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Thread: infra or supra?

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    infra or supra?

    So, what are you? Infralapsarian or Supralapsarian and why?
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    Here's a good article describing the differences: http://mb-soft.com/believe/text/supralap.htm
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    I am a supra because Paul wrote that god promised eternal life before time began or 'before times eternal' (Titus 1.2). Also, people were elected 'in Him before the foundation of the world' (Eph. 1.4; see also 2Thess. 2.13) and peoples names were written in the book of life of the Lamb 'before the foundation of the world' (Rev. 13.8; 17.8).

    Furthermore, the god of the bible is said to be all knowing, and the reason he knows all things is because he declared all things, even the 'end from the beginning' (Is. 46.10).

    To me, this shows that, before anything was created, god had a plan and that plan included the salvation of people, which, as we saw above, was 'before times eternal' showing that it was not something that god brought into being after the fall of Adam, but was part of the plan before god created anything.

    Grace to you,

    OD
    'Unless I am convinced by scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other.'~~Martin Luther, 1521

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    Supra for me

    Hi

    This is a difficult one, as the Bible is not really specific with an answer.

    But like Od, i think Eph 1 v 4 'in Him before the foundation of the world' would indicate that God elected first before anything else.

    So i'm in the Supra camp.


    Cheers

    Alan

    PS When i have mentioned this leaning to Supra in other circles the accusation thrown at me was that i was a 'Hyper' Calvinist.
    'As soon as we are incorporated in Christ, we have the certitude that in the end we shall achieve victory in the fight.' John Calvin - Romans 6v6.

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    Yeah, I'm supra too - surprisingly most Christians I know are infra...
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    Supra again

    Well in these circles the infra camp is starting to look a little thin on the ground!

    I lean towards Supra since Rev 13:8 says that Jesus was "slain from the foundation of the world".

    Martin

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    Re: infra or supra?

    Originally posted by grebel
    So, what are you? Infralapsarian or Supralapsarian and why?
    i used to be infra but supra sounds good too. i leaned to infra because it seems more logical that God would elect after the fall in order to protect the aspect of God being the author of evil aspect (e.g., if He positively elected a certain number of people and left the rest to themselves prior to a fall then to me it seems to leave God more open to the accusation that He is the author of evil). but supra sounds good because it accords better with such passages as 2 tim 1:9 and titus 1:2. the troubling aspect in this all is that there is really no Scripture which details order of things in the mind of God. it is all speculation of our futile and finite minds desparately trying to grasp the purposes and order of the mind of an infinite God.
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    If god did not create evil, from did it come?

    OD
    'Unless I am convinced by scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other.'~~Martin Luther, 1521

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    Originally posted by Odyssey
    If god did not create evil, from did it come?

    OD
    i assume you meant, "from where did it come?" and of course that is the question isn't it? can evil be created? is it a thing? you're asking a pretty tough question that gets into some deep philosophy. where did evil (e.g., disposition/inclination/proclivity/possibility to rebel against God and do that which is not righteous) come from if not from God? is God the author of evil? did He force adam and eve to partake of the fruit and disobey Him? did He make them with a proclivity to rebel? if we go back to Satan, why did he first sin? if he was created good where did the desire for self and rebellion and pride come from? if we only do what we desire and we don't do anything except that which we desire most at any given moment, why did anything created by God ever do that which contradicts His righteousness and rebel against his commands?
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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    Very Late Response!

    Originally posted by Odyssey
    If god did not create evil, from did it come?

    (The rest of my observations are responses to Disciple's answer to this question.)

    i assume you meant, "from where did it come?" and of course that is the question isn't it? can evil be created?

    Everything that exists outside of the person of God himself is created. Contrary to Manichaean philosophy (which teaches that both good and evil are eternal), if evil did not originate within the person of God himself, it had to have an origin at some point in past history.

    It is crucial in this context to note that Augustine (along with other ‘church fathers’) was a Manichaean before he converted to Christ. Did this philosophical background continue to influence his ideas after conversion? If so, it is very important to recognize it--because the mass of Western Christianity (both Roman Catholic and Protestant) follows the entirety of Augustine’s views on the origin of sin. Luther and Calvin mimicked his teaching without alteration. John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ is based primarily on Augustine’s view of the origin of evil, though certain speculative historical details about the fall of ‘Lucifer’ (‘?‘--the king of Babylon according to Isa. 14) come from inter-testamental writings (extra-biblical).

    is it a thing?

