Thwarting God's will

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Karen, Nov 3, 2001.

  1. Karen

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    In the Bible versions forum, Joshua made a comment that God's will was thwarted in the Garden of Eden. Chris and Pastor Larry responded that God decrees all things, that the fall as well as everything else was part of God's plan. They also stated a few stronger things. You can see the thread under Flawless Accuracy.

    I don't really agree with Joshua in his wording and probably not his concept. God of course is over all, the fall did not take Him by surprise, and His redemptive plan is from eternity past. However, Chris and P. Larry seem in this thread to go way beyond the strong Calvinism they typically present to presenting a strong supralapsarian Calvinist view as the true view of God. From what I understand of Dr. Bob, for example, he is an infralapsarian Calvinist and would therefore be considered by them to have defective theology.

    As I understand it, supralapsarian means that God decrees all things, including the fall. Infralapsarian means that God decreed the elect and therefore the nonelect directly or indirectly from those left as a result of the fall, but that He did not decree the fall.

    Karen
     
  2. Chris Temple

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    Karen:

    The lapsarian debate has less to do with what God ordained, but more with the order in which he ordained it. Of course, the order requires and adjustment to what was ordained. Personally, I have never found it to be a very beneficial discussion, for who can know the mind of God? But the definitions of the positions are as follows: (Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, pp 842-843, footnotes)

    Supralapsarianism
    1. the decree to save some (the elect) and reprobate others.
    2. The decree to create both the elect and the reprobate.
    3. the decree to permit the fall of both the elect and the reprobate.
    4. the decree to provide salvation for the elect alone.

    Infralapsarianism
    1. The decree to create human beings.
    2. the decree to permit the fall.
    3. the decree to elect some and reprobate others.
    4. the decree to provide salvation for the elect alone.

    Sublapsarianism
    1. The decree to create human beings.
    2. the decree to permit the fall.
    3. the decree to provide salvation sufficient for all.
    4. the decree to save some and reprobate others.

    I personally hold to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, which says in chapter III:

    I. God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever come to pass;[1] yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein;[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;[3] in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.[4]

    1. Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15, 18
    2. James 1:13; I John 1:5
    3. Acts 4:27-28; John 19:11
    4. Num. 23:19; Eph. 1:3-5

    II. Although God knoweth whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions,[5] yet hath He not decreed anything, because He foresaw it as future, or as that which would come to pass upon such conditions.[6]

    5. Acts 15:18
    6. Rom. 9:11, 13, 16, 18

    III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined, or foreordained to eternal life through Jesus Christ,[7] to the praise of His glorious grace;[8] others being left to act in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice.[9]

    7. I Tim. 5:21; Matt. 25:34
    8. Eph. 1:5-6
    9. Rom. 9:22-23; Jude 1:4

    IV. These angels and men thus predestined and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number so certain and definite, that it cannot be either increased or diminished.[10]

    10. II Tim. 2:19; John 13:18

    V. Those of mankind that are predestined to life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, hath chosen in Christ unto everlasting glory, out of His mere free grace and love,[11]without any other thing in the creature as a condition or cause moving Him thereunto.[12]

    11. Eph. 1:4, 9, 11; Rom. 8:30; II Tim. 1:9; I Thess. 5:9
    12. Rom. 9:13, 16; Eph. 2:5, 12

    VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so He hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto;[13] wherefore they who are elect, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[14] are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[15] and kept by His power through faith unto salvation;[16] neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[17]

    13. I Peter 1:2; II Thess. 2:13
    14. I Thess. 5:9-10
    15. Rom. 8:30; II Thess. 2:13
    16. I Peter 1:5
    17. John 10:26; 17:9; 6:64

    VII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election;[18] so shall this doctrine afford matter of praise,[19]reverence, and admiration of God, and of humility,[20]diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.[21]

    18. I Thess. 1:4-5; II Peter 1:10
    19. Eph. 1:6; Rom. 11:33
    20. Rom. 11:5-6, 20
    21. Luke 10:20

    [ November 03, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  3. DocCas

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    I will agree with Chris that such discussions are usually pointless, not to mention profitless. How can we give an order in time of God's eternal decrees when God exists outside of, and is not limited by, time? It seems to me that sequence on a time chart is a denial of eternality.

