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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 12 2009 3:03 AM

Alain,

thank you very much for that additional info. And darn it...I HAVE the NAC but didn't look at it...arggg...

 

there's a lesson here somewhere Sad

Robert Pavich

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 12 2009 7:34 AM

Robert Pavich:

Dr. Yancey,

Wow...it sounds like your unbeliever is holding all of the cards.. Surprise "Who can resist his will?"

 

Just ribbing you. I'm a Calvinist and though I know what you are saying when you say "Anything the unbeliever does will not please God because he has rejected receiving God's free gift of Salvation."

I'd have rephrased it like so: "Anything the unbeliever does will not please God because the bible says he does not have the ability to do so. He has rejected God's command to repent and believe" Big Smile

 

I dunno, Robert,

Apparently your unbeliever is holding some of the cards if he rejected God's irresistable grace. Devil  Just ribbing you, my brother.

I go with the dual nature explanation (no 4 in Akin's list posted by Alain above) since even the Aposrtle Paul had the warring within. I don't believe the unregenerate has a dual nature. Until the Holy Spirit quickens us (brings new life) we are spiritually dead. So only a believer would experience the dichotomy. The spiritual war within begins. We are to renew our minds with the fact of who we now, presently, are in Christ.; free from the power of sin, dead to sin and made "white as snow." That would pretty much make us sinless.

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 12 2009 10:59 AM

Matthew C Jones:

Apparently your unbeliever is holding some of the cards if he rejected God's irresistable grace. Devil  Just ribbing you, my brother.

Never heard of such a thing, that a sinner can resist or rejected successfully God's irresistible grace. Grace irresistible accomplishes God's purpose in salvation, common grace perhaps can be resisted successfully but not special grace. Just ribbing you also, my brother - we hold to both common grace & irresistible grace.Big Smile

Thanks for the info on the KJV only debate.

Ted

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Charlie Nason | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 9:04 AM

M.J. Smith,

I do not mean to mince words with you but it was an argument from natural "revelation" not natural "theology."  There is in my mind a huge difference between the two.  Paul's argument is that people reject the natural revelation of God.  Therefore, any natural theology they build will be based on a rejection of some part or the whole of natural revelation.  In other words, any form of natural theology is at best bent, at worst fantasy, but all is flawed. 

This is why special revelation is necessary unto salvation.  Without it no one would be saved, without it know one would understand the truth (I know I just loaded the guns and painted a target on myself and if necessary we can discuss the Biblical idea of truth.  Simply stated truth is creation understood as it represents an attribute of the glory of God, which He intended it to represent.  Okay maybe not that simple). 

I am assuming the fallacy you referred to is the circular one.  To this I would say, Logic (as a system by itself - not grounded in the God it represents) is circular and faith based.  The laws of logic are metaphysical and therefore are assumed true by experimentation of a circular kind (logic and human reason proving logic and human reason by a reasoned logical argument).  This is limited to the sphere and data available at the time (life time).  One cannot examine all possibilities of A equals not A to say it is impossible.  Therefore, the circular argument attack against, the Bible is the word of God because it says so therefore it is infallible, is not really as scary as it first seems.

I apologize for going way off topic.  I hope this clears some positions that were presented in this stream that may have been placed in a bad light.

 

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Charlie Nason | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 9:08 AM

About myself

did I really write "know one would understand"...wow...please forgive me and replace it with..."no one would understand."  Sorry

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 9:50 AM

charles,

I agree with you 100%.

 

But I'm not gonna stand in front of you when the shooting starts!! Surprise

Robert Pavich

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 10:23 AM

Ted Hans:

Never heard of such a thing, that a sinner can resist or rejected successfully God's irresistible grace. Grace irresistible accomplishes God's purpose in salvation, common grace perhaps can be resisted successfully but not special grace. Just ribbing you also, my brother - we hold to both common grace & irresistible grace.Big Smile

Ted & Robert,

Since I was not raised Calvinist I am still playing "catch-up" on the whole matter. You don't get much instruction on differentiating "Common Grace" and "Irresistible Grace" in an Armenian church.   (PLEASE, Don't everybody start down that road again. Put away your knives & guns. Chill for a moment. Thanks.) That is why I recently bought the Cornelius Van Till collection. I had been familiar with BB Warfield but still found myself with one foot on the dock and the other in the boat. Someday I will add the works of Frame to my library. (btw; when will vol 2 see the light of day?)