    Yes, it is an entity or spiritual principle that does not have an eternal past. That is, unless one accepts Manichaean philosophy that evil and good are both eternal principles.

    you're asking a pretty tough question that gets into some deep philosophy. where did evil (e.g., disposition/inclination/proclivity/possibility to rebel against God and do that which is not righteous) come from if not from God? is God the author of evil?

    Where does the Bible ever ask the question asked by millions of Roman Catholics and Protestants: Is God the author of evil? Just curious. A similar question (not answered in scripture) occurs frequently when a believer's child is smashed in death on the road: WHY? Submission to God's revelation means that we let God ask the questions and God give the answers! We all agree (hopefully!) that evil did not originate within the person and character of God himself. However, the PURPOSES of God are separate from his person; that distinction is critical. If God creates evil for the ultimate accomplishment of his purposes (those opposite of salvation), this fact does NOT imply that God IS evil or DOES evil. God’s purposes in reprobation will bring him glory and honor--in contrast to those of salvation in Christ--which praise him with even more glory and honor!

    On the matter of God as the ‘author of sin,’ the condemning accusations are endless.

    1. The Papists accused the Protestants (both Lutheran and Calvinist) of teaching that God is the author of sin.
    2. The Lutherans, in the tradition of Rome, accused the Calvinists of teaching that God is the author of sin.
    3. The Arminians and Wesleyans, in the tradition of Rome and the Lutherans, also accused the Calvinists of teaching that God is the author of sin.
    4. The infralapsarian Calvinists accused the supralapsarian Calvinists of teaching that God is the author of sin.
    5. The ’low’ or ‘soft’ supralapsarians accused the ’high’ or ‘hard’ supralapsarians of teaching that God is the author of sin. These are not well-defined camps of theology, nonetheless, the fact remains that theologians at every level worked extra-hard to avoid being targeted as subscribing to the most dreaded accusation possible: God is the author of sin.

    All of these accusers, of course, denied that they THEMSELVES taught God is the author of sin. This was nothing but a name-calling game--in an attempt to score points against the opponent. The unfortunate history of the Westminster Assembly is a good example of this fact.

    did He force adam and eve to partake of the fruit and disobey Him?

    What is force? Election? Did not God predestine Adam and Eve to sin? If not, how can we say that he is sovereign over ALL history?

    did He make them with a proclivity to rebel?

    An interesting question. Serious consideration of the issue has to ultimately answer it.

    if we go back to Satan, why did he first sin?

    An impulse of eternal sin must have existed in his heart, before he acted on it in rebellion against God. How can extreme holiness beget eternal sin, as Milton’s Fable (‘Paradise Lost’) would have us believe? Milton only follows Augustine in the Enchiridion and Confessions, who seems to be the first well-published proponent of the idea in CHRISTIAN writing (it does exist in inter-testamental and Philonic Judaism). If there is an earlier and definite Christian source, I am SO, SO eager to know who it is--so I can update my thinking and ‘list.’ I would not be surprised if someone finds one. It seems that all of the ’fathers’ (whose writings were the only ones deemed worthy of preservation by the Papacy and Eastern churches) had a background in false philosophy. Aquinas was the ultimate defender of philosophy (the ‘cake’) as the foundation of Christianity (the ‘icing’ on the cake).

    if he was created good (what does Colossians 1:13-17 and John 8:44 have to say about this?), where did the desire for self and rebellion and pride come from? if we only do what we desire and we don't do anything except that which we desire most at any given moment, why did anything created by God ever do that which contradicts His righteousness and rebel against his commands?

    Only evil begets evil. Only a holy nature begets righteousness. If we propose that eternal sin arose out of extreme holiness ala Milton, others will feel free to imitate our example and propose any paradoxical nonsense as truth. This is what is happening today in popular ‘evangellyfish’ theology.

    No well-published theologian has ever logically solved the problem of evil. Many Calvinists have claimed to solve it. However, when it comes to the ultimate question of where Satan’s first evil impulse came from, all resort to paradox and avoid a specific answer to the question. Karl Barth was very ‘on target’ in his observation of this fact, even though his own solution of a ‘Calvinistic universalism‘ is patently unbiblical. He wanted to say that God is responsible for sin--but then get God ’off the hook’ by saying that God in his sovereignty provided salvation for all humanity!

    Paul answered the question of the problem of evil in full (Col. 1:13-17), without any worries about the condemning accusations of men! I would propose that we have not yet returned to the apostolic view of this matter. Most today still follow St. Gus. All of the well-known Roman Catholic and Protestant systematic theologies have followed him.

    In the tradition of the deceased chairman,
    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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    Re: Very Late Response!

