Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What to do with this QUOTE?

"The devil is God's devil."

Jeremy Weaver contributed this quote, by Martin Luther, in the previous post. I have been mulling over it for days! I get the idea ... I see where Luther was coming from ... I have read Job ... but I am just, er, um .... uncomfortable saying "The devil is God's devil." Ummmm ... what do you make of the quote?

I mean, does it make anyone else feel like it is saying that there is a side of God that is dark? I know we don't believe that because the Bible says that God is light and goodness and love .... but ... "The devil is God's devil" makes me think of, like, "the other side of God" or something wicked like that. I just ... am not comfortable with that saying, or concept. Help me.

52 Comments:

  • Hello Rose, I am new to your blog and Unashamed of Grace. I am very happy to have found like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you for the service you provide with your blog.

    The QUOTE! No it doesn't make me think of a "dark" side of God. I just accept that Satan and the fallen angels are created beings who chose in their free will to rebel against God. Just as God could decide to stop our hearts at any moment God could decide to stop Satan at any moment. In God's time Satan will be bound for all eternity. The battle is already won Praise God! "God is not slow in keeping His promise..not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Pet 3:9) I wonder in what context Martin Luther made that quote? I would assume it was something to the nature that God created Satan and God will finish Satan. To go really deep is the whole sublapsarianism/supralapsarianism debate.

    By Anonymous Mary, at 3/29/2007 12:39 PM  

  • No, Ros(i)e, it merely affirms our Lord's soveriegnty and that Satan is bound (he must seek permission to sift us like wheat and/or to "touch" us in any way (as your reference to Job acknowledges).

    By Anonymous Jim/Drew/Theo, at 3/29/2007 12:58 PM  

  • Job 1:12 -
    "All that he hath is in thy power - Satan cannot deprive a man even of an ass, a sheep, or a pig, but by especial permission of God. His power and malice are ever bounded, and under control.
    So Satan went forth - The Targum adds, with authority from the presence of the Lord."

    Adam Clarke's commentary on Job 1:12

    Clarke was a major *Arminian* commentator in the days of Wesley.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 3/29/2007 1:21 PM  

  • Possibly, in one sense Satan might be God's devil, if you take Chafer's belief in a Cosmos System.

    Chafer and most Dispensationalists hold that human societies are part of an organised system that does the work of the kingdom of Satan.

    The kingdom of Satan, in Chafer's view is not maleovelent in its purposes, but is rather a feeble imitation of God's kingdom. It is a system of organisation and government that attempts to operate outside God's control.

    I think this is a very sound view.

    However, Romans 13 also teaches that the governments of this world are God's ministers, establishing order and justice in God's providence.

    Thus, God providentially makes use of the Satanic Cosmos System.

    I suppose I am not really talking about Satan's devilish side here.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/29/2007 1:43 PM  

  • The devil is one of God's creatures - and as such he can't play outside of the sandbox God has put him in.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 3/29/2007 1:54 PM  

  • Hi, Rose.

    I would generally agree with the other comments. Satan is a creature of God and is therefore subordinate to Him.

    There is something though, about the way that Luther worded that just doesn't leave a pleasant taste in the mouth.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/29/2007 2:52 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Maybe the question should be, "Do you believe it to be true or not?"

    Does God use all things to accomplish His purpose? Consider Joseph. Could God have used a different way to preserve Israel in the midst of a famine? But He chose to use the sin of jealousy in the hearts of Joseph's brothers to bring about His will.

    Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, {but} God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

    Just like you've said, there is no "dark side" of God. So you could say He uses sin sinlessly.

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at 3/29/2007 3:31 PM  

  • I don't see it as an evil side of God. Rather I see it that God will use the devil for His purposes. Nothing that the devil does is done without God allowing it. He allows evil things for different reasons. For justice (i.e., for vengeance against evil acts committed by others), for punishment, etc.

    But I do see how you would feel uncomfortable with the quote if used in the wrong context as though God were somehow evil just looking for a reason to use the devil when we KNOW He is NOT like that at all.

    By Blogger Dawn, at 3/29/2007 3:55 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3/29/2007 4:32 PM  

  • Rose,

    the quote is absurd.

    "devil" means "slanderer"

    Is the Devil God's slanderer?

    The quote comes from a purely fatalistic and deterministic mindset.

    God uses the bad that Satan dishes out for the good (just look at the book of Job).

