Posted Oct 31, 2008 by royalrcrompton
Yes, I realise that we are looking through different lenses, yet while the optics are incongruent, the final outcome will be identical for us all. Who's right? We'll have to wait and see.
I don't see my view on humanity quite so depressing as you seem to make out. There seems to be little disagreement between us about the world being in a sorry mess. And if evolution truly is all about adaptability and change to coincide with the ever-altering environment, then it would make sense that there should be no disease, trouble, war etc. given that the the various species have re-designed/improved themselves to fit in with their surroundings. I do think that what is plainly depressing is offset by a magnificent promise from the one who rose from the dead and who is still alive today. If another duplicated that feat, then there would be sound reason to dismiss any notion of authority resting in the hands of one person/entity. But we have no record of anyone else dying and then rising from the grave. The argument of course, is believing or disbelieving the claim of the followers of Jesus Christ.
I do not pick or choose which parts of the Bible to quote based on what I believe and what I do not believe. I believe the Bible is both the historical and moral truth. I do quote verses to substantiate historical record or the promises/claims of Christ, but I do not pick and choose according to what seems believable. I believe the Bible is the Divinely-preserved Word of God. And what we cannot understand concerning Scripture is due to our inability to process the mind and mystery of God. God's fullest revelation is as yet unknown to us (1 Cor. 13:9-13).
That Christians cry over the loss of loved ones is completely normal. We shall certainly miss them, what they have meant to us, how they have affected us for good etc. Yes, a journey separates, but there is the probability and expectation that they will return. The difference between atheists and Christians mourning over their dearly departed is that for the Christian, they have the hope that they will, indeed see their loved ones (who also trusted in Christ). Of course, there are Christians who mourn because they knew their loved ones denied Christ and are now broken beyond belief that they can never see Aunt Mary again. That may explain their apparent disparity in and through mourning.
You seem to think that God automatically declares " Go forth and kill that man.. " It doesn't work that way ( not in the present, at least). A man kills justly because He knows it is a just response to a criminal action. Keep in mind that during OT times in Israel, the nation was governed theocratically. There was no human government apart from Moses acting as a prophetic intermediary. God called all the shots. With the giving of the Mosaic Law, God showed Israel the just responses to crime so that with rare exceptions, the nation was clearly able to govern itself. Today we have no states that are governed by the voice of God. Those claiming they have heard God's directive to kill people or groups are (as you say)nutters. They have not heard from God because God has already declared His moral law and with few exceptions, nations have adopted the principles of that law -- whether the laws as given by Moses or adaptations corroborated by the sense of conscience (which every man understands).
Jesus never had any free will. He and the Father were in perfect harmony ( see John 8:28,29 ). Free will presupposes that a person may do his own thing. As God Incarnate, Jesus did not possess that attribute. God is one, undivided and in harmony.
God is the pre-existent condition/source. He is a spirit and not confined to space or time. He is the giver of life and the one from whom the cosmos emanates. As The Light ( John 1:4,5,9), Christ holds power over the universe ( Col. 1:12-17 ; Heb. 1:1-3).
If God is indeed the Source, the Creator, why then would He need approbation from His Creation to set the parameters of justice and punishment? Would it not then make perfect sense for God to be the fianl arbiter since He alone has perfect understanding?
God did not decide that we would become sinners. Rather, He gave the created orders of intelligence (angels//men) the power to make a free will choice. He provided that choice because He is the God of love and love necessitates choice. We cannot love unless we have that choice; otherwise we are God-created automatons who have no power to love but only to do God's bidding by means of a Divinely-ordained programme. But God did not create us that way. God desired a people who would CHOOSE to love Him and so man has experienced the sorry results of the Fall. But God has gifted us with the merciful extension of love in the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ : to lift us out of sin and despair and bring us home to His nearer presence in eternity ( see Rev. 21:1-7).
Posted Nov 3, 2008 by Giford
>if evolution truly is all about adaptability [...] there should be no disease
Not to derail this discussion down the 'evolution vs creationism' line, but trouble and wars are not features of evolutionary theory. Disease is, and is a perfect example of how evolution does and is occuring (Flu, HIV, etc). Our immune system is evolving, but, sadly, diseases evolve too. It's sometimes called an 'evolutionary arms race', and sometimes the 'Red Queen Principle' after the character in Alice Through the Looking-Glass who says you have to run as fast as you can just to stay where you are.
Wars, of course, don't evolve - we have ourselves to blame for those.
>the one who rose from the dead and who is still alive today. If another duplicated that feat, then there would be sound reason to dismiss any notion of authority resting in the hands of one person/entity. But we have no record of anyone else dying and then rising from the grave.
I already gave you a list of people who have (allegedly) never died; here's one of people who have (allegedly) come back from the dead: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-d...#List_of_life-death-rebirth_deities It's actually quite a common motif among religions, and even CS Lewis thought Jesus' resurrection to be a myth inspired by other accounts. Then there are ghost stories like the well-documented case of Resurrection Mary from Chicago (http://www.ghostresearch.org/sites/resurrection/). From your words above, we therefore have 'sound reason' to dismiss Christians claims... but I suspect you're more prepared to change your reasoning than to change your conclusion, right?
>The argument of course, is believing or disbelieving the claim
Agreed! We also seem to disagree on how we are to assess the claim. I've just seen your discussion with mormonman, where you said that nothing in the Bible has ever been disproved by science, which suggests to me we have quite different views on what constitutes reasonable proof. I'd have said that the Creation, Flood, Exodus and Conquest were as disproved as Mormon claims on pre-Columbian American civilisations. Even if we're using different lenses, surely we should use our own set consistently? If mormonman's view of American history is disproved, why isn't your view of Middle Eastern history also disproved when looked at through the same lenses? And that's saying nothing of diseases being caused by demons, some rather curious notions on genetics, bats being a type of bird, whales being fish, unicorns, witches, giants...
>God did not decide that we would become sinners.
So who created the concept of 'sin'?
>Jesus never had any free will [...] We cannot love unless we have that choice
Is Jesus incapable of love due to his lack of free will? Logically, it appears you must say 'yes', but I don't think that is what you believe. Come to think of it, can a Jesus with no free will feel anger or be tempted? Didn't you say earlier that a substitutionary sacrifice had to be willing to be valid? Otherwise you might as well sacrifice a rock, surely? Why would a Jesus with no free will pray for the 'cup' to be taken away from him?
