When religious leaders know they are right about God (non-exhaustive thoughts)


Haleiwa Harbor, Hawaii (photo from trekearth.com)

I have been very busy with PhD revisions, but here are some thoughts.

A related and recent more academic article on my other blog.

thekingpin68 post

Religious leaders often claim to know God is true within their philosophical religious understanding. Within many philosophically questionable movements there are very strong appeals to subjective experience and feelings and supposed revelation, physical and spiritual.

How is God known?

My argument.

1. Philosophically, it can be reasoned there is a first cause. This avoids a vicious regress of causes for which there is no solution.

BLACKBURN, S. (1996) ‘Regress’, in Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy,Oxford, Oxford University Press.

This can be reasoned without the Bible/Scripture.

2. The first cause can be equated with God.

This can also be reasoned without the Bible/Scripture.

3. God presents self in the Bible/Scripture. God existed prior to creation (matter) in Genesis 1. God existed prior to the creation of finite angelic beings or any other possible unknown finite beings. God is all that existed prior to other. Therefore God is eternal and infinite. God is spirit as in John 4: 24. God can reveal himself empirically as in walking in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3: 8, to Moses as a blazing fire in a bush in Exodus 3: 2, and with Christ. God is revealing himself empirically in a naturally limited sense.

God's physical revelation within a Scriptural revelation, and all Scriptural revelation (spiritual) is intellectually reasonable. I am NOT STATING that this means that God must pass intellectual scrutiny as in Enlightenment era and beyond thinking. I am stating that divine revelation will be intellectual reasonable within reality. Adam and Eve had very good intellectual reasons to believe that the God they empirically viewed was the creator and was not for example, the devil, an alien, or another finite being. God demonstrated to them his power over reality in Genesis 1-3. Moses could see that God could set the bush ablaze and yet it would not burn (Exodus 3: 2). Moses too saw the God could overcome the Egyptians and their sorcerers in Exodus 7-12. Christ of course verified his claims to be eternal and therefore God (John 8: 58) by his miracles and most importantly his resurrection documented at the end of each of the four gospels. Philosophically it is very likely that only God the creator would have ultimate power over life and death.

Human beings are finite and therefore cannot completely comprehend the infinite God. The finite human understanding of God is very limited, and is also tainted by sin (Romans 1-5). God regenerates those (John 3) he chooses (Ephesians 1 and Romans 8) in a way that has God moulding and changing persons without coercing or forcing persons to believe. Persons are saved by grace through faith as a gift of God (Ephesians 2). Persons are indwelled and at times filled (Acts) with the Holy Spirit. This will suffice for initial salvation and citizenship in the Kingdom of God which will culminate with resurrection.

As noted in several posts:

The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Peter D. Klein describes the Cartesian account of certainty as being that a proposition is true if there are no legitimate grounds whatsoever for doubting it. I favour the similar idea that a proposition is certain if there are no counter propositions that are superior. Therefore in regard to philosophical religious claims such as the historical Scripture inspired by God, the atoning work of Christ, the resurrection, and everlasting life, these things could be viewed as certain provided there are no legitimate counter arguments that are superior. I reason that evidence shows Christianity is philosophically certain in this sense.

KLEIN, PETER D. (1996) ‘Certainty’, in Robert Audi, (ed), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Conclusion

Non-exhaustively, in general terms, within philosophical religion, this is how God can be legitimately known both intellectually and spiritually.




Two silly falls.



From

Explanation

'Please understand. This is a hoax. It didn't happen. Ultimately, it's an ad for Microsoft Germany. Still, it is awfully clever. Heck, some commentators out there on the Net are suggesting it could be one of the greatest fakes in the history of the World Wide Web...

How this excellent production came together can be boiled down to something like this -- a stuntman starts down the slide, but a rope keeps him from going too far, the thing that's airborne isn't a person, but is instead animation, and the principal character ended up in the pool by dropping off a small ramp. Piece it seamlessly together, and there you go.'


Magic Island, Hawaii (photo from trekearth.com)


Fiji (photo from trekearth.com)

The problem of evil and justice for non-Christians


Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee

I would like to go there and ride the cable car.

