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Thread: The Nature and Limitations of Philosophy

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    The Nature and Limitations of Philosophy

    I am starting this thread to discuss the value and limitations of philosophy in history as a basis of understanding the nature, attributes, and person of God.

    I will state at the outset: philosophy in and of itself can never give us an understanding of God's person, nature, attributes, and purposes as related to history. We are absolutely dependent on God's revelation in Christ the personal Word of God and the scriptures the written Word of God to know the complete truth of everything in theology (the doctrine of God).

    Having stated this, I will respond to a challenge of Simplici to me in the thread discussing the ‘Means of Grace”:

    Dear Robert! I answered your questions. Please answer the question I asked you. I remind you of my question. You are a biblical theologian. Spinoza is a pantheist who denies Scripture. Question: Why is your definition of the relationship between the will and the nature of God identical in meaning to the definition of Spinoza? I beg you not to consider this question stupid and inappropriate. That's not so. This is a grandiose important question! After you answer my question, we will be able to compare our positions and their bases.
    Thanks for the challenge Simplici.


    First of all, I do not consider any questions stupid and inappropriate, so let’s settle that at the outset.

    At the outset, I reject pantheism 100%--I don’t know what else I can say regarding that. God and the totality of His creation are distinct entities that can never be confused or fused. God is infinite, the creation is finite, and infinity cannot be fused with its opposite.

    Let us assume that Spinoza is the GREATEST of all philosophers (though I have hardly studied him). I might agree that on questions philosophers have raised on the nature of God, it might seem that I am more in harmony with Spinoza than most. But philosophy is a humanistic science apart from Divine Revelation. So even if the propositions of a certain philosopher are surprisingly correct on many vital points concerning God, these still came from humanistic reasoning. All I can say is that Spinoza has a lot of amazing things to say when it comes to philosophical logic, it doesn’t really matter if I even say that he is the ‘greatest of philosophers’. If he doesn’t accept God’s revelation in the scriptures regarding God’s eternal covenant of redemption in Christ for an elect people, based on a justification entirely foreign to all human performance and character and existent only in the person and work of Christ, then he is 100% unreliable as a theologian and expositor of scripture.

    I know that Spinoza taught the doctrine of predestination from a philosophical standpoint. So did Mohammed, who taught that God tricks people into damnation that truly want to serve and obey him. Predestination without the gospel of Christ is a horrible monstrous doctrine of the highest proportion.

    Bro. Bob

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    Brandan (01-29-19), Forester07 (02-07-19), Simplici (01-29-19)

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    Robert thank you for the answer!

    If reduced to the essence of your response to my question about why your definition and the definition of Spinoza is identical we get the following result: the identity of your definition and the definition of Spinoza is in fact random. I am sure the opposite is true, and I can demonstrate it. It's not a coincidence. Its source lies in the speculative philosophy of the carnal mind. In addition, I believe that this definition is fundamentally wrong. This definition makes God an idol. So the question remains: how did you come to such a definition as a biblical theologian?

    I consider it my duty to appeal to the readers of the forum: So you can understand the meaning of our discussion with Robert, you need to read the forum thread called "What does the word "means" mean to you?".

    Robert you will continue to participate in the thread of the forum " What does the word "means" mean to you?"? Or is our discussion moved to this section of the forum?

    Vadim
    Last edited by Simplici; 01-29-19 at 09:53 AM.

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    Thank you Vadim... I'm chewing on your latest posts and thinking about it. I appreciate you posting like this. - Brandan
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    Hi Brandаn!

    After thinking about the situation, I decided to continue to post on the old thread of the forum "What does the word "means" mean to you?". The transfer of the discussion to a new thread of the forum breaks the coherence and consistency of the discussion on the controversial topic. If we transfer the discussion to a new thread of the forum it will mean that virtually all of the discussion needs to start first! In addition, it is inconvenient for readers.Moreover, the theme of the old thread is epistemology. I ask you not to close this old thread of the forum. A new thread forum this new thread.

    Vadim

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    Sure thing Vadim, it doesn't matter to me. I can always merge or split threads as necessary...
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    Vadim,

    I am happy to participate in either thread but I personally believe the topic of this thread is a vital one. In the past, I have been accused of being a 'follower' of many theologians and philosophers (even Harold Camping!). But I have no mentors that I follow, only a large number of expositors that have helped me in my TRUTH journey, though I follow none of them entirely.

    I would agree that you can line me up with Spinoza point by point on many assertions, for me this means nothing in terms of being a follower of Spinoza. Right now, I'm expressing agreements on this forum with the historian scholar Jeffrey Burton Russell on how the doctrine of Satan developed and changed over time in history. But I believe Russell is completely unreliable as a theologian on the nature of the gospel. The fact that I might use certain language in propositions that sounds like Spinoza in no way implies an endorsement of his theology overall.

    I hope this thread will continue at least as a discussion of the nature, purpose, and benefits of philosophy although it is inadequate in and of itself to teach us theological truth. For whoever wants to participate.

    Bro. Bob

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    Also, Vadim, you need to re-state the specific points where you perceive I agree with Spinoza in making God an idol (one by one, with some explanation). --Bob

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    Dear Robert!
    1) my goal was never to make a comparative analysis of your philosophy and Spinoza's philosophy in full. I have no purpose in accusing you of being a follower of Spinoza. I know that's not true. It's all about the substance of the question, not the labeling.

    2) my goal is to point out the important and disturbing fact that the philosophical theology in your person and the pagan philosophy in Spinoza's person come to identical false definitions regarding the correlation between the will of God and the nature of God. This means that there is clearly something wrong with theology itself.

    3) the parallel between your definition and Spinoza's definition was Drawn by me to demonstrate that this view of God is not the fruit of a regenerated mind. This means that there is clearly something wrong with theology itself.

    Vadim

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    Thanks Vadim. I do not believe it is possible to assert certain points fact without being confused with philosophers who have also affirmed the same points. Some of the apparent similarities may be deceptive though. There is only a clear connection when it is demonstrated that two people have the same theology in full and have no difference on critical points of truth. Bro. Bob

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    Robert! This is a very naive philosophical opinion. It is refuted by the whole history of philosophy and theology.
    Brother Vadim

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    I will leave my last point as it stands ( I re-affirm it) and will simply agree to disagree with Simplici's Last Word. --Bob

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    Dear Robert! I would like to share my thoughts on what has revealed our interaction in the forum.

    1) Theology of the Gospel message (κήρυγμα). In the restoration of the true Apostolic Epistle, your works and those of other authors of this site are of exceptional importance and value. They have been and will be a blessing to all who seek the true gospel. I've said it before and I'm convinced of it now. Studying the texts of Scripture under the guidance of the Holy spirit without regard to Church authorities and traditions leads to such extremely valuable results. In the fundamental truths of the gospel, you and I find complete agreement. You know my "confession of faith" and you have no fundamental objections to its content. I read your Declaration of faith. I also do not have any fundamental objections to its content.

    2) Systematic theology. However, in the field of systematic theology and its methods, we have found serious differences. In this regard, you proposed the following solution: "This is where we're going to need to agree to disagree and retain hope in God that the difference between us on this will not impact reasonable discussion of the many issues of gospel theology we interact with on this forum" (thread of the forum "What does the word "means" mean to you? "message 64). After much thought, I agree with the decision you have proposed regarding our differences. Our shared, United testimony of the pure Apostolic gospel in our dark age must be our priority!

    With respect and love in Christ to you Robert!

    Brother Vadim.

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