As I said before, once you assume God exists, you quickly get into a horrible mess.
>I do not pick or choose which parts of the Bible to quote based on what I believe and what I do not believe.
It's not just which parts you quote, it's which parts you believe. For instance, the bits about slavery, the bit about not being a true Christian unless you've given away all your possessions, or the bits where God changes his mind or lies. Or women not being allowed to speak in church. Or keeping the OT Laws, as Jesus commanded. Or the sections where the Bible says something other than faith is required for salvation. And so on. These are things that (I think) you don't believe; you view them as metaphors, only relevant under certain circumstances, spiritually true or otherwise not meaning what they appear to. Whereas other parts of the Bible you believe are literally true even though others think them metaphorical (e.g. the creation account).
By the way, I'm not challenging you to explain *why* you disagree with each specific example in that list. All I am doing is pointing out that there are many places where you disagree with what the Bible appears to say clearly. Which brings us to:
Matt 16:27/8 reads: the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Jesus is specifically and explicitly talking about Judgement Day. I can't see how he could have made that any clearer. See also Luke 9:27 and assorted other verses. On top of that, several times the Biblical authors make reference to the end of the world coming 'soon' (e.g. Rev 1:1), which is less specific but still seems a strange way of describing 2000+ years, particularly when taken in conjunction with Jesus' words as quoted above. So this looks to me like another example of part of the Bible that you don't regard as saying what it appears to say. Oh, and something else disproved by science.
Posted Nov 3, 2008 by royalrcrompton
Re : our adaptability in evolution, it seems strange that human beings get sick, age and die. I have never understood how the process of evolution works into such calamity when the main proponents of this theory are rabid in their defence of the ever-improving nature of the universe and its creatures. That sickness and death occurs at all within a process of improvement is somewhhat confusing.
Yes, I realise that there are some who claim to have never died and others who have been resurrected from a state of death (as pronounced by qualified medica personnel). Yet these resurrected ones eventually do die once more(as did Lazarus from John 11). The issue comes down to what these claimants did or did not do in their lives. Were they able to convince their contemporaries that he had never sinned? If so, then there is the rational argument that he is another Divine being. But if that sinless claim is debunked, then we have a rank imposter.
Re reasonable proof.
There are a host of theses debunking creationism and a host that support it (as the work of intelligent design based on visible order rather than a lack of order that constitutes confusion). The question is whose thesis is the more believable? One can call into question the credibility of one or another viewpoint, but there are supporting arguments coming from both camps that cannot be dismissed scientifically. The problem is that we are not so advanced scientifically to unequivocally reject one viewpoint in its totality.
That is why Judeo-Christian belief in Creation is still around after 4,500 years of reciorded history. As I have stated previously, if it were so easily dismissed, then the newspapers would be printing 3 inch high headlinjes: CREATIONISM DISPROVED - AT LAST, CHRIST SHOWN TO BE A FRAUD.
Sin is a response of choice coming forth out of selfish motivation in rebellion to the one who created him. It does not originate with God in the sense that God showed man some sinful act and then it was aped. Its concept is allowed by God because He si a God of love. If God is loving, it then follows that man ( made in the image of God), must have the choice to love/obey or hate/rebel. That man moved away from the order God intended simply demonstrates that choice of rebellion. Again, not to have the concept of obedience or sin makes man a robot.
The " free will " that you ascribe to Christ is not independent of the Godhead; thus it cannot be viewed as being free (in the sense that Jesus could disagree with His Father and set out on a course of action that conflicted with the will of God. It is human beings who must love through the expression of their free will. God IS love ( see 1 John 4:8)and since God is not subject to sinning because sin is the mark of self (love is the mark of benevolence/charity/kindness etc.)
I'll be back...
Posted Nov 3, 2008 by royalrcrompton
( Back again... I am at the local library and the system shuts down after so many minutes and I have to get connected on another work station).
Jesus does not merely express love --He is love (as God is love and He is God cf.John 1:1 ; 1 John 4:8). Thus as a man, He could only walk in and through love. There is no possibility that He can do anything else. If He possesses an extended capacity to depart from love (free will, for example), He would not not be the Incarnate God and would be reduced to just another human being who was born of the corruptible seed of Adam. But if Jesus Christ is God, then He possesses no free-will because what He does is always in accord with the Godhead. Man though, as a created being, is not Divine and was brought forth with the capacity both to love but also, to disobey.
I have no trouble about the parts concerning slavery. It is consistent with certain forms of Divine retribution. His chosen people, Israel were held in bondage in Egypt and later in Babylon. That He still loved them is testimony that enslavement was for their correction. Thus when we think of slavery, we should see it as an act of judgment. That we do not always adeqately understand the reason(s) for that kind of judgment does not allow us to draw the conclusion that God is unjust. It's more a case of humanity being corrupt and incapable of discerning God's level of perfect justice.
Where do you see in the Bible that Christians are commanded to give up all their possessions? It's not found anywhere. I believe you are alluding to the free-will giving in Acts 2 which is quite another thing. I do believe EVERYTHING the Bible states as both a historial and moral document. That God changes His course of intended action is quite evident. But in His foreknowledge, such changes do not obscure or delineate away from His will. But He does not change His mind as you may think. He simply allows mankind the freedom to choose and re-choose (all within His longsuffering), ultimately bringing His foreordained plans into fruition -- plans that no man can confound.
You seem to think that I object or disagree with your list of social objections. I do not in any way object to them. They are given for our instruction in righteousness and if we see them as unholy, unjust or objectionable, then it only points out that we disagree with God's purpose for society (e.g. men and women in their respective roles).
The OT and the NT explain each other. The moral law of God has many forms -- the OT has the Mosaic law and the Great Commandment. The NT has the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. They all share the same principles of morality, though the OT Mosaic Law has large sections outlining their identification as a separate people to God --of distinguishing the Hebrews from the heathen nations.
Posted Nov 4, 2008 by Giford
>Re : our adaptability in evolution, it seems strange that human beings get sick, age and die.
Why? What would be the evolutionary advantage in immortality? If the world is filled with old folk eating all the food, what chance would there be for young folk to survive? And that's assuming that immortality is even physically possible.
