Our Moral God

Clete

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All you displayed in that which I emphasized, Clete, is a major misunderstanding of the Bible. The Sabbath is moral because God says it is moral by including it in His moral law. Right there you find yourself in complete opposition to God's logic. Both Jesus and Paul tells us that our bodies are the temple of God and that God will destroy whoever destroys His temple.
No! Sabbath observance is not a moral issue. Obeying God is a moral issue but God could have just as easily not required Sabbath observance and no one would have been doing anything wrong, including God. It is a religious command given to have several effects on the nation of Israel. Circumcision also is not a moral command but a religious rite. God could have just as easily commanded the removal of your left ear lobe had he chosen to do so. There are good reasons why He didn't but that doesn't change the fact that He could have commanded something entirely different or nothing at all with respect to physical mutilation of our flesh and no one would have been doing a thing wrong by remaining whole.

One way you can know that such laws are not matters of morality is by the fact that they are regulated in the law in cases where one law conflicts with another. Circumcision was to take place on the eigth day of a male child's life and was considered a work of the flesh. Well, what happens if the eighth day falls on a Sabbath? Do you circumcise or not? To follow one law is to break the other. The bible teaches that circumcision took precedence over the Sabbath but the point is that no moral law can conflict in this manner. There is never a situation where it is required of you to rape a woman so as to prevent her murder. It is never right to burn down someone's house to prevent a thief from burglarizing it.

Further, and far more importantly, it was immoral to do immoral things long before the law said "Thou shalt not...!" There was no, "Thou shalt not murder." when Cain killed righteous Abel. There was no Ten Commandments when God wiped out the whole Earth in a flood because "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Read God's health laws. He gave them for a practical reason. For the health of the body, for the body is the temple of God and God will destroy anyone who destroys His temple, we are to take every precaution to keep our bodies in good health. The best way to do that is through what we eat. Nutrition is the greatest tool we have for keeping our bodies healthy, and repairing them.
Nonsense. The dietary laws may well have created a healthy diet but that isn't why those laws exist and if you are following the dietary laws in the Old Testament, know that you sin with every bite of food you take. You hang Jesus Christ back on that cross every time you prepare a meal.

You DO NOT need the law!

That, in fact, happens to be the principle lesson of the ENTIRE BIBLE!!! That is the message that God has used the whole history of mankind to teach.

The law is the alternative to God! It leads to death, not life. It is the offspring of the fruit that Eve picked off that Tree in the Garden of God and it has the same ministry as did that fruit. In the day you partake of it you shall surely die. You have no idea the damage you are doing.

Clete
 

Derf

Well-known member
Isn't it true that the only reason that "the word of God" means what you say is because that's the phrase we use to convey that meaning

In other words, the only reason "the logic of God" carries no such connotation is because no such connotation has been assigned to it.
These are two statements you made. They perfectly make the case against your argument that "logic" is a better term than "the word" for Jesus Christ, in answer to:
Nope. I don't see it. You'll have to spell it out for me.
You've already spelled it out for yourself.

I'm not trying to avoid the conversation, but if you've already made the argument against your own position, why should I reiterate it?

And I'm happy to "go away" if that's what you want.
 

Clete

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These are two statements you made. They perfectly make the case against your argument that "logic" is a better term than "the word" for Jesus Christ, in answer to:
Saying it doesn't make it so, Derf.
You've already spelled it out for yourself.

I'm not trying to avoid the conversation, but if you've already made the argument against your own position, why should I reiterate it?
Of course yes you are trying to avoid the argument which is why you won't make it. I could beg you fifty times to make the argument and you would never ever do it. I know that for a fact because I've already told you that I don't see you point and that you'll have to spell it out for me and all you do is repeat the same asinine stupidity that you showed up with. Either make the argument or get off this thread.
And I'm happy to "go away" if that's what you want.
I'd rather you make the argument but it's clear that you either can't or won't.
 

Derf

Well-known member
Saying it doesn't make it so, Derf.

Of course yes you are trying to avoid the argument which is why you won't make it. I could beg you fifty times to make the argument and you would never ever do it. I know that for a fact because I've already told you that I don't see you point and that you'll have to spell it out for me and all you do is repeat the same asinine stupidity that you showed up with. Either make the argument or get off this thread.

