« Links Mentioned on the Show | Main | Marriage in Polygamy Is Still One Man, One Woman »

August 22, 2011

Comments

Hmmm....didn't seem to post...how about this test post? :)

So, would that be libertatibilism or comparianism? :-) Yeah, I know, it's lame. But you were all thinking the same thing! Somebody had to say it.

Greg notes that God cannot act against His nature. But this is not unique to God. It is probably not even true of God.

There is, of course, a sense in which it is true of everything, God included. Nothing can act contrary to its nature. That is to say, it is de re* impossible for any being to do something that is contrary to its nature. There is a simple reason for this. What it means for a thing to be de re impossible is that it involves a violation of the nature of a thing.

With that said, there may be things that are quite possible de dicto, but which are not possible de re. That is to say, there is no contradiction in terms involved in describing the thing, but there is a violation of the nature of things.

But it seems that God's omnipotence, 'limited' as it is only by logical consistency, must be capable of these things. Thus, God, and God alone, may be the only being who is capable of acting contrary to His own nature.

Indeed, the whole idea of the nature of a Thing seems to come down to God's free choices about how things will be. The reason rationality is an essential property of human beings is that God freely decreed that it should be so. The nature of things does not represent a limiting fact over and against the freedom of God's will. Rather they express His free will.

Now, none of this is to say that compatibilism is untrue with respect to freedom and any combination of the Divine Attributes (Foreknowledge, Predestination, Omnipotence, Providence, Creation and the rest).

The Divine Attributes are compatible with even the most 'libertarian' analyses of freedom (excepting, of course, an analysis that positively includes a denial of a Divine Attribute). The reason for this is that the Divine Attributes must be compatible with God's Freedom, which will be the most libertarian form of freedom that can exist.

===============================

*- "de re" = "concerning the thing"

"de dicto" = "concerning the word"

I think we do find “both” the compatibilist and the libertarian nuances within that odd Being we call God. I think if I stray too far towards the purely Compatibilist side of the spectrum, I make of choice and love the blind, indifferent acts of a Mechanical Automaton and thereby I run the risk of killing Choice and Love (which He has within His nature and within Himself) and, I think, if I stray too far towards the purely Libertarian side of the spectrum I will ALSO kill Love for God’s love then becomes a Love Unbound-By-Good (which He is bound by within His nature). Therein, if God is Love, then we cannot stray too far in EITHER direction, lest we kill Love, and with it, God.

It is unfortunate that within Christianity we make divisions and camps on these two points, for, I think it is accurate, or precise, to say that both are found within God, and probably there is much more within Him inside yet more layers within not only those two Modes-Of-Movement, but even other Modes-Of-Doing which are simply outside of any Created-Other’s ability to move-in/know.


I often stray too far to the Libertarian side of the spectrum. Fortunately, others help balance me.


Whereas, many offer this of the Divine Nature and stray to the [purely] compatibilist side of this spectrum: God’s Nature is as the Atheist’s God: A collection of forces which merely Roll-On-Through, Mechanically-Indifferent, without Sight, without Choice, without Direction and blindly, mechanically, choice-less-ly plows through, like Gravity, in what is at bottom a Bedrock of a Hard Determinism inside a collection of blind and choice-less forces. They give God Sight, but no ability to allow that Sight to do anything, for He cannot make choices within Himself even if He sees. And so, God may as well be like Gravity: Blind. God is unable to make any choice whatsoever within himself. To show mercy (according to his nature) or to instead show Justice/Judge (according to his nature) is wholly outside of his ability to choose within himself. The divine nature is a choice-less nature. Choice is the product of Creation only and does not Live-Within-God. Again, they insist that Choice is the product of Creation, and not an eternal character within the Divine Nature. To Create and Love (according to his nature) or to Create-Not and yet Be-Perfectly-Whole-Love (according to his nature) is wholly outside of his ability to choose within himself. The divine nature is a choice-less nature. God’s Choice of the Cross is not herein a Choice. The Atheist is right: in Gethsemane God could have ceased to exist if Christ chose otherwise, or, Christ’s choice was the placebo choice of an mechanical automaton.


We will come back to the Atheist’s Challenge a few paragraphs from here, b/c it is helpful in this arena of Choice and Love and God’s Immutable Nature.


Inside of there somewhere the Atheist’s Challenge has a point, for we know God could not have "ceased to exist" and yet, if that is the case, then Jesus' choice of the Cross is the placebo choice of an automaton, and God becomes the Deterministic Equivalent of Choice-less Gravity, and He is not tempted as we are, weighed with Choice, though scripture says He was. And so here we must say "and" or maybe "or" God's very choice from the Foundation, to Create and to therein Love Man, to Save Man, is also the placebo, mechanical choice of an automaton. And here we may begin to see the Hard Determinism of both the Atheist's worldview, and of those who reduce both God and Man to a sort of Choice-less Entity who house within them a sort of Choice-less Love, in which the Bedrock of Reality is Blind, Choice-less, Indifferent [it can’t choose to show mercy; it shows mercy, but not by will, for it chooses not], and is simply an Unthinking Collection of Forces which Roll On Through, Mechanically, without Thought, without Choice, without Love, without Sight: [No-Different-Than-Gravity].

Gravity is a Force without Choice. Will-less. One could even, must even, say, [Indifferent].