You're suffering from the misapprehension that evolution is somehow guided towards perfection. It's not; those organisms living today are descended from those that were best suited to their environment in the past. That's it. There is no absolute scale by which we can measure 'perfection', only how well suited an organism is to a particular environment (30 extra kilos of fat is great if you're a sperm whale, bit of a git if you're a gazelle - so is fat 'perfect'?), and evolution cares not one whit about the individual, any more than gravity does.
>if that sinless claim is debunked, then we have a rank imposter.
So I ask again... is anger a sin?
Even the Gospels have to explain why Jesus did *not* convince his family that he was the Messiah - Mark 3:21 says they thought he was mad and/or possessed by a demon. (Again, some authors have suggested that verses like this were written due to a power struggle within the early church, with Jesus' family on one side and the gospellers on the other.) And, of course, history is filled with false Messiahs who managed to convince their followers that they were genuine.
On a more nuanced note, Mark's gospel (probably the oldest) is notable in that it portrays a very human Jesus. Mark's Jesus shows no knowledge of his 'divine purpose' - from his trial right through to his death, the only thing he says is "My God, why have you deserted me?" Luke and - particularly - Matthew portray a much more divine Jesus. This supernaturally calm Jesus hands out homilies on the way to Golgotha and chats amicably (and knowledgeably) about the afterlife with one of the thieves. He seems to know exactly what his place in God's scheme is. It has been suggested (e.g. by Ehrman) that Matthew was writing for a pagan audience, who would have been familiar with tales of demi-gods and knew how they 'ought' to act - Matthew needed to portray a Jesus who matched that.
>there are supporting arguments coming from both camps that cannot be dismissed scientifically.
If you think you have scientific support for Creationism, feel free to present it; however, no scientific body in the world thinks there is. Creationism is pseudo-science.
>CREATIONISM DISPROVED - AT LAST, CHRIST SHOWN TO BE A FRAUD.
Really? Evolution and Christianity are totally incompatible? If I could convince you that the world existed prior to 4004 BC you would immediately accept that Jesus was not the Messiah?
I really wish it were so simple, but hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide see no conflict between their faith and evolution - including the heads of both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
>If God is loving, it then follows that man ( made in the image of God), must have the choice to love/obey or hate/rebel.
Yes, I understand what you are saying, but that's not my question. If God decides what is right and wrong, why is it wrong not to love God? Presumably because God decided it was wrong ('sinful') to do so. God could just as easily have decided that independent thought was a great moral virtue, right? Or at the very least that it doesn't deserve *infinite* punishment?
And, again, if God has free will and infinite love, why did he not create humans with free will and infinite love? Or does God, like Jesus, not have free will?
>The " free will " that you ascribe to Christ is not independent of the Godhead
So God made Jesus angry? Or God was angry Himself? And, as I asked earlier, if Jesus has no free will then what good is he as a substitutionary sacrifice? You might as well sacrifice a rock, surely?
>God is not subject to sinning because sin is the mark of self
God has no 'self'? Surely if God commits sinful acts, he's sinning. You can't simply say "I made the law, so I don't have to obey it." That is the mark of the tyrant. And that is true whether or not God has secret motives for breaking the law.
>an extended capacity to depart from love (free will,
Hang on, I thought you just got through explaining that free will was *necessary* for love! Now you're saying that free will is necessary in order *not* to love! So humans can't love God unless they have free will, but Jesus can't help but love God because he did not have free will?
>I have no trouble about the parts concerning slavery.
>Where do you see in the Bible that Christians are commanded to give up all their possessions? It's not found anywhere. I believe you are alluding to the free-will giving in Acts 2 which is quite another thing.
Nope, Luke 14:33: "whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." It's right after the section about hating your family and your own life. And, of course, Jesus did literally demand that his disciples gave up their possessions and families and followed him in his wanderings around Galilee. Yet I'd bet money that you view this verse as 'strictly metaphorical', 'not applicable to modern times' or something other than what it literally says, right?
>That God changes His course of intended action is quite evident. But in His foreknowledge, such changes do not obscure or delineate away from His will.
So God knows he's going to change his mind, but continues to hold his old opinions (and act on them) until the time comes to change them? You don't see any contradiction there? If I told you I was going to vote for Obama today, even though I knew for certain that in four years I'd regret it and wish I'd voted for McCain, you wouldn't find that at all strange?
>>women not being allowed to speak in church. Or keeping the OT Laws, as Jesus commanded.
>I do not in any way object to them.
So you wish to live in a slave-owning society where minor social problems are solved by stoning to death? Where people are treated differently under law according to their gender, race or religion? Where priests, not democratically elected politicians, hold power? In other words, you don't think that *any* moral improvements have been made since the bronze age, and even the NT is merely repeating those laws in a more general form?
I see you didn't specifically mention that you clearly do believe the Bible when it talks about unicorns, witches and giants. Oh, and fire-breathing dragons, of course.
Posted Nov 4, 2008 by Giford
Just thinking about your comment on us each seeing through different lenses:
That's probably a good metaphor, but I'd like to take it a step further. I think we can agree that there is no such thing as a 'perfect lens', but are all lenses equal?
To me, the lens is simply a tool to give me a good image of the world. So if my lens shows me contradictory things, or if I start walking into things because I can't see them through my lens, I will try to clean or modify my lens, or even - in an extreme case - throw it away and replace it with a completely new lens. Since I have done that several times in the past, each time getting a measurably clearer view of the world, I now feel that I have a pretty good lens. I don't bash my shins too often these days.
Whereas - and feel free to disagree with me here - you are greatly attached to your lens. You don't judge your lens by the accuracy of the view you get through it, but rather you like it simply because it's *your* lens. You'd rather put up with a few bashed shins than change your lens in any way.
Or are you claiming that your lens is, indeed, perfect, because it was given to you by God?
Posted Nov 4, 2008 by royalrcrompton
Re ...what is evolutionary advantage in immortality...
Well, I am not suggesting there is any advantage. But it seems that if life originates out of something that cannot be scientifically nailed down to a universally accepted axiom, then why should we accept death as simply " there " without seeking to understand the cause? I am certainly not holding to some misguided notion that evolution is somehow guided to perfection. That is why I don't hold to it as being logical and scientific -- a plausible theory, no doubt, but certainly not one that fits exactly within a scientific mould.
Anger is mistakenly believed by many to be sin. It becomes sin only when it works out of justice and love. There is a righteous anger because God is angry with the wicked every day (see Psalnm 7:11). Man is justified in anger when it supports righteousness, and that is clearly seen in Ephesians 4:26 " Be angry, and sin not..." So we are called to express anger against that which is against God's moral law, but we must be careful not to let our anger result in sin.
