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Thread: Is the sin of Adam stronger than the cross and resurrection of Christ?

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    Over 1000 post club Selaphiel's Avatar
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    Is the sin of Adam stronger than the cross and resurrection of Christ?

    That seems to be the necessary conclusion that one must draw from the doctrine of limited atonement. If the disobedience of one man lead to death and sin for all men, how is the obedience, sacrifice and resurrection of Christ not leading to the restoration and salvation of all men? Or even to the entirety of the cosmos.

    That is universalism, I'm quite aware. But when reflecting upon the doctrines of God as the good and the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, universalism seems to be a logical necessity. If the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is correct, that means that nothing whatsoever can be thought to restrict or confine God as he expresses and reveals himself in the act of creation. The consequence of that is the end of creation is the self-disclosing of God. If God is not only one who does good things every now and then, but the good itself, this entails ultimate universal restoration, apokatastasis of creation.

    Why? Because if the act of creation leads to the eternal damnation of even one single soul, then the moral price of God's act of self-disclosing in creation is morally bankrupt, and thus he cannot be the Good. If the eternal damnation of a soul was necessary, then the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is false, because then you are claiming that something limits or restricts God's will in the act of creation (act of creation here obviously refering to the entire act of creation from beginning to end, not just some vague cause in the past).

    I do not think universalism is susceptible to the common criticisms either. It does not deny evil, but it absolutely refuses to define evil as anything more than privatio boni, a depravation of goodness. Nor does it deny moral responsibility (which is a curious objection anyway when it comes from the faith only camp), but moral responsibility is freed up to be genuinly for the sake of love of God and neighbor, not spiritual gain. What it does entail is an absolute faith in God as the good and as love.

    Should add that this is inspired by a lecture by the theologian David Bentley Hart.
    Last edited by Selaphiel; July 23rd, 2015 at 08:52 AM.
    "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel View Post
    That seems to be the necessary conclusion that one must draw from the doctrine of limited atonement. If the disobedience of one man lead to death and sin for all men, how is the obedience, sacrifice and resurrection of Christ not leading to the restoration and salvation of all men? Or even to the entirety of the cosmos.

    That is universalism, I'm quite aware. But when reflecting upon the doctrines of God as the good and the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, universalism seems to be a logical necessity. If the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is correct, that means that nothing whatsoever can be thought to restrict or confine God as he expresses and reveals himself in the act of creation. The consequence of that is the end of creation is the self-disclosing of God. If God is not only one who does good things every now and then, but the good itself, this entails ultimate universal restoration, apokatastasis of creation.

    Why? Because if the act of creation leads to the eternal damnation of even one single soul, then the moral price of God's act of self-disclosing in creation is morally bankrupt, and thus he cannot be the Good. If the eternal damnation of a soul was necessary, then the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is false, because then you are claiming that something limits or restricts God's will in the act of creation (act of creation here obviously refering to the entire act of creation from beginning to end, not just some vague cause in the past).

    I do not think universalism is susceptible to the common criticisms either. It does not deny evil, but it absolutely refuses to define evil as anything more than privatio boni, a depravation of goodness. Nor does it deny moral responsibility (which is a curious objection anyway when it comes from the faith only camp), but moral responsibility is freed up to be genuinly for the sake of love of God and neighbor, not spiritual gain. What it does entail is an absolute faith in God as the good and as love.

    Should add that this is inspired by a lecture by the theologian David Bentley Hart.
    Romans 5:15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel View Post
    That seems to be the necessary conclusion that one must draw from the doctrine of limited atonement. If the disobedience of one man lead to death and sin for all men, how is the obedience, sacrifice and resurrection of Christ not leading to the restoration and salvation of all men? Or even to the entirety of the cosmos.

    That is universalism, I'm quite aware. But when reflecting upon the doctrines of God as the good and the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, universalism seems to be a logical necessity. If the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is correct, that means that nothing whatsoever can be thought to restrict or confine God as he expresses and reveals himself in the act of creation. The consequence of that is the end of creation is the self-disclosing of God. If God is not only one who does good things every now and then, but the good itself, this entails ultimate universal restoration, apokatastasis of creation.

