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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unashamed of Grace

Do You Agree with this Quotation?

Anyone who has been participating on the discussion directly below this one is encouraged to comment on the quote. If you don't want to do it on THAT blog (heehee) then feel free to leave your comment right here. Thanks! I am so curious.

20 Comments:

  • Hi Rose,

    I will add this scripture to the quote.....I think it demonstrates that the sinful state of man is not what God desired when He created us.

    Genesis 6:5-7 "The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.""

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/21/2008 1:07 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Very good Kurt! That shows God's heart, and is quite a contrast to a god who is pleased with mans fall.

    alvin

    By Blogger alvin, at 8/21/2008 6:24 PM  

  • If man is what God intended him to be, then why the cross?

    By Anonymous GordonCloud, at 8/22/2008 1:01 AM  

  • Thank you, Kurt!

    This statement struck me when I first read it like: "Well, duh! Of course man is not what God intended him to be." ...but then I started to think about it and wondered: how can a philopsophy that insists God's sovereignty means that everything is perfectly in order with His will.... how can someone who ebraces that view agree with this quotation? (And what do they do with that Scripture you quoted?) I would think if I held to a view of God's sovereignty like, that then I would not be able to say that 'man is NOT what God intended', for wouldn't everything be just as God intended? Is God ever not getting what He intended?

    Hey, thanks for your comment!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/22/2008 10:15 AM  

  • Alvin,
    So you agree with the quotation, right?

    Gordon,
    Yes, exactly - good point.
    I wonder what the determinists make of this quote. I really hope they will give some input. Thanks for yours.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/22/2008 10:16 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I don't understand how one can come to the conclusion that if God gives us free-will to choose sin, choose life, choose Him.......that somehow His sovereignty is compromised. Our free-will is not the opposite of God's sovereignty. They co-exist just fine. I have no problem with them. God is sovereign. His authority is unquestionable. He has complete authority to bless us or to discipline us....but that does not mean that I cannot choose to act in a way that brings His blessings or in a way that brings His discipline. His sovereignty means that I do not have the right or authority to judge his actions.

    Man is not what God intended him to be.....but that does not nullify His sovereignty.

    I think that the definition of God's Sovereignty has been hijacked by some theologies.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/22/2008 11:09 AM  

  • Hi Alvin,

    I agree with you. The very character of God has been inconceivably altered by those who believe that it is His pleasure to pass over some and leave them eternally in their sin while choosing others to eternal life.

    Genesis 6 is just one glimpse into the very character of our God who loves us and is grieved, filled with pain, at those who choose sin and His discipline over obedience and His blessings.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/22/2008 11:15 AM  

  • Kurt, I agree. I think it would be easy to get carried away with the idea of determinism but then a look at the passage you quote (and realizing the simple truth stated in it) would be a reality check.

    Then again, I have been wrong before. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/22/2008 2:26 PM  

  • Alvin is right - it does show God's heart.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/22/2008 2:27 PM  

  • Hi Rose!

    I would sooner agree with this quote:

    "Whatever else is true of man, man is not yet what God intends him to be." - modified by me.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 8/22/2008 2:38 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Daniel,

    Interesting addition.

    Are you saying that all of mankind will eventually be what God intended for us to be? Even those in eternal punishment, separated from God?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/22/2008 2:45 PM  

  • Rose,

    You?....wrong?....say it ain't so :)

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/22/2008 2:54 PM  

  • Daniel, hello!
    So are you saying then that you do not agree with the quotation as it stands?

    Kurt,
    Yes, a time or two. heehee

    By Blogger Rose~, at 8/22/2008 2:57 PM  

  • Rose, the quote, as it stands, is too generic to fully endorse. I hear what he is saying, and if we keep it shallow, I can agree with the surface thoughts, but in order to fully endorse the original quote, I would have to submit to the idea that God failed in His original intentions (God is a failure), and that the whole plan of redemption is one that God is making up as He goes along. Since I don't believe God's consciousness is temporal, I can't accept the idea that God is making it up as He goes, and if I cannot accept that - I am unable to hold as valid the notion that God was caught off guard by Adam's sin, and is now just trying to correct His own failures.

    Having said that, these things are not easily penetrated by shallow thinking and proof texts. The question is not so much, what does the bible say, but rather how do I rationalize what I believe about God?

    My understanding of God is that when He sees the end from the beginning, he isn't looking from forward in time like we would have to, since we are creatures, and are created in a universe wherein time and space are part of that creation. God is not created, and as such, time and space in no way limit or affect His perspective; However God perceives our reality, it is utterly alien to how we perceive it - for we perceive it moment by moment one location at a time, one moment at a time - and God perceives all moments and all times in the same glance. For us, the past is set, the present is wherein our consciousness dwells, and the future is malleable only because we do not perceive it.

    From God's perspective, past, present, and future are equally settled, malleable or set - but not something that God moves through as we move through time and space - but rather something God is aware of and working in from His place, however that might be imagined.

