A Civil Discussion about the Origin of Sin

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Feb 2, 2011.

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  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    In another thread we were discussing this subject and I asked this question to Luke:

    Originally Posted by Skandelon
    He requested we start a new thread and avoid ad homenium attacks and any uncivil or non-Christlike behavior in order to discuss this very complex and serious question. So, please feel free to chime in but keep things civil and on topic if at all possible so as not to distract from the discussion.

    Thank You.
     
  2. quantumfaith

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    Installment 1

    In a chapter titled "Who Dunit: in his book, "Almighty Over ALL: Understanding the Sovereignty of God, by RC Sproul Jr., Sproul doggedly applies causal determinism to the bitter end. The son rushes in where the father has feared to tread.
    Sproul Jr. begins his examination with a challenge to his fellow determininsts by declaring that any appeal to mystery is an attempt to avoid the mental labor involved, and any refusal to accept the logical implications of determininsm is just "false humility:. He observes that it is easy to understand why God judges sinners, but "the difficult question is how men came to be sinners in the first place." He reiterates the soft determininst position of Jonathan Edwards, that our choices are determined by our greatest inclination. Sproul Jr. emphasizes he is simply taking Edward's thought to its logical conclusion. He reasons that there can be only five suspects for the fall, Eve, Adam, the surrounding environment, Satan and finally God.

    First Sproul exams Eve. Since as Edwards says, one always acts according to his or hers greatest inclination and since God created Eve originally as good. Sproul reasons that sometime between Creation and the serpent's temptation she stopped being good. In other words, someone changed Eve's inclinations. And since Eve could not change her own inclinations "any more than a lepard can change his spots," she could not have been the origin of sin. Eve did not have the means, declares Sprould, because she did not have a motive. "Something outside of her must have been the agent of change, that which changed her inclinations from good to bad. He concludes that though Eve is the one who first ate from the tree, "she cannot be the one who introduced evil into the world.

    The next to be scrutinized are Adam and the surrounding environment. Sproul determines that Adam was unable to change Eve's inclinations, so "he slips quickly off of the suspect list." He also concludes that the setting of the garden, which was impersonal and merely material, lacked the power to determine the desire of humans.

    As far as possible candidates go, Sproul describes Satan as the "crowd favorite. However, he argues that Satan could not be the one to introduce evil because though he tempts and entices, he can appeal only to the inclinations which are already twisted.

    This leaves only God. Who introduced evil into the world? God did. Sproul declares that God Almighty is "the culprit". "Of course it is impossible for God to do evil. He cannot sin." "This objection, however, is off the mark. I am not accusing God of sinning; I am suggesting that he created sin.'

    Excerpted from "Salvation and Sovereignty" Kenneth Keathly
     
  3. DHK

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    So far so good. For the Bible declares that Eve was deceived and therefore not in the transgression.
    Good thing. Everyone these days blames their environment for their sin.
    However, what is left out here is that Adam, knowing full well that Eve was deceived and had eaten of the fruit, in full rebellion to God's command, went and ate of the fruit anyway. Adam sinned. He was the head of his home (Eve), responsible for the command given to him, and did eat in direct rebellion to God. Thus the responsibility falls upon Adam.
    Satan tempted. He did not force them to sin. Each person is responsible for their own sin.
    But God did not create sin. That is the Calvinist error.
     
  4. quantumfaith

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    Installment 2

    Why would God do such a thing? Sproul explains that wrath is a divine attribute just like the other eternal qualities of God--except that God cannot enjoy it within Himself. His wrath, in order for it to be displayed properly, must have an object worthy of wrath. Sproul speculates that though the Triune God enjoyed His strength, power and other excellencies. He was not able to demonstrate the glory of his wrath. In fact, Sproul does not hesitate to say that God HAD to induce the fall. Why? Because, "like man, God always acts according to his strongest inclination."

    Sproul rekons, God may not have personally pulled the trigger, but He is the one who caused Eve to sin by providing her with the depraved inclinations---"the trail ultimately leads back to God."

    Sprouls position is distressing, to put it mildly, and a number of objections must be lodged. First, he does not provide even a scintilla of evidence for his position from the Genesis account. He bases his conclusions not on careful exegesis or even a close reading of the Genesis text, but on a fierce commitment to causal determination.

    Second, to say that God created sin is astounding. Sproul's position flies in the face of the teaching of scripture, historical christian doctrine, the major Reformed confessions, other calvinist theologians and notably the statements of his father. Sprould SR states, "In spite of this excruciating problem we still must affirm that God is not the author of sin.

