How do you defend God's love against His other attributes?

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How do you defend God's love against His other attributes?

Postby Valiantwarrior » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:17 am

Hey guys :)

First off, I really appreciate this site and those who post. I have been following this issue of hell/universalism for a few months now and its been really helpful looking around here.

One theological aspect that has me in a bit of a bind is the idea of just HOW God's love operates in relation to his other attributes (not that we can ever 'box' God's love in doctrine or dogma). From the spectrum of views I've looked over, I've figured that there are two differing ways of explaining this. Please correct me if I seem in error. I aim to summarize the two sides:

A: The 'driscollian' explanation. God's love is an attribute described alongside (and contrast to) other attributes in Scripture. These attributes are consistent and one cannot be elevated above the other in any degree. God can, however, choose to be loving to one human being and angry at another. God is loving, but His love is in subject to His holiness or righteousness and therefore He must (wants to?!) to send people that are without Christ to hell.

B: A more C. Baxter Kruger variety. God's Trinitarian love is the foundation through which all of God's other attributes are filtered. He is lovingly holy, lovingly just, lovingly righteous. It is in God's chosen nature to love everyone (not just the elect) and out of His nature anything He does is loving, including sending people to hell, whether for an infinite time or for a remedial period.

This has a lot to do with processing how God feels about us. What is His initial attitude towards humanity? Wrath and hate or love and compassion? One ideal causes anxiety and terror while the other prompts assurance and loyalty. I struggle with this because a lot of fundamentalist believers accuse universalistic minds of elevating one part of God and ignoring others. I think there's something to the idea that God is free to love who He wants, but I somehow don't (want?) to believe that He deliberately withdraws love from some and then calls Himself good. In what way does position B best hold up? What kind of Biblical evidence is there that God, in His chosen nature, refuses to hate and instead loves us all unfailingly?
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby ChrisB » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:25 am

Hey VW. It comes down to what kind of God would go to the cross and die for us even while we are yet sinners? When it comes down to it its not rocket science. Its just amazing love and no you don't try to balance it all out because balance is not an option. God is LOVE pure, yes very pure and simple! Cheers Chris
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Bob Wilson » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:39 am

Universalists tend to follow the interpretation that John's statement, "God is love," declares that God's intrinsic character is love, not simply that God sometimes chooses to display loving actions. It follows that God then can never deny his innate nature and contradict love, and thus that God's love and justice cannot be contrary to one another, such that he sometimes chooses to be loving, and other times chooses to deny what love would do. Rather, his pursuit of justice is an expression of his love, and aims toward restoring us to what we all are meant to be.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Valiantwarrior » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:50 am

Thanks guys :) Nicely worded and it helps. What about verses like Rom 2:7-8 though?

"To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger"

By the three 'categories' of universalism, I'm probably somewhere between weak hopeful and strong hopeful. One of my roadblocks is the overwhelming amount of passages like Rom 2:7-8 that seem on the face of them to speak about dualistic judgement.
Where is God's love in 'wrath and anger?' Is it possible that we've just elevated God's love over other things like justice and holiness because we can't handle the truth? (read that again with a jack nickolson voice) :lol:
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Bob Wilson » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:01 pm

Those who recognize God's devotion to love and holy justice as non-contradictory simply see references to His wrath and punishment as describing his pursuit of such "justice" (restoring the world to righteous wholeness). If numerous Scriptures that specify that the purpose of God's punishing judgments is to bring us to a restoring repentance are correct, then they are as required by love as is any good parents' proper punishment of their beloved children.

2:7,8 affirms 'dualistic' consequences in the sense that they differ depending on the choices we pursue. But any parent who administered the same consequences to offspring regardless of their actions would not be loving or just. Such texts appear to me required if God's unified character combines love and justice. The alternative that God would just generously choose to overlook some folks sin, but arbitrarily choose to hate others because of their sin, would seem to uphold a perverse conception of both love and justice. Wouldn't such a schizophrenic partiality deeply deny the Bible's highest claims about God's character?
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby ChrisB » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:51 pm

Love the Jack Nicholson voice :lol:I'm with Bob on this though.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Dandelion » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:04 am

37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

John 3:16New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

My inclination is to see love, as the overriding attribute, of God.

The story of Salvation, known as the Bible, is infused with this prevailing theme, as I see it. If you had asked me this, even a year ago, I might have said something different,or, at least had to think about it, but in my search as to whether Christian UR is true, I explored the Bible, with a different focus, and I saw love as the best defense for Christian UR, and in that journey, began to see how permeating love truly is.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Micah » Sun Jul 05, 2015 6:03 am

Yeah, if all the Law and Prophets hangs on Love as highest commandments/principles, as Christ affirmed, then I take that to mean even all the examples of wrath, punishment, etc. within those scriptures all hang on/are driven by Love.

Also, if anything done without Love is nothing/vanity (1 Cor 13), and God's character and actions and will are not vanity or emptiness, then I think there must never be any non-Love in Him.

Have you had a chance to read George MacDonald's 'Unspoken Sermons'? Tom Talbott's 'Inescapable Love of God'?
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:13 am

Love is the root and the reason for all things. This rose has some thorns on it. They are there for a reason, tho we may not fully understand it until later.

I think through Gomer, in the book of Hosea, YHWH draws a really good picture of how God uses adversity and correction to bring repentence and break a hard heart or a stiff neck so that He can redeem it.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Paidion » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:47 am

In my opinion, God doesn't have "other attributes" which are not grounded in love.

Luke 4
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21 And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."


Notice that in quoting this scripture from Isaiah 61, our Lord stopped quoting in the middle of a sentence. Let's see what the end of the sentence looks like:

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God. (Isaiah 62:2)

Why did Jesus stop in the middle of the sentence?
1. Was it merely accidental?
2. Did He suddenly get tired of reading?
3. Or did He do it intentionally?

If He did it intentionally, what was His purpose? Could it be that He had no intention of proclaiming vengeance in any form? That would have been in keeping with His message to His disciples—not to seek vengeance, but to love their enemies.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:52 am

It is also possible that it was because He could not yet say, of "the day of the vengeance of our God"- "today this scripture is fulfilled". That day is yet to come.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Paidion » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:13 pm

Yes. I have considered that possibility, Eaglesway. But I rejected it for the other view because God's judgments are not vengeful, but remedial.
Moses and the prophets sometimes taught that God was vengeful, punishing, and instructing the Israelites to destroy their enemies, including babies (but not virgin women, of course.) But Jesus and the writers of the New Testament taught that God corrected evil doers, even as a loving father corrects his children. It is for the benefit of those corrected, not a penalty for wrongdoing.

