Our Moral God

ffreeloader

Well-known member
I’m sorry, ffree. I have no idea what you mean. I’ll answer “no” to all three.

All I wanted was to know what you thought.

An honest man is not a liar, a thief or a con man. If he was to beoome any of those things he would not be the same person, He would necome the opposite of who he was, So don't keep trying to tell me character has nothing to do with who we are as it has everything to do with who we are.

God's character has everything to do with who he is. If God was like the devil he would not be who he is.
 

Derf

Well-known member
All I wanted was to know what you thought.

An honest man is not a liar, a thief or a con man. If he was to beoome any of those things he would not be the same person, He would necome the opposite of who he was, So don't keep trying to tell me character has nothing to do with who we are as it has everything to do with who we are.

God's character has everything to do with who he is. If God was like the devil he would not be who he is.
But that has little to do with whether God can "change" in some way without His character changing. If part of God's character is "mercy", it implies change because mercy means nothing without first a sentence of judgment. So first God tells Adam he would die, then He arranges to save him from death. That's justice followed by mercy.
 

ffreeloader

Well-known member
But that has little to do with whether God can "change" in some way without His character changing. If part of God's character is "mercy", it implies change because mercy means nothing without first a sentence of judgment. So first God tells Adam he would die, then He arranges to save him from death. That's justice followed by mercy.
Oh, so because God is both just and merciful He changes? Those attributes are integral parts of who He is at all times. He doesn't change because he holds Adam and Eve accountable for their actions and neither does He change because He makes a way out of their problem for them. Both actions by God are integral parts of who He is as there can be no mercy without justice..

Do/did you change when you disciplined your kids? Did you stop loving them because you were disciplining them? And then start loving them again after you were had disciplined/punished them?

Your idea is just plain goofy. We don't change who we are when we act according to one part of our character and then later another. We're the same person the entire time because those attributes exist at all times within us. If they didn't already exist within us we wouldn't be able to act on them. We're not constantly flip flopping back and forth. We are not acting as different people because we display one part of our character at moment A and another aspect of our character at moment B.

That's known as mental illness and God is not mentally ill. There is no one more stable than God.
 

JudgeRightly

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Oh, so because God is both just and merciful He changes?

Yes.

Those attributes are integral parts of who He is at all times.

Showing mercy is, itself, a change, from initially not showing mercy upon someone who deserves punishment, to not punishing them.

The fact that God is merciful doesn't change, but God DOES change by showing mercy.

He doesn't change

To restate the premise here: That God does not change... in his nature... is not in dispute.

But God DOES change in other ways, simply by acting and doing.

because he holds Adam and Eve accountable for their actions and neither does He change because He makes a way out of their problem for them. Both actions by God are integral parts of who He is as there can be no mercy without justice..

You're moving the goalposts.

Again, the argument is that God changes in certain ways, and does not change in others, a position that is consistent with the Bible.

Do/did you change when you disciplined your kids?

I don't have kids, but if I did, and I disciplined them, then yes, that is inherently a change, because I go from a father who has not disciplined my children, to a father who has disciplined my children.

Get it?

Did you stop loving them because you were disciplining them?

Of course not. Hence, "God changes in some ways, and does not change in his nature."

And then start loving them again after you were had disciplined/punished them?

Your idea is just plain goofy.

No, it's not.

We don't change who we are when we act according to one part of our character and then later another.

No, but we do, in fact change.

We're the same person the entire time

Of course, yet we (like God) still change in other ways.

because those attributes exist at all times within us. If they didn't already exist within us we wouldn't be able to act on them.

Action, itself, is inherently a change.

We're not constantly flip flopping back and forth. We are not acting as different people because we display one part of our character at moment A and another aspect of our character at moment B.

That's known as mental illness and God is not mentally ill. There is no one more stable than God.

Non-sequitur, based on moving the goalposts.
 

ffreeloader

Well-known member
Yes.



Showing mercy is, itself, a change, from initially not showing mercy upon someone who deserves punishment, to not punishing them.

