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Friday, December 01, 2006

Why do you believe...?

The week has gone by too quickly and I haven’t even had time to respond to many of the points raised in the discussion from last week. I intend to catch up on them this weekend.

With this weeks question I hope to continue the discussion concerning God’s will and try to focus more closely on His will for man.

Why do you believe that “God may will man to sin, and by man sinning, man act according to his will”?

Labels: ,

61 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't. ;)

12/01/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because,

... it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
-from Hebrews, chapter 2

Jesus was 'made perfect' by his sufferings on the cross - without the fear of death being in his bretheren (according to the above passage) Jesus would not have been all that god is. It was better, saith god, for man to fall and be saved than to never have sinned at all. Anyway you slice it, the fall was a good thing.

12/01/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...unless you're not elect. Then I guess it kinda sucks.

12/01/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Brandon's perspective is interesting. I am not sure I agree with it totally, again because I liken God's will to what He intended. I do not believe that God intended for man to sin, but since man did sin, God made a way for man to be redeemed.

To answer your question, Kc, I believe that God allows what we allow. God will allow us to sin, if we choose, because He will not force His will upon us. Having said that, I also believe the Scripture in Romans 8 that states that we know all things work together for good for them that love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose. In a nutshell, I believe that God can use our disobedience in a way that will ultimately allow His will to be done, if we are willing to allow His will to be done in our lives.

Again, let me make a distinction here between God's will for an individual and God's corporate will. I look forward to more responses from the brethren. Dorsey, it is always a blessing to read your thoughts. I read your posting about Barack Obama recently; I had some thoughts, but I encountered a tragic family situation that required that I come to New York, where I am now.

12/01/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it just depends on whether you are viewing things from a short-sighted, fleshly perspective or from the clear and all-knowing perspective of a heavenly one.

God is the judge, and whom he condemns he does so justly. I don't have to understand it to know it's true:

Deuteronomy 29:29 (The Message)

29 God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation.

12/01/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... I encountered a tragic family situation that required that I come to New York.

I'm sorry to here that. I pray god's blessings on you in your trials, brother.

12/01/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I'm going to have to agree with the most esteemed Brandon here. The child cannot possibly think that the alcohol poured upon their cut is a good thing, they think it evil and wicked and never capable of having redeemable qualities at all. But the child is ignorant and unknowing and shortsighted and thinks of only temporal and ephemeral things.

Likewise, one must seriously question the idea of saying that God intended everything to be perfect and good and sinless within the garden, and the whole story of redemption being a 'back up' plan. I thought the cross was the greatest story ever told, or the best thing. I thought the greatest act of love was to lay down one's life for one's friend? Are we now to assume that the greatest act of love was only a backup plan of the LORD that He begrudgingly put into act because He had to? Maybe God created all mankind centered around the glorious and epic climax wherein the LORD of all shows the greateset love possible?

For I think the overall thesis of the area of agreement between Brandon and I would be that it is better to have sinned and been redeemed, then never to have sinned at all.

If we say that it would have been better to stay perfect and sinless within the garden, then we say that a life without being shown the sweet redemptive and merciful nature (which is just as much part of God's nature as any) and greatest love possible is a life worth living.

I guess to really answer your question, Kc, and to answer any who object to the idea of God willing sin to occur, we would, or I would at least, in turn ask a question (that is permissible by the way).

If we say that God could never have willed sin to occur, this would necessarily take us back to the garden wherein one side says God willed the fall to occur, while another says He would rather have had them stay within perfection. If we say this, then how could a race of people, sinless and perfect within Eden, be shown the greatest love possible? What reason would there be to lay down one's life for these people? Or perhaps the price of remaining sinless and perfect within Eden is that one is necessarily left without being shown great love?

12/01/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other words, man sinned much more so that grace could abound. Good one.

12/02/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is really surprising to me is that you'd rather god have made a mistake rather than say he did it all with purpose.

Then again, you don't seem to believe god is all powerful since that would imply that only he is free to do as he pleases...

And I find it interesting that when I've offered up what to me seems like a clear support of my position from scripture, you completely ignore it in favor of one-liners.

12/02/2006 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brothers thanks again for sharing your understanding here.

Brandon the text in Hebrews you referenced is in light of the fall and presupposes man’s need for a savior. We know Christ to be perfect eternally. The necessity for His suffering is explained in verse 11 to be relational as a result of the fall. This text in no way indicates that God willed man to sin, only that He willed man’s savior associate with man’s suffering.

I think you tend to create a false dichotomy between things temporal and eternal. What is true in the temporal sense is true in eternity.

I also think it too early in the discussion to claim that those who disagree must claim that God made a mistake or that He is not omnipotent. I also know you love Dorsey’s one-liners too! ;-)

Dorsey no one makes better use of sarcasm than you! It really is a gift. ;-)

Ron we seem to share a similar perspective of God’s will. I say the scripture indicates His will to be permissive and all encompassing.

Adam we agree this discussion must center around original sin. I know you consider choice an illusion so I must beg your understanding of the following circumstance, in particular what it is that you consider Adam performed.

God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil for in that day he would surely die (foreknowledge?). He offered no evidence to this fact, only that which comes from knowing God in that His word is true. Eve assured Adam that God had lied and offered herself as evidence. Would you say that God determined Adam should believe Eve and that there was no alternative? If you say “yes”, Adam had no alternative, then we have a most inconsistent God whose command is contrary to His desire. If you say “no”, Adam could have believed God then what do you call that if not choice? We can then say that God’s will is permissive yet all encompassing. God determined that Adam must choose and allowed for his sin having through foreknowledge foreordained Jesus as Christ, His elect.

12/03/2006 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

No Dorsey, but man does sin so that grace can be shown. Unless of course you would say that grace not shown is better than it being shown. The idea that you would have all of us believe is that it would be better for man to never have sinned, which in and of itself is a good idea. That is of course looking at it narrowly and considering only the sinful act. But if we accept this idea, we would have to completely exclude the idea of God's forgiveness, God's mercy and God's grace. ALL of which are so beautiful to me, and so Scripturally attested to be glorious, that I cannot possibly conceive of why anyone would rather have these things excluded from their lives.

12/03/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc, I need to think about the thought (question) you are presenting me.

God told Adam not to eat of the tree. This would make us assume this to be a desire of God. Why else would He command such if He desired the man to truly eat of the tree.

Yet, given my beliefs, I would say that God determined that Adam would eat of the tree.

This would then make us believe that God desired Adam not to eat of the tree, but determined that He would.

The only way this would posit an inconsistency within God where His command (do not eat of the tree) and His desire (portrayed in His determining Adam to eat the tree) is if we could show that God desired man not to eat of the tree.