It is true that the English word "vengeance" occurs 5 times in the New King James Version of the New Testament. In 4 of those times, the word is "ἐκδικησις" (ekdikāsis), a word that means "doing justice to all parties." In the 5th occurence (Jude 1:7), the word is "δικη" (dikā) which simply means "judgment" or "sentence." In Jude 1:7, those given over to whoredom, will suffer the sentence of lasting fire unless or until they repent.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby MikeWatson » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:11 am

I'm with the Kruger idea - it is an expression of Trinitarian love.

As I see it, the Bible says that God is love. But it doesn't say that God is justice.

His just actions are an expression of His love.

Regards,

Mike
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby JasonPratt » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:29 am

Valliant,

I'm on the side of the trinitarian essence theory of love and justice; thus God's wrath still has the object of bringing people to justice in love. Even in the OT there are many scriptures testifying to this idea. Including Isaiah 62, where after "the day of vengeance of our God" is proclaimed on rebel Israel (rendering her forsake and desolate), God promises (verse 4, only two verses after where Jesus stopped short of quoting the "day of vengeance") that in the Day of the Lord to come she shall be raised to queenhood again (as an evangelical sign to the pagans), and become a crown of beauty and a royal diadem, and “It will no longer be said to you ‘Forsaken’, nor to your land will it any longer be said, ‘Desolate’; but you will be called ‘My delight is in her’, and your land, ‘Married’: for YHWH delights in you and [to Him] your land will be married.”

Even the portions Jesus quoted are a promise of restoration to rebels already punished by God for their injustices, leading to their repentance. But the people in the synagogue in Nazareth didn't want to hear the implied critique in the context of those verses; they only wanted to hear the consolation and to enjoy the delivery of the guest preacher. Which, as later rabbis complained, were the two unspoken rules of guest preaching at synagogues: be pleasantly entertaining, and under no circumstances ever criticize Israel. (Thus they quipped that of course God stopped sending prophets after the synagogue system was set up, for which prophet never criticized Israel?!) Notably Jesus only gets in trouble when He forestalls their coming complaint (about why He didn't start His career in Nazareth, "Physician heal thyself" being the moral of a parable actually preserved elsewhere in the rabbinic tradition later, teaching that charity starts at home), by pointing out that God found pagans and worse even pagan military oppressors more worthy to show miraculous signs (leading them evangelically to faith in God, not incidentally) than Israel sometimes.

He failed the second unwritten rule of being a traveling synagogue preacher, you see: never criticize Israel. ;) But His proclamation that Isaiah was being fulfilled in their hearing implied a critique of rebel Israel, having already been punished for her injustice, being visited for release from that punishment by God. (It also tacitly implied, though they didn't seem to catch it, that YHWH was speaking to them right that moment where they could physically hear Him.)
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:46 pm

Paidion wrote:Yes. I have considered that possibility, Eaglesway. But I rejected it for the other view because God's judgments are not vengeful, but remedial.
Moses and the prophets sometimes taught that God was vengeful, punishing, and instructing the Israelites to destroy their enemies, including babies (but not virgin women, of course.) But Jesus and the writers of the New Testament taught that God corrected evil doers, even as a loving father corrects his children. It is for the benefit of those corrected, not a penalty for wrongdoing.

It is true that the English word "vengeance" occurs 5 times in the New King James Version of the New Testament. In 4 of those times, the word is "ἐκδικησις" (ekdikāsis), a word that means "doing justice to all parties." In the 5th occurence (Jude 1:7), the word is "δικη" (dikā) which simply means "judgment" or "sentence." In Jude 1:7, those given over to whoredom, will suffer the sentence of lasting fire unless or until they repent.


I get your thinking, but I am not sure that it squares that verse away for me, so I was wondering about the translation of vengeance. Like krino, mistranslated as damn or condemn when it really original meant indemnify or "make right" as in balancing scales.

The word damn comes from a french word dammun which was a legal term that was both a positive and negative word for geting justice done- whether by reward or by loss, and it morphed into its present use about the time of the KJV translation. So apparently ekdikasis means a similar thing, which as I see it still is not fulfilled.

In that view, that day has still not come, unless one is a full preterist or something like that- the day when God meters justice to all is yet to come.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:56 pm

Eaglesway wrote:In that view, that day has still not come, unless one is a full preterist or something like that-

Indeed… problem resolved. :!:
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby JasonPratt » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:25 am

See, when preterists say things like God has already dealt out justice to all back at the sack of one city and one temple by a Roman army in 70 CE :!: , I start to lose my patience with them. Image


Edited to clarify: which you may not be saying (or I hope not), Davo. I only mean that this is an example of the sort of thing full preterism ends up requiring, which in my not so humble opinion is worse than blithering nonsense.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:26 am

Lol… you’ll find the pain actually goes away when you stop beating your head against that wall Jason. :mrgreen:

Religianity in whatever garb misses that redemption is complete and that God is at peace with His creation NOW; and has been since the Cross-Parousia redemptive event of AD 30-70, a biblical generation (40yrs). The NT is all about THAT transitional period, the time of the firstfruit saints where what Christ ratified at the cross was outworked to fullness ON BEHALF OF all Israel and thus consequently the world in his parousia. It is actual history, “it is finished!”

It is this paralysis of analysis that developing Christendom post parousia has tied itself up in knots of “is it love, or is it justice”, “is it freewill or is it determinism” yada yada yada fill in the blanks ad nauseam. We don’t have to work at keeping God happy… He loves his world!

Yes there ARE endless principals wherein WE can learn to better live with each other that are to be drawn from the Scriptures, but this endless assumption that there is STILL yet more to do IMO just misses the boat.

Back to the rationale; for example…

Paidion wrote:Why did Jesus stop in the middle of the sentence?


If He did it intentionally, what was His purpose? Could it be that He had no intention of proclaiming vengeance in any form?

As I understand it, Jesus went no further at that point because he was proclaiming “the good news” (gospel) to Israel, i.e., “your God reigns!” IOW… Israel, your exile is nearly over, “your redemption draws nigh!” Those who caught the message were blessed, those who didn’t would indeed suffer the full measure of “the days of vengeance” (Lk 21:22). That this ultimately was part of Israel’s covenant restoration (mercy) in no way lessened the righteous judgment (Mt 23:34-38) some would “have their part in” (Rev 21:8).

Jesus left off that latter portion of Isaiah’s quote but in time bemoans the stubborn blindness that would see its inevitable reality play forth…

Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

I repeat Jason… it is history, God actually did it; so you can ease up on the head-banging. :D
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Valiantwarrior » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:51 pm

Thanks to all :)

Bob Wilson - I sometimes wonder why I sometimes cling to that whole, 'God is love, but He is also just' deal. It does seem contradictory! Also, I never thought about Rom 2:7-8 like that. Thanks for the new perspective!

