Would proof of God eliminate Christianity?

Joe Carter takes on an intriguing argument:

Would evidence for God mean the end of atheism and Christianity? Yes, says Matt J. Rossano, a professor and department head of psychology at Southeastern Louisiana University. In a peculiar article at The Huffington Post, Rossano argues that scientific evidence for the existence of God is fatal to both the faith of the atheist and the believer.

via Would Evidence for God Mean the End of Atheism and Christianity? » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.

Rossano reasons that indisputable proof of God would violate free will, which is necessary to Christianity.  Joe shows, on behalf of Reformation theologians everywhere, that this notion of free will is NOT essential to Christianity.  Rossano would do better to argue that scientific certainty would eliminate faith, which IS essential to Christianity.

Joe does anticipate that line of thought.  He argues that faith is NOT believing without evidence, that, in fact, there is an abundance of evidence for God’s existence.  It is true that for Christians and even non-Christians in the past, the question of God’s existence was not even an issue. Even doubt was not about whether God exists, but whether God is gracious to me and whether I can trust Him to keep His promises.

But given that faith is not just “belief in whether something exists,” does faith still require the hiddenness of God (to use a Reformation concept)?  Would knowing God as we know other scientifically verified facts involve walking by sight and not by faith?  If faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen, that would connote a kind of certainty, but would faith be undermined if everything were seen?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    Right – there will be no faith in Heaven. Or Hell, for that matter.

  • Pete

    Right – there will be no faith in Heaven. Or Hell, for that matter.

  • Tom Hering

    “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands …” (1 John 1:1).

    Evidence walked with us, ate with us, healed us, forgave us. Some believed, others did not. Same as now.

  • Tom Hering

    “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands …” (1 John 1:1).

    Evidence walked with us, ate with us, healed us, forgave us. Some believed, others did not. Same as now.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Would it be possible to prove conclusively to the satisfaction of all? I seem to remember that Israel didn’t catch on with the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the tower of fire and smoke, Elijah’s miracles,……..

    Interesting philosophical exercise, but I’m afraid irrelevant to the way people actually work in their sin nature.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Would it be possible to prove conclusively to the satisfaction of all? I seem to remember that Israel didn’t catch on with the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the tower of fire and smoke, Elijah’s miracles,……..

    Interesting philosophical exercise, but I’m afraid irrelevant to the way people actually work in their sin nature.

  • aletheist

    Christian faith is not just belief, it is also – even especially – trust. The demons believe that God exists, and shudder. I also like something that C. S. Lewis wrote about this.

    I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of evidence is against it. That is not the point at which faith comes in. But supposing a man’s reason once decides that the weight of the evidence is for it . . . Now faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian, I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable; but when I was an atheist, I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why faith is such a necessary virtue; unless you teach your moods “where they get off” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of faith.

    Of course, we Lutherans believe that faith is a gift from God, not something that we generate within ourselves or have to “train” per se. The point is that faith is what we hold onto when our “moods” are such that the evidence seems to go the other way. Again, it is more a matter of trust than belief.

  • aletheist

    Christian faith is not just belief, it is also – even especially – trust. The demons believe that God exists, and shudder. I also like something that C. S. Lewis wrote about this.

    I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of evidence is against it. That is not the point at which faith comes in. But supposing a man’s reason once decides that the weight of the evidence is for it . . . Now faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change, whatever view your reason takes. I know that by experience. Now that I am a Christian, I do have moods in which the whole thing looks very improbable; but when I was an atheist, I had moods in which Christianity looked terribly probable. This rebellion of your moods against your real self is going to come anyway. That is why faith is such a necessary virtue; unless you teach your moods “where they get off” you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but just a creature dithering to and fro, with its beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion. Consequently one must train the habit of faith.

    Of course, we Lutherans believe that faith is a gift from God, not something that we generate within ourselves or have to “train” per se. The point is that faith is what we hold onto when our “moods” are such that the evidence seems to go the other way. Again, it is more a matter of trust than belief.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    It would not be the end of faith, but of fideism.
    There is a difference.
    Thomas saw and he believed. As Tom above pointed out, the disciples saw and believed. There is no conflict between evidence and faith. That is unless you want your faith to be your work.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    It would not be the end of faith, but of fideism.
    There is a difference.
    Thomas saw and he believed. As Tom above pointed out, the disciples saw and believed. There is no conflict between evidence and faith. That is unless you want your faith to be your work.

