User Tag List

Page 2 of 17 FirstFirst 1234512 ... LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 254

Thread: The Big Picture

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    970
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts

    Blog Entries
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Thanks for your comment, Zippy.

    My understanding of transcendence is simply the Biblical view of transcendence taken from such passages (when read in their proper contexts) as
    God is not a man that he should lie (God is not fickle but is stedfast)
    My ways are not your ways (God is morally pure and consistently righteous)
    A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day (God's plans reach much further than man's - man might be concerned with details but God sees the big picture; man may look at generalities where God looks at details - both are true.)
    There is nothing here about God being so totally removed from the world that he is unknowable.
    Other passages abound:
    The woman at the well: Spirit and truth (means that God is not restricted to specific places as if he could be owned by any individual or sect - even Solomon understood that, it wasn't new teaching).
    Etc.
    Etc.
    It seems as though you are working on the presumption that God differs in degree from man in the sense that God does not truly transcend man in a qualitative way. Bad men are very fickle, good men are much less fickle, and God is perfectly steadfast (the same could be said about moral purity, the "reach of plans," etc.). There is apparently nothing incomprehensible about God. God is in no way beyond the powers of man's understanding. Furthermore, a world without the scriptures would be a world in which we know a great deal about God, but would not know such things as his moral perfection or steadfastness. Yes?

    I could guess which Pauline passages you are referring to but I'd invite you to be more specific as I don't want to create a straw man.
    Romans 5:12, 19 come to mind. See (2) here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    What is openness really about?...

    The Calvinist is assuming a) that the entity Abraham is an entity that is capable of being completely defined, b) that it is possible to predict from this definition what Abraham would do in any given context...
    I think it is correct that the question of libertarian free will (LFW) is a basic difference between Open Theists and Calvinists. Calvinists believe (a) and (b) which result in a kind of theological determinism, which results in a denial of LFW. Most Open Theists around TOL are unable to distinguish Catholicism from Calvinism on this crucial point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    I am very exacting when it comes to arguing and logic.
    Good, let's clarify a few things then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Some open theists say that God chooses not to know, others that he simply does not know. Neither of these notions seems satisfactory to me either.
    What is your position and how is it different? That God cannot know?

    It is about dynamic relationship.
    This is dynamic knowledge, not static knowledge.
    What is a static relationship? Static knowledge?

    The point is that God's knowledge of Abraham is one of relationship, not of objectivity.
    Our knowledge of Abraham is mediated by our experiences of him and the statement 'Abraham is argumentative' is not an absolute truth but rather one that is formed as a summary of those experiences.
    How are you contrasting relational knowledge with objective knowledge, and relational truth with "absolute" truth? What do you mean by these distinctions?

    Hence we say that knowledge is relational.
    What does this mean, and who would deny it? Knowledge is a kind of relation between knower and known. Truth is a kind of relation between the intellect and reality. Is the person you are arguing with disputing this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    I'd add that even Catholic theology, in terms of its teaching on predestination and election, is better than reformed theology. Catholic theology basically concludes by being mysterious about it. It says 2 things that appear to be contradictory. It sits on the fence. That is better, in my view, than Calvinism which doesn't sit on the fence but makes out God out to be a hateful arbitrary megalomaniac or Arminianism, which makes God out to be lacking in direction and subject to the wills of others.
    How is your position different from Arminianism and Catholicism?

    In Christ,
    -zip

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to zippy2006 For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  3. #17
    ☞☞☞☞Presbyterian (PCA) ☜☜☜☞☞☞☞ A Calvinist! ☜☜☜☜☜☜ Ask Mr. Religion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona USA
    Posts
    5,661
    Thanks
    2,708
    Thanked 2,483 Times in 1,541 Posts

    Blog Entries
    142
    Mentioned
    71 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)



    Rep Power
    2062166
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    It seems as though you are working on the presumption that God differs in degree from man in the sense that God does not truly transcend man in a qualitative way. ... There is apparently nothing incomprehensible about God. God is in no way beyond the powers of man's understanding.
    Exactly the root issue with open theism. Well said.

    AMR
    WARNING: Embedded link content that may be in my post above or the many embedded links my sig below are not for the faint of heart.



    Founder, Reformed Theology Institute
    AMR's Randomata Blog
    Learn Reformed Doctrine
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Christian, catholic, Calvinist, confessional, Presbyterian (PCA).
    Lex orandi, lex credenda: everyone is a Calvinist on their knees.
    The best TOL Social Group: here.
    If your username appears in blue and you have over 500 posts:
    Why?



  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Ask Mr. Religion For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  5. #18
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451545
    Zippy, firstly, many thanks for interacting and asking pertinent questions, giving me the opportunity to respond meaningfully.

    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    It seems as though you are working on the presumption that God differs in degree from man in the sense that God does not truly transcend man in a qualitative way. Bad men are very fickle, good men are much less fickle, and God is perfectly steadfast (the same could be said about moral purity, the "reach of plans," etc.). There is apparently nothing incomprehensible about God. God is in no way beyond the powers of man's understanding. Furthermore, a world without the scriptures would be a world in which we know a great deal about God, but would not know such things as his moral perfection or steadfastness. Yes?
    Where does the concept 'fickle' come from? I'm not asking what does it mean; we all know what it means. But where does the concept come from? Is it perhaps that it is printed on each sentient being at birth
    fickleness quotient: 6.23 / 10
    along with all the other characteristics that (supposedly) determine how he will respond in any given situation
    sex: male
    number of toes: 10
    IQ: 126
    handedness: left
    eternal destiny: non-elect
    nationality: French
    generosity level: 4.25 / 10
    leadership qualities: 9.76 / 10
    longevity: 58 years
    ?