Jesus Divinity and His humanity are not confused. That one Gospel may emphasise one side more than the other does not support the notion that He was either totally/mostly Divine or totally/mostly human. The monophysite and Nestorian heresies followed these premises but the orthodox doctrine of the nature of Jesus Christ insists He was fully Divine and fully Human -- substantiated by the events showing His alternating power and human weaknesss (e.g. omniscience, miracle-woring, thirst, hunger ).
If Creationism is pseudo-science (I do not claim it to be scientific per se)then so is evolution, for it remains just an unsubstantiated theory.
I too could prove that the date of the Earth existed prior to 4004 BC. The chronological dating that suggested the Earth was created in 4004 BC was the work of Archbishop Ussher of Armagh. His dating is not part of Scripture -- just supplementary notes.
Fighting has and does continue to erupt among many so-called Christians. But we must, in the face of Scripture discern who is really Christian. That Catholics and Anglicans used to fight does not necessarily meaans that the prponents of sucgh bloodshed were actually Christians. I meet many people wh9o call the " Christian " but who haven't the slightest idea of the teachings of Christ and show forth no evidence of a changed heart through the born-again experience. As the lord said, " Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and FEW there be that find it." Matt. 7:14
God designed man to love both Him and the rest of humanity (the Great Command). Why should it be considered a virtuous option to reduce that requirement? Independent thought is not condemned if it is virtuous. Since the Fall though, we gained the capacity to think about shame, degradation, evil(Who told you that you were naked?)Before the Fall there was total innocency and so evil thought was impossible. God did create humans with free will within the milieu of infinite love but it was forever lost at the Fall.
You are of the mind that anger is not sin. Again, God is angry with sin and so man is to be angry with sin. That we punish people for evil is indicative of the righteous of any given society.
The nature of God precludes the possibilty of Him breaking his own law. That law is merely a reflection of His own character-- laws which He cannot break. As God who reigns supreme, He maintains the right to impose His righteousness on others. A tyrant you say? Well, in the broadest sense you are right. Who can stand against His will?If He did not reign autocratically for the welfare of mankind, He would be a poor God. The fact that we rebel against His will denotes our fallen state that refuses to submit to His benevolency within the realm of His righteousness.
I'll be back a little later.
Posted Nov 4, 2008 by royalrcrompton
Back again... let's see... where was I?
The aspects of God reigning autocratically are of course His prerogative. We question His authority but it will not change His will for mankind. There is no flexibility within His law of righteousness. Is that fair? Well, if you are a benevolent dictator then it seems appropriate. God is never out to make us unhappy but neither will He allow us to self-destruct without attempting to re-direct us. The Bible is His tool of reference, the manual for life. We are not able in our fallen state to compass ourselves aright. If we listen to His instruction then we can be assured of eternal life as a compensatory offer to escape the horrors of this Earth. But if we ignore His directives, then can we blame Him for imposing the punishments that He has so clearly promised to those who reject His mercy and love?
Everything about God is about His creation. He is not at all concerned with Himself. He is concerned with the welfare of His creation as He intended it to function. And He will bless those who align themselves to the truth as has been given to mankind through the Bible. I will not dismiss the notion of God as a tyrant (in its broadest sense) but as Creator, He has the prerogative to do what He wills with that which He has brought into existence. God does not break His own law (His will) even as we do not break our own will, since we do what we want to do --just as God does. But it is His will that counts in the final analysis, not man's. Where do you see God breaking His own will(law)?
In man's fallen state, he cannot love apart from God's grace. What we deem love is mostly sweet sentimentality. It is more often a case of "like" or "lust" that is passed off as love. Divinely-bestowed love always puts the other person first- esteeming others better than ourselves (see Phil. 2:3,4)God allows us to express true God-given love only through grace. We do not have the capacity to love as God intended without the receiving of that grace. Grace then enables us to operate through free will. The unregenerate man has no free will to love divinely.
Giving up all our possessions means figuratively, that we recognise that God owns everything and that what we own ultimately comes down to using what we have been given to the glory of God. It is simply not the literal interpretation that you believe. Where would the people live if they did not have their own homes? How could they conduct their meetings? That Christ did not own a home meant that He had to rely on others who had them ( e.g.Martha and Mary).
God does not change His mind, Gif. His mind is already fore-ordained in terms of what action is to be carried out. Think of it in terms of a person playing with a batter-powered device/toy. The operator understands how the toy should operate and where it goes(should it have a driving mechanism). But while the operator may allow it to scurry around in what may appear to be an uncontrolled, independent path, the toy will go only so far as the operator will allow. That is what God does with us. We are sometimes cut a lot of slack, but never so much as to interfere with God's will. Eventually He pulls wayward offenders back to a place where they cannot interfere with those plans. We simply cannot understand the methodology of God.
I do not wish to live in a slave-owning society. No, hardly. But God has (at times) imposed that punishment and who can change His will?
The mention of unicorns, dragons etc. only reinforces the belief that prior to the Flood, humans and dinosaurs existed together. This is not the stuff of fairy tales...
Posted Nov 4, 2008 by royalrcrompton
re : lenses
I do indeed, look through a clouded lense just as we all do (see 1 Cor. 13:12). I am still trying to process God's truth but being wholly unable to grasp the reality of it, I admit to being rather unqualified to communicate it. That's why I allow Scripture to speak. People like yourself may regard me as dodgy and unscientific with this free use of Scripture, but I make no apology for using biblical references in and through debate. I freely admit that I have nothing more to offer.
My old lense was thrown away when the Lord opened my eyes in 1981(John 9:39-41). However, I still see through some clouds (my understanding being far from complete). God gives us what we need to know but certainly not all that we could know.
Posted Nov 5, 2008 by Giford
This is geting into a really long, messy thread, so I'll just give quick responses to what seem (to me) to be the most obvious points in the next post and respond in more detail to the rest.
I'm not quite sure what you mean about axioms and the origin of life. We certainly don't fully understand it, but there's no particular reason to think anything supernatural was involved; it all seems perfectly possible in the chemical conditions present on the early Earth. There's certainly no indication that there's anything other than chemistry involved in life. And yes, much research is poured into researching various causes of death, including some towards immortality. No luck yet though, and it may not even be possible.
