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Thread: What does the word "means" mean to you?

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    Gentlemen, I am so glad that this discussion was maintained in a friendly manner, but I do think some clarity can still be offered.

    First, to say that logic is a part of the created order makes God a confused being. Think with me for a moment on what this says about the Godhead before creation. If logic was created alongside the rest of the laws of reality, then God was illogical before creation. His thoughts were unordered and chaotic. This idea completely destroys the decree of God, which all happened before creation itself. Now while Clark did take this idea a little far, he said it well. Logic is the way God's mind works. It is not a law unto Him, it is a part of His essential nature. Just as He is just, good, loving, wrathful, and the like, He is logical. We describe Him as such because He tells us to. We are called to be logical (to organize our thoughts in accordance with logic) because this is the mind of Christ. It is not a restriction on God, it is a descriptor. We are saying that these laws that we have over us are to give us the character that God has. We are to emulate Him, and this is a way in which we do that. Logic is not a law that God obeys, it is that system that He organizes his own thoughts by. So long as God was thinking, He was doing so logically.

    Second, I am amazed that so many people missed the point that would end this discussion completely. No one is restricting God's freedom to say that he acts according to His nature. Scripture tells us everywhere that God acts and plans according to His good will. His good will comes out of his very nature. His nature is truth and goodness and light. He never acts or decrees otherwise. Again this is no restriction, it is a descriptor. God cannot sin because He is good and never desires to sin. He will never desire to sin because of who He is, not because some law of His nature forces Him to. We all agree God is completely free and nothing outside Him compels Him, but even scripture says His nature compels Him. It's who He is. His freedom is a lack of force or constraint, not to say that He has no driving force in Him. HE IS GOD ALMIGHTY, KING AND SOVEREIGN OF ALL! His nature is beautiful and could not be otherwise. God did not create His own nature, or decide His attributes. No one and nothing dictates to Him how to think or behave. All of His freedom comes from His essential nature, just as all His other attributes.

    I desperately wanted to say this, whether I helped the discussion I cannot say. I hope I have expressed my own faith in the God who is and faithful represented His word.

    May God be the Judge

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  3. #42
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    To begin I must express my deepest respect to you Vadim. I'm is obvious to me that you thought long and hard about your post and that this is a subject very close to your heart. I wish to encourage this discussion in spirited dialogue, but I will pull no punches.

    First and foremost I must admit I'm surprised by some of your comments. You are clearly a very bright man and I have been edified greatly by the confession you wrote. Your response here, however, is very poorly reasoned and borders on nonsense in a few places. I'll try to work my way through this all from top to bottom.

    I begin by objecting to your "God of the philosophers" charge. You simply assume that I hold my beliefs based on reasoning upward to God from man and assert a convoluted train of thought showing how I got there. This is disingenuous at best and could border on slander at worst. I believe that logic is a part of God's nature because of scripture, nothing else. Jesus is called the logos, which is where we get logic from. God's statements throughout scripture are perfectly logical all the time. He is not the author of confusion. He even implores the Israelites to come and reason together with Him. Though there is no direct statement in scripture declaring God's inherent nature as logical, I feel perfectly comfortable drawing that conclusion from the above mentioned scripture and elsewhere. To assume that I arrived here by other means and accuse me of your assumptions is far from fair, and honestly not the best way to handle a critique. Try critiquing what you do know before jumping to conclusions.

    Answer: From this statement, it inevitably follows that we must recognize that logic is not part of the created order. Therefore, we must recognize that logic is divine. But, the fact that logic is an immanent part of our world is a self-evident fact. To consider any part of our world (material or ideal) not created and therefore divine is idolatry.
    Next I will deal with this objection. First I must note that you clearly did not read my explanation of what this sentence means. I spent an entire paragraph unpacking this point I made and you dealt with none of it. That is quite shameful, so I will explain it again and why your objection is a non issue.
    I never said that logic is Divine or should be worshipped and it doesn't follow from my point. What I said was that assuming logic is a law that God created for us at the moment of creation poses problems for the scriptural view of God and His decree. If logic had no existence or application until creation, this would mean that God was acting and thinking illogically before creation. This cannot be the case as we know from scripture that God is not confused and is all knowing and all wise. So we must then assume that logic is more than just a law for us. It preexists creation itself. As I said above, it is not a law to God, He governs logic and it's application. It is a law to us. God is all logical in the same way that He is good, just, powerful, wrathful and so forth. These are essential attributes to Him. God cannot choose to be evil. This is not a law He must obey, rather it is a truth about who He is and what He is like. God is not amorphous and nebulous with the ability to contradict Himself and His nature. God has a nature, a personality (3 of them in fact), and a will. These aspect s of Him have content and are not just empty terms. If you still struggle to understand what I mean by all this I can explain my view further at your request. Suffice it to say, you missed my point entirely and I have demonstrated that with quotation and explanation.