  • larry

    Of course this is an academic argument as far as “if it happened” goes, but they are getting at the crux of things (much like Luther to Erasmus we’d have to thank them for that much because here they do “have us by the jugular”).

    Luther goes to great length, and one sees it arising out of Scripture everywhere, that reason after the fall is the greatest enemy of faith, the devil’s mistress (to use a nicer term) and that one or the other can only stand (unless reason is subdued beneath Christ and thus faith). The bondage of the will, and thus true total depravity (not Calvin’s version) lie within the problem of reason. Luther’s theological thesis in the Heidelberg dissertation seem to be paralleling his philosophical thesis in the same (concerning reason). This is why Luther says that one must be thoroughly a fool in Christ before handling Aristotle to the danger of one’s soul.

    Luther does mention that reason, pre-fall and under Christ is the greatest gift of God but under Satan is the very enemy of Christ and faith. Therein lay the paradox. Reason is good, when subdued to Christ under faith, it can understand language and logical structure but it cannot arise or apprehend or ascend to things theological (Luther’s main point). When it does attempt to assess the theological, it always, without exception hones an idol of the God that is into a false god based on its reasonings (this is why the “proof of God” in nature will NEVER work, it must necessarily create an idol of God and deny the revealed God clothed in His Word, Christ every single time).

    An example of Luther’s regarding this is a syllogism he uses:

    All men are mortal
    Christ is a man
    Therefore Christ is mortal
    Luther points out that this is no true syllogism and actually has four, not three, terms. “Man” in the major premise is one thing (understood by reason, what it sees and senses) but that “man” in the middle term is something altogether different and perceived ONLY by faith in the naked Word, the incarnate God (reason cannot believe this nor see this, it is taken by naked faith alone to the offense of reason).

    Living by faith, by the Word and promising of God and not sight is the sine quo none of the Christian faith, and every single article of faith without exception offends reason most harshly. God hides himself to be found, alone, in His Words. As S. Becker points out it is reason that led Mohamed to deny the trinity, the Pope to deny justification by faith alone, and Calvin to deny the true real body and blood of Christ in the sacrament (and all the subtle variations therein). Reason battles with faith constantly in the Christian.
    The two, faith versus reason, operate entirely differently. Reason operates by making judgments according to its experience as assessed by our senses (including emotions). Faith on the other hand makes judgments according to the NAKED Word in the very opposition of things sensed (e.g. absolution, baptism, creation ex nihilo, the Trinity, the two natures, the incarnation, the Lord’s Supper, etc…this is why Luther said of Zwingli and Bucer they were of another spirit meaning Satan on the issue of the sacrament, one begins to understand why!). Reason also ascends after it senses, faith ascends before it has.

    Again, reason is necessarily offended by faith’s object, the Word and all articles of faith do this. Luther points out that every promising of God holds forth the Cross to us and offends reason most egregiously, it sleighs it, which is the first sacrifice, of faith pleasing to God (He, His Word is thus feared, loved and trusted above all things – e.g. Abraham leaving his homeland & going to sacrifice Isaac, Noah building the Ark – all against and offending reason). A cross is held out by every promising of God to reason and reason is offended on two counts (Luther), recall how reason operates by its experiences via the senses (and emotions). It is an stench of death to reason. But faith lives by these, an odor of life. Why is reason offended? Because it does not see nor sense the promise that is far of and sees it as nothing and second it sees the evil suffering at hand as endurably never ending unless it acts otherwise, thus it handed a cross and bid come and die. Faith on the other hand “sees” the promise (in the Word, not on “nothing” or Peter Pan faith) as not only true but MORE true than even the reality reason observes, that which is not yet but remains invisible is to faith visible and actually present (a key point regarding the eschatology of this) and simultaneously the evil at hand, the suffering, is ephemeral, fleeting and passing at worst.