    Originally posted by BillTwisse
    Contrary to Manichaean philosophy (which teaches that both good and evil are eternal), if evil did not originate within the person of God himself, it had to have an origin at some point in past history.

    ...Yes, it is an entity or spiritual principle that does not have an eternal past. That is, unless one accepts Manichaean philosophy that evil and good are both eternal principles.
    i don't know that i'd call evil an entity. i see the logical deduction you are making but you are assuming that God did not allow for evil or rebellion for His purposes rather than actively creating it from within His own person. in other words, when God created the angels and mankind, He created them mutable (with the potential or ability to change). i'm seeing the philosophical problem of having a principle or concept be eternal like God and having no real origin at some point in past history. but to me this question as to origin of evil is not necessarily answered in Scripture as is the origin of creation (visible/earth and invisible/heavens) and mankind. we at least know that the existence of evil predates mankind from Genesis:

    Gen 3:5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

    you referenced Col 1:13-17. from this i assume you are focusing on vv. 16-17. i'm curious which category you'd put evil into? this still doesn't answer the question of whether evil is a thing. i presume you may be reading a version that has "principality" and this is where you'd put it. the current version i'm reading says:

    Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities --all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

    this word principality is from ARCH which can mean beginning/first or ruler/leader/initiator, etc. it doesn't mean principle, concept, etc.

    Where does the Bible ever ask the question asked by millions of Roman Catholics and Protestants: Is God the author of evil? Just curious.
    does scripture have to have an example of the question for it to be a valid question?

    A similar question (not answered in scripture) occurs frequently when a believer's child is smashed in death on the road: WHY? Submission to God's revelation means that we let God ask the questions and God give the answers!
    i agree with this one. who is the clay to ask of the potter? all we need to do is read Job 37-42 and Rom 9 to get a perspective on this one.

    We all agree (hopefully!) that evil did not originate within the person and character of God himself.
    but you said above "...if evil did not originate within the person of God himself, it had to have an origin at some point in past history". i took this to mean that you thought evil originated within the person of God himself. was i wrong on this?

    However, the PURPOSES of God are separate from his person; that distinction is critical.
    where do we find that the purposes of God are separate from his person? and what does this even mean? where is this concept in Scripture? or is it just a philosophical principle? how do we separate who someone is from what they do? to me it seems clear that one springs from the other. we do what we are? a tree is known by its fruit.

    What is force? Election? Did not God predestine Adam and Eve to sin? If not, how can we say that he is sovereign over ALL history?
    i think the term used in the historical debate is something more like coerce. in other words, did God choose for you. was there an actual choice for Adam and Eve or did he coerce them to make the choice they did? did they act according to the dictates of their desires or did their actions contradict what they actually wanted to do? i've heard that jonathan edwards discusses this at length in his "freedom of the will" (which i have yet to read but need to). i also understand that augustine discusses this issue as well as calvin, luther, aquinas, etc. in their discussions of the will of man.

    co·erce
    1 : to restrain or dominate by force <religion in the past has tried to coerce the irreligious -- W. R. Inge>
    2 : to compel to an act or choice
    3 : to bring about by force or threat <coerce the compliance of the rest of the community -- Scott Buchanan>
    synonym see FORCE
    An impulse of eternal sin must have existed in his heart, before he acted on it in rebellion against God.
    ...
    No well-published theologian has ever logically solved the problem of evil. Many Calvinists have claimed to solve it. However, when it comes to the ultimate question of where Satan’s first evil impulse came from, all resort to paradox and avoid a specific answer to the question.
    and that's the heart of the issue. where did the initial proclivity for rebellion against the Creator come from? where did this impulse or desire originate? was it created or did it simply exist? did God create principles? it is a great philosophical quandry!

    Paul answered the question of the problem of evil in full (Col. 1:13-17), without any worries about the condemning accusations of men! I would propose that we have not yet returned to the apostolic view of this matter. Most today still follow St. Gus. All of the well-known Roman Catholic and Protestant systematic theologies have followed him.
    so what would you propose is the apostolic view of this matter? to me it is not clear that paul is saying in Col. 1:16-17 that God created evil. it is not shown that evil is a thing. to me Col 1:16-17 is talking about creation defined as all that is visible/earth and invisible/heavens (i.e., the spiritual and physical worlds or realms; e.g., angels, spirits, man, earth, creatures, etc.) and these realms have as heads of them various ruling authorities (e.g., earth - governments, kings, governors, etc.; heavens - powers, authorities). the point is that Christ is before and indeed over all of those various other authorities. in other words, all authority is given/created by God, and Christ is pre-eminent even above them.
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    An honest question.