I'd rather you make the argument but it's clear that you either can't or won't.
*sigh* Your OP is about what words mean. Then you admit that today's meanings of "word" and "logic" don't carry the kind of meaning that fits with what your OP requires for your position to be valid. I'm not able to argue the point better than that, and I've shown you where you wrote it. I'll show you one more time.
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

the only reason "the logic of God" carries no such connotation is because no such connotation has been assigned to it.

the only reason that "the word of God" means what you say is because that's the phrase we use to convey that meaning

Saying it doesn't make it so, Derf.
But you saying it, in opposition to your own reasoning, is a pretty strong argument, Clete.
 

Clete

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*sigh* Your OP is about what words mean. Then you admit that today's meanings of "word" and "logic" don't carry the kind of meaning that fits with what your OP requires for your position to be valid. I'm not able to argue the point better than that, and I've shown you where you wrote it. I'll show you one more time.







But you saying it, in opposition to your own reasoning, is a pretty strong argument, Clete.
Your misunderstanding / mischaracterization of my point(s) is not the equivalent of my actual point(s).

"The Word was with God and the Word was God" & "The Word become flesh and dwelt among us."

The use of "word" in the above manner carries no meaning in English. That just simply isn't the way "word" is used in any context other than in those few sentences in the first chapter of John. Aside from that single usage or in reference to it, it doesn't exist anywhere for any reason in the whole of English literature because it is quite literally an incorrect translation into English as I established in the opening post.

On the other hand, "Logic (i.e. Reason) was with God and Logic was God" & "Logic become flesh and dwelt among us." not only conveys a whole lot more meaning in English, the meaning it does convey happens to be identical to what John was trying to convey in the original and is exactly what the Greeks who read his letter would have understood him to be saying. It would not have been the slightest bit unusual to their hearing.

Further more, as I have already said, if John chapter one had been translated properly, the phrase "the logic of God" would not sound odd in our ears at all and would likely have come to mean exactly what we currently use the term "the word of God" (small w) to mean which is just a euphemism for "scripture", "the bible", "preaching", "prophecy", etc.

Now, that is all entirely consistent and perfectly reasonable and easy to understand. If you choose to misunderstand or mischaracterize it then that's your issue not mine.

Clete
 

Derf

Well-known member
Your misunderstanding / mischaracterization of my point(s) is not the equivalent of my actual point(s).
You seem to think I am trying to mischaracterize. What I'm saying is that you haven't made your case, and that your points do more harm to your case than they help it. To repeat them without further elaboration in the face of disagreement is a further admission on your part that you have nothing more to add to the discussion, which further substantiated my contention that you are incorrect.

This isn't something to get upset about or stomp your feet--this is an opportunity for you to strengthen your argument by adding more evidence.
"The Word was with God and the Word was God" & "The Word become flesh and dwelt among us."

The use of "word" in the above manner carries no meaning in English. That just simply isn't the way "word" is used in any context other than in those few sentences in the first chapter of John. Aside from that single usage or in reference to it, it doesn't exist anywhere for any reason in the whole of English literature because it is quite literally an incorrect translation into English as I established in the opening post
Here are the things "word" conveys in modern English:

Definition of word

1a(1): a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use
(2): the entire set of linguistic forms produced by combining a single base with various inflectional elements without change in the part of speech elements
b(1): a written or printed character or combination of characters representing a spoken word the number of words to a line—sometimes used with the first letter of a real or pretended taboo word prefixed as an often humorous euphemism
(2): any segment of written or printed discourse ordinarily appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark
2a: a brief remark or conversation would like to have a word with you
b: something that is said
c words plural
(1): TALK, DISCOURSE putting one's feelings into words
(2): the text of a vocal musical composition
3: ORDER, COMMAND don't move till I give the word
4a: NEWS, INFORMATION sent word that he would be late
b: RUMOR
5: PROMISE, DECLARATION kept her word
6: a quarrelsome utterance or conversation —usually used in pluralthey had words and parted
7often capitalized
a: the expressed or manifested mind and will of God
b: GOSPEL sense 1a
c: LOGOS
8: the act of speaking or of making verbal communication
9: SAYING, PROVERB
10: a number of bytes processed as a unit and conveying a quantum of information in communication and computer work
11: a verbal signal : PASSWORD
12slang —used interjectionally to express agreement