    Moving along I'll cover your next point. I won't post the whole quote but it is easy enough to read.
    Your first point is also nonsense. Saying God organizes His own thoughts logically and compels us to do likewise in no way makes philosophers into prophets. Yes we are thinking like God in the sense that we discover truth in the application of logic and grow in our knowledge of God and His creation, but that is not at all what a prophet is or does. A prophet speaks for God. He tells us what it is directly that God wants us to know with certainty. Prophesy is the direct speaking of God. Logic and it's application is not. I never said it was. It doesn't follow from what I said. You just lept to a ridiculous conclusion and went from there. Logic and prophesy are two very different things and I would hope you would know that already.
    After that you accuse me of making myself God by a considerably convoluted stretch of my statement and bad logical form. Yes logic is how the mind should work. I am not perfectly logical, I know no one who is, therefore your attempt fails at the beginning of the syllogism. However next you say that a logical person i.e. me must have the identical thoughts as God. This is utter foolishness. Even if you and I have the same exact thought it does not mean I am you or that you are me. This isn't how identity works either. This is bad logic, wrapped in category errors, mixed with foreign applications and baked at 350 until we have one terrible pie of an argument. This would fail to convince my children all of whom are under age 10. Honestly I don't know how you didn't see how foolish this statement was when you wrote it. But it makes me seriously question your ability to think coherently. I don't mean that to insult, but it is really that bad. None of it makes sense and it shows you haven't read or understood what my post even covered. For this one I'd like an apology.
    Thirdly you say that: 3) From this it inevitably follows that the more logically a person thinks, the more such a person becomes like God. This is absurd and heresy.
    I actually completely agree. Thinking logically makes one more like God. AND THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT. We are being conformed to the image of Christ. We are supposed to be growing to be more like Him as we grow in grace. One day after the resurrection we will be like Him exactly. Or at least in as much as a creature can be like Him. We will be good, righteous, honest, logical, loving and share in many of the communicable attributes of God. This is the intent of creation itself. Romans 8 makes that abundantly clear. I am not the one in hereay here my friend. Sorry.

    Lastly I will deal with the misunderstanding you have of my meaning the mind of Christ. Of course I do believe that being more logical makes one think more like Christ. However that is not all that means. Christ thought logically. He also thought honestly. And lovingly. And truthfully. We have much to learn to reach the mind of Christ, but this is one aspect of that. An atheist may be logical, but he suppresses the truth. He lies and hates his Creator. This is not the mind of Christ. To think that is what I meant again shows you weren't paying attention, if you even read my entire post.

    My final point will be to make some closing remarks and summarize my rebuttal.
    First, I am not convinced that you read my post in it's entirety, which would be quite shameful if true. But you did not respond to any of the second half of my post, or even appear aware of it's contents. It explains how most of your concerns are non issues, and had you read the post it would make more sense to respond to the second half rather than the first. It had the meat of my position in it. That coupled with your lack of understanding my point makes me think this was a shotgun response. I documented your errors and responded to your entire post. Keeping it in it's context and walking through your train of thought. You did not do this to me at all. You selectively quoted portions without context or explanation, misinterpreted them (which I showed), and then took grandiose leaps to make ridiculous points that sometimes didn't even make sense. You assumed my reasoning without asking and applied idolatry and heresy to me without cause. All of this you should be held responsible for, hence my lengthy an public response. Your final comment said that my position could be held by any half conscious seminary student with any one philosophy book under his wing. Clearly you've never met any seminary students. My view is in a strong minority and often unheard of when I discuss it with my friends who attend or have graduated seminary. If this was an attempt to call me lazy, stupid, or uneducated then I must confess I'm impressed. You managed to sound lazy, stupid, and uneducated in your response, while missing the mark entirely. Your response was selective, dishonest, assumptive, uninformed, incoherent, and frankly in bad taste. Often on this forum there is disagreement, but we do so with respect and by siting our opponents in context to make the discussion honest and fair. You did not do this. If you think I misunderstood your previous posts, prove it. Quote something. Explain something. Interpret something. Don't just make claims about others without backing them up.

