What does it mean to say God is "Good"?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by HeirofSalvation, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. HeirofSalvation

    HeirofSalvation
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    On the thread about Ravi Zacharias and Sovereignty, Luke began discussing with various people what the definition of "Goodness" is: I felt that discussion meritted further vetting:
     
  2. HeirofSalvation

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    True. But, you will notice there are limits to these attributes, God cannot be self-contradictory... and still be called "logical". God could not be non-sensical and still be rightly called "logical".
    Similarly, God could not, for instance, torture small infants for mere sadistic pleasure and still be considered "good".
    "Goodness" just like faithfulness is recognizable and self-evident. Your definition of "good" has essentially no objective definition. Someone who is capricious is not "faithful"...similarly, one who is unnecessarily cruel or dishonest, is not "good". By your definition, God could act any given way he desired and still be defined as "good". He could, for all intents and purposes be simply Feindish and "evil"...and your definition would require us to still define him as "good". This is erroneous IMO.
    No, it isn't...and thus, I have not, and will not ever say so.
    "Good" is not essentially any different for God than it is for us. Fundamentally, I believe it is self-evident what "goodness" is. But, if you want, I will attempt to come up with something a little more tangilble later.
    If, say, his highest honor and glory were those things which were duplicitious, cruel, sadistic, dishonest etc....than, he would only be Omnipotent...but he would not also be "Good". This is the issue I have with how you define "good".
    God can indeed be brutish and "evil" and maintain his Omnipotence, he can also be "good" and of course maintain his Omnipotence...He also could be either "good" or "bad" and also be Omniscient, Omni-present, logical and every other knowable attribute...whether he be "good" or "evil".
    What he CANNOT be, is capricious, duplicitious, dishonest, cruel etc...and also be good.
    Yes, he had knowledge of them...but he did not purpose for them to be. The wicked things did not originate in HIS mind. He is aware of them, and he could not accomplish his purposes except they be. But, the evils of the world were, in my schema, un-avoidable. I do not believe that God could have created a Universe sufficient to accomplish his ends which would have been devoid of evil.
    I do not believe this is the world he intended to create. I believe the world he intended to create had a total and temporary population of two....and the world he intended could no longer be after those individuals gained knowledge of good and evil.
    Knowing that these things would be, God planned aforetime....before the creative act, to remedy that situation, thus he "KNEW" it would occur and he planned accordingly. I do not believe he conceived the scenario initially in his mind and then purposed all things to occur, to include the fall.
    Your, view, has God PURPOSING for evil to occur, mine has God being aware of it, and choosing to create anyway.
    I believe God is Omniscient. And I am I an Open-Theist.
    Yes, God sustains natural law....I don't see how this is relevant. God is not required to interfere with natural law to prevent all evil acts from occuring in order have morally sufficient reasons for permitting evil to occur. And, I think we would both agree that the Spirit does indeed restrain evil even now.
    True
    Yes, but you can't purpose it, and not also be evil. Neither can God.
    In part, yes....but it is "mankind" towards whom he acts, not simply "sinners"...Me-thinks you want turn this into a discussion which wraps his "justice" and his "goodness" into the same definition. They are different. "Justice" doesn't require that God do anything in particular WHATSOEVER for sinners...but his "GOODNESS" does. ;)
    Or, at least, in concert with his being also a God of "Love"...he would at minimum desire to be. To allow sin, however, to remain un-punished, would be neither "good" nor "just". But that is why (due to his love in concert with his goodness) it DOES constrain him to seek how he might bear the punishment for sin upon himself!
    I disagree.
    I don't think so...but we can talk more about that later.
     
    #2 HeirofSalvation, Apr 12, 2013
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  3. padredurand

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    And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. Luke 18:19 NAS77

    Goodness is not God's conduct. It is His character. He is the very definition of the word.
     
  4. Luke2427

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    #4 Luke2427, Apr 12, 2013
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  5. Aaron

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    What you're trying to say here is that there is a quality that exists outside of God. IOW, the quality of goodness is a virtue that simply is, and that it stands independent of, and as a measure of God's character.

    You're essentially saying that there is something greater than God. You don't intend to say that, but that is the logical conclusion of your argument.
     
  6. Benjamin

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    I think he is saying that God is defined and known in Truth; there is never a time that He is not truth. What you’re trying to say here is that God can be independent of Truth, that His virtue and character is not limited by His Own aseity of His being as Eternally Only Good in Truth.