    I, instead, just go by what the bible reveals to me, and don't do a lot of speculation regarding the rest.

    The bible tells us exactly what the decrees of God are:
    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>To provide rain - Job 28:26<LI>Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ - Psalm 2:7<LI>To establish the heavens - Psalm 148:6<LI>To contain the sea - Proverbs 8:29; Jeremiah 5:22<LI>To deliver Israel - Isaiah 10:22<LI>Concerning King Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 4:24[/list]There are no other decrees of God called such in the bible.

    The bible does speak of God determining certain events:<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Prophetic events - Daniel 9:24, 26, 27; 11:36<LI>The days of man - Job 14:5<LI>The boundries of nations - Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26[/list]

    But, it must be pointed out this determination by a Sovereign God is not irresistibly enforced. Man has violated these boundries, often to his own distruction!

    So, I don't claim God decreed anything unless the bible specifically says He did, and I don't try to organize that which happened in eternity to fit my philosophical presumptions. [​IMG]

    [ November 03, 2001: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Speaking for myself, I am a sub lapsarian, though I would not quibble with an infra.

    However, as Chris said, that has more to do with order than substance of decree. I do disagree with Thomas concerning the decree. While the word "decree" may only be used in certain places, there are a good deal of other words used for the same idea, such as ordain, foreordain, predestine, foreknow, etc.

    For instance in Psalm 139:16, my days were ordained my days before they ever come to pass, which must of necessity be ordained of God. In Prov 20:24, the steps of man are ordained by the Lord.

    I have no problem saying that God ordains everything. I do not profess to understand how all that works out but I think Scripture teaches it so I am content to rest in it.
     
  5. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    I do disagree with Thomas concerning the decree.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>My statement was <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>There are no other decrees of God called such in the bible.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>If you disagree with that statement, please post where you believe I am in error. Please post another decree, called such, from the bible. Thank you.
     
  6. Karen

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    .........
    However, as Chris said, that has more to do with order than substance of decree. I do disagree with Thomas concerning the decree. ...
    I have no problem saying that God ordains everything. I do not profess to understand how all that works out but I think Scripture teaches it so I am content to rest in it.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks to everyone that has responded, but I am still confused about what some of you think. Looking at the God is Too Big? thread and then this one, the group is seeming to say in the Big? thread that an exact view of all this makes a great deal of difference. John Piper certainly seems to think so, that supralapsarianism is it.

    In this thread, the reaction seems to be much more low-key.

    Karen
     
  7. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Karen:


    In this thread, the reaction seems to be much more low-key.

    Karen
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Karen:

    I think the low-keyedness is an unwillingness on our part to ascribe to God an exact order of thought which we cannot know or understand. I'm not even sure an order of thought is something that exists in the mind of God, as He is Infinite and can think all things simultaneously and infinitely. I do think there is a logical order of his actions or decrees , and we can gain insight to those through Scripture.

    I would side with the supralaps, as articulated in the LBCF. And, like Dr Piper, I do think how sovereign God is is extrememly important, nay, essential to proper theology and Christian living.

    Most Christians need a major paradigm shift to understand that God is Theocentric (God-centered) and not anthrocentric (man-centered).
     
  8. Aaron

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    I was asked this question once:

    If God foreknew that at this particular time and in this particular place that I would commit this particular sin, is there any possiblity that I would not?

    Nope.

    Therefore, even the Fall was part of God's eternal plan.

    [ November 07, 2001: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  9. keith

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron:
    I was asked this question once:


    If God foreknew that at this particular time and in this particular place that I would commit this particular sin, is there any possiblity that I would not?


    Nope.


    Therefore, even the Fall was part of God's eternal plan.


    [ November 07, 2001: Message edited by: Aaron ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Therefore under a Calvinistic viewpoint (Westminister Confession, Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, etc.) one has to believe the Fall was ordained by God and therefore either God has ordained evil (despite the claim oterwise in both confessions that God is not the author of evil) or evil does not exist. There is no other choice. Consider:

    Statement 1 from Second London Baptist Confession of Faith: God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever come to pass"

    Statement 2 from Second London Baptist Confession of Faith: "yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin".