    If you'd like to continue this, feel free. I'd be more than happy to unpack anything I said and dig deeper into this subject. But at the very least you ought to apologise for mischaracterizing my motivation, intelligence, and confession . I await your response

    May God be the Judge

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    Well Vadim I must confess that I am seriously disappointed. I asked you (and so have others in various discussions) to substantiate your position with facts, quotations, reasoned arguments and the like. You once again refuse to do so and then walk away from the conversation as if you are the victor. To me, this is a cowards move. I am sorry to be so curt but that is my honest judgement. I won't go through your entire post, as I don't feel a full response is necessary here, but several points seem important to address.

    First, I am surprised at your denial of an apology. I noted in several places where you took my statements out of their context and twisted them to mean what I was not saying and then called it blasphemy. I don't know your view on blasphemy but biblically speaking it is a very serious charge. I pointed out that you mischaracterized my motives, my exegesis, and my confession of faith, and yet with no answer you brush this aside saying that you still feel justified. By siting no evidence or making any attempt to answer my charge of slander you show that you have no answer. You have slandered a brother in Christ which is cause for apology and reconciliation. If you cannot see that after my documented evidence then I cannot help you, but it is no less serious.

    Second I will summarize my issues with a couple of your points.
    You make several points of comparison between my view of God's attributes and Roman views, even pulling in Spinoza to attempt to discredit the very idea. You did this same thing to Bob and I would like to put this to bed once and for all. We call this the genetic fallacy, meaning that you pair an original or association with the idea and attempt to discredit the idea. It is fallacious. We all agree with medieval Rome on the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, sin as offense against God's character and law, and many more things. Association does not disprove an idea. You provide no evidence for your claim of association, just assume it, and even if it were true it would be a fallacious argument. I will do what you have not done and prove your point wrong. Scripture does NOT teach that literally everything is possible for God, as you propose. God cannot lie, sin, repent, or deny himself. Scripture says all of these out right. If it is your belief that He can do these things, your issue is with scripture, not me. Here you have been answered with scripture, something you refuse to do. Again, as before, you are shown and documented in error. Feel free to respond with more than just assertions.
    Next you are still hung up on the divinity of logic, which seems like a moot point, but I will again answer hoping you will understand. No, logic is not a Divine entity. It is a Divine attribute. You insist that if I view it as a Divine attribute that it should then be worshipped. So my question is, do you believe God has any attributes, and if so do you worship those attributes? If you do not believe God has any, then we worship different Gods and I hope you repent of this. If you believe He does and then worship His attributes, that is paganism and also a sin to be repented of. If you believe He has attributes and do not worship them, then we are in agreement and your argument is invalid. So either you have a god with no substance, a pagan religion, or a failed argument. Your choice.

    In point 5 you make the same logical blunder you made before,and again take my words out of context. While I agree that Clark takes the "Christ as logic" position a little too far, I do not believe that your conclusion is warranted, and my own words show you cannot construct your syllogism. I never said that logic and Christ are synonymous, merely that the word logos is where we get logic from. That coupled with other scriptures to show God's logical behavior and His desire to see men think logically means simply that it is a part of His nature. You could no more make a syllogism from that than you could any other attribute, like love or justice. Your conclusion is unwarranted and simply doesn't follow. I showed that before, you did not answer any of my critique, so my point stands.

    4) there Is nothing stupid in my conclusion that your position inevitably leads to equality between Scripture and Aristotle's logic. This is an inevitable logical conclusion. Scripture is a revelation about God. If logic is how God's mind works, then Aristotle's logic is inevitably also a revelation about God. The difference is that the prophets reveal to us what God wants, and Aristotle reveals to us how the mind Of God himself works! But both are revelations about God. And another question what kind of revelation is more fundamental!
    Next, you wrote the above statement, and I wanted to deal with it directly. It is the only cogent argument I have seen so I wanted to deal with it. I completely agree that logic and scripture reveal things about God, but you again make a leap in equating the two. Logic is a tool for discovering truth. It is not truth itself. This is a very simple and easy distinction but you still seem to miss it. Yes being logical means we are thinking as God thinks. No it does not mean we are God, that logic gives us revelation from God, or that we should worship logic. This is not a logical conclusion from anything that I said. You were so close, and you even understood well my point about how logic aids us in understanding truth from God. It is a shame really, considering that when I started reading that point I was prepared to actually have something meaningful to respond to. You say my position leads to you conclusion. How? You don't explain it or give reasons. You just say it as if that makes it true. Read my posts, or Bob's earlier ones. We give you quotes, syllogisms, facts, and logical arguments. You just make assertions. That isn't debate or even dialogue. It doesn't further the discussion and it is incredibly disingenuous.