The fact that God is merciful doesn't change, but God DOES change by showing mercy.



To restate the premise here: That God does not change... in his nature... is not in dispute.

But God DOES change in other ways, simply by acting and doing.



You're moving the goalposts.

Again, the argument is that God changes in certain ways, and does not change in others, a position that is consistent with the Bible.



I don't have kids, but if I did, and I disciplined them, then yes, that is inherently a change, because I go from a father who has not disciplined my children, to a father who has disciplined my children.

Get it?



Of course not. Hence, "God changes in some ways, and does not change in his nature."



No, it's not.



No, but we do, in fact change.



Of course, yet we (like God) still change in other ways.



Action, itself, is inherently a change.



Non-sequitur, based on moving the goalposts.
I completely disagree with your entire post. It's nonsensical. To say everyone changes every time they do something completely ignores reality.
 

Derf

Well-known member
Do/did you change when you disciplined your kids?
Yes! At one moment I was disciplining them, and the next I had stopped. That’s a change, not in character, but in activity. Relationship requires change, because it involves response. No one can respond or “relate” to another without changing in some way. God has not always loved you, because you have not existed forever. When you came into existence, and even before, God started loving you—that’s a change in God.
 

User Name

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God has not always loved you, because you have not existed forever. When you came into existence, and even before, God started loving you—that’s a change in God.
"Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes." - Ephesians 1:4 NLT
 

JudgeRightly

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I completely disagree with your entire post.

That's nice. Now make a rebuttal.

It's nonsensical.

Appeal to the stone is a logical fallacy.

Make the argument, or concede that you have none.

By the way, simply responding to this post (and any future posts you respond to) is you changing.

To say everyone changes every time they do something completely ignores reality.

False. You, in responding to my post, changed from not having responded to my post, to having responded to my post.

You're still you, but you changed in that you have now responded to my post, whereas before you had not. In fact, simply, by clicking on the notification bell, clicking on the notification for my response to you, and then simply viewing my post, consists of three separate changes that you have undergone, without a change in your nature or person. You're still you, but you have changed.
 

Derf

Well-known member
"Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes." - Ephesians 1:4 NLT
Good point. But if you take it apart, did God choose anyone to be evil and full of fault? Did He want people to disobey Him, ever? No. He wants all people to experience the goodness that comes from obeying Him, because He knows what's good and bad for people.

Are there any that God chose to not be in Christ? Some would say so, but why? Is God only able to save some, and the others have to go to hell? Maybe there's not enough room for everybody to be with Him forever? I think we both agree that's ridiculous. The better reading of that is that God, when He decided to make man, knowing sin would be a problem and arranging for the solution from before He started to create, chose whomever believes in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes, because Christ's righteousness is sufficient to account for whosoever believeth in him.
@Derf Also this:

Psalm 103:17

"But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting..."
Yes! That's the nature of His character, but it is contrasted with the fragility of man in the previous two verses. It certainly doesn't mean that any man has been around from everlasting times. Neither was man supposed to return to dust, but was told NOT to eat of the wrong tree in order that he wouldn't die. God's plan was always for man to live and not die, but man didn't want to cooperate (obey).
 

ffreeloader

Well-known member
That's nice. Now make a rebuttal.



Appeal to the stone is a logical fallacy.

Make the argument, or concede that you have none.

By the way, simply responding to this post (and any future posts you respond to) is you changing.



False. You, in responding to my post, changed from not having responded to my post, to having responded to my post.

You're still you, but you changed in that you have now responded to my post, whereas before you had not. In fact, simply, by clicking on the notification bell, clicking on the notification for my response to you, and then simply viewing my post, consists of three separate changes that you have undergone, without a change in your nature or person. You're still you, but you have changed.
You're wrong.
 

ffreeloader

Well-known member
Yes! At one moment I was disciplining them, and the next I had stopped. That’s a change, not in character, but in activity. Relationship requires change, because it involves response. No one can respond or “relate” to another without changing in some way. God has not always loved you, because you have not existed forever. When you came into existence, and even before, God started loving you—that’s a change in God.