Back to the original topic -- 1 John is just about my favorite book of the Bible. Romans taught me where I was & why I had need of God. 1 John teaches me where I now stand. Yes, it is a difficult thing to grasp in toto. But just because my natural mind, and everyone else's put with it, cannot fathom the truths of God's word doesn't negate what is written. I don't accept that God uses hyperbole or is prone to white lies to garner worshipers.  I have seen some higher math texts that were nothing more than numerals and symbols. The professor that owned them relished "reading" them because he understood the meaning. I could have dismissed their content as meaningless, contradictory and an attempt at feigned elitism -- based on my ignorance of the deeper meaning contained. I think we sometimes dismiss God's statements thus, all because we are too ignorant to understand and too arrogant to admit it.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 12:06 PM

Charles Nason:
it was an argument from natural "revelation" not natural "theology."  There is in my mind a huge difference between the two

Interesting. To me they are "the flip side of" each other.  God reveals; we try to understand i.e. "do theology".

 

Charles Nason:
I am assuming the fallacy you referred to is the circular one. 

The fallacy I was refering to was "appeal to authority". Obviously, this is something that we intentionally do without fallicious intent in Scripture study. As one who believes that God's revelation is not contrary to human reason but rather is beyond human reason I am quite willing to apply logics (plural) to scripture and theology - in fact I am fascinated by Jewish hermeneutical logic. I agree that logic is a human construct with human limitations.

 

I appreciate your responses - I learn a great deal from them, having had very little exposure to Calvin.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Charlie Nason | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 4:17 PM

MJ. Smith

You said, "To me they are 'the flip side of' each other.  God reveals; we try to understand i.e. 'do theology'."

I agree they are the same coin but here is where I see the difference.  God reveals perfectly and man does not try to understand but supresses the truth of that revelation.  Man then exchanges the truth for an image they have created to be truth and then build a natural theology that they are willing to live with.  God's revelation is perfect; man's understanding of that revelation is willfully flawed.

You said, "As one who believes that God's revelation is not contrary to human reason but rather is beyond human reason"

God's revelation is beyond sinful man's reason.  That is not to say a believer understands perfectly because they are still a sinner.  However, God created human reason to understand his revelation.  Therefore, we can understand, simply and imperfectly but understandably.

I would love to read on Jewish hermeneutical logic, where would I find such material.

Thank you for the exchange.

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John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 4:43 PM

 

MJ. Smith:

The fallacy I was refering to was "appeal to authority". Obviously, this is something that we intentionally do without fallicious intent in Scripture study. As one who believes that God's revelation is not contrary to human reason but rather is beyond human reason I am quite willing to apply logics (plural) to scripture and theology - in fact I am fascinated by Jewish hermeneutical logic. I agree that logic is a human construct with human limitations.

In fact it's not. Only the language(s) we use to communicate logical ideas is/are a human construct. Logical axioms and all constructs that follow from them are (like mathematical expressions) metaphysical absolutes that exist as part of creation. That is, they must be the same regardless of the frame of reference that discovers them or the methods and symbols that are developed to communicate them.

The reason that it is not possible for logical arguments to encapsulate all things with respect to revelations from God is because logic, like all metaphysical things is constrained by the physical universe. God is not. On the other hand, this reality is probably better explained by your own words, "God's revelation is not contrary to human reason but rather is beyond human reason". I would only amend that sentence to read, "beyond perfect human reason", meaning a more or less imaginary, flawless human argument that exhausts all physical and metaphysical possibilities.

Yours in Christ

John

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 4:52 PM

Charles Nason:
I would love to read on Jewish hermeneutical logic, where would I find such material.