To continue this: This Hard Determinism then shows up in Eden where Man is made to be "such", for Man has but one "real option" and one "placebo" option which can never be, and, also, we find the same Indifferent and Choice-less Bedrock attributed to the very Nature of the Divine, wherein God's Love for Man, God's opening of His arms wide upon a Cross, God's statement within Himself of, "Prepare for me a Body....", God's Movement within Himself of Thy/My from before the World is, God's Eternal Choices within Himself to either Judge or to show Mercy, and all of God’s Eternal Choices within Himself whatsoever, and all such acts of Personhood whatsoever, are, really, at bottom, no higher than the atheist's Blind and Indifferent. Such is the Atheist’s version of Choice and even of Love. Such too is the view of those who say of Love Himself that He and His Love are at bottom the Choice-less, Decision-less, Mechanically-Indifferent collection of Blind-Forces rolling on through, like Gravity. God is no higher than the atheist’s Bedrock of Choice-less. Agent-less. Indifferent.


Like Gravity. Gravity cannot choose to pull to the right or left. It has within it no ability to make choices and interact By-Will. If Gravity has a Will, it is a Choice-less Will and therein it’s Will is no higher than the Atheist’s Involuntary Will of Blind Forces which Choose-Not and simply Roll-On-Through blindly.


Both Compatibilism and Libertarianism fail us here. Both.


Yes. Both fail. If taken in isolation “without the other” both Compatibilism and Libertarianism give us explanations of God’s Internal Nature which will fail us. Both, if taken too far, as I alluded to at the start, kill Love, and therein, kill God. I often stray too far towards the libertarian side of the spectrum, and, other writers on this blog help keep me balanced. I hope my own posts are in like manner helpful, but one never knows. I think my tendency to stray over to that side is somehow tied to my reaching towards those on the outside looking in, and I think that is where my own tendencies drift from/towards.

The solution to this is the Triune God wherein Real Choice and Real Love and Real Personhood (Self/Other) all become [Possible] and [Perfect] and [Uncreated] in All-Directions whatsoever. To grasp the Christian concept of Triune, I would point you to Stand To Reason’s blog entitled “The Trinity Is Biblical” and I guess in particular to the posts there of Wisdomlover and LoveHimselfRescuedMe wherein Love’s innate I-You-We is rehearsed as well as His One-ness, although with a different emphasis.

Then, from there, from within the Triune, and, I dare say from within Christianity and probably from within no other worldview whatsoever, we find Love and Choice and Personhood being very Real and Uncreated Entities and doing very Real and Eternal Things within God, and, perhaps this whole discussion here will make no sense at all if viewed from a non-triune framework. And, so, to just emphasize the Triune for one moment: We must remember that God “is” Love and houses within Himself Love’s I/You/We and we must remember God’s pointer for us: He points us toward the model, the pattern, of Marriage and what Marriage “is” as His hint, His echo, of where all of this is heading towards over that next horizon. Marriage houses within it what Love “is” and is comprised of a very real and distinct “I”, a very real and distinct “You”, and, a very real and Singular and distinct “Us/We”. Such is Love. Such is Marriage, and God tell us He is Love, and He points us toward Marriage as the Pattern of what The-Real is. This Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves is the “experience we taste as love” and it not only is comprised of Me, but it also surpasses Me, exceeds Me, improves upon Me, and brings Me to Something Beyond the purely One-Dimensional “I”, and into the I-You. Love comprises this Singular We. A Love that is void of a real I is not Love as we taste Love. And, a Love that is void of a real You is not Love as we taste Love. And, a Love that is void of a real Us, a real We, is not Love as we taste Love. Love is both Pleural and Singular by default and when God tells us He “is” Love, and we find in Him the Triune, and when He points us towards Marriage as a Hint/Echo, we are given the Bedrock upon which to build.

From that starting point, we find within Him (but not within man) every choice to be a Perfect Choice, and this is very unlike our (Man’s) current status. Within Love Himself, to choose the Will of My-Will is a Perfect Choice which leads to Life and More Life, and, to choose the Will of Thy-Will is also Sinless and Perfect, and leads to Life and More Life, and, to choose the Will of Us/We is Sinless and Perfect. Look at Marriage. Look at Love. I. You. Us/We. All three live there and within that Perfect God who Is-One and who is Love’s Triune I-You-We there are [only] Sinless/Perfect Directions within which to choose/move among/between, and Each is Distinct, Real, Valid, and each Move is Voluntary. God is Three. God is One. Herein Personhood becomes Real/Possible, [Uncreated]. Herein Love and its Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves becomes Real/Possible, [Uncreated]. Herein Choice lives from before the world is and becomes forever Real/Possible, [Uncreated].


