The Fall and Free Will

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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#61

Post by FFC » Tue Nov 14, 2006 8:58 pm

ttoews wrote:(I figured I should muddy the waters with this point as I don't want FFC to become too confident in his understanding of this matter. )
No danger of that, ttoews. :lol: :?
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#62

Post by Byblos » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:49 am

ttoews wrote:I note Psalms 139:13 which reads: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

and I note Romans 9:20-21 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

from these verses I gather that God is currently in the business of creating/knitting/making post-fall man.....who, by Augustine's categories is the most "not good" of the four varieties, and so it would seem that your statement that "God could not have created anything not good,"must be incomplete (somehow). (I figured I should muddy the waters with this point as I don't want FFC to become too confident in his understanding of this matter. :lol: ) would you care to elaborate?


Not that I'm elaborating for August but I think the point is that while the knowledge of good and evil is a reflection of the image of God in which we were made, the inability to resist temptation is a human trait inherited from Adam and Eve. It is that inability that makes us 'not good' and not the knowledge itself.
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#63

Post by August » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:48 am

ttoews wrote:August, earlier you had said
August wrote::

Are you saying that God should just have:
1. Never created mankind, so we could have avoided all this unpleasantness?
2. Created mankind already fallen, so that He could show His grace, and avoid the "test"?
3. Created mankind but as emotionless automatons or robots, that had no ability to choose anything?

The answer to 1. is that God created because He wanted to. It was His wish to do so. And He did.

As for 2., that is simply impossible. God could not have created anything not good, that is contrary to an all-righteous God.

3. means that God could never be loved, and that means that He could not love. We know God is love, so through His love, He wants to be loved. We see in numerous places that God commands us to love Him. He cannot be truly loved if it is a forced love.
...and a little later you also said:
Gents, this is not a new discussion. In fact, Augustine (no relation), already spoke about the 4 states of man in 415AD.

He said the 4 states of man are:
1. Pre-fall man: posse peccare, posse non peccare - able to sin, able not to sin
2. Post-fall man: non posse non peccare - able to sin, unable not to sin
3. Reborn man: posse non peccare - able to sin, able to not sin
4. Glorified man: non posse peccare - able to not sin, unable to sin
I note Psalms 139:13 which reads: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

and I note Romans 9:20-21 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

from these verses I gather that God is currently in the business of creating/knitting/making post-fall man.....who, by Augustine's categories is the most "not good" of the four varieties, and so it would seem that your statement that "God could not have created anything not good,"must be incomplete (somehow). (I figured I should muddy the waters with this point as I don't want FFC to become too confident in his understanding of this matter. :lol: ) would you care to elaborate?
Oy, did you not read the whole thing?

In what womb was Adam formed? He was uniquely created from scratch by God, and was not a descendent of any human. He could not inheret any human characteristics ro human nature. When I said that God could not have created anything "not good", that directly relates to the creation of man in Genesis, and to category 1 of Augustine. In the beginning, everything that God created was good. That included Adam, and his nature of being able to sin or not sin.

When we speak about post-fall man, we know that through Adam, sin entered the world and we are all subject to it. There are various views of original sin which probably fall outside of the realms of this discussion. I personally hold a federal view of original sin.

You seemed to conflate the two issues.
Not that I'm elaborating for August but I think the point is that while the knowledge of good and evil is a reflection of the image of God in which we were made, the inability to resist temptation is a human trait inherited from Adam and Eve. It is that inability that makes us 'not good' and not the knowledge itself.
Right, and don't forget the role that Satan played in all of this. Don't confuse pre- and post-fall man. It was the deed of disobedience that condemned them, not the knowledge gained from it. That knowledge necessarily lead to a burden, because since man could now distinguish good from evil, he has to accept the responsibility that goes with it.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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#64

Post by ttoews » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:09 am

August wrote:Oy, did you not read the whole thing?
read the whole thing? What a wild and crazy idea....I must try it some day.
In what womb was Adam formed? He was uniquely created from scratch by God, and was not a descendent of any human. He could not inheret any human characteristics ro human nature. When I said that God could not have created anything "not good", that directly relates to the creation of man in Genesis, and to category 1 of Augustine. In the beginning, everything that God created was good. That included Adam, and his nature of being able to sin or not sin.
It appears that you may have missed my reasoning, but that you still managed to provide an answer. Let's see if I got it right:
You had asked FFC if he was suggesting that God could have created mankind already fallen, so that He could show His grace, and avoid the "test"?
You had ruled that possibility out by saying that God could not have created anything not good, that is contrary to an all-righteous God.
I had questioned that reasoning of yours by indicating that God (who is still all-righteous) is currently in the business of creating/knitting/making fallen man...and so creating man in a fallen state doesn't appear to violate His all-righteousness.
Now you seem to have clarified that it was God's plan to initially create only that which is good....so creating mankind already fallen would have violated His plan (as opposed to His all-righteousness)
And/or you are saying that God doesn't actually create the fallen aspect that is present in every man, b/c that aspect, although spiritual, is passed on from the parents just like the physical DNA.