Much of what I know is through the works of Jacob Neusner. There's also a book about Paul's use of rabbinic methods but it's title escapes me at the moment.  Perhaps someone out there remembers. http://community.logos.com/forums/AddPost.aspx?ReplyToPostID=5395&Quote=False is a typical web introduction ... Paul would have been trained in the rules of Hillel. http://www.thelogician.net/3_judaic_logic/3_jl_frame.htm has a formal study of Judaic logic - there are a number of reasons I take this site with a grain of salt but it still has some very useful information. And the Jewish Encyclopedia has a long article on Biblical Exegesis which provides an excellent overview.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 5:04 PM

John McComb:
logical axioms and all constructs that follow from them are (like mathematical expressions) metaphysical absolutes that exist as part of creation. That is, they must be the same regardless of the frame of reference that discovers them or the methods and symbols that are developed to communicate them.

You realize, I assume, that the Buddhist logicians would disagree strongly with this very Western view. Quite incidentally, there is a new graphic biography of Bertrand Russell, Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis et. al. which covers (lightly) the western search for grounding math and logic in metaphysical absolutes. And, no, I don't usually read graphic biographies - I was given an advanced copy for review and absolutely loved the book.

And, yes, I disagree strongly with the website I recommended for Judaic Logic. His critique "Nagarjuna's Illogic" is very malformed - even in Western logic.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 9:55 PM

John McComb:

"God's revelation is not contrary to human reason but rather is beyond human reason". I would only amend that sentence to read, "beyond perfect human reason", meaning a more or less imaginary, flawless human argument that exhausts all physical and metaphysical possibilities.

Yours in Christ

John

 Right John, That is what I was saying a few posts back in my toast & coffee kind of a way. Coffee

 " But just because my natural mind, and everyone else's put with it, cannot fathom the truths of God's word doesn't negate what is written." (Written = revealed by special revelation)

I have read enough of Japanese Buddhism  to know their "logic" is not viable.  It is at best pseudo-cathartic. It lulls you into  destruction. You become the frog in the slow boiling pot.

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John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 13 2009 11:06 PM

 

MJ. Smith:

You realize, I assume, that the Buddhist logicians would disagree strongly with this very Western view.

No, but I don't care either. I don't see my view as being "Western", only scientific. Mathematics and metaphysics are not disciplines that can be influenced by cultural woolgathering. Or perhaps I should put it another way. If you happen to be thinking about studying these things and you happen upon a school with math and philosophy departments that are strongly influenced by cultural woolgathering then I recommend you look to enroll someplace else.

MJ. Smith:
Quite incidentally, there is a new graphic biography of Bertrand Russell, Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis et. al. which covers (lightly) the western search for grounding math and logic in metaphysical absolutes. And, no, I don't usually read graphic biographies - I was given an advanced copy for review and absolutely loved the book.

I don't know what you're talking about but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I was forced to slurp up large tracts of Russell's Principia Mathimatica when I was in college and I can almost guarantee you that you wouldn't take a shine to that.

Russell hated religion with an obsessive  passion. He religiously despised religion. As a Christian I couldn't help but notice that this voluminous monstrosity seemed an awful lot like an attempt to prove order from chaos. Well, if that's what he was doing then of course he didn't succeed. How could he? The chaos that he was using to construct his order was itself well ordered and had its own axioms. Axioms that Bertrand himself used as starting points. He did succeed in demonstrating that mathematical postulates could be derived from purely logical ones though. In the end it's a brilliant work. If you're compelled to read it then you come away with a powerful admiration for the effort even if the purpose of it all kind of eludes you. I don't recommend  it for recreational reading though. Stick to the nice, light easy reads like, oh..... say....., Joyce's Ulysses.

Yours in Christ

John

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John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 12:06 AM

 

Matthew C Jones:

John McComb:

"God's revelation is not contrary to human reason but rather is beyond human reason". I would only amend that sentence to read, "beyond perfect human reason", meaning a more or less imaginary, flawless human argument that exhausts all physical and metaphysical possibilities.

 Right John, That is what I was saying a few posts back in my toast & coffee kind of a way.

Well, it was M.J. that said it, not me. I just tightened it up a little bit. You can't use that "limits of human reason" catch to garner an escape clause that allows you to say that there exists (may exist) some logical argument beyond the gleaning of human reason that will prove or disprove anything about God. In order to reach into God's realm you need information that lies beyond the constraints of all logic.