I do not know if Man will ever be “like that” (Like God) wherein All Choices are Sinless, for, we know that within the Uncreated Himself the Choice of “I” (My and not Thy) is simply Perfect, Sinless, and leads to more Life, whereas, for the Created-Other, perhaps, to ever choose “I” (My and not Thy) may be, perhaps, I don’t know, forever a fatal choice as it cleaves the Created-Other’s “I” off of Life Himself and so becomes an Exit out of Life. Maybe this Door will,[even must], exist forever whenever a “Created-Other” enters the picture, as apposed God’s Forever-Life-Full Self/Other wherein there is no Exit-Out of Life possible, for He, They, My/Thy/We are all Three Perfect Life. But I really have no idea. Revelations speaks of “no more tears” but, again, I don’t know, and this blog is about God’s mode of Choice, not Fallen-Man’s mode of choice. I think our mode of choice is Moving-Towards His mode of Choice (over that horizon) but part of me also thinks Man will always be in some way “dependent” and so perhaps an Exit-Out will always exist, as, for Man (for any Created-Other) to Voluntarily Choose “My and not Thy” is to make a move that can never yield the same sort of Life-Giving result that is reached when God Himself makes that Voluntary Choice of My and not Thy for all Created-Others are by default not [Life-Source] as God is. Perhaps the path to a world made of Love houses within it a [Necessary] Door Out simply because Love has within it by default God’s very Nature: Choice and Love and Personhood, and, when that Personhood is any Being other than Life-Himself, then by default all Created-Others will cleave themselves off of Life-Himself should they choose Self and not Him (My and not Thy), and, if they cleave themselves off of Life, then, Death. Enter the Tree called Life, and Eden, and Man’s grasp for Self, and all the rest. But I guess a little here and as to what our mode of choice will “ultimately be”. God is Immutably Good, but I do not know that any Created-Other can ever achieve the Status when should it choose “Self and not Him” or “My and not Thy” it would taste no death, but I do not know this and I only guess.


Gethsemane and the Atheist’s challenge:

Either God could have ceased to exist in Gethsemane if Christ would have chosen otherwise, or, Christ’s choice is the placebo choice of a Mechanical Automaton. Hence, He is not tempted as we (Thy not My cannot be failed, as we failed) and, Christ does not choose to save us. Love is reduced to the Atheist’s Blind, Mechanical, Choicless Gravity.

The Solution to this is the Triune God. It is Christianity. Just as, I dare say, In Christ, in Christianity, and no other world view, is where we find Real Uncreated Choice, Real Uncreated Love, and Real Uncreated Self/Other/Personhood. The dance between Thy/My is not an event which [happens first] in Gethsemane, but instead is an Event within the Eternal Three-Person God from the foundation, and, then, becomes Manifest in the Word-Made-Flesh, here in this, God’s created world. But the Blueprints, and the Choices Made, occurred from the Foundation. God Manifest in Christ is not an Event which is decided in 1 B.C., but is an Event, and an Act, and a Choice, which is from the Foundation, from within that All Seeing Eye of God’s Internal/Eternal Council. God/Christ or Son/Father or My-Will/Thy-Will [COULD HAVE CHOSEN OTHERWISE], back then, when, for the One-God to say within Himself "My and not Thy" [instead of “Thy and not My”] is simply the Father Honoring the Son (as He often does in scripture) rather than the Son honoring the Father (as He often does in scripture) Within-Himself before He creates and this yields No-Sin whatsoever, for [To-Create] and to [Create-Not] are wholly Movements within that Unsearchable Abyss we cannot get our minds around, and God makes a Real Choice to Give Himself For Us, because Love is bound by Goodness, and to Create is to Love, yet, that Choice is from before Creation, when, had He chosen otherwise (to create-not this beloved) it would entail no Sin. God never was at any time "exposed to the possibility of falling". Scripture explains this by pointing us to that Movement Among and Between My/Thy "from the foundation of the world". God simply peers forward and Sees All that Creation and Cross may entail, and, inside Himself, among Him-selves, He counts the cost, feels the weight of the Cross upon Himself [He is tempted as we then and there, and can choose ya/na yet, without sin in any direction, yet, still a real choice] and within Himself, Thy and MY (and We) choose what to create, when to create, why to create, if to create, and all of this is weighed, tasted, and Chosen before hand in God's All Seeing Mind. The Lamb is Slain from the foundation. [He is tempted as we then and there, feels the weight then and there, and can choose ya/na yet, without sin in any direction, yet, still a real choice]. And, let us be clear, once God Himself declares that Eternally-Fateful, “Let Us make Man in Our Image” there and then the Choice of Creation, and all that Creation entails, and it’s Cross, and His “Prepare for Me a Body” are all, there, then, Chosen, Decided, Known, Tasted, Weighed, Felt, and the Weight of the Cross is tasted from Then, and, from There, the Choice of the My-Will to offer up towards the Thy-Will is wholly embraced within the Triune God. The Choice is made to Create This-Particular Beloved back then, and, Gethsemane is simply the point at which that wholly-embraced triune-choice “manifests” in this, His created world. This is “Word Made Flesh” just as a Child is born, a Son is given is “Word-Made-Flesh”. Word, which Is God, which is With-God, is Made Flesh, and hence is Manifested here, in His created world. And so the Atheist’s challenge fails for the atheist does not see the Triune God who houses within Himself Real and Voluntary Selves from before forever.