What a raft of malarkey. God changes because He loves His creation? That is simply grotesque. It's who he is. God so loved the world that he gave...

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus died for you and I before we were born. That's a long ways away from your assertion that he didn't love me until I was born.

I will not be entering this thread again. I see no hope of ever coming to a common understanding with people who claim just moving creates a change in a person. When I get out of my chair and walk across the room I'm still the same person. I didn't change in the least. If you want to believe fallacies have at it. I will not go down that road with you.
 

Derf

Well-known member
What a raft of malarkey. God changes because He loves His creation? That is simply grotesque. It's who he is. God so loved the world that he gave...



Jesus died for you and I before we were born. That's a long ways away from your assertion that he didn't love me until I was born.

I will not be entering this thread again. I see no hope of ever coming to a common understanding with people who claim just moving creates a change in a person. When I get out of my chair and walk across the room I'm still the same person. I didn't change in the least. If you want to believe fallacies have at it. I will not go down that road with you.
Obviously we’re talking about different aspects of the person that change. Any movement or breath is a change—an interaction with the environment or other entities. But none of that is talking about a change into a different person. At least you’re seeing why I limit it to “character”, which you call “person”.

What if you have a change in nature? Are you still the same person?
 

JudgeRightly

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What a raft of malarkey.

Appeal to ridicule is ALSO a logical fallacy.

God changes because He loves His creation?

Was God the God of All Creation prior to Him ever thinking about creating?

That is simply grotesque.

More appeal to the stone.

It's who he is.

Would you agree that God is omnicompetent? Able to adapt and overcome any and every situation?

God so loved the world that he gave...

Giving is an action, a change.

Prior to God giving His Son, God had never given His Son before, and He hasn't given His Son since. And because of that, God went from being the God who had never given His Son, to the God who gave HIs Son.

That's a change.

Jesus died for you and I before we were born.

Which is something He had never done before, and hasn't done since, and never will do again

He went from being the Son who had never died, to the Son who died for the sin of all mankind. That's a change.

That's a long ways away from your assertion that he didn't love me until I was born.

You didn't exist until you were conceived. At your conception, God became (a change) the God of the person who would eventually acquire the username "ffreeloader" (though He didn't know it at the time). He loved you the moment you were conceived.

I will not be entering this thread again. I see no hope of ever coming to a common understanding with people who claim just moving creates a change in a person.

Your problem is that you're conflating "change in character" with "change, period."

We're making the argument that the latter happens for God, but not the former. You seem to think that we mean the former. I'm not sure why you think that, but you do.

When I get out of my chair and walk across the room I'm still the same person.

No one said otherwise. But you still changed.

I didn't change in the least.

Sure you did. You went from "ffreeloader sitting in a chair" to "ffreeloader walking across the room."

That's a change, whether you acknowledge it or not.

No one has said that you would no longer be ffreeloader simply by getting up from a chair and walking across the room.

If you want to believe fallacies have at it.

The only one using fallacies here is you.

I will not go down that road with you.

We're not.
 

Idolater

"Never believe anyone who is not cross-examined."
I posted this a long time ago but it doesn't seem to have survived the software upgrade and so I'm posting it again here. Enjoy!

Our Moral God

The question of God's morality might, to some, seem a ridiculous question. To some the idea that God might not be moral is so ludicrous a thought that it would be down right blasphemous to even utter it aloud. After all, they say, if God is amoral (i.e. non-moral) then there can be no standard of right and wrong. But to those who take such a position it would come as quite a surprise to discover that there are at least as many, if not more, who think it an equally blasphemous thought to suggest that God is moral. After all, God is not subject to the law! Right?

