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An Appraisal of Faith as an Instrumental Cause of Justification.

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  • #16
    A Partial Appraisal of the Instrument of Faith in Relation to Formal Cause.

    The appraisal of faith as an instrumental cause of justification is continued from post 14 above. Post 14 established the double imputation theory may be reduced to several causal steps as summarised below. The first three steps involve the problems of the Father imputing sin to the Son, and the Father acting to impute, both with and apart from faith as an instrument. The problems associated with the Father's acts of imputation are closely associated with the instrument of faith. The problems provide a lead into further problems with the double imputation theory as discussed below.

    However, with the Reformed notion of justification, the prime principle cause is the Father who acts to inform both Christ and the sinner -

    (2i) The form of sin legally imputed to Christ.

    (2ii) The form of Christ's righteousness legally imputed to the sinner's account.

    The Father is said (by the Reformed) to act to cause the form within the following series of causes as shown in the quotes below.

    1. Father (prime principle) moves
    2. to send Christ (prime principle)
    3. The Father (prime principle) imputes (efficient) sin (formal) to Christ (material).


    4. The Father and Son (prime principle)
    5. send the Holy Spirit (prime principle)
    6. to cause man (secondary principle) to have faith (instrumental)
    7. the Father imputes Christ's righteousness to the sinners account.
    Note initially that the above four causes (4-7) are dependent upon the causes previously discussed (1-3). As the prior series of causes 1 to 3 involve the problematic notion of Father imputing sin to Christ, the subsequent causes 4-6 do not have sufficiently well-founded causes in 1-3. Further, here in point 6. in the above quote, the instrument of faith should act to cause a form with a material cause to affect the final outcome. Like the pen acts to place the form (formal) into the ink and paper (material) to affect the poem. But the Reformed notion of justification requires that the instrument of faith act to cause the Father (prime principle) to then cause another cause of imputation of righteousness to the sinners account. However, the instrumental cause as instrument cannot cause the principle cause to cause. For an instrument is only ever caused by the principle cause as an instrument of the principle cause. Therefore, faith as an instrument of the Holy Spirit and the man cannot cause the Father to act as the prime principle cause.

    If according to the Reformed, faith is an instrument, the Father acts to impute righteousness to the sinner's account, but where faith is thought to be an instrument but is only an occasion for the Father to act simultaneously with faith. An occasion is not a cause, but only a circumstance. Like a bird flies past a man and the man says, "look at the bird". The man speaks on the occasion (circumstance) of the bird flying past the man. The bird does not instrumentally cause the man to speak, but only provides the circumstance for the human speech. The bird could fly past the man and the man also remained silent as the same occasion is presented to the man. An occasion then does not necessitate instrumental causation. Similarly, because faith as an instrument cannot cause the Father to act as principle, faith can only be an occasion for the Father's consequent act of imputing Christ's righteousness to the sinners account. Moreover, faith as an instrument does not have a proper effect proportionate to the act of faith. The poem written by the poet, using the instrument of the pen, has the effect of the written poem as the proportionate effect of the pen acting under the power of the poet. If faith is an instrument, we would expect faith to cause a similar proportionate effect. If the action of the Father is not the proportionate effect of faith, then the Reformed understanding of faith as an instrument does not have any proportionate effect. Consequently, because an instrument without a proportionate effect, is not an instrument, faith is not an instrument.

    Conclusion - The partial appraisal of the instrument of faith in relation to formal cause has shown the Reformed understanding of faith as an instrument is not well formed and is unsound. The Father sends the Holy Spirit, who causes men to act with faith. Faith is only the occassion (and not a cause) for the Father then to act to impute. Faith as an instrument is not well formed in relation to the formal cause of Christ's righteousness caused by the Father's imputation. Finally, as faith as an instrument does not cause the Father to act to impute, faith as an instrument does not have a proper effect. Faith is then not an instrument. For an instrument without a proper effect is only a thing that has not been used by a principle cause. The attribution of faith as an instrument is unsound.



    JM

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    • #17
      john you are starting to spam again. you are just continuing to pile on more and more with no regard to any discussion. that isnt what tweb is about. we are a discussion and debate forum, not a blog. stop it.

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