The Fall of Man

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by icthus, May 31, 2005.

  1. icthus

    icthus
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    I have been accused elsewhere of misrepresenting the Calvinistic position on the "fall of man".

    As I can see from the sixth chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith, entitled: "Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof". We are cearly told here in the opening statement:

    "I. Our first parents, being seduced by the subtlety and temptation of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit.[124] This their sin, God was pleased, according to his wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to his own glory.[125]"

    Not only are we told that God "permitted" the fall, - which I believe to be the only position in the Bible, - but, we are also told that God "purposed to order it to His own glory"

    Lest I be accused of not understading what this means, I have taken the time to look up "order" in the Oxford Dictionary. Which says:

    "The fixed arrangement found in the existing constitution of things; a natural, moral, or spiritual system in which things proceed according to definite laws"

    Now, for those who hold that Calvinism does not make God the author of sin, I would like them to deal with the above passage from the Westminster Confession. I would like to hear how else the word "order" can be taken, than God actually setting in motion the system of the creation of man, followed by his fall?

    Lets see some Scriptual references to support this blasphemy. The text given in the WC to support this, is Bomans 11:32, which reads, "For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all". I cannot see anywhere here where it says that God "ordered" to his glory the fall of man.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Certainly it is the case that Adam did not "choose according to his sinless nature", and in that regard one sliver of Calvinist rationalizing and "redefining terms" falls to the ground regarding "free will".

    It is also true that Adam did not "choose evil because he was soooo depraved it was his only choice" - thus invalidating another key principle of Calvinism on why people choose against eternal life. Adam's choice after having already been given paradise - was to lose it. Calvinists claim that no sinner who HAD the ability (in real life) to choose salvation would choose eternal death in stead (and they argue this as proof that people don't actually have choice).

    God never assigns to Himself the blame for Adam's sin NOR does God's word ever state that God "ordered Adam to sin" nor "ordered the event".

    The same holds for Lucifer's fall.

    Calvinism is debunked right at the start of the Gospel account of mankind and sin.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Just a short comment about the sixth chapter.

    What we see is that God permitted the fall (not caused it). That is a huge difference that unfortunately was glossed right over.

    Secondly, we see that God purposed to order (or arrange) the fall to his own glory. "Order" as a verb also means to "direct to proceed as specified." Icthus appears to be trying to make it sound like God purposed the fall. Whether or not that is true, that does not appear to be supported in this statement. The statement simply says that God ordained for sin to ultimately bring about his glory.

    The charge that God is the author of sin is explicitly refuted in WCF 3.1 and 5.4. God is not the author of sin.
     
  4. icthus

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    What we see is that God permitted the fall (not caused it). That is a huge difference that unfortunately was glossed right over.

    Secondly, we see that God purposed to order (or arrange) the fall to his own glory. "Order" as a verb also means to "direct to proceed as specified." Icthus appears to be trying to make it sound like God purposed the fall. Whether or not that is true, that does not appear to be supported in this statement. The statement simply says that God ordained for sin to ultimately bring about his glory.

    The charge that God is the author of sin is explicitly refuted in WCF 3.1 and 5.4. God is not the author of sin.
    </font>[/QUOTE]This is a clear distortion of the teachings of the Bible. How can anyone ever say that "God ordained for sin to ultimately bring about his glory"? How can any form of sin bring any "glory" to God, Who detests all sins in any from. This would be a clear violation of the holy character of God's nature.

    I am aware that "order" also means, as you say, "direct to proceed as specified.". Are you saying that God "directed" the fall? This is just another way in saying that God "caused" the fall, which is in the use of "direct".

    It is evident from Calvinism, that God has preordained all things that come to pass, and this includes sin, which must then include the fall of man, which was the first sin of the human race.

    Whatever terms you might want to use, it remains clear from the language of the WC, that God did indeed ordain the fall and not just permit it.

    This is rank heresy.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    If all can agree that God is not the "author" (originator, designer, motivator, cause) for/of sin -- then we have a starting point.

    If God did not "cause" Lucifer to sin and did not 'cause' Adam to sin (either by creating them in some defective way, or by ordering their environment to cause them to sin, or by influencing sinless beings to sin) -- then why did they sin (according to Calvinism)????

    Obviously the answer from the Arminian POV is that God created/ordered and sustains FREE WILL for intelligent created beings and that "by definition" enables them to CHOOSE. 2/3's of the Angels CHOOSE life and 1/3 CHOSE rebellion.

    Adam and Eve both CHOSE rebellion.

    (But that would be Arminian).

    So what is the Calvinist "cause" if there was no free will GIVEN that God is in no way the AUTHOR of sin???