Can you? Or are we left with assuming that His desire is synonymous with His command?

Just asking. Why is it so horrible to think that perhaps God did command something, but wanted something else? Wouldn't this tie back into our discussion earlier about Moses upon the mount. God said He was going to go and destroy the Israelis, but we know that He did not. Would we say that God desired not to destroy the Israelis (given that He knew He would not, and given that He did not) but yet said something in opposition to His desire?

Just questioning here. I have to think on this more.

12/03/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam, thanks for taking the time to consider this. I would like to address your present question now, if you allow.

You said, “The only way this would posit an inconsistency within God where His command (do not eat of the tree) and His desire (portrayed in His determining Adam to eat the tree) is if we could show that God desired man not to eat of the tree. “

You then ask, ”Can you? Or are we left with assuming that His desire is synonymous with His command?”

If His command is contrary to His desire then we can know very little of Him if anything at all!

I think you’ve pointed at the real issue here and I would ask, “Is God’s will limited to His desire?” We both agree that God is consistent, that there is “no shadow or turning” in Him. We also agree that He is simple, that is He is logical. It seems that where we fail to agree is in the depth of this logic and how this might affect His will.

For example, God is not willing that any should perish but does that mean that He will not allow it? Does this not reflect His desire alone irrespective of His will? To say that God is not willing is not to say that He wills not. His desire is for all men to come to repentance but His will is all encompassing in that it allows for those who will not.

The example you cite concerning Israel may be the most persuasive argument I could offer for my understanding. While it was most certainly God’s desire to destroy them for their evil it obviously was not His will to do so. This also strengthens my position that God interacts with man regardless of any eternal perspective one may hold. You have already rightly pointed out a consistent theme shown in the scripture concerning God’s mercy and forgiveness for those who repent.

As an aside I would mention that you have made mention of many consistent themes in the scripture and I agree with them all. One theme I think you have consistently overlooked is the truth of God’s word and His determination that man believe Him in order to escape judgment. Adam, Noah, Moses and even Israel as a whole are examples to us of the necessity of believing God’s word.

12/03/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For example, God is not willing that any should perish but does that mean that He will not allow it?

This is a misrepresentstion of the verse - the author of this verse is clearly referring to the church and not to humanity in general:

1 Peter 3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness,but is patient toward **you**, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.


Peter is reassuring believers that god is patient and will bring about repentance in his people according to his schedule and not that of scoffers who accuse that he will never fulfill his promises.

This verse is anything but an affirmation of god's desire to save every human.

12/03/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

KC,

BTW, I appreciate you interacting with me on this text. I intend to respond to your allegations after I study it a little more.

Peace and love.

-Brandon

12/03/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dorse,

I'm apologize for snapping at you so much - I do appreciate your contributions to the dialogue, and I just get irritated at your ability to capture your thoughts and rebuttals in simple, concise language. I do wish you would expand more on your summation however, as that would make it easier for me to interact with your arguments.

-Brandon

12/03/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and my assertions that you believe god makes mistakes and/or is not all-powerful are unfounded in the context of this discussion and I withdraw those accusations.

12/03/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brandon, it is always an honor for me to discuss these things with you but even apart from that I am compelled by your awesome kewlness! ;-)

Not surprisingly we would disagree on the interpretation of this passage. While the epistle is to the Church of that day the “you” (or us) is all the Church. The idea being related here is that despite what the scoffers may say God will continue to withhold His judgment because of His desire that none should perish. God’s desire in this is also made evident in 1st Timothy 2:1-6.

12/03/2006 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brandon, please don't think you need to apologize to me. If anything, I'm sorry for annoying you. We've been in this same conversation several times at the Pub and my perspective hasn't substantially changed. I just don't have the energy to dive head-first (get it?) into a discussion when I don't have anything new to offer other than what you guys already know I believe. So, having no "argument," I thought the one-liners stood on their own. I still do, but if you want me to expound, I can.

You said, "It was better, saith god, for man to fall and be saved than to never have sinned at all. Anyway you slice it, the fall was a good thing."

My comment was meant to imply that your remark is a matter of perspective. If I were Universalist, believing that everyone is ultimately saved, then I might agree. However, I read your statement more like, "It was better to save a few, and torture the rest for all time, than to avoid the fall and let everyone in." I'm sorry, but I cannot get that to add up.

My other comment was in response to Adam's comment, "If we say that God could never have willed sin to occur, this would necessarily take us back to the garden wherein one side says God willed the fall to occur, while another says He would rather have had them stay within perfection. If we say this, then how could a race of people, sinless and perfect within Eden, be shown the greatest love possible? What reason would there be to lay down one's life for these people? Or perhaps the price of remaining sinless and perfect within Eden is that one is necessarily left without being shown great love?"

I don't know how else to interpret this question other than, "If there wasn't sin, there wouldn't be a need for grace, and grace is so important that it's better to have sin than to live in obedience."

God made it clear to King Saul that obedience is better than sacrifice, and Paul later writes that sinning just to demonstrate grace is not what God had in mind.

I think one of the areas where I generally differ with the reformation mindset is in the idea of God's power. There seems to be the thought that if God grants any leeway or choice to man, then it somehow diminishes his power by ceding it to the creation. I think that's a logical fallacy.

Same with election. I don't have a problem with the very scriptural idea that God predestined some for His purposes. I just don't see where that precludes choice for everyone else. I don't see the world like a high-school play, where if someone ad-libs some extra lines, the whole production is ruined. And if determinism is true, then why even bother discussing this at all?

I studied Systematic Theology, and I found it to be a tail-chasing exercise that ultimately worshiped logic and sought de-mystify God. I believe there comes a point where God cannot be further understood by my mind. I'm content, no, secure, in that ignorance. I don't need an answer for every question.

12/04/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc, sorry for the delay in my response, I have been quite busy.

If His command is contrary to His desire then we can know very little of Him if anything at all!

I don't think this is necessarily true. If a parent tells a child to go to school, we cannot really, without assuming, divine what the parent's desire is. It would assume that the parent desires the child to go to school. But it may very well be that the parent doesn't want the child to go to school anymore than the child does. It may be that the parent recognizes the child is required by law to attend school, and here the parent does not desire the child to go to school, but desires to obey the law.

You see, looking at the command (go to school) assumedly would make us believe the parent desires the child to go to school, but our assumption would be incorrect as the parent really doesn't want the child to go to school.

I don't think we can divine 100% accurately what God's desire is by His command.