Even if you remove #7 (which you can't, because "word" is a normal translation of "logos" in other parts of the bible, and "logos" in Jesus' time already had a context of deity from the Greeks), the scope of the word "word" is significant and when multiple definitions are accumulated, it gives the idea of a compilation of ideas that build up to a full-orbed understanding of something greater than just a single definition--which is exactly what one might glean from the use of "word" to describe Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, "Logic (i.e. Reason) was with God and Logic was God" & "Logic become flesh and dwelt among us." not only conveys a whole lot more meaning in English, the meaning it does convey happens to be identical to what John was trying to convey in the original and is exactly what the Greeks who read his letter would have understood him to be saying. It would not have been the slightest bit unusual to their hearing.
Here are the things "logic" conveys in modern English:

Definition of logic


1a(1): a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration : the science of the formal principles of reasoninga professor of logic
(2): a branch or variety of logic modal logic Boolean logic
(3): a branch of semiotics especially : SYNTACTICS
(4): the formal principles of a branch of knowledge the logic of grammar
b(1): a particular mode of reasoning viewed as valid or faulty She spent a long time explaining the situation, but he failed to see her logic.
(2): RELEVANCE, PROPRIETY could not understand the logic of such an action
c: interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable By the logic of events, anarchy leads to dictatorship.
d: the arrangement of circuit elements (as in a computer) needed for computation also : the circuits themselves
2: something that forces a decision apart from or in opposition to reason the logic of war

Several of these could be seen as applicable to the use of "logic" for Jesus Christ, but several can't. It certainly doesn't give a well-rounded description of Christ. I can also point you back to your own statement to show that "logic" is insufficient--because you had to define it better by saying "i.e. Reason".
Further more, as I have already said, if John chapter one had been translated properly, the phrase "the logic of God" would not sound odd in our ears at all and would likely have come to mean exactly what we currently use the term "the word of God" (small w) to mean which is just a euphemism for "scripture", "the bible", "preaching", "prophecy", etc.

Now, that is all entirely consistent and perfectly reasonable and easy to understand. If you choose to misunderstand or mischaracterize it then that's your issue not mine.
I am only misunderstanding your point if your point does not include a comparison of the current meanings of "word" and "logic". But I'm pretty sure that is the primary purpose of your OP.
 

Clete

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Silver Subscriber
You seem to think I am trying to mischaracterize. What I'm saying is that you haven't made your case, and that your points do more harm to your case than they help it. To repeat them without further elaboration in the face of disagreement is a further admission on your part that you have nothing more to add to the discussion, which further substantiated my contention that you are incorrect.

This isn't something to get upset about or stomp your feet--this is an opportunity for you to strengthen your argument by adding more evidence.



Here are the things "word" conveys in modern English:

Definition of word

1a(1): a speech sound or series of speech sounds that symbolizes and communicates a meaning usually without being divisible into smaller units capable of independent use
(2): the entire set of linguistic forms produced by combining a single base with various inflectional elements without change in the part of speech elements
b(1): a written or printed character or combination of characters representing a spoken word the number of words to a line—sometimes used with the first letter of a real or pretended taboo word prefixed as an often humorous euphemism
(2): any segment of written or printed discourse ordinarily appearing between spaces or between a space and a punctuation mark
2a: a brief remark or conversation would like to have a word with you
b: something that is said
c words plural
(1): TALK, DISCOURSE putting one's feelings into words
(2): the text of a vocal musical composition
3: ORDER, COMMAND don't move till I give the word
4a: NEWS, INFORMATION sent word that he would be late
b: RUMOR
5: PROMISE, DECLARATION kept her word
6: a quarrelsome utterance or conversation —usually used in pluralthey had words and parted
7often capitalized
a: the expressed or manifested mind and will of God
b: GOSPEL sense 1a
c: LOGOS
8: the act of speaking or of making verbal communication
9: SAYING, PROVERB
10: a number of bytes processed as a unit and conveying a quantum of information in communication and computer work
11: a verbal signal : PASSWORD
12slang —used interjectionally to express agreement

Even if you remove #7 (which you can't, because "word" is a normal translation of "logos" in other parts of the bible, and "logos" in Jesus' time already had a context of deity from the Greeks), the scope of the word "word" is significant and when multiple definitions are accumulated, it gives the idea of a compilation of ideas that build up to a full-orbed understanding of something greater than just a single definition--which is exactly what one might glean from the use of "word" to describe Jesus Christ.