    But God doesn't cause Satan to do his deeds. If He did, then He would be more culpable than Satan, for Satan would not have a choice, but would be compelled by force to do his deeds.

    The quote is absurd, ridiculous, and goes a long way to bring shame and dishonor amongst the naitons to the God we love and serve.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 3/29/2007 4:34 PM  

  • And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee. (1 Kings 22:22-23)

    I agree with Ten Cent that
    "Just like you've said, there is no "dark side" of God. So you could say He uses sin sinlessly." This is a different matter to Him sinning, which is, of course, abhorent to us all. We may no understand the "how" or even the "why", but we understand that it is so and we rejoice in all His works and doings.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 3/29/2007 5:02 PM  

  • "What to do with this QUOTE?

    'The devil is God's devil.'"

    I'd say refrain from incorporating a redactionary methodology to Luther's statement. My personl take on Luther's quote is that the devil is not an autonomous, rogue agent devoid of restraint, but is ultimately subject to the Lord--the account of Job is a classic example...

    By Blogger Scribe, at 3/29/2007 7:37 PM  

  • *We may no understand the "how" or even the "why", but we understand that it is so and we rejoice in all His works and doings.*

    I feel I have worded this a little awkwardly re: the "why" Ultimately, the "why" is for His own glory (which is why God does anything) I was querying "why" God should use this method of achieving his purpose i.e. putting a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets rather than some other way.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 3/30/2007 4:02 AM  

  • Rose,

    Luther was referring to the fact that God is in control and that the devil can't go out of that boundery, as no one can.

    I sadly think that fact will be lost here, though.

    By Blogger Gojira, at 3/30/2007 6:11 AM  

  • Good points Gojira and Good night safe home(phew!).

    By Blogger Scribe, at 3/30/2007 7:05 AM  

  • I think everyone has been coming at this quote from the wrong angle...
    The presupposition seems to be that there is an objective standard of good and God must fit within that standard of good. I believe the Bible teaches that God himself is good and therefore the objective standard of good is God himself.

    So if God creates Satan and uses both him and evil for His own good purposes, He remains good in and of Himself and we avoid the danger of 'dualism' either on the front of God vs. 'Good', or God as 'Good' vs. Evil.

    As to the meaning of the quote, "The devil is God's devil.", simply means that Satan has no power at all. None. Until God gives him power and even then the power that Satan is given must be for God's good purposes, otherwise once again we see God at odds with Himself in giving power to an evil being and not being able to set the boundaries for that power.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 3/30/2007 8:50 AM  

  • How is it any different than saying, "Missy is God's Missy?" (probably more accurate than comparing me to Gabriel, too!)

    By Blogger Missy, at 3/30/2007 9:07 AM  

  • What is the application of this quote?

    IOW, when scripture commands us to resist the devil, are we actually resisting God if He put the devil up to this evil?

    By Blogger Jim, at 3/30/2007 11:12 AM  

  • Bleck...phew...choke.....

    Just thinking about this quote makes me gag.

    Is sin God's sin?

    I realize you can come at it from different angles. It just reeks of making God out to be the author of sin.

    Pretty soon Madonna will be wearing a shirt that says "The Devil is God's homeboy"...... thanks a lot Jeremy (and Martin of course)!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 3/30/2007 11:17 AM  

  • Jeremy,

    That was tongue in cheek - I don't really blame you for the attire of any Diva.

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 3/30/2007 11:19 AM  

  • * What is the application of this quote? IOW, when scripture commands us to resist the devil, are we actually resisting God if He put the devil up to this evil? *

    A good practical question, Jim. We are to ever follow the *commands* of Scripture which are revealed to us i.e. resist the devil (James 4:8)and "Never give place to the Devil" (Ephesians 4:27) etc., How God uses the Devil to fulfil His will belongs to God's decree, and largely beyond our sight and understanding. It is the revealed word of God that throws light unto our path etc., (Psalm 119:105) It will be found at last that in our successful resisting of the Devil, was in line with what God had planned for that moment in time. Likewise, if we fail to do so, (although responsible for the failure) yet God will still overrule it for His glory.

    If the Devil turns up and tempts you, try and get that Two Edged Sword as far under his fifth rib as you can.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 3/30/2007 11:53 AM  

  • So does God need the devil to see His plans accomplished. Or does God need or sin to have His plans accomplished?

    By Anonymous Mary, at 3/30/2007 2:11 PM  

  • "So does God need the devil to see His plans accomplished. Or does God need or sin to have His plans accomplished?"