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#65

Post by August » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:31 am

ttoews wrote:
August wrote:Oy, did you not read the whole thing?
read the whole thing? What a wild and crazy idea....I must try it some day.
...sorry, I forgot the smiley with that statement.
Now you seem to have clarified that it was God's plan to initially create only that which is good....so creating mankind already fallen would have violated His plan (as opposed to His all-righteousness)
And/or you are saying that God doesn't actually create the fallen aspect that is present in every man, b/c that aspect, although spiritual, is passed on from the parents just like the physical DNA.
It was not only His plan to create all-good, but we see in the Bible that that is what He did.
Gen 1:31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
The goodness created at that point was that man was made in God's likeness. It means literally that man was made as God's representative, to resemble God, if God was to be human. We saw all of those characteristics later on with Jesus.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
At the point of the fall, the moment of disobedience, man ceased to be innocent, knowing only good. The reason for the disobdience, as already discussed, was the temptation, which Adam and Eve chose to succumb to.

From here on it depends how you view original sin, and it's relation to humanity. If you want to start a seperate thread on it, we can discuss it there. In short, I believe in the federal view. Adam was the representative of all mankind, and stood there as the father of the race. The curse that was pronounced on him, was therefore pronounced on all of us.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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#66

Post by ttoews » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:17 pm

August wrote:
ttoews wrote:
August wrote:Oy, did you not read the whole thing?
read the whole thing? What a wild and crazy idea....I must try it some day.
...sorry, I forgot the smiley with that statement.
I thought the "Oy" was as good as a smiley...and since you didn't formally apply a smiley, I didn't think I had to either, even though my comment was in jest.
It was not only His plan to create all-good, but we see in the Bible that that is what He did.
which takes us back to FFC's concerns...could God have had a different plan...a plan where Adam knew both good and evil from the start? ....and so then, on the six day God observes what he has done, and instead of calling it very good, He calls it not half bad. These "why did God do it that way?" interest me...but, at this time I think we can not see the answer that clearly.
From here on it depends how you view original sin, and it's relation to humanity. If you want to start a seperate thread on it, we can discuss it there...
I would be interested in your view as to how original sin has been passed on through the generations....and who knows, maybe FFC has some more questions.

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#67

Post by Turgonian » Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:28 pm

August wrote:Right, and don't forget the role that Satan played in all of this. Don't confuse pre- and post-fall man. It was the deed of disobedience that condemned them, not the knowledge gained from it. That knowledge necessarily lead to a burden, because since man could now distinguish good from evil, he has to accept the responsibility that goes with it.
Not anymore! Post-fall Man has been replaced with Post-modernist Man! :lol:
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#68

Post by August » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:04 pm

ttoews wrote:which takes us back to FFC's concerns...could God have had a different plan...a plan where Adam knew both good and evil from the start? ....and so then, on the six day God observes what he has done, and instead of calling it very good, He calls it not half bad. These "why did God do it that way?" interest me...but, at this time I think we can not see the answer that clearly.
The question then is a little bit why God not-second guessed Himself. And the answer is the fact that it happened as it did, means that it was the best way for it to happen. God did it that way because it was the best way to accomplish His purpose.
I would be interested in your view as to how original sin has been passed on through the generations....and who knows, maybe FFC has some more questions.
You'll have to give me a few days, this is eating way too much of my time. :)
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

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//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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#69

Post by August » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:05 pm

Turgonian wrote:Not anymore! Post-fall Man has been replaced with Post-modernist Man! :lol:
...and resulting in seeker-sensitive churches.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

//www.omnipotentgrace.org
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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"The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad" - Why?

#70

Post by DonCameron » Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:51 pm

August wrote:If Adam continued to obey, how we would have known good? You can only know that something is good if you also have knowledge of bad. The only way that Adam and Eve received that knowledge (of what was good and bad) was through experience, by eating from the tree.
What I have noticed in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 is that it looks like Adam and Eve did not have to know what was bad before they could know what was good. And that they didn't have to eat from any so-called knowledge-of-good-and-bad tree in order to be able to know what was good or bad. And prior to the fall they didn't' have to rely on their own experiences in order to receive the knowledge of what is good and bad.

Here are some of the things I found…
In 2:15 God had explained to Adam that it was good to cultivate the garden of Eden and to take care of it. It would seem that God would have needed to instruct Adam just how to go about doing these things; things that were good for Adam to do so that the garden would prosper.

In verse 16 God taught Adam that it was good for him to eat from every tree in the garden of Eden - except one.

In verse 17 God then taught Adam that it was bad to eat from the above knowledge-of-good-and-bad tree. So bad in fact that eating its fruit would cause his death.

In verse 18 God told Adam that t was not good for him to live alone. Or said another way, it was bad for Adam to live alone.

In verses 19,20 it shows that God wanted Adam to know that it was good for him to name the various animals that God had created.

Verse 22 shows that God wanted Adam to know that it was good for Adam and Eve to become "one flesh."

In verse 23 Adam acknowledged that it was good that God had created a woman for him.

