Deus Ex Machina

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by whetstone, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. whetstone

    whetstone
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    INTRODUCTION: For purposes of this discussion, we will refer to Deus Ex Machina as "DEM." You might also think of DEM to stand for "Divinely Executed Marvel" as that is just what it is. This post will also be put into outline form for easy reference. This is my own original work so if you copy it please include the ending info.

    I. Evidences of Deus Ex Machina

    1. The Bible is filled with such divinely-inspired events that conveniently solve the problem- most notably involving conversions.

    a) Take Paul for example. A bright light and voice from the sky brought Paul to conversion. Would Paul have gotten saved without God's DEM? I sincerely doubt it as God probably wouldn't have used it.

    b) The Ethiopian eunich also experienced God's DEM. Philip was brought by God to the right place at the right time to preach to the eunich.

    2. Throughout history, we see the same thing happening:

    a) God sent a bolt of lightening during a thunderstorm that brought a young man to his knees. That man was Martin Luther- and this was only the first of multiple DEM's he experienced including the verse that led to his conversion- Habakkuk 2:4.

    b) A DEM in the form of a snowstorm blew a young Charles Spurgeon off course on his way to a church service. He wound up in a smaller service being led by a layman. It was there he was convicted and accepted Christ.

    II. Necessity of Deus Ex Machina

    1. Without multiple acts of DEM, no man would be converted.

    a) Salvation could have only come through Christ, and Christ did indeed come- proving God's divinely executed plan. This first coming was a necessary occurance for salvation to be acheived.

    b) The natural man has to be brought back from the dead. This is an act of DEM almost as profound as the death and resurrection of Christ! Only God can give or take physical life, and only God can give or take spiritual life. All men start out dead, so it is only by God's quickening power than any become alive.

    2. ONLY by act of Deus Ex Machina can a man be converted.

    a) There is no other known way of salvation apart from the Divinely executed sacrifice, and the Divinely executed quickening that opens a man's dead eyes to that sacrifice.

    b) A man who claims his salvation was brought about in ANY way by his own will is in denial or ignorance to the necessity of DEM in his conversion. Will has a part in conversion- but only in cooperation with DEM.

    III. No man can bring about his own Deus Ex Machina

    1. Deus Ex Machina by definition cannot be accomplished by a mortal

    a) As fallen man, we cannot instigate our own redemption or salvage our fallen state. A DEM is necessary.

    b) As dead man, we cannot bring ourselves back to life merely by an act of will any more than corpses can walk on the same compulsion. A DEM is necessary.

    2. Deus Ex Machina can only be accomplished by Deity.

    a) The name itself defines the actions it describes. Deus referring to Deity means that only Deity can accomplish this Divine Marvel.

    b) The action of a Divine Marvel is something only omnipotence can achieve, else the act does not qualify as 'Divine.'


    Three questions for you:

    1) Can a man be redeemed outside of Deus Ex Machina in any way?

    2) Can a man defeat God's Deus Ex Machina?

    3) Does God know exactly which method of Deus Ex Machina to use on a particular sinner?



    This post written by Daniel Allen &gt;&gt; www.spurgeon.us
    Feel free to copy as you wish making sure to include this bottom notation.
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
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    In science, it could be called, "God of the Gaps".

    Filling God in a space for the unknown.

    Rob
     
  3. whetstone

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    in the four cases I gave, two of them were documented in scripture as being of God, and two of them were personal testimonies that God had accomplished the acts. This isn't filling God in where there is an unknown, but attributing an act to God when all evidence points to that.
     
  4. billwald

    billwald
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    Then there is "The Matrix."
     
  5. whetstone

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  6. Deacon

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    Scripture does relate certain "DEM’s" and explains the interacting of God in particular situations.
    In the Scriptures, God clearly is in control of the whole of creation.
    “He upholds all things by the word of His power.”

    To me though, the most amazing aspect of the Almighty Creator of the universe is the way He relates to us personally.
    A mechanistic god could not relate to us like our God does.
    After all, He has adopted us (!!!) and called us His children! He loves us.

    As Christians we don’t argue whether God works in this world but how He works.
    We recognize that daily He meets our needs. We know He directs our paths.
    That’s part of God’s provident care.

    We need to separate God’s everyday workings from the real miracles.
    If God regularly performed miracles in our daily life they would no longer be called ‘miracles’, they would be called ‘regulars’.

    In my life, the “marvel” of salvation will remain the chief area of my thanksgiving to our Lord throughout the ages to come. That simple prayer offered in solitude beside a small creek in Northbrook will forever be remembered as a demonstration of God’s grace to me.
    Was it a DEM? Or providence? It was grace, that’s marvelous enough! No quick fix though, He's still working in me.

    Rob
     
  7. whetstone

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    interesting thoughts. Thanx. [​IMG]
     
  8. billwald

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    "As Christians we don’t argue whether God works in this world but how He works."

    Then his working should be a proper subject for statistical analysis.

    "We recognize that daily He meets our needs."

    How would we recognize if God failed to meet our daily needs?


    "We know He directs our paths."

    Who is "our?"
     
  9. Deacon

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    Let's set up an experiment: First, gather everything God created.
    Second, collect everything He didn't create.
    Third, observe for statistical differences in operation. :rolleyes: (See Col. 1:17)

    Read Psalm 139, a glorious psalm of praise!

    Verse 9: "The Lord is good to all,
    And His mercies are over all His works." (NAS95)

    Verse 15: "The eyes of all look to You,
    And You give them their food in due time." (NAS95)

    So the answer to your question is: we will never know, He has promised to provide for our needs; HE is faithful.

    All men (maybe even women too [​IMG] )
    see Proverbs 16:9
    "The mind of man plans his way,
    But the Lord directs his steps."

    That was fun! PTL

    Rob
     
  10. Humblesmith

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    In response to the original questions:
    1. No
    2. No
    3. Yes

    However, the only place I've ever seen the term DEM used is in a situation described as an illegal line of reasoning in science and philosophy. Deacon was correct, it is "filling in God in a space for the unknown."

    Most times nowdays, DEM is not used in terms of salvation, but in refuting another's argument that makes an exception for God. Anywhere people didn't understand a phenomenon, they would say "God caused it."

    What causes meteors and lighting bolts? "God throws them down from heaven." This is the fallacy of DEM.
     
  11. billwald

    billwald
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    A large percentage of the congregational prayers I hear are asking God for a new deal. The success of prayer is a proper subject for statistical analysis. For example, Do Christians have a higher cure rate for various diseases? If not, why not?
     
  12. whetstone

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    Thank you for your post.

    DEM is a fallacy only when it is untrue. For example- is there a plausible explaination for the creation of the universe? None that we know of as it was a supernatural event. "God did it" doesn't sound good to atheists, but it's the most plausible explaination. "God did it" may not sound like the most scientific way of explaining a man's salvation- but that is the best answer we can offer based on scripture. God bless.

    Daniel Allen
    www.spurgeon.us
     
  13. King James Bond

    King James Bond
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    Hey.....now that is good! Too simple and too good!
     

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