Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The omniscience and omnipotence of God

More from here:
Calvinism is demonism.

Double Predestination and Limited Atonement make Calvin's god a malevolent, capricious, deceitful monster.

The Scriptures state that God predestines to eternal life. Nowhere do they state that He predestines people to hell.

Since Calvinism's god does predestine souls to hell, it violates God's commands by going beyond that which He has revealed, preaching not only a different gospel, but also a different Christ.

As for Limited Atonement, God tells us that His death on the Cross was for the salvation of all humanity ("God so loved the world..."); to assert that Christ died only for some makes Him out to be a liar.
aLutheran wrote: "We also believe that God saves everyone that he sets out to..."
Lamenting over Jerusalem, Jesus said that He longed to gather all to Himself, but many were not willing. God set (and sets) out to save ALL humanity, demonstrating this once for all on the Cross.
No. God doesn't stand on the outside and call them to come out. He puts out the fire in a section to create clear exit to Him, and then calls.
All human analogies of the Divine eventually break down, but here's my variation anyway:

God actually goes into the building, pulls everyone out, and heals any and all wounds, but some (many?) throw themselves back in.

That's orthodox, catholic, Lutheran, Biblical, theology!
Criminey. David's act of throwing the stone was not prideful. It was not evil. It was an act of faith. So is accepting salvation. It's not saving yourself. Its performing a required act of faith.
If it is a "required act of faith," then salvation is not a gift, but an obligation.

Acts of faith are not done out of obligation, but arise (super-) naturally because of the Holy Spirit's work in us who believe.
St. Augustine handles this one. He does not disavow free will, but notes that it is the Grace of God which impels men to act. Yet we can still refuse God's Gift. In this way, we are responsible if we choose damnation, but our acceptance of heaven is largely dependent on God.
This is what the Scriptures teach--we are dead in our trespasses and deserving of death--but God in His mercy gives us faith so that, by His grace, we have eternal life. It is the gift of God, not of works.
This discussion will continue to go no where as it is all based on personal opinion as based on life experience.
It is best to listen to the One Whose opinion is the only one that really counts.
...God...allowed Man to become sinful, foolish creatures.
He allowed our first parents to choose freely. They chose (and we choose) sinfully and foolishly.
He created eternal damnation wherein millions of men, women, and children will suffer for eternity.
Hell was created for the devil and his minions. That those human beings who end up there do so at their own choosing is not the fault of God; in fact, He has done everything (super-) humanly possible to save us.
Moreover, this God was then "forced" to send His Son (or Himself) to earth to be brutally beaten, mocked, and murdered by Man.
No, God chose to do this freely to demonstrate His love for us. He could have chosen any other means for our salvation (or none at all--we deserve destruction), but He chose to show us His love in the most visceral, tangible, concrete way possible.
As a result, sinful, foolish, mortal man faced with logic, science, contrary life experience in the natural world...
Actually, it is the result of man's illogic, unscientific thinking, and false interpretations of life experiences that anyone believes Faith in Christ and Reason are mutually-exclusive.

True Science (that which can be observed, tested, and verified through repetition) never contradicts Scripture. Logic would dictate that an abundance of historical, archaeological, and literary evidence for the person and work of YHWH/Christ should result in faith in Him, not an abandonment or forsaking of it.
...must believe all they read in a roughly 2000 year old anthology in order avoid burning in hell for eternity.
No. Our sin condemns us to hell. In His great mercy, God has provided for us a payment for our sin--Christ's blood shed for us.
Is it not simpler to believe Man is vile for all the same reasons a wolf is vile?
Simpler? Perhaps. Truthful? Christ is Truth. Listen to Him.

...Years ago...I reached the...conclusion that the only way in which I could mesh the message of the Bible (OT and NT) and my personal life experiences, was to conclude that the Judaic God is not omnipotent, and perhaps not omniscient nor omnipresent.
God does allow us to suffer so that we might learn to value what is true, good, and right. A father disciplines the son he loves.
For example, the mere fact that Lucifer rebelled, Man fell, and God the Father was "forced" to sacrifice His Son in order to save Mankind only makes sense to me if the God in question is deemed supremely powerful, rather than omnipotent....

Having studied the Bible in a sincere effort to seek God, I've come away with the belief that the only way the actions of the Judaic God, and the resulting plight of Man, can be logically explained is if this God were less than omnipotent.
Having all knowledge and all power does not mean that God causes or requires evil, nor does it indicate some impotence or impurity that He allows people to do evil (if God were to destroy all evil from the earth, there'd be no one left).

If one has a child, is it not certain that that little one will one day grow up to suffer evil and willingly sin?

We cannot know the specifics of what will occur in our son or daughter's life, but we do know that there will be pain, sorrow, and eventually death.

Does that mean we would wish our child dead? Does that mean we would rather that our child never lived?

Anyone who has had the joy of being a parent knows that even when that child does wrong, you love them will all your heart. Every (decent) parent would suffer any harm, face any evil, endure any pain, to protect that little one.

Again, I realize this is a limited human analogy, but it seems to fit what Scripture tells us of God's love for us in Christ.

Know that the omnipotent, omniscient One truly, deeply loves you.