    I just can't see God in need of anything!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 3/30/2007 2:17 PM  

  • Rose,

    this statement by Luther reminds me of this:

    17. for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. Rev. 17:17

    God is indeed sovereign, which does not imply fatalism. I Kings also speaks of God sending a deceiving spirit, this is analoguous to the thrust of what Luther, I'm sure, was getting at.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/30/2007 2:25 PM  

  • The issue is not what God *needs* to do, but what God *chooses* to do. He chooses to utilise the sins of men and demons and use them to accompanish His purposes, yet without contaminating Himself. The examples of Joseph and the lying prophets in 1 Kings and the end time loyalty to the Beast have been supplied. There are many others.

    Like every truth in the Bible, the key note here is balance. We must avoid a blind fatalism, where Chance, void of wisdom etc., reigns on one side, and a laid back Deism on the other.

    By Blogger goodnightsafehome, at 3/31/2007 2:44 AM  

  • "Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy." Isaiah 54:16

    Like Luther or Isaiah, I don't think God himself is insulting himself or that Luther was insulting God or that Isaiahs inspirational writ was either. He was just saying what God was saying here.

    Of course the preceeding verse says this,"If anyone stirs up strife it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife shall fall because of you." Isaiah 54:15

    Who can fully understand the mind of God? Remember that God asked for a lying demon to go lie to the false prophets so that they would lie to Ahab in order for him to die in battle in his own self confidence.

    It is best not to try to figure all of this out, but to instead know that the Son of God was subjected to far greater temptationt than we ourselves and there is life in but a look at Him and He makes all things new as God has cursed all things outside of Him.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at 3/31/2007 10:41 AM  

  • Jim: I don't think we are resisting God when we resist satan. Why would God command us to do something we shouldn't do? I can't swallow that thought anymore than I can swallow God creating evil for the purpose to challenge His own. Allowing satan to exist is God's sovereign will. Giving us power over satan via His Holy Spirit is God's perfect sovereign will. In my uneducated, lowly opinion. Grace, selahV
    P.S. was that a rhetorical question?

    By Anonymous selahV, at 3/31/2007 10:53 AM  

  • BTW...Hi Rose. Forgive me for forgetting. See you can forgive and forget:-)

    By Anonymous bhedr, at 3/31/2007 8:29 PM  

  • I think the truth we need to get at here is that everything that is, is because of God.

    Or, does ex nihilo mean a little something??? (That's tongue in cheek too, Jon.)

    God did not use one atomic particle of anything that existed in order to bring everything into existence.
    Here are the facts that we know and that we have to work with:
    1. God created the world out of nothing.
    2. Only God is God and has the power to create.
    3. God sets the standard for what is good and what is evil.
    4. God is holy, righteous, and good.
    5. Evil and Satan exist, which means that they were created.
    6. The is no sin in God.

    These points lead me to the statements I have made. I don't claim that they are inspired. I may be wrong, after all God is bigger than my mind. Yet I cannot deny the veracity of these 6 facts since they are clearly revealed in Scripture.

    Points #3 and #5 are the fuzzy areas for me. If God is good and there is no sin in Him, then how does He set the standard for what is good and evil if evil does not exist? Can good exist apart from evil?
    Good can exist apart from evil but it cannot be known apart from evil. Much like the difference between wet and dry would not be known if there was no water.

    This leads me to believe that God did in fact in some way intend evil in order to show His goodness. And evil will bring about His good purpose which is to show redeemed humanity His own goodness.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 3/31/2007 8:46 PM  

  • Jeremy, what is evil?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 4/01/2007 4:20 AM  

  • Evil is what God is not.

    By Blogger Jeremy Weaver, at 4/01/2007 7:32 AM  

  • Hi Rose, excellent post and discussion!

    I think Jermey and Luther are/were both great thinkers. ;-)

    I am presently considering the implication that God created Satan for the purpose of evil. Still thinking…

    With respect to Jeremy’s previous comment, “Good can exist apart from evil but it cannot be known apart from evil”. I think it important to consider what we would claim as knowledge. If we cannot know what we cannot understand then I would agree with his statement, however, if knowledge can be acquired by simply accepting God’s word then we can say we know, at least in part, what is good by virtue of His word.

    For example, God said His creation was good. Would we need a view to alternative “bad” creation in order to know creation is good? ;-)

    I would say evil is what opposes God.