Here are the things "logic" conveys in modern English:

Definition of logic


1a(1): a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration : the science of the formal principles of reasoninga professor of logic
(2): a branch or variety of logic modal logic Boolean logic
(3): a branch of semiotics especially : SYNTACTICS
(4): the formal principles of a branch of knowledge the logic of grammar
b(1): a particular mode of reasoning viewed as valid or faulty She spent a long time explaining the situation, but he failed to see her logic.
(2): RELEVANCE, PROPRIETY could not understand the logic of such an action
c: interrelation or sequence of facts or events when seen as inevitable or predictable By the logic of events, anarchy leads to dictatorship.
d: the arrangement of circuit elements (as in a computer) needed for computation also : the circuits themselves
2: something that forces a decision apart from or in opposition to reason the logic of war

Several of these could be seen as applicable to the use of "logic" for Jesus Christ, but several can't. It certainly doesn't give a well-rounded description of Christ. I can also point you back to your own statement to show that "logic" is insufficient--because you had to define it better by saying "i.e. Reason".



I am only misunderstanding your point if your point does not include a comparison of the current meanings of "word" and "logic". But I'm pretty sure that is the primary purpose of your OP.
There was no other conclusion to draw other than that you were mischaracterizing my position because you repeatedly refused to make an argument. I literally had to goad you into making any sort of explanation at all and even that was pathetically unsubstantial.

What you've posted here is the only thing I would call an actual argument that I've ever seen you post. It fails because you feel, for some reason, that the need to make an actual argument is beneath you and so you short cut your posts to the point that they are incomplete and entirely uncompelling. Your nascent argument here fails not only because it's incomplete but because you didn't actually read the opening post, or at the very least, you ignored important aspects of it, which I suppose takes us back to the issue of mischaracterization. The only question is whether you're intentionally mischaracterizing my position or that you're just expressing yourself so poorly that it leaves that impression. Time will tell.

Your dictionary citation of the definition of "word" argues MY point! You're simply looking past it because for some reason you don't want to agree with it. You say, "even if you remove #7" and blow your own argument up because definition #7 is the ONLY one of those definitions of "word" that fits John chapter 1! What's worse for you is that the only reason definition #7 is even there is precisely because of John chapter 1 and for NO OTHER REASON! If the King James hadn't been translated as it was, definition #7 wouldn't exist at all and nothing else in that whole dictionary citation would come close to fitting what John was saying in that passage.

As for the dictionary quotation of "logic", I fail to see the point of having posted it. There is nothing there that is the least bit contradictory to a thing I've said. In fact, I made a point of making a distinction between the word 'logic' and 'reason' where I openly stated a meaning of logic that is all but identical to the one you posted in refutation of my position. The point being that any definition of 'logic' does nothing to refute the indisputable fact that the English word "reason" conveys a meaning very much closer to what the Greeks would have understand "logos" to mean. Very much closer indeed! So much closer, in fact, that it is laughably wrong to have translated it as "word" in any context. "Logic" could be used but only because it is commonly used as a synonym of "reason", and because phonetically it is more similar and clearly related to "logos", as I stated quite clearly in the opening post.

I would also point out - again - that it would be possible to write tens of thousands of words on the topic of Logos and, in fact, there have been millions of words written on that topic over the last 2000 years. Isn't it interesting that if you wanted to find an author that disagrees with my position as presented in the opening post, you'd have to search and search and search and you'd perhaps never find anything but a single Google search of the term "divine reason" results in a deluge of references to the Greek word "logos". There's so many that you literally cannot avoid them. There are thousands upon thousands of references to the fact that John wasn't talking about language, which is the only context in which translating logos as "word" would make any sense at all, but instead John was very clearly talking about and making specific reference to the Greek idea of the "divine reason" which they had already been calling "Logos" for centuries before John put pen to paper. It's obviously true not only because the text of the passage makes that clearly the case but also because of the virtually unanimous agreement between Greek and Hebrew scholars for as long as Christianity has been a thing. In short, I'm not even saying anything that should be the least bit controversial.