    The fact is that you can describe people or things however you want. You could allot as many epithets as you have concepts in your language. And if that wasn't enough, you could invent new concepts that you could apply. This is after all what sentient beings do. It is really just organisation. What we are doing is organising things the way we want them. We are thus making sense of our world. When Calvinists accuse open view theists of making God out to be just another human, what they are saying is that in their belief, there is no language that can be used to describe God. Surely it is a truism that if there is language, there is understanding? And as soon as the open theist attempts to describe God, the mere fact that words can be used which can also be used to describe people is passed off as making God like mankind. And yet I feel that the Calvinist is being just slightly inconsistent about this: consider the category
    longevity: 58 years
    And then
    longevity: unlimited

    I don't think many Calvinists would seriously object to that.
    But when it comes to
    fickleness quotient: 6.23 / 10
    and then
    fickleness quotient: 0 / 10

    Somehow at this point Calvinists throw a wobbly and claim that God is now being made out to be just a better man.

    Let's take this a bit further:
    Suppose we said
    Since God is a sentient being, anything we can say about man as a sentient being could also be said to apply to God to some degree.
    Why do we have concepts like sentience or indeed anything at all? We have them because we can organise things: we have the concept sentience so that whenever we say a being is sentient, we mean that this being shares characteristics in common with other beings that we also say are sentient. This is the purpose of language - to organise, to create order.

    If the Calvinist wants to insist that descriptions of man cannot apply to God, then that Calvinist needs to abandon this premise. His premise might be 'God is not a sentient being'. There are other possibilities: God is beyond description; man is not sentient but God is; sentience is an invalid concept. None of these alternatives seem at all convincing and I would suggest rather that they are absurd.

    The idea of God being sentient also contradicts the notion of his impassibility. I know that reformed adherents would argue that God is weakly passible but this is admitting that God can indeed be compared to man. Embarrassed by the admission, Calvinists get round using temporal language to describe God by using anthropomorphism and by simply defining God out of existence altogether (which is very similar to saying that God is beyond description).

    On the other hand, the 'goodness' classification:
    Goodness quotient: 10 / 10
    is one not allotted by man but by God himself (Genesis 1:31). It is God's own language applied to man and the created world. Do I detect another anthropomorphism in the offing?

    So is the issue instead one of simply the presupposition that man is not intelligent enough to understand God? Why does God have to be incomprehensible to man in order for one's theology to hold together? Because if God is incomprehensible, then there is nothing that can be said about God at all and rather than holding together, all theology must necessarily break down. And this applies to Calvinists too.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; May 26th, 2014 at 05:56 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Desert Reign For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  7. #19
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451545
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Romans 5:12, 19 come to mind. See (2) here.
    I don't see anything here that says that man became sinful. I see that death spread to all men because all men sinned but I don't see anything about mankind being sinful. Sinfulness means sinning. Verse 19, which your link and many other commentaries I have read supposes to mean that sinfulness itself is transmitted from man to man, only reiterates what is said in verse 12, namely that sin entered the world through Adam and subsequent to that all men did in fact sin.

    I think it is correct that the question of libertarian free will (LFW) is a basic difference between Open Theists and Calvinists. Calvinists believe (a) and (b) which result in a kind of theological determinism, which results in a denial of LFW. Most Open Theists around TOL are unable to distinguish Catholicism from Calvinism on this crucial point.
    I don't disagree with the concept of LFW. However I think it is up for grabs. For me, the mechanism by which people make decisions is less important than the fact that these decisions are open. People are self-determined. How they are self determined is not something that can be known. Of course you can point to influences: parents influence their children enormously for instance. I am not convinced that there is some particular faculty of the mind known as 'free will'. It is an open question. For me the debate is not about LFW vs predestination. It is about openness versus determinism.
    As to the fact that most non-Catholics don't understand Catholics' position on LFW, you now have your mission in life ready made for you!!

    What is your position and how is it different? That God cannot know?
    My point, as I hope I made to an extent in my last post, is that the very question assumes that there is some objective knowledge out there to be known and therefore if God doesn't know it then he is somehow lacking or if he chooses not to know it then he is somehow morally weak. Knowledge is not something objective out there. It is the result of our choices to organise our environment. God can know anything he wants to know because he can choose to organise his environment in whatever way suits him. Every time we make a classification (hairiness: 1.5 / 10) we are in effect relating to our environment.
    The issue for Christian theology is what is the character of God? What classifications are important to him? These are the things that define him. It is what comes out of his mouth that make him what he is, not what goes into it. So to speak.

    What is a static relationship? Static knowledge?
    See above. It is merely a term I have used to describe the kind of knowledge that most Calvinists assume to be true, namely an objective fact about something that exists independently of all other considerations. Of course, they can never tell you where that knowledge, that exists supposedly independently, is stored. Because that is the Platonic premise that underlies all Calvinist dualistic thought.

    What does this mean, and who would deny it? Knowledge is a kind of relation between knower and known. Truth is a kind of relation between the intellect and reality. Is the person you are arguing with disputing this?
    See above.

    How is your position different from Arminianism and Catholicism?
    Arminianism still assumes the universe is closed. The difference between that and Calvinism is the mechanism by which it is closed: Calvinism by God's complete and exhaustive control over everything; Arminianism by God's complete and exhaustive foreknowledge of everything. In either case, there is a closed universe. Arminianism acknowledges the role of free will but that doesn't stop the world from being a closed system. This is another reason why I am not entirely convinced the idea of free will is a worthwhile concept.

    My belief is that the universe is open.
    This means that relationships are what they are, not what they are predestined to be.