To give a Scriptural example; one you presented. You would read that passage within Peter as saying that God is not willing to perish. God's desire is for none to perish. But God's command is shown forth in that He does send people to hell. He commands some to depart from Him for He never knew them, and some to enter into His bliss. If we were looking at these commands (depart from me, come stay with me) we would assume that God's desire is for some to depart and some to stay, but if we interpret the passage as you have, we would have God desiring all to come stay with Him. Quite different than His command...

For example, God is not willing that any should perish but does that mean that He will not allow it? Does this not reflect His desire alone irrespective of His will? To say that God is not willing is not to say that He wills not. His desire is for all men to come to repentance but His will is all encompassing in that it allows for those who will not.

As Brandon points out, I think this is an unconvincing example as it is controversial and not agreed upon by the two of us. I would say that here God's desire is exactly as His will is. He desires none to perish (no Christians, believers) and therefore wills that none do.

I'm not necessarily saying that you are mistaken in your interpretation. But I am saying that it is controversial and hence cannot be used to prove this point of yours. Perhaps if you could find another passage within Scripture wherein we agree upon the interpretation, your point would be proven.

The example you cite concerning Israel may be the most persuasive argument I could offer for my understanding. While it was most certainly God’s desire to destroy them for their evil it obviously was not His will to do so. This also strengthens my position that God interacts with man regardless of any eternal perspective one may hold. You have already rightly pointed out a consistent theme shown in the scripture concerning God’s mercy and forgiveness for those who repent.

Here I think you are looking at this passage from the wrong angle. But I think this shows the very disagreement we are having.

I am saying that God's commands (words) do not necessarily always match up with His desires. You are saying that His desires do not always match up with His will.

When then looking at this passage, I see God's commands (I am going to destroy Israel) not matching up with His desires (to show mercy upon Israel). You however see God's desires (to destroy Israel) not matching up with His will (He didn't destroy Israel).

Pardon me while I rip my hair out for our different opinions cause vastly different interpretations of Scripture!!!!!!

Perhaps there is a middle ground to this, allow me some thought.

Perhaps God's desires changed, I don't think this would give an inconsistency within God nor conflict with my deep-rooted belief in God's simplicity and immutability. I think we can say that God desires something, and then desires something else, without limiting God to time nor to change.

Perhaps God desired to destroy Israel, and then desired to show mercy upon Israel. Here then, I think we could come to agreement.

God desired to destroy Israel (His desire), and thus said He would (His command, or statement). God then desired to show mercy upon Israel (His second desire) and thus willed not that Israel would be destroyed (His will).

The only way for you to look at this and say God's desire conflicts with God's will is for you to look at God's first desire and see that it conflicts with God's final will. But I think that if you look at God's desire to show mercy upon Israel, and then look at God's will to show mercy upon Israel, you will see that in this situation His desire and His will match up perfectly.

I think this is the time when we have to distinguish between God looking at a situation narrowly, and then looking at one eternally. This is the idea that when God considers sin, in and of itself - without any context or without a perspective of all eternity within mind, God is greatly displeased. But when God looks at sin through the scope of eternity, and see the necessity of sin in situations to bring about mercy and forgiveness and growth (how can one be picked up and learn unless one falls?), we see that God is pleased with the story of eternity and thus pleased with all the parts of the story as well (including the sinful parts).

We would then see that God looking at Israel's rebellion and sin would be greatly displeased, thus desiring them to burn. But God looking at Israel's rebellion in light of Moses' intervention and God being able to show mercy to the Israeli's, God desired more to show mercy.

Is this making sense?

As an aside I would mention that you have made mention of many consistent themes in the scripture and I agree with them all. One theme I think you have consistently overlooked is the truth of God’s word and His determination that man believe Him in order to escape judgment. Adam, Noah, Moses and even Israel as a whole are examples to us of the necessity of believing God’s word.

Here I don't think I have ignored this consistent theme.

When God told Adam, 'do not eat the fruit or you will die', this was the word of God and should have been believed and obeyed. I don't think it ever should have crossed Adam's mind that given that God wanted Adam to eat the fruit and thus bring about the necessity of redemption and mercy (if my theory is true) that Adam should have thought that given this desire of God, he should not have obeyed God. Adam should have believed the word of God and obeyed it, just as we all should...

12/04/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam thanks again and you know I understand. I was unaware of the controversy in this interpretation or I would have withheld it for the moment. I do think you’re on to something but before I can respond properly I would need your conclusion on my original question. I don’t know how to frame my response in terms you would find acceptable. I will restate the question:

”Adam we agree this discussion must center around original sin. I know you consider choice an illusion so I must beg your understanding of the following circumstance, in particular what it is that you consider Adam performed.

God told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil for in that day he would surely die (foreknowledge?). He offered no evidence to this fact, only that which comes from knowing God in that His word is true. Eve assured Adam that God had lied and offered herself as evidence. Would you say that God determined Adam should believe Eve and that there was no alternative? If you say “yes”, Adam had no alternative, then we have a most inconsistent God whose command is contrary to His desire. If you say “no”, Adam could have believed God then what do you call that if not choice? We can then say that God’s will is permissive yet all encompassing. God determined that Adam must choose and allowed for his sin having through foreknowledge foreordained Jesus as Christ, His elect.”

12/05/2006 02:54:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

I think you would know that I would be unable to say that Adam 'could have' believed. I don't think Adam had a choice. He could only not believe. He had no alternative of which to choose.

This would mean I believe God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree, but willed and desired Adam to eat of the tree. His command is contrary to His desire and will, but I don't think this an inconsistency. Consider the example I provided above of the parent that commands his child to go to school, but really desires them to stay home.

12/05/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am willing to accept this part for now...

"... by man sinning, man act according to his [God's] will”

It could be according to His will that man be ABLE TO CHOOSE sin, but I not convinced that it is God's will for man to choose it.

12/05/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes.

12/06/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for that one-liner.

12/06/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and that one.

D'oh! I can't help myself.

12/06/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Let me make sure I'm tracking with you Dorsey and Missy and Kc.

When man has a 'choice' this means that man has the ability to do action a, and the ability to do action b. He could either do action a or action b. If he does action a, he chose to do action a. Likewise, if he does action b, he chose to do action b.

Are we tracking?

So, your opinion (Missy's at least, and I think Dorsey agrees, and Kc would agree) is that God wills man to have the choice. God wills that man have the ability to do action a, and God wills that man have the ability to do action b.

But God does not will which action man will do. God only wills that man have the choice and the abilities and it is man's decision as to which choice he will make?

Good so far?

Ok, if I had the choice to either read my Bible or to watch television, you would say that God willed that I have this choice. He willed that I have the ability to read my Bible, and He willed that I have the ability to watch television. But He did not will which choice I would make. That is entirely up to me.