    Brethren:

    This is an honest question posed to me by a very prominent Presbyterian minister. Under the penalty of the mockery from some, I now reproduce this question with the same honesty it has been addressed to me. (By the way, I answered the question with a "hummm", but never gave too much importance in finding the answer. Here it is and as Jack the Ripper would put it better, "let's separate it in parts":

    "If we accept that God created Adam and Eve vulnarable and susceptible to their desires, thus, open to the lying of the serpent; how can we hurt the doctirne of God's Sovereignty or Calvinism?"

    "If indeed Adam and Eve were the ONLY and the LAST people who ever had control of their will, and the loss of this control is then the reason for our "total depravity", how can this hurt the doctrine of God's Sovereignty or Calvinism?"

    When I heard this question for the first time I checked the instances wherein the devil tempted someone as patterned in the Scriptures. I found this pattern (poorly creative) at least in the temptation of Jesus:

    1 - Question the authority of a direct order from God, or questioning the word of God. Jesus had just been baptized and the voice from heaven spoke: "This is my Son..." The devil then challenges Jesus: "If you are the Son..."
    We see the same in Adam and Eve's fall: "Did not God say..."

    2 - Use a physical desire, such as the need for food to entice one to desobey God: "transform the stones into bread". We see the same in Adam and Eve's fall: "...Certainly you will not die". If we consider the need for food related to one's survival, then, we can apply the same principle.

    3 - Use the need for significance and power with no sacrifice and accountability (this is no tv talk show Psychology) to entine one to disobey God: "all power will be gien unto you..." We see the same in Adam and Eve's fall: "You will be as God; you will know all things".

    4 - Use the pain of God's plan as the reason to short cut God's plan: "Throw yourself off. The angels will save you. You will be acclaimed and you will avoid the pain and the shame of the cross. Deify yourself NOW! (my own free inference). We see the same in Adam and Eve's fall: ...You shall be acclaimed as God... (deify yourself NOW).

    1 John 2:16 describes the pattern:

    a - Lust of the flesh - (physical desire out of balance with genuine needs)
    b - Lust of the eyes - (Eve saw that it was good to eat; to take Jesus to a high place to SEE the kingdoms etc.)
    b - Pride of life - (let's be as God. Let's deify ourselves and take control)

    Again, what if God made them vulnarable?

    When Adam failed, we ALL FAILED. Then Jesus, the LAST and PERFECT ADAM, overcame all the temptations and His nature, imputed to us, or, His righteousness imputed to us now make us NEW CREATION in Him, making certain that every elect would become a NEW CREATION IN HIM.

    (Adam failed in the BEST of all environments. JESUS OVERCAME in the WORST of all environments...)

    How can this hurt the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God or Calvinism?

    And another question: (this one perhaps out of my deep ignorance in the issue - remember, we are all ignorants in one area or another - )

    Does this solve the problem of the origin of evil?

    Your comments and elucidations will be greatly appreciated and prayerfully pondered.
    Grace Ambassador
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    Another question

    CORRECTION

    (In the post above I meant "does this solve the problem of the origin of SIN? (nof of evil...) sorry if I confused your wits...

    How about Isaiah 45:6?

    It clearly say: I am the Lord... I CREATE evil...
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    Re: Another question

    Originally posted by GraceAmbassador
    How about Isaiah 45:6?

    It clearly say: I am the Lord... I CREATE evil...
    perhaps you meant Isaiah 45:7. this is another poor translation choice by the KJV. here is another:

    Isa 45:7 (NAS) The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.

    and i assure you that this is not a clever way to get out of the obvious or some novel Hebrew/Greek trick to avoid the issue. what we have here is parallelism.

    light <-> well-being
    darkness <-> calamity

    light vs. darkness
    well-being vs. calamity

    well-being Heb: Shalowm - completeness, soundness, welfare, peace; Gk: Eirene - peace, a state of national tranquillity, exemption from the rage and havoc of war, security, safety, prosperity, felicity

    calamity Heb: Ra - evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity; Gk: Kakos - bad, of a bad nature not such as it ought to be of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting
    base, wrong, wicked troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful

    so while evil is within the semantic range of the word used in Isaiah 45:7 (and it is indeed the same word as used in Genesis 3) whatever the sense is here it must be opposite to and contrasted with the word translated as well-being. the word juxtaposed against Ra is not the word translated as good (i.e., as opposed to evil) so the KJV has a bad translation here. my suggestion is to chuck the KJV and use a more modern version (or almost any other version for that matter).

