Originally posted by knightmeister
When a man chooses to be compassionate , what is actually happening? In spiritual/Christian terms he is being moved by the Spirit to love his brother.
For sure he is "choosing" to be compassionate , but the power to be compassionate and the stirring of love within him is also an action of the Spirit.
Similarly , if a man starts to pray what is ...[text shortened]...
I put it to ToO that grace is integral to everything we do that is good and righteous.
So, when a person “chooses” to do good it is not on her own recognizance, but only as she is divinely moved to do so—but when a person chooses to do evil, only that is a real choice on her part?
I mean, either the “__” belong around the word choose in both places or neither, surely. Otherwise you are really saying that I only think
that I am choosing the good in every such case, but I actually am
choosing the evil in every such case.
And that would mean that evil actions only happen when God chooses not
to move a person definitively toward the good. And it would mean that no one can answer the call to repentance, for example; they are simply moved to repentance, and others are not.
Now, the only way that one can get any kind of theodicy out of that (if one can reasonable be got at all) is on the basis that human nature is utterly and totally depraved, and that God chooses to move some to (a) good, and (b) salvation, for no discernable reason
. And I recognize that that is the theological view of some, but—
For one to say that “God is just
”, for example, under such conditions, is to say nothing more meaningful than God is dillywirt
, since we have absolutely no comprehension of what being “just” might mean to such a God. Such “pure grace” can only be discerned by us as randomness, and no one ought to be confused by any other talk about the reasons or attributes of God (or about “faith” and “works”, for that matter). All such God-talk is rendered meaningless, whatever its source.
I don’t think that’s what you intend here, KM.
(1) God either saves or does not save for some reason(s)—or else God’s salvific action is random.
(2) God’s reasons either have something to do with us—our decisions, thoughts, beliefs, behavior—or they do not. In the latter case, all such things on our part are simply irrelevant.
(3) If God’s reasons have anything to do with us, then we are either aware of them (and are capable of understanding them)—or we are not. In the latter case, there is simply nothing to be said about it, except—
(1)’ God either saves or does not save...