There is no such thing as a Placebo Choice within God Himself and there is no such things as Involuntary/Mechanical Choices within God Himself nor among God’s Created-Others in Eden, for Man will be made in God’s Image. Choice is Intrinsic to the Uncreated in His mode of Moving Between and Among the I and the You and the We inside of Love's various Embraces within Himself between Father/Son/Spirit or I/You/We just as inside the Pattern/Model of Marriage we also find these Movements which He tells us is “what is to come” between God/Man (I can’t guess what that means). And that is why we say that Choice and Love and Personhood simply have always Co-Existed and are wholly [Uncreated]. They are not coterminous, but they are linked invariably, and are found embedded in the Bedrock of Reality, Love Himself. God does not come rushing in to save you because He has to, He does so because He wants to. He delights in His Beloved. He chooses His Beloved. Voluntarily. He could have chosen otherwise. We can choose as well; one day we too will delight in Him; one day we too will choose Him, our Beloved. Such “is” Love. This sort of Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves is what Love “is”. And, God is Love.


And, lest we argue, or lest I stray too far, God is Love, and His Love is bound, even limited, by His Goodness.


Free and yet Bound. Bound and yet Free. Like Marriage. Like God. We will be in His Image. And His Image is Love. The Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves who Delight in one another, in the Beloved, is what Love “is”. And, God is Love.


WL, thanks. I'm glad to see that after your opening thoughts, you bring up the omni's because it closes the door on any "possibility" that God would / could choose other. Whether you really hold that God could do other, I'm not sure, but a perfect being wouldn't choose or even have to consider to weigh the options to choose against his nature--this is why Molinism is only a thought in the mind of man. A perfect being that has to consider is an oxymoronic statement.

A being that is free is one who knows his nature and is completely satisfied staying in the boundries [no matter how small or large].

God chooses. And, as Brad notes, never against his nature. Mercy/Justice. "Father forgive them" along with He-Intercedes for us, and on and on between Perfect Choices all in line with His nature and all within/among His Thy/My/Our. Bound within His Perfect Nature we find a myriad of Perfect Variety. And within this the Triune's beautiful and perfect Variety, Love Himself Chooses. Free. Bound. He can & does choose, from among very Real & Perfect options. Mercy can be otherwise, as can Wrath, but Choice simply is bound by God's Nature. And God's nature houses what to Man must appear as an unsearchable Perfect Variety.

Free. Bound.

If God's nature never changes, then why does He save some & not others? It would make more sense if God wants to save all & some are not saved because of their own choice. Why does He create some for the purpose of damnation? Why is it loving & good to save people for no reason in those people, & also loving & good to hate & destroy people for no reason within those people? They are equally undeserving, & God is consistently good, so what gives? Is creating 2 totally different classes of people consistent with His perfect unchanging nature? Is it perfectly good to damn as well as perfectly good to save - why? Does God have to make a valley in order to make a mountain, or can He make a mountain rise above a plain; that is, does He have to do or make evil in order to do good? How can causing evil be consistent with his always choosing the good, or having a totally good nature? If God always chooses the good, then how can He will for us to do evil such that we are damned by it?

Is love an immutable law or an immutable attribute of God? Is love eternal? Is love partial & inconsistent?

If God makes a good world full of good creatures & finds it altogether very good, then why would He will for it to be corrupted such that some of it has to be destroyed? Why didn't He, the Holy One keep the good separate from the evil from the start?

If love always existed because there was always love within the Trinity, then where did the evil come from? Who hated Whom from all eternity?

Does love have immutable laws that govern it? Does love require work, risk, & sacrifice? When did Jesus see the Father sacrifice Himself before He sacrificed Himself since He only does what He sees the Father do first? Could God have made the world with out doing work? Could He have made the world without sacrificing His Son? More importantly, could God have made a world with free & living souls living within it without sacrificing a measure of His sovereignty & thereby risk losing them?

Isn't free will just a pointless joke along with being righteous since our being righteous is apparently: an impossibility, predetermined, & merely imputed? Isn't struggling & striving to be righteous & to overcome just a cosmic guilt trip since supposedly we cannot do anything towards that end that really matters?

What elements are necessary for real life to exist? There are at least four aspects necessary for a living soul: life in general, logic, love, & liberty. One aspect cannot exist without the others; they are an integrated whole. For life to exist there must be fixed elements & free, constants & variables, laws & liberties.

I told an unbeliever once, 'Why do you have to do evil in order to be free or to have variety & not get bored? There are infinite varieties of good things to do, & in each of those things there is an infinite possibility how to do them. Music is a good thing, & there will never be an end to all the possible variations in instruments, styles, songs, arrangements, voices, etc.'

Love is a choice even when there is no feeling to support it. Love can be performed out of duty.

God can choose eternally to love, but we must choose continually. The basis for God loving us is our responding to His love by keeping His commands - He will love us if we love Him.

Of course, nobody knows the answer to the question posed to Greg.

To me the L side of the equation seems more likely. It isn't that God can't lie......it is that He doesn't.

If He can't lie then He is more constrained than we are, we have a freedom of action that He does not.

This seems unlikely.

Sebastian,

"If love always existed because there was always love within the Trinity, then where did the evil come from? Who hated Whom from all eternity?"


That's pretty good, and I think if one dives into that there is a lot of Light on this issue that surfaces. Not all Created-Others will be made in God's Image, but Man it seems will be, and, therein, Man will have many attributes not of God's Power but of God's Nature. In this, we find Man to have Real Personhood (Self/Other) and Real Choices and Real Love, as, within God's Perfect Nature is housed an infinite array of Perfect Varity, and therein Perfect Choice, and Perfect Personhood (Self/Other/Triune) and Perfect Love (His Eternally Sacrificed Self).