    The only solution to these 2 statements is that evil does not exist (which we all know from experience and the Bible's message is false).


    For a more coherent discussions see:
    http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/forum/default.asp

    and other interestng articles see:
    http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront
     
  10. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by keith:


    The only solution to these 2 statements is that evil does not exist (which we all know from experience and the Bible's message is false)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Or rather, correctly and biblically, ordaining sin is not the same as authoring sin. The LBCF and Scripture has been quoted properly to you several times but you simply refuse to accept what it says.

    "God hath decreed in Himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever come to pass;[1] yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein;[2] nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;[3] in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.[4]

    It couldn't be clearer or more biblical. God as First Cause is the Creator and Ordainer of ALL THINGS, even evil, yet he is not the author of it.

    You put yourself in the unenviable position of trying to reconcile biblical antimonies, and trying to rationalize rather than accept the mind of God, which is far higher than yours or mine.

    [ November 10, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  11. keith

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chris Temple:


    It couldn't be clearer or more biblical. God as First Cause is the Creator and Ordainer of ALL THINGS, even evil, yet he is not the author of it.


    You put yourself in the unenviable position of trying to reconcile biblical antimonies, and trying to rationalize rather than accept the mind of God, which is far higher than yours or mine.


    [ November 10, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Huh? God "ordains", "decrees", "causes" evil but is not the "author" of evil? What kind of word games are you playing.

    You say "biblically, ordaining sin is not the same as authoring sin". Please show me where in the Bible it says ordaining sin is not the same as authoring sin. It seems to me that you are trying to rationalize the terms in the LBCF but an unsubstantiated claim of Biblical support.

    Hey I found a good web site with the Biblical support for the OV (that I felt very heartily as I read the Bible thru with a special eye to this issue).
    http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/index.asp?PageID=494

    It gives verses with good discussion showing a partially open and "settled" views. Got to go the church now.
     
  12. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by keith:
    Huh? God "ordains", "decrees", "causes" evil but is not the "author" of evil? What kind of word games are you playing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No word games here.

    So, because you can't rationalize it, it is unbiblical? I suppose the Trinity is unbiblical as well, as is the doctrine of Christ as fully human and fully divine? And divine election and man's responsibility?

    You've been shown umpteen times the Scriptural evidence for the Total Sovereignty of God, but your carnal mind will not accept it. The word of God needs no defense, just belief.

    Lament. 3:37-38 (ESV)
    Who has spoken and it came to pass,
    unless the Lord has commanded it?
    [38] Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
    that good and bad come?

    Job 2:7-10 (ESV)
    So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. [8] And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to s****e himself while he sat in the ashes.
    [9] Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." [10] But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

    Acts 2:22-23 (ESV)
    "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— [23] this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.
     
  13. keith

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    Look at Lamentations passage (Lam 3:34-39)
    in context and you'll see that it has to do with punishment (see v 39) for crushing prisoners v 34, human rights violations v35 and subverted cases (perhaps court cases) v 36. v38 could easily be refering to the fact that God will reward and punish which I think we all agree on. After all, He brings (or will bring) about justice with both good and bad results.

    Look at the Job passage - it says "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" It doesn't say we receive evil from God.

    Look at the Acts passage - I agree that God had a definite plan in sending His Son and subjecting Him to much evil (that He knew would come about through the intransience/paranoia of the Pharisees, etc.). But this hardly says God was the author of that evil, He just knew the human hearts involved and allowed it to happen and aren't we glad!

    Now I've answered Chris verses that I guess were mant to show how God could ordain evil while not being the author of evil (which he claimed was "biblical"). And I have answered other verses with alternative interpretations to those of a Calvinist on other threads (most notably the Open View of God thread).

    Chris would you mind trying to answer the Biblical support verses for the OV I posted at http://www.gregboyd.org/gbfront/index.asp?PageID=494

    And do so w/o resorting to cries of heresy or how carnal my mind is.

    Karen - I'm sorry that your thread on the various lapsarianisms has been hijacked. I just was trying to show a way around believing the Fall was ordained by God. After all the natural interpretation of Gen 3:8-11 (the Fall) is that God didn't know that Adam and Eve had sinned (eaten from the tree) when He was walking in the Garden. Thus the depiction of God in Gen 3 is that He not only is not the author/cause/ordainer/decreeer of sin but that He didn't know that it happened when He was earthbound.
     