    Isaiah 45:7

    NLT - I am the one who creates the light and makes the darkness. I am the one who sends good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.

    CEV - I create light and darkness, happiness and sorrow. I, the LORD, do all of this.

    NIV - I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

    GNB - I create both light and darkness; I bring both blessing and disaster. I, the LORD, do all these things.

    NRSV - I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.

    GW - I make light and create darkness. I make blessings and create disasters. I, the LORD, do all these things.

    NKJV - I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.'

    Wyclif (1395) - Y am the Lord, and noon other God is; fourmynge liyt, and makynge derknessis, makynge pees, and fourmynge yuel; Y am the Lord, doynge alle these thingis.

    Miles Coverdale (1535) - It is I yt created the light and darcknes, I make peace and trouble: Yee euen I the LORDE do all these thinges.

    Bishops Bible (1568) - It is I that created light and darknesse, I make peace and trouble: yea euen I the Lorde do all these thinges.

    Geneva (1587) - I forme the light and create darkenes: I make peace and create euill: I the Lorde doe all these things.
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    Re: Re: Another question

    Originally posted by disciple
    ...so the KJV has a bad translation here. my suggestion is to chuck the KJV and use a more modern version (or almost any other version for that matter).
    my conclusion is that Isaiah 45:7 is not a proof-text for God as the Source or Creator of sin or evil (as in the concept of rebellion against Himself). it is saying something entirely different. and what it is saying is that God uses evil for His purposes. God is not ashamed to use "bad" things (such as death, war, famine, etc.) for His own purposes. we don't need to read long in the Bible before we realize this. great examples are Joseph in Gen 45-50, Job in Job 1-2, and Jesus in the NT (cf. Acts 2, 4). God indeed is sovereign over all things and events! God uses evil as well as good to bring Himself glory.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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    A room without books is a body without soul.
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    perhaps you meant Isaiah 45:7. this is another poor translation choice by the KJV. here is another:
    Yup! and Ooops! I did, verse 7.

    my conclusion is that Isaiah 45:7 is not a proof-text for God as the Source or Creator of sin or evil (as in the concept of rebellion against Himself). it is saying something entirely different. and what it is saying is that God uses evil for His purposes. God is not ashamed to use "bad" things (such as death, war, famine, etc.) for His own purposes. we don't need to read long in the Bible before we realize this. great examples are Joseph in Gen 45-50, Job in Job 1-2, and Jesus in the NT (cf. Acts 2, 4). God indeed is sovereign over all things and events! God uses evil as well as good to bring Himself glory.
    It is not a proof text! Correct!

    I hope you do not THINK FOR ONE MOMENT, (not shouting) that after 34 years of ministry in three different countries I would not check other sources and versions and that I could not have cut and pasted the Strong's concordance as well as many other sources in my post. I ask out of pure honesty and in a bona fide desire to know if anyone would use this as a proof text. Now its up to all of us agree on the definition of a proof text, if there is any on which we can agree.

    Whether is "ra" or calamity or evil, the Bible says that it is CREATED by God.



    Now, please, kindly consider the follwoing. This is NOT to confront your answer to which I agree, but it is more to make a point about the way sometimes we answer things in a way that leaves more questions than answers.

    You say, quoting translations and BIBLICAL languages:

    calamity Heb: Ra - evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity; Gk: Kakos - bad, of a bad nature not such as it ought to be of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting
    base, wrong, wicked troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful
    Isn't this all "EVIL". When we are the ones under the calamity we call it EVIL. Furthermore, these things happen in result of sin (not necessarily though), as such, this can be called EVIL and the ultimate EVIL, depending on the degree of calamity.
    The power outage of yesterday is a calamity, and it is darkness, but not the ultimate EVIL. But to lose a loved one in a terrorist attack can be considered EVIL proceeded from the ULTIMATE EVIL. DOES GOD ORIGINATE, MAKE, CREATE IT? If He did WHEN DID HE DO IT in view of His eternity?

    Isn't this EVIL?

    calamity Heb: Ra - evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity; Gk: Kakos - bad, of a bad nature not such as it ought to be of a mode of thinking, feeling, acting


    METHINKS THAT THE WORD TO BE EXEGETED HERE IS "CREATE"!

    Does God create CONTIGENCIAL evil, for determined situations only or is He the originator of EVIL to reach His Sovereign purposes? Humbly I propose that this is the KEY issue here.

