Deuteronomy for dummies

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by npetreley, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Many free willers love to quote Deuteronomy 30 to support free will. Even translations introduce this section with an subheading that includes the word "choice" or "offer".

    There is a problem with pulling this section out of the context of the rest of Deuteronomy. The hint that there's more to this than meets the eye, as someone else pointed out, is the part about I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you.

    Imagine saying this to your child, "This choice is really simple that even a child your age can understand it. I have set before you two simple choices. Waffles, or go hungry. So I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you that I have offered you the opportunity to eat waffles or to go hungry. So choose waffles."

    This bizarre mixture of accusation and choice is easy to understand if you just go back two chapters and start reading from there. Here's the Deuteronomy for dummies version:

    I'm offering you (not just you, but you and all those who will come in the future) two choices:

    1. Choose X and be blessed
    2. Choose Y and be cursed

    Guess what? You're going to choose Y. You will be cursed. I will not only curse you but scatter you across the nations. I'm going to do this to hammer it into your skulls that you can't do any good without me. When that lesson starts to sink in, and you come crawling back to me admitting that you can do no good without me, then...

    "The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live."

    The reason you can't choose Y and life is because I haven't yet opened your minds, eyes and ears. But when you come crawling back, I will THEN circumcize your hearts and ENABLE you to love me like I have commanded.

    Now...Deuteronomy 30...

    So let me sum this up. This choice is really simple, so don't come whining to me that you didn't understand it. You can understand it perfectly. That's not the problem. So I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have offered you a choice that's simple and easy to understand. In fact, I'm not only offering you life, I'm TELLING YOU to choose life.

    Now, when (as I told you earlier) you inevitably choose Y and get cursed, you'll have no excuses to fall back on.
     
  2. webdog

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    I thought this was Deuteronomy for dummies. :D
     
  3. npetreley

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    I'm sorry. I can make it simpler if you still don't understand it. ;)
     
  4. Helen

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    And I'm telling you to fly to the moon and back in the next ten minutes. You have a clear choice. You can either obey or disobey. If you do not fly to the moon and back in the next ten minutes, you will be in prison for the rest of your life.

    Yup, some choice!
     
  5. gtbuzzarp

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    No disrespect, Helen, but obeying you, or anyone else, does not even begin to compare to obeying God. :D

    If God told me to go to the moon and back in 10 minutes, then He would provide the means by which to do so. ;)
     
  6. J.D.

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    gt, that's right - God provided the means to all persons but not the ability to all persons.

    Means: Command (in the garden) - Adam able to obey but chose to disobey

    Means: Law - Israel unable to obey due fallen nature.

    Means: Gospel - man unable to believe due to fallen nature.

    Therefore, God in underserved mercy chose NOT to condemn the whole of man, but rather to regenerate and save some of them for His glory.
     
  7. Timtoolman

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    npet, God is saying choose life , but knows they cannot, and tells them so to prove that they can't?
     
  8. Me4Him

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    I "think" he "transposed" a couple of word and it should have read:


    Dummies for Deuteronomy. ;)

    pun intented. :eek: :D [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Helen

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    No problem. You made my point for me. God gave all people the means to be saved in the work through Christ and the fact that each man may choose life. Most don't, but all may, and all have the means to do so.
     
  10. Bluefalcon

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    Exactly Helen's point! LOL!
     
  11. npetreley

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    Straw man.

    Let's take your straw man in two parts.

    This is a perfectly good way to teach someone they can't fly to the moon and back when they stubbornly insist that they can.

    1. Deuteronomy doesn't talk about doing anything in the next 10 minutes. In fact, it clearly says these instructions are not only for the current audience, but for people who aren't even born yet.

    2. Assuming you are addressing people who have this crazy idea that they can fly to the moon and back on their own steam, then one way to teach them that they need your rocket is to tell them to "choose" to fly to the moon and back. To be fair, tell them ahead of time that they're going to fail, and that they're going to eventually find out that they need you to build them a rocket first.

    That is very much what Deuteronomy is about.

    We are born heading for prison. We don't go there because we can't fly to the moon and back on command. The reason one might tell us to fly to the moon and back (when we clearly can't do so) is to make us aware of our inability to do so and drive us to Him.
     
  12. npetreley

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    God does provide us the means to do so. Only it isn't free will. It's when God circumcises our hearts. It's what God does, not what we choose.
     
  13. Petrel

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    If it's totally up to God and he can save us whenever he likes, isn't it kind of cruel for him not to save everyone?
     
  14. npetreley

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    If it's totally up to God and he can save us whenever he likes, isn't it kind of cruel for him not to save everyone?</font>[/QUOTE]Romans 9:14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.

    [...]

    19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?


    In view of the above scripture, it amazes me that anyone would keep raising this same objection. Not only is the above scripture clear, it should also be clear that God would be 100% righteous and 0% cruel if He never saved anyone. It is only because God is merciful that SOME are saved. If anything is "unfair" with God, it is that He saves anyone at all.
     
  15. Petrel

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    Aye, there's the rub, and this is why I am becoming dissatisfied with Christianity. If a person has the chance to save a group of people he claims he loves from death and does not, we would consider him to be cruelly and unnaturally negligent. God does the same thing and we're supposed to say, "Whew, lucky for you!" to those who get saved? It's like the lottery, but the tickets are determining the fate of your eternal soul--and you can't even decide whether or not you want to play.
     
  16. Mercury

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    I think it has to do with God creating a universe that truly exists and isn't just in his mind. God could just save everyone, or just create beings that will do what he desires, but then they are only apparitions of God rather than true beings.

    Instead, God chooses to make a true world, and then choose people to join with him in redeeming creation. So, God calls Abram, but it isn't just for Abram's sake, or even just for his descendents. "Now the LORD said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed' " (Genesis 12:1-3, ESV). So, Abram is called to join God's project. God could do it all, but he chooses to also work through whom and what he has made rather than constantly undermining creation's freedom.

    Abram/Abraham and later Saul/Paul may seem lucky in one way, since God chose them. But with that call came responsibility and even suffering. As for those who don't receive such an explicit call, we're accountable for what we have been given. God will be just.
     
  17. Joseph_Botwinick

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    If it's totally up to God and he can save us whenever he likes, isn't it kind of cruel for him not to save everyone?</font>[/QUOTE]Romans 9:14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.

    [...]

    19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?


    In view of the above scripture, it amazes me that anyone would keep raising this same objection. Not only is the above scripture clear, it should also be clear that God would be 100% righteous and 0% cruel if He never saved anyone. It is only because God is merciful that SOME are saved. If anything is "unfair" with God, it is that He saves anyone at all.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Dienu

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  18. bapmom

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    Petrel,

    this is why we believe that God has deigned to allow us a "free will." It is HIS choice to let us choose. It is HIS choice to not force us to be with Him....wouldn't that also be cruel? Why force someone to be where they don't want to be? God wanted a true response to Himself, not an automaton that has no choice either way.

    If God can choose to lay aside His own glory and become Man for our sake, than why is it so hard to believe that He can also choose to allow us a free will? He most certainly did not have to, He most certainly has the power and the right to decide FOR us. He also has the power and right to NOT decide for us.
     
  19. whatever

    whatever
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    Why is it better for God, Who by nature is merciful, to leave that decision up to us, who by nature are merciless, even to ourselves?
     
  20. bapmom

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    whatever,

    why do we try to use our finite minds to "figure out" an INfinite God?


    And in actuality, the Bible says that we love our own selves.
     

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