    In order for them to be predestined there must needs be a blueprint for them. That blueprint is the mind of God. As far as it applies to us, God is nothing more than the sum total of all that the created universe has been, is and will be. Nothing else is relevant or communicable. This is the basic Platonic presupposition at work. The universe is simply the expression of another reality and does not have existence in itself.

    In my understanding of Catholicism, the RCC sits on the fence over these issues. It says that there is both LFW and predestination. So it basically supports the Calvinistic presupposition as well as the Arminian one in a kind of paradox. (And various attempts have been made to exploit that paradox such as Molinism but none will probably ever replace the existing status quo which allows ideas to be voiced but not accepted as dogmatic.) But the point is that, paradox or not, it accepts the basic Platonic concept that the universe and all its history is an expression of a higher reality.

    Openness means that the universe has its own existence. Created it may be, but once created, it exists on its own. This is true love in creation and makes true relationship possible and gives true meaning and value to us as God's creatures and the world as a whole.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; May 20th, 2014 at 12:47 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to Desert Reign For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  9. #20
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451545
    On sin again.
    I recently said somewhere that since the Gospel is about freedom from sin, then why are there so many threads discussing it? So I am going to take an exception here and talk about OSAS. OSAS means once saved always saved, for the uninitiated.
    The idea behind OSAS is similar to the concept of Perseverance of the Saints, one of the 5 pillars of Calvinism. In Calvinism, since God's election cannot be undone by any means, this implies that once an elect person becomes a Christian, nothing can make him unbecome a Christian. He will persevere to the end by the working of the Spirit in him.
    OSAS is the non-Calvinistic version of that. Although it acknowledges the believer's role in his salvation, namely choosing to follow Christ in response to the Gospel, it also recognises God's ability to keep that person saved for the rest of his life. I am not going to get into scriptural support for these positions but obviously the idea that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ is at the forefront.
    One of the pillars of OSAS is that once we are saved, the death of Christ on the cross and his resurrection absolves us from all sins both past and future such that if we sin subsequent to our conversion, these sins will not be counted against us and thus our salvation is assured even if you later choose to turn away from the faith.
    This is different from perseverance of the saints in that the Christian can fall away but his sins and his falling away will not be counted against him and he will still be saved anyway. Whereas, with perseverance of the saints, the teaching is that true elect believers will persevere and keep the faith.
    One of the arguments often levelled against OSAS is that it gives adherents the opportunity to sin as much as they want and still get their ticket to heaven, so to speak. Technically, that sounds to me like a valid point. Similarly, on the Calvinistic side, the argument would be that you can't know for sure if you are one of those who will persevere to the end - until the end, and this obviously doesn't do much for your assurance in the faith. However, most OSAS believers would say that their faith is not an invitation to sin but an emphasis on the greatness of God's forgivenness and is rather an invitation to lead a more holy and thankful life rather than an invitation to sin. And similarly, the Calvinists would say that subjectively their assurance is as great as anyone else's.
    Neither of these arguments are complete and I believe they ultimately fail, but they make the OSAS/Perseverance doctrines easier to swallow.
    My real objection to OSAS is that it is inconsistent with the idea of openness. Why say that your free will plays a part in your salvation and then deny your free will afterwards?
    On the other side of the fence, OSAS believers sometimes accuse non-OSAS believers of having an insecure faith in that faith becomes based on works rather than on God's grace. Of course, this may be true for some objectors but from my point of view this objection is just as wrong as the accusation that OSAS is an excuse to sin. They are two sides of the same coin. For the openness believer such as myself, my salvation is not based on my works but my faith. I prove I have faith by my works but if I lack works, that doesn't prove that I also lack faith.
    Are you still with me? The point is that once you are born again, you are in a new relationship with God that is no longer based on sin. OSAS is wrong because it assumes that you need to have your future sins forgiven. You don't. The point of Jesus' sacrifice was to give us a new relationship based on faith. We can walk away from that relationship if we want to because the future is open. The issue of sin doesn't come into it. Does this mean that our faith is insecure because of that? Not really: like any relationship, as I said in my previous post on sin, the relationship is what it is, not what it is defined to be. Becoming a Christian doesn't define a new relationship. Relationships can't be defined. That is what openness means. Just as you are born into a human family and you are the son of your parents, doesn't mean that you are always automatically that same son. In later years, if you lose touch, after a sufficient time, the idea that you are a son is simply a matter of history and the relationship effectively can cease to exist. It will of course take a long time. The relationship is secure, but ultimately you are free to walk away from it. You can do that by neglect or by deliberate intention but while you still have faith, while you desire to know God through Jesus, you are completely secure.
    When I say a relationship can't be defined I don't mean that there is nothing you can say about any relationship. You can say that a relationship is loving or strained or dynamic or static or fruitful or many other such things. But these are not what makes the relationship what it is. These are just opinions, observations. You cannot determine what the future of an open relationship is. You can attempt to put limits on it such as with an employer - employee relationship or a marriage but it doesn't take much thought to see how unpredictable these relationships really are. The great thing about relationship with God through Jesus is that even though the future is unknown, we know that God is walking with us along the way. There is no need to fear that anything can separate us and hence there is no need for a doctrine to convince us of that. The very idea of such a doctrine actually works against dynamic faith because it completely defines the relationship from the point of conversion on and so the relationship, having been defined by OSAS, becomes essentially static and devoid of life.
    I'm not saying OSAS believers are devoid of life. I am certain that most of them will get their life from elsewhere, because the Spirit is working in them and I have always so far enjoyed good fellowship with them, but the doctrine itself, when taken to its logical conclusion, stifles dynamic relationship with the living God.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; July 28th, 2014 at 06:35 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Desert Reign For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  11. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    970
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts

    Blog Entries
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Zippy, firstly, many thanks for interacting and asking pertinent questions, giving me the opportunity to respond meaningfully.
    Sorry for the late reply.