>I too could prove that the date of the Earth existed prior to 4004 BC.
Great. How about 4 billion years prior? Anyway, the question was whether you see evolution and Christianity as absolutely incompatible.
>Anger ... becomes sin only when it works out of justice and love.
(Assuming that's a typo for 'it doesn't work'...?) OK, there's good anger and bad anger and God and Jesus only feel the good kind. Fair enough. Of my three questions about Jesus and sin, the only one not yet addressed is: "Can a human be free of sin? Was Jesus human (as well as divine)? Was Jesus a sinner?" So far you have answered 'no' to the first part and 'yes' to the second. It seems you are logically forced to answer 'yes' to the third also.
>The nature of God precludes the possibilty of Him breaking his own law. That law is merely a reflection of His own character
That's just another way of saying 'God does whatever the heck he pleases'. The nature of Robert Mugabe precludes the possibilty of him breaking his own law. That law is merely a reflection of his own character. And both God's laws and Mugabe's are equally arbitrary if that's all there is to them. Could God declare murder to be good? If not, then God is not the source of morality, for there is something intrinsic about murder that God cannot change - just as is the case with Mugabe. If He can declare murder good, then morality is simply arbitrary and we have no reason (other than fear of punishment) to follow God's version of it. In fact, there would be no reason for sin or evil to exist at all, for God could make everything good with a thought. This is the Euthyphro Dilemma that I outlined a few posts back.
>If He did not reign autocratically for the welfare of mankind, He would be a poor God.
May I remind you that you believe that God has committed the worst acts of genocide in human history. I would say that makes him a pretty damn poor God when assessed in terms of the welfare of mankind, no? By the way, did you notice you've presented an external standard by which God's morality can be asessed?
>Giving up all our possessions means figuratively ... Where would the people live if they did not have their own homes? How could they conduct their meetings?
Surprise! You don't regard the literal reading here as the literal reading. "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means." - George Bernard Shaw
(A simple examination of the text reveals that Jesus held open-air meetings. Presumably he slept ouside (remember he didn't live in the UK or Canada!) or in the houses of non-disciples during his ministry. Churches came much later. Besides, what need would his disciples have of homes when the end of the world was so close? Or perhaps - gasp - he has been misquoted or was inconsistent on this?)
>God does not change His mind, Gif.
Well, the Bible says he frequently repents of his actions. 1 Sam 15:11, f'rinstance. In fact, he does it so often he's weary (can God be weary?) of it: Jer 15:6. Mostly he only repents when he does evil (e.g. Jer 42:10), which is nice, but hardly fits with your claim that God cannot do evil.
No, no, wait, don't tell me: those parts of the Bible don't actually mean what they say either, right?
Posted Nov 5, 2008 by Giford
Some short points:
>If Creationism is pseudo-science (I do not claim it to be scientific per se)then so is evolution, for it remains just an unsubstantiated theory.
Nope, evolution fits the definition of science, as it makes testable predictions that have not yet been falsified.
>But we must, in the face of Scripture discern who is really Christian.
There is no sect of Christianity, including yourself, that has not been accused of being un-Christian by some. You're too legalistic for some, too liberal for others, no matter what your faith.
>God did create humans with free will within the milieu of infinite love
So God has infinite love and therefore lacks free will?
>If we listen to His instruction then we can be assured of eternal life as a compensatory offer to escape the horrors of this Earth.
So again you do not hold to this faith-only view of salvation I hear so much about?
>Everything about God is about His creation. He is not at all concerned with Himself.
Remind me of the First Commandment again? Or the Second? Third? Fourth?
>In man's fallen state, he cannot love apart from God's grace.
So atheists and Muslims don't feel love?
>Think of it in terms of a person playing with a batter-powered device/toy. [...] That is what God does with us. We are sometimes cut a lot of slack, but never so much as to interfere with God's will.
I think this is where we came in. Why, then, is there suffering in the world? Did the Holocaust interfere with God's will? Why did he cut Hitler so much 'slack'?
>I do not wish to live in a slave-owning society.
Yet in a previous post you said you had 'no trouble' with slavery.
>But God has (at times) imposed that punishment
Back to blaming the victims? Slaves are being punished for... erm... what, exactly?
>The mention of unicorns, dragons etc. [...] is not the stuff of fairy tales...
Um, don't know how to break this to you...
Posted Nov 5, 2008 by royalrcrompton
Re : Jesus Divinity and humanity
That Jesus was not conceived by normal human reproduction means He is not as other men. I grant you that the purity of His humanity is not something that can be logically explained beyondthe premise that His conception was the Divine giving life to the virgin's egg. That sin was not transferred to the zygote is indeed, a biblical premise that cannot be explained biologically. But if we accept that the Holy Spirit is the means of conception, then we can reasonably conclude that God brought His Son into this world both human and divine but without the sin that we all bear. After all, Christ Himself put the question to the religious leaders " Which of you convinceth me of sin? " In other words, if I have sinned, then demonstrate whatshould be obvious. They were all silent.
Yes, indeed, God as the supreme ruler isaccountable to nobody and as you rightly conclude, He does whatever He pleases.cf. Rev. 4:11).
You fail to appreciate that God's view of mankind is unflattering. He is our judge. Humanity is not good as you seem to believe and is without any redeeming virtue in the sight of God. God loved us not whilewe were good, decent and " doing our best " but because we are all sinners (bad people in need of a Saviour)seeRom. 5:8,15-17)
His rule over man is His final authority but He may choose to allow mankind to suffer as a result of their wilful disobedience to His moral law and the disdainingof His existence and authority. Actually, it is Satan who holds dominion over sinners ( JOhn 8:44 ; Eph. 2:1-3 ; 2 Tim. 2:24-26)and does most of the horrible things that you accuse God of doing. Satan has authority here on Earth over the unconverted because he was given it through Adam's disobedience and desire to follow his leading rather than to remain faithful to God.
I am not sure where you are going re homes/house and how you are forming conclusions. That the early church apostles and disciples had homes that they did not sell is clearly shown throughout the NT. If selling them and living a nomadic existence in the great outdoors is literal, then surely Paul would have reiterated the necessity of adopting a tent-dwelling lifestyle.