So, if I was to read my Bible, I couldn't really say I was acting in the will of God, as God did not will either action to occur, He only willed I have the choice. Likewise, if I was to choose to watch tele, we couldn't either say that I was acting in the will of God, as God only willed that I have the choice, He did not will which action would occur.

This would then leave us of course without ever having to say that God wills man to sin. No sin that man does is in the will of God. As God only wills that man have choice, He doesn't will which choice is to be chosen.

But we would likewise be unable to say that ANY action of man is in the will of God. As God does not will which choice is made, only that a choice is present.

So Abel choosing to offer a good sacrifice to God was no more in the will of God than Can who chose to offer an unsatisfactory one.

12/06/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Oh where?!?! is kc?!?!?!

12/06/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't seem to make room for the possibility that some actions might be neutral to God's will. If I go to the market and there are 15 identical cans of Green Giant white sweet niblets on the shelf, do you believe that which one I select is a matter of God's will? My nose itches at this moment. Does it matter to God with which hand I choose to scratch it? You may believe that it does. I don't.

How can it possibly be God's will that I like you so much when you're so clearly wrong? ;)

12/06/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to do a little a word study - and it's about time! I have never done this, so I could be wrong, but try to follow me anyway. :B

In scripture, when reference is made to God's will, I found a few meanings.

"You and your brother Jews may then do whatever seems best with the rest of the silver and gold, in accordance with the will of your God." Ezra 7:18

In this text, the Hebrew word, "ruwth" is translated to will. Its meaning is desire or pleasure usually for another's good.


"Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will." Ezra 10:11

"I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalm 40:8


In these texts, the word translated as "will" is the Hebrew word "ratson" or "ratsown" which indicates a desire, but also signifies an arbitrary decision within one's own nature = not a desire that opposes one's nature - or a decision made form the very heart. These verses reference being godly - to be obedient to God's nature.


"your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42


In the Gospels, Jesus' references to what we translate as his "will" or "the will of my father" is typically the Greek word, "thelema" meaning what one has determined shall be done, yet also a choice or desire - an active wish or purpose.

So this is what I am saying:

It is my will (ratson), or natural decision, to watch TV.
It is God's will (ruwth), or desire for my good, that I read my Bible.
But it is also God's will (thelema), or determination, that it be my choice.
So my will (thelema), or determined action, should be to surrender to his will (ratson) AND (ruwth), or nature and desire for my good, and read the Bible.
But my will (thelema), or detemined action, is to give into my own will (ratson), or nature, going against God’s will (ruwth), or desire, and watch TV, but even in this His will (thelema), or determination, does prevail in my choosing.

:D

I believe God’s desire for my good and his determination for my choice can co-exist, even if I do not choose what is for my good.

12/06/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Dorsey, in my opinion there is no neutrality in God's will. God determines which can you choose (some determinist are not as hard-core as I).

However, that is not the point here. Perhaps we could say that some actions are neutral to God, but could we say ALL actions are neutral to God?

Missy said that God willed that a choice be, but didn't will which choice. You seemed to agree with her. Meaning that not only is the action of choosing a particular can neutral to God's will, but all actions would be neutral.

12/07/2006 01:52:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

So Missy, in your undersanding, there are different wills within God? Just as there are within you?

12/07/2006 01:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I apologize for my absence and I’m afraid I might be a bit flighty still but I really think this is an edifying discussion and I can’t help but be impressed with you guys.

Dorse I would probably line up with Adam in that I believe that God has so completely subdued the Chaos Monster that He is aware of even the minutest detail of our existence (i.e. the hairs of my head (though few they be!) and every idle word) though I would totally agree with Missy (excellent word study BTW!) that He did not determine them all.

Adam you said, “This would mean I believe God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree, but willed and desired Adam to eat of the tree. His command is contrary to His desire and will, but I don't think this an inconsistency.” I would say His command is consistent with His desire and His will encompasses the boundaries He has determined for us.

Would it be scriptural to say that there is a broad way prepared for us that extends from one boundary to the other and within that broad way is a narrow path that aligns with His desire? He commands us to knock and assures us that way will be opened to us and to seek and we will find it. It is His desire that we will do this but His will encompasses those who will not do so. In order for us to do as He desires it is essential that we sacrifice our will to Him and though He did not determine we would do so He did make it possible if only we will to do so.

You seem to perceive choice as being a power whereby we can usurp God’s authority or alter His will and no doubt many believe this is so. I perceive choice as the means whereby we determine to sacrifice our will to His desire. The power to accomplish what we determine is by His grace through our faith in Christ Jesus.

Please forgive my tardiness in fully addressing all of your thoughts above. I fully intend to do so but I offer this now in light of the continuing discussion and my lack of time for the moment.

12/07/2006 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Let me attempt to understand you Kc.

You said,

It is His desire that we will do this but His will encompasses those who will not do so.

So those who do knock and seek are doing what God desires them to do? But if His will encompasses those who will not do so (knock and seek), does this not then mean that those who do not obey God's command to knock and seek are indeed acting within the will of God?

If His will encompasses those who do not obey, then it may be that their disobedience is contrary to His desire, but it is not so that their disobedience is contrary to His will.

This would lead us to the conversation above wherein Missy concluded God willed that choice be available, but He did not will which choice is made.

You seem to perceive choice as being a power whereby we can usurp God’s authority or alter His will and no doubt many believe this is so.

If God's will is that I choose to eat the taco, but I choose to eat the burrito instead, then I have indeed 'altered His will' (or more precisely gone against His will).

The only way for these ideas (choice and God's will) to coexist is for God to will me to have the choice to either eat taco or burrito, but not actually will which choice, or any choice, made. He cannot 'will that I eat taco' and 'will that I eat burrito' so that whichever choice I make is still within His will. He can only 'will that I have ability to do either - i.e. choice to do either'.

I perceive choice as the means whereby we determine to sacrifice our will to His desire.

But choice is not the only means this can be accomplished. One can just as well determine to sacrifice their will to His desire regardless of whether they could hvae done otherwise.

If I was to jump, it doesn't matter if I could have laid down or could have done a jig, all that matters is that I did jump.

12/07/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If I was to jump, it doesn't matter if I could have laid down or could have done a jig, all that matters is that I did jump."

Adam, I think this is exactly the point I was trying to make. My word study actually indicated that my belief is very similar to yours, but some nuances remain.

It doesn't matter to God's will (purpose) that I have a choice, this is exactly why I can have one. I was indicating that when we use the term "will" we are not all discussing the same meaning, and that even the Bible makes some distinctions. I think our goal is to be in God's will regarding all meanings. But because I am not fully in His will by all meanings, does not mean God's purpose or nature has failed or changed - it is still being carried out.