    Why? Because if the act of creation leads to the eternal damnation of even one single soul, then the moral price of God's act of self-disclosing in creation is morally bankrupt, and thus he cannot be the Good. If the eternal damnation of a soul was necessary, then the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is false, because then you are claiming that something limits or restricts God's will in the act of creation (act of creation here obviously refering to the entire act of creation from beginning to end, not just some vague cause in the past).

    I do not think universalism is susceptible to the common criticisms either. It does not deny evil, but it absolutely refuses to define evil as anything more than privatio boni, a depravation of goodness. Nor does it deny moral responsibility (which is a curious objection anyway when it comes from the faith only camp), but moral responsibility is freed up to be genuinly for the sake of love of God and neighbor, not spiritual gain. What it does entail is an absolute faith in God as the good and as love.

    Should add that this is inspired by a lecture by the theologian David Bentley Hart.
    I think about "Universalism" often. "God is Love! Praise Him! Praise Him all ye little children...."
    God's love is never ending (I believe) therefore the opportunity for salvation is never
    ending?

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    GOD IS TRYING TO CHANGE LITTLE DEVILS INTO SAINTS

    By making us more like JESUS who Resisted Rebellious

    and Evil thoughts and Actions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bybee View Post
    I think about "Universalism" often. "God is Love! Praise Him! Praise Him all ye little children...."
    God's love is never ending (I believe) therefore the opportunity for salvation is never
    ending?
    Seems to me that this must be the conclusion one draws from Christian revelation. I like what Robert Jenson says about judgment. Judgment must be primarily be understood as the establishment of shalom, not as punishment for the sake of punishment. And God has revealed his identity as judge in Jesus Christ, the crucified Son who forgives even those who crucify him. Only forgiveness can truly restore.

    I also like Hart's point about the impossibility of bliss if loved ones are suffering in damnation, I am my relationships to other people. If someone I love are damned for whatever reason, there can be no bliss for me regardless of whatever faults my relations had or have.

    Quote Originally Posted by serpentdove
    No (1 Jn 4:4).
    But that doesn't really answer the question. If Adam's sin damned all, why will not the cross of Christ restore all? If God creates with the purpose of destroying certain souls, then you can question the moral character of that concept of God. If he is unable to create with a perfect telos/goal, where creation is finally fulfilled and the character of God is revealed to us in that act, then he is limited by something outside himself and the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is compromised.
    "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

    The Light Eternal, breaking through,
    the world to gleam anew;
    His beams have pierced the core of night,
    He makes us children of the light.

    -Martin Luther

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel
    If the disobedience of one man lead to death and sin for all men, how is the obedience, sacrifice and resurrection of Christ not leading to the restoration and salvation of all men? Or even to the entirety of the cosmos.

    That is universalism, I'm quite aware. But when reflecting upon the doctrines of God as the good and the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, universalism seems to be a logical necessity. If the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is correct, that means that nothing whatsoever can be thought to restrict or confine God as he expresses and reveals himself in the act of creation. The consequence of that is the end of creation is the self-disclosing of God. If God is not only one who does good things every now and then, but the good itself, this entails ultimate universal restoration, apokatastasis of creation.*

    Why? Because if the act of creation leads to the eternal damnation of even one single soul, then the moral price of God's act of self-disclosing in creation is morally bankrupt, and thus he cannot be the Good. If the eternal damnation of a soul was necessary, then the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is false, because then you are claiming that something limits or restricts God's will in the act of creation (act of creation here obviously refering to the entire act of creation from beginning to end, not just some vague cause in the past).

    I do not think universalism is susceptible to the common criticisms either. It does not deny evil, but it absolutely refuses to define evil as anything more than privatio boni, a depravation of goodness. Nor does it deny moral responsibility (which is a curious objection anyway when it comes from the faith only camp), but moral responsibility is freed up to be genuinly for the sake of love of God and neighbor, not spiritual gain. What it does entail is an absolute faith in God as the good and as love.

    Perhaps I'm a bit thick, but the logic seems flawed. It seems your reasoning ignores some attributes of God (Holy and Just) and ignores scripture on the doctrine of imputation, and doctrine of justification by grace.*

    The entirety of Romans 5 discusses some of our imputed sin nature. Romans 5:17 mentions righteousness in Christ as a gift...to those who receive.*

    "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death*reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life*through the one man, Jesus Christ."
    Without Genesis, absolutely nothing makes sense in all of Scripture.

