all a guess at the "non-specifically-mentioned-in-scripture" ~~~

~~~ I want to explore more later when time permits....sorry for the chopy/broken posts here but am multi-tasking today......

WL,

haven't forgotten...do want to jump into the issue of Convergence from that quote... fun stuff there; "non-specifically-mentioned-in-scripture" but still worth touching....sorry for hectic day ~~~~

LHRM-

You made this suggestion:

If God cannot create a Self who is both Free to accept Him and Free to reject Him, then He is not omnipotent
And of course, this suggestion is right. God can bring about any consistently describable state of affairs. That there should be morally free agents, agents free to accept and free to reject, is a consistently describable state-of-affairs, so God can bring it about.

Note that we are not saying that God could make a being who could act in such a way that God is not in control of what he does. That's a rock too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift...which is a contradiction in terms. We are simply saying that God can create beings free to accept Him and free to reject Him. Indeed, God has made at least two such beings: Adam and Eve.

Then you continued in this vein:

Can God make Real and Free Selves? Of course. "Will" He micromanage each flux of will and intent and motive within such an Agent which He has declared Free to Choose? Of course not, lest they choose not.
But, you see, there's nothing after that last "of course not" that's a matter of course. The claim that God micromanages each flux of will and intent and motive within a being does not imply and cannot imply that that being doesn't freely choose. It's simply a non sequitur.

The idea that God's control over all the details of the lives of men undercuts the freedom of those men is precisely what has not (and cannot) be proven. Jeff declared, without proof, that it was simple logic. But this is what is always done by incompatibilists on this issue: the incompatibility is asserted but never proved.

The truth is that there is no logic, simple or complex, that shows that God's control is incompatible with any reasonable contstrual of freedom of the will.

Indeed, it's readily apparent that the only way you can define human freedom so that you get an incompatibility of divine control and human freedom is if you simply define human freedom as implying the ability to act outside of Divine control. A definition which, apart from begging the question, is incoherent on its face.

You go on to say a lot about Divine restraint. But what is that? Is it that there are some things that God doesn't create? If there are, don't go looking for them, because they don't exist.

Is your point this? When I come to a fork in the road and there are two paths open to me, A and B, God doesn't always force me down the path I don't want to take?

OK.

Why is that a reason to think that when I do take the road I want to take, He isn't always there forcing me down that road? Indeed, my choices could have no effect and serve no purpose at all unless God Himself is behind them.

It seems that God's control is required for freedom rather than being incompatible with it.

WL define my "want" being no more than a result of Him "forcing me down that road" and prove it's compatability with my own "forcing back the other way by choice even unto the end of the world, if I so "want"".


Effect achieved: Love.
Purpose served: Love.
Reality Created: God's Image.
God's Image: Love.
Inverse of Love: Forced Slavery.

Words have meanings; if we say Free we mean something that has within it the innate capacity to look down both A and B roads and intrinsically has (by gift) the needed inner tools to Weigh, to Appreciate, to Stand and See, and, from within it's own Real-Being, Choose. God gives the Man the inner Tools such that he needs not be micro-managed; (what sheer Gift!) Man is created a free-standing Will and is on many counts in scripture left standing there with Two-Choices before him; and, from that point forward, scripture says, specifically, that Man hast made such and such a Choice. The Choice originated from within the Will that is the Man, rather than by the hand of God. Scripture draws it "that way". If then we are to add nuance to it, very well, so long as we don't "undue" that "specifically mentioned sequence of real events described by scripture".

The Word must be our ceiling; infered nuance is allowed, indeed I thrive on it, but there are checks and balances for us here on this point I think.....

The "Convergence" (more later) of that "specifically drawn pattern" I just described with the "specifically drawn Authority over Man" also described need not violate one another and within Divine Restraint they are not in contradiction; but, Him inside me fashoining within in me the "want" violates the first half drawn above in the attempt to insist on the doctrine about the Authority parts. The two parts, as you have drawn it, overlap in contradiction, or, as you have drawn it, you allow the Authority part to violate the clearly drawn and specifically described "Man and not God Chooses" part. I mean as you have drawn it (He forces me to want what I want after-the-fact-of "Choose ye this day" spoken to a free standing Will (which He specifically draws as such in scripture)).

