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Determinism & Paul

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  • Determinism & Paul

    For the advocates of exhaustive determinism, is this an instance of Paul desiring to be obedient to God, but Godís purpose demands Paul be disobedient as well?

    Romans 7
    King James Version (KJV)
    14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
    15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
    16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
    17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
    19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
    20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
    21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
    22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
    23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
    25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

  • #2
    Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
    For the advocates of exhaustive determinism, is this an instance of Paul desiring to be obedient to God, but Godís purpose demands Paul be disobedient as well?
    Every sin is an example of people violating God's "decretive will" or "revealed will" or "commands," while still being subject to God's "sovereign will" or "secret will." The Bible speaks of "God's will" in both senses. Thus for instance in Habakkuk 1 we see God ordaining the Assyrians to attack Israel, and then God punishing the Assyrians as sinners. Many other examples could be given.

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    • #3
      Romans 7 describes the corruption of the flesh. I don't see how it has much to do with determinism.

      Thus for instance in Habakkuk 1 we see God ordaining the Assyrians to attack Israel, and then God punishing the Assyrians as sinners. Many other examples could be given.
      Entrapment is only considered a defense if the defendant was not already inclined to commit the crime. The Assyrians were already bad people, before God turned them loose on Israel. Likewise, the Bible says that Pharaoh hardened his heart before it says that God later hardened it. Likewise, John 12 describes that first people would not believe on Jesus, before next saying that "therefore" God blinded their eyes so they could not believe.

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      • #4
        Determinism?

        *yawn*
        For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with Obsidian's interpretation. This strikes me as a stark description of how utterly unable man is to attain righteousness apart from the grace of God, a state which could hardly thought to be as God's will, as God desires universal salvation (2 Peter 3:9). (No, I am not a universalist, I am only stating what God's will is.)
          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
            Entrapment is only considered a defense if the defendant was not already inclined to commit the crime. The Assyrians were already bad people, before God turned them loose on Israel. Likewise, the Bible says that Pharaoh hardened his heart before it says that God later hardened it. Likewise, John 12 describes that first people would not believe on Jesus, before next saying that "therefore" God blinded their eyes so they could not believe.
            We're all already bad people. But you are right that sometimes judgment takes the form of letting us become even worse.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RBerman View Post
              Every sin is an example of people violating God's "decretive will" or "revealed will" or "commands," while still being subject to God's "sovereign will" or "secret will." The Bible speaks of "God's will" in both senses. Thus for instance in Habakkuk 1 we see God ordaining the Assyrians to attack Israel, and then God punishing the Assyrians as sinners. Many other examples could be given.
              Shall we say that "God's will" is the preeminent aspect of God's nature: Then is it correct to see God's decretive will, God's sovereign will, and God's sovereign will as the components that actually constitute God's will? And if they are not all the same, then is God's decretive and God's revealed will not sovereign as well. IOW, does/will these three components of God's will speak the same truth, or do they contradict each other

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                Shall we say that "God's will" is the preeminent aspect of God's nature: Then is it correct to see God's decretive will, God's sovereign will, and God's sovereign will as the components that actually constitute God's will? And if they are not all the same, then is God's decretive and God's revealed will not sovereign as well. IOW, does/will these three components of God's will speak the same truth, or do they contradict each other
                1) "God's sovereign will" was two of your components. Editing error?

                2) I wouldn't call them "components," and I suspect that the apparent differences stem from our inability to think God's thoughts after him due to our creatureliness. (Is that a word?) A contradiction would be if A and ~A were both claimed to be true in the same sens and at the same time. But the sense of "will" is not the same in "God's revealed will" of command as it is in "God's sovereign will," so there's no contradiction between the two. I prefer to make that clearer by removing the term "will" from the discussion altogether, and just speaking of God commands and God's decree or ordination. Speaking of which:

                3) In that "sovereign" in sovereign will is intended to mark those things which God has surely ordained to come to pass, whereas God's commands do not necessarily come to pass in all instances, it is not helpful to say that God's commands are sovereign. I misspoke when I equated God's "decretive will" with his "commands." Normally God's "decree" is considered the same as his "sovereign will," not his "commands." It just goes to show the need for care in vocabulary in these matters, and I apologize for sowing confusion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A curiosity question: Was it God's will that in selecting David as the Messiah of Israel, that David would break most of the ten commandments (which are usually held as representative of God's will for mankind), usurped the High Priesthood established by Moses (making himself High Priest) and have himself worshiped in equivalence to God (1 Chron 29:20).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by apostoli View Post
                    A curiosity question: Was it God's will that in selecting David as the Messiah of Israel, that David would break most of the ten commandments (which are usually held as representative of God's will for mankind), usurped the High Priesthood established by Moses (making himself High Priest) and have himself worshiped in equivalence to God (1 Chron 29:20).
                    And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the LORD your God. And all the congregation blessed the LORD God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the LORD, and the king. (1 Chronicles 29:20, KJV)

                    David did not have himself worshiped in equivalence to God in the same way Naboth was not accused of blaspheming "God and the king" in equivalence (1 Kings 21:13, KJV).
                    In both instances what was done unto God is in the absolute - not so concerning what was said to have been done unto people.