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    Some folk just do not want to be reconciled to God, hey Him, they hate His word, they hate His people.

    They die in this state and all opportunity to be saved is gone.
    One lavished upon in the Beloved
    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums/blog.php?u=10603

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel
    *If God creates with the purpose of destroying certain souls, then you can question the moral character of that concept of God.
    God created us for the purpose of a love relationship with Himself.*


    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel
    If he is unable to create with a perfect telos/goal, where creation is finally fulfilled and the character of God is revealed to us in that act, then he is limited by something outside himself and the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo is compromised.
    Not at all.*

    Love involves choice....ALWAYS.

    Creation was perfect. In order for love to exist, God had to allow for the possibility of sin / disobedience.
    Without Genesis, absolutely nothing makes sense in all of Scripture.

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    Over 1000 post club Selaphiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totton Linnet
    Some folk just do not want to be reconciled to God, hey Him, they hate His word, they hate His people.

    They die in this state and all opportunity to be saved is gone.
    That does not really answer the question though. The question was whether the sin of Adam is stronger than the cross and resurrection of Christ? You just implicitly answered 'yes' to that question. If Adam's sin damned all and Christ only restores some, then Adam's sin is stronger. You have implicitly granted that death is stronger than the author of life.

    As far as I can see, you are left with the two options I gave:

    1) God reveals himself in the act of creation (once again, that is the entirety of history, not simply the appearance of the world in the beginning) at the price of damning a large number (even one would be problematic) of souls to eternal separation from Himself. That questions Gods moral character, in the sense that it ceases to be appropriate to call God the good.

    2) God is unable to reveal himself in the act of creation without damning a large number of souls to eternal separation from Himself. That questions the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, since if God is unable to do something, then His will and power are contrained and limited by something outside of Himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6days
    Not at all.*

    Love involves choice....ALWAYS.
    That is not what the doctrine of eternal damnation states though, it is exactly the opposite. Love involves a choice, for a period, is what the doctrine of eternal damnation states.

    I agree that love always involves a choice. But a father or mother who gives up on his or her children after a period is not morally perfect.

    Hart puts it this way: If a parent lets a sick child stick his face into the fireplace because he respects the moral autonomy of the child, that seriously calls into quetsion the moral character of that parent.

    Creation was perfect. In order for love to exist, God had to allow for the possibility of sin / disobedience.
    It is not a question about creation as in the first cause of existence. It is about creation as the entirety of history. If God is unable to restore creation to its goal, that is to save and restore all, then death and sin is at least as strong as life.
    "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

    The Light Eternal, breaking through,
    the world to gleam anew;
    His beams have pierced the core of night,
    He makes us children of the light.

    -Martin Luther

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel View Post
    If Adam's sin damned all, why will not the cross of Christ restore all?
    Let me get this straight.

    You start with one false doctrine (original sin / total depravity) and expect this to prove another false doctrine (universalism)?

    It is time for you to go back to the Bible and find out why original sin is a false doctrine, and when you are done doing that, you can look at why universalism is a false doctrine.
    Learn to read what is written.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genuineoriginal View Post
    Let me get this straight.

    You start with one false doctrine (original sin / total depravity) and expect this to prove another false doctrine (universalism)?

    It is time for you to go back to the Bible and find out why original sin is a false doctrine, and when you are done doing that, you can look at why universalism is a false doctrine.
    I have not mentioned original sin in my argument. The argument does not depend upon the doctrine of original sin at all. You read original sin into the topic due to the formulation of the question. What I ask is whether sin and death is stronger than the author of life.

    The argument is that creation is the act where God reveals who is to someone outside of himself. The doctrine of creatio ex nihilo states that God does this without restraint or limitation, that is: God is not limited by anything outside of God. So creation is the expression of the will of God. The end of history and the final judgment with the totality of history is thus the expression of who God is to someone else.