CS Lewis calls all of this laid upon Man the incredible weight of glory....its sheer actuality, that I am Real, that I am Free, that I Exist, that I stand before Love Himself not as his "Product" or "Slave" or Micro-managed-Puppit, but as His soon to be Bride, is at times frightening. At least to me....I am so broken, so fallen, and the repair does come by His hand and His hand alone (Authority) but, once repaired, then, once again, Choice, Love, and, if I so choose, a Wedding wherein this Repaird, this Rescued, this once again Real and Free Self, this "I", joins in union, per John 17, that Other Real and Free Other, who is Love Himself, and therein (then, over that horizon I cannot see beyond) the I-You will be birthed, and from that, the singular "Us" is birthed, as per John 17, wherein we find Jesus praying for the completion of Genesis' "Let Us make Man in Our Image".


.....still drinking coffee and yawning so will try harder later.....


.....coffee is kicking in...that sweet annointing....

"undue" should be "undo"....which you are doing....

Your Authority Half is undoing the Free-Standing-Will-Left-To- Choose Half clearly drawn-as-such in scripture.

....more coffee....

Authority is invoked in His Rescue of the Slave-To-Sin, in which He restores to the Man that once again Free-Standing-Will, and, then, from there, He declares, "Choose ye". And then He stops, and Man, the Newly Repaired Free Agent who has within himself the needed tools to Weigh and to See and to Realize, Chooses. That Pattern and Sequence is clearly drawn, time after time, in the tone of Scripture regarding Mankind in general. We cannot "undo" it by Authority. Authority DOES come in, but it is to Rescue, to Restore a Slave to Freedom, not to simply swap slave-camps from one puppit-master to another.....

The Slave-To-Sin is brought by Divine Internention to the Cliff of Decision-Making. To his freedom. And this Rescued Man is here left, standing, to now choose. To be Free to choose is what is given to him by Authority. To then choose is left to him. CS Lewis here recounts his encounter with God, which echoes the endless examples of scripture which draw-it-this-way. And, if I must choose between the many examples of Scripture and the Nuance of the Not-Specifically-Drawn-As-Such in scripture of the idea of God getting inside my head and making me make the choice, I will stay with the ceiling of the Word:

Here is Lewis:


"The odd thing was that before God closed in on me, I was in fact offered what now appears a moment of wholly free choice. In a sense. I was going up Headington Hill on the top of a bus. Without words and (I think) almost without images, a fact about myself was somehow presented to me. I became aware that I was holding something at bay, or shutting something out. Or, if you like, that I was wearing some stiff clothing, like corsets, or even a suit of armour, as if I were a lobster. I felt myself being, there and then, given a free choice. I could open the door or keep it shut; I could unbuckle the armour or keep it on. Neither choice was presented as a duty; no threat or promise was attached to either, though I knew that to open the door or to take off the corslet meant the incalculable. The choice appeared to be momentous but it was also strangely unemotional. I was moved by no desires or fears. In a sense I was not moved by anything. I chose to open, to unbuckle, to loosen the rein. I say, "I chose," yet it did not really seem possible to do the opposite. On the other hand, I was aware of no motives. You could argue that I was not a free agent, but I am more inclined to think that this came nearer to being a perfectly free act than most that I have ever done. Necessity may not be the opposite of freedom, and perhaps a man is most free when, instead of producing motives, he could only say, " I am what I do". Then came the repercussion on the imaginative level. I felt as if I were a man of snow at long last beginning to melt. The melting was starting in my back - drip-drip and presently trickle-trickle. I rather disliked the feeling." CS Lewis


(Regarding Convergence, it has to do with our inability to know as He knows, and the not-specifically-drawn-out in scripture will always be trumped by the specifically-drawn-out in scripture, but more later as I'm not there yet on a saturday morning......)

LHRM-

Words have meanings; if we say Free we mean something that has within it the innate capacity to look down both A and B roads and intrinsically has (by gift) the needed inner tools to Weigh, to Appreciate, to Stand and See, and, from within it's own Real-Being, Choose.
Of course words have meanings. And none of the meanings above imply "not pre-determined by God" or "not orchestrated by God". Indeed, it's hard to see how an individual could have any of these powers without the constant maintenance and provision of God.

But you continue:

God gives the Man the inner Tools such that he needs not be micro-managed;
So, acoording to you, Man's will does not depend on God's continual maintenance and provision.
