Experimental Theology III

What IS Free Will?  Anybody will tell you its your ability to do as you please!

Problem is that is NOT what Free Will is!  The actual definition of Free Will is”the ability to choose any at all of the moral options offered in a given situation”.

So what should we call the ability to choose our actions, to do as we please?  That is Free Agency!  In case anyone cares whether or not they are guilty of trying to sit in the throne of God, you might consider this:

Man is a created being.  Man was created by God to fulfill God’s Will.  Whether or not you choose to do so is NOT the issue.  The issue is that you were created to be an agent of God in bearing His Image in the World.  An agent is pretty much free to carry out his assigned duties as he sees fit.  It is the one who sends the agent that determines his fitness and performance; in this case the One Who sends is God!  We can consider ourselves free agents, at least in a limited sense. (Man makes plans but God orders his steps)

God has Free Will.  He has already decided what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is evil (the moral option) regarding any action you take in any situation you find yourself in!

Still want to claim Free Will for yourself?  Or are you content to be a contingent free agent?

Since I have no designs on usurping the throne of God, and since I have been enlightened to the fact that there is a difference between what I really am and what I thought I was, I can no longer claim ignorance of Who is in charge!

 

 

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Experimental Theology Two

Up until the Council of Chalcedon in 451, there were several competing views concerning how to understand the nature of Christ. The two main non-heretical theories were monophysitism (one nature which is divine) and the Chalcedonian definition or the hypostatic union (two natures, one divine and one human).

For the purposes of this experiment let’s use Gordon Clark’s definition of ‘person’ and apply it to every individual who has lived on earth throughout Biblical history.  Clark’s definition of ‘person’ is ‘a complex of propositions’.

If every man is an individual unique complex of propositions which includes everything about him, body and soul, every facet of his being, how would Christ, the Logos, be beyond this definition.  If He is not reasonably beyond this definition, how might it change our understanding going forward?

Is it worth the effort to try to know and understand our Lord and our own person-hood perhaps a little bit better?  What is the worst that can happen?  We come out with a better handle on truth whichever way it goes!

Comments welcome!

 

 

 

Experimental Theology

For the purposes of this first experiment, let’s suppose that the serpent in the garden was Adam operating in the spirit of the flesh conversing with Eve about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Scripture says she was deceived but Adam was not! There are only two real options for Adam’s thought process on this point.  Either he would rather die (cease to exist) than obey, or he would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.  Both of these options are totally self-centered and self-destructive and are rooted in the lie that he was sovereign over his realm.  (Bear in mind that ‘given dominion’ is not the same as autonomous sovereignty. He was still answerable to God and the rest of humanity for the consequences of his actions. As are we!)  The idea of self-sacrifice for another is foreign to him.  Agape love is foreign to him. Yet that is what was expected of Adam in the spirit of the flesh if he was to serve Adam the spirit of the image—selflessness.

And yet how can the spirit of the image grow to understand and value holiness and selflessness of the kind displayed by Jesus Christ if the results of sin do not exist?

Which brings us face to face with the question: what should our understanding of the plan of God be?

The stated goal is for us be “be ye Holy as I am Holy”.  Again the question must be faced: Is this the best of all possible worlds for God to accomplish His stated goal for us?  Which in turn forces us to examine in some detail our idea of the purpose of the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’ and the ultimate end of the plan of God for His creation!

Not to mention our concept of the nature of Adam in light of his actions since he was not deceived but sinned against his Creator willfully and willingly!

One more thing should be considered: Is it wrong of me to delve into ‘Experimental Theology’?  Or should I just pick something that sounds good and stake my eternal reward on that roll of the dice, believing that I am incapable of thinking about the Word of God in a way that would lead to a deeper understanding of my Lord and Savior as the Second Adam?

The Incarnation

The early church worked very hard to define Christ, the God Man.  By the time of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 the concept of the “incarnation” was coming to the fore.  It refers to the idea that God took human nature upon Himself in order to redeem it.

The “doctrine of the two natures of Christ” sets out this basic position.  It states that Jesus Christ was “perfect in divinity and humanity, truly God and truly human.” This product of Chalcedon was a benchmark in Christian theology especially in the person and identity of Christ.  It has been considered as definitive for over fifteen hundred years.

Over the course of that millennium-and-a-half there have been few attempts to challenge this doctrine.  There have, however, been some thoughts on defining “person”.  The most recent being Gordon Clark.  He postulated that a person should be defined as a “complex of propositions”.

In terms of the Logos, how could a better analogy be put forth.  In terms of people in general, every individual is a unique complex of propositions.

The thing is, this definition makes the nature of Christ essentially the same as the definition of any other human who has ever lived.  He is our step-brother because His Father is God. Ours is Adam. But through His mother He is related to Adam also thus fulfilling the physical relationship required to be our Redeemer and the spiritual relationship to be sin free and qualified to be our Redeemer.

This does not require two distinct natures. The complex of propositions that is Jesus Christ includes the holiness and righteousness of the Father and all the humanity of the mother; the ability to be tempted in all ways as a man was in his nature as was His ability to overcome the temptation.  His unique complex of propositions includes it all.

By Occam’s Razor, this better defines the nature of Christ than the explanation from Chalcedon. By this understanding the nature of Christ is not dichotomous but wondrously unified, not so mysterious and beyond understanding but He IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but by Him. His unique Complex of Propositions full of grace and truth makes Him So!

He knows me for the sinner I am and still He gave His life that I might live to His glory!
Merry Christmas and God Bless!

 

On Creation and Evil

Dorothy L. Sayers wrote “The Mind of the Maker” back in 1941. In it she contemplated on the co-dependence of Good and Evil.  She spoke of Hamlet and Not-Hamlet.  Not-Hamlet had no being until there was a Hamlet.  Anti-Hamlet also is but a measurement against Hamlet.

She said a bung hole is every bit as real as the barrel but owes its very existence to the barrel itself.  She surmised that evil owed its existence to good and was thence defined by it.

I believe that while these thoughts are interesting and seem apriori, there is this to consider:

Truth is not created.  It exists from eternity in the Mind of God.  Untruth and anti-truth are therefore defined by Truth.  Moral Good did not begin in the created realm.  It exists from Eternity in the Mind of God.  Moral Evil, whether un-good or anti-good, is defined in the Mind of God from Eternity.

Truth and untruth, good and evil are not created but are eternal concepts in the mind of God Himself. God has, in eternity, proved and approved righteousness.  In His Creation, He is teaching us its value.

He is teaching us according to His lesson plan and according to His time-line.

We may not like it.  Many times we do not see the sense in it.  Mostly we deny that He is in fact, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient by asserting that we have a “free will”. Pharaoh is the quintessential proof of the effectiveness of man’s free will assertions.

You may not agree!  But I ask you to remember that we are the creature and HE IS the Creator!

Hath not the Potter power over the clay?  Of the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor?  Those who assert free will are by definition saying that the LUMP decides!