    My $0.02 so far (and I fear devaluation greatly!) ;-)

    By Blogger Kc, at 4/01/2007 8:33 AM  

  • I think Rose may appreciate your 2 cents Casey:-)

    By Anonymous bhedr, at 4/01/2007 9:26 AM  

  • Hi Rose!

    As always, your posting forces us to think. You are very good at that. That is why your blog is amoung the most popular around.

    Question:

    In Exodus 34:6-7 God declares His Name to Moses - "Merciful, gracious, longsuffering, keeping mercy,forgiving iniquity and sin"... If the devil, sin and evil did not exist how would we know these things about Him? See John 17:3.

    IMHO, to reject Luther's quote is to embrace Dualism.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 4/01/2007 11:20 AM  

  • Rose,

    I miss Brian’s blog. ;-)

    I think that if Determinism were true then to reject Luther’s quote would certainly require you adhere to ditheism. If God determins every action of every being He created then the only beings who could act in opposition to Him are those He did not create and does not control, hence ditheism.

    On the other hand if Determinism is false and God does not determine every action of every being He created then you can reject Luther’s quote without any further implication.

    I don’t find the scripture to teach Determinism so I reject both Luther’s quote and any subsequent philisophical implication.

    “And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2nd Timothy 2:26

    By Blogger Kc, at 4/01/2007 1:08 PM  

  • Hi Rose!!

    And may I add that you are a very fine writer!

    Another question:

    The devil's work - The Fall; the consequent sin nature in man; and his lostness... Well, if we look at Eph. 2:6-7 - we see that we have been raised up and sit together in the heavenly places in Christ and in the ages to come we are going to be living memorials of His grace and kindness in Christ.

    Did all that mentioned above here come about because God had to go to plan B when man fell? His grace and kindness on display in us for all of eternity a result of plan B? The devil played right into a Master plan. Mankind is now headed to a greater eternity than Adam and Eve would have enjoyed had they not fallen. Those "living memorials" will also be conformed to the image of His Son, forever. Romans 8:28-30.

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 4/01/2007 4:47 PM  

  • I briefly scanned through the comments and I did not find anyone give any context to Luther's quote. The phrase can be taken in a number of different ways. Context please.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 4/01/2007 8:10 PM  

  • Luther’s quote was offered in the context of Rose’s previous post. Keep up man! (hehe)

    Er, um…hello Rose. (grin)

    By Blogger Kc, at 4/01/2007 8:45 PM  

  • Hey Casey, thanks bro. I opened back up and reclaimed the spot. All are welcome if you wish, but I haven't been doing a whole lot of blogging lately and I kind of enjoy it. My wife and I are having a serious second honeymoon and Gods really unlocked things in our family lately that I don't want to lose sight of it and I am losing a primary interest in blogging to some degree...so maybe thats a good thing...but I will stay in touch with some of you all and make a post from time to time.

    May the Lord be with all of you precious blood bought children of God.

    By Anonymous bhedr, at 4/01/2007 9:05 PM  

  • Hey Rose--

    What to do with the quote?

    Simply realize who wrote it. Luther was fond of stating things in polemical and paradoxical ways.

    In his TableTalk, he writes something to the effect that "One should sin simply to spite the devil."

    In saying this, was Luther advocating a life of sin? No. Rather, if one views the comment in light of his overarching methodology of emphasis upon God's grace as the sole actuator of salvation, this quote makes sense. In short, he was telling his students that they should not fear their sin (after all, he understands the elect as simul utes et pecator, simultaneously saint and sinner) or the devil's power, but rather that they should have confidence in the grace of God even in the throes of their sin. Such confidence, to Luther, was a spiting of the devil.

    So when Luther says that the devil is "God's devil," he is merely underlying his established methodology. As Luther believes that the elect will infallibly come to salvation through God's grace, even the terror and power of the devil is merely another instrument of God's grace to bring the elect to salvation.

    Personally, I think it is rubbish, but it makes sense within Luther's theological framework.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 4/02/2007 9:50 AM  

  • KC, I can't tell if you are joking or not, but I think we would agree that it is best to take Luther in his own context, and not someone else's.

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 4/03/2007 12:37 AM  

  • For some reason I don't like the taste in my mouth for Luther's quote. I agree with Antonio's point to a degree.

    I think what happens is we are thinking too much outside of the focus of scripture. I think this may be the real downside of theology, going into things that the scriptures don't focus on. Yes God is in control and God does work all things together for His good. Can't we leave it there and then focus on the greatness and splendor of God.

