1. Hmmm . . .
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    11 Aug '15 20:346 edits
    All of the following is intended to fall within a Christic context. The reductio ad absurdum is this:


    1. It is God’s will (intention) to save everyone;

    2. There is no exogenous power that can defeat God;

    3. Not everyone is saved.



    It is a reductio ad absurdum because not all three statements can be true without contradiction (though all could be false), assuming I have phrased them well enough..

    NOTE: The reality of some condition conventionally called “hell” need not be part of the equation—only the contention that “hell” is a forever perduring state. Both a hell that is non-permanent and annihilationism are alternative possibilities (though the latter does affirm 3., while the former need not).

    ALSO: Divine justice, per se, is not necessarily placed in question, though retributive justice (as opposed to reformative/restorative—and hence reconciling—justice) may well be.* Nor is the question of belief versus behavior (or faith versus works) a necessary component. Nor, I think, is Trinitarianism versus Unitarianism.

    In other words:

    (1) God saves everyone (ultimately);

    (2) God fails to save everyone (God’s will is defeated by some exogenous power); OR

    (3) God does not really will (desire/intend) to save everyone.

    The first is universalism (rejecting proposition 3. in the reductio); the second is Arminianism (rejecting proposition 2.); the third is Augustinianism—and, in Protestantism, Calvinism—(rejecting proposition 1.).

    Now—

    If one is committed to any one of the three positions, then one can certainly find interpretations of Scripture in support. The question is what hermeneutical principles guide one in the process. There are also textual issues—such as what exactly this Greek word means here or there.

    One reason that some hermeneutical guides are important is because otherwise someone could just string texts together willy-nilly, or do some sort of crude verse-count—that would be rather like giving credit for how many mimeographs of a single position that one can run off. (Someone did just that on here once by listing a whole string of Pauline quotes, claiming the simple number of quotes demonstrated that the majority bible position went against something quoted in the Letter of James.) Broadly, hermeneutical principles are necessary to prevent simply searching for ways to prove what one has already decided to believe—or has been conditioned to believe, perhaps by one’s immersion in a particular denomination or theological paradigm, and hence finds it difficult to even imagine questioning the received teachings.

    Context matters. One necessary hermeneutical decision is which texts contextualize (and hence relativize) which other texts. For example, from a Christic position (which is where I have chosen to cast this issue), I would view the NT as generally context-setting vis-à-vis the OT. For another, I generally take statements that seem to me to be about god’s essential nature to contextualize attributes predicated on that nature—that is, such attributes must be expressions of the essential nature, and cannot be taken to relativize that nature in any way (rather than the other way ‘round).

    The point of all this? I believe that the above “trilemma” exhausts the possibilities. I am presenting it, again, strictly within a Christian (or, as I prefer, “Christic” ) framework—and not as any kind of counter to the Christian faith from outside. Personally, I am exploring a defense of (1) above: universalism, from the point of view of (a) God’s essential nature as agape; (b) denial that such a God’s attribute of “justness” can reasonably be seen as retributive (or remunerative), but rather as reformative/restorative; (c) the apokatstasis as God’s ultimate restoration/reconciliation of all; (d) even with God’s attribute of “justness”, more emphasis on a soteriology of healing/well-being (that is, actual soteria); and (e) a generally (though, as I noted, not necessarily) Trinitarian understanding. I will also rely on Paul—I know this would put me at immediate impasse with those who set Jesus counter to Paul; so be it: that’s not an issue that I will argue. I will also approach the whole thing from the “three pillars of faith” of the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church: scripture, tradition and reason. I am not an adherent of sola scriptura—nevertheless, I expect the weight of my argument to fall on scripture (text), with the insistence that any textual interpretation be logically coherent.

    This will take some time because, although the arguments have been made on here before, I want to make sure my own thinking is lined up coherently. I have some more reading to do. But I thought this thread could be just a kind of preface—but it can also be seen as background to the threads that have recently addressed this issue—especially as pursued by divegeester—(without any pretense that I can necessarily argue better than others already have). I have generally found myself in agreement with divegeester as I followed those threads (probably not in sufficient detail—mea culpa), but need to go through the effort to form my own thoughts in my own way. This is just a (my) beginning.