    All the translations you cite agree that GOD creates such things as they use in substitution for EVIL. Hence my insistence that CREATE, or MAKE or ORIGINATE is the word to be exegeted.

    Now, what difference does it make if he CREATES, or MAKES evil contingencially, to fit His purposes or if He CREATED evil in the first place as the SOURCE of all the calamities and every day manifestations of evil?

    Does God use Satan as His puny agent to perpetrate evil, that He, God, planned in the first place?

    Well, I will not appear to be argumentative.

    Another question, you say:


    here. my suggestion is to chuck the KJV and use a more modern version (or almost any other version for that matter).

    I could resent that ASSUMPTION but I will not. I do not use the KJV only and am not a KJV only person. Also I do not think that the KJV is the Bible Paul taugh from...
    At the same time, I feel sort of strange when I see people from our past being quoted as GREAT BIBLE INTERPRETERS when ALL the translation they had was the KJV. If it was enough for them to seek and disect the truth, why is it not for us?

    If a New accepted translation, (I use the NIV to my congregation) would solve our interpretative differences, then we'd be in heaven by now since the Holy Spirit would have achieved full UNITY OF FAITH which preceeds the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT.

    Again, what is a definition of a proof text that we all can agree on?

    (sorry for the disorganization in this post, but I think I should write our of my heart. You're intelligent, you will understand!)

    Who is our APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY of today to put what is a proof text in the perspective of the ultimate revelation, or the REVELATION OF GRACE? Who will be the determinator of the parameters of a proof text. Today most people who say that they found a proof text in reality found a "spoof text".

    Then, WHO CREATED EVIL?

    Be blessed according to Ephesian 1:3
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    Originally posted by GraceAmbassador
    I hope you do not THINK FOR ONE MOMENT, (not shouting) that after 34 years of ministry in three different countries I would not check other sources and versions and that I could not have cut and pasted the Strong's concordance as well as many other sources in my post. I ask out of pure honesty and in a bona fide desire to know if anyone would use this as a proof text. Now its up to all of us agree on the definition of a proof text, if there is any on which we can agree.
    i didn't mean to presume that you didn't look at anything else. you did, however, only give me part of one translation on which to go from. i'm not sure what i'm supposed to assume from that.

    Isn't this all "EVIL". When we are the ones under the calamity we call it EVIL. Furthermore, these things happen in result of sin (not necessarily though), as such, this can be called EVIL and the ultimate EVIL, depending on the degree of calamity.
    The power outage of yesterday is a calamity, and it is darkness, but not the ultimate EVIL. But to lose a loved one in a terrorist attack can be considered EVIL proceeded from the ULTIMATE EVIL. DOES GOD ORIGINATE, MAKE, CREATE IT? If He did WHEN DID HE DO IT in view of His eternity?

    Isn't this EVIL?
    indeed we deem it bad, evil, unfortunate, etc. but we do not see it as rebellion against the holy Creator, do we? isn't that how we are defining evil within our discussion? we are not concern about calamities or the effects of a sin torn world but in the origin of the principle or concept or proclivity for rebellion against God. we are groping for the origins of that first desire that was contrary to God's glory and holiness and not a general view of the origin or cause of particular horrible events (perhaps the "acts of God" as defined in insurance clauses).

    METHINKS THAT THE WORD TO BE EXEGETED HERE IS "CREATE"!
    ok. but in the parallelism:

    Isa 45:7 (NAS) The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.

    forming <-> causing
    creating <-> creating

    forming/causing <-> creating/creating

    forming Heb: Yatsar - to form, fashion, frame; Gk: Kataskeuazo - to furnish, equip, prepare, make ready

    creating Heb: Bara' - to create, shape, form; Gk: Poieo - to make, to do

    causing Heb: asah - to do, fashion, accomplish, make; Gk: Poieo - to make, to do

    creating Heb: Bara' - to create, shape, form; Gk: Ktizo - to create

    i believe all of these terms are the same terms used to refer to God creating a la Gen 1-2. either way, what we're talking about in this context is not the original appearance of this or of the first proclivity towards rebellion against God in a creature (whether Satan or man) but of God being the one who brings calamitous and bad things to pass. in particular the issue of foreign invasion and possession of Israel, being judgment in the form of battle, death, famine, etc.

    Does God create CONTIGENCIAL evil, for determined situations only or is He the originator of EVIL to reach His Sovereign purposes? Humbly I propose that this is the KEY issue here.
    what is CONTIGENCIAL? i'm not sure what you're asking here.

