On Wed, 29 May 2002 05:15:04 Dr. Blake Nelson wrote: > > >--- Stuart d Kirkley <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >(SNIP) >> John, >> If I read you right, you are saying that omnipotence >> is dependent on >> our assumptions. > >Actually, I think his point was that _you_ are >assuming something about God's omnipotence that is >neither logically necessary nor can we really hope to >make complete logical sense of the nature of God.
SK: Well, that may be, but my original premise is still consistent with logic, that if we allow that God is omnipotent, we must also refute any other supposed power apart from God if we are to remain faithful to the first commandment. The question then is, What is the true nature of God, and how do we discern it? As Christians, we learn to discern it through grace, which is revealed to us through Christ Jesus, and which we experience as we adopt the Christly outlook (or the mind that was in Christ Jesus) in our own lives. > > >(SNIP) >> What else could >> omnipotence mean, than all power, supreme control, >> absolute >> jurisdiction over all creation. > >This is one definition of omnipotence that is not very >logically compelling, because, you get into silly >logical arguments about God lacking omnipotence if >defined in this way. No matter how you define it, >omnipotence is not the power to do anything without >restraint. Once you decide to do something, other >things become illogical, contradictory or nonsensical.
SK: I'm not sure I completely follow your logic here. If you argue that God does not display His omnipotence as revealed through natural disasters or apparent discord in the physical world then yes, you will have all these contradictions. One thing that I have come to understand is that God's jurisdiction is over the spiritual realm. The Bible repeatedly declares that God is Spirit. Is not matter and the physical realm the opposite of Spirit? If God, or Spirit, is omnipresent, or all presence, all Spirit, then what and where is matter? If we affirm the reality of matter, do we not by extension, affirm that Spirit is not all presence. Science and Molecular Physics is gradually revealing to us that the nature of matter is not what it appears to be to the physical senses. Just as Copernicus determined the true astronomical relations of the celestial bodies, which refuted the evidence before the senses, so too are advances in science revealing that the hard substance before the se! nse s is not necessarily all that solid. Are we gradually learning that what the Bible affirms for us is true, that God is all presence and is Spirit, so all presence is actually Spirit, not matter? And if so, then omnipotence must be the jurisdiction of Spirit, not matter, as also follows that omniscience is the jurisdiction of Divine Mind, not matter, and omnipresence is the jurisdiction of Divine Spirit, not matter. My understanding from this is that the first commandment is affirming what we are learning through the physical sciences, that God or Spirit, is the truth of reality, and if we acknowledge God as Spirit, we must refute that matter, being opposed to Spirit or God, has any power, or intelligence or any real presence. If we rely on the testimony of the physical senses, which would argue that matter does have these qualities, are we not violating the first commandment, and is science not revealing to us that this is actually the case, that the senses do deceive us, a! nd reality is spiritual and wholly removed from the testimony of the senses, which science continually reveals and which the Bible has been maintaining for centuries. > >> I fear you are making the classic >> mistake of ascribing human limitation to the divine >> province. I mean >> no offence, John, we are all somewhat guilty of it. > >I think Burgy is doing exactly the opposite of >ascribing a human limitation to God. You are making >the mistake of thinking that the human concept of >omnipotence accurately describes the power inherent in >God and also the will or ability to exercise that >power. In fact, like Kant and others before him, I >tend to think that God defies our categorization in >this way. We can approximately understand aspects of >His nature through His revelation, but we can't >understand completely. I think the extent of God's >power is one area we are likely to not understand that >well.
SK: Only if we continue to rely on human intellect to discern the nature of omnipotence. 'God is of purer eyes than to behold evil.' How is it that we behold evil? If God does not behold it, or acknowledge it, it is because it is without reality to Him, and if He is omniscient, or the only true intelligence, then what is the reality of evil, what can be the basis for evil? It can have no basis, once we allow that God is indeed omniscient and omnipotent, and we remove our human intellect from the equation. I think this is what the Bible exhorts us to do, to humble ourselves and acknowledge Divine Omniscience as the true source of all intelligence and wisdom in the universe,which is wholly good and without any trace or hint or reality of evil.
'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?' Romans 11:33,34
> >> Christ said, Ye >> shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you >> free. Do you not >> feel that God is truly omnipotent? > >The problem, Stuart, is the definition of omnipotence. > We have the same problem with omniscience, >omnipresence, etc. > >The more human the definition of omnipotence, the more >acute (apparently) the problems of evil and theodicy. >It is the fuzzy human notion of omnipotence that >creates the greatest theodicy problems. > >Blake
SK: If we allow there to be any power other than God, then we are placing human limitation on God, and we may have a difficult time in understanding his divine province, because our human reasoning is obscuring the revealing (revelation) of divine intelligence and power. This is the crucial import of the first commandment. Which is why we should learn to surrender all human opinion and conjecture (ie, obey the first commandment) and meekly trust in the unfailing direction of divine omniscience to properly reveal to our benighted understanding the reality of eternal spiritual life which is revealed through the resurrection from death and the final ascension above all physical limitation of the Wayshower, Christ Jesus.
sincerely, Stuart Kirkley >
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