                    The same would apply here:
                    serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel (2 Chronicles 35:3, KJV).
                    The word used in the LXX is a derivative of latreuw - the worship due unto God alone.
                    Last edited by foudroyant; 03-07-2014, 10:39 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by apostoli View Post
                      A curiosity question: Was it God's will that in selecting David as the Messiah of Israel, that David would break most of the ten commandments (which are usually held as representative of God's will for mankind), usurped the High Priesthood established by Moses (making himself High Priest) and have himself worshiped in equivalence to God (1 Chron 29:20).
                      Depends on what you mean by "God's will," an ambiguous term as has been discussed upthread. If you are talking about God's commands, then no, God did not command David to break the Ten Commandments. If you are talking about God's sovereign control of all things, then if God had intended to disallow David from breaking the commandments, David would not have done so.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                        For the advocates of exhaustive determinism, is this an instance of Paul desiring to be obedient to God, but Godís purpose demands Paul be disobedient as well?

                        Romans 7
                        King James Version (KJV)
                        14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
                        15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
                        16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
                        17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
                        18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
                        19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
                        20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
                        21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
                        22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
                        23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
                        24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
                        25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
                        I am not a determinist...and I actually don't see this as Paul (at least at the time of his writing). IMO, this is more of a hypothetical example of someone trying to attain righteousness through the Law, but finding that they can't.

                        Paul's purpose in this part of Romans is to show how the Law, although good, is unable make one righteous. The problem of course isn't the Law, but our flesh. How can something that is fleshly uphold something that is spiritual? (Answer it can't) -- thus our need for Christ and the Holy Spirit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                          1) "God's sovereign will" was two of your components. Editing error?

                          2) I wouldn't call them "components," and I suspect that the apparent differences stem from our inability to think God's thoughts after him due to our creatureliness. (Is that a word?) A contradiction would be if A and ~A were both claimed to be true in the same sens and at the same time. But the sense of "will" is not the same in "God's revealed will" of command as it is in "God's sovereign will," so there's no contradiction between the two. I prefer to make that clearer by removing the term "will" from the discussion altogether, and just speaking of God commands and God's decree or ordination. Speaking of which:

                          3) In that "sovereign" in sovereign will is intended to mark those things which God has surely ordained to come to pass, whereas God's commands do not necessarily come to pass in all instances, it is not helpful to say that God's commands are sovereign. I misspoke when I equated God's "decretive will" with his "commands." Normally God's "decree" is considered the same as his "sovereign will," not his "commands." It just goes to show the need for care in vocabulary in these matters, and I apologize for sowing confusion.
                          Guess Iím just having problems following your thoughts: From my perspective the word sovereign speaks of Godís absolute right to do things according to his personal purpose and pleasure. I understand everything about God as sovereign.

                          You at some point mentioned Godís secret will which I supposed you to say that Godís secretive will often contradicts his revealed will. Therein lies my problem understanding youÖ
                          In my original scenario concerning Paul and the dellima that he finds himself in; Paul is commanded (as with all men) to obey God, yet there arises Godís deterministic (Secret) will causing Paul to disobey.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                            I am not a determinist...and I actually don't see this as Paul (at least at the time of his writing). IMO, this is more of a hypothetical example of someone trying to attain righteousness through the Law, but finding that they can't.

                            Paul's purpose in this part of Romans is to show how the Law, although good, is unable make one righteous. The problem of course isn't the Law, but our flesh. How can something that is fleshly uphold something that is spiritual? (Answer it can't) -- thus our need for Christ and the Holy Spirit.
                            Absolutely...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                              Guess Iím just having problems following your thoughts: From my perspective the word sovereign speaks of Godís absolute right to do things according to his personal purpose and pleasure. I understand everything about God as sovereign.
                              You at some point mentioned Godís secret will which I supposed you to say that Godís secretive will often contradicts his revealed will. Therein lies my problem understanding youÖ
                              In my original scenario concerning Paul and the dellima that he finds himself in; Paul is commanded (as with all men) to obey God, yet there arises Godís deterministic (Secret) will causing Paul to disobey.
                              Every philosophical/theological construct somehow attempts to explain how and why an omnipotent God allows sin and suffering rather than preventing it. One common suggestion is something like, "God loves human free will more than he loves an absence of sin, so he tolerates sin." That seems at least as problematic as the problem you identify, in which God ordains to do that which he forbids, and then punishes them for it. Certainly the Bible never speaks of God having high esteem for human free will; quite to the contrary, the Bible emphasizes the damage wrought by human autonomy. The reality of the situation is that we don't understand how God thinks or why He does all the things He does, so we just have to go with what He has said in Scripture that He has done, which includes inciting David to take a wicked census (2 Sam 24) and then sending a plague as punishment.

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