Mike, I first met Kruger in 'Jesus and the Undoing of Adam'. He's awesome.

Dandelion wrote:My inclination is to see love, as the overriding attribute, of God.
Right there with you dandelion :)

Micah, thank you for asking. Yes, I have read a few of McDonald's sermons. 'Justice', in particular, was very moving (and almost made me a convinced believer in UR :lol: ) I have not yet read Tom Tallott's book.

Eaglesway/Paidion - Good words :) I remember reading in a Richard Rhor post about Jesus omitting that phrase from Isaiah. thought provoking indeed! I think that Jesus just simply meant to not include the idea that God is angry with us, but what do I know?

davo wrote:It is this paralysis of analysis that developing Christendom post parousia has tied itself up in knots of “is it love, or is it justice”, “is it freewill or is it determinism” yada yada yada fill in the blanks ad nauseam. We don’t have to work at keeping God happy… He loves his world!
With you there Davo :D It kind of reminds me of the never-ending debate between calvinism and arminianism. Divine love vs. Divine Will (or justice I suppose).

JasonPratt - WHOA. Never heard about this!!!! I really appreciate context. The thing I wonder about Isaiah is, yes, there's a lot of universalistic evidence in Isaiah 60 and so on, but I can't get over the idea that the book ends with the well known 'And they will go out upon the slain who have rebelled against me their worm does not die' passage. I can guess that this passage, in context, has more to do with an earthly judgement, but the fact that it follows the universalistic passages unnerves me. If the Isaiah 66 passage could be interpreted as earthly, it seems to me that the Isaiah 60, 65 passages could also be interpreted as operating in this-age-space as well. How would you go about interpreting that? Also, head banging-smilie ahahahahahahahaha

Hey guys, also, between The Inescapable Love of God (Talbott) and The Evangelical Universalist (Parry/G. McDonald), which one would you recommend reading first? I have yet to read either and was wondering which to start with.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby MikeWatson » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:11 am

Valiantwarrior wrote:Hey guys, also, between The Inescapable Love of God (Talbott) and The Evangelical Universalist (Parry/G. McDonald), which one would you recommend reading first? I have yet to read either and was wondering which to start with.


Talbott's book was a convincer for me, so I recommend it. (Though it must be said I haven't yet read Parry's book).

Regards,

Mike
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Bob Wilson » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:36 am

Both books are a tour-de-force! If you want the most focus on the Bible and its' trajectory, I'd start with Parry. If you prefer to start with more focus on rigorously logical philosophy, I'd start with Talbott. But both come at it addressing both approaches. You can't go wrong.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 pm

Bob Wilson wrote:Both books are a tour-de-force! If you want the most focus on the Bible and its' trajectory, I'd start with Parry. If you prefer to start with more focus on rigorously logical philosophy, I'd start with Talbott. But both come at it addressing both approaches. You can't go wrong.

My personal preference is Parry's work but I couldn't have said it better than Bob above.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:06 pm

While 70 AD may have been history for the nation of Israel, imo, it does not include the aspect of the day of visitation that will come upon the whole world, which Paul describes this in Romans 1 and 2.

I mention this not to refute full preterism as much as to present the possibility that the day of vengeace that is omitted from Jesus' quote is the Day Paul speaks of.... a Day of reckong for all men, jew and gentile, based on the secrets of their hearts, whether they had the law or not, according to the testimony of their conscience in the light of His presence. As a Day of reckoning, rather than of "vengeance( I think Paidon demnstrated that vengeance may not be a great translation) Paul begins laying a foundation on eternal judgment for the Romans, who are a predominantly Gentile church.

Romans 1

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 2

6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


That Day does not fit within any historical context I kno of and imo this is the Day Jesus omitted, because it does not fit within the statement, "Today these words are fulfilled in your hearing."
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Valiantwarrior » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:34 am

Just ordered a hard copy of Unspoken Sermons and a copy The Evangelical Universalist by none other than Gregory MacDonald!

Blessings to all

VW
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby JasonPratt » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:47 am

Valiant,

when Jesus quotes that verse at the end of Isaiah, He follows it up (in Mark's report) with an explanation that everyone gets salted with the unquenchable fire, which is the best of things, and leads us into being at peace with one another. So while the scene is, I expect, meant as a physically historical portrait of something to come, it has a larger spiritual fulfillment on the way (which clearly hasn't happened yet) that fits with universal salvation, too.

Did I mention Daniel 12? -- I can't recall. The same rare term for abhorrence is also used there (the only two places in the Jewish scriptures, so far as I know), in relation to the resurrection of the wicked, a few verses that often get cited against universal salvation. But only a few verses later, Daniel asks the angel what the end result of all these events will be, and the angel replies that in regard to the end time, "Many will be purged, made white and refined, but the wicked will act wicked and none of the wicked will understand, but the instructors will understand." Back in verse 3, "the instructors" are compared to those who lead the many to righteousness: they will shine brightly like the expanse of heaven and the stars AHD OLAM (which could mean forever and ever). The wicked in other words won't understand what the punishment and contempt is for, but the instructors will understand it's for purging, making white and refining the wicked, leading them to righteousness. Compare with Rev 22 where the righteous will keep doing what the righteous do even though the wicked keep doing what the wicked do: the wicked continue being filthy, but the Bride keeps going out with the Spirit to exhort those outside the NJ to slake their thirst, wash their robes and obtain permission to enter the NJ to be healed by the tree of life.

This makes a big difference in the interpretation of Matt 13's parable of the wheat and the weeds, too. For one thing, it clarifies that, in this case, Jesus is talking about two categories of people, not about two states of a person (unlike the wheat and the chaff). Jesus quotes Daniel 12 in describing the wheat as shining forth (like the sun in GosMatt, like the blue sky and the stars in Daniel into the eons of the eons). That means the wheat are the instructors of Daniel 12, who will be leading the wicked to righteousness, even though the wicked won't understand the purpose of the purgation. Those who are raised from death to eonian contempt or abhorrence would be those who, by contrast, are not concerned with leading the many to righteousness.

But of course the resurrection of the evil and the good and the fulfillment of all justice in leading the evil to good all has happened already when the Romans burned the Temple down back in 70 CE. According to some people. ;) Didn't you notice the glorious reign of Christ we're living in now with God being all in all? :P
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby JasonPratt » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:10 am

davo wrote:Lol… you’ll find the pain actually goes away when you stop beating your head against that wall Jason. :mrgreen:


The pain is why I beat my head against that wall, actually.

davo wrote:It is this paralysis of analysis that developing Christendom post parousia has tied itself up in knots of “is it love, or is it justice”, “is it freewill or is it determinism” yada yada yada fill in the blanks ad nauseam. We don’t have to work at keeping God happy… He loves his world!


