Re: the tradition that Abraham engaged in astronomical studies

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Fri Jun 27 2003 - 00:28:33 EDT

  • Next message: Don Winterstein: "Re: Concordist sequence--why be a concordist?"

    On Thu, 26 Jun 2003 19:59:08 +0000 "Josh Bembenek" <>
    > Dave: “I think part of the problem in dealing with choice is a tacit
    > assumption that free choice must the totally uncontrolled. But it
    > should be
    > obvious that every choice is restricted by the physical. No one can
    > choose
    > to fly by flapping his arms. Other restrictions are more subtle. If
    > King
    > David had internalized the Ten Commandments, he would not have
    > brought
    > Bathsheba into his bedroom. The work of the Spirit is not foolproof,
    > but
    > restricts many options.”
    > Indeed, aren’t we instructed in 1Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation
    > has seized
    > you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not
    > let you
    > be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he
    > will also
    > provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” I don’t see
    > how this
    > could be possible without some subtle form of choice restriction
    > enforcement. In terms of free choice and finding God, I tend to
    > think that
    > we could make no choice unless God makes himself available for us to
    > choose,
    > while God cannot choose us if we are unavailable (the question is
    > what can
    > make us unavailable to God besides His Will?) Is there any point in
    > trying
    > to distinguish between the Will of God and the choices of our “Free
    > Will”,
    > since nothing that occurs can be outside of God’s will, i.e.
    > Pharoah's hard
    > heart and God's desire to demonstrate His power?
    If I take your last question literally, there is no freedom, for God
    makes us do whatever it is that we do. Are you going to say that "not
    willing that any should perish" (II Peter 3:9) means that all /must/ be
    saved? that Peter is wrong? Were the sins Paul condemned in the
    Corinthian church what God made them do?

    The promise in I Corinthians stands. His grace is sufficient for his
    child to withstand any temptation that comes along. The problem is either
    we do not seek his empowerment, or we are so distant from him that we do
    not recognize something as a temptation. Someplace C. S. Lewis noted that
    he was not tempted in certain ways that are grave problems for others. As
    I recall, he was saying that he should receive no credit for withstanding
    what didn't tempt him. One who fell might well have been waging a fierce

    God does not make anyone take hallucinogens. But he has established the
    principles that produce mental malfunction in those who take them. He
    doesn't make the drugged individual try to fly from a window. But his
    laws take over when one leaves the support. Spiritual matters are
    analogous. God has set the rules. We can act within the established
    parameters or try to flout them. We may also foul up if for any reason we
    don't understand them. This is essential if anyone is to love God.
    Consider the vital difference of a person (1)programing a computer to
    write, "You're wonderful. I love you.," every time it boots (or pops up
    every few minutes on the screen) or (2) following Couee and every morning
    looking into the mirror and saying three times, "Every day in every way
    I'm getting better and better." (3) Having a sycophant compliment you
    profusely in order to manipulate you to his goals. (4) Having an
    undemonstrative person around who is devoted to you but doesn't make any
    fuss about it. Anyone opting for the first three is pathetic, for there
    is no love in them. There is something better than the fourth, of course,
    but there is love there, which can only be freely given. God as
    omnipotent could produce entities that would act like a lover, but it
    would be no less pathetic than (1). But a being that is free to love is
    also free to reject. Still, one who truly loves will accept the pain of

    Along with this, I have a special take on hell. I believe it is the
    provision of a loving God for those who would be in agony in the presence
    of his holiness, or even the need to recognize him. He will not impose a
    change on them. I also recognize that, as I now am, I cannot stand his
    presence, but I have accepted his gracious offer to become like his Son
    before I face his glory.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Fri Jun 27 2003 - 00:31:27 EDT