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Oct 24, 2012

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CASEY

is it too much to 'speculate' that both AKIN and MOURDOCK are "CALVINISTS"???
Well, actually they are.....AKIN the Presbyterian type and MOURDOCK the ??? type.
Hmmmmmmm.......

Eric

If true, is it that simple to just suppose that God is a cosmic Criminal?

What do we say to our atheist friends who use the common decree that God is a murderer, (along with other pejoratives), when referencing the Old Testament. Let’s say when they bring up the flood. They ask how we can follow a God that would murder all men, women and children.

We believe God created man. He knew man would fall and that he would kill all of mankind thru the flood (save Noah’s family). We cant apply mans reasoning to God's, so we don’t agree with the atheist that says God is a murderer.

In the same way we should not simply reason that God must be a criminal.

peter lumpkins

Hi Eric,

As Jerry Walls and David Baggett show in their book, The Theistic Foundations of Morality, there must be an analogous aspect to moral language we employ between God and human beings else we could not recognize God's goodness. Hence, the assertion you make about not being able to "apply mans [sic] reasoning to God's" is hardly a point well taken.

As for God purposely intending the definite rape of a specific woman, and so arranging the circumstances even down to fixing minute details which guarantee the rape could not not take place, is not criminally sinful exactly in what way? Would we lay the charge of 'moral criminal' against a perp who so detailed the same action toward a specific woman? I think we would and do!

With that, I am...
Peter

JD Hall

Rape is terrible. It is not the greatest of sins, however. The greatest, most tragic sin in all the world was the unfair crucifixion and murder of the only righteous and perfect man - God's only son. That was the most horrific of all sins.

And yet, that sin was predestined by God (Acts 2:23 and Acts 4:28). It was a sin predestined by God and absolutely determined to happen by His sovereign decree. And yet, He is not guilty of that sin. God uses the sins of sinful men, sinlessly. The same could be said of Joseph's kidnapping and selling into slavery, as his brothers "meant it for evil" and God "meant it for good" (Genesis 50:20).

Does God make a man rape a woman? No, neither did he "make" the Romans and Jews kills Jesus. And yet, God ordains that men (who are already sinful and will already spend their life sinning) will use their already-existing sin (which needs no motivation or provocation) in a way that accomplishes the will of God.

You may call it "divine determinism." I call it the "sovereignty of God."

lydia

It is impossible for you guys to see your circular reasoning. You think if you call it something else that will explain it. It doesn't.


I even see Chris Roberts, the unity resolution guy, over at SBCV claiming man has a "choice" to reject God or not in the wrath post thread. Then, when he is called out on it, he claims Calvinism should not be brought up in the thread because he was not talking about Calvinism. Seriously. You cannot make this stuff up.

How convenient.

Max

"even when life begins with that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen"

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what Mr. Mourdock actually meant when he said this. Perhaps he was saying that God intended "life" to happen, and not "rape"? Either way, a strange thing to say, regardless of his theological leaning.

eric

Peter,
“There must be an analogous aspect to moral language we employ between God and human beings else we could not recognize God's goodness. Hence, the assertion you make about not being able to "apply mans [sic] reasoning to God's" is hardly a point well taken.”

As your comment is true, we don’t have a disagreement. I suppose my point was a poor one. When I wrote “We can’t apply mans reasoning to God's” I didn’t mean to imply that to all situations. Simply trying to tie in the idea that God does do things which can be hard for us men to understand. We would call any man or nation reprehensible for wiping out the human race (save one family). We can’t say that to God who is perfectly just in his actions.

Thanks Brother,
Eric

peter lumpkins

Lydia,

You are dead on about some Calvinists like J.D. arguing in a circle and don't even appear to see it. In addition, all the emboldened insistence about God's decreeing "whatsoever comes to pass" vanishes away into oblivion when cases like Mourdock surfaces in discussion. JD asks, "Does God make a man rape a woman?" Of course God didn't "make" him: the man voluntarily does his dastardly deed. But the question is not "did God make him?" The question is, did God so fix the circumstances such that the man could not not abuse the woman?" In other words, could the man have chosen not to abuse her but be kind to her instead? For Calvinistic determinists, the answer of course is no. In Calvin's words above pertaining to the poor man who fell among thugs, his "death was not only foreseen by the eye of God, but had been fixed by his decree." God foresaw the man's death because He decreed the man's death and all of the circumstances leading up to it. It was no accident he wandered away from the group. God planned for him to do that. He could not not wander away from the group. He necessarily wandered away else God's plan would not have succeeded for the man to die at the hands of the strangers.

R.C. Sproul has a golden nugget in his book, The Invisible Hand concerning just how meticulous strict Calvinists are when it comes to casual determinism. After rehearsing a series of "what-ifs" about the historical chain of incidents beginning with possible failure of Jacob giving Joseph the coat and continuing through the "what-if" Joseph did not go to Egypt making it impossible, then, for the Exodus to happen, etc, Sproul writes:

If we telescope this collection of "what-ifs?" we conclude that if it were not for Joseph's technicolored coat there would be no Christianity, and every chapter of human history would have a different ending" (p.95).

Whoa, boy! Sounds like history is so absolutely connected, that, one teeny weeny decision to do otherwise than must be done throws the equilibrium of God's world completely out of whack. No Coat, No Cross! (Perhaps a great sermon for our Calvinist brothers). Accordingly, if the man did not abuse the woman as Mourdock said God intended, the entire cause-effect connection of the universe would be in jeopardy not to mention God's sovereignty would likely be dismissed.