    Where does the concept 'fickle' come from? I'm not asking what does it mean; we all know what it means. But where does the concept come from? Is it perhaps that it is printed on each sentient being at birth
    fickleness quotient: 6.23 / 10
    along with all the other characteristics that (supposedly) determine how he will respond in any given situation
    sex: male
    number of toes: 10
    IQ: 126
    handedness: left
    eternal destiny: non-elect
    nationality: French
    generosity level: 4.25 / 10
    leadership qualities: 9.76 / 10
    longevity: 58 years
    ?

    The fact is that you can describe people or things however you want.
    You can describe them however you want, but your description will be true or false.

    You could allot as many epithets as you have concepts in your language. And if that wasn't enough, you could invent new concepts that you could apply. This is after all what sentient beings do. It is really just organisation. What we are doing is organising things the way we want them. We are thus making sense of our world. When Calvinists accuse open view theists of making God out to be just another human, what they are saying is that in their belief, there is no language that can be used to describe God.
    Certainly the differences here are essentially about the nature of language.

    Surely it is a truism that if there is language, there is understanding? And as soon as the open theist attempts to describe God, the mere fact that words can be used which can also be used to describe people is passed off as making God like mankind. And yet I feel that the Calvinist is being just slightly inconsistent about this: consider the category
    longevity: 58 years
    And then
    longevity: unlimited

    I don't think many Calvinists would seriously object to that.

    But when it comes to
    fickleness quotient: 6.23 / 10
    and then
    fickleness quotient: 0 / 10

    Somehow at this point Calvinists throw a wobbly and claim that God is now being made out to be just a better man.
    Traditional (or classical) theism would see the same problem with your longevity claim. God isn't a being that has existed forever and will continue to exist for all eternity.

    I am not defending Calvinism, and they may break with me at this point, but the classical predication theory with respect to God is that of analogy.1 The theory is grounded in the analogia entis, or analogy of being. The cornerstone of this idea is that nothing exists in the effect which does not first exist in the cause (either univocally or virtually). The creation therefore reflects the Creator (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:19-20). So when we apply predicates to God that are not metaphors, the predication is true in virtue of this analogy, but it is not univocally true of God; it is not true in the same way it is when applied to creatures.

    I don't have the time or space for a full exploration of this topic, but it should be known that the classical theist is perfectly consistent on this point.

    Let's take this a bit further:
    Suppose we said
    Since God is a sentient being, anything we can say about man as a sentient being could also be said to apply to God to some degree.
    Why do we have concepts like sentience or indeed anything at all? We have them because we can organise things: we have the concept sentience so that whenever we say a being is sentient, we mean that this being shares characteristics in common with other beings that we also say are sentient. This is the purpose of language - to organise, to create order.
    Yes, and yet I would add that the purpose of language is to create order that actually reflects reality.

    Language is inherently ordered to creation. We have methods with which to determine whether something is sentient, but those methods cannot be applied to the Creator. Nevertheless, there does exist an analogy between man's sentience and God's sentience, but they are not exactly the same.

    If the Calvinist wants to insist that descriptions of man cannot apply to God, then that Calvinist needs to abandon this premise. His premise might be 'God is not a sentient being'. There are other possibilities: God is beyond description; man is not sentient but God is; sentience is an invalid concept. None of these alternatives seem at all convincing and I would suggest rather that they are absurd.
    Like I said, I am not "up" on the Calvinist theory of divine predication, but I think you are rejecting orthodox views along with Calvinist views.

    The idea of God being sentient also contradicts the notion of his impassibility. I know that reformed adherents would argue that God is weakly passible but this is admitting that God can indeed be compared to man. Embarrassed by the admission, Calvinists get round using temporal language to describe God by using anthropomorphism and by simply defining God out of existence altogether (which is very similar to saying that God is beyond description).
    I don't follow. I don't think sentience contradicts immutability (and impassibility). Indeed, I think such a claim does fall into sloppy Evangelical anthropomorphism.2

    So is the issue instead one of simply the presupposition that man is not intelligent enough to understand God?
    The same problem of degree exists in this statement. It implies a demiurge or Greek god that competes with humans and must be matched against humans in terms of intelligence.

    Why does God have to be incomprehensible to man in order for one's theology to hold together?
    What do you mean by incomprehensible? Much theology is negative/apophatic. Cataphatic theology is possible but it is limited and must be done carefully.

    Because if God is incomprehensible, then there is nothing that can be said about God at all and rather than holding together, all theology must necessarily break down. And this applies to Calvinists too.
    Some groups might hold that nothing at all can be positively said of God. Catholics do not hold such a thing. Nevertheless, I find much of Protestant predication to be sloppy and anthropomorphic.

    -zip



    1 See SEP's "Medieval Theories of Analogy" or Alfred Freddoso's "God and Nature."
    2 See IEP's "Divine Immutability."

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to zippy2006 For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  13. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    970
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts

    Blog Entries
    1
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Romans 5:12, 19 come to mind. See (2) here.
    I don't see anything here that says that man became sinful. I see that death spread to all men because all men sinned but I don't see anything about mankind being sinful. Sinfulness means sinning.
    I can't make heads or tails of this. Care to explain?

    Verse 19, which your link and many other commentaries I have read supposes to mean that sinfulness itself is transmitted from man to man, only reiterates what is said in verse 12, namely that sin entered the world through Adam and subsequent to that all men did in fact sin.
    Leaving aside a moment the fact that tradition disagrees with you, why do you think infants die? If you are going to attempt to interpret verse 12 as propounding a kind of propensity or even factual description, then why do infants die? Have they sinned? How does death enter into infants?

