Hey Daniel- Totally understand the time thing buddy. Again i want to say how much i have enjoyed your blog as well
In responding to you, i wonder about the whole issue of rebelling against God??? Traditionally it has been held that satan led a group of angels who rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven into hell. Adam & Eve were deceived by a serpent- many assuming to be satan in some way- and they rebelled in similar way as satan. Problem is, we find no verse detailing satans rebellion anywhere in scripture. God, being omniscient, knew the strong likelihood of Adam & Eve's rebellion and chose to create anyhow. I just wonder how diobeying a command has such catastrphic consequences on an eternal infinite God?? As Condy pointed out parents discipline their children for disobeying, but they don't make them die. Why is death necessary, let alone an eternal death??
Are you a calvinist mr Daniel?? Just curious after seeing your point about determinism
What are you thinking could be an answer to the reasoning behind rebelling and the consequences of that?
I actually want to do one more post (or two) on a systematic understanding of a deterministic Universalism in this series http://thebenevolenthecklers.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/in-search-of-coherent-narrative-part-1.html
I would probably be more of a Calvinist in function but not in conclusion. I don't believe that the fall and sequentially Christ's death was a plan B situation. God knew it would happen, especially since Christ was crucified from before the foundation of the world. So we have to ask, if everything is no big accident then there has to be a purpose behind it all.
Partly I see the purpose is for the necessary expression of who God is ( as I mentioned above about Him being anti-evil and ultimately the highest form of good through loving enemies which means the necessary existence of experiential evil). People sin against God, and rightly so, this needs to have consequences in order to turn people around. These consequences of death and hell etc I see more as an allowance to continue to live in sin and experience the natural pain of a sinful lifestyle - things don't go well if you don't listen to the wisdom of God... lying, cheating, killing and self serving etc all have natural repercussions that aren't pleasant. Look at our world today, it is like it is because people don't love each other. Our capitalist systems encourage a money rather than a people focused society, it is just a big rat race seeking ones own. God cannot let sin go on forever, He promised that it would be conquered (to our relief). Once we have experienced this evil in our lives, we can truly know and understand the way of God and its value.
Have a read of C.S. Lewis' small book "the Great Divorce". It talks about how hell has open doors and people are only there because they don't want to be in heaven. They want to live their selfish lives without realising yet the wisdom, freedom and goodness of surrender before God and His ways.
God's ways are expressed in Christ's death. Christ didn't only "pay" the price for breaking a law, but more so showed us the way of God, and how God wants us to imitate Him - loving others, forgiving, standing up for what is right etc. God wants to restore our tarnished image to His Image.
Because I am a deterministic Universalist, I believe all people will be restored to God for many reasons and questions that I have mentioned elsewhere - Why would God create people in His image that could not be restored to a Holy one? Why would God let sin exist and reign in a place in heaven forever? Not to mention it is talked about a bit in the Bible that God will save everyone
God can say that He will save everyone because He understands every person and their individual characteristics that He gave them to the point where He knows how to save them and how long that will take. Each person with their unique characteristics each have a different path that will lead them to Christ, but all will eventually be led there by God in His own unique manner.
So we still act of our own volition and God doesn't usually violate that... people are free agents. What I mean by that is we are free to express who God made us to be. I like what Einstein said "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills."
I am excited by this, that my fate is in God's hands. I can trust Him that as I search for Him I will find Him more so
I am designed to find Him!
Romans 12:3 "For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned."
John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."
People can still be held responsible for their actions in determinism, but distributing responsibility is a means of identifying who is responsible, identifying where change needs to happen and then finding the best way to bring this about - I now refer to Cindy's post above
On a side note, seeing the world like this also means I can have more compassion on others! Instead of seeing someone as freely choosing evil all the time for no apparent reason, I can ask "what brought this person to where they are today? and how can I help?". We need to be wary of blaming the victims.
I have rambled a bit, but I hope to give a flavour of how a deterministic way of looking at things could work.