What is the source of such confusion? Well, there are many possible ways to answer that question, the most obvious of which has to do with the defining of terms and explaining in more detail what is meant when one says that God is, or is not, moral. But I don't believe that the problem can really be solved by a mere analysis of the semantics involved. This is not an issue of sophistry but rather it is a problem of philosophy. There is a more fundamentally philosophical issue involved here that I believe the vast majority of people on both sides of this issue do not understand nor do they even have any inkling of the issue's existence for that matter. The purpose of this essay is to bring this issue to the attention of those on both sides of this issue and to explain how the God we serve is indeed moral but not because He follows or is subject to a set of rules nor because His nature defines morality, which is meaningless, but because God is rational.

In John chapter one we are taught not simply that Jesus is God, nor simply that God became a man, but that God the Son is the Logos of God. The New King James renders the passage this way...

John1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.​
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.​
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.​
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.​

In this passage, everywhere you see the phrase, "the Word" the Greek word being used is "Logos". It is important to understand what this Greek word means because the use of "Word" as an English translation just doesn't convey what this passage is teaching. Logos conveys the idea of communication or more specifically, discourse and more specifically than that, rational discourse and or rational argument. It is the word from which we get the suffix "-ology", as in Biology, Technology, Climatology, Cosmology, etc. So the study of living things is "Biology" and the processes in a living creature are said to be biological. Notice bio-LOGICAL. This is the meaning conveyed by "Logos". To apply logic to the processes in living things, and thus to understand them, is biology, it is the logos of life.

So now, with this better understanding of the Greek, lets look at this passage again...

John 1:1 In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.​
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.​
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.​
14 And Logic became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.​

Now, there are some who object to such a translation thinking it improper to equate the living God with some abstract concept such as logic. But it should be noted that those who make such an objection never object to God being equated with the abstract concept of "Word", nor are they typically capable of offering any explanation as to what exactly it means to say "the Word as God". In other words, people who object on the grounds of referring to God as an abstraction, typically have no real problem with abstractions so long as the abstraction being used can't be made any sense of at all.

This is, however, quite a new idea to most of those reading this and so let me just cite a couple of other's who have used and acknowledge the validity of such a translation. Not that doing so helps to prove anything other than that this teaching is not unique to, nor can it's genesis be attributed to me. Indeed, this idea is as old as Christianity. As evidence of both its veracity and its antiquity, I offer the following quotations, the likes of which there are many...

"...this translation––may not only sound strange to devout ears, it may even sound obnoxious and offensive. But the shock only measures the devout person's distance from the language and thought of the Greek New Testament. Why it is offensive to call Christ Logic, when it does not offend to call him a word, is hard to explain. But such is often the case. Even Augustine, because he insisted that God is truth, has been subjected to the anti–intellectualistic accusation of "reducing" God to a proposition. At any rate, the strong intellectualism of the word Logos is seen in its several possible translations: to wit, computation, (financial) accounts, esteem, proportion and (mathematical) ratio, explanation, theory or argument, principle or law, reason, formula, debate, narrative, speech, deliberation, discussion, oracle, sentence, and wisdom.

Any translation of John 1:1 that obscures this emphasis on mind or reason is a bad translation. And if anyone complains that the idea of ratio or debate obscures the personality of the second person of the Trinity, he should alter his concept of personality. In the beginning, then, was Logic." - Gordon H. Clark; Against The World. The Trinity Review, 1978-1988. [God And Logic, Gordon H. Clark, p. 52-56] John W. Robbins, Editor.

"For not only among the Greeks did reason (Logos) prevail to condemn these things through Socrates, but also among the Barbarians were they condemned by Reason (or the Word, the Logos) Himself, who took shape, and became man, and was called Jesus Christ;" Justin Martyr: The First Apology of Justin Chapter V

Logos n. < Gr, a word: see Logic 1 Gr. Philos. reason, thought of as constituting the controlling principle of the universe and as being manifested by speech 2 Christian Theol. the eternal thought or word of God, made incarnate in Jesus Christ: John 1 - Webster's Dictionary​

Okay, so what's the point? God is Logic, Logic is God - so what? Well, lets suppose someone, for whatever reason, rejects the Bible, Jesus Christ and the whole concept of God, a true atheist, attempts to think through the issues of life and does so in such a way so as to stay as true to the principles of logic and sound reason as he possibly can. If the Living God is Logic, what conclusions then should this person come too? Should they not be at least very similar to the teachings which are found in Scripture? If such an atheist existed and made such an attempt to use reason to formulate his philosophy of life, would he not be using God to formulate it, even if by accident and in ignorance?