    I don't disagree with the concept of LFW. However I think it is up for grabs. For me, the mechanism by which people make decisions is less important than the fact that these decisions are open.
    In fact LFW is not a mechanism, it is a logical position with respect to the will.

    People are self-determined. How they are self determined is not something that can be known. Of course you can point to influences: parents influence their children enormously for instance. I am not convinced that there is some particular faculty of the mind known as 'free will'.
    This seems like another strawman. Who has said that there exists a faculty of the mind known as "free will"?

    It is an open question. For me the debate is not about LFW vs predestination. It is about openness versus determinism.
    This makes me think you don't really understand the terms used in the debate, much less the debate itself. LFW has nothing intrinsically to do with predestination. "Openness" is a neologism that is primarily concerned with predestination, and simply doesn't exist outside of theological circles. It is primarily a position with respect to God or ontological possibility rather than human will. Consider:

    A = "Humans have free will"
    B = "Determinism is true"

    Libertarianism (LFW) = A and ~B
    Compatibilism = A and B
    Hard Determinism = ~A and B

    My point, as I hope I made to an extent in my last post, is that the very question assumes that there is some objective knowledge out there to be known and therefore if God doesn't know it then he is somehow lacking or if he chooses not to know it then he is somehow morally weak.
    I understand this to be the standard Open Theism position.

    Knowledge is not something objective out there. It is the result of our choices to organise our environment. God can know anything he wants to know because he can choose to organise his environment in whatever way suits him.
    I think you are fundamentally incorrect when you start saying things like this, and I am not even sure what school you are coming from. I have never heard of anyone holding the idea that knowledge is merely a matter of organization and the organization is merely a matter of preference (that is, I think most everyone disagrees with you on this).

    Human knowledge is a relation of knower to known that exists within the subject. It is a matter of conforming one's mind to an objective reality "out there." Of course knowledge itself is not something "objective out there." It exists in minds, but the object known does exist out there. Organization is a significant part of knowledge, but it does not exhaust the nature of knowledge.

    Is this theory you keep espousing, and have been espousing for years, the result of your own personal findings, or are you following some tradition? Perhaps a loose Wittgensteinianism?

    Every time we make a classification (hairiness: 1.5 / 10) we are in effect relating to our environment.
    Yes, and every time we move our body we also relate to our environment.

    The issue for Christian theology is what is the character of God? What classifications are important to him? These are the things that define him. It is what comes out of his mouth that make him what he is, not what goes into it. So to speak.
    I am very wary of what you say here. Feel free to elaborate, for I'm not yet clear on what you mean.

    What is a static relationship? Static knowledge?
    See above. It is merely a term I have used to describe the kind of knowledge that most Calvinists assume to be true, namely an objective fact about something that exists independently of all other considerations. Of course, they can never tell you where that knowledge, that exists supposedly independently, is stored. Because that is the Platonic premise that underlies all Calvinist dualistic thought.
    I tend to think that your terms "static relationship" and "static knowledge" are strawmen. Where has a Calvinist claimed that knowledge exists by itself? Where has anyone claimed that knowledge is an objective fact about something that exists independently of all other considerations? These descriptions are very vague, I am not even sure what you mean by them. Taken literally, all it could refer to are things that are immutable and eternal.

    How is your position different from Arminianism and Catholicism?
    Arminianism still assumes the universe is closed.
    In what sense? How do you differentiate yourself from Arminianism? What do you mean by "closed"? IMO there is no significant difference between Arminianism and Open Theism.

    The difference between that and Calvinism is the mechanism by which it is closed: Calvinism by God's complete and exhaustive control over everything; Arminianism by God's complete and exhaustive foreknowledge of everything.
    Again, I'm not sure you understand the relevant positions, or else you aren't being careful enough in describing them. Arminian foreknowledge is not a "mechanism by which it is closed." It does not determine events.

    It is like saying, "The difference between causing and seeing an event is the mechanism by which it is closed. Causing by making the event happen; seeing by watching the event happen. Either way the event could not have been otherwise." This is a jumble of equivocations that I don't really feel like unraveling.

    My question could also be phrased this way: what is your problem with Arminianism?

    In either case, there is a closed universe. Arminianism acknowledges the role of free will but that doesn't stop the world from being a closed system. This is another reason why I am not entirely convinced the idea of free will is a worthwhile concept.
    You are moving too fast. Why isn't it worthwhile? Because it is compossible with "the world being a closed system?" That doesn't seem like a very good reason to me (i.e. are you begging the question?).

    I hope that you properly define "closed system" and explain why it is problematic in your response. My inkling is that, insofar as we are talking about free will, the average Open Theist is merely concerned with theological fatalism and is ignorant of the many places this question has surfaced in history.

    My belief is that the universe is open.
    This means that relationships are what they are, not what they are predestined to be.
    I'm not sure what that means. Didn't this start when you said, "I am very exacting when it comes to arguing and logic"?

    All I take from this is "Open means not predestined," which in turn means, "Not predetermined," which in turn means "Libertarianism." For example, Arminianism isn't pre-determined, so what do you have against it?

    In order for them to be predestined there must needs be a blueprint for them. That blueprint is the mind of God. As far as it applies to us, God is nothing more than the sum total of all that the created universe has been, is and will be. Nothing else is relevant or communicable. This is the basic Platonic presupposition at work. The universe is simply the expression of another reality and does not have existence in itself.
    I can't make heads or tails of this. (EDIT: are you claiming that predestination necessitates Occasionalism?)

    In my understanding of Catholicism, the RCC sits on the fence over these issues. It says that there is both LFW and predestination. So it basically supports the Calvinistic presupposition as well as the Arminian one in a kind of paradox. (And various attempts have been made to exploit that paradox such as Molinism but none will probably ever replace the existing status quo which allows ideas to be voiced but not accepted as dogmatic.)
    Close enough for our purposes.

