DaveB wrote:Well, my interest is piqued!
Chrisguy90, original emphasis wrote:For instance, one such problem is this: if we have free will, how can God guarantee that all will be saved? If it takes a movement of will that God cannot necessitate, doesn't it follow that God cannot necessarily save all souls?
DaveB wrote:Hi Chris - that essay is a lot to take in and process all at once. May I ask for some clarity on a couple of things as I go along in my reading?
1. (quoting CSL) : "That thing is Freedom: the gift whereby ye most resemble your Maker and are yourselves parts of eternal reality."
2. "Here Lewis places our freedom – that is, our power of being, our actus purus analogous to God’s own actus purus – beyond time itself and in ‘eternal reality’."
As to (1) - I have not read every single thing CSL wrote, but I have read quite a bit of it, and that quote feels a bit off-key to me. I would think that we most resemble our Maker not by simply having freedom, but by exercising it in loving obedience; and I think CSL would agree, though I am not an expert. Could you or perhaps @JasonPratt chime in on that?
As a follow-up: why do you think CSL says above that Freedom is the gift..... whereby we are "parts of eternal reality?"
Perhaps this will clear up as I read further.
As to (2) - you are saying, if I understand you, that freedom is 'our power of being'. I think that freedom is a part of our being, but not THE power of our being. Doesn't our Maker sustain us in Being?
Thanks. I will continue reading your essay on this fascinating subject.
JasonPratt wrote:Lewis reconciles God's foreknowledge with creaturely freedom, not because rationally free creatures exist extratemporally, but because God exists extra-temporally, immediately knowing by directly active experience all instances of any created system of space-time... Thus as Lewis famously argued, no one thinks a person is less free to act because God presently sees the action they are choosing 'now'; the same is true in regard to future actions.
JasonPratt wrote:If by pre-existence Chris isn't talking about temporal pre-existence of souls, but only about our ontological dependence on God in a relationship superior to our dependence upon the natural system we live in, then I might have no objections, arguing much the same thing myself. But such ontological intimacy is not something missing from my universalist puzzle
DaveB wrote:Chris - (I've typed 'Christ' instead of 'Chris' a few times now, I hope I've caught the typos in time ) - is it temporal pre-existence that you are advocating?
Are you putting aside, for the sake of the argument, that Christian teaching known as 'TULIP'? I think that their question at this point would be: "Why do you say the 'heart' of Christian teaching is as you say? We believe that 'in Adams' fall, we sinned all" so that in fact we are not free; our wills are in bondage, and thus your argument presents a false dichotomy?"
Chris - I'm not a tulipian (I just made that up) but how would you answer them?
I'm not quibbling, btw, but just clarifying as I go along; I think your essay is worth some close reading.
And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deut. - 30:6
I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. - Job 42:2
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. - Proverbs 19:21
A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way? - Proverbs 20:24
The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will. - Proverbs 21:1
declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. - Isaiah 46:10-11
I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart. - Jeremiah 24:7
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” - Daniel 4:35
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. - John 6:44
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. - Romans 9-16
You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” - Romans 9:19
for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. - Revelation 17:17
davo wrote:The most logical way to square “pre-existence” with “universalism” would be “reincarnation” – not exactly a foreign concept in 2T Judaism given certain implications raised by Jn 9:2.
DaveB wrote:Hi Chris - That was a good essay, that really needs to be longer to give you the space to expand some of the key ideas. I'm going to re-read it shortly. as per my usual irritating practice, I have a couple of questions.
1. In your view, are we fully human beings if our souls have not been incarnated? Are you espousing that idea?
2. If our pre-mortal (but not pre-existing??) state is a realm where our souls can love and rebel, it must follow that there are choices in that state, from which again it must follow that there is 'distance' between the presence of God and the soul, enough distance to allow for circumstances, for options, for temptations, and for fellowship. If those conjectures of mine are even close to being true, then we are building up a world before this world, a 'spiritual world' perhaps, but one where the eyes of our soul are opened and beholding situations and presences and choices.
I'm aware that this is not the only way to read your essay; just wanted your comments before I move on to another reading.
Chrisguy90 wrote:What do you mean by putting 'but not pre-existing??' in parentheses? All I mean by 'pre-mortal' is 'pre-this earthly body'. Technically, 'pre-mortal existence' and 'pre-existence' do not have to mean different things.
DaveB wrote:Thanks Chris.Chrisguy90 wrote:What do you mean by putting 'but not pre-existing??' in parentheses? All I mean by 'pre-mortal' is 'pre-this earthly body'. Technically, 'pre-mortal existence' and 'pre-existence' do not have to mean different things.
I was thinking of this paragraph in your essay:
"As far as how this particular view of pre-mortal existence differs from Origenism, more on that will be said at the end. For now I will only say that Origen posited a state of ideal pre-existence, in which the soul communed with God in a heavenly realm and was, metaphysically speaking, ‘closer’ to Him than we are now. Hence his doctrine of a heavenly fall and subsequent restoration. On the contrary, the view I shall argue for is one where the initial existential situation is not one in which the soul itself is ‘communing’ with God. Instead, it is created in a primordial state which begins, and ultimately determines, its journey towards God."
In what way was Origen's doctrine of pre-existence different from yours of pre-mortal existence? I have read the end of the essay and, due to a mental condition with the technical name of 'fuzzyhead' the penny has not quite dropped.
Chrisguy90 wrote:davo wrote:The most logical way to square “pre-existence” with “universalism” would be “reincarnation” – not exactly a foreign concept in 2T Judaism given certain implications raised by Jn 9:2.
Nice find! Another verse I like that supports the idea that the Jews had some notion of pre-mortal existence is Psalm 139:15:
"My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth."
Eaglesway wrote:God is infinite creativity, so it stands to reason that a spark of Himself placed into a chunk of clay would animate into a unique living soul illumined by His Spirit and that what it would become would be an individual reflection of His many faceted glory. The pre-existence I can see is that spirit, before it was given away as a piece of the Almighty into a mortal frame, to cause that soul to seek to return with that spirt to the One who gave it.
Michael wrote:While God is timeless and can see all events equally vividly His experience of time is unique and very different than ours. He can exist in a timeless "now" and still be within time.
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