    Third, to say that God HAD to create, that he lacked the ability to do otherwise, is also astounding. At this point the irony must be noted. Even though proponents of causal determininsm advocate their position for the purpose of promoting the glory of God's sovereignty and freedom, in the end determininsm teaches that God's choices are just as determined as ours. Sproul Jr. does not hesitate to say that in any given situation only one choice is truly available to God, and that decision is determined by His greatest inclination. If God's choices are determined, then this means the He does all things by necessity, a point that Jonathan Edwards acknowledged. This would mean that His decisions to created and to redeem were not contigent but necessary. The God of the determinist is not free to do otherwise. And to rob God of His freedom is to rob Him of His glory

    Excerpted from: Salvation and Sovereignty, Kenneth Keathley
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Do Calvinists say that .... Hmmm ..... News to me? Does The 1689 Confessions of faith say that?
     
  6. quantumfaith

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    Fourth, the notion that anything in creation supplies God with something he lacked is problematic. The God of the Bible is self sufficient and has no needs. The triune Godhead exists in a complete relationship of love and holiness that experiences no deficiency. In addition, Sproul's assertion that wrath is an eternal attibute is also a problem. Perhaps it would be better to say that God is eternally holy and that this holiness manifests itself in time as wrath against the sin and unbelief of this world

    While saying that anything in creation meets a need in God is astounding, Sproul's claim goes beyond that. It is what creation supposedly supplied for God that is the fifth problem. Creation provided God with sinners. God needs the wicked! Sproul explains, "It was his desire to make his wrath known. He needed, then something on which to be wrathful. He needed to have sinful creatures."
     
  7. Aaron

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    What is more heinous, the torture of a little child, or the torture of God's Son?
     
  8. DHK

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    The torture of God's Son was voluntary (I lay my life down), and had great and eternal value.

    The torture of a little child is nothing but heinous and is a crime against God and man.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    Sin is sin. All sin results in death for the sinner.
     
  10. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Nice your doing this right now when Luke has his Wednesday Bible Study....which reminds me....gotta run (or is not necessary cause Im a Calvinist?) Hmmm.
     
  11. Amy.G

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    It was at Luke's request.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    The substitutionary work of Christ on the cross in the work of providing redemption for the world is a bit different from the senseless barbaric act of a child molester, don't you think?

    Certainly you are not attempting to equate the two, are you?
     
  13. quantumfaith

    quantumfaith
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    EWF

    Unless I am mistaken, this thread was the idea of Luke, and I am certain he will comment when he is able to.
     
  14. Aaron

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    Definitely not. The murder of God's righteous Son is a much more heinous crime than the rape of a child. I'm not saying that one should think the rape of a child less barbaric than you feel it is, I am simply pointing out that you don't understand sin and that you don't really have the aversion to it that you should.

    Sin existed before the creation of the world. Before there were children to be raped.
     
  15. Skandelon

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    You're diverting the topic to focus on the level of the sins "heinousness" rather than to the means God used to intervene to ensure its accomplishment, the motive for doing so and the uniqueness of such divine acts.

    Who cares which is more heinous, that doesn't change the original question of this thread which you failed to address. Where did the thought of raping a child originate? In the mind of God or in the mind of the criminal?
     
    #15 Skandelon, Feb 2, 2011
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  16. quantumfaith

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    1. Assuming something that you do not know, you simply speculate as being so.

    2. Where is it you want to go with the fact that sin existed before children.
     
  17. Aaron

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    This I know, the rape of a child is a forgiveable sin, and blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not. So which is more "heinous" in God's sight, and where did the thought to blaspheme originate?

    Think along those lines and your question about the rape of a child is academic.
     
  18. DHK

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    The only sin that existed prior to the fall was the sin of Lucifer--his pride and rebellion. All else is speculative philosophy. One man defined philosophy as a man's vain imagination.
    But here is what the Bible says:

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12)

    As far as this world is concerned sin came through Adam.
     
  19. Aaron

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    Adam was the door, but sin did not originate with Adam. That is not what that Scripture is saying.
     
  20. DHK

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    Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is moot; a red herring. I don't believe such a sin can be committed today. It was committed by the Pharisees in the days of Christ when they saw him do miracles right before their eyes, and attributed those works to the power of Satan, rather than the power of the Holy Spirit. That cannot happen today for Christ is not present in the flesh today.
     
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