Saturday, July 12, 2008

Response to the Latest Gabcast of Godismyjudge

I apologize to any readers who are getting tired of the back-and-forth betwixt Godismyjudge (Dan) and myself. Dan has a new 43 minute audio response (link) to my latest blog post (link). I really don't like that format of response for several reasons: it takes longer to listen to him speak than to read what he writes, going back to find something is easier when scanning through text, and putting it in writing makes it easier to locate using Internet search engines, for the edification of others.

I didn't really appreciate Dan's suggestions that I am "shifting the question." I'm simply looking for clarification from Dan about what he means by "absolutely impossible." I also didn't really agree with Dan's characterizations of Edwards' discussion of the will, and I didn't particularly agree with his attempted three-fold division of Calvinistic thought on the subject.

Frankly, all those things are tangents, and I'd rather get past them to the meat of the matter. Here's my proposal going forward. To be clear, I'm not trying to "shift [any] question[s]" but simply to clarify.

For the sake of discussion, let's take the following model of God from my previous post (which, unless I missed it in the 3/4 hour presentation, Dan failed to address):

1. God exists;
2. God has a nature/attributes;
3. God acts based on his nature/attributes;
4. Among God's timeless acts, God decrees to create;
5. God, logically subsequent to the decree to act, knows that (and what) he will create; and
6. Among God's acts, and as the first temporal act, and logically subsequent to the decree and knowledge, God creates.

Question of clarification: What is the reference point that Dan has in mind for his question about absolute impossibility?

My best guess based on listening to his gabcast is between (2) and (3).

But perhaps Dan has some other point in the logical order in mind. Thus, I will respectfully request that he just point out what he has in mind, in terms of the order above, or to explain why that order is unacceptable etc., rather than try to provide a comprehensive answer for each question.

I also want to again direct Dan to consider what Turretin himself has to say about this topic, which can be found at pages 218-220 of the English printed edition of Volume 1 of Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology (Pars Prima, Locus Tertia, Quae. XIV).

Finally, I have a question for Dan, is God loving himself and/or his creation an action of God's in terms of the question that Dan is trying to ask? In other words, is Dan asking me to answer the question about absolute impossibility without reference to the Love of God for Himself and/or his creation?

-TurretinFan

6 comments:

natamllc said...

TF,

not to patronize you in any way, I find it remarkable that I just got done requesting Dan to come back to writing his debate out or convince you to start a gabcast so that there is equality. I opened his blog first.

You, in my judgment, have the advantage simply because it is much easier to follow what one reads than when one listens, even in the privacy and quietness of ones domain.

It also makes it harder to defend a position.

In any event, in the present world each of us finds ourselves in participating in this debate by comments, together betwixt you two, when will we get to the substance of the matter at hand?

Christ is not being lifted up to lost souls, Elect in every way as we, yet, because of the lack of preachers being sent to proclaim the Gospel, they endure hardships unnecessary to the necessary to which we are all called! Not a fault, just a fact put forth!

Having written that I hasten to say I have not stayed out of this debate. I have made comments in here and you graciously have admitted my comments and by virture of Dan's not filtering comments has graciously admitted my comments at his blog too.

The merit herein seems to me that both of you are sharpening my ability to be less ignorant and more knowledgeable which is helpful for me all the while I am living the Gospel and when necessary using words to define it to the hearers I am called to live and preach the Gospel to.

This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached to every creature and the end shall come!

michael

zog said...

TF,

I couldn't pull up Dan's audio with the link that you provided, am I doing something wrong?

Turretinfan said...

Dear Zog,

No, that was my mistake. It looks like a made a bad link. I think I've fixed it now.

-TurretinFan

Magnus said...

It seems that the main problem now is that you are not answering the question they way that he wants you too:)

It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that by holding to LFW you make man a completely independent autonomous agent, this of course goes counter the Bible which states that this applies ONLY TO GOD.

One more thing, if we have LFW and we make choices independent of everything (external and internal) then what exactly does God control? Would God control the repercussions of those choices? Probably not being clear here, say that someone named “Robert” uses his LFW to kill someone, where does God’s control kick in? I’m assuming that “Robert” would say that no external or internal conditions caused his choice and that God had no control over it, so where would God’s control start?

Mag

Turretinfan said...

Magnus,

The idea that God lacks control over anything is a serious error that leads to heresy.

I hope that those who hold to LFW (whatever that term is supposed to mean) would not assert that God lacks control over the free acts of men.

Of course, as we see, the primary to try to adopt LFW appears to be desire to take God out of the picture. On this, though, I think that many of the advocates preserve themselves to a degree simply by being inconsistent.

-TurretinFan

Magnus said...

I agree that most people who hold to LFW are inconsistent in their view. When we read in Daniel that our breath is in God’s hand and so are all our ways I wonder how a LFW advocate interprets that. When I hear the LFW side claim that man is independent of external & internal factors and is the self-cause of his actions and then read in Jeremiah that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man to walketh to direct his steps I see just how foolish the LFW view is in light of the Bible.

God help me, I think I’m becoming more and more Reformed everyday.

Mag