Evil? I don't know. The Door-Out of Life is, perhaps, as I touched on earlier, maybe, I don't know, almost [Necessary] if Man is to be in God's Image, for, this Created-Other will have Choice, and, should this Self choose "I" (My and not Thy) there is perhaps, I guess here, an intrinsic Fatal-Door-Out, if chosen, for a Created-Self cannot sever Itself from Life-Himself and expect to have Life. Death must be the result of "I and not You" when that "I" does not have within Itself "Innate Life Source" so to speak. Enter the Tree of Life, and Choice, and Death, and all of that. It's "real" and Man had/has a Real-Part in this Marriage. Thankfully, the Groom gets it, knows it, and fills up our vallies, and flattens our mountains.

....sorry....vallies should be valleys....spelling being one of my own valleys......Lord have mercy!

By [Necessary] I mean that the Door must exist, for choice must exist, and, I do not mean to say that it is necessary that Man take/use/choose that Door, only that it exists. For, with Love, there will be that innate Choice between Self and Other, as there is inside of God Himself, and so to with Man/God. I do not know that this Door-Out is [Necessary] but it seems likely to me b/c Love houses within it this very choice, and, I do NOT mean that it is necessary that Man choose that Door; only that the Door exists.

Man, in Eden, could have chosen otherwise. God's Plan houses within it all possible choices, and, the choice of Man to delight in Him and not Self, to eat of the Tree of Life, was a real choice actually given to Man by God. That is unmistakable in scripture. And, so, that Option was real. There are not Infinite Options, as Man can ONLY have what options God makes available, but, let us be clear: God gave Man Choice in Eden, and, I think the Door-Out was almost [Necessary] if Love is/was to be Real Love. And this only applies to Created-Others, for when God within Himself Chooses Self (My and not Thy) there is in that Choice only Life and more Life for it is a Perfect Choice/Option for in Him there is no Darkness and All-Selves (Triune) are Perfect Selves. But this is not the casse with any Created-Other, and so with Created-Other the Move-Toward-Self, if absolute, must by default sever that Self from the only Fountain of Life there is: God. And so Man's Choice in Love MUST in some way avoid "My and not Thy" when it pertains to God, whereas, within God, "My and not Thy" is merely one Perfect Option honoring another Perfect Option within that Infinite Perfect Variety housed within the Triune.

Logically compatiblistic freedom makes the most since for God, because of His nature. Like wise libertarian freedom only makes since for humanity to fall as well as to come back to God.

I think the difficulty we find is that the word "compatibilistic" and "libertarian" mean different things to different people.


If God has is Bound by His Nature (which we all agree that He is) and, if God has within His Nature both Mercy and Wrath/Justice, and, so, therein has a Choice within Himself as to move in Mercy (which aborts Justice) or to move in Justice (which aborts Mercy) (and both are yet Good) then I think this Choice within Himself to move/manifest in one or the other is a Choice.


And here is where the difficulty comes. The Hard/Pure Compatibilist will say that even within God's Internal Variety He is unable to Choose how to move/act, He is a Choiceless Force, like the Atheist's Gravity, while most others will say it is wholly up to Him to choose, not only from among the unsearchable array of Good-Things in His Nature, but even among the Distinct/Real Triune My/Thy/Us we see moving/honoring one another in scripture.


This latter group, who hold that Mercy can abort Justice, and Justice can abort Mercy, and this is wholly up to God and in His Hand and His alone, and is His Real Choice, are not "Libertarian", but, the Hard/Pure Compatibilist will call that view a Libertarian view. When really the Libertarian view holds that God is bound by Nothing and can act against His Nature and so Choice there becomes unbound and there we find God creating, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man.


It's funny b/c the Hard/Pure Compatiblist will tell us first that God cannot Choose (it CAN'T be "otherwise") and then in the next breath they tell us that God Wants/Creates/ Sets-Out-To-Cause not Lucifer, but Satan as His Choice/Plan, not Eden but Fallen-Man as His Choice/Plan and so they have God acting against His Nature.


Odd. Very odd. Even very "libertarian" of them.....

The balance which reflects the two-sided reality in scripture is that God is bound, He does not, cannot, act against His nature, He sets out to cause/create Lucifer, not Satan, He sets out to create in Man what God's Image is, Love, not Fallen-Man, [Choice in Eden is Necessary.....the Door-Out....see my post above] and God has Choice (Mercy/Justice) and can abort one for the other by Choice for both are within Him, and He rules them, they do not rule Him, and, within that unsearchable Perfect and Lovely Variety of the Triune we find Real Movement Among and Between Real Selves wherein Real Personhood (Self/Other) is Uncreated, wherein Real Choice lives Uncreated, wherein Real Love lives Uncreated.

Good observation LoveHimselfRescuedMe the devil is in the details.

I was just looking at a particular passage in 1 Chron 10: 14 and 1 Samuel 31:4 and asked the question in what context did God kill Saul?

I Chron seems very clear. Saul's own actions led to his death in battle.

This is just the way the writer of I Chron talks.."God killed Saul". He is saying that Saul died because he wasn't faithful to God.

What it doesn't say is that God had any active role in Saul's death.