Clete
 

Derf

Well-known member
You say, "even if you remove #7" and blow your own argument up because definition #7 is the ONLY one of those definitions of "word" that fits John chapter 1!
I'm not trying to fit that definition, any more than John was, nor the KJV translators, nor the ones in between. You're the one that is trying to cram that definition into the word, in order to try to make your point. John wanted to advance a concept that was difficult to verbalize with any single word-- so he used a word with multiple connotations.
What's worse for you is that the only reason definition #7 is even there is precisely because of John chapter 1 and for NO OTHER REASON!
No, the word has those other meanings, which can combine to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the concept John was hinting at. I'm not saying it us perfect, I'm saying it was the best the translators had available to them.
If the King James hadn't been translated as it was, definition #7 wouldn't exist at all ...
You put way too much stock in ol' James. But you should note that a majority of the wording used in the KJV came from William Tyndale's translation 60+ years earlier:
Tyndale(i) 1 In the beginnynge was the worde and the worde was with God: and the worde was God.

You may also be unaware that the KJV was a counter-attack on the anti-monarchical views espoused in the Geneva bible published in 1599.
1In[a]the [b]beginning [c]was [d]that Word, and that Word was [e]with God, and that [f]Word was God.

You might be more familiar with a ragtag band of pilgrims trying to get away from King James' form of Christianity--they brought the Geneva bible to America with them on the Mayflower. The KJV wasn't necessary to promulgate the concept of using the word "word".

Jerome, who gave us the Latin Vulgate (bible in the common tongue of his day) 1200 years before the KJV, chose the Latin word "verbum", which, unsurprisingly means "word".

Tyndale was a linguist. He was fluent in Greek. He knew the options for word choices available for his translation. So did Jerome in his day.

Jerome, Tyndale, and the Geneva translators all used "word" prior to the KJV. I looked up a 20th century English translation of a Syriac translation from 200ad--it had "word".
I fail to see the point of having posted it.
There seems to be quite a bit of that going on in your responses.
John wasn't talking about language, which is the only context in which translating logos as "word" would make any sense at all,
No, John wasn't talking about "language", and those translators all understood, better than you or I do, the original use of "logos" John intended. And none of them chose the word "logic".
 

Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
I'm not trying to fit that definition, any more than John was, nor the KJV translators, nor the ones in between. You're the one that is trying to cram that definition into the word, in order to try to make your point. John wanted to advance a concept that was difficult to verbalize with any single word-- so he used a word with multiple connotations.

No, the word has those other meanings, which can combine to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the concept John was hinting at. I'm not saying it us perfect, I'm saying it was the best the translators had available to them.

You put way too much stock in ol' James. But you should note that a majority of the wording used in the KJV came from William Tyndale's translation 60+ years earlier:
Tyndale(i) 1 In the beginnynge was the worde and the worde was with God: and the worde was God.

You may also be unaware that the KJV was a counter-attack on the anti-monarchical views espoused in the Geneva bible published in 1599.
1In[a]the [b]beginning [c]was [d]that Word, and that Word was [e]with God, and that [f]Word was God.

You might be more familiar with a ragtag band of pilgrims trying to get away from King James' form of Christianity--they brought the Geneva bible to America with them on the Mayflower. The KJV wasn't necessary to promulgate the concept of using the word "word".

Jerome, who gave us the Latin Vulgate (bible in the common tongue of his day) 1200 years before the KJV, chose the Latin word "verbum", which, unsurprisingly means "word".

Tyndale was a linguist. He was fluent in Greek. He knew the options for word choices available for his translation. So did Jerome in his day.

Jerome, Tyndale, and the Geneva translators all used "word" prior to the KJV. I looked up a 20th century English translation of a Syriac translation from 200ad--it had "word".

There seems to be quite a bit of that going on in your responses.

No, John wasn't talking about "language", and those translators all understood, better than you or I do, the original use of "logos" John intended. And none of them chose the word "logic".
My statements were not intended to make any commentary about the King James Bible per se. The actual origin of the use of the term "word" is not relevant to the point. My point was merely that the only reason any English dictionary has any reference similar to definition #7 in the one you cited is because the King James Bible uses that word in John chapter one. That is THE reason - period. Regardless of what was used as source material for the translation, the King James Bible has influences and stabilized the English language for centuries. There are many expressions in common use throughout English society that would not exist if not for the King James Bible and any use of "word" in reference to the divine reason (Logos) is one of them. If that error originated with Tyndale or Jerome and that error survived into the King James Bible then so be it. It does nothing to refute my position.

