Re: Fw: Underlying assumptions

John Tant, N4XAN (jtant@exis.net)
Tue, 10 Dec 1996 17:47:58 -0500

Greetings all,
I'll just chime in briefly here.
I remember being told by a dear brother that those in rebellion don't
worry
about whether they might be. I think that this applies here in this
way. If
I am sincerely worried about whether I am "exchanging for a lie", I
question
whether God would allow that to continue in light of James 1:5 ("If any
of you
lack wisdom, let him ask of God ..."). So, if asking the question isn't
the
problem (see Habakkuk) and is encouraged (James 1:5), I'd say that we're
most
likely on legitimate ground theologically, IMHO.
I'll have to confess that the "functional integrity" idea is
something I'm
not sure I understand. Does that have to do with God's attributes
"being
clearly seen through that which was made"?
jbt

Richard A. Knopp wrote:
> But I am interested in knowing, especially from those who take the
> "functional integrity" approach, how does Paul's statement in Romans 1:18-32
> fit in? It appears that Paul concedes that many will, in fact, regard God as
> "unnecessary" (e.g. they do "not see fit to acknowledge God any longer" vs.
> 28).
> But this condition does not at all appear to be one which Paul is
> commending. Rather, Paul's response here is not to give a justification for
> the cross, but to claim that somehow God IS recognizable in and through
> creation. Those who can't (or more properly won't) acknoweledge his necessity
> are charged with substituting for God, through human speculation, their own
> explanations for what is in nature. Such people "suppress the truth" (vs. 18)
> and have exchanged it for a "lie" (vs. 25); they are "futile" and "foolish"
> (vs. 21-22); and they are given over by God to have "depraved" minds (vs. 28)
> and to do all sorts of unrighteousness (vs. 29-31).
> To be honest, I am more open to this functional integrity perspective
> than I ever thought I would be, but this is one theological context that really
> raises concerns. If I adopt a view of "functional intregrity" that ironically
> offers me no "functional difference" between explaining the world
> naturalistically and having to appeal to the creative hand of God, how can I
> assure myself that my new perspective is not exchanging "the glory of the
> incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and
> four-footed animals and crawling creatures" (vs. 23)? If I think that it's
> *acceptable* to explain the world "from the inside," how can I be confident
> that I am not, in essence, giving "hearty approval" to those who do not honor
> God as God because they fail to "see" Him in his created world (vs. 32,20-21)?
> Though I certainly don't think Paul was intending to address our
> specific questions over young earth creationism, progressive creationism, or
> functional creationism, my theological antibodies are aroused when I consider
> the possibility that one way to be "foolish" is by interpreting the evident
> presence of God in such a way as to reduce it to speculations "from the inside"
> which focus on birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures" (vs. 22-23).
> I THINK I know what an advocate of functional intregrity would say
> about Romans 1, but I want to HEAR it and be open to new insights. At this
> point, however, it seems to me that the view of the ID progressive creationist
> has a more plausible hermeneutic of Romans 1.
> --
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Richard A. Knopp, M.Div., Ph.D.
> Prof. of Philosophy & Christian Apologetics
> Lincoln Christian College & Seminary
> 100 Campus View Drive
> Lincoln, IL 62656
>
> "If God didn't exist, He would want us not to believe in Him."
>
> * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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