    If creation end in the eternal separation of even one soul from God, then it is legitimate to ask whether this is due to a fault in God's moral character (God lets someone be damned and eternally separated from God). Or God is limited in power, he is unable to restore all and thus his will is constrained by something.

    Nor does this universalism deny free will, it does not even deny jugdment. What it questions is the eternal nature of separation, whether God is unable to express Gods will as the good when creation reaches its goal and fulfillment.

    "Go back to the Bible" is not an argument, it simply is an avoidance of the question.
    "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

    The Light Eternal, breaking through,
    the world to gleam anew;
    His beams have pierced the core of night,
    He makes us children of the light.

    -Martin Luther

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel View Post
    If Adam's sin damned all, why will not the cross of Christ restore all?
    In what way did Adam's sin damn all?

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Jerry Shugart For Your Post:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Shugart View Post
    In what way did Adam's sin damn all?
    Ro 5:17-18

    How you interpret that can of course differ. I do not understand Adam as necessarily a historical person, but rather as a symbol of humanity itself and its sinfulness.

    Granted, I probably would agree more with an eastern view of Adam's fall as primordial sin rather than as original and imputed guilt as in Augustine. That is, Adam's fall as a predisposition towards sin rather than as all of mankind sharing in the guilt of Adam.

    My main point is simply whether God can defeat sin completely or not. And if God cannot, whether that implies a lack in the moral character of said conception of God or a lack in power or an outside constraint of God's will in the act of creation.
    "By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78-79)

    The Light Eternal, breaking through,
    the world to gleam anew;
    His beams have pierced the core of night,
    He makes us children of the light.

    -Martin Luther

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selaphiel View Post
    I have not mentioned original sin in my argument. The argument does not depend upon the doctrine of original sin at all. You read original sin into the topic due to the formulation of the question. What I ask is whether sin and death is stronger than the author of life.
    Sin and death are not stronger than the author of life.
    The argument is that creation is the act where God reveals who is to someone outside of himself. The doctrine of creatio ex nihilo states that God does this without restraint or limitation, that is: God is not limited by anything outside of God. So creation is the expression of the will of God. The end of history and the final judgment with the totality of history is thus the expression of who God is to someone else.
    You assume: “creation is the act where God reveals…”, but that is not the reason God created.

    You said: “creation is the expression of the will of God”, but not sure what you are trying to convey with that idea?

    Is God doing this as some kind of “show”?

    Does God have an ego that needs to be stroked so He has to “reveal Himself” to others?

    If creation end in the eternal separation of even one soul from God, then it is legitimate to ask whether this is due to a fault in God's moral character (God lets someone be damned and eternally separated from God). Or God is limited in power, he is unable to restore all and thus his will is constrained by something.

    Nor does this universalism deny free will, it does not even deny jugdment. What it questions is the eternal nature of separation, whether God is unable to express Gods will as the good when creation reaches its goal and fulfillment.
    There are things even God cannot do, but that is not saying His power is limited, because there are things that just cannot be done.
    God cannot “create” a being that has always existed, by definition of create and always existed. But that means God cannot create perfect beings (like Christ is perfect since Christ is not a created being), but God can create beings as God describes “very good”, which should mean “as good as they can be made”.
    God’s Love would compel God to create being He could gift with the greatest gifts possible and the greatest of those gifts would be to become like God Himself (having Godly type Love).
    The “problem” is Godly type love cannot be made instinctive to a being (that would be a robotic type love) and God cannot force this Love on a being (since that would be like a shotgun wedding with God holding the shotgun). So this “Love” has to be the result of a free will moral choice, but that choice cannot be to Love or not Love, since that would require Love initially. It would have to be just the willingness to humbly accept pure charity (Love).
    You say: “God is unable to express Gods will as the good when creation reaches its goal and fulfillment.”

    The “goal” of creation is played out in each mature adult individual. Every mature adult humbly accepts or rejects God’s Love in the form of accepting or rejecting God’s forgiveness. “…he that is forgiven much Loves much…” so if you have been forgiven (humbly accepted) of an unbelievable huge debt (which sin creates) you will automatically have an unbelievable huge Love (Godly type Love).

    People who continuously refuse God’s Love to the point of never accepting His Love would not be happy in heaven where there is one huge Love Feast of only Godly type Love.

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