I certainly don't need full preterism to solve the false dichotomy between love and justice, or to work out the relationship between free will and determinism. But the fall of Jerusalem is (only one among many of) the bleadingly, beatingly obvious problem with happy statements like "We don’t have to work at keeping God happy… He loves his world!" We don't work to earn God saving us from our sins, and we don't work to earn God's love for this world, but if God was perfectly satisfied with the Passion in the sense that you're requiring, He wouldn't have continued with zorching Jerusalem.

Even you realize redemption in some sense wasn't complete on the cross, or you wouldn't be including a parousia (which blatantly didn't happen but never mind) at Jerusalem as part of that "redemptive event". But the only way the parousia can count as being part of the redemptive event is if redemption occurs in it or because of it, and that is simply not true about the fall of Jerusalem: the wicked were not raised in the resurrection along with the departed good, and the wicked were not led to be good after and due to their resurrection. Nor is Jesus reigning now in some fashion clearly different from any way He was already reigning in 60 CE or 30(ish) CE after His own Resurrection and Ascension. What Christ ratified on the cross was clearly not outworked to fullness at the Fall of Jerusalem, even on behalf of all Israel -- and the idea that God needed the wreck of Jerusalem (instead of its regularly prophesied salvation -- not the salvation of righteous Israel either, but the salvation of rebel Israel from foreign invaders) to finish what was already finished on the cross, means you have no leg to stand on when criticizing "religianity in whatever garb" for "missing that redemption is complete". Either it was complete on the cross in some way that its completion can be worked out and realized later, or it was not complete on the cross. You can't burn the bridge you criticize others for crossing (the finishing is finished later) and still insist on traipsing across that bridge yourself. If the fall of Jerusalem helps finish what was finished on the cross, other things can, too, in principle. If God's punitive vengeance of righteous judgment can include the fall of Jerusalem after the cross, it can include other punitive vengeance of righteous judgment after the cross, too, where injustice and rebellion still continue. The full measure of that righteous vengeance sure didn't happen at Jerusalem in 70: or we would all be living in a world now wherein all that is left is the endless application of principles to learn to live better with each other (drawn from the scriptures or otherwise).

But we aren't all essentially sinless now and only needing to endlessly learn to live with each other better.

That will be history one day, but it isn't history yet.

And having people insist that we're already there, in a world swimming in blatant evils and rank injustices, is what leads me to to lose my patience with them. Image
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Valiantwarrior » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:12 pm

Amazon has officially exceeded my expectations of service! Got my copy of The Evangelical Universalist next to my computer right now and will jump in as soon as I finish this post!

Jason,
I don't believe you did mention Daniel 12, but I'm sure I would have wondered about it eventually ;) Wow, I never even thought about that verse that says "many will be purified". I guess that accounts for the different opinions about Gehenna that were circulating among the Rabbis around the time of Jesus. Thanks for the perspective!

Thanks to all,

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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:56 pm

This post is a little long and for some, I am sure, speculative- but it comes around to the OP.........

I believe there is kolassis awaitng the wicked- just because of the language of scripture, but I also believe that the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ will set everyone free. These are not mutually exclusive- they are one(imo). In Rev 1 His eyes are as flames of fire and a two-edged sword comes out of His mouth. Heb 4:12 describe this...

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Romans 2 also... 15 their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

I believe we are part of the lake of fire- the great cloud of witness that are the families of the Father of lights will be gathered in the presence of God and His holy angels(and really already are, "seated in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus"). Remember how Paul said, "In the presence of God and His holy angels I have decided to delievr such a one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh......."



When someone shared this with me 6 or 7 years ago I wasnt sure about it(us being, or being part of, the lake of fire and it representing a cosmic "family intervention" so to speak) but many scriptures began to jump out at me, like...
r
"Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? "Know you not that you will judge angels"(1Cor 6:2)

"The thrones were set in place....the court was seated and the books were opened."(Dan 7:9-11)

"His eyes were as flames of fire"(Rev 1), "All things are open to the eyes of Him with which we have to do"(Hebrews 4:12),

"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the whole earth seeking the pure in heart that He might show Himself strong in them"

“If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb(.Rev 14)

God takes His stand in His own congregation;
He judges in the midst of the rulers. (Ps 82:1)

All these verses tell me that all judgment takes place in the presence of the Lord in the midst of the "great congregation".

The only verse that "supposedly" says differently is

"They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

I think it should read differently....

I would translate it, "they will suffer the punishment of aionian correction from the presence of the Lord."

away from is "apo" which is translated, "by" "from" "because of" "of" and "out of" over 500 times and never "away from" except for here in 2 Thess

In Acts 5:2 it is actually translated "part of" for when Anninias and Safira help back part of the sale price of their land.

I believe all judgment is in the presence of God, "On the day when the Lord judges the secrets of mens hearts through Jesus Christ"(Rom 2), I charge you in the presence of God and His holy angels"(Tim), "And the devil and His angels were tomented in the presence of the Lord and His holy angels with fre(pyr) and brimstone(theon)".


Some UR folks believe this(conversion) will happen for all instantly when they see His face but I believe that runs contrary to the common language of many verses.

Since Jesus said this experience(aionian kolassis) was to be avoided, I dont think it will be instant for all and I think it will be long and difficult for some, because if the last adversary is death and maybe the second to last the devil(1 Cor 15), it may take many stripes until some bow the knee and few for some, or there would be no need to speak of a "last adversary" because, when the last human bows the knee there will be no more death, so there would be no "last adversary" or need for "thrones and books and courts" if all were instantly saved at the great white throne. I am familiar with all the gnostic and mystic explanations for those verses about the lake of fire and Romans 1 and 2. They are just not convincing to me.

But, "Our God is a consuming fire" and it is certain that the fire is love, because "God is love" and the purging, as I see it, comes from the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ"(2 Cor 4) burning away every veil, consuming every impdiment to love(adversary)

1 Cor 15:25-28...25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

If death is destroyed there can be no more enemies and no more kolassis or torment or lake of fire, because it is the second death.

He is coming in the clouds with 10,000s of 10,000s of His holy ones.....He makes His angels winds and His ministers flames of fire

But the biggest confirmtion of this for me is Hebrews 12 which begins with the Great cloud of witnesses(he is coming in the clouds), then defines the "great congregation".....

22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant
, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29 For our God is a consuming fire.


interesting how that portion ends with verse 29.

God's fire is love. The righteous shine in it. The wicked are purged in it until they repent, and then they shine too, because God becomes all in all.