Man is created a free-standing Will and is on many counts in scripture left standing there with Two-Choices before him;
I don't deny that, in at least some cases, some men have had two (or more) choices before them. What I don't understand is why I should hold the heretical position that precedes this claim. To wit, that Man's will is become a free-standing thing over and against the Will of God. Why must I make an idol of my will? Why must I say of it that it will be like the Most High?
...and, from that point forward, scripture says, specifically, that Man hast made such and such a Choice. The Choice originated from within the Will that is the Man, rather than by the hand of God.
I'm pretty sure Scripture says no such thing. You're more likely to find these sentiments in the William Ernest Henley poem Invictus.

What you've said, in fact, seems to conflict with John 1. For not all things were made by Him. And there were some things made that were made without Him.

As the master of my fate and the captain of my soul, with my head bloodied but unbowed, I exercise absolute Sovereignty over my sacred will. A will given to me, to be sure, by God, but now beyond His reach and control. I thank whatever God may be for my unconquerable soul. But from this place of unassailable power I create things, my choices, of which God has no ken.

Is that where we're going?

Words do have meaning, and I've just laid out what yours mean.

Count me out.

Then we are his puppits & nothing more. Love, in such, is dead.

"Then we are his puppets & nothing more."

You keep saying that, but no proof yet.

Mightn't it be that God always gets His way by actively creating all the constituents of the world, but that I sometimes make choices that amount to the exercise of power over some small corner of the universe where God has decided that I will be free.

Could I exercise my power contrary to God's creation? No, of course not.

But where I exercise my power in concurrence with God's creation, I see no reason to say that I do not do so freely.

But if God is already creating the very things that I exercise my power in doing, how can I be free? How can I be said to exercise any power at all? Isn't God's creation the cause of all of my actions?

Of course God's creation is the cause. But I see no reason why there should not be two causes of the same event. If Holmes and Watson simultaneously shoot Moriarty through the heart, both of them are killers. If God and I both make it the case that I order chocolate pie instead of cherry, both of us freely picked chocolate.

In short, simply recognizing the possibility of God's causally overdetermining reality (along with free creatures) undercuts all overblown incompatibilist rhetoric. God always gets His way...but His creatures sometimes get their way too.

Hi LHRM, from a quick reading to catch up it seems to me that you are attributing to born again ones things that really only apply to Christ Jesus. We "in Him" are attributed to have these things, but dont actually live up to them. We still sin, are slaves to sin though in lesser degree as the progressive sanctification [which is God's work in us] moves us closer actually being like Christ. When God swore the oath to Abraham and walked through the slaughtered animals, He alone promised to do everything necessary to fulfill the terms of the covenant. Eph. 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

Invoking the John 17 scripture which talks about a relational "oneness",[perichoresis] doesn't really support any kind of freedom of will--apart from God, since a careful reading precludes the other kind oneness--[the trinitarian kind, we cannot be divine].

The illusion [and it is an illusion] is that men can be free from God because we are infected with the pride that set in motion the fall. Every man owes God complete obedience, we all are either covenant keepers in Christ, or covenant breakers in Adam. Men in either state are slaves, not free at all. Maturing in faith includes an acknowledging that we'd rather be a slave in our Fathers house than living in a pigsty apart from Him. Covenant keepers are accounted free status in Christ, covenant breakers stand condenmed in Adam as slaves to sin. This side of heaven, we cannot defeat this body of death.

Brad and Wisdomlover (love that name btw)

What is not clear to me is the "corner of freedom" He gives to us, I mean as you mean it is something that is not clear to me. Are there corners given to Real Selves?

I asked a little before for a compatibility test of "Free" with "Force" with, "define my "want" being no more than a result of Him "forcing me down that road" and prove it's compatability with my own "forcing back the other way by choice even unto the end of the world, if I so "want"".

God Forces, but, I am Free to force back, (He allows me to choose to do so, by His choice, not by His weakness) or I am not. A Free-Agent is not Forced, but is simply left to choose. If He creates in me the choice then there is no Me, for there is no Free-Choosing-Agent, and the I ceases to exist in a way which makes Love possible.