Q. What is your favorite sport?

A. I don't like sports.

Q. So what is your favorite football team?

Some questions don't follow. Aside from explaining why, it's generally pointless to discuss the nature of a question that doesn't follow.

Man: Did you create everything?

God: Yes. And my creating it was good.

Man: Why did you make me this way?

God: Who are you, oh man, to ask? (There are things that I did not give you the ability to understand lest you trust your understanding and not me. I Cor. 13)

Man: So did you create evil against your nature or are you a lie?

Yes, that is correct. Many hold that God's Choice/Plan is to create, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man, and, therein, Lucifer and Man had/have no Choice/Part in the matter, b/c God makes our Choices for us, rather than giving us Choice. He does not make Created-Others with Choice, rather, He makes Slaves for whom He makes Choices, although He Himself is unable to make Choices within Himself, for it "can't be otherwise". Etc.

Many hold this view.


I do not. Many do not.


Many, many, who know/taste Him, and who are not naive to scripture, see, find, a wholly different God.


We simply disagree.


I think many hold to that Choice-less, Hard Determinism of God/Scripture. Of course many others do not. We simply disagree. Hence the “spectrum” which this video is about. Some hold that God is unable, within Himself, to choose between Mercy and Justice (Hard Determinism) (and other choices) while others hold that God is bound by His Nature, even limited by it, but, that within an unsearchable and Perfect Varity within his Nature, lives a whole collection of Perfect Options among which He Chooses. He can move in Mercy, or Justice, and the Choice is His, for He rules them, they do not rule Him. He Has Choice, a Freedom to Act/Choose, and does this freely, and, also, He is bound by His Nature and cannot act against it.

This spills over into how we view God interacting with you and I and all of His Created-Others in very significant ways.


God gives to Man in Eden Two Trees and tells Man to eat of the one called Life / of any tree whatsoever, but not of the Tree called Knowledge.

That is unmistakable in scripture.

Hence, we take God at His Word.

Man could have eaten of Life, then, rather than in Revelations. Either way Man WILL eat of that Tree called Life, for God's Plan will not fail.

It could have been otherwise.

It could not have been outside of God's Plan, but it could have been, WITHIN God's Plan, otherwise. VERY otherwise.

Here we see God giving Choices. Real Choices, with different outcomes in The-Now, but not in The-Final-Good, to the Created-Other. God provides Choice because He makes Man in His Image, which houses a Voluntary Love Moving Among and Between Real Selves, within the Triune I, You, We/Us housed within Love/Him. God’s Love among His Thy/My/Us has Choice, Delight, Honor, Worth, and Real Voice, and so His Created-Other who will be created in That-Image has from the start this very Self/Other Movement.


Here we see God creating, not Satan, but Lucifer, not Fallen-Man, but Man, and, ultimately, either way, we see His Final-Good, Man eating of that Tree called Life. He rescues Man from the both his own sin and from Satan, the rapist, and God does not play the part of the rapist Himself. God is building Love, not Theater.

And, along side of Him, we find His Created-Others by His Design, by His Plan (and it cannot be otherwise than God’s Design) actually taking part, acting, choosing, doing, even against His Will, which He permits, but does not force. God does not rape us. God is making Someone in His Image even here, in This-Now, by This-Tree called Knowledge, for God’s Plan will not Fail. It cannot be otherwise. God is no fool; His Eden has all the bases well in Hand. God’s Plan. It will not be otherwise. He WILL build/create Man in His Image.


This approach takes more than one scripture and all in context, whereas, "By Him all things that are made" is building an entire theology on that one verse "at the expense of other scriptures" and ignores "God ceased from creating" and the entire story of Eden and a host of context on Man's Choices and God's Will and a whole, huge, collection of other scriptures which paint wider, more full, pictures when all taken together. One-Verse theology creates a Choice-less, Mechanical Automaton God who rapes His Created-Others.

And by building a whole theology on one verse, while ignoring others which balance it, which add to it, we see the reality that God is both Free/Bound within Himself sacrificed, and so the Blind, Choice-less Force of the Atheist's Gravity and the Hard-Determinism of a Choice-less God and a Choice-less Personhood are born and foisted upon us.

We agree that it cannot be otherwise, but we completely disagree on the entire nature of that statement.

Many, many who are not naive to scripture, and who know/taste the Living God whose Name is Love, see, find, a wholly different God than the Mechanically Deterministic and Choice-less God who creates, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man. We find a God who does not rape, and whose name is Love, and whose Final-Good will not fail, who creates Man in the Image of Love, wherein the Voluntary Motion Among and Between Real Selves Freely takes place by/with Real Choice, Real Personhood, and Real Love. And we think these take a more balanced, more collective, view of the whole body of scripture. And, plainly, we think this reflects the Real-World and the Real-God we find before us. God Is-Love.


Spell check:

.... Perfect Varity within his Nature


should read "that within an unsearchable and Perfect Variety within his Nature......."

Etc...

Jim's comment:

"Man: Did you create everything?

God: Yes. And my creating it was good."

I would amend to

God: Yes. I created everything originally. And everything I created was good.

Man: Why did you create me this way?

God: I created mankind good. Your own individual and collective choices are what got you here. Why are you blaming me for this? Haven't I repeatedly told you I am good?

A) "Hard Determinism" or "Hard Compatibilism" in which God has Zero-Choices within Himself.