    (Remember - "details")

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Well, Joseph believed it (Gen 50) as did Peter and the early church (Acts 2 and 4). Rom 3 demonstrates this very point by saying that our unrighteousness demonstrates (or shows) the righteousness of God, the result being that God's righteousness is glorified. In fact, Paul is anticipating the question that if our sin brings God glory, how can he judge us. Paul says that even though our sin brings God glory by demonstrating just how righteous he is, he is still right to judge us.

    So I would not call the teaching of Scripture a distortion of itself, as you have.

    Because it shows his glory gloriously. A dirty wall is not noticed until something clean is put beside it. Something clean is often not noticed until something dirty is put beside it.

    No, and I don't think that WCF is saying that either. What it says is that the God directed that the fall result in his glory. It specifically answers your charge that God is the author of sin with an adamant denial.

    This is true, being in line with passages such as Eph 1:11.

    The language of the WCF is that God permitted the fall, and that is what Calvinists typically say. You don't have to agree, but don't read more into it than is there.

    It has actually long been a position of recognized orthodoxy, and is soundly supported from Scripture. That, by default, removes it from the realm of rank heresy.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    That starting point has always existed. Very few believe that God is the author of sin, and I will stand against those who think he is the author of sin.

    By free will, the same way everyone else sins. (We have been over this before; did you think the answer would be different?). Obviously, Adam's free will was somewhat different than ours, in that his was an unconfirmed holy nature. But because it was unconfirmed, he could have sinned or been obedient in the probation. He chose to sin. Because of that, we are all bound over to sin.

    I can't recall the 2/3s and 1/3 division, but that is irrelevant. God did create free will and Adam chose to sin. That sin is passed on to all of us, and our intelligence is darkened by sin (Eph 4:17ff). All men today can chose to do right or wrong in God's eyes. Because of sin, they all freely choose to do wrong.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    #1. "unconfirmed holy nature" is a dodge -- and a concept not found in scripture. But I appreciate the fact that this is where Calvinism seems to need to go in this case. I just don't see how it helps you.

    "Obviously" God created Lucifer and Adam "sinLESS" and they could not possibly have had SINFUL natures at creation. It is impossible to sustain the idea that their natures were ANYTHING BUT SINLESS as created by God (and still hold that God is NOT responsible for sin).

    If your need is to prove that Adam and Lucifer were NOT created with sinLESS natures - then begin the proof. So far you seem to just "assume" what you do not try to prove.

    #2. Since we agree that God is not the author of sin and that God created free will AND that free will is displayed when SINLESS Adam chooses against his own SINLESS nature (among other places that it could be displayed) then we have a starting point indeed!

    #3. The point of the 1/3 vs 2/3 (from Rev 12) is that some sinless angels CHOSE to remain loyal (in fact most) and other sinless angels CHOSE to go into rebellion. THE result of that is that we SEE SINLESS beings in perfect holy sinless existence CHOSE death and rebellion. The very choice that Calvinists claim that SINFUL humans would never make COULD they be given that choice.

    (Which takes us back to my initial challenge regarding this one point of CHOOSING death EVEN though the choice for LIFE is fully available and ENABLED. A point still waiting for a response)
     
  9. icthus

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    Larry, I see no where in Romans chapter 3, or Acts 2 and 4, nor Genesis 50, where it even hints that "God ordained for sin to ultimately bring about his glory", as you put it. Maybe you will give the verse references?

    Just because our sinfulness is made more evident by God's holiness, does not in any way bring any "glory" to God. When a sinner is converted, and turns for their sins to Jesus and begins a life of holy living, this indeed does bring "glory" to God, for it is the Holy Spirit Who has made this possible in the first place.

    Ephesians 1:11, says that God "works all things after the council of His own will". But, how do you conclude from this in the context, that the "all things" includes sin?

    The WCF does use the word "permit" but then goes on to say that God "purposed to order it to his own glory". It can only mean from the language used, that God becomes the author of sin. There is no other sense where God can be said to have "ordered" the fall, and yet it can be said that He did not "cause" it. Lets not play with words, as we are all aware of what they mean.
     
  10. icthus

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    How can any Bible-believing Christian agree with this statement?

    "To understand the Biblical teaching concerning Predestination, we must commence with the account man's fall, which was part of God's eternal plan" (Walter A Elwell, editor; Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, p.871)

    God "planned" the fall of man?
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Yes, they were sinless. No one disputes that. They were "able to not sin." They were not "unable to sin." That is what is the difference between "confirmed holy nature" (such as righteous angels probably have, and Christ certainly has) and "unconfirmed holy nature" which is what Adam and Eve had. After ADam sinned, he had a confirmed sinful nature, meaning he was "unable to not sin."