Ez 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

The penalty here of iniquity is to be removed from the midst of the stones of fire(which are imo, "the spirits of righteous men made perfect") to be cast out of Zion(the mountain of God as seen in Heb 12). This represents "outer darkness", imo. "Take them before the whole assembly and if they do not repent let them become as a heathen(cast out)". A similar heavenly judgment was laid upon the "angls who left their proper abode"(traded service for self will) in Jude...."Bound in aidos chains in outer darkness". Also James 3..."If their is selfish ambition and bitter jealousy among you do not be arrogant and lie against the truth....This wisdom is not from above but is earthly, soulish, demonic."

Isaiah 25:7
And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples,
Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.

8 He will swallow up death for all time,
And the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces,
And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth;

2 Cor 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

All these scriptures and more go into the context of God's attributes. There is one God. He is Fire. He is Love.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this [b]world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving [c]so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants [d]for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.


When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, 5 then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.

Here we see how judgement begins in the house of God with the elders at jerusalem.....the Fire/Love spreads out from the throne(center), claiming all in its path and purging AND TRANSFORMING all in its wake until God is all in all. Transformation through judgment, from filthiness(carnality) to beauty....

Fire takes matter and converts it into spirit. That which was of earth is transformed and rises as smoke. It is all one and it is coming out from Jesus who is in the bosom of the Father who alone dwells in unapproachable light. Light is fire to darkness. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.(Jn 1)

Jeremiah 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

This is why the beauty of Genesis 1 is a diadem of revelation for interpreting the whole scroll....

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

At every level, from the individual, to the nation, to the eon, to the whole of mankind through out all time.... God speaks(He 12 see that you refuse not Him who speaks... for our God is a consuming fire), "Let there be light" and chaos gets separated into light and darkness, form rises out of the confusion, the void becomes the reservoir receiving fulness, until all is filled.

Roman 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse

Heb 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

The Son is the word, His word is a fire- the radiance of the Father's glory and the exact representation of His nature. That radiance is a fire consuming the whole cosmos into God's love. "If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me".
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Paidion » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:43 am

Origen wrote:The restoration to unity must not be imagined as a sudden happening. Rather it is to be thought of as gradually effected by stages during the passing of countless ages. Little by little and individually the correction and purification will be accomplished. Some will lead the way and climb to the heights with swifter progress, others following right behind them; yet others will be far behind. Thus multitudes of individuals and countless orders, who once were enemies, will advance and reconcile themselves to God; and so at length the last enemy will be reached... —De Principiis III.vi.6
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:47 pm

Jason, speaking of redemption you said…
JasonPratt wrote:Either it was complete on the cross in some way that its completion can be worked out and realized later, or it was not complete on the cross.

Yes Jason… THAT’S what I’m saying –– redemption WAS FULLY realised “later”! The only difference I can see on that score between us is you have a yet STILL incomplete redemption because, you as agree (“ Even you realize redemption in some sense wasn't complete on the cross,…”); the fullness of redemption IS indelibly linked with the parousia… something you’ve pushed out into an endless never never.

I view the Cross and Parousia of Christ as a single unit… being historic book-ends as it were to God’s one-time redemptive event, where as a Divine consequence of Israel’s redemption (the promise of scripture) which speaks of covenant restoration (something realised in Jesus and his firstfruit saints) reconciliation then came to the broader world of mankind.

JasonPratt wrote:We don't work to earn God saving us from our sins, and we don't work to earn God's love for this world,…

That “sounds” great and I absolutely agree with this sentiment, BUT having grown up in evangelicalism my experience knows that this is NOT what religianity (as I put it) actually practices. The mindset is typically that we are dirty-dog sinners always in need of some sanctifying “behavioural modification” i.e., the self-righteousness of “works”.

JasonPratt wrote:…but if God was perfectly satisfied with the Passion in the sense that you're requiring, He wouldn't have continued with zorching Jerusalem.

That Jason is an odd comment to make when you yourself expect God to do that very thing to the entire universe… “one day”. :roll:

JasonPratt wrote:If the fall of Jerusalem helps finish what was finished on the cross, other things can, too, in principle.

Yeah, such as?? What happened with regards to the DoJ in AD70 was in direct fulfilment of Jesus’ prophetic words in the so-called ‘mini apocalypse’ of the gospels. When it is realised that “world” (Mt 24:3) does NOT mean our “time-space universe” but rather their “Old Covenant world” or Mosaic age, then that understanding changes everything.

It was Jesus the first of the firstfruits AND his chosen firstfruit saints i.e., the body of Christ, who wrought redemption ON BEHALF OF “all Israel”. The disciples joined in Jesus’ redemptive work to finish what He began, again ON BEHALF OF “all Israel” – to “fulfil all things written” – remember, Jesus was talking to THEM, NOT US, He was NOT talking over their heads…

Lk 21:20-23 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

This then correlates with Daniel’s extremely CLEAR word in Chapter 12…

Dan 12:7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.

The power of the holy people” (Israel) was “completely shattered” WHEN? …the 3½ yrs period AD66-70, aka “42 mths” AKA “a time, times, and half a time”, culminating in the Temple being razed and THEIR whole “world” of law-righteousness crashing down upon them. THAT was the final close of the Old Covenant age… what was inaugurated in Christ's Ministry and ratified through Christ's Cross was subsequently consummated at Christ's Coming of AD70. It is not rocket science, this IS history AND it IS fulfilled! Image :mrgreen:

JasonPratt wrote:But we aren't all essentially sinless now and only needing to endlessly learn to live with each other better.

I’ve NEVER said we’re all sinless… what pantelism affirms is that sin is no longer held to man’s change BECAUSE that charge was borne fully by Christ! I don’t need to post all the texts affirming this as you should know them… instead of paying lip-service you might try believing them Jason.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:22 am

I just dont get it. Like falling in a big hole I guess.

"Subsequently consummated at Christs Coming of 70 AD?"

I get that a person can believe that. People believe all kinds of things.

But I dont get how a person can portray it as historically obvious.

"This is not rocket science it is historically fulfilled?"

Where is this historically obvious "Christs Coming of 70 AD"? I am completely in the dark about it.

The old covenant was over the instant Jesus was raised from the dead, it was over when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Jerusalem and new creatures in Christ Jesus began to come forth. The new covenant began immediately, written in His blood and sealed by the Holy Spirit, initiating a new and living way into the holy place, and a new High Priest.

"Neither circumcision or uncircumcision is anything, but a new creation."