B) "Hard Libertarinism" in which God has Zero-Boundries in how He Can/Does act/do.


C) God is BOTH Free/Bound.

Many hold that God set out to create Evil, and that God forces people to go to Heaven/Hell with no involvement of the created-person’s Will at all. Man has no choice, and, shockingly, God has no choices either. This is a kind of “Hard Determinism” and teaches that God planned on, and set out to induce/cause both the Fall of Man (Man had no REAL choice in Eden, he could not have eaten of the tree of life, it could not have been otherwise) and also that God does this because He is innately “Will” and has no ability in Himself to Choose what to do or say or create or etc. and so “it could not have been otherwise” (the fall of man, hell, everything). Whereas, others agree that “it can’t be otherwise” but use that phrase to mean Man has no options OTHER THAN what God gives to Him (two trees in Eden, not twenty) and these also hold that God ALSO has Real Choices within the Triune among My/Thy/Us as well as between God’s inner attributes. These also hold that the story of Eden in Scripture is actually true, and God gave His Created-Others (Lucifer/Adam) actual Choice. Both hold that “it could not be otherwise” but the latter group holds that God has Choices within Himself (Mercy vs. Justice) and so it can be otherwise based on His choices (bound by His Nature) and, that Man in Eden has choices, and so it can be otherwise based on Man’s choices as well (limited by what God makes available in creating reality). God is bound by His Nature, but within His Nature are many Good and Perfect Acts/Persons for Him to Choose/Honor, and, Man has options, but there is no such thing as an Option available to Man which God has not first Given, because Man does not make Reality, God does.

Many hold that God's Choice/Plan is to create, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man, and, therein, Lucifer and Man had/have no Choice/Part in the matter, b/c God makes our Choices for us, rather than giving us Choice. He does not make Created-Others with Choice, rather, He makes Slaves for whom He makes Choices, although He Himself is unable to make Choices within Himself, for it "can't be otherwise".

Many hold this view. Many do not b/c many who know/taste Him, and who are not naive to scripture, see, find, a wholly different God.

Many hold to that [Choice-less Hard Determinism] of God/Scripture. Of course many others do not. We simply disagree. Hence the “spectrum” of beliefs. Some hold that God is unable, within Himself, to choose between Mercy and Justice, or any other choice between any of His innate attributes (Hard Determinism) while others hold that God is bound by His Nature, even limited by it, but, that within an unsearchable and Perfect Variety within his Nature, lives a whole collection of Perfect Options (and Persons/Triune) among which He Chooses/Moves Freely. He can move in Mercy, or Justice, and the Choice is His, for He rules them, they do not rule Him. He Has Choice, a Freedom to Act/Choose, and does this freely, and, also, He is bound by His Nature and cannot act against it.

The problem with all of this is that this spills over into how we view God interacting with you and I and all of His Created-Others in very significant ways.


God gives to Man in Eden Two Trees and tells Man to eat of the one called Life / of any tree whatsoever, but not of the Tree called Knowledge.

That is unmistakable in scripture.

Hence, we take God at His Word.

Man could have eaten of Life, then, rather than in Revelations. Either way Man WILL eat of that Tree called Life, for God's Plan will not fail. [God’s Plan will not fail, it can’t be otherwise, but, in Eden, are two roads for Man to choose from].

It could have been otherwise in Eden. Man could have chosen Other (God) and not Self.

It could not have been outside of God's Plan, but it could have been, WITHIN God's Plan, otherwise. VERY otherwise.

But, once This-Now is chosen, then the entire Bible/History of God’s Infinite Plan in Christ becomes The-Real, and, one day, Man will again find himself in Eden, eating from a Tree called Life [God’s Plan will not fail].

Man again, in This-Now, before that New-Creation comes, finds himself in Eden between two trees, two choices. Christ restores him, frees him, creates him anew, and offers Himself again to him, His Beloved.

Back there in Eden we see God giving Choices. Real Choices, with different outcomes in The-Now, but not in The-Final-Good, to the Created-Other. God provides Choice because He makes Man in His Image, which houses a Voluntary Love Moving Among and Between Real Selves, within the Triune I, You, We/Us housed within Love/Him. God’s Love among His Thy/My/Us has Choice, Delight, Honor, Worth, and Real Voice, and so His Created-Other who will be created in That-Image has from the start this very Self/Other Movement.

Here we see God creating, not Satan, but Lucifer, not Fallen-Man, but Man, and, ultimately, either way, we see His Final-Good, Man eating of that Tree called Life. He rescues Man from both his own sin and from Satan, that rapist, and it is God who refuses to play the part of the rapist, for He is bound by His Nature and does not act against it. God is building Love, not Theater.

And, along side of Him, we find His Created-Others by His Design, by His Plan (and it cannot be otherwise than God’s Design) actually taking part, choosing, doing, even against His Will, which He permits, but does not force. God does not rape us. God is making Someone/Man in His Image even here, in This-Now, by This-Tree called Knowledge, for God’s Plan will not Fail. It cannot be otherwise. God is no fool; His Eden has all the bases well in Hand. God’s Plan. It will not be otherwise. He WILL build/create Man in His Image. Hell, Jesus states, was made for Satan and his angels. Man, God tells Adam, is to eat of that Tree called Life.