    All the translations you cite agree that GOD creates such things as they use in substitution for EVIL. Hence my insistence that CREATE, or MAKE or ORIGINATE is the word to be exegeted.

    Now, what difference does it make if he CREATES, or MAKES evil contingencially, to fit His purposes or if He CREATED evil in the first place as the SOURCE of all the calamities and every day manifestations of evil?

    Does God use Satan as His puny agent to perpetrate evil, that He, God, planned in the first place?
    God is the ultimate cause or reason or source for bringing this evil event about. but the instruments that He uses to bring these horrible events about are evil men. a good example is the issue of judas betraying jesus to be crucified. judas did it because he wanted to (it was his desire to do so) and he is held completely responsible. however God was behind it all and using the evil actions of evil men (through no coercing) to bring about His sovereign purposes. so the men are evil and the outcomes are from the terrible effects of sin and evil and God is sovereign over it all. this still does not, however, answer our question as to the origin of evil--the original desire or proclivity to rebel against God. this only answers the question of how God can be sovereign and yet also cause or create evil events. so i think that we're mixing two different issues together. i don't think Isaiah 45:7, even though it affirms that God is the author/creator of these calamitous events, is answering the question of how the first proclivity for rebellion against Him came about. this is a different issue altogether than what is being discussed in Isaiah 45:7. do you see what i'm saying?

    I could resent that ASSUMPTION but I will not.
    good. i'm glad you do not resent this assumption because it wasn't meant to offend nor was it meant to be an assumption. since you only listed one translation (and a translation of a verse that is often referred to in isolation of a discussion of what a good translation actually is here), and it appeared that you were basing your reading or interpretation upon that translation, that is all that i had to deal with based on your very short post.

    I do not use the KJV only and am not a KJV only person. Also I do not think that the KJV is the Bible Paul taugh from...
    good. i'm glad that is the case. i didn't mean to assume that you were but since that was the translation used to frame or initiate the question, that was what i needed to deal with first.

    At the same time, I feel sort of strange when I see people from our past being quoted as GREAT BIBLE INTERPRETERS when ALL the translation they had was the KJV. If it was enough for them to seek and disect the truth, why is it not for us?
    which scholars were limited to the KJV with no tools or knowledge of what was a good translation and what was not? are you suggesting that these unnamed great bible interpreters only used the KJV for exegesis? certainly it was a fine translation for its time, but i believe it is very poor compared to what we have available today. not only is the translation archaic but it is based upon poor manuscripts as well. there are many reasons not to use the KJV today and very few reasons IMHO to use it.

    If a New accepted translation, (I use the NIV to my congregation) would solve our interpretative differences, then we'd be in heaven by now since the Holy Spirit would have achieved full UNITY OF FAITH which preceeds the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT.
    i'm not saying that it will fix all of our problems but there's absolutely no reason to base an argument upon any english translation. the saying goes, "all translators are traitors." and this is true to an extent. you always lose something in translation. anyway, i hope you don't think that i'm saying that if you'd use a different version then you'd have it all figured out. i'm simply saying that the KJV is not a good version to base something on, especially if you're limiting yourself to english translations and possibly only one at that.

    Again, what is a definition of a proof text that we all can agree on?
    i don't know. but that one definitely does not answer the question as to the origin of the initial act/proclivity/desire of rebellion against God.
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    Halleluiah!

    Dear Disciple:

    You said:

    God is the ultimate cause or reason or source for bringing this evil event about
    I will stick to this statement and declare us in agreement!

    i'm not saying that it will fix all of our problems but there's absolutely no reason to base an argument upon any english translation. the saying goes, "all translators are traitors." and this is true to an extent. you always lose something in translation. anyway, i hope you don't think that i'm saying that if you'd use a different version then you'd have it all figured out. i'm simply saying that the KJV is not a good version to base something on, especially if you're limiting yourself to english translations and possibly only one at that.
    Brother, I am a professional translator. I know first hand how words translated often do not convey the meaning intended by the originator. I know for a fact that we need to look into the culture and the connotation the word had when it was spoken, if it is a word that has lost its meaning in time. However, you are right. It does not fix a problem. A good analogy would be you as an engineer discussing the print of a project drawn by three or four different drafters who used their own style and method. The project is the same and perhaps even the end product is the same, but I do not suppose that engineers would agree to discussing three different styles and methods (if that is possible). They would rather discuss one, focus in one and decide which one they will pick to discuss the project. I propose that we pick a translation of the Bible to discuss certain terms here. Can we find a good one that will ultimately be agreed upon by all of us?