    ________________________________________________________

    * The parable of the vineyard workers suggests that any kind of divine remunerative justice is not in play at all. I am ignoring distributive justice (though I imagine that rwingett could make a cogent argument for its importance in Christic thinking).
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    11 Aug '15 21:52
    Originally posted by vistesd
    All of the following is intended to fall within a Christic context. The reductio ad absurdum is this:


    1. It is God’s will (intention) to save everyone;

    2. There is no exogenous power that can defeat God;

    3. Not everyone is saved.



    It is a reductio ad absurdum because not all three statements can be true without contradicti ...[text shortened]... h I imagine that rwingett could make a cogent argument for its importance in Christic thinking).
    Does this assume that God places nothing above His will, in that He would respect it over
    His own desires?
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    11 Aug '15 22:073 edits
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Does this assume that God places nothing above His will, in that He would respect it over
    His own desires?
    Good question—

    (1) Not if others than God pay the ultimate price (but that is part of the argument that I am exploring).

    (2) I would take it that God’s will/intention/desire reflects what God ultimately values.

    (3) Assuming that a free-will argument underlies your question (just based on past history, though I could be wrong), does it matter if a free-will choice is fully-informed and understood? I would think so.

    Example: I may value free will (of whatever definition we may talk about), but that does not mean that I value it over the health and well-being of (a) someone I love, and/or (b) some innocent party being abused. The argument that God values our free will over God’s desire for our ultimate well-being is one of the Arminianist arguments. Can you think of circumstances under which your love for another would lead you to intercede against their (momentary and possibly ill-informed) free choice?

    __________________________________________

    EDIT Not that I think that human beings actually have the kind of existentially unconditioned "free will" that seems to be sometimes assumed.
  4. Standard memberKellyJay
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    11 Aug '15 23:20
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Good question—

    (1) Not if others than God pay the ultimate price (but that is part of the argument that I am exploring).

    (2) I would take it that God’s will/intention/desire reflects what God ultimately values.

    (3) Assuming that a free-will argument underlies your question (just based on past history, though I could be wrong), does it matter if ...[text shortened]... ly have the kind of existentially unconditioned "free will" that seems to be sometimes assumed.
    I love family, but if they are so fully given themselves over to drugs to the point that they
    cannot be trusted, do I let them steal, rob, and so on without acting against their will?

    Their choices in life will in deed open and close doors even in homes of people who love
    them.
  5. Standard membervivify
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    12 Aug '15 00:41
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I love family, but if they are so fully given themselves over to drugs to the point that they
    cannot be trusted, do I let them steal, rob, and so on without acting against their will?


    them.
    We've been over this. God doesn't care about free will, and has violated it many times in the bible. Just look at this thread's OP:

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=163325
  6. Standard memberKellyJay
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    12 Aug '15 00:50
    Originally posted by vivify
    We've been over this. God doesn't care about free will, and has violated it many times in the bible. Just look at this thread's OP:

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=163325
    I'm not sure I've been involved in all the discussions on God and free will man.
    I'm sure man's will since it is steeped in sin is something that God has violated many
    times. I also believe that what God wants has nothing to do with our sinful nature, but His.
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    12 Aug '15 00:50
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I love family, but if they are so fully given themselves over to drugs to the point that they
    cannot be trusted, do I let them steal, rob, and so on without acting against their will?

    Their choices in life will in deed open and close doors even in homes of people who love
    them.
    I love family, but if they are so fully given themselves over to drugs to the point that they
    cannot be trusted, do I let them steal, rob, and so on without acting against their will?


    And if they are taking actions to harm themselves irreparably? Out of love, you will act even if it contravenes their free will.

    Unlike you and I, God does not need to protect Godself from our actions. Nor is anyone’s ultimate well-being served by retributive justice (not God’s, not ours).

    Note: Any notion of unconditional free will is contravened by the very limits of our existence. And we are not omniscient; we do not know all the consequences of various actions; as Paul put it, we see at best “through a glass darkly”. That does not mean that there are not consequences for our actions—it does mean that a consequence of eternal punishment (retribution) serves no purpose: unless just that is God’s purpose, in which case it hard to make the case that such retribution is any act of love.
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    12 Aug '15 00:57
    Originally posted by vivify
    We've been over this. God doesn't care about free will, and has violated it many times in the bible. Just look at this thread's OP:

    http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=163325
    Thank you. I need to stress that I am not a Biblical literalist--a position that I find logically untenable. Nevertheless, I think the Biblical message overall (given various voices and viewpoints) does not privilege the notion that God overwhelmingly values our free will.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    12 Aug '15 01:041 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]I love family, but if they are so fully given themselves over to drugs to the point that they
    cannot be trusted, do I let them steal, rob, and so on without acting against their will?


