Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ventriloquist Theology

Some anonymous commenter has repeatedly tried to post the following comment on various posts on this blog. He seems to be taking the approach of the widow to the unjust judge - forcing me to face his criticism by relentlessly pursuing his cause. Since it wearies me so to keep hitting the "reject," and thereby avoid the crushing force of his criticism, I guess I'll have to face it head on.

He writes, "There is no mediator between a dummy and his ventriloquist."

This appears to be a variation on the objections we already addressed in detail in this earlier post (link). Along similar lines, we respond here:

a) So what? Dummies are not moral agents - they do not need to be reconciled to their ventriloquists. Humans are moral agents, and by sin they are separated from God. That's why they need an agent.

b) Of course, God is even more in control of his creation than a ventriloquist is in control of his dummy. As the Psalms tell us:

Psalm 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

In fact, in ventriloquism a human merely manipulates a mindless dummy - but God is able to manipulate thinking human beings:

Psalm 33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.

Though God does not normally treat us like a ventriloquist treats his dummy, we should take it as enormous privilege if he were to do so:

Exodus 4:15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

Jeremiah 1:9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Ezekiel 33:22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

For it is God who made the mouth and can both give and take away the power of speech:

Exodus 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Luke 1:20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

c) But probably someone will complain that analogizing a human to a mere dummy is degrading to man. Do you think so? Scripture takes things a step further and compares men to mere pottery:

Psalm 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Isaiah 30:14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

Jeremiah 18:6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

d) In fact, God even refers to men as his axe, sword, or other hand instruments - even a cup, sometines:

Jeremiah 51:20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Isaiah 10:15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Psalm 17:13-14
13Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: 14From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

e) Thus, Job rightly attributed all the calamaties that came upon himself (including being robbed by wicked men) as being wrought by God's hand:

Job 12:9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?

f) And the truly wise will acknowledge that although a ventriloquist can only move the body of his dummy, the LORD can move the very heart of man:

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

2 Chronicles 18:31 And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

1 Kings 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

Psalm 105:25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.

Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Jeremiah 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.

Lamentations 5:21 Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.

g) God can even harden the heart of man:

Exodus 4:21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exodus 7:3 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 7:13 And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Exodus 9:12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.

Exodus 10:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

Exodus 10:20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.

Exodus 10:27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.

Exodus 11:10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

Exodus 14:8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

Exodus 14:17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

Deuteronomy 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.

Joshua 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Isaiah 63:17 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

John 12:40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

g) Therefore, let us aspire not to be as human-like as dummies, but merely jewelry:

Isaiah 62:3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

-TurretinFan

3 comments:

natamllc said...

"There is no mediator between a dummy and his ventriloquist."

hmmmmm?

And the point is?

I suppose, rarely though, that a ventriloquist "makes" or "creates" his dummie?

In any event, the dummie does nothing so the comparison is lost in the translation.

Unlike the dummie, God's dummies have all sinned and fallen short of His Glory.

The ventriloquist's dummie is so nothing it couldn't even attain to such ability.

It does seem unfair that he should go on so.

Is there nothing more ventriloquist?

With a rationale as "There is no mediator between a dummy and his ventriloquist." it seems whatever it might be would be so dumb!

I have to say, he is being very very smart remaining anonymous!

luvvom said...

"There is no mediator between a dummy and his ventriloquist"

This sayer sounds like my persecutor! Have you banned him from your site so that he comes in disguise to harass you? Such hate he has for the reformed, Biblical faith...whoever it might be.

Turretinfan said...

If I had to guess, I'd also guess that it was B2k8 posting anonymously. It shows the same level of insight into Scripture.

-TurretinFan