This approach takes more than one scripture and all in context, whereas, the Hard Determinist uses the one verse of "By Him all things that are made are made" and proceeds in building an entire theology on that one verse "at the expense of other scriptures" and ignores "God ceased from creating" and “hell is prepared for Satan” and incredibly the entire story of Eden and a host of context on Man's Choices and God's Will and a whole, huge, collection of other scriptures which paint wider, more full, pictures when all taken together. One-Verse theology creates a Choice-less, Mechanical Automaton God who rapes His Created-Others.

By building a whole theology on one verse, while ignoring others which balance it, which add to it, we see the reality that God is both Free/Bound within Himself to be at the end of the day sacrificed, and so the Blind, Choice-less Force of the Atheist's Gravity and the Hard-Determinism of a Choice-less God and a Choice-less Personhood are born and foisted upon us.

We agree that [it cannot be otherwise], but we disagree on the entire nature of that statement.

Many, many who are not naive to scripture, and who know/taste the Living God whose Name is Love, see, find, a wholly different God than the Mechanically Deterministic and Choice-less God who creates, not Lucifer, but Satan, not Eden, but Fallen-Man. Rather than that God, we find a God who does not rape, and whose name is Love, and whose Final-Good will not fail, who creates Man in the Image of Love, wherein the Voluntary Motion Among and Between Real Selves Freely takes place by/with Real Choice, Real Personhood, and Real Love. And we think these take a more balanced, more collective, view of the whole body of scripture. And, plainly, we think this reflects the Real-World and the Real-God we find before us.

God Is-Love.


LHRM-

Hard Compatibilism?

Compatibilism is what makes a given variant of determinism soft. For example, if I believe in causal determinism, but I'm a compatibilist regarding human freedom and causal determinism, then I'm a soft determinist with respect to causal determinism.

Hard Libertarianism?

Libertarianism is the view that freedom and determinism are incompatible and freedom exists (and so much the worse for determinism). You cannot be a libertarian without being an incompatibilist. What would make a variant of libertarianism soft?

Yes, but it has been the compatibilists who have told me that God has no choices within Himself, such as between Mercy or Justice. It cannot be otherwise is used to mean zero-choices within Himself. He is, even among His own attributes, unable to choose. He acts therefore like Gravity: A Choiceless Force. I just assumed that that view was the compatibilist view b/c it has been THEY who have argued this point with me etc from time to time.....

Can God choose between Mercy/Justice?

Could Man have eaten of the Tree of Life in Eden?

I say yes to both. That makes me whatever label you want to put on me.

But maybe you can let me know what that means.....Man has no choices OTHER THAN what God affords Him, but he did have a choice in Eden; a real one in that it could have been otherwise (different tree) so man has choices WITHIN God's afforded choices. And so too in God: God has His nature which limits Him, but He DOES have choices WITHIN Himself.

Free/Bound. Both.

But.....The Compatibilists tell me, repeatedly, that there is zero choice b/c it "can't be otherwise", which is Hard.

Causal Determinism could simply mean He will force the issue with respect to free choice, and voluntary love, and real personhood, with real voice, and so the world made in God's image is created or forced.... which is love, which is the voluntary movement of real persons among in between real persons.... leaving and intrinsic open door into an open door out of the community of the singular we..... One can force is this, yet not violate choice and person- hood and voice and worth and love.... we must be careful that ones causal determinism does not violate ones eleged freedom....etc.... man could have eaten of that Other tree etc....

Or God causes/forces it to be that love / choice / personhood / voice / etc WILL EXIST and it will not be otherwise....hence we actually believe Eden's story....choose ye...eat these but not that... and etc...

Any Determinism which discounts the story of Eden, and God's actual words to Mankind giving Man the Freedom to eat of the Tree of Life (all/any trees) EXCEPT that one Tree called Knowledge, is a Determinism which denies Scripture.


Cause/Force is clearly allowed in Reality, as God is the source of All. Yet, God creates Man, not The-Fall, and God creates Lucifer, not Satan, and, He did not set out do create those monsters, but gave each their choice in the matter. We are actual Agents here. Shocking to some, I know. And, it appears, from Scripture, that He has caused/forced the existence of Real Choice among Real Personhoods who have Real Worth and Real Voice, wherein Real Love is birthed in the Voluntary Movement Among and Between Real Selves as is found within His Triune I-You and Singular-We.


Man does not have infinite freedom, but, based on Eden, he does have some options/freedom given to him, rather than just ONE-option. In otherwords, Causal-Determinism need not violate Man's Free Choice, and, in Eden, it could have been otherwise.


I simply believe Scripture/Eden account and therefore accomidate it into my theology.


Further, inside God, we there too find Choice among the My/Thy/We.

Further, inside God, we there too find Choice among His inner attributes wherein an unsearchable array of Perfect Actions lie and from among these He chooses (Mercy/Justice/etc) for He rules them and they do not rule Him; He is not a Blind Choicless Force, but rather is an Acutal Person with Actual Choice, and, therein, we see the "Why" of why He creates Man in That-Image (choice/love/ personhood/I/You /We/etc).

And, too, God is limited by His Nature. He cannot Sin. Etc.

Free. Bound. Both. Man and God are both Free/Bound.

The comments to this entry are closed.