On the other hand, why would we want to spend the effort. We're given this information free of charge (at least as much of it as God thinks we need to know). You can believe or you can disbelieve it. It's up to the individual. Endeavoring to prove or disprove any of it is like a sea urchin trying to prove or disprove the existence of a desert palm.

Yours in Christ

John

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 1:46 AM

John McComb:
I was forced to slurp up large tracts of Russell's Principia Mathimatica when I was in college

As a philosophy major in college, I did my senior thesis in logic (model theory to be precise); in graduate school I applied much of the same interests to Theravadan Buddhism; then as a non-student, I applied model theory to university payroll and personnel [translation: computer nerd]. I had a copy of Principia Mathimatica on my shelves for many years but certainly NEVER read it as anything other than a reference for specific points. Nagarjuna on the other hand was more slurpable ... or would have been if it weren't in Sanskrit so shall I call it sippable? Smile

But sorry, I see our current view of science to be highly Western - external, measureable, repeatable etc. Eastern "science" makes room for the  internal, unmeasurable, predictable i.e. psychological, religious, mystical ... Fritz Staal in his Exploring Mysticism has a nice take on the scientific approach from both sides. And to put my prejudices out front, I believe that the best evidence of God is in the similarities of peoples' experience of God across cultures and times. And I believe that 'proof' of the existence of God must precede discussions of God's revelation and incarnation which must precede discussion of Scripture.

But regardless of why you read Russell I am delighted to find another logic junkie on the forums.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Charlie Nason | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 8:50 AM

MJ. Smith

You said, "And I believe that 'proof' of the existence of God must precede discussions of God's revelation and incarnation which must precede discussion of Scripture."

I am not a logic junky in a league with you.  I have only begun to read philosophy in the past 5 years.  However, I hold that God's revelation is perfect so I measure all statements made by it.  When you said the above my mind shouted, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).  Faith (believing what God said in Scripture) does not start with proofs of God's existence.  Faith is only generated (regenerated) by hearing Scripture taught with Christ being explained.

But we will say it is not reasonable to think a person will believe the Scriptures taught with Christ being explained if the person does not believe in God.  Scripture does not make that distinction.  Scripture never attempts to prove the existence of God (that started with Anselm).  Before Anselm the call was to believe God.  After Anselm it became believe IN God.  This shift has caused a major shift in theology and apologetics.  It is also a very Western type of thinking (post Anselm developed into a system by Aquinas).

Remember, everyone knows God through natural revelation and suppresses that truth in unrighteousness.  They believe in God whether they admit it or not (Scripture says).  Therefore, we do not argue proof for the existence of God.  We proclaim the truths of God from Scripture and watch to see if they believe, if God graciously grants them repentance.  Paul say it this way, "the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus."  (1 Tim. 1:14 his conversion testimony).  Paul says grace was poured out on him and overflowed from him and what overflowed was belief and love that are in Christ Jesus.  Grace overflowed and the result was belief and love.  Belief comes by grace.  Grace expressed by belief comes by hearing and hearing the word of Christ.

I think we need to spend less time trying to prove that God exists and more time explaining Christ from the Scriptures.  Will a lot of the culture reject this?  Yes, they will.  But they rejected Christ in person as well.  We need to focus on the correct method (Biblical method).  Call people to believe what God said about Christ.

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Charlie Nason | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 9:08 AM

John,

You said, "In order to reach into God's realm you need information that lies beyond the constraints of all logic."

Logic is grounded in the character of God.  A equals not A is impossible because God does not lie.  It never will because God does not change.  I am not saying that we will every grasp to the fullness of this infinite God but he is reasonable.  Because he is reasonable, He is knowable.  Because he is knowable we can point to truths we have learned about him in the natural world.  These arguments will not prove indubitably God for without faith (belief) it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6).  Belief is a requisite.  Absolute provability is not.

 

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Jules lamond | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 10:47 AM

Now this sensitivity is in-line with scripture. You hit the nail on the head instead of dancing around it. See my previous post.

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Jules lamond | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 10:48 AM

Charles.

Again, Ditto.

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