f The Wittenberg Door: Thought of the Day: Those Who Have Not Heard

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Thought of the Day: Those Who Have Not Heard

If you died after not having chemotherapy, you died not because of the absence of chemo, but because of the cancer. Thus men suffer God’s wrath not because they didn’t hear the gospel, but because they’re sinners rebelling against a holy God—the gospel is the solution, not the problem.

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19 Comments:

Blogger B.R. said...

How is humanity in rebellion against god? Before we were born, did god ask us whether we would choose to be sinless and follow him--or did he supposedly create us with sin pre-installed? Rebellion is an act of free will, and the christian god stripped that from us before he even created the universe.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

There is no such thing as "libertarian free will" even before the fall. God predetermined that Adam would fall and Adam freely acted in accordance with God's decree. Adam is fully accountable for his rebellion since he willfully chose to rebel.

Secondly, after the fall all mankind is in slavery to sin. God decreed the fall and the reprobation of every single individual who will be lost.

1 Peter 2:8; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27-28

12:48 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

See also Romans 3:10-23

12:52 PM  
Blogger B.R. said...

"There is no such thing as "libertarian free will" even before the fall."

Then Mankind is no more "in rebellion against god" than a robot is responsible for it's programming.

"God predetermined that Adam would fall and Adam freely acted in accordance with God's decree."

If it was predetermined, then Adam's act can hardly be called "free".

"Adam is fully accountable for his rebellion since he willfully chose to rebel."

Yet, you just said that it was predetermined by god. So if a Mafia boss "predetermines" the death of a rival, by your logic, it's the assassin who is responsible, not the boss. QED.

"Secondly, after the fall all mankind is in slavery to sin. God decreed the fall and the reprobation of every single individual who will be lost."

But neither you nor the OP has explained how (and why) Adam's sin--which obviously wasn't his fault since his choice was irrelevant to god's will--carried over to all of mankind. If your god is just, why didn't he let Adam's sin die with him? Why did he see fit to curse billions of people for the crime of two, thus rendering us little more than puppets dancing on his string, all for his own glory? And if he's perfect, why does he display such a pathological need for attention? A perfect being wouldn't throw tantrums if his creations stop worshiping him. If he were perfect, he would neither need nor want worship, since he would sufficient unto himself.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

For man to have libertarian free will he would need to be completely free of all outside influences, environmental influences, and circumstances. He would also need to be free of the sinful nature, something the Bible says is impossible in this life. God alone is absolutely free.

Secondly, since the Bible IS God's Word, the final arbiter on these matters is Scripture, not your solipsistic opinion. The Bible over and over declares both man's full accountability to God and God's absolute sovereignty. God is not subject to any law.

While men are moral agents and act in accordance with their own wills, there is no such thing as "free will". Even prior to the fall Adam was only free from sin. He did not have "free will". God has predetermined absolutely everything. While you pretend to be a robot, you are still accountable to God even if you are unable to choose any differently from the sinful course you have chosen. God planned it that way.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

Obviously moral agents choose their own direction willfully. God commands them to do what they are unable to do. Simply because God predetermines their choices does not make them robots. God made human being with a genuine will and a genuine personality. A person is the propositions he thinks.

6:13 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

Also, you're confusing mere creatures with God. God is not a man. He is a supernatural being with no limitations of creatures like men. Your analogy therefore is a non sequitur. God is obligated to no law above Him. His moral law is an expression of His very nature and being, not something that is higher than Himself. Nothing God does is therefore evil or wrong--even when He decrees that evil would exist. God is not the author of evil but He does create evil. (Isaiah 45:7; James 1:13). God is in complete control of the future (Isaiah 46:10; Isaiah 14:24).

"Known to God from eternity are all His works. (Acts 15:18 NKJ)

6:18 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

If there were anything outside of God's control then that something would be itself divine in some way and it would be either equal to God or higher than God. That would contradict the very definition of God.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

God does not need your attention. He creates the wicked for His own glory and to demonstrate His justice.