    Why would I need to prove something I don't believe? That doesn't make a lot of sense.

    You are assuming that the stars are angels. That may be, but that passage is not historical in nature and therefore cannot refer to the sin of Lucifer.

    What? This sounds like a mistake was made somewhere. I don't know what you are trying to say. Every Calvinist believes that sinless beings chose death and rebellion. Sinful humans will not choose righteousness. Those are two entirely different matters.

    ON what basis do you say it is enabled? Scripture teaches that unsaved man cannot please God. That is a word of ability, moral ability. He can choose to follow Christ if he wants to. The only thing stopping him is his own sinfulness. This point has been responded to ad nauseum for hundreds of years. I can't imagine why you would say it is still waiting for a response.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    IN Gen 50, Joseph says that God intended the sin of his brothers for good. In Acts 2 and 4, the sinful murder of Jesus was intended by God for good. In Rom 3, I quoted from, it says that our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God. Somehow, I don't even think you read those passages.

    Aren't you one of the ones insisting that "all" means "all"? I find it hilarious that you now want to deny that.

    Do you think that the WCF is schizophrenic? The specifically deny that God is the author of sin. How much more clear does it get? REad the very part you quoted. He permitted sin, and purposed to order the sin he permitted to bring glory to him. That cannot, under any guise of reasonability, be taken to say that God is the author of sin. How can you come to that conclusion?

    You apparently didn't read it closely. You say that God "ordered the fall." That is not what the WCF you cite says is it? (Can you not see why I question your honesty? You don't even quote things properly). What God ordered was to purpose that sin permitted would ultimately bring him glory. It does not say that he ordered the fall.

    Icthus, you need to very seriously7 consider your whole approach in here. When I read this thread originally, at your request, I concluded that you were going to try to use this to say that "God ordered the fall." But I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, you proved me right. You handled the words of hte WCF in an unethical and dishonest way by making the WCF out to say something it does not say.

    The funniest thing is that you could actually make a better case for your position from this statement, but you are skipping right over it. You are correct that words mean things. Unfortunately, I don't understand why you don't read what the words say to determine what they mean.

    Please change your approach. I have begged adn pleaded with you to change. Why keep refusing? Do you really want to come across as you do?
     
  13. icthus

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    Larry, lets get this right. Your remarks on Eph. 1:11, "Aren't you one of the ones insisting that "all" means "all"? I find it hilarious that you now want to deny that", are a distortion of what I believe, and shows your dishonesty. Just because the word "all" as does "many" in some uses depending on the context, has the meaning "the total sum of all", does NOT give anyone the right to assume that the meaning has to remain the same in every case. So, by saying that "all things" in Eph. 1:11 is to include sin, then we must conclude that God is its author.

    Whether or not the WCF says in one place that God is not the author of sin, does not discount its own language when it also says that He did "order" the fall. If I am said to "order" something, it does not mean that I simply "allow" for it, but, that I become its "cause". Don't try to twist the meaning of the language, just becuase Calvinism through its silly doctrines, does actually make God the author of sin.

    I have also shown from the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, that it is the Calvinistic position that the fall was part of God's "eternal plan". If this is so, then why do we read in Genesis 6:, "and it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart". Are you saying that God self-inflects Himself with pain and sorrow by His own actions, which He Himself "ordained"? What a distortion of the Word of God this is.
     
  14. BobRyan

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by BobRyan:
    #1. "unconfirmed holy nature" is a dodge -- and a concept not found in scripture. But I appreciate the fact that this is where Calvinism seems to need to go in this case. I just don't see how it helps you.

    "Obviously" God created Lucifer and Adam "sinLESS" and they could not possibly have had SINFUL natures at creation. It is impossible to sustain the idea that their natures were ANYTHING BUT SINLESS as created by God (and still hold that God is NOT responsible for sin).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    A sinless nature" goes far beyond saying "ABLE to obey" and "ABLE to sin if one chooses to sin". (Though this part seems to be a big thing for Calvinists).

    A "sinless nature" means that the NATURE (the inner desires) are such that sin is not "desired". The created natural inclination is toward worship, fellowship with God, peaceful joyous existence in the family of God.

    Once Lucifer fell - he took on a new nature - a sinFUL nature that was the corruption of his former sinLESS nature.

    In any case - the point remains which is that beings created IN harmony with God COULD choose and DID choose a bad path - one that leads to death.

    If sinLESS creation can make such a bad choice - how much MORE likely that SINFUL beings could CHOOSE to reject salvation EVEN though they are given the REAL choice and ENABLED to make it.