  14. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by keith:
    [QB]Now I've answered Chris verses <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    As they say, you can't argue with a person who has his mind made up - they don't want to be confused by the facts! You have not answered, but successfully eisogeted the texts to impose the meanings that you wish for them.

    In Lam 3:37-38, The Hebrew words are tob, meaning pleasant, agreeable, good, and raah meaning evil, misery, distress, injury. The clear context is that all things - good and evil - ultimately come from the Lord.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Look at the Job passage - it says "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" It doesn't say we receive evil from God. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That's exactly what it says - and exactly what Job recognized.

    In both Job 1 and 2, we see this clearly explained. In Job 1, God instigates Satan to consider Job:God is the Initiator.

    1:8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”
    12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.

    We see in these verses that God ordained for Job to be tested by Satan. It was Satan who carried out this action upon Job. Yet what does Job say? Does he blame Satan for his troubles? No.

    21 He said,
    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    And naked I shall return there.
    The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
    Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
    22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

    Job recognized that it was the Lord, not Satan, who "took away" from him, through the use of Satan. So Job blessed the name of the Lord, but did not blame him". He knew God was the ordainer of evil, yet not its author.

    Simlarly in Chapter 2:

    3 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”
    6 So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”
    7 Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
    8 And he took a potsherd to s****e himself while he was sitting among the ashes.
    9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!”
    10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

    Again Job (but not Open Theists) recognize that God is Supreme Sovereign. He again was stricken by Satan, but Job recognized that it was God who provides both good and adversity.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Look at the Acts passage - I agree that God had a definite plan in sending His Son and subjecting Him to much evil (that He knew would come about through the intransience/paranoia of the Pharisees, etc.). But this hardly says God was the author of that evil, He just knew the human hearts involved and allowed it to happen and aren't we glad!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How, pray tell, can God have "a definite plan in sending His Son and subjecting Him to much evil" without preordaining that very same evil, all the events which occurred in proper time, with which his plan was carried out? God did not send Christ, cross his fingers and hope he would be killed for sin at some future time, but rather, "when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
    so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Gal 4:4-5) and "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." (Rom 5:6).

    The overwhelming testimony of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is that God is divinely sovereign and men are totally corrupt, "who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Rom 1:18-20)

    [ November 11, 2001: Message edited by: Chris Temple ]
     
  15. keith

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    Chris
    Would you look at the "facts" at the web site I pointed you to and try your best to give alternative interpretations for the verses given there. Those verses deny that God ordains evil and/or support the OV. I gave a quick shot at alternative interpretations of your proof texts, you should have the opportunity to do the same (if you're in the habit of considering the whole counsel of God).

    Yeah I'm sure both of our minds are made up but there are others reading these posts. I would like to influence them in developing a view of God that is unambiguosly good, who desires that all men (and women) be saved (not just the elect), who granted us freedom to enable the possibility of our reciprocating love and who did not author/ordain/create/cause/decree the evil that results from the freedom granted. And I'm sure you would like to lead our readers minds to Calvinism.

    Take your time, I'll not be able to respond until about Wednesday.
     
  16. Michael Wrenn

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    Keith,

    I see you have been introduced to Chris Temple's method of discussion--accusing someone who disagrees with him of damnable heresy and insulting them in every imaginable way.

    The next thing he'll likely do is offer to pray for you--after consigning you to hell.
     
  17. Rolcik

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    [Q]As they say, you can't argue with a person who has his mind made up - they don't want
    to be confused by the facts! You have not answered, but successfully eisogeted the
    texts to impose the meanings that you wish for them. [/Q]

    Can anyone help but smile, thinking Chris Temple must have been saying this in the mirror!!! :D :D

    I am sorry, that is hilarious frankly. Chris' mind is locked shut tighter than Fort Knox, and you 'aint gettin in.

    His 'interpretation' is all you need dear friend. Turn from your carnal wickedness. Do you think Chris and Armenius would quote from the same Scriptures?

    I already got sentenced by Chris for sitting through a Catholic Eucharist, although I did not partake.
     

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