Re: God's Foreordination and Man's Responsibility
This is not a very good argument against the point I make. First of all, If Romans 6 and 7 are in fact as you say a contrast between what we were as sinners and what we are in Christ (on which we agree) then there is nothing that says that the flow must traverse that path only one time as the conversation flows. Indeed, it is often true in an argument that one must move from a base point concerning A, then to some information about B, then BACK to A making use of the scaffolding constructed about B so as to elaborate more fully on A. And I believe that is precisely what is happening here.
Originally posted by RBerman
There can be no doubt vs 5 is about the old nature: "For while we were in the flesh ...". Paul uses old man and flesh almost interchangeably at times. And they are what we are outside of Christ, not in Him. Verse 6 pops back to the redeemed state. "But now we have been released from the Law ..." This is clearly in Christ. Apart from Christ we are judged by the Law.
7 is special. It sets up an argument which is to follow. It is clearly speaking outside Christ: "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law;" Clearly this is before Christ, We must be aware of sin before we can repent.
The remaining argument follows, it is a description of life apart from Christ, aware of what sin is but unable to conquer it. The movement here into present tense is not a movement back into our life under grace, but takes the discussion of the old life into the present for emphasis. This is the simple logical flow of the text. Consider vs 14, clearly now part of the ongoing text from 7 to 25 and now in present tense: "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin". Are you seriously going to tell me this describes the believer? NO! We have been bought and paid for, released from our bondage to sin, no longer enslaved to it! A believer is not 'sold into bondage to sin'.
Paul has clearly returned to the topic of our state before Christ to elaborate upon that as it relates to the Jewish Law itself, to elaborate on how it(the law) is good, even though in our sinful, unredeemed state it becomes a curse to us.
And if this is indeed our state in Christ, then I would like to understand how you can justify an aspect of that state being described as 'sold into bondage to sin'.
Indeed, consider what finishes this section of the discussion: 7:24 "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death!"
And the answer is?
7:25 "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" and then in 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death"
What can be more clear? The state being discussed in 7-24 of Romans 7 is the state that Christ sets us free from! So how can the state that Christ sets us free from be the state we are in when we are in Christ?!?!?!?
Anyway - it seems clear this is not our state in Christ (or it's not supposed to be anyway :) )
I did answer what I thought you were discussing, but you are correct, I did not answer that question. That kind of question can't really be answered in that it presumes the evidence you will present is overwhelmingly convincing. My primary goal is to understand scripture and follow it. So clearly, if you can show me scripture that I see as supporting that POV, I will accept it. And I will be glad to listen to any scriptural evidence you have for it, but I'm not going to promise to change my mind just because you are convinced by it. I mean, right now as far as I am concerned I have given you almost irrefutable evidence that Romans 7 is about out state outside Christ, but do you see it that way? I can't imagine how you could possibly not be convinced by the case I've given. But do you see it that way? If it was as simple as the question you ask, there would be no denominations. It just isn't that simple. But I would very much like to know what in scripture you see as supporting the idea of Limited Atonement, because at this point I don't see it there.
We haven't yet gotten to the Scriptural support for Limited atonement. I asked if you would be convinced if I provided you with Scripture on that topic, but you did not answer.
That's correct. Sorry for the typo. Natural man is opposed to God, hates God, and will not choose to trust God unless God works in his heart.
I agree 100%. That's why I see no ground for us to say "It would not be fair for God to demand that we do something that we can't do unless he changes our hearts." Where does the Bible say any such thing? Just because you think a man would be unfair to make such a demand, does that mean it's unfair for God?
It's not that I missed your point. It's that I reject your premise; neither of us would accept that term within our own belief system. It's not a helpful term. Let's move on.
No, I am not saying God thinks of things only in 'possibilities'. I am saying that God may chose to go beyond the necessary because He is fully gracious and full of loving kindness. But I think the more complete argument against Limited Atonement being something we should codify in "TULIP" is what follows.
It would not be inconsistent for God to do such a thing. The question is: Does God say he has done such a thing?
Are you saying that God thinks of things only in possibilities? I don't understand how the term "possibility" applies to God's plans.
Ok - so we almost agree here. Lets pursue this a tad. First of all, yes I am quite aware of the fact there are levels of infinitude, 3 known mappings, but theoretically infinitely many. But we are not dealing with differing levels of infinity here. We are each capable of effectively the same level of infinitude in terms of sin. And there are finitely many of us. To go from one level of infinitude to another, one must take the power set of a given level, which is itself an infinite compounding of the given set. Since there have only been a finite number of us since creation, we are left with what happens with a finite compounding of an infinite set, which is the very same infinite set. That is, the sum of all the sin all of man has ever committed or over could commit in eternity is precisely equal to, in terms of the relative ordering of infinity, the sin any one of us has committed or ever could commit in eternity. And so the payment for one is exactly equal to the payment for all. Thus there can be no 'Limited Atonement', except in the degenerate case, in that the Atonement is a single solution to the problem, no matter how many of us it is applied to.
You are right that each of us is guilty of infinite sin, because we are guilty against an infinitely holy, infinitely worthy God. But that doesn't follow that "the fee for one of us is identical to the fee for all of us." If you're familiar with math, you're aware that not all inifinities are equal in size. Some are bigger than others. Some are infinitely bigger than others. But that's not even the key point of the doctrine of Limited Atonement. The point is that God has always known exactly for whom Christ was dying. But you're right that if God had intended to pay for the sins of all, Christ's one sacrifice on the cross would have been adequate for that purpose.
Or perhaps better said: The power of the Atonement is such that it remains undiminished no matter how many times it is appropriated.
No - my analogy simply shows that the time element which you eliminated in your rendition of the text, but which exists in EVERY translation of the text done by language scholars, can not be eliminated simply because the knowledge discussed is relative to an intimate relationship between God and the redeemed. But I am beginning to suspect that we are in reality on this topic addressing two different topics that for some reason are similar enough we are not aware of the fact we are addressing two different topics. The post you responded to (IIRC) where I addressed this topic was to another person, and it addressed the issue of God's DEFINITE knowledge of the future. And it was on the topic of my proposed duality of free will and predestination. The person I was addressing was making the case that there is no definite future, and therefore no need for duality for free will to be a reality. I was making the point that Rom 8:29 does in fact imply a definite future that God is aware of, while at the same 'time' free will is also clearly expounded as a reality in scripture.
Are you arguing that a scenario which you label "foreknowledge" in a Star Trek movie should be used to exegete the way the word "foreknowledge" is used in Romans 8? I don't see the relevance of your response. My point is that the sort of foreknowledge described in Romans 8 poses no problem for the Calvinist doctrine of election. That is, it does not provide particular support for the view that God's election is a response to something that starts with us, rather than with God.
Last edited by oxmixmudd; March 17th 2012 at 12:00 AM.
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