    But the point is that, paradox or not, it accepts the basic Platonic concept that the universe and all its history is an expression of a higher reality.
    Yes, Catholicism believes in creation.

    Openness means that the universe has its own existence. Created it may be, but once created, it exists on its own.
    So Openness = Deism and existential inertia? I have never heard anything of the like.

    This is true love in creation and makes true relationship possible and gives true meaning and value to us as God's creatures and the world as a whole.
    Wonderful. Why?

    Last edited by zippy2006; June 1st, 2014 at 11:19 PM.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to zippy2006 For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  15. #23
    Over 3000 post club
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3,141
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 427 Times in 244 Posts

    Blog Entries
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    24361
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Adapted from stuff done for church Bible study:

    There is a hymn I learnt not long after I became a Christian. The chorus goes
    He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives in me
    He walks with me, he talks with me
    Along life's narrow way
    He lives, he lives, salvation to impart,
    You ask me how I know he lives, he lives within my heart.
    Perhaps you can remember some of the verses. They are about the closeness of Jesus to us.

    I know some of you are uncomfortable with notions that God is not eternal or omniscient or omnipresent. The Bible says that God is almighty and therefore there is an obvious benefit in placing our trust in him. If he were not, then I guess none of us would be here. However, that is not the same as saying that God is not a part of this universe or that he is so totally different to us as to be effectively incomprehensible and unknowable.

    Try to imagine what it would be like being married to a husband who knows everything... in fact who can do anything. What would you ever do for him? How would you speak to him? What could you tell him? How would you react if he not only could do anything but that he actually does do everything that ever happens?

    For the Calvinists and many other Christians, all the things that we ourselves do are illusions. Or they are of little worth. The Calvinist in particular would say that indeed everything we do is worthless.

    God is present in this world and is very much ready and willing to have a relationship with us if we are willing. It is not just a legal relationship or a mathematical one but a living one, as between a husband and wife, as between two brothers, as between a father and his children. Such a relationship is dynamic and productive. The alternative is static and is more like the chappy who got the one talent and buried it to keep it safe.

    My desire is for Christians to have a relationship of living faith, like the one referred to in the old song. In this relationship, we will see many more answers to prayer, more dedicated sacrificial service, we will see much more evangelism, more miracles and more healing. Not that we particularly want these things for themselves. But we want the kingdom of God to increase through us. This static Greek image of God is not conducive to that kind of spirituality. If you go to a random church with reformation beliefs such as a Baptist church or a typical Anglican church and listen in on their prayer meeting (if they even have one) you will find it full of reticence and uncertainty. Most of the prayers start with 'If it is your will Lord...' or much of the prayer is about finding out what God's will is. Because people are afraid to ask for what they themselves want in case it is not God's will and they are disappointed and their prayer was a waste of time and emotional energy. And they fundamentally feel that their own wills really do not come into consideration. It is somehow problematical to ask for anything in prayer at all because what God wills has already been determined and prayer is solely for the benefit of those who pray - as a means of helping them to feel in touch with God.

    Jesus has already given an answer to this issue:

    Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. 21 So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." 23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe? All things are possible to him who believes." 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" 29 So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
    You really shouldn't speak for Calvinists as you are demonstratably incompetent to do so. Your biased generalities based on anecdotal experience is beneath a person of your obvious intellect. You are becoming the Robert Pate / Jerry Shugart of OVT. You bore me as they do. But you can be so much more if you read and interpret scriptures with an open mind.
    Last edited by Saved.One.by.Grace; June 28th, 2014 at 01:03 PM. Reason: typo
    Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift --
    Eph 2:9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
    Eph 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. [HCSB]

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Saved.One.by.Grace For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  17. #24
    ☞☞☞☞Presbyterian (PCA) ☜☜☜☞☞☞☞ A Calvinist! ☜☜☜☜☜☜ Ask Mr. Religion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona USA
    Posts
    5,661
    Thanks
    2,708
    Thanked 2,483 Times in 1,541 Posts

    Blog Entries
    142
    Mentioned
    71 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)



    Rep Power
    2062166
    Quote Originally Posted by Saved.One.by.Grace View Post
    You really shouldn't speak for Calvinists as you are demonstratably incompetent to do so. Your biased generalities based on anecdotal experience is beneath a person of your obvious intellect. You are becoming the Robert Pate / Jerry Shugart of OVT.
    Sad, but seemingly the case. Sigh.

    Persons constructing straw men of the Calvinist's views by claiming we operate from the same presuppositions they do and therefore believe about our beliefs what they believe about our beliefs leaves no hope for honest discussion.

    If persons would avail themselves of an accurate Scriptural summary of our beliefs, e.g., WCF, with a nice exposition of the same here, much clarity would ensue. Unfortunately some prefer to just parrot others in discussion forums and not dig deeper to know accurately.

    AMR
    Last edited by Ask Mr. Religion; June 22nd, 2014 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Added link to Shaw's exposition
    WARNING: Embedded link content that may be in my post above or the many embedded links my sig below are not for the faint of heart.



    Founder, Reformed Theology Institute
    AMR's Randomata Blog
    Learn Reformed Doctrine
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Christian, catholic, Calvinist, confessional, Presbyterian (PCA).
    Lex orandi, lex credenda: everyone is a Calvinist on their knees.
    The best TOL Social Group: here.
    If your username appears in blue and you have over 500 posts:
    Why?