In God's predestinating purposes, He knows those whom He will save and those whom He will damn. That He seems to change His mind ( Jonah and the Ninevites as an example),it is clear that God foreordained and thus knew the city would repent though His directive to Jonah was to declare that in 40 days Nineveh would be overthrown. Did God change His mind? Not at all! He knew they would repent and thus simply changed His action plan which is a very different thing.
Posted Nov 5, 2008 by royalrcrompton
The Christian is known by his love ( read John 13 and 1 John chapter 3 and 4). There are lots of sects, cults, denominations and independents doing things that the Bible prohibits. So are they really Christians or just a bunch of pseudo-Christians who have no conception of what divine love is all about. The heart must be changed and unless one is born again, He cannot see the kingdom of God John 3:1-5). The true Christian does not go around killing those who disagree with him.
God does not possess free will in the same way that humans once had it (then all lost it throught the Fall and some have regained it through the new birth). I will give you your due that God is free to do what He wills.
How can you say that I do not hold to a faith only view? I stand with Scripture ( Eph. 2:8,9) faith working through the bestowing of god's grace. Should be clear?
Nobody knows love unless God bestows it upon them; for again, God Himself is love. What is passed off as love by those who have not received the love of Christ is deficient because it is not God's nature within them.
I'll finish later...
Posted Nov 6, 2008 by Giford
>That sin was not transferred to the zygote
So sin *is* inherited at birth, and consequently babies *do* go to Hell when they die? I thought you'd agreed that people weren't sinners until they actually committed a sin? Here you seem to be saying that not only is sin genetic, but it's carried by the sperm - presumably on the Y chromosome?
>Actually, it is Satan who holds dominion over sinners
That doesn't help your case, as God could easily overrule Satan... unless you are saying both are equally powerful, which I don't think you are.
>I am not sure where you are going re homes/house and how you are forming conclusions.
I'm using it as an example of where you don't follow the literal interpretation of the NT. You are convinced that you don't need to give away your possessions to be a disciple of Christ, despite the NT clearly saying you do.
>If selling them and living a nomadic existence in the great outdoors is literal, then surely Paul would have reiterated the necessity of adopting a tent-dwelling lifestyle.
Paul seems to have disagreed with Jesus on many things - e.g. the conversion of non-Jews, the necessity of obeying the (Jewish) commandments.
>Did God change His mind? Not at all!
Another example where you do not hold to the literal truth of the Bible, then.
>The Christian is known by his love ( read [some things written by Christians]).
So hippies like John Lennon were Christians, but people opposing gay marriage in California are not?
>God does not possess free will in the same way that humans once had it (then all lost it throught the Fall and some have regained it through the new birth).
So Jesus, God and some humans do not have free will? Do *I* have free will? How can I tell who has free will and who is just an automaton?
I see what you're doing... you're trying to drive me to a nervous breakdown through existential dread, aren't you
By the way, you seemed to miss my point about the portrayal of Jesus in Mark and Matthew. You seem to be regarding them as equal but differing eyewitness accounts. My point was that Matthew appears to have copied Mark's account, but added in lots of divine details. Generally speaking, the older the documentation, the less divine Jesus appears. This was in response to your claim that those who knew Jesus thought he was divine. As a specific example, orthodox Christians had to rewrite the NT accounts of Jesus' birth to remove the explicit claims that Joseph was his father in Luke 2:33 and Mark 6:3. (This was to counter the Nestorian 'heresy' you referred to earlier, which was supported by the literal interpretation of the original gospels.) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=397006836098752165
Posted Nov 6, 2008 by royalrcrompton
God has ordained it ( several sections of Scripture) thus I have no problem with what He ordains for correction/punishment.
That there are many who have been enslaved throughout the millennnia is not for you and me to judge as to the righteousness or wickedness of such bondage. But it may just be that God has ordained some of that also.
re : God concerend about Himself
God is love ( see 1 John 4:13-17) and love is never self-seeking or proud ( see 1 Cor. 13:4,5 )God desires His creation to worship Him out of reverence for what He has given men through the perfection of the created order. That the Decalogue has 4 commands instructing us how not to treat God is a surety for reaping the attendant blessings that God would pour forth to those who adhere. If we despise God in our hearts then we cannot expect to receive those blessings. That there are 6 commands of the Decalogue that pertain to how we should honour our fellow men demonstrates that God is concerned just as much (or perhaps even more) about how we work for the care and welfare of our fellows.
Atheists, Muslims, Jews, et al have no knowledge of true love because God is love and that love is only imparted as one receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour ( Rom. 5:5 ). Without that salvation (bor-again experience) there is no actual " love " within the heart of man. I don't know what it is that unconverted claim is their " love " but it is not the love of God and therefore it is wholly deficient to what may be gained if one puts his trust in Jesus Christ and receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
RE the Holocaust
Yes, this troubles me; but it may be one specific way God has chosen to show mankind just how desperately wicked we are, noting that it was not just Hitler by himself who showed his rage against the Jews (the overwheliming majority of the Nordic German citizenry stood with their Fuhrer in denouncing the Jewish people. Why God did not interfere to prevent this horror, other major pogroms and the annihilation of millions of Christians is a mystery. It has destroyed the faith of many. Yet God does remark in Rev. 6:9-111 that He will avenge those deaths in due time.
Yes they existed as per Scripture (Job)-- but perhaps not the same species as we see drawn on fairy tale book covers..
Posted Nov 7, 2008 by Giford
So let's wrap up by looking at the position you've ended up in.
You've said that it is "not for us to judge" whether slavery is right or wrong. But who else is there, given God's singular lack of interest in preventing suffering? Is it "for us to judge" whether murder, drug-taking or racism are wrong? You've said we have a (God-given, in your opinion) moral sense. Are we to stand by and let evil happen simply because a 3500 year old religious text has no problem with it? Morality has changed since then, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone today who thinks slavery is morally right. Yet your adherence to a particular interpretation of scripture prevents you from seeing that simple truth, and this has a direct impact on your fellow man. What to you may be a trivial religious point is a daily fact of life for tens of thousands of people worldwide who are born into slavery - do you think they'd agree that they are being punished and it's not for them to judge whether it's fair?
You've also ended up claiming that non-Christians (including, presumably, most people who call themselves Christians) cannot experience love. The belief that oneself is different to all other people is called solipsism. In its most extreme form, it denies that other people are thinking beings at all. It is - to say the least - not a widely held belief.
You believe in unicorns.