    My final comment (to be entirely honest) is one of derision. I make no apologies here because I feel this final comment is deserved. You have won nothing, and frankly owe myself, Bob, and some others apologies. You have accused us of blasphemy, idolatry, and sin in need of repentance. You have done this by taking quotes out of context, assuming things about others that have no foundation, made illogical arguments (this has been shown. Just saying otherwise doesn't make it true), using logical fallacies (documented), and finally just declared yourself the winner and walked away. This is incredibly shameful behavior, and to be honest I am shocked. After reading your confession and many of your posts I found you to be lucid, insightful, and impressively exegetical. I was very glad to see you as a part of this forum and proud to call you a brother in Christ. Certainly we have some disagreement, but on the essentials we appear to agree. However, after all I've seen on this I must say I've changed my opinion. You seem to have a very different God than anything I can even conceive of. Not because it is so advanced or complicated, but because it is utter nonsense. Your God is illogical and appears to have no essential attributes. I have no idea how you reconcile the Trinity or any other doctrine of God. Outside of that you behave like a disgruntled child. You have made no real points in these posts (I still don't know what your position is, just what it isn't) and your critiques are illogical and unfair. You wrench your opponents statements from their context and misinterpret them into heresy. This, as I'm sure you know, is slander, which is baring false witness. That is a sin, and you commit it with abandon. You go so far as to assume I am not a brother, and even imply in your final sentence that I am not a monotheist, which frankly has nothing to do with any of this. It is an odd statement and is very uncharitable. Quite frankly it is rude and I object to it. It is you sir that have walked out into heresy, which again I have shown. You have behaved sinfully, esposed heresy, and uncharitably behaved towards a brother. You ought to repent of these things and apologise.

    You can feel free to walk away from this forum. That is a very cowardly move in my opinion and shows me that you have no answer. You did not answer Bob's points, or mine, and have not satisfied any burden of proof for your position. I hope to see you respond to this post. I'd like some clarification on several things you've said. I'd also like to see your apology for your slander against me. It is documented, and ignoring it doesn't make it less true.

    May God be the Judge

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    With all due respect, I see the importance of bringing up an article like that, but I feel entirely justified in my tone of response. I believe that there is no better time to be forthright than when someone slanders you. I have don't everything I can to be respectful an document Vadim's error and misquotations. To me, it is he who ought to be chided for his behavior. Perhaps I am jaded, but that is my honest 2 cents. Thank you for contributing though, Brandon. It is always nice to see participation in these threads.

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    James,

    No need to explain yourself to me brother. I was just posting for everyone’s benefit. We lost a dear brother from the forum today. I hope he returns. He had a lot to offer....

    Thanks,
    Brandan

    Php 2:1-11 (KJV)
    1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
    2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
    3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
    4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
    5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
    7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
    8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
    10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
    11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    This is my signature.

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    Who is lost? Is everyone okay?

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    Yes, we lost Vadim's presence on this forum - that is what I meant. He asked me to remove all of his articles too...
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    My goodness. I am so sorry. Please convey my apology if you speak to him. I had no intention of driving anyone away.

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    VoxVeritas,

    I agree with the essence of all the conclusions you have stated. In the end I stated that I'm comfortable with the "God cannot ___" statements of scripture based on the fact that He acts always according to His essential nature, which cannot be said to enslave Him of course. The notion of some in this regard (no one here) is that God might in His freedom change His mind at any time and renounce His covenant promise, which I totally reject.

    "If logic was created alongside the rest of the laws of reality, then God was illogical before creation. His thoughts were unordered and chaotic. This idea completely destroys the decree of God, which all happened before creation itself. Now while Clark did take this idea a little far, he said it well. Logic is the way God's mind works. It is not a law unto Him, it is a part of His essential nature. Just as He is just, good, loving, wrathful, and the like, He is logical. We describe Him as such because He tells us to. We are called to be logical (to organize our thoughts in accordance with logic) because this is the mind of Christ."

    All law is created and is an expression of God's purposes--but is not in any sense constraining to God. Law is an expression of God's ordered and logical mind. When we talk about the laws of reality, we are talking about laws that were created to govern the universe in harmony with God's essential nature. So I think you could express this proposition in a better manner, which I will leave to you.

    Bro. Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    What I meant is that logic is indeed a created law of God as pertaining to humanity and all creatures, though for regenerate creatures created anew in Christ it is 'internal law' written on the heart according to the New Covenant promise. When we state laws of logic that are legitimate we are only expressing the image of the Creator.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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