12/07/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Missy said that God willed that a choice be, but didn't will which choice. You seemed to agree with her. Meaning that not only is the action of choosing a particular can neutral to God's will, but all actions would be neutral."

NO!

Why do you always take such an all-or-nothing posture? Why can't some things be willed by God and other things be neutral? One does not logically (nor in any other way) preclude the other. I let my daughter decide whether she wants orange juice or apple juice for breakfast, but I have something to say about which clothes she wears to school. By your interpretation, if I don't have an opinion on the juice, then I cannot have an opinion on anything.

You once argued that even God does not have choice--that His actions are locked by His own will. Do you still believe that?

12/07/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Dorsey, yes, I still believe that even God doesn't have choice, I think Lewis even believes this as well...I'll talk about that later.

Regardind your idea of your daughter. I understand what you are saying, I really do. The reason I attested for an all or nothing approach is to get your to confess a belief.

You would say that God does have neutral decisions within His mind. He does not will whether you pick apple or orange juce for breakfast. He only wills that you have the choice between the two. Whichever you decide pleases Him just as much as Monkeys throwing their own poo pleases me.

However, would you say that certain things are within the will of God? Meaning when you have a choice between either reading your bible, or sacrificing that infant, wouldn't you say that reading your Bible was in the will of God, and sacrificing the infant was necessarily not?

This would definately not be a place wherein God is neutral. This is not where God simply wills you have a choice, God wills which choice He desires to occur here. Doesn't He?

12/07/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Missy, I think you have misunderstood what I was saying with my whole jump analogy.

Lets take the juice analogy that Dorsey provides. God wills that you have a choice between orange juice or apple juice. He wills that you have the ability to pick up the orange juice, and He wills that you have the ability to pick up the apple juice. Whichever ability you exercise is your decision.

God does not will that you pick up the apple juice any more than He wills you pick up the orange juice. Therefore, no matter which you do, you are not really acting in the will of God or not. You are simply acting. This is a neutral decision on your's and God's part.

Agreed so far?

Let us say that God will's that you have the choice between reading your Bible, or stealing a donut. That is God wills that you both have the ability to read your Bible, and He wills that you have the ability to steal the donut. This means that you have the choice to do either. The choice is yours. God has simply given you the ability.

Would you say that God then wills that you do one over the other? Does God will you to exercise the ability to read your Bible? Or does God stay out of the equation and neither wills you to exercise the ability to read your Bible, nor wills you to exercise the ability to steal the donut?

12/07/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Dorsey, yes, I still believe that even God doesn't have choice, I think Lewis even believes this as well..."

Since the garden, even the greatest of human minds is subject to corruption by a well-crafted lie.

"Regardind your idea of your daughter. I understand what you are saying, I really do. The reason I attested for an all or nothing approach is to get your to confess a belief."

You could have just asked me.


"However, would you say that certain things are within the will of God? Meaning when you have a choice between either reading your bible, or sacrificing that infant, wouldn't you say that reading your Bible was in the will of God, and sacrificing the infant was necessarily not?

This would definately not be a place wherein God is neutral. This is not where God simply wills you have a choice, God wills which choice He desires to occur here. Doesn't He?"


Again, I did not say that EVERYTHING is neutral to God's will. God may want me to read the bible or He may will that I kill the baby. My general assertion is that He will not coerce me to do one or the other.

12/07/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"God does not will that you pick up the apple juice any more than He wills you pick up the orange juice. Therefore, no matter which you do, you are not really acting in the will of God or not. You are simply acting. This is a neutral decision on your's and God's part."

Yes, I think I can agree with this as long as we can also agree that in this circumstance what God wills means that has determined that I have a choice (which might also include milk or a mamosa - why limit ones self to only 2 choices?).

"Would you say that God then wills that you do one over the other? Does God will you to exercise the ability to read your Bible? Or does God stay out of the equation and neither wills you to exercise the ability to read your Bible, nor wills you to exercise the ability to steal the donut?"

I think this is where we break down. In Matthew 7:13, Jesus tells us, "...wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Our choices, often having a multitude of options, do not always boil down to the choice that is important - to obey God or not obey God. I would not think that God has determined whether apple or orange juice is more righteous (unless you are Adam & Eve - hehe). In this situation, I am in God's will regardless of my choice simply because I am not out of it - I am not sinning.

If I am a follower of Jesus and adhere to his teachings, I know that knowlege of the scriptures has been determined by God to be a righteous thing and that knowledge indicates to me that stealing is not. So if the choice alone are these two things, then it would be more in line with God's will (nature) to read my Bible. When you are aware of God's nature and choose to go against it, this is one way to sin.

Now, let's say my choice is a little less clear: study scripture or visit my brother in prison. These are two righteous choices - in line with God's nature, so I could argue that with either choice I am in God's will because I am not out of it. However, maybe I feel convicted that God's desire is for me to visit my brother in prison. I don't want to, and I choose to study my Bible. Here is where the road and gate narrow. Although I would still be doing a righteous thing in line with God's nature, I am going against his purpose for me and therefore sinning. I am not out of his will because I made a choice, or a choice that goes against His nature, but because I made the choice against His purpose for me.

12/07/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Dorsey,

Again, I did not say that EVERYTHING is neutral to God's will. God may want me to read the bible or He may will that I kill the baby. My general assertion is that He will not coerce me to do one or the other.

So it is your opinion that God's will may be that you kill the baby? Answering Kc's question above as I would...

Also, I do not believe God coerces anyone to do anything either. OR at least not most of the time. There probably are those rare instances, but the norm is that men freely do what they will. :D

12/07/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Missy,

Yes, I think I can agree with this as long as we can also agree that in this circumstance what God wills means that has determined that I have a choice (which might also include milk or a mamosa - why limit ones self to only 2 choices?).

Very well. If I was to concede that God willed you to have a choice, I would be willing to concede that God wills you to have innumerable options (or at least more than 2). ;)

I think this is where we break down. In Matthew 7:13, Jesus tells us, "...wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Our choices, often having a multitude of options, do not always boil down to the choice that is important - to obey God or not obey God. I would not think that God has determined whether apple or orange juice is more righteous (unless you are Adam & Eve - hehe). In this situation, I am in God's will regardless of my choice simply because I am not out of it - I am not sinning.

So God never wills that you sin?

God may will that you have a choice, between three options let us say. God may will that you can choose to read your Bible, that you can pray, or that you can steal a donut. God wills you have these choices.

And then God may further will that you choose either the reading the Bible option or the option to pray.