You believe that God is responsible (by action or by omission of action) for the Holocaust. You think that God causes 'natural' disasters, killing tens of thousands annually.
There are numerous contradictions in your beliefs, some at a very basic level. For example, you've had to tie yourself horribly in knots claiming that Jesus lacked free will yet was a willing sacrifice. You've claimed most people don't have free will, yet are punished for their 'choice' not to believe in your God.
And all this - all of it - because you can't accept that you might be mistaken when you feel there is a God who loves you, despite your belief that almost everyone else who has that belief is mistaken.
Posted Nov 7, 2008 by royalrcrompton
Sorry that I didn't complete responses to your second last posting but I have been busy with installing a new floor.
re sin transfred to the zygote etc.
That man is predisposed to sin is clearly shown in the Bible (many passages) -- all a result of the Fall. In Adam we all die ( 1 Cor. 15:22) because we all sin. The fact that some babies die before wilfully and guilefully entering into sin is a subject not covered in the Bible. It remains a supposition that they may be spared as it seem a logical and reasonable view, though it may not be God's purpose.
That Satan is beholding to God is clearly shown in Job 1:8-12 ; 2:1-6
Following on in those readings, note that Satan did only that which God permitted him to do.If the devil and God are co-equals, then Satan would not need to wait for God's approval. He would simply do according to his pleasure.
re : house and selling everything we have
The literal rendering of Scripture is always the safest way to interpret it but of course, there are many figurative portions that simply cannot be taken as literal " this is my body broken for you " when in fact, it is plainly bread that he held in His hands. Martin Luther gave wise counsel in saying that when the literal sense makes perfect sense, then seek no other sense. Obviously the first disciples were given that verbal instruction by Jesus Christ to sell everything. That instruction was for THEM-but not for everyone else. Zaccheus was a rich man but he was not told to sell his abode; rather,Christ told him that He must stay with him at his house. We cannot apply a single command by the Saviour to mean it applies to all unless the context clearly states that it is a general command cf. Matt. 28:19-20
I do not see anywhere in the NT where Paul disagreed with His Lord. Have any examples?
I do not see how you can qualify that by God altering His action plans in and through His foreknowledge, the literal truth is undone. It changes not one iota the outcome that God predestined.
You call John Lennon a Christian. Well, that is some joke, Gif! He was rife with anti-Christian commentary and did everything in his power to belittle anything associated with Jesus Christ. Again, love is something man cannot understand apart from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
re free will
A good question. God has no free will in that He is holy and cannot sin, so while Jesus had the capacity in His humanity to walk among sinners, He could partake of their iniquity. On the other hand, sinners cannot do anything that pleases God because they are dead in trespasses and sin -- they serve themselves (their fleshly desires)to the detriment of their fellow man. A man cannot do the goods works of God apart from the Holy Spirit's influence -- an influence that only occurs once the believer is indwelled by the Spirit of God ( again Rom. 8:11-14).
Youdo not have free will to do the will of God because that will is divinely-bestowed. You have free will to do that which many may view as good, but in the eyes of God it falls short of acceptance because you do it not for the glory of God but for your own glory. That is the hallmark of the unconverted.
re Jesus' divinity
I think we have already hashed this through in the debate over manuscripts and I don;'t want to re-enter that; but I can only state that if Jesus was not Divine, then there would have been some indication in His life of committed sin. This is the crux of the issue. Was there sin or not? There is nothing recorded in any secular history that Jesus was just like the rest, though some of the weird fiction writing that has been popularized recently would claimthat to be true (fornication with Mary Magdelen as an example). Most of the authors readily admit that their suppositions are made up and/or conjectures.
Posted Nov 7, 2008 by royalrcrompton
I find slavery morally abhorrent where there is cruelty, unjust punishment and a sense of hopelessnes among those who are so malevolently treated. But that is not the issue that I am trying to communicate. It is the decision of God to enslave for His purposes --decisions that we see in Scripture that we don't particularly side with but which must be accepted if we are to regard the authority, will and perfect righteousness of God to be enforced. Scripture shows this to be the case. Keep in mind Gif that " slavery " does not necessarily entail evil. God brings Christians to Himself that we may serve Him. The Greek word used thoughout the NT to describe that role of servitude is " doulos " -- it means " slave, " though it has been translated into some English Bible versions as " servant. " But the proper transliteration of " doulos " is much stronger. We are called to be slaves for Jesus Christ. Our lives are no longer our own. Please read 1 Cor. 6:20 ; 7:22,23 -- there is no confusion here. Christians have entered into slavery - albeit an easy yoke ( Matt. 11:29,30 and one that promises the new and abundant life(John 10:10b).
Christians are described as being different from the rest-- no doubt about it ( see 1 Pet. 2:9)! That is why they are persecuted (see 2 Tim. 3:12 ). They are just the same as the rest prior to their conversion, but afterward they take on a new dimension of living i.e. in the Spirit (see Rom. 8:1,2,10,16). I cannot change what the Bible says I am, yet I do know that I am different from the non-Christian because I bear a love for God and all my fellow men. I may not like some people but there is a strong difference between loving and liking since " like " connotes feelings (whereas love is action out of care and concern apart from any accompanying feelings).
I believe that unicorns existed, but perhaps not the unicorns that you envision (see Num. 23:22; Deut. 33:7 ; Job 39:9,10 ).We aren't given any detailed descriptions here.
re God's responsibility
To say that God is responsible for what sinners do is akin to saying that you are responsible for the death of a pedestrian when you plainly know that the car your next-door neighbour drives is badly in need of new brakes, yet you don't warn him or report him to the motor vehicle bureau in time to save the poor individual who gets run over in the crosswalk when your neighbour doesn't stop in time. There is a decided difference between sovereignty over a situation and ultimate responsibility.
re tying myself in knots
Well, you must understand that Jesus did not go to the cross out of free will because He was doing the will of His Father (see Mark 14:34-36 ) You need to read this carefully to see that Christ did not die willingly out of His human nature but did so out of His Divine obedience to the will of His Father -- an obedience that He always maintained (see John 8:29).
Nowhere have I intended to state that man is "...punished for his choice..." Man is punished because he is a sinner. He may die in his sins without making any choices-- precisely for not believing in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of mankind from sin and eternal damnation (cf. John 8:24 , 3:18,19). Any unwillingnesss on my part to accept that I am mistaken is predicated on my new life, a changed attitude, a transformed existence that I had nothing to do with other than accept Jesus Christ by faith. I give you this testimony of myself that you may regard it as true and sincere.