70 AD was just the burial of that which had already been anulled, and altho it fulfilled that which had been written in terms of the the removal of the former house, it did not fulfill what is written about the consummation of the latter house-

Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:02 pm

Eaglesway wrote:
Where is this historically obvious "Christs Coming of 70 AD"? I am completely in the dark about it.

Jesus said he would “come” in the power and glory of his Father…

Mt 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Mt 24:30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

It is possible to recognise this prophetic language of Judgment by looking at Yahweh’s judgment “comings” as described in the OT… where the COMING ‘Day of the Lord’ is described in terms of being “on the clouds” or “a days of clouds” … and these invariably came in the form of an invading foreign power.

Joel 2:1-5, 11 Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations. A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; and like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots over mountaintops they leap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array. … The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

Isa 19:1 The burden against Egypt. Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.

Ezek 30:3 For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near; it will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.

This accords with the likes of Lk 21:24 & Rev 11:2… in Jesus’ day = Rome’s conquests throughout Palestine and its surrounds in the Roman-Jewish wars of AD66-70. (read Josephus)

Zeph 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,… (read the whole chapter)

So, knowing that Yahweh “has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man” he who had “ears to hear and eyes to see” would have looked at the events of those “latter days” and concluded… “This is that of which Jesus spoke”, and this would have been in line with Jesus’ words here…

Mt 16:28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

And further…

Mt 26:64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Jesus’ “there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” can be ignored, but it can’t be successfully explained away to mean something other than what was plain speech to those he was addressing. Either that or there are some very very ancient people still walking around Palestine. :oops:

Eaglesway wrote:The old covenant was over the instant Jesus was raised from the dead, it was over when the Holy Spirit was poured out in Jerusalem and new creatures in Christ Jesus began to come forth. The new covenant began immediately,…

For all intents and purposes in redemptive terms YES the OC was over, BUT, there was an outworking of the demise of the OC in terms of its power and place over Israel… so in that sense it was NOT instantly over, and as such there is a lot of internal textual evidence showing this.

The NT covers this period of time of the diminishing OC and the burgeoning NC – this inter-testamental period spanned 40yrs AD30-70… prefigured in Israel’s ancient 40yr trials and tribulations from bondage to full freedom. The NT is replete with texts showing the OC system as still active post Cross, although of course with as I said, ever diminishing effect…

Heb 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Note the words “becoming – growing – ready”… the NC made the OC obsolete AND YET there was a process in train whereby it and those clinging to it would be fully “brought to naught” (1Cor 2:6).

2Cor 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

Note again the present tense of “is passing away” juxtaposed with “what remains”.

1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Again, the passing “darkness” was the OC, while shining true light the NC. For a time they co-existed side by side and it is this overlapping of the ages or covenants that Paul describes in terms of “the bondwoman” and “the freewoman” here…

Gal 4:21-31 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written:

“Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.” Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

For Paul, those “born according to the flesh” i.e., those of the OC who were persecuting those “born according to the Spirit” i.e., NC believers, are to be equated with Jesus’ “goats and sheep” of Mt25.

Again there is abundant evidence throughout Acts demonstrating that the law was still in vogue to a strong degree in terms of Jewish customs etc, even to the degree Paul’s participation therein… Acts 15:1, 5, 24; 18:18; 21:20-24.

Heb 9:8 …the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.

That manifestation came in terms of Christ’s AD70 Parousia when that which was “ready to pass away” that is, the Temple and the whole of the old covenant's national life that it represented, met its event horizon.

Eaglesway wrote:70 AD was just the burial of that which had already been anulled, and altho it fulfilled that which had been written in terms of the the removal of the former house, it did not fulfill what is written about the consummation of the latter house-

“the consummation of the latter house-” I’d be interested in what texts you propose show an end and consummation of the latter house?? As I understand there is no “eschaton” relative to the new covenant… biblical eschatology is all about “the end” of the old covenant age, i.e., there is no end of the new covenant age.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:52 am

“the consummation of the latter house-” I’d be interested in what texts you propose show an end and consummation of the latter house?? As I understand there is no “eschaton” relative to the new covenant… biblical eschatology is all about “the end” of the old covenant age, i.e., there is no end of the new covenant age.


That is a statement made as fact that has not been entered in evidence, beyond "As I understand......"

As I understand, we are God's house, the tabernacle of living stones, still under construction and as yet incomplete, fully existent in the heavenly realms and yet to be revealed in fulness to the world, a "habitation of God in the Spirit", "coming down out of heaven" even as Jesus was the bread of life coming down from heaven.

As to whether this occurs as an "advent/event" or as an epiphany/apokalupsis upon the whole earth over a generation or over some years remains to be seen but is the eschaton of the new covenant in my opinion- and yet to be fulfilled. The veil of the heavens will be rolled back like a scroll, every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, the word of the Lord will cover the earth as the water covers the sea, the lion will lay down with the Lamb and they will learn war no more, the fulness of the Gentiles will have come in, we will be revealed with Him in glory.... all as yet unfullfilled in my view.

But my question to you was not about that. As i said, I understand what you believe..... I just dont get how you can portray it as historically obvious. It is an interpretration of verses of scripture and(from my view) a super imposed construct over the facts of the last 1,985 years or so. There is no obvious historical validity to the idea that Jesus' coming was fulfilled in the razing of Jerusalem. It is a mystical assumption. There are abundant verses providing a different view as to whether or not there is an eschaton to the new covenant- which also require interpretative understandings.

Two great universalist portions lending weight to a new covenant eschaton are in Ephesians

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

_____

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

_____

And these integrate with Romans 8...

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed(apokalypthanai) in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation awaits the manifestation(apokalypsin) of the sons of God.

20 For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travails in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

So there is the one eschaton that consumates in the redemption of our bodies. We have the first fruits(Ro), the pledge guanteeing the purchased possesion(Eph) now. We await the fulfillment, and that will initate a further eschaton(ages to come) that is consumated in the redemption of the whole creation into that glorious liberty in which our eschaton is fulfilled. . Our "being revealed"..... "coming down out of heaven" so to speak, that "glory which is to be revealed in us", will begin the "period of the restoration of all things spoken of by all the prophets from the foundation of the world".... the "ages to come" of Ephesians 2:7.

Act 3:19 Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.


None of these interpretaions are historically obvious. I am just presenting my view of the scriptures.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:47 pm

Eaglesway wrote:None of these interpretaions are historically obvious. I am just presenting my view of the scriptures.

Perhaps I was overly generous with my “obvious” but I have to reiterate that the generation to whom these things were written such would have made perfect sense given the prophetic words spoken to them by the Saviour.