But you would say that God never wills that you choose to steal the donut?

Now, let's say my choice is a little less clear: study scripture or visit my brother in prison. These are two righteous choices - in line with God's nature, so I could argue that with either choice I am in God's will because I am not out of it. However, maybe I feel convicted that God's desire is for me to visit my brother in prison. I don't want to, and I choose to study my Bible. Here is where the road and gate narrow. Although I would still be doing a righteous thing in line with God's nature, I am going against his purpose for me and therefore sinning. I am not out of his will because I made a choice, or a choice that goes against His nature, but because I made the choice against His purpose for me.

Oh! a very fun twist in the scenery here.

I would say that the will of God could include sin, that is God could will a man to sin, and by sinning He would be within the will of God.

You however would say that one could not necessarily be sinning (i.e. going against the nature of God), but by the action being outside the will of God, then man would be sinning. Interesting.

I think you need to define 'purpose'. For by introducing it, you are throwing in a whole new idea.

We have been discussing God's will, and God's desire. Does God's purpose line up with either of these two, or Could God will and desire something that He doesn't purpose? Or perhaps purpose and desire something that is not His will? Or I dunno...

12/07/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“So God never wills that you sin?”

No, I do not believe He desires me to sin nor determines that I will.

“But you would say that God never wills that you choose to steal the donut?”

No, see statement above.

“I think you need to define 'purpose'.”

I would define purpose as that which God prefers that I do.

“We have been discussing God's will, and God's desire. Does God's purpose line up with either of these two, or Could God will and desire something that He doesn't purpose? Or perhaps purpose and desire something that is not His will?”

I understand what you are getting at, and to some degree how you are getting there. But the development still seems very two-dimensional. I did the word study to test the spirit of truth, as I was compelled by your logic. However, while doing the study, I came to the conclusion that God’s “will” is consistent – His Desire and Determination are consistent with his Nature.

12/07/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Very good Missy, a few more questions. You said this,

No, I do not believe He desires me to sin nor determines that I will.

and this,

I would define purpose as that which God prefers that I do.

and this,

I came to the conclusion that God’s “will” is consistent – His Desire and Determination are consistent with his Nature.

So, what we have is that God never desires you to sin, nor determines that you will, and God never prefers that you sin, hence His purpose is never for you to sin.

So, if God never purposes or prefers or desires or determines or wills that you sin, why on earth would He purpose and prefer and desire and determine and will that you have the ability to sin?

I don't want my child to run into the freezing cold naked, and I know that my child wants with all his heart to run into the freezing cold naked. Am I not then partly to blame for opening the door and giving my child the ability to run into the freezing cold naked?

Would it not have been better for me to never allow my child even close to the door? Never allow him to be able to get outside, as I knew that if he were to get ouside, he would probably die, or at least get deathly sick?

It seems to me that a parent who keeps the door shut and doesn't allow their child near the door when they know the child wants to go run in the freezing cold is much better than the parent who knows his child wants to run naked in the freezing cold and swings the door wide open and practically says 'GO FOR IT BOY!!!'

12/07/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam -

You have had this discussion before - you are very good at corralling! I will tread carefully...

"So, if God never purposes or prefers or desires or determines or wills that you sin, why on earth would He purpose and prefer and desire and determine and will that you have the ability to sin?"

I would say, to really have a choice, you have to have a choice, not just the illusion of one.

The goal of a parent is not to raise children, but to raise adults. At some point we have to give them independence - which is the ability to make their own choices. When they become able to choose, I do not desire them to run out into the cold, but I do not hold the door shut to stop them. I have taught them that there are consequences, and provided them information to make a good choice, and at times even forbade them to do so - but did not remove the choice. And how satisfying it is when they make the right choice! Not because I want to pat myself on the back - instead I want to reward them further.

Now you might argue that this is exactly why God would WANT Adam and Eve to disobey him and eat the fruit - to create that ability to sin so that we may receive the beautiful gift of mercy.

But they did not create the ability to sin - God already had. They just chose it. At that point, there was only one law. So the odds of following God's law were pretty simple - don't eat that fruit. They had a multitude of choices - a plentiful harvest of things to eat. They chose the forbidden fruit.

Now the whole world is blessed because mercy is on its way? I do not believe that this is what God was feeling. Mercy was already on its way, because it had to be. God gave us a choice, and he knew that someone would choose not to obey when given the choice.

Let's assume Adam & Eve obeyed God, never eating the fruit, and taught their children to do the same. And for generations, all the people lived happily in Eden walking with God. I think this would have made God very happy - not say, "darn, when will someone opened up all the suffering so I can bestow mercy?" But eventually, someone will disobey - it is the very nature of choosing.

I cannot accept that God desired Adam and Eve to choose disobedience, only that he allowed them the choice. Their disobedience is not to fulfill His purpose. And I do not believe mercy is His purpose - only his loving solution. God is love, God desires love, God's determination is loving, and His purpose is love.

Then, again, I could be wrong. :)

12/07/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

I just had to jump in and address this one thought.

Adam, you saud, "So, what we have is that God never desires you to sin, nor determines that you will, and God never prefers that you sin, hence His purpose is never for you to sin." I would say God never desires that we sin nor determines that we will and does not prefer that we do yet His will allows for the fact that we do.

"So, if God never purposes or prefers or desires or determines or wills that you sin, why on earth would He purpose and prefer and desire and determine and will that you have the ability to sin? I would say that the ability to sin is consequential to having the option to do so and while it is not His desire that we do it is within His permissive will to allow it.

12/07/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Missy,

I would say, to really have a choice, you have to have a choice, not just the illusion of one.

Not to be offensive, but DUH! :D

Of course you need to really have choice to really have choice. And if you have the illusion of choice you don't really have choice.

I'd agree with that.

I know what you're trying to say though. I think you meant to say that to really be free, you must really have choice, not just the illusion of choice.

We both agree that if you have only the illusion of choice, and not really choice, then you don't really have choice.

:):):)

I cannot accept that God desired Adam and Eve to choose disobedience, only that he allowed them the choice. Their disobedience is not to fulfill His purpose. And I do not believe mercy is His purpose - only his loving solution. God is love, God desires love, God's determination is loving, and His purpose is love.


Here I think is the crux of our disagreement. I would say mercy and forgiveness are not God's solutions to a problem that just happened, but they are part of who He is.

I think that God is love, as you say, God desires love, God's determination is love, and His purpose is love.

I agree with you completely.

But it seems that you wouldn't be able to say that God is likewise mercy or forgiveness. Could you?

If you did, wouldn't His mercy and forgiveness be entirely different than His love?

For when you say God is love, you know that this means God desires love and His purpose is love and His determination is love.