Contrary to what you imply about my doctrinal beliefs, I have not formulated beliefs concerning the salvation or damnation of any man. It is what the Bible tells me...I just quote Scripture. Right or wrong, my faith rests in the Bible as the final authority in these matters.
Posted Nov 9, 2008 by royalrcrompton
a correction to part of my text in post #40
>on free will<
It should read "...so while Jesus had the capacity in His humanity to walk among sinners, He could not partake of their iniquity. "
This is what I intended to write, but somehow I inadvertently deleted " not " during my editing.
Posted Nov 10, 2008 by Giford
As I said before, I don't think we are likely to get much further with this, and I was just going to explain what I meant about Lennon and ask about unicorns and leave it at that. But in case you hadn't noticed, I'm psychologically incapable of letting a point go
>Satan is beholding to God ... Satan did only that which God permitted him to do
That's what I thought you thought. So then how does saying "God allowed Satan to do it" make God any less culpable than saying "God did it"? God had every opportunity to prevent it, but didn't.
>Martin Luther gave wise counsel in saying that when the literal sense makes perfect sense, then seek no other sense.
And, as I pointed out, Jesus' commandment makes perfect literal sense and was, apparently, followed literally by his disciples.
>That instruction was for THEM-but not for everyone else.
And you know that how? Can you give a Biblical reference to support that? What about the instruction to love thy neighbour? Perhaps that was only for his contempories also? Do you see my point here - that you are not reading the NT and doing what it says, you are reading it and *interpreting* it in light of your pre-existing ideas of right and wrong. So when Jesus says "love thy neighbour", you recognise that as being good, idealistic advice and agree with it and take it literally. But when Jesus says "give everything you own away", that's much less acceptable to you, so you decide it must be 'metaphorical' or it 'applies only to other people/times/places'.
(The verse you quote categorically says to observe "all things *whatsoever* I have commanded you" - not 'those bits you think still relevant'. My emphasis, obviously.)
>I do not see anywhere in the NT where Paul disagreed with His Lord.
Careful there. I said Paul disagreed with Jesus' family and disciples - since we don't have Jesus' own writings, we don't know for sure which sub-sect he agreed with. I personally would have thought that people who spent a lot of time with Jesus would know his teachings better than Paul who, as far as we know, never met Jesus during his lifetime; but you're welcome to disagree if you want. What does seem clear is that Paul disagreed with other early Christian writers such as the author of the Epistle of James (traditionally regarded as Jesus' brother but more likely pseudoepigraphal). James appears to be disagreeing with Paul as to whether faith alone or faith and works are required for salvation. Specifically, they disagree about Rahab - it appears that Paul holds her up as someone saved by faith, whereas James points out that it was her actions (as well as her faith) that saved her. Compare, for example, Heb 11:31 with James 2:25. More generally, James probably represents the sect of early Christians who believed it was necessary for converts to becomes Jews (i.e. be circumcised) before they could become Christians. Since you mention Luther, he famously declared James to be an "epistle of straw" for this reason.
>I do not see how you can qualify that by God altering His action plans in and through His foreknowledge, the literal truth is undone.
I didn't say anything about 'literal truth being undone' (whatever that means). What I said was that if God knows what will happen, he should have no need to change his plans. Generally speaking, we change our plans when we change our minds about what we want, or when we find out new information that shows our old plans won't work. Neither of those, presumably, can apply to God as you envisage him.
>You call John Lennon a Christian.
No, let me explain again. You were saying that 'true Christians' can be identified by their love. When I think of people strongly known for love and peace, I think of John Lennon and New-Age hippie types in general. Since Lennon plainly is *not* a Christian, but is known for his love, I am suggesting that there is something wrong with your claim that Christians can be identified by their love. Don't you think?
>sinners cannot do anything that pleases God
What, nothing *at all*? (And aren't we all sinners anyway?) Does that mean that everything everyone (or every non-Christian?) does is displeasing to God? Charities such as UNICEF, Oxfam, UNHCR, the Red Cross and even the Welfare State - all displeasing to God? You don't accept that God might be pleased with certain actions and displeased with others no matter who does them? God is angry with Schindler for his actions?
>God has no free will in that He is holy and cannot sin
Well, congratulations on following where your logic leads - but seriously, does anyone or anything other than you personally have free will?
>if Jesus was not Divine, then there would have been some indication in His life of committed sin ... There is nothing recorded in any secular history that Jesus was just like the rest
There is nothing recorded in *any* contemporary secular history about Jesus at all. Even the NT works describe Jesus as a glutton and a drunk who frequently committed 'sinful' acts ranging from breaking the OT laws to anger and wanton destruction of property (not just in the Temple): http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcsi2.htm So Jesus appears not to have lead a particularly sin-free life, even according to accounts biased in his favour, and by your own logic we should therefore conclude he was not Divine. You won't, of course, because once again you are more attached to the lenses than the view.
>some of the weird fiction
Don't *even* get me started on all the Leigh/Lincoln/Baigent stuff! Fun to read, but plainly not factual. On that, at least, I think we are in agreement.
>We are called to be slaves
Again I think you are confusing literal and metaphorical here. The Bible commands a very literal slavery, where one person is owned by another and may be beaten without cause, without benefit or advantage to the slave. This is in no way comparable to your own personal religious choices.
>I cannot change what the Bible says I am
No, but you could disagree with it when it is plainly wrong.
>I do know that I am different from the non-Christian because I bear a love for God and all my fellow men
And how does that make you different from non-Christians? It appears to me that you are different from non-Christians (and most Christians) in that you regard others as being lesser than yourself and incapable of true feelings.
>I believe that unicorns existed, but perhaps not the unicorns that you envision
I almost dread to ask, but - what differences are there between the Biblical unicorns and the ones I am imagining?
>re God's responsibility
Yes, I agree with your metaphor. If I had good reason to think an accident was likely and did nothing, I would be at least partly responsible (morally and legally). If I had *certain* knowledge, I would be still more responsible. How does that get God off the hook?
>God has no free will [...] Jesus ... was doing the will of His Father
So does God have free will or not?
>I just quote Scripture
No, you *interpret* scripture. At the very least, you choose to use only use Christian scripture (and not even all of that), and you also place your own interpretation on it, as I have tried to explain above.
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