  18. The Following User Says Thank You to Ask Mr. Religion For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  19. #25
    Silver Member Nang's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7,348
    Thanks
    1,062
    Thanked 2,001 Times in 1,433 Posts

    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    217569
    Quote Originally Posted by Saved.One.by.Grace View Post
    You really shouldn't speak for Calvinists as you are demonstratably incompetent to do so. Your biased generalities based on anecdotal experience is beneath a person of your obvious intellect. You are becoming the Robert Pate / Jerry Shugart of OVT. You bore me as they do. But you can be so much more if you read an interpret scriptures with an open mind.
    Intellect, trapped and locked within the confines of humanism, can only be opened by the light and revelation of the Holy Scriptures. DR has not only left the "church" but proves to be blind and deaf to God's Word.

    Therefore, there will be no meeting of minds or intellect, between he and regenerated Christians.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to Nang For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  21. #26
    Over 1500 post club Arsenios's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    1,611
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 39 Times in 36 Posts

    Blog Entries
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    80161
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    The idea of a fall is quite old...
    Is it a fall or isn't it?
    If it is, what is it a fall from
    and what to?

    Adam sinned. But if he sinned because he was sinful,
    then he must have already fallen into a sinful nature
    before the so-called fall happened...

    God stationed an angel to guard the entrance to the garden for the express purpose of preventing the man from eating from the tree of life. We can assume from this that the man had never eaten from that tree before. So he wasn't immortal before.

    But, before he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he wasn't mortal either. Mortality was the consequence of eating from that tree.

    And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed... Adam and Eve were like innocent children;

    There was not a fall, but a wrong choice. Man became mortal by nature, not sinful by nature.
    There was a decision that was wrong, indeed a wrong choice, as you say, and the Man and the Woman ate of the Fruit of the Forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil... That decision, followed by the actual eating, caused Death to reign over man... And in the fear of death, rather than the Awe of God, man sins... "For all have sinned..."

    And this because in doing what he did, Adam turned away from the Source of Life by Whom as a child he was living... And the only alternative to Life is death... And in that day, Adam died to Life and lived to death... As God had warned him, Adam died that day...

    But what was his MOTIVE?

    No one ever discusses WHY Adam ate of the Tree... Calvinists proclaim DISOBEDIENCE, and indeed it was, but WHY such a disobedience? Was it just arbitrarily flaunted? Or did the serpent deceive? What did he offer Adam?

    What Son does not wish to become like his Father? Tall, strong, wise and filled with love? And this is what the Serpent used to deceive Adam, for he said that by eating of the Tree, knowing Good and evil, Adam would become AS GOD...

    And was not this tree in the MIDDLE of the Garden? Is it not CENTRAL to God's Plan for creation? And so did Adam eat, believing the lie that God was keeping His God-ness to Himself by His forbidding of Adam from eating that fruit...

    But the simple fact is that Adam was not yet READY to know Good AND evil... And he would NOT be ready UNTIL Christ had walked the earth, and man had partaken of His Divine Nature by Grace... For then he would have eaten of the Tree of Life, without having partaken of evil, and then evil would have no hold on him...

    You see...

    And this is what we DO when we repent by turning from evil in this world of the rule of death, turning instead to God, and are Baptized unto purity and partake of the Tree of Life, Christ Himself, Who hung on the Life Creating Tree... The Holy Cross...

    I hope this was helpful...

    Arsenios

  22. The Following User Says Thank You to Arsenios For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  23. #27
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451545
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    I can't make heads or tails of this. Care to explain?
    It's about time I came back to this. Arsenios has made a thoughtful post and this has reminded me to give some proper answers, ignoring of course those who just want to fire their pea-shooters from the sidelines.

    Sinfulness can be understood in two ways. (Just as any epithet describing a general state of a person.)
    1) If it turns out from experience that a person sins a lot, you describe that person as sinful. 'Sinful' is a type of comment on his behaviour. 'Loving', 'boisterous', etc. The same applies to all these types of epithet. Issues arise as to how much a person sins before you decide to call them 'sinful'. It's a subjective judgement of course but one which is communicable. The basic point is that the assignment of the epithet is a value judgement on a person's actions.
    2) If you believe that a person is described not by what he does but by what he is, then if he is 'sinful', this means that he has a tendency to sin a lot. He may not sin. He may not sin at all. But he can still be called 'sinful' if he has a tendency (or propensity) to sin. The description 'sinful' doesn't refer to the person's actions at all but to the state of his being. Obviously this term anticipates that he will make sinful actions but the sinfulness is not constituted by the actions themselves. It is possible that a person has a propensity to sin but yet doesn't actually sin. And certainly he wouldn't be sinning all the time. I want to be clear about this: this way of looking at the world (at people in particular) assigns hidden characteristics to people. Epithets are in effect unseen characteristics that define how a person acts. If a person sins a lot you say that they sin because they are a sinful person. Thus a person's unseen characteristics give rise to their overt actions.

    In terms of how language works on the shop floor, so to speak, I guess there is a bit of both 1 and 2. Once you see by experience that a person sins, you call them sinful; and after that you think of them as being inwardly sinful and hence you expect them to be sinful in future.

    Having expectations of people is a vital part of how we live as rational beings. We need to make all sorts of predictions all the time in order to survive. And if it helps to think of someone as a danger to other road users and therefore give him or her a wide berth, then that is what we must do and what we naturally do.

    I would argue, however, that ascribing value judgements is fundamentally post hoc. The fact that we naturally make predictions, doesn't mean that those predictions are based on some unseen characteristic of a person. And when we say to our neighbour 'Watch that Joe Bloggs, he's a real tell tale...' we are doing nothing other than conveying a summary of our experiences of him. But if we are the other person in that conversation, we ourselves don't have that past experience so all we have is a pure, experience-less statement. We internalise that statement as a characteristic of Joe Bloggs that somehow determines what Joe Bloggs does. And even for ourselves, we don't always remember all our experiences. We may have 50 experiences of Joe Bloggs telling tales but for the sake of efficiency we just need to remember that he is a tell-tale.