But when you say God is mercy, or is merciful, you wouldn't dream of say God desires mercy (only until after He needs to) or God's purpose is love or His determination is love. Could you?

The goal of a parent is not to raise children, but to raise adults. At some point we have to give them independence - which is the ability to make their own choices. When they become able to choose, I do not desire them to run out into the cold, but I do not hold the door shut to stop them. I have taught them that there are consequences, and provided them information to make a good choice, and at times even forbade them to do so - but did not remove the choice. And how satisfying it is when they make the right choice!

Do tell, be quite honest here, my new friend, if you were to read upon the news of a mother who opened the door and allowed her child to run naked into the freezing cold, and if she was to say that she was attempting to raise adults, not children. That she was attempting to give her child independence. That she did not desire them to run out into the cold, but she wouldn't want to hold the door shut, as she wouldn't want to take away the child's choice.

Because after all, it is very satisfying when the child makes the right choice.

Be honest now, if you were to hear such from a parent who just allowed their child to run out naked into the cold, would you think with warm feelings towards this parent.

I know I wouldn't. The first words out of my mouth would be such that I dare not utter here or in front of you...

12/07/2006 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Kc,

"So, if God never purposes or prefers or desires or determines or wills that you sin, why on earth would He purpose and prefer and desire and determine and will that you have the ability to sin? I would say that the ability to sin is consequential to having the option to do so and while it is not His desire that we do it is within His permissive will to allow it.

Here you are speaking the same redunancy that Missy spoke above.

Having the option to do something is the same as having the ability to do something. If I have the ability to jump, I can choose to jump. If I cannot choose to jump, it is because I haven't the ability to do so.

But I think what you are meaning to say is that having the ability to sin is consequential to having the choice to not sin. If you have a choice to not sin, it means you have the choice to sin.

So if we are given the ability to choose to not sin by God, then by necessity we must be given the ability to choose to sin.

And this I would agree. If God gave you the ability to not to sin, if God made it so that you could choose to not sin, then He must have made it so that you could choose to sin.

Hence the reason why I believe God didn't give you the ability to choose at all. He never gave you any options. Never any choices. You have no choice.

I love saying that, it truly is beautiful to hear truth...

:D

12/07/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam please explain how you make your conclusion. I can't see the connection from, "And this I would agree. If God gave you the ability to not to sin, if God made it so that you could choose to not sin, then He must have made it so that you could choose to sin."

to,

"Hence the reason why I believe God didn't give you the ability to choose at all."

12/07/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And this I would agree. If God gave you the ability to not to sin, if God made it so that you could choose to not sin, then He must have made it so that you could choose to sin."

"Hence the reason why I believe God didn't give you the ability to choose at all. He never gave you any options. Never any choices. You have no choice."

Adam - I know you were very eager to say this, but I am not following the logic that jumps us from par 1 to par 2.

I am still working on responding to your ?'s to me...

12/07/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, kc, to repeat your question - it seems we think alike and even at the same time!

12/07/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/07/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Ok, Kc said this:

I would say that the ability to sin is consequential to having the option to do so

Which I agree with. If one has the option to do something, then they must necessarily have the ability to do it. This is a redundant thought, it is a given.

I was pointing out though that if one had the option to do something, then they must have the option to do something else.

That is, if one can choose to do something, then they must be able to choose to do something else.

If they have no other option, or cannot choose to do anything else, then they haven't choice.

To have choice is to mean you can choose to do this, or choose to do that. Or you have the option to do this or the option to do that.

I then would not say that God gave Adam an option, God only gave Adam an ability. One ability.

If God would have given Adam an option (and therefore the ability), then Adam would have had another option he could have taken.

Am I making sense?

12/07/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam -

“I would say, to really have a choice, you have to have a choice, not just the illusion of one.”
The redundancy was deliberate to make a point.
To be redundant – I meant to say that! ;P

“I would say mercy and forgiveness are not God's solutions to a problem that just happened, but they are part of who He is. ”
I do not believe that this is the crux of our disagreement, I agree with your statement completely. I did not state that mercy was a mere solution – I was saying that mercy and the ability to choose must go hand-in-hand if one’s nature is love.

“But it seems that you wouldn't be able to say that God is likewise mercy or forgiveness. Could you? ”
No, because scripture says God is love. However, mercy and forgiveness are its fruit.

“If you did, wouldn't His mercy and forgiveness be entirely different than His love?
No, it would be part of it.

“But when you say God is mercy, or is merciful, you wouldn't dream of say God desires mercy (only until after He needs to) or God's purpose is love or His determination is love. Could you? ”
I’m not understanding the question here.

“Be honest now, if you were to hear such from a parent who just allowed their child to run out naked into the cold, would you think with warm feelings towards this parent.
I know I wouldn't. The first words out of my mouth would be such that I dare not utter here or in front of you... ”


I would feel exactly the same way – IF she held the door closed and did not let them back in after they discovered how stupid they had been!

12/07/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam -

In your response to Kc, I think I might have discovered the crux of our disagreement.

It is that you believe Adam (& don't forget Eve!) had no choice and only given the option to disobey, and I do not.

Is this accurate?

12/07/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Missy,

It is that you believe Adam (& don't forget Eve!) had no choice and only given the option to disobey, and I do not.

No, they were not given only the option to disobey. I'm being anal here. But if you are given an option, you are necessarily given another option. You cannot just be given one option. If there is only one option, it is not an 'option'. Understand?

But yes. I think sometimes I forget that you and I haven't discussed before.

I do not believe in choice, AT ALL. I do not believe man has choice, I do not even believe God has choice. I think 'choice' is a man-made fabrication. It is an illusion of man's own making.

So, that will be the crux of our disagreement, it is the crux of most everyone's disagreement with me. But it likewise why everyone loves me. They know I'm right and they are 'drawn' to me. :D

I would feel exactly the same way – IF she held the door closed and did not let them back in after they discovered how stupid they had been!

What if, and this may be a big what if. What if the children didn't ever discover how stupid they had been? What if they were so stupid as to not know unless told?

Would you honestly not feel wrongly towards the parent that let their children out in the cold naked?

I understand you would feed badly towards them if they did not let them in. But would you really smile upon their behavior if they let them out in the first place?

“But when you say God is mercy, or is merciful, you wouldn't dream of say God desires mercy (only until after He needs to) or God's purpose is love or His determination is love. Could you? ”
I’m not understanding the question here.


I'm saying that mercy is not shown until after sin is done. Mercy is pointless if there is nothing to be merciful for.

Therefore, if God is love, and if man has not yet sinned, God would love the man, yes, but He would not show them mercy.