Eaglesway wrote:Two great universalist portions lending weight to a new covenant eschaton are in Ephesians

Eph 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
_____

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Paul’s “dispensation of the fullness of the times” doesn’t indicate an end (consummation) of the new covenant yet to come, rather the time in view was Jesus’ and Paul’s own “this generation” (Mt 24:34; Lk 17:25). This becomes obvious (for sake of a better word) when you compare the following texts…
Gal 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Clearly their time THEN was “the dispensation of the fullness of times”… when Jesus came to redeem his people from their sins (Mt 1:21).

1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The NT biblical generation were the ones upon whom Paul said “the ends of the ages have come” – note, “have” NOT “will”; it was a then present reality. They were living in the terminal generation in terms of the ending of one age transitioning into the next… which again is why Paul describes the times following this consummation as “the ages to come” as per Eph 2:7.

Then of course there is this…

Heb 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Again this is not “interpretation” this is plain text giving a plain message, and if audience relevance means anything those to whom it was written grasped this. We are reading their story their history… humanity (us) in “the ages to come” are the beneficiaries of this fulfillment; to quote Jesus “it is finished!
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby DaveB » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:56 pm

I'm following this with great interest, I hope the thread goes on a good bit longer. :D
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Eaglesway » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:35 pm

DaveB wrote:I'm following this with great interest, I hope the thread goes on a good bit longer. :D


I'll be your huckleberry :)

When the fulness of time had come God sent forth His Son....

Yes, the fulness of time in relation to the sending forth of the Son had come, so He was sent forth. "Who was foreknown from the foundation of the world and was manifested in these last times for you." Peter "manifested" is a key word in understanding prophetic fulfillment.

Still much interpretation as to the application and meaning of the words- by no means obvious even to Peter...

"Whom the heavens must receive until the period of the restoration of all things spoken of by all the prophets from the foundation of the world" Acts 3

The heavens still receive Him. When he comes forth at the end of this age, the "epiphanea, parousia, apokalypsis" will be completed for this age but there will still be ages to come in the dispensation of the fulness(pleroma) of times, until the "manifestation" of the restoration of all things is complete. Pleroma is the same word as in "For so it pleased the Father for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to himself by the blood of His cross"(Col 1) "filled up to all the fulness of God (Eph 3)

Hebrews 2:8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.

Ro 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Hoping for what we do not see is the very meaning of "eshcaton"(imo) as it is unveiled throughout the administration of it. which is ongoing until it has all "come down from heaven", i.e. manifested.

It is finished, He has overcome, but that seed of restoration first filled the body of Jesus, then the body of Christ, ultimately the whole creation/cosmos including time. It has "times" yet in which to play out, therefore there is still an eschaton remaining, one for which the entire creation groans in eager anticipation,

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, [i]in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

What an eshcaton that is!

2 Tim 4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Jesus has appeared, is appearing and will appear. He was and is and is to come. Until all time is fulfilled/completed, there is an eschaton.

pléróma: fullness, a filling up
Original Word: πλήρωμα, ατος, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter
Transliteration: pléróma
Phonetic Spelling: (play'-ro-mah)
Short Definition: fullness, fulfillment, completion
Definition: (a) a fill, fullness; full complement; supply, patch, supplement, (b) fullness, filling, fulfillment, completion.

Time is being filled up, the receptacle for all of Gods works. If God rested from His works on the 7th day does that mean there was no more eshcaton? It could appear so taken out of whole cloth.

1 Cor 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

There is a when and a then and therefore there is an eshcaton.

God will become all in all, he has not yet, but the work is done in Chrst- I think on that we agree- "It is finished" in Christ, but is yet to appear in pleroma/fulness. That will occur through a dispensation of the fulness of time, the completion of the ages, and at the very least, there is an eschaton to the subjection of the last adversary, and God becoming all in all. As long as time remains there will be adversaries and they are being subjected, until every knee bows, in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

REV 5;11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

verse 13 being the fulfillment of Phil 2:9-11; Col 1:15-20; Eph 1:9-11; Rom 8:18-25; 1 Cor 15:22-28 and Romans 11:30-36

Clearly(to me anyway :)) as long as there is a future, and that future having a point of closure in which God has become all and all, every enemy subjected, reconciled and restored- all gathered inbto one in love and light and life- there is a dispensation as yet not dispensed, an administration not yet complete, an eshcaton as yet unfulfilled in earth(as it is in heaven) - yet to "come down from heaven" but "coming" like the dawn grows into the fulness of mid-day.

oikonomia: stewardship, administration
Original Word: οἰκονομία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: oikonomia
Phonetic Spelling: (oy-kon-om-ee'-ah)
Short Definition: stewardship
Definition: management of household affairs, stewardship, administration.

Eph 1:10 NIV to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
NAS an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

We are in the midst of a great administration. The plan set forth before the foundation of the world. The plan paid for and the resources secured when God sent forth His Son, the plan complete when God becomes all in all.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby DaveB » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:46 am

Huckleberry

Q :What is the origin of the expression ‘I’ll be your Huckleberry’? What exactly does it mean?

A : What it means is easy enough. To be one’s huckleberry — usually as the phrase I’m your huckleberry — is to be just the right person for a given job, or a willing executor of some commission. Where it comes from needs a bit more explaining.
(for that interesting explanation, see: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-huc1.htm)

:D :D
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:51 pm

DaveB wrote:Huckleberry

Q :What is the origin of the expression ‘I’ll be your Huckleberry’? What exactly does it mean?

A : What it means is easy enough. To be one’s huckleberry — usually as the phrase I’m your huckleberry — is to be just the right person for a given job, or a willing executor of some commission. Where it comes from needs a bit more explaining.
(for that interesting explanation, see: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-huc1.htm)

:D :D


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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby DaveB » Mon Jul 20, 2015 2:35 pm

That huckle almost lost his berries :lol:
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:12 pm

DaveB wrote:That huckle almost lost his berries :lol:


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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:37 am

I found another Huckleberry!

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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby DaveB » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:47 am

:lol:
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby nimblewill » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:09 pm

I've use this example before. If my young son played in the road I would tell him the dangers. If he continued, my punishment/wrath would become more severe until the lesson was learned to stay out of the street.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:53 pm

Eaglesway wrote:When the fulness of time had come God sent forth His Son....

Yes, the fulness of time in relation to the sending forth of the Son had come, so He was sent forth.

No… you are losing the wood for the trees. The fullness of time was in relation to Israel’s redemption… thus accordingly the Son was sent forth to procure this.

Eaglesway wrote:When he comes forth at the end of this age, the "epiphanea, parousia, apokalypsis" will be completed for this age but there will still be ages to come in the dispensation of the fulness(pleroma) of times, until the "manifestation" of the restoration of all things is complete.