    You’re essentially saying God can exist outside of Truth, therein is the logical conclusion to your argument.
     
    #6 Benjamin, Apr 12, 2013
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  7. HeirofSalvation

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    Miss-type....I mean to say I am NOT an Open-Theist. :eek:
     
  8. HeirofSalvation

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    No, I am not saying that, nor is it the logical conclusion of my argument. Your statement is a non-sequitor.
    God and his character are the very definition of what "Good" is. I do not believe that "Goodness" is a property that exists abstractly. I do not believe in the existence of abstract properties with no source.
    I am saying that we can know what "Good" is and that it has been revealed to us at least in Divine Revelation, Natural Theology and intuition. And that we cannot believe certain things such as:
    God can be capricious and pointlessly cruel for no reason and still be called "Good"
    God can be dis-honest and also be called "Good"
    God can be un-just and un-faithful and also be called "Good"
    But, we know what "Goodness" is because we know God, and God is also none of those things.
     
  9. HeirofSalvation

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    :thumbs:correct...but his "goodness" will be revealed in his conduct. We know his character, because we know his conduct.:wavey: He has shown us who he is, and he has defined that as "goodness" he could not subsequently act completely fiendishly, and then also be known as "Good"...the word would have lost all meaning. To then say that God is "good" would be to simply say "God is, _____ we know not what".
     
  10. Aaron

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    What God does is good, whether or not it appears unjust and fiendish. And it is good because God has done it.

    But to bring the point home . . . though it is impossible for God to lie, if He did lie, then lying would be good. And we wouldn't call it lying. We would call it truth.

    That's the point. There is no virtue or standard that exists apart from God. We say things are good and godly, and we use the term as if there is standard other than God Himself by which He can be judged. There is no greater than God. What He does is good because He does it. What He says is truth because He says it.

    He is. As He said, "I AM."
     
  11. HeirofSalvation

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  12. saturneptune

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    Yes, as the word is used in that very good verse you quoted, good is used to seperate our sin nature from God and His holiness.
     
  13. Benjamin

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    Seems some think that God can "change" the truth. Nope, God is Truth and He doesn't change Himself to make evil - Good. But I can see how the Determinist would have to to rely on the point of His aseity to be ever changing to support their doctrines. :cool:
     
  14. Winman

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    Jesus himself refutes your view.

    Jhn 8:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

    Jesus is God, but Jesus said that if he should say he did not know his Father, he would be a liar like those who heard him.

    God cannot just do or say "whatever" and that makes it good as you believe. As someone else said, this would make words like "truth" meaningless.
     
  15. jbh28

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    We determine what is good by God. God is the definition of good. Anything God does is good. If God does something and we say it's not good, then we are determining good outside of God.
     
  16. Winman

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    And Jesus himself refutes this view. Jesus said that if he were to deny he knew his Father, he would be a liar like those who heard him. Jesus cannot say whatever and that makes it truth, it must indeed be truth.

    If your view is correct, then truth does not exist, it is a word without real meaning.

    Of course, I can see how Calvinists would believe this view, you guys like to stretch the truth. That is not an insult, just an observation. Words mean whatever you want them to mean at the moment for whatever is convenient to fit Calvinism.

    So anybody that thinks God can just say "whatever" probably believes they can do the same thing.

    It fits.
     
  17. jbh28

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    God is good. Where are you getting your view of good from then if not from God. Is there some higher source of good that God is under? And how does the words not have real meaning. What is your definition of good? Is it your opinion or who God is? For me, mine is based on what God does. My measure of good is based on what God does. To say God does something and it's not good is error.
     
  18. Winman

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    Of course God is good, he is perfectly good. But that does not mean God can tell a falsehood and it would be true. God cannot tell a falsehood. Jesus himself proved this when he said that if he were to say he did not know his Father, then he would be a liar.

    What part of Jesus's statement is it that you do not understand?
     
  19. jbh28

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    I'm talking about good. God is good and he is perfectly good. We don't say he's good because he acts a certain way, but that he's good period. We know that truth is good because God is truth.
     
  20. Benjamin

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    Reminds of the argument (supposed dilemma) presented from the Atheist: If God is all powerful and can do anything, can He make rock so big that even He can't lift it?

    God cannot make evil - good or truth be not truth. God is Truth, period. He does not change and cannot do things against His self derived aseity which would be against His nature of being Omnibenevolent.
     

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