Likewise, He would not desire to show them mercy. There would be no reason to show them mercy (they haven't yet sinned), there would also be no reason to desire mercy. For in desiring to show them mercy, He would recognize that they would first have to sin. So if He desired to show them mercy, He would be inadvertedly desiring them to sin.

Understand?

I do not believe that this is the crux of our disagreement, I agree with your statement completely. I did not state that mercy was a mere solution – I was saying that mercy and the ability to choose must go hand-in-hand if one’s nature is love.

So...if there is no choice, then there will be no mercy?

Or if one has choice, then mercy will necessarily follow?

Do explain a little here...mercy and choice going hand in hand.

12/07/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam -

Seeing as you turned everything upside down with your confession of belief, I am still working on the majority of my response, (we may need to start a thread on your site for me to get your reasoning for this belief) but I wanted to address your last statement.

"So...if there is no choice, then there will be no mercy?

Or if one has choice, then mercy will necessarily follow?

Do explain a little here...mercy and choice going hand in hand."


There can certainly be choice and no mercy - we do that to one another all the time. My statement was that "mercy and the ability to choose must go hand-in-hand if one’s nature is love." I am pretty sure I am playing into your hand so I will leave it at that for now - you do not have me at checkmate yet!

12/07/2006 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

My friend, I do not even have you checked. Do not think me so able. You have handled yourself well. On par with Kc. Much better than Dorsey.

:D:D:D

12/07/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment, but my last statement was rather prideful - so I could use a knock-down.

12/07/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam -

Sorry to keep you waiting for a response, life joyfully grabbed my attention for a moment!


“No, they [Adam & Eve] were not given only the option to disobey. I'm being anal here. But if you are given an option, you are necessarily given another option. You cannot just be given one option. If there is only one option, it is not an 'option'. Understand?”

I do not understand. They had the simplest choice, with two options – to obey or to not obey.

The “choice is an illusion” theory I am familiar with. It is my father’s (an atheist) argument against Christianity as an option, so I have to admit I never suspected a Christian would position himself there. Should be interesting to learn more.

But, on to the discussion at hand…

“What if, and this may be a big what if. What if the children didn't ever discover how stupid they had been? What if they were so stupid as to not know unless told? Would you honestly not feel wrongly towards the parent that let their children out in the cold naked? I understand you would feed badly towards them if they did not let them in. But would you really smile upon their behavior if they let them out in the first place?”

Yes, having limited knowledge of their struggles, I would definitely feel anger for the way this mother treats her children. But if you think this is the simple struggle of giving independence, I would imagine you are not a parent or at least the parent of a very young child. Maybe we should more fully develop the story…

Let’s say this mother did everything I described and more. She commanded them not to go out into the cold unprepared, she explained in detail the danger of disobeying her command, she implemented punishment for disobeying her command, when they stuck their little toes out the door to test her on this – she followed through with her punishment, and for a time, she even held the door shut. She then began to teach them how to prepare for going out the door – one must cover themselves, not just once but in many layers, taking special precaution for vulnerable areas like fingers and toes, noses and ears. Then she instructed them to only go half as far as they can handle so that they would be able to return. Thereafter she ingrained in them the skills they would need if they were ever lost and could not find their way back – how to build shelter, start a fire, find food, keep warm and defend against predators. This took time, and the mother knew that no matter how much information and practice she gave them, they could always be in danger. Now they were almost adults. She had a choice - keep them in, lock the door and bar it; or let them choose. By this point, she had given them all the information she could give them. She unlocked the door, but did not open it. She told them that they would have to choose. There were wonderful things to explore outside; and, although it was dangerous, they had been instructed on what to do and she would allow them to test themselves. She would remain watchful and hopeful of their return.

The first child chose to stay – maybe not forever, but for a that day – he felt he needed more instruction and preparation. The second child refused to go because he was afraid. The third child asked if he could wait until he could write it all down in a manual so he would not forget. The fourth child said he was ready! He remembered and cherished all the instruction and followed it magnificently – staying out in the cold for hours at a time, returning to his mother’s joy and venturing back out again. The fifth child said he was probably ready. He remembered much of what his mother taught him, but when he could not remember he would return. He would sometimes stay out for a short time, return with questions, also to his mother’s joy, then venture out again. The sixth child said he had always been ready, followed what he thought to be his mother’s better advice and relied on his own knowledge for the rest – he never returned. No one is sure if he is okay or not. The seventh child always thought the cold had felt good on his skin when he had stuck a toe out – said, “love ya, mom!” and joyfully ran out the door with nothing on.

The mother had anticipated the last two decisions might happen. Prior to beginning instruction for her children, she had took out all her savings and bought an RV and stocked it with tons of supplies. When that last child ran out the door, she grabbed her coat and keys, left the door unlocked and set out to look for them so they would know she was nearby if they needed her.

I think this scenario more fully describes (but probably not completely) how God let’s us “run naked out into the cold.”

“I'm saying that mercy is not shown until after sin is done. Mercy is pointless if there is nothing to be merciful for. Therefore, if God is love, and if man has not yet sinned, God would love the man, yes, but He would not show them mercy. Likewise, He would not desire to show them mercy. There would be no reason to show them mercy (they haven't yet sinned), there would also be no reason to desire mercy. For in desiring to show them mercy, He would recognize that they would first have to sin. So if He desired to show them mercy, He would be inadvertedly desiring them to sin. Understand?”

For mercy and sin to work in cohesion the way you are describing is inconsistent with love. What I am hearing you say is that God had this incredible gift of mercy and created us so that he could give it to us, but to give it to us he would HAVE to risk losing most of us. I believe he desired to give the gift of love – freedom AND mercy together. The result in both of our scenarios is the same – Jesus; but the heart that it comes from is different.

12/08/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam,

I apologize once more for my absence. Please forgive my slow response time.

You stated, "I was pointing out though that if one had the option to do something, then they must have the option to do something else.

That is, if one can choose to do something, then they must be able to choose to do something else.

If they have no other option, or cannot choose to do anything else, then they haven't choice.

To have choice is to mean you can choose to do this, or choose to do that. Or you have the option to do this or the option to do that."


I would say this is a logical fallacy. One may choose not to act in which case there is nothing to do.

You then once more make this jump, "I then would not say that God gave Adam an option, God only gave Adam an ability. One ability."

Why would you say this? It seems that we agree on all points that choice is logical yet you then conclude that this is why it cannot be true.

We even agree in this, "If God would have given Adam an option (and therefore the ability), then Adam would have had another option he could have taken."

He obviously could have selected to believe God and refuse to eat.

12/08/2006 11:20:00 PM  

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