    I recall having months focusing on some very odd thinking trying to reconcile scriptures statements and coming up with quotes like Luther's. It was a focus apart from daily reading of God's Word.

    Let's keep our thoughts there as I ame so tattered with sin I want God and His Word!!!!

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 4/03/2007 12:49 AM  

  • I think what happens is we are thinking too much outside of the focus of scripture. I think this may be the real downside of theology, going into things that the scriptures don't focus on.

    Huh? To read Scripture is to do theology, for every act of interpretation engages one's theological and philosophical presuppositions. There are plenty of important theological issues that are outside of the limited texts of Scripure which, nonetheless, are crucial for Christian orthodoxy.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 4/03/2007 8:21 AM  

  • I think what happens with us is that Christians focus alot on the differences between election and God's decrees. In this focus we miss the focus of the scriptures. What we focus on sometimes affects our identity in Christ and reading of the scripture. Though I believe in those things they are not the primary focus of the scripture.

    I think in our day by day reading of scripture Christian should be focusing on things like "Take up your cross and follow me" and say with the apostles "I boast only in the Cross of Christ".

    I want to pray for and learn how to be godly Christians who are obedient to the Lord in more and passionate about spreading the aroma of Christ everywhere.

    I remember a friend of mine saying something like "Many times we can have a passion for God's Glory, but what of the Glory of God's Love".

    I think we get loopsided when our focus becomes off the scriptures, and on things that take us down a road that leads us away from a close daily walk and prayer with the Lord.

    This should be the focus of believers to pray for one another, learning how to grow in Grace, and spreading a passion for the Grace of Christ to those who don't know him.

    I know this might be my own struggle myself, but I am convinced the Word of God needs to renew our minds by constant and continual devotions to keep Christ and Him Crucified and His Grace as central to all that we are.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 4/03/2007 9:12 AM  

  • When I was younger I went on a mission trip and I meet again the missionaries I visited with over 17 years ago.

    I think some of these statements come from my realizing a friend of mine who has been doing Prison Ministry has told me he and his wife have shared the gospel with 500 people over the last 3 years. This couple is very gracious and just spreads the aroma of Christ everywhere they go on as many occasions.

    I think these people have a better understanding of what the focus of the scriptures are than I so I think they have assisted me

    By Anonymous Shawn L (continued), at 4/03/2007 9:22 AM  

  • Kc,
    I think I agree with your $0.015 :) and Jeremy's idea that we can't really know how good good is apart from evil.

    In the same way those who refuse the grace of God in Christ and want the acceptance of God according to works(Cain)cannot know the glory of a God who would, IMHO (humanly speaking), cease to be God if He ever received anything back from His creation to satisfy Himself.

    Think about this:
    I think God is the only one that can or ever could satisfy His own wrath. Jesus has to be God in the flesh, if He wasn't then God would owe something to someone or something He created and that is impossible. It is impossible for God to be in debt, who would He owe that would be greater than Him?

    So with that in mind. Would this statement be worth $0.0149 to Rose and KC:

    The devil is God's devil just as the heavens are His throne and the earth is His footstool, but the devil, still being in God's control as He sets the boundries of everything created, is bound by God to show man or have man, especially believers, realize the glory and goodness of God against the darkness(in which the devil dwells) that is so utterly not God. Which in the end all things created are created to the glory of the Creator Who is forever praised.

    By Blogger Kris, at 4/03/2007 1:54 PM  

  • I think God is the only one that can or ever could satisfy His own wrath. Jesus has to be God in the flesh, if He wasn't then God would owe something to someone or something He created and that is impossible. It is impossible for God to be in debt, who would He owe that would be greater than Him?

    What?

    If God is the only one who can satisfy God's own wrath, then the satisfaction of wrath and God simply "getting over it" are not materially different. That is, if God is the only one who can solve a problem that is God's to begin with, then the simplest and least neurotic way of solving said problem is 1.) to not create it to begin with (that is, don't indelibly and from all of eternity ordain the actualization of the "debt") or 2.) get over it.

    Obviously, this is why a penal-based conception of atonement is entirely wrong-headed. Sinners do not need to be saved from the wrath of God, as if God is some angered deity who needs to be appeased (like the ancient pagans believed); rather, sinners need to be saved from themselves, they need to be reconciled to God.