Similarly, JD writes, "God ordains that men...will use their already-existing sin... in a way that accomplishes the will of God." Uh? So, the man's already-existing sin-presumably the rape of the woman--accomplishes God's will? But we're now right back to Mourdock's morally horrifying assertion, are we not?--"that is something that God intended to happen."

The bottom line is, strict Calvinists' commitment to philosophical determinism cannot squeeze so easily out of these moral situations. The God-ordains-whatsoever-comes-to-pass approach to Christian ethics is, in my view, the end of Christian ethics. The best they seem to be able to do is either appeal to a "higher" logic (see Eric above) or fall back on non-Calvinists' explanations resting on the notion of permission.

With that, I am...
Peter

peter lumpkins

Eric,

Thanks for the fuller explanation. Lord bless...

With that, I am...
Peter

lydia

"No Coat, No Cross!"

I choked on my green tea over that one. HA!

And here I thought his playing favorites among his sons was sin that led to it all. Yet, God worked it for good. Wonder if God chose the colors to be woven into the coat, too? Oh, nevermind.

Can you imagine telling your teen daughter her rape accomplished God's will? That is emotional abuse. That is soul killing. That is really saying that evil is good.

Stephen

Peter, I think you are being uncharitable with the Mourdock quote. Is life a gift from God or is it a curse? Or is it some other option? Mourdock stated clearly just before your quote that he believes all human life is a gift from God, since we are created in the image of God (he didn't say that here but I think that is the implied Christian reasoning), so God therefore intends to bring all life into the world even in horrible cases of rape.

Do you believe something different?

I am genuinely curious to know how you would have stated Mourdock's position differently. The quote sounds bad out of context but I do not know how to articulate it much differently.

peter lumpkins

Stephen,

Why frame your objection in terms of being "uncharitable" with Mourdock's quote? Why not just disagree with my reasoning or assertions? It would then be about a disagreement of ideas not a personal beef with me--i.e. my alleged "uncharitable" dealing with it.

And, no I do not believe God intends to bring all life into the world even in horrible cases of rape. This moral reasoning would have us believe that since earthly riches are blessings from the Lord, He intends to bless us by filling our bank accounts with stolen money.

Nor am I unfair with Mourdock's quote as I can see. He flat said "even when life begins with that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen." Mohler and Burk apparently to the contrary, one cannot just jerk the "life happening" as what "God intended" from the assertion when the "life happening," according to Mourdock, resulted from the "horrible situation of rape." The way I read Mourdock's words, God intended the life to come via the horrible rape, a moral assertion I find as repulsive as it is unbiblical.

Nor does what I'm suggesting imply I believe abortion to be morally justified in cases of rape. Personally I struggle with this even though the best moral reasoning seems to fall down on but one exception to the no-abortion-at-all-position--when the life of the mother is at stake.

Finally, my contention here had solely to do with theological determinism. Mourdock's words could not more describe theological determinism so far as I am concerned.

Thanks.

With that, I am...
Peter

lydia

" I think you are being uncharitable with the Mourdock quote. Is life a gift from God or is it a curse? "

Stephen, the subject is not whether life is a gift from God. The subject is more like whether rape is an intended event from God..... according to Calvinism.

Since I have met many grieved believing women who cannot bear children but know one of these women and her husband are adopting the children of a drug addict that the judge has said cannot keep them. She keeps getting pregnant.

So, according to Calvinism, the believing child of God cannot bear children but the drug addict can have as many crack babies as she wants and....... it is all "intended" by God.

I thought it was the result of living in a fallen world. Evidently it has all been decreed and directed by the Calvinist God. Every detail.

Stephen

Ok, thanks Peter. So life does not come from God.

Lydia

Stephen, I see you reason like a good Stalinist. Good luck with that outside your reformed bubble. You are intentionally ignoring the point that Calvinism believes God decreed the rape to happen.

I only wish your theological hero, Calvin, had valued life.

Bruce K. Oyen

Hello Peter. How right you are on this matter! Keep it out there for all to see. As you know, many 5-pointers also teach that the new birth results in repentance and faith, instead of repentance and faith bringing about the new birth. This means they believe a person is born again when God brings it to pass, which often happens in adulthood. This means God could have prevented many of the elect person's sins by causing the new birth earlier in life, but he often chooses to not do so. So, God is responsible for their sins. They can't affirm their view of the new birth and deny the end result of it.

peter lumpkins

Stephen,

On whatever I wrote which apparently implied the curious conclusion that I believe life does not come from God please inform. And, once again you skirted the issue I've raised here--whether or not God predestinately intended the violent rape of a woman which produces conception. If you care to address this particular issue, I'd be interested to continue. If not, have a great day.

With that, I am...
Peter

cb scott

OK, let's change the "orientation" since we are considering God being responsible for specific actions by sinful people.

Jerry Sandusky raped young boys. There will be no offspring from Sandusky's rapes. However, do we determine that his rape of young boys was the intent of God in each and every one of those young boy's lives?

Steve

Peter,

I was thinking that just like your disagreement with Calvin and predestination, when it comes to hurricanes like Sandy, I just don't believe in a God who drowns black babies in Haiti yet refuses to drown out the voices of cranky white men who claim so irreverently to speak in His name.

Robert Vaughn

"Nor does what I'm suggesting imply I believe abortion to be morally justified in cases of rape. Personally I struggle with this even though the best moral reasoning seems to fall down on but one exception to the no-abortion-at-all-position--when the life of the mother is at stake."

Peter, this is somewhat off topic to this post, but I wonder if you would consider a future topic on your blog about abortion exceptions when the life of the mother is at stake? (Or if you have already addressed it, or someone else has, direct me there?) I'm looking to find and read some well thought out presentations of this position.

Sorry for the digression. Thanks.

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