    And if they are taking actions to harm themselves irreparably? Out of love, you will act even if it contravenes their free will.

    Unlike you and I, God does not ...[text shortened]... God’s purpose, in which case it hard to make the case that such retribution is any act of love.[/b]
    If they are stealing, harming themselves through substances than not giving them free
    reign in the home, not giving them permission to live free of charge, not giving in to all
    of demands for money to fix self inflicted wounds are all examples of denying the will of
    someone. Out of love you stop helping them harm themselves by giving in to all of the
    demands they make, and allowing every new sob story to be another reason to give them
    more money when they refuse to do the basics.

    God's justice is just that God's justice I don't have to agree with it, or even like it. I don't
    think anyone really thinks God wants to give anyone unconditional free will, conditions
    would put up walls and lines that should not be crossed, such as not acting against
    another due to lust, or greed. The conditions would be here is a will use it and let love
    be your guide, if it isn't and selfishness reigns in your life, I except that will be judged as
    a misuse of the will.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    12 Aug '15 01:19
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    God's justice is just that God's justice I don't have to agree with it, or even like it.
    You don't necessarily agree with it. You don't necessarily like it. You don't appear to understand it well enough to be able to explain it coherently. So, if I may ask, what exactly prompts you to use the word "justice"?
  11. Standard membervivify
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    12 Aug '15 01:30
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    I'm not sure I've been involved in all the discussions on God and free will man.
    But you were involved in that thread, starting on page 3.
  12. Donationrwingett
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    12 Aug '15 01:44
    Originally posted by vistesd
    All of the following is intended to fall within a Christic context. The reductio ad absurdum is this:


    1. It is God’s will (intention) to save everyone;

    2. There is no exogenous power that can defeat God;

    3. Not everyone is saved.



    It is a reductio ad absurdum because not all three statements can be true without contradicti ...[text shortened]... h I imagine that rwingett could make a cogent argument for its importance in Christic thinking).
    It has long been my position that free will is an impossibility in conjunction with an omnipotent and omniscient god and that everything that happens in this world is necessarily what god intended all along. Satan is on god's payroll, so to speak.

    Not sure what your point is with regard to distributive justice, though.
  13. Standard memberKellyJay
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    12 Aug '15 02:24
    Originally posted by vivify
    But you were involved in that thread, starting on page 3.
    An I guess it did not leave a lasting memory.
    I looked at the link and I didn't see a thread by the way.
  14. Standard memberRJHinds
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    12 Aug '15 03:10
    Originally posted by vistesd
    All of the following is intended to fall within a Christic context. The reductio ad absurdum is this:


    1. It is God’s will (intention) to save everyone;

    2. There is no exogenous power that can defeat God;

    3. Not everyone is saved.



    It is a reductio ad absurdum because not all three statements can be true without contradicti ...[text shortened]... h I imagine that rwingett could make a cogent argument for its importance in Christic thinking).
    "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

    (1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB)

    "'As I live,' saith the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'"

    (Ezekiel 33:11 NASB)

    God desires that all people be saved. And God provided a means for all men to be saved by repentence of sin and belief in the Savior. But, not all people will be saved because some refuse to come to the knowledge of the truth and do the will of God by turning from their evil ways and live. Today, instead of believing in the truth of creation by God, many today prefer to believe in the Evilution lie of Satan.

    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

    (John 3:16-21 NASB)
  15. Standard memberlemon lime
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    12 Aug '15 03:32
    Originally posted by vistesd
    All of the following is intended to fall within a Christic context. The reductio ad absurdum is this:


    1. It is God’s will (intention) to save everyone;

    2. There is no exogenous power that can defeat God;

    3. Not everyone is saved.



    It is a reductio ad absurdum because not all three statements can be true without contradicti ...[text shortened]... h I imagine that rwingett could make a cogent argument for its importance in Christic thinking).
    Something appears to be missing... I don't see where man having a choice in the matter (free will) factors into this, and it appears free will and the ability to choose has been intentionally left out in order to insure the argument will be absurd. God allowing us to say either yes or no to him has always been a part of this, so why have you left this part out?
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