The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. (Proverbs 16:4 NKJ)

As for the anthropomorphisms you refer to, those are only ways to relate to humans. God is not literally jealous or angry. His wrath refers to how we perceive God's justice when it is executed against the reprobate and the wicked.

6:25 PM  
Blogger B.R. said...

"For man to have libertarian free will he would need to be completely free of all outside influences, environmental influences, and circumstances. He would also need to be free of the sinful nature, something the Bible says is impossible in this life. God alone is absolutely free."

Straw-man. I haven't said anything about this "libertarian" free will you keep bringing up, and nor have I said anything about humanity's relationship to it's environment; I'm talking solely about whether or not humans are "in rebellion" against god, and whether or not they are responsible for the sin that your god created them with. Stick to the topic if you please.

"Secondly, since the Bible IS God's Word, the final arbiter on these matters is Scripture, not your solipsistic opinion."

Because it must be a lot easier to just believe everything your magic book says than to think for yourself.

"The Bible over and over declares both man's full accountability to God and God's absolute sovereignty. God is not subject to any law."

Appeal to Authority Fallacy. A worn-out crutch for those who cannot think for themselves or construct a decent argument. Try again.

"While men are moral agents and act in accordance with their own wills, there is no such thing as "free will". Even prior to the fall Adam was only free from sin. He did not have "free will". God has predetermined absolutely everything. While you pretend to be a robot, you are still accountable to God even if you are unable to choose any differently from the sinful course you have chosen. God planned it that way."

Then your god is a tyrant and a despicable monster operating somewhere well below the moral level of Josef Mengele or Jeffery Dahmers. If I have no choice in the matter, how am I accountable? And mindlessly referring to the bible's non-existent authority doesn't mean anything. I explicitly asked you for the "how" and the "why", not a grade school level logical fallacy. How am I accountable for sin when I was created with a sinful nature? How is it just to punish someone for doing what you clearly intended for them to do anyway? And just to compound the absurdity of your beliefs, why and how could a perfect being, one who damns people for being imperfect, tolerate any imperfection in his universe to begin with? Care to explain?

11:54 AM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

Typical of atheists. You want to bait and switch. Explain to me where evil comes from if you can:)

12:05 PM  
Blogger B.R. said...

"Typical of atheists. You want to bait and switch."

Excuse me? Care to give an example of me doing that?

"Explain to me where evil comes from if you can:)"

From selfish human behavior--not magical (cough, *non-existent* cough) beings who are, despite being retarded enough to think they could win a war against an omnipotent being, still counted as a threat by superstitious people.

Typical fundy. You want to shift the goalposts. Now meet the challenge from my previous comments or reveal yourself as a cult victim.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:38 AM  
Blogger Charlie J. Ray said...

Look, you've impressed yourself with your tactics. The bottom line, however, is that your own view is based solely on your own opinion and authority. The problem is that you have presupposed certain things about reality and the world that may or may not be true.

It must be much easier to believe that you are your own center of the universe and reality is whatever you think it is. The fact of the matter, however, is that you believe what you do because of information you have gotten on someone else's authority. Have you observed evolution on the grand scale? I think not. Pure empiricism is impossible since that would require that yourself re-invent the wheel each and every time.

Basically, all you can have any reasonable assurance of knowing is what you know firsthand and even that is often wrong. The illustration of several witnesses of a traffic accident shows clearly how subjective empirical obervation is--even in regards to science. A little study of the philosophy of science or epistemology would be in order here.

I have little time or interest for arguing in circles with someone who has presupposed certain subjective assumptions about epistemological issues and who on that basis insists that only he can be right.

My starting position is that the Bible IS God's Word and ALL knowledge ultimately derives from the logical consistency of God's revelation in Holy Scripture. General revelation also reveals who God is but general revelation in creation and nature is always subject to special revelation in the Scriptures. God is perfectly logical, not irrational.