    Contigentially is a management term. I was a management consultant in the past. Some managers manage by contingency. What comes to them is what determines what managerial actions they will take. The have no foresight, they cannot foresee the future and have no plan. They may be efficient but they are not effective. If God administers evil by contingencies, then He is neither Sovereign nor omniscient. I know beforehand that you do not agree that God is that kind of "manager" who uses contingecies to manage His affairs.

    In my first Bible school, my teacher, of Japonese origin, followed the teachings of Bultman. He used to "down" the Holy Writ, specially Isaiah, by stating that it was full of "synthetic parallelism", chants and drunken songs. And he cited many, including the one you cite. Thank you for reminding me of a younger age, but it is sad that I had to be reminded of such a good man with such a bad theology.

    In any case, as I state above, we have to conclude that God does not ALLOW nor OVERLOOKS evil. His will is causistic and not passive. He causes evil and Isaiah, in no way shape or form, parallelism or not, is poetry and a chant, as Professor Takya would say it is...

    Thanks for clarifying your thoughts about my assertions.

    I rejoice in that we agree and see no relevance in that we do not disagree. For the others participants of this discussion, please, forgive me if I always end my discussions questioning the relevance thereof.
    Grace Ambassador
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  19. #19
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    A Few Initial Thoughts

    Dear Brethren:

    Wow, did I open up a can of worms here! I had no idea that so much discussion would take place before I had opportunity to sign on again.

    Although I have a definite position on the issues herein discussed, my main purpose is to show that this is one of the serious doctrinal issues that Protestantism and the history of dogmatics has not solved; thus opening it up for re-study. So I'm not wanting to play all of my cards at this point.

    Disciple:

    To clarify one of your questions: NO, I do not believe that evil originated in the PERSON of God at all. The Bible is clear on that. God is holy and in him is no darkness or delight in (acceptance of) evil. My position is that it had to originate in his PURPOSES, as NOTHING escapes God's sovereign predestination; therefore it is created. To say that God creates evil does not imply that God IS evil or DOES evil. The creation is always a separate entity from the creator. Some beings or entities of creation bear the stamp of God's holiness and character (the elect angels and their immutably righteous hearts, for example)--others do not.

    You seem to want to leave this question to mystery and paradox (proposing that scriptural revelation does not answer it), as virtually all the Protestant theologians have done. This I cannot do. Some questions God has not answered, but others critical to God's eternal purposes are definitely answered in scripture.

    My point about Col. 1:13-17 is not that Paul makes a direct reference to God creating sin. But I believe that it certainly includes this. There are at least 4 entities that most theologians have assumed are non-created:

    1. Time
    2. Space
    3. Law
    4. Sin

    I reject this notion as being a part of the very Manichaean philosopy that Paul is refuting in Colossians. All 'things' (what are things--only material things that we can observe; hardly!) are created by Him and for Him--to serve his eternal purposes.

    My main point about Col. 1:13-17 is this: Paul is saying that God created the wicked devils for his own purposes! They are assigned a sure and certain lot in the 'invisible' order of things. In saying that God created the wicked devils who have eternal sin in their hearts, Paul is stating that God creates evil and wickedness. The eternal sin has nothing to do with God's own person and nature--it is totally separate from himself.

    I don't see your argument at all about the Hebrew RA in Isa. 45:7. It is the traditional argument of most Roman Catholics and Protestants on the verse. However, I'm glad to say--there are a few dissenters who agree with me on this one (a rare commodity!). Gordon Clark presented numerous verses in his book 'Predestination' that evidence uses of RA in the Old Testament that can only refer to wickedness (Gen. 6:5 is only one of 50 examples). It is also used of disaster, however, in English we assume that these are opposite concepts (MORAL evil vs. PHYSICAL evil). The Hebrew mind had no such distinction. RA refers to all things bad (the 'dark' side of creation and providence), whether moral or physical.

    Enough for now. I will review the rest and write more soon.

    In the gospel,
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    Re: Halleluiah!

    Originally posted by GraceAmbassador
    Can we find a good one that will ultimately be agreed upon by all of us?
    well i've narrowed down what a bad one is or how a good translation should not read.

    Contigentially is a management term. I was a management consultant in the past.
    contingency i understand though i've never heard the word contingencial. then i looked it up in the dictionary and found that it was not there. thanks for clearing that up. yes i do not think God operates on contingencies.

    I rejoice in that we agree and see no relevance in that we do not disagree.
    i'm glad we agree on this fact. the question remains, however, of the origins of the first proclivity for rebellion against God came and how (or if) Scripture broaches this subject...
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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