The simple fact is that "word" does not convey anything similar to the Greek concept of "Logos". There is no semantic, grammatic or phonetic similarity. It is an incorrect translation period, regardless of who made the error first or how long ago it was made.

Clete
 

oatmeal

Well-known member
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 it 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 (uh hem), 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 is 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
I appreciate your recognition that the word "word" conveys the idea of logical communication as opposed to being a person.

I wish more people would recognize that it would clear up clear up so much confusion

God is light and in him is no darkness at all

Illustrating that God has light is good that darkness is the opposite as representing evil

Light dispels darkness.

The light of God's word illuminates our lives both internally and externally if we let it

God is good always

There are colloquialisms and idioms in the word of God that seem to indicate that God is the source of evil but the literal truth is that God allowed evil to occur because God gave certain living beings free will to act whether in harmony with God's word or against God's word
 

Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
I appreciate your recognition that the word "word" conveys the idea of logical communication as opposed to being a person.

I wish more people would recognize that it would clear up clear up so much confusion

God is light and in him is no darkness at all

Illustrating that God has light is good that darkness is the opposite as representing evil

Light dispels darkness.

The light of God's word illuminates our lives both internally and externally if we let it

God is good always

There are colloquialisms and idioms in the word of God that seem to indicate that God is the source of evil but the literal truth is that God allowed evil to occur because God gave certain living beings free will to act whether in harmony with God's word or against God's word
The word Logos does not convey the meaning of "person" but the words "houtos" and "autos" do! They are personal pronouns that are usually translated as "him" or "her" depending on the context....

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.​
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.​
Not to mention the fact that the Logos became a man. Last time I checked, men were people.

Clete
 
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Lon

Well-known member
You wouldn't like Bob's definition of life, either, then. But to say that logic is God, and love is God, is accurate, because they describe who/what God is, as He is the source of love, logic, and life.

Because:
A = B
Therefore:
B = A

True, there's more to it than just "God is love, therefore love is God." But it IS accurate, since true love describes the relationship between the Father and the Son, and between the Son and the Holy Spirit, and between the Holy Spirit and the Father.

Love is the commitment to the good of someone. This applies to God, and the three Persons of the Trinity can verify that neither of the other Persons have ever wronged Them.

As for life...

Here is Bob's definition of life:

"Life is God, and the property which He imparted to entities within creation that makes them either beings or organisms. The effects of this property may be further described, but it's nature, being tied up in the very nature of the essence of the Godhead, cannot be otherwise defined."

Jesus claimed to be... "the life."

Which is where Bob gets the first phrase in the above definition, because A = B = A. We, created beings, are life (living creatures, with man being created in the image of God, who is life), but Christ, being God, is THE life.
Not quite the equation (if you'll allow, and thank you for a moment). If God 'is' love, it means that all that 'is' love is contained in His being, thus it is ancillary, not identity by principle. What it means is, "God is the definition of 'love,'" but love isn't the 'all' of the expression of God lest John Lennon is proved right that "All you need is Love." If you follow: John Lennon would have found God if love was God reflexively but he instead penned "imagine no heaven above or hell below...its easy if you try."

Similarly, if God is Logic, the question is 'whose?' I've discussed a bit with our resident Urantia cultists and rationalization (their 'logic') is why they dismiss the God of the Bible as Neanderthal, barbaric. Thus, the problem of the appeal to logic as God (reflexively rather than ancillary) is the same as submitting "Love is God:" It leaves men seeking gods in their own image rather than His and is exactly the problem. While God's "expression" (logos) in the form of His Son does indeed have to make sense, 'making sense' is OUR apprehension lest we elevate our minds on above or even dangerously on 'par' with God. God is THE mathematician. No mathematician is without mistakes. God is THE definition of what is "true." What is 'meaningful' however is a different construct than a pure form of 'logic.' Logic, simply put, is a mathematical demonstration of what is true. We finite human beings can and are capable of mastering mathematics but not becoming masters of it. Mathematics is a process of grasping 'some' of the infinite inter-workings of the universe. It will always be finite in apprehension. Necessarily, while God 'makes sense' He is the author of salvation lest any man grasp a handle upon God (finite attempting to define infinite, impossibility). Rather, God meets every man at His need, regardless of his/her ability to fully grasp.