In verse 1:28 God told both Adam and Eve that it was good for them to multiply and fill the earth. (Therefore it was good to have sex!)

In verse 1:29 God told them what was good for them to eat.

What I noticed from the above examples is that Adam and Eve learned many things that were good without having to know what was bad. They knew what was good because God taught them what was good. And they learned what was bad because God taught them what was bad.
August wrote:The only way that Adam and Eve received that knowledge (of what was good and bad) was through experience, by eating from the tree.
But they didn't receive any of the above “knowledge through experience, by eating from the tree.” They received all the above knowledge of what was good and bad before they ever ate from that tree. They received all of it directly from God.

If Adam had remained faithful it seems reasonable to me that God would have continued to teach Adam what was good and what was bad.

"The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad" - Why?
Why was the tree called “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad?” I have wondered if is possible that that tree was just a symbol of God's right to decide for man what was good and bad rather than leaving it up to man to decide for himself. Is it possible that God did not create man with the ability to determine for himself what is good and bad?* And therefore mankind would always need to depend on God to help him know what is ultimately good and bad for himself?

What if Genesis 2:17 read, “But as for the knowledge of what is good and bad, you don't have it! If you obey me I will continue to instruct you as to what what is good and bad. But if you disobey, you're on your own!

Is it possible that this is what God was trying to teach Adam when he identified the above tree and told him to leave it alone?

Don
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*The outworking of history would seem to have confirmed that mankind was not created with the ability to determine for himself what is good and what is bad.

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#71

Post by FFC » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:43 pm

Don wrote:"The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad" - Why?
Why was the tree called “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad?” I have wondered if is possible that that tree was just a symbol of God's right to decide for man what was good and bad rather than leaving it up to man to decide for himself. Is it possible that God did not create man with the ability to determine for himself what is good and bad?* And therefore mankind would always need to depend on God to help him know what is ultimately good and bad for himself?

What if Genesis 2:17 read, “But as for the knowledge of what is good and bad, you don't have it! If you obey me I will continue to instruct you as to what what is good and bad. But if you disobey, you're on your own!

Is it possible that this is what God was trying to teach Adam when he identified the above tree and told him to leave it alone?

Don
Don, that sounds right to me in my spirit. I was thinking the same thing and then I read your post. It goes along with the idea of total dependence on God for all things. Although I would have to add that even now in our sinful condition we still need God to tell us the difference. Probably because we were never meant to have that ability. Does that make sense?
"Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible." - Corrie Ten Boom

Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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#72

Post by August » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:50 pm

Sorry Don, I think you are reading something into Scripture that is clearly not there. There is no teaching of good and evil in those verses, just a historical rendition of creation. I already said that Adam and Eve were created good, but that did not include knowledge about what was bad, or evil.

We do, however, read this:
Gen 3:22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever--"

How did man get to know about good and evil? This was after they ate from the tree, so that is how man came to know good and evil. It is clear and explicit that throught the experience of eating form the prohibited tree, they came to know good and evil. How many times do we only appreciate something afer we have lost it?

I somewhat agree with your reading of the teaching in Gen 2:17. It is the establishment of God's authority over man. It also sets the condition for man's liberty within the framework of God's rule. It sets the principle of cause and effect in place for man's relationship to God. Even though Adam was innocent, he was told about the consequences of disobedience. However, none of that gave him intrinsic knowledge of good and evil, as we can see in Gen 3:22. That only came from eating from the tree.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

//www.omnipotentgrace.org
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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#73

Post by DonCameron » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:08 pm

Hi FFC,
FFC wrote:Don, that sounds right to me in my spirit. I was thinking the same thing and then I read your post. It goes along with the idea of total dependence on God for all things. Although I would have to add that even now in our sinful condition we still need God to tell us the difference. Probably because we were never meant to have that ability. Does that make sense?
Yes. It makes perfect sense to me. And I would agree that if the perfect Adam needed God's help to know what was good and bad, then how much more so does imperfect man (i.e. all of us).

But I won't be surprised if August isn't going to agree with any of this :wink:

Don

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#74

Post by August » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:17 pm

DonCameron wrote:
But I won't be surprised if August isn't going to agree with any of this :wink:

Don
Hey, I agreed with some of it! I don't disagree for the sake of disagreeing, I'm just trying to stay as Biblical as possible.
Acts 17:24-25 (NIV)
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. [25] And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

//www.omnipotentgrace.org
//christianskepticism.blogspot.com

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The Tree of Life

#75

Post by DonCameron » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:30 pm

Hi August,

I mentioned to FFC that I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't agree with anything I said. But you said to me...
August wrote:I somewhat agree with your reading of the teaching in Gen 2:17.
Well, 1 out 2 isn't bad!

Yes, I remember that verse in 3:22. I figured you knew it was there. I don't suppose there is any chance that God was just being sarcastic?

I've also wondered about that "tree of life." Is it possible that that tree was just a symbol. That it symbolized one's right to live forever. But since when Adam disobeyed God he lost that right and therefore was not permitted to eat from that symbolic tree?

Note: Does this make it 1 out of 3?

Don

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