    The work of Christ, then, is not to convince God to not punish humanity (which is fundamentally what forensic conceptions of atonement advocate), but rather to recreate humanity that they might be reconciled to God.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 4/03/2007 3:29 PM  

  • Exist,
    We, God's creation are debtors to God because we refuse to believe His love and walk in it. Gods wrath against sin is not a dark side in Himself, it is perfect justice in Himself.

    "The work of Christ, then, is not to convince God to not punish humanity..."

    I agree with this statement completely. Jesus is God. Does God need to convince Himself not to punish humanity? Of course not. The work of Christ is to convince humanity that we have been reconciled and I might add since the foundation of the world.

    I never said God needed Christ death to convince Himself not to punish sin. I said there is not anything created that can accomplish reconciliation, if there was then God would be indebted to something He created to accomplish His justice. Surely you believe God is a just God?

    If there is any determination in me, it is that I am determined to believe that God cannot owe anything to anything. He is eternally a giver and cannot receive anything to complete anything in Himself. Anything He would receive was/is created by Him to start with. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19)

    I hope that is a clearer thought on what I believe.

    By Blogger Kris, at 4/04/2007 10:30 AM  

  • "That is, if God is the only one who can solve a problem that is God's to begin with, then the simplest and least neurotic way of solving said problem is 1.) to not create it to begin with (that is, don't indelibly and from all of eternity ordain the actualization of the "debt") or 2.) get over it."

    My simplist answer to this is:

    God created, therefore anything created is in debt to its Creator.

    By Blogger Kris, at 4/04/2007 10:35 AM  

  • We, God's creation are debtors to God because we refuse to believe His love and walk in it. Gods wrath against sin is not a dark side in Himself, it is perfect justice in Himself.

    I don't understand the language of "debt." How is relational separation equivalent to "debt?" If the problem of atonement (as you recently posted), is that humanity needs to be convinced to be reconciled to God, what does this have to do with Christ's death on the cross being a "satisfaction" of the wrath of God? How does the sating of God's wrath result in reconciliation? Is it not sinful humanity--and not God--who needs to be reconciled? To suggest that God's wrath needs to be satisfied before reconciliation can occur seems to me to indicate it is God, not humanity, that needs to be reconciled. Of course, I would reject such a conception.

    I agree with this statement completely. Jesus is God. Does God need to convince Himself not to punish humanity? Of course not. The work of Christ is to convince humanity that we have been reconciled and I might add since the foundation of the world.

    So again, what does this have to do with satisfaction of wrath?

    I never said God needed Christ death to convince Himself not to punish sin.

    I know you didn't "say" this, but the complex of satisfaction requires such a conclusion. As God is perfectly free in Godself to do that which God pleases, there is no impetus within or external to God which would form a prerequisite to God's forgiving of humanity. Therefore, to suggest that God's wrath "must" be satisfied before reconciliation can occur, IMO, testifies about a God that is under necessity to satisfy God's own wrath, a wrath that could be perfectly assuaged by any other means, or even without any "means." Therefore, I would offer that the entire paradigm of "satisfaction" is a wrong way of approaching the topic of atonement. It is humanity that must change for reconciliation to occur, not God.

    I said there is not anything created that can accomplish reconciliation, if there was then God would be indebted to something He created to accomplish His justice. Surely you believe God is a just God?

    Yes, but I do not believe that God's justice is terminated in retribution. Rather, God's justice is fully revealed in reconciliation. To equate justice with retribution is to primally locate the devastation and annihilating nature of sin and non-being within the very ontology of God, for God would of necessity be eternally violent in order to be eternally just.

    If there is any determination in me, it is that I am determined to believe that God cannot owe anything to anything. He is eternally a giver and cannot receive anything to complete anything in Himself. Anything He would receive was/is created by Him to start with. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19)

    I agree. That is why I would suggest that the complex of "debt/satisfaction" is a tremendously insufficient paradigm through which to understand divine/human relationships.

    I hope that is a clearer thought on what I believe.

    yes, thank you.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 4/04/2007 11:57 AM  

  • No, it isn't saying "there is a dark side of God".

    It may be saying "There are things about God that man, in his limited knowledge, may perceive as being "dark".

    It may also be saying "God made everything; there is nothing that is that was not created by God".

    Both of those statements are, in my opinion, completely true and self-evident.

    By Blogger Jeff H, at 4/04/2007 1:00 PM  

  • Thank you all for your help! I still don't know what to do with the quote, but you have all given me a lot to think about.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/05/2007 10:17 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 

Who Links Here