So… you have Jesus coming back and yet STILL MORE to happen BEFORE or UNTIL an apparent “"manifestation" of the restoration of all things is complete.” – it’s bizarre that no texts say this; this is “interpretation” driving to the text.

Eaglesway wrote:Hoping for what we do not see is the very meaning of "eshcaton"(imo)…

It might well be you opinion but THAT is not the meaning of eschaton.

The NT believers “hoped” for what they DIDN’T have BECAUSE they, unlike us, were living in the pre-parousia age, i.e., before “the end”. The writer of Proverbs says this…

Prov 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

Futurism of any flavour always leaves the heart sick because it’s still waiting for redemption to be complete i.e., it promotes an incomplete deficient redemption, that is, it is NOT finished… bad news! No wonder the modern church is sick. I’d like a dollar for every bemoan I’ve heard… “Oh I just wish Jesus would come back and rescue us out of this evil of a world.” <<-- losers! The more we can see that this is God’s good world and that helping people see that He believes IN THEM the sooner we’ll be more effective at neutralising the evils of errant men. People tend to do angry things ultimately because they believe God is angry at them… religianity hasn’t helped in this error.

Eaglesway wrote:God will become all in all, he has not yet, but the work is done in Chrst- I think on that we agree-

Ahh no… :ugeek: so Christ’s work is all done, but somehow :?: :?: God is NOT “all in all”… how logically and biblically does that work? – it doesn’t.

As I understand it… God is NOW “all in all” BECAUSE Jesus having reigned and defeated death handed it all over to the Father.

Now, before anyone foolishly chimes in with an ill thought through “All in all, O’ so God is already in all the evil people on this planet, yeah good one!” – to every “Christ in you” confessing Christian – ever done anything sinful or dare I say “evil” – is Christ still in you?? Now THAT might sound a tad harsh, but sometimes the lazy fundamentalist reactionary mind needs challenging.

“The death” (1Cor 15) Jesus defeated on behalf of humanity was spiritual death i.e., relational or covenantal death. That’s the ‘death’ Adam died “the day” he ate… you will recall Adam lived “physically” a tad longer than “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Remember… Jesus spoke of the kingdom not in terms of physicality but rather “within” or “among you” – those who had eyes to see it grasped it.
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Valiantwarrior » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:13 am

The line of this topic :lol: Thank you all

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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:53 am

Valiantwarrior wrote:The line of this topic :lol: Thank you all

Val

They don't need defending. :D
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Paidion » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:14 am

[Spiritual death's] the ‘death’ Adam died “the day” he ate… you will recall Adam lived “physically” a tad longer than “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”


If they died only a spiritual death, why did God shut them out of the Garden, lest they return and eat from the Tree of Life and live forever? Wouldn't God want them to live forever spiritually? After all, didn't Jesus come that people might have (spiritual) life and have it more abundantly?

Rather, didn't God keep Adam and Eve out of the Garden to prevent them from returning to the garden and eat from the Tree of Life so that they wouldn't live forever PHYSICALLY in their sinful condition?

I think the meaning is, "In the day you eat of it, the death process will surely begin in you."

It might be compared to a doctor today saying to a cancer patient, "When you take radiation, the cancer cells will surely die." The doctor doesn't mean that the cancer cells will die the moment or even the day when the patient takes radiation, but rather will BEGIN to die at that time."
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby davo » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:57 pm

Sorry Valliant… just finishing off some thoughts with Paidion.

Paidion wrote:If they died only a spiritual death, why did God shut them out of the Garden, lest they return and eat from the Tree of Life and live forever?

This here I think is the nub of the issue… that they could have access to the Tree of Life and “live forever” logically dictates that physical death, i.e., biological demise was ALREADY present and a natural part of the created order.

Had A & E partaken of the Tree of Life in their now fallen state SIN would have been immortalised and man screwed. We all sin, it’s natural… Paul said “he who has died is freed from sin” and so it is we all die the physical death we were naturally meant to die. Prior to Jesus defeating (spiritual) death humanity at natural death was locked up in Hades (the grave) i.e., “no one has ascended to the Father”. Thus when Jesus ascended He led captivity (spiritual death) captive giving gifts (grace, liberty and life) to men.

Again, that physical pain and death was a natural part of the created order is a given, for whatever food they partook of (prior to their infraction) was in the process of biological demise (death) as it was sustaining them, i.e., giving them LIFE. Also… that’s Eve’s pain in conception/childbirth was “multiplied” is obviously indicative of the presence of pain pre-fall as well. As perfect in one sense that Eden was Christendom has magicallised paradise to something it logically never was.

Paidion wrote:Wouldn't God want them to live forever spiritually? After all, didn't Jesus come that people might have (spiritual) life and have it more abundantly?

Yes indeed Don, and that’s what the ensuing redemptive stories of Scripture are all about… Adam – Israel – Christ; undoing that spiritual/relational separation i.e., spiritual death.

Paidion wrote:I think the meaning is, "In the day you eat of it, the death process will surely begin in you."

Yes that always seems to be standard fair in attempting to juggle away what seems obvious from the text, but I find it most unconvincing IMO. Bible search the phrase “surely die” and you won’t find one text where the interpolation “you shall surely die” can have “begin” with any credibility squeezed into it… again IMO. “You shall surely die” was a direct executable judgment without any equivocation or doubt as to its certainty. It basically meant “from the moment you ____ you shall die” i.e., there will be no turning back.

1Kgs 2:37 For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.”

This above although indeed referencing physical death would still be understood as executable via divine edict with reasonably short term effect, as opposed to living a long life full of begetting “sons and daughters” and finally dying at a ripe old age near a millennium later… that seems far from “in the day…”.

A & E sinned and from that “day” onward their spiritual relationship with God was fractured with the inevitable consequence being expulsion and exile (spiritual death) from His presence. Until Jesus rectified this Adam’s problem was humanity’s problem. This at least is how I’m presently understanding this scenario.
“...the power and mercy of God’s grace is NOT limited to man’s ability to comprehend it...”
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Re: How do you defend God's love against His other attribute

Postby Robert » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:28 pm

Another awesome thread i came across that deserves renewal ;) :D

Davo- Taking in all you say as far as the transition of the Covenants makes total sense, with Jesus saying * it is finished* as the piece de resistance!!! For me and some others though, why did Paul, James and John continue talking about sinners needing repentance since Jesus had accomplished it all?? Life has gone on a very long time now since the Parousia and a majority are not accepting and following Jesus. How do you see this reality fitting with everything having been accomplished??? When do you see God wrapping it all up and having everything restored back to before the first sin occurred?? I thoroughly enjoy your analysis and the style in which you share it mate. Just wanting to have you tie up some loose ends 8-) :twisted:
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