Saturday, May 31, 2008

With God nothing else shall be possible?

Turretinfan argued for determinism (here) to which I responded (here) and he has again responded (here).

I had argued: "The first verse in scripture claims that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) We either understand this by faith, or we do not. (Hebrews 11:3) Consider God’s first action. By definition, no act of God preceded that first act. So no causes preceded that action. Rather, God self-determined that action, by performing it. Thus, contrary to Calvinism, self-determining power exists."

TF responded: This argument is obviously fallacious, because it conflates "cause" with "action." Although there was no action before Creation, nevertheless God's nature and counsel, being eternal, preceded the first action. Scripture explicitly speaks of God's counsel existing "before the foundation of the Earth." (Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:) Thus, elsewhere we read, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:1-3) Thus, there is a cause and explanation for Creation: the Triune God.

Seems like TF is saying God’s first act emanates from His nature a) without something external acting on Him and b) without something internal to God acting first. If that’s the case, then God truly self-determines. On this much we can agree! Hurray!!! I am aware TF can argue that man can’t self-determine or that God can only self-determine 1 thing. Please just let me enjoy the moment.

Not only that, TF called the agent (i.e. God) a cause. That is to say the agent, without a preceding action (either external or internal to the agent) is the cause of its action. This is nothing short of an affirmation of agent causation and denial of event causation on Tfan’s part.
Normally, determinists wouldn’t say call something inactive a cause. But if TF is willing to call agents causes, then the answer to TF’s 2nd question is the agent.

Now then, let’s get to the controversial part. It rained this afternoon. Was it absolutely impossible for God to create a world which didn’t include rain this afternoon? Seems to me that unless Tfan says yes, God has LFW. Again, unless God was unable to have the slightest detail in the universe be any different that it was, is or will be, God had LFW.

There doesn’t seem like much of a point in getting into the rest of Tfan’s post without resolving this.

11 comments:

natamllc said...

Dan,

seems to me that you have so put it this way, you should let your shoe fall first, ok?

Job 11:7 "Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
Job 11:8 It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know?
Job 11:9 Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.
Job 11:10 If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back?
Job 11:11 For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
Job 11:12 But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey's colt is born a man!

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Natamllc,

That's a great chapter in Job, no?

Here's the rest:

Job 11:13 "If you would direct your heart right And spread out your hand to Him,
Job 11:14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, And do not let wickedness dwell in your tents;
Job 11:15 "Then, indeed, you could lift up your face without moral defect, And you would be steadfast and not fear.
Job 11:16 "For you would forget your trouble, As waters that have passed by, you would remember it.
Job 11:17 "Your life would be brighter than noonday; Darkness would be like the morning.
Job 11:18 "Then you would trust, because there is hope; And you would look around and rest securely.
Job 11:19 "You would lie down and none would disturb you, And many would entreat your favor.
Job 11:20 "But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And there will be no escape for them; And their hope is to breathe their last."

God be with you,
Dan

natamllc said...

Dan,

now, now,

you mean to say this is your first shoe?

hmmmmmm

Me thinks, as another I am mindful of, you might have met your match with TF.

I do not consider your consideration a match with TF's reponse.

That is indeed my self determination for which Christ died, for me, happily! For Him, hmmmm, what was His determination in that?

Ok, here:

Psa 92:4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
Psa 92:5 How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!
Psa 92:6 The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this:
Psa 92:7 that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever;
Psa 92:8 but you, O LORD, are on high forever.


And not to be outdone, here too:

Psa 94:10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge--
Psa 94:11 the LORD--knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.
Psa 94:12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,
Psa 94:13 to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.

You might say, I am a Scripture onlyist kinda guy. :)

natamllc said...

Oh, and I can spell, just sometimes I cannot type.

RESPOND, RESPONSE.

Now for my determination using Zophar the Naamathite and then follow on with words of King David.

God was sore angry with him too:::>

Job 42:7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: "My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
Job 42:8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.

Now with that Shepherd boy David. He would be King for the King of Kings that Shepherd Boy!

So it seems to me that your consideration by quoting the rest of him at Job 11 seems to fit in here now doesn't it, or seems it not?

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Natamllc,

You said: You might say, I am a Scripture onlyist kinda guy. :)

That makes two of us.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Natamllc,

You said: Me thinks, as another I am mindful of, you might have met your match with TF.

I am not trying to defeat TF. I am trying to learn from him.

God be with you,
Dan

natamllc said...

wow Dan, you have a strange way of learning, I would say, ah, self determine then.

But, me too. I am learning a lot from this guy! It is refreshing to learn from someone who knows what they are teaching, unlike others.

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Natamllc,

Perhaps so. I am trying to find our fundamental point of disagreement.

God be with you,
Dan

natamllc said...

Dan

I cannot honestly tell when the day or hour was some time ago when I first crossed paths with TF. But I can tell you one thing I have learned about him, he does not equivocate and when he writes his word to you, the disagreement will be in what he wrote. Go to the first response from him where he lays it out plainly what the disagreement is. That is what it is. You do not have to "dig" deeper than what is written. You, if I remember correctly, laid out your disagreement with his response. So something there is here and here is there.

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Natamllc,

Then why do we still disagree?

God be with you,
Dan

natamllc said...

I don't know, you tell me what TF writes that troubles you.