Thanks for reading. First of all, the expense of this TOTALLY FREE BLOG is getting to be too much. And so here are a couple of advertisements. Thanks to Chucky for the assistance.

Depressed...here is some treatment.

lonelymn.mp3

Chucky needs cash!

Bobby Buff has to go to bed soon and rest his 'buff bod.'

friday edit.mp3

I have been working on the issue of the problem of evil and non-Christians within my PhD revisions. Here is some of my reasoning.

John Calvin points out that preaching and teaching the word of God impacts a person to believe in Christ.[1] The Holy Spirit works through preaching to impact a person,[2] that if saved does not eventually believe and work for Christ through primarily human ‘wisdom’,[3] or by ‘chance.’[4] The gospel is only ‘granted to a few without human aid’[5] and most will believe through the assistance of some sort of human agency.[6] I therefore see my thesis work as a human means[7] by which the Christian message through a Reformed lens can be presented.[8]

Since I reason a sovereignty perspective is the most workable and likely theodicy approach,[9] I am presenting it to those outside of the Church in the hope that they will be impacted. This gospel associated theodicy view allows for the possibility of forgiveness of sins within the atonement for persons[10] and for persons to experience the ultimate justice of God’s culminated Kingdom.[11] Bloesch explains that in the context of atonement and justice[12] with God’s holiness he forgives and forbears and demonstrates his love.[13] There is within my theodicy concepts of ultimate justice[14] and deliverance from the problem of evil and its results,[15] but as a Christian scholar attempting to be as accurate in understanding as possible, I must include the concept that sin must first be atoned for in Christ[16] before a person can experience the benefits of a culminated Kingdom free from evil and suffering.[17] G.C. Berkouwer explains that ‘Man[18] is-even when alienated from God-not alone.’ God has still gifted fallen humanity and there is a possible limitation to human corruption, that being the grace of Christ and his words and work. God still has the power and opportunity to save persons, and humanly speaking persons have an opportunity to know Christ in conversion.[19]

[1] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[2] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[3] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[4] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[5] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[6] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[7] Calvin (1543)(1996: 34).
[8] I also present my views on the problem of evil at Church and with believers and non-believers alike on Blogger and Facebook.
[9] But not the only approach with some good and reasonable points, as there are valuable points from non-Reformed theists and atheists within this work.
[10] Green (1971: iii). Whale (1958: 81).
[11] Mounce explains that the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20 is not an arbitrary judgment of God but is based on the works of each person. Mounce (1990: 365-366). It is sign of the ultimate justice of God for all persons.
[12] Bloesch (1987: 97).
[13] Bloesch (1987: 97).
[14] Mounce (1990: 365-366).
[15] Feinberg (1994: 141). Moltmann (1993: 178). Mounce (1990: 372).
[16] Green (1971: iii). Whale (1958: 81). On this matter I do not see myself as a judge of those outside of Christ, but rather as one reporting within the best of my ability, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, what Scripture states about human sin and salvation.
[17] Sin, death and suffering will not exist in the culminated Kingdom. Mounce (1990: 372).
[18] I prefer the term humankind.
[19] Berkouwer (1962: 183-193). Within a compatibilistic framework.

BERKOUWER, G.C. (1962) Man: The Image of God, Grand Rapids, W.M.B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

BLOESCH, DONALD G. (1987) Freedom for Obedience, San Francisco, Harper and Rowe Publishers.

CALVIN, JOHN (1543)(1996) The Bondage and Liberation of the Will, Translated by G.I. Davies, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

FEINBERG, JOHN.S. (1994) The Many Faces of Evil, Grand Rapids, Zondervan Publishing House.

GREEN, JAY (1971) Five Points of Calvinism, ‘Forward’, Grand Rapids, Sovereign Grace Publishers.

MOLTMANN, J√úRGEN (1993) The Crucified God, Minneapolis, Fortress Press.

MOUNCE, ROBERT H. (1990) The Book of Revelation, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

WHALE, J.S. (1958) Christian Doctrine, Glasgow, Fontana Books.