    Such that some choose life and others death. Just as in heaven - some angels chose to remain loyal (2/3rds) and some to rebel.

    IN Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. BobRyan

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    quote:
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    #3. The point of the 1/3 vs 2/3 (from Rev 12) is that some sinless angels CHOSE to remain loyal (in fact most) and other sinless angels CHOSE to go into rebellion.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Where is the distortion or dishonesty? I asked a question: Aren't you one of the ones insisting that "all" means "all"? That wasn't dishonest. You have said that I believe, but I asked to make sure.

    YOu are doing the dreadful calvinistic thing of redefining words.

    Why "must" we conclude that? The verse says that "God is working" all things, not "authoring" or "causing" all things. I don't see the necessity of your conclusion.

    Yet again, you are dishonest. It does not say that he ordered the fall. You quoted it, not once, but twice, and referenced it several other times. What it says he "ordered" was to "purpose the fall" for a particular end. Quote it right and say what it say. Don't keep misquoting it and buidling your position on a faulty basis.

    That may be what it means to you, but that is not what it means to Calvinists, and since you are commenting on their meaning, you should use their meaning.

    How ironic ... Your whole position is based on twisting the meaning of the word in its context.

    Yet another dishonesty. Calvinism does not do this. You have been taught that. Your unwillingness to understand what we actually believe is your problem. Don't keep making it mine. You are incorrect.

    Yes, you quoted it, and I ignored it. I didn't want to take time to explain myself yet again about this issue.

    Gen 6 is a statement about God's response to sin. I am not sure how that is relevant here. I don't say that God inflict himself with pain and sorrow. The fact that he ordained sin (not authored it) seems very clear.
     
  17. BobRyan

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THE result of that is that we SEE SINLESS beings in perfect holy sinless existence CHOSE death and rebellion. The very choice that Calvinists claim that SINFUL humans would never make COULD they be given that choice.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You missed the point entirely.

    The Calvinist argument is that IF all sinners WERE drawn and WERE enabled to REALLY choose life ALL WOULD since choosing death is stupid.

    My point is that such an argument fails at the very start - once we observe that it was SINLESS beings (not sinFUL humans) that chose death - how much MORE the likelihood that SINFUL humans that are ENABLED with choice may in some cases make the same stupid choice as the faithless angels.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. BobRyan

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (Which takes us back to my initial challenge regarding this one point of CHOOSING death EVEN though the choice for LIFE is fully available and ENABLED. A point still waiting for a response)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Many scriptures for that - but you are ducking the point. It is the CAlvinists who argue that if choice were enabled for ALL then ALL would choose life.

    This case of Adam and Lucier and the fallen angels PROVES that such is not the case. Just because one CAN "really" choose life does not mean that someone WILL - in a free will system.

    The fact that the DRAWING of GOD ENABLES choice has been made by BOTH Calvinist and Arminian posts - lets not go back and re-invent that wheel pretending like we never saw it before.

    Obviously the Arminian point is that God "DRAWS ALL MANKIND" John 12:32 and the Calvinists need to find a way to "redefine all mankind".

    Setting that aside - I am just pointing out the flaw in one of the Calvinist arguments against ALL being "really" enabled to chose life.

    When I say that it is "still waiting for a response" I mean specifically the Calvinist argument that fails when it argues that IF all WERE enabled (ALL mankind really DRAWN by God as John 12 says) then ALL WOULD accept life.

    I show that this argument fails when we think about the case with Lucifer and with the Angels (And with Adam).

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    Your argument however fails at a msot basic level. A regenerated sinner is not the same as unregenerated Adam was. That key difference shows why we believe your distinction is faulty.

    Ask Icthus ... He likes redefining words now :D ... The point is that John 12:32 doesn't say "all mankind." REad it ... It says "all" (Pantas or PAS). It clearly doesn't mean all men without exception since some do not come as JOhn 6:44 promises the drawn will do.

    When you fail to examine the nature of Adam, Lucifer, and sinners, your conclusion is faulty.
     
  20. icthus

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    Larry, maybe you Calvinists have problems in understanding the English langauge. Your sentence "The fact that he ordained sin (not authored it) seems very clear", clearly shows this to be true.

    How can God be said to have "ordained" sin, and yet not its "author"? Here is what the Oxford English Dictionay says on "ordain",

    "to arrange the order or course, to plan, device, contrive. To appoint, decree, destine, order"

    Show me that God can be the one to have "ordained" sinm, and yet not its "author". Which part of the meaning of "ordain" do you not understand?

    I wait to be shown how "ordain" is not equated with "author". Again you misuse the language to suport your distorted view of God.
     

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