This is why salvation is a matter of faith and trust. God is the only navigator for man, whether man understands navigation of the universe partially (as does the best physicist), or not at all. Not everyone 'gets' the Bible instruction. The men I discuss heresy with 'think' they are logical and rational and we have to be careful not to just 'argue' (logic, rationalize) with men, but pray for them as well. The scripture calls us to love God certainly with our minds, in fact our 'whole' minds, but our hearts, abilities, and desires as well.

Likewise, God appeals to men, not just in 'logic' but in the whole inclusion of their being, thus, in my estimation "Word" equating to "logic" misses the mark and wrongly imperializes the intellect of men as what must be reached. Logos is better grasped by 'I Am.'

"I Am" is a faith and trust concept that requires man to trust and rely on God, whether he/she understands or not. Moses was given to inadequacies (as are we all) when given "I Am." He didn't believe he had a great communication skillset to convince anybody of anything (or at least Pharaoh).
"How can they hear without someone teaching them?" is an appeal to intellect, certainly, but we have a 'frame work scaffolding' of logic (how things make sense) that is used to grasp truth, but it is always up to challenge against it, because our thoughts are "not His thoughts" and our ways, not His either. Further, we are often shown errors and corrected individually and corporately. We are being transformed and conformed, for us, it is a process. "Logic" is rather a vehicle for us, than an absolute lest you are meaning 'truth' or unchanging character.

My appeal is: Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not, on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and HE will keep your path straight for you." We are, I agree, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, but that part of 'His' workmanship in us, lest we elevate ourselves above Him in any way as the scripture above calls us not to do. Most do not read John 15:5 as literally as I do. For every believer, it is my assessment, that 'literally' "without Him, we can do not even one thing."

Word then is larger than 'logic' and is the very expression ( "He is the exact expression of God Colossians 1:15). It is, I believe, demonstrable that 'logic' then is ancillary rather than identity in expression.

Respectfully and prayerfully submitted -Lon
 
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Clete

Truth Smacker
Silver Subscriber
It is impossible that I will ever understand how someone can contradict themselves so consistently while thinking that they are saying something profound. I just do not get it.

Lon talks about loving God not just with our mind "but with our hearts, abilities, and desires as well." as though it is only the mind to which sound reason applies. Does he desire that portion of our devotion to God having it's home in our hearts to be irrational? Should our abilities be self-contradictory and self-defeating? Shall our desires be inconsistent with the reason that resides in our minds?

The basic premise of Lon's post is the undermining of not only logic but of man's intellect all the while using both to accomplish the task. He talks a lot about errors of logic that men make and how we are "often shown errors and corrected individually and corporately" but fails to notice that such errors can never even be detected, never mind corrected, without the very logic he implies is inadequate and the intellect's own use of it.

He lastly lands back on the use of "word" as a good English translation of Logos and simply declares that "Word is larger than 'logic' and hopes that all his words up to that point will have caused you to forget what the term "logos" would have meant to John when he wrote it and what it would have meant to his Greek audience.

As for this notion that God is Logic, it isn't that hard of a concept to grasp. The only objections to it come when people assume that much more is being claimed that is reasonable. John wrote the words "logos Ä“n theos", not me! God Himself, the Author of scripture inspired John to put that truth into the book that bares his name. I, therefore, wholly and implicitly accept that as being the truth. Does that mean I worship logic or unduly "imperialize the intellect of men"? Certainly not! Jesus Himself stated explicitly the He is the way, the truth and the life. Do I therefore worship truth? NO! I worship God! I worship THE God Who is the aspect of reason, the aspect of truth, the aspect of justice, the aspect of righteousness, the aspect of love. That is to say that when you see God, you are looking at the embodiment of those things. Reason, truth, justice, righteousness, love and all other things of virtue find both their source and culmination in God Himself. John chapter one teaches us then that Jesus Christ is the bodily incarnation of Reason itself, that He is Logic become flesh. Teaching that very truth was THE point that John was making in John chapter 1. To suggest that such a teaching somehow diminishes the equally true teachings found elsewhere in scripture about loving God with our whole heart is ludicrous. Indeed, Jesus' teaching that we should love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength does not contain an implicit contradiction. The heart can contradict our mind but only when one or both are in error.

Clete
 
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