    Thus to say toy with the idea that man is in a place where God doesn't intend him to be, is to paint God as a creature who is as limited by time and space as we are, and such faulty foundations can only produce faulty conclusions.

    I marvel at our arrogance in that we imagine ourselves fit cogitators, when our perspective itself can only inform wrong-headed thinking, and few of us are willing to accept the reality of that, for want of the prestige that goes with imagining ourselves to have rightly figured it all out.

    Thus, I can't really agree with the statement as it is written, because it seems to me to be wrong-headed and shallow from the get go. Let the author rethink the depth of God's perspective and perhaps I might agree with a second quote?

    How vain I must be to imagine that I understand even as much as I think I do.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 8/22/2008 3:58 PM  

  • Kurt,

    I am saying that God's will is going to be done.

    By Blogger Daniel, at 8/22/2008 4:02 PM  

  • Hi Daniel,

    I asked...

    Are you saying that all of mankind will eventually be what God intended for us to be? Even those in eternal punishment, separated from God?

    Your response....

    I am saying that God's will is going to be done.


    So, I don't know what you are intending. Is it God's will that any of mankind end up in eternal separation from God?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/22/2008 4:19 PM  

  • Kurt, you ask,

    Is it God's will that any of mankind end up in eternal separation from God?

    In Genesis 20:6 God tells King Abimelech that the reason he hadn't sinned by sleeping with Abraham's wife Sarai, was because God Himself had kept him from sinning. You see, God had come to Abimelech in a dream and told him that he was a dead man - but Abimelech answered God asking Him if God intended to slay the whole nation even though it was blameless - since Abimelech hadn't actually slept with Sarai, Abraham's wife yet. God's reply is telling, for he basically says, listen, the only reason you didn't sin is because I, God Almighty, kept you from sinning.

    If someone were to ask, Can God keep a man from sinning? The answer is beyond debate: Yes, God can.

    If someone were to ask, Has God ever kept even one person in all history from sinning, the answer, likewise, is beyond any sober discussion: Yes - God kept Abimelech from sinning.

    Now, the question is, if God has kept one person from sinning once, thus establishing that He is able to do so, why doesn't God keep everyone from sinning all the time? Why didn't he keep Adam from sinning?

    Is God going to keep us from sinning in heaven? Won't that offend our free will?

    Seriously - let me ask you a question, and if you can answer it, I will answer yours:

    Given that God -can- keep us from sinning just as he did for Abimelech, is it not true that everyone who goes to hell could have been kept from hell had chosen to intervene in their lives just as He did in the life of Abimelech? That is, if God is perfectly able to keep us from sinning, and has demonstrated this by keeping someone from sin in the past - isn't it true that every single person who is in hell could have kept from hell if God had desired to do for them what He did for Abimelech?

    By Blogger Daniel, at 8/22/2008 5:09 PM  

  • Daniel,

    I am short on time to fully engage your last comment. I feel that your comment is a rather good attempt at delivering a straw-man argument...debating sinlessness is futile given the fact that "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". But 2 things quickly.....

    1. The requirement for someone to be saved from Hell is not sinlessness....it is faith in Christ.

    2. God did not deliver Abimelech from Hell. No where does it mention that God kept Abimelech from a sinful life, just from this one sin. And this was not for Abimelech's sake, but for the sake of Abram and Sarai. As with everything God does, He had a purpose for keeping this one man from this one sin. It was not about Abimelech....it was about God's protection of Abram and Sarai.

    You said that I have to answer your question before you answer mine.....but after reading your comment.....you already answered my question.

    "Is it God's will that any of mankind end up in eternal separation from God?"

    Your answer is yes.....you believe it is God's will that many of mankind end up in Hell. If it wasn't His will....then He would have kept them from sin as He did Abimelech. Did I capture your answer correctly?

    How do you believe that in light of 2 Peter 3:9

    "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."?

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/22/2008 11:02 PM  

  • Good morning Rose,

    Kurt, (and Daniel) Excuse me for butting in here, but (Kurt) does God say to people "Depart from me, ye cursed" against His will?

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 8/24/2008 4:15 AM  

  • Good Morning Rose.....I will see you in about 30 minutes (at church).

    Colin,

    Thanks for joining in the conversation.

    Your question only highlights the great divide we both have in our view of theology.

    If it is God's will for me to choose obedience, then He is giving me a choice. I believe that God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience. He takes no pleasure in my punishment, but He set the boundaries that we all are to live within and we are commanded not to step outside those boundaries. That is God's will. But we still disobey. Read my previous comment regarding God's sovereignty and our free-will co-exisiting.

    I have to go now. It is time to pack my family in the car and go to church. I get to join with my brothers and sisters and worship the Almighty, Awesome, and Merciful God. What a privilege.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 8/24/2008 8:42 AM  

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