    I'm just trying to give some theory here. It's not about sinning in particular. In my view, all language is like this. I would say that it is easy enough to understand my point and see the interplay between experience, the need to summarise our experiences for the purpose of communicating them, the particular summaries or judgements we each make and the trust we place in the summaries of others.

    Where it gets hard is when we get to things like 'This ball is blue.' It's a lot harder to see that we are still in fact making a value judgement. We could after all say, 'This ball is light blue' or we could say 'This ball is dark blue' or indigo or violet.
    Most people think that we are describing an inherent characteristic of the ball. But it is still a value judgement the same as in the previous examples. I can't say that that person who goes around stealing and lying and bullying others all the time is a saint. In the same way I can't say that this ball is red. It's not because the ball has an inherent quality of being blue that compels me to name it as such. It's because the language we use prohibits me saying such a thing as it being red effectively. The object of the exercise is to communicate meaningfully.

    In the case of the person who is a tell-tale, most people would be open to questioning the judgement of someone else. But most people would not be open to questioning the judgement of the ball being blue. It's simply a matter of degree. But because most people perceive the ball being blue as incontrovertible, they think it is because of some intrinsic characteristic (bluefulness...) of the ball. And they then get the same ideas about people. This happens because most people are unable to see themselves in the act of thinking.

    I hope that now explains it. To say that man is sinful and that therefore he sins is an unnecessary prejudice in effective communication.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; July 28th, 2014 at 06:49 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  24. The Following User Says Thank You to Desert Reign For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  25. #28
    ☞☞☞☞Presbyterian (PCA) ☜☜☜☞☞☞☞ A Calvinist! ☜☜☜☜☜☜ Ask Mr. Religion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona USA
    Posts
    5,661
    Thanks
    2,708
    Thanked 2,483 Times in 1,541 Posts

    Blog Entries
    142
    Mentioned
    71 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)



    Rep Power
    2062166
    More succinctly, man sins because he is a sinner. Man is not a sinner because he sins. It really is that simple.

    AMR
    WARNING: Embedded link content that may be in my post above or the many embedded links my sig below are not for the faint of heart.



    Founder, Reformed Theology Institute
    AMR's Randomata Blog
    Learn Reformed Doctrine
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Christian, catholic, Calvinist, confessional, Presbyterian (PCA).
    Lex orandi, lex credenda: everyone is a Calvinist on their knees.
    The best TOL Social Group: here.
    If your username appears in blue and you have over 500 posts:
    Why?



  26. The Following User Says Thank You to Ask Mr. Religion For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  27. #29
    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    1,367
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 182 Times in 115 Posts

    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Rep Power
    451545
    Quote Originally Posted by zippy2006 View Post
    Leaving aside a moment the fact that tradition disagrees with you, why do you think infants die? If you are going to attempt to interpret verse 12 as propounding a kind of propensity or even factual description, then why do infants die? Have they sinned? How does death enter into infants?
    Yes, of course you are wise to leave aside appealing to tradition... Or at least I am sure such an appeal can have benefits in certain situations. But I often feel it is good to get to know another person if traditions are left aside, it is easier to see what makes them tick. And here, I am letting people know what makes me tick. I am being honest. I am not hiding behind other people's ideas. I am not paying lip service to concepts that I don't understand myself or which are unimportant to my own life. I am thinking out loud (TOL?) Some obviously pour cold water and scorn on this (perhaps due to their personal insecurities?) but I am glad you do not and I have enjoyed many a good debate with you. Thank you.

    And although I am not an expert on the traditions, I am not completely ignorant either. Nope. My view is that Genesis 3, the story of the two trees, the snake and the expulsion from Eden, is an allegory and should be interpreted as such. What it says is not about an individual man but about all mankind. The story, at the allegorical level, is about an individual couple, but the allegory points to the whole of mankind. As if the names Adam (= man) and Eve being the 'mother of all the living' weren't enough to convince sane people of this...

    But as to Paul, I am not convinced whether he took it to be an allegory in the way I have described or not. It's a complex issue and just a tad off topic so I'll leave it there. But what I do feel is that when Paul says that death spread to all men 'because all sinned' (not 'because all men were sinful') he had in mind the general description of sinful mankind after the expulsion from Eden all down to the flood. And he does say that this applied not only to those who sinned as Adam had sinned. So he doesn't seem to be making it a specific tit-for-tat kind of thing. The fact that men generally sinned was enough to cause death to spread generally to all.

    And I guess there is an element of collective responsibility here. I wouldn't go anywhere as near as the Catholics do or the traditional protestants in suggesting that everyone is being punished because of the sin of one man. But in terms of your family, your tribe, your nation, etc., every baby born into it is immediately responsible for its society's choices to a certain extent.

    I guess not an entirely satisfactory answer, but it's all I've got for now. I look forward to your comments.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; July 28th, 2014 at 06:53 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

  28. The Following User Says Thank You to Desert Reign For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

  29. #30
    Silver Member glorydaz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    13,367
    Thanks
    3,614
    Thanked 17,944 Times in 9,003 Posts

    Blog Entries
    1
    Mentioned
    43 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    Rep Power
    2147683
    Quote Originally Posted by Ask Mr. Religion View Post
    More succinctly, man sins because he is a sinner. Man is not a sinner because he sins. It really is that simple.

    AMR
    If it really were that simple, there would be a verse saying that.

  30. The Following User Says Thank You to glorydaz For Your Post:

    theophilus (February 27th, 2016)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About us
Since 1997 TheologyOnline (TOL) has been one of the most popular theology forums on the internet. On TOL we encourage spirited conversation about religion, politics, and just about everything else.

follow us