Now, bearing that in mind I want to look at John 1 again. This time verse 4...

John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.​

I find it interesting that the issue of life is brought up in the context of the Logos of God. It interests me because if one were to attempt to contemplate a rational basis for morality, life would have to be a necessary starting point because it is only to the living that issues of morality apply or matter. Ayn Rand, just the sort of atheist to which I've been referring, put it this way...

"...the first question is "Does man need values at all—and why?" According to Rand, "it is only the concept of 'Life' that makes the concept of 'Value' possible," and, "the fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do." Rand writes: "there is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence—and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms. The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not: it depends on a specific course of action... It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death..." The survival of the organism is the ultimate value to which all of the organism's activities are aimed, the end served by all of its lesser values." Ayn Rand(1964). The Virtue of Selfishness (paperback ed.). p. 13 & 18 New York: Signet.​

Rand also said,

"Man's mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive he must act and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch––or build a cyclotron––without a knowledge of his aim and the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think." Rand, Ayn (1992) [1957]. Atlas Shrugged (35th anniversary ed.). p. 1012 New York: Dutton​

Now, according to Rand, rationality is the primary virtue in ethics (i.e. morality). For rand ethics is...

"the recognition and acceptance of reason as one's only source of knowledge, one's only judge of values and one's only guide to action." Rand, Ayn (1964). The Virtue of Selfishness (paperback ed.). p. 25 New York: Signet.​

All of which, if God is Logic, is entirely consistent with the common Christian teaching that morality is derived from and defined by God's character. Which, by the way, is not to say the Ayn Rand was a godly person, nor that her philosophical conclusion were all correct. On the contrary, her rejection of the existence of God lead to a great many errors, some of which are disastrously grievous. But, nevertheless, to the degree she stayed true to reason, here conclusions remained close to the truth, which means, by definition, that they remained close to God and His truth as taught in the pages of Scripture.

Rand's quintessential statement on morality is this ...

"Since reason is man’s basic means of survival, that which is proper to the life of a rational being is the good; that which negates, opposes or destroys it is the evil." Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged​

Now, since we now know that God is Reason, what could an atheist say that would be any more in line with the teachings of Scripture than that!?

And so, in conclusion, I attest and believe that I have now shown that we can find the answer to the confusion surrounding the morality of God in the fact the God is Logic. Morality is not simply defined by God's character as many Christians suppose, but rather that which is moral is so because it is rational, which, if you are following the line of thinking in this essay properly, you'll understand is the equivalent of saying that what is moral is so because it is God like. To say that God is moral, is not to say that God has a list of rules He must follow but simply that God is Life and that He is consistent with Himself and therefore acts in way which is proper to Life. To say that God is moral is to say that God is rational. A non-moral God would be non-rational and therefore non-personal, non-relational, non-thinking, non-living, non-real!

God is real, therefore God is rational, therefore God is moral!


Clete Pfeiffer

3/24/2012
Jerome translated logos verbum. Just means word.

God is "Holy, Holy, Holy", I think that's enough to establish that God is moral. Whatever He is or does, He is Holy, Holy, Holy.
 

Clete

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Jerome translated logos verbum. Just means word.
I don't care how Jerome translated it. It DOES NOT mean word - period. That isn't my opinion, its a fact of history. Deal with it.

God is "Holy, Holy, Holy", I think that's enough to establish that God is moral. Whatever He is or does, He is Holy, Holy, Holy.
What are you even doing here? If you have nothing of substance to offer then just go away and waste someone else's time.
 
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