When we move toward, "My will and not Thy will" and when we move toward "Thy will and not my will", such is either "Forced" by the touch of God's creative act in that very moment within the Will (they way I read you), or, it is "Free" and is one of those "corners left for us to rule". But you seem to want it both ways. He has given us our Self to lay before His feet (inside of love) or He has not. There are corners or there are not. Self is a corner or it is not. A God who cannot create such a Free Agent is not omnipotent; and He cannot create a rock too heavey for Him to lift, but He can choose not to lift it. And, indeed, our Will IS an Idol, for we place the Self, our Self, above and before that Eternal Other, who is God. But, as I read you, that corner of "My will and not Thy Will" is not one of the corners left to Created Selves in general, for God with His moment-by-moment creative act is there "Forcing" the "Choice" and so HE actually "descides" which fork in the road "I" will take and in fact "I" am not the Chooser, but the Forced.

Herein Love dies the death of a thousand qualifications, for there is no Real-And-Free-I nor a Chosen-And-Known-You, and certainly no "Us" in the sense that we mean inside of Love.

An important point is the Word of Scripture: Scripture does not tell me that God made Lucifer choose his "I" and only "I" Self-Focused path, rather, it tells me that Lucifer did the choosing.

And so too with Adam.

It specifically says that.

And it specifically says God does have the power to alter that. But it does not tell me that He used that Power in those decisions by those Selves.

Not once. That has to matter SOMEWHERE in our theology. We want to See as He Sees, but sometimes we just "have to take God's Word for it". God's Word matters, and must be included in our "Why-This?" driven attempt to Know As God Knows and See as God Sees.


It just never tells us that God made Lucifer or Adam make the choice; rather, the "Story-Given" is of Real Selves choosing Self over Love Himself, and herein those Selves fell outside of the Community of Love's House and went head-long into the "Isolated-I".

Now, from there, I made it quite clear that God has within His grasp the ability to rule Will (our wills are not out of His control, as WL accused me of saying) but that by His Restraint He has left to Man (and apparently Angles) the "rather large corner" of their own Will.

There are corners in general or there are not. You say there are, but then you take it back.

Self is one of those corners in general or it is not. You say it is, but then you take it back.


The Inverse of Love's Death via Adam's Self-Is-God is found in Gethsemane where the New-Adam moves inside of Love with "Thine and not Mine, You and not I" and etc. This, if it is done Freely, and is not Forced, becomes both the product of and the building blocks for, Real Love.

And, again, Scripture tells me Lucifer and Adam did the choosing (I mean specifically it says this) and it never once tells me God climbed up inside their will and did it for them (I mean it does not ever specifically draw it out that way), and Scripture tells me God can and does retainn control over all things, but, that He, based on how scripture "draws it" has left the "rather large corner" of Our-Will to "Man".

Scripture must trump our attempt to come up with a theology which allows us to understand "Why God Why" and "See as only He Sees" and, indeed, if we follow the picture "drawn as such" we find Love to be a Real and Ultimate End, which is the End of Man, which is God's Image, which is Love, which is "Let Us make Man in Our Image" made Flesh (finally!)

Brad I think In Christ is where all of this takes place, and I would offer that our Slavehood to Christ is both necessary and voluntary. The Door out is, as it was in Heaven and in Eden, wide open. And here we find Love, for the Door Into Love is this very same Voluntary Death of Self we find in the Christian story of our becoming New Creations wherein Man becomes like Christ, a Real and Free Self who in sheer delight for that beloved Other cries "Thine and not Mine, You and not I" and herein the Inverse of Hell's Isolation within Self is conquered by none other than Love, for, we are told, Love will, ultimately, conquer -- out last -- all things; it is the very Image of God. It is our Final Good, our Ultimate End, our Soul's Felicity.


WL writes:

"If so, welcome to the wonderful world of heresy! To deny that God is in complete control is to deny at least one of the following:

A) God creates everything.
B) God is omnipotent.
C) God is infallibly omniscient.

So which do you deny?"

Welcome to the wonderful world of WL, intrepid heresy hunter!

Why would I have to deny one of the above to contend that God doesn't micromanage His creation?

I will answer, however.

A) God originally created everything. However, there are many creative forces at work now. God didn't create this computer I'm using. God didn't create cancer, or malaria, or rape, or murder.
B) God can do whatever He wants, within limits that you can no doubt think of....square circle, etc.
C) Don't understand. How could one be fallibly omniscient?

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