Lastly, if you say that evil comes only from moral choices, how do you explain "natural disasters" and other calamities that are outside of human control? Blind chance? Aren't those in your view simply fatalistic events determined by an uncaring, unemotional and predetermined environment?

If human beings are merely biological machines, then ultimately evil does not exist at all. Civilizations make up their own rules and morality and evil is simply a moving goal post. What is good today will be evil tomorrow and vice versa.

It follows that if "evil" is simply a sociological construct then evil is non-existent except in the minds of individuals and societies. Which brings me to the last question. If evil does not exist, why does religion bother you so much? Religion is just another socio-psychological construct and in the end nihilistic.

Of course, that is assuming that religion is simply invented by men. But on the otherhand, God would reveal Himself through a rational and logical revelation. That revelation is Holy Scripture. All knowledge of God comes from the Bible. Everything else is untrustworthy.

You may call that "convenient". I call it rational. The alternative is irrationalism and nihilism.

Sincerely,

Charlie

5:25 AM  
Blogger B.R. said...

"Look, you've impressed yourself with your tactics."

Had I actually been presented with a challenge, perhaps. But I do this sort of thing all of the time, so nah, not really.

"The bottom line, however, is that your own view is based solely on your own opinion and authority."

Sorry, but no. My view is based upon basic logic, which I can employ at will without the blinders of dogma hampering me.

"The problem is that you have presupposed certain things about reality and the world that may or may not be true."

No more than you and every other religious believer in history, and certainly less than some. My arguments have been based upon a "what if" scenario where your religion is true, and the ethical consequences of such.

"It must be much easier to believe that you are your own center of the universe and reality is whatever you think it is."

I am the center of my perception of the universe, because I see it through my own eyes; but the center itself? You're the one who thinks he's a "Chosen Ones", and that the whole universe was created for him. I don't. I am insignificant in comparison to the cosmos, and I have no need to believe otherwise. I am content.

"The fact of the matter, however, is that you believe what you do because of information you have gotten on someone else's authority."

And now you're just projecting. I reached these conclusions of mine through careful reflection on the facts over a course of several months about five years ago. You, on the other hand, take the entire bible on authority, which means that you have to trust the word of men who lived thousands of years ago, some of whom, like the gospel writers, are anonymous (and whose miraculous claims have no historical proof whatsoever).

"Have you observed evolution on the grand scale? I think not."

Ah, the old attempt to drive a wedge in between micro and macro evolution. It doesn't work. No, I don't have a time machine, but the fossil record clearly refutes the mythical notion of all life being created at the same time in it's present form. If not, why don't you show me where dunkleosteus was found with a modern rabbit in it's stomach, or T. Rex on the same strata as Cro Magnon man? Or how about modern, complex cells in the Pre-Cambrian?

"Basically, all you can have any reasonable assurance of knowing is what you know firsthand and even that is often wrong."

So how much more likely is that that your magical beliefs of angels and demons and ancient miracles to be false? Remember, evolution has tons of evidence, past and present, supporting it's premise; none of the religious alternatives have ever produced any proof, any falsifiable mechanism, or even just a rational explanation.

"The illustration of several witnesses of a traffic accident shows clearly how subjective empirical obervation is--even in regards to science. A little study of the philosophy of science or epistemology would be in order here."

You know, I recall asking you some specific questions earlier--none of which were related to evolution or science. Do you care to answer them? Because I'm getting tired of you going off on tangents. You're not answering my questions; and this rhetoric is the same thing I've heard a hundred times.

10:01 AM  
Blogger B.R. said...

Part II...

"I have little time or interest for arguing in circles with someone who has presupposed certain subjective assumptions about epistemological issues and who on that basis insists that only he can be right."

Projection. You're the one who thinks he was "pre-destined" to be right, so why even bother arguing with me since my "eternal fate" is in the hands of your god, and not yours? Eh? If someone from ANY religion can prove that they're right, I'll concede defeat; but neither Christians nor Muslims nor Jews nor Hindus have ever given me any reason to believe in some magical fantasy world that lets us cheat death.

"My starting position is that the Bible IS God's Word and ALL knowledge ultimately derives from the logical consistency of God's revelation in Holy Scripture."

"All knowledge"? Okay. 1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.” Nope.

Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...” Nope.

Psalm 19:1, “The heavens [shamayim] tell out the glory of God, the vault of heaven [raqiya] reveals his handiwork.” "Vault"; yeah, I don't think so.

"General revelation also reveals who God is but general revelation in creation and nature is always subject to special revelation in the Scriptures. God is perfectly logical, not irrational."

So riddle me this; what is logical about blaming robots for fulfilling the programming he designed each and every one of them with? This has been the gist of my comments all along, not evolution, or any other red herring.

"Lastly, if you say that evil comes only from moral choices, how do you explain "natural disasters" and other calamities that are outside of human control? Blind chance?"

Uh... have you ever heard of "science"? Evil has nothing to do with natural disasters; they happen because of natural phenomenon, not because of devils or imps or pixies or witches, or some deity's petty wrath (or any other superstitious drivel). Earthquakes are the shifting or tectonic plates, which causes tsunamis out at sea and so on and so forth. "Evil" pertains to intelligent acts, those committed by sentient beings, not the wind and lightning.

10:03 AM  
Blogger B.R. said...

Part III...

"Aren't those in your view simply fatalistic events determined by an uncaring, unemotional and predetermined environment?"

No; that is what they are in reality, and my view on the matter is irrelevant. Unlike theists, I know that sacrifice, prayer, etc., will neither quell a volcano nor silence a gale; it just makes you look stupid when the hammer falls.

"If human beings are merely biological machines, then ultimately evil does not exist at all."

*yawn* Red herring, and as you probably know, evil is what affects humans, and is determined by humans. That's why punching someone in the face for spilling a drink on them can cause a fight or a lawsuit, while being courteous solves the issue right away.

"Civilizations make up their own rules and morality and evil is simply a moving goal post. What is good today will be evil tomorrow and vice versa."

Exactly! And that is precisely why Christians don't argue for slavery anymore like they did in Lincoln's day.

"It follows that if "evil" is simply a sociological construct then evil is non-existent except in the minds of individuals and societies. Which brings me to the last question. If evil does not exist, why does religion bother you so much? Religion is just another socio-psychological construct and in the end nihilistic."

Why does torture bother me? Why does racism and sexism bother me? Because I have something called empathy, and speaking as someone who used to be shackled to the delusions of religion, I find it offensive because not only is it a pointless and illogical endeavor that has no evidence or logic, but pre-suppositions and mindless dogma, but it's followers tend to be intolerant lunatics constantly pushing their agenda on everyone else instead of keeping it to themselves. Of course, this is all religions; it's mainly just yours and Islam. That's why I debate religion, and also because I enjoy the intellectual stimulation of pitting my ideas against someone else's.

"Of course, that is assuming that religion is simply invented by men."

Since there is not even an iota of evidence otherwise, it's less of an assumption and more of a fact by now.

"But on the otherhand, God would reveal Himself through a rational and logical revelation. That revelation is Holy Scripture. All knowledge of God comes from the Bible. Everything else is untrustworthy."

So a collection of ancient myths and legends with no evidence that is no more rational than any ancient mythology is the most trustworthy revelation on the planet? Whatever. I'll stick with the real world, thanks.

"You may call that "convenient". I call it rational. The alternative is irrationalism and nihilism."

BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAH!!

Who said I'm a nihilist? Much to learn you have, my young Padawan...

10:03 AM  
Blogger B.R. said...

"Isn't all religions", that is.

10:04 AM  
Blogger B.R. said...

Now, if you're quite through shifting the goalposts and using Appeal to Authority fallacies, perhaps you'd like to answer my questions?

10:28 AM  

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