    E.g. In approaching the Lord’s Supper our reason says, “just bread and wine Zwingli and Calvin et. Alli were right after all”. It wars directly with faith here, a true anfechtungen every time one approaches the altar (the enemy is within!!!), seeing what it only senses it judges, “just bread and wine, symbols and signs at best, the sign not the thing signified” (says the devil’s mistress to us). But faith must take the upper hand and kill said reason (one or the other must win the day says Luther) and faith says, “yes but Jesus (God’s Word) says, “this is My body/blood…” (clothed in the Word or “in, with and under” to use a Lutheran term.)
    Here we see a difference between “an abundance of evidence for God’s existence” (Joe Carter) and the Word of God. Reason produces a false faith based on “an abundance of evidence for God’s existence”, but it is not really Christian faith, but the devil’s faith, (even the demons believe there is one God but are terrified, James, a demon’s faith is all one has here, the bondage of the will ridden by Satan). For here reason still lives by sight and senses, not by the naked Word and promising of God but by “abundance of (tangible and measurable) evidence”. This if very different, for example, than water, bread and wine, the tangibles with the Word. Here faith arises and ascends not by the sensing and detecting of water, bread and wine but the Word given to them, in fact by the Word alone (nakedly). Bread and wine (things seen) do not in and of themselves PROVE the flesh and blood of Christ being there, the Word does (not seen). Here we see yet another difference in all theologians of glory, governed under reason, and the theologian of the Cross governed under faith alone (and what really is meant by scripture, grace, faith alone). In these things, water, bread and wine, God has GIVEN His Word to them and they are what He says they are in spite of appearances to the contrary. This is why for Luther theological signs, baptism and Lord’s Supper, are the reality of God present, not absent; yet for Zwingli and ultimately Calvin philosophical signs (fallen reason), of things absent per reason’s assessment (e.g. this is NOT the flesh and blood of Christ).

    In light of “proof of God” being the end of both atheism and Christianity, there is some truth to that (all though not a REAL end to Christianity sense it would only be “the end” as in unbelief). It is like Luther said there is a difference in God FOR YOU and God just in the creation. Where His Word and Promising is given, God’s backside, He is for you, here faith is. But detecting God in the things made, proof of His being, merely is damning and a demonic faith (James) distilled from fallen reason ridden by Satan. Satan attacks not the created things, per se, as proof of God, but the Word itself, “hath God really said…”.

    Reason, fallen, as the bondage of the will is like this (original sin and all attacks since, the sacraments, the Word are all the same); once Satan attacks the Word he puts faith on trial in that word. When reason rules, kills faith, reason has usurped the Word. Man is then of necessity, unhinged by faith to the naked Word, forced in to himself (e.g. how do I know God is for me? All fallen theologians, be it the pope, Mohamed, Zwingli, Calvin or others go towards “proofs of “faith”” for assurance.) and all he has left is his otherwise good gift of reason, now ridden by Satan who put faith on trial and killed it from the Word, to sense via his/her senses and emotions “where God is for them” (to know good and evil FOR ONE’s SELF – the essence of self righteousness without God). This is the bondage of the will and true total depravity ridden by Satan, utterly bound by Satan and its self, it has “no Word or promise of God, it has eschewed them”. Thus bound, it gropes around in the dark for God, even using some ideas it has retained of God in the creation, but it thus ultimately perverts them, because it assesses God per itself to itself and hones an idol “called the god”. Just like stock and stone, such rational idols are literally HONED by man himself and are ultimately deaf, blind and mute (there is no Word from them ultimately, just the self via reason).

    If a Word and Promise does not come from God, bondage of the will unto true total depravity, of reason too and in particular, no man can believe, that is to say, trust, God is for me. It is when the Word comes nakedly in the general forgiveness of sin of all mankind and particular distribution of the actual fruits of the Cross, absolution, baptism, Lord’s Supper (all Words and Promisings of God that are not seen but REAL and EXISTENT to faith), that faith is created, strengthened and “is”. This faith must KILL reason, on this cross to the Word or else faith will be killed by its mortal enemy reason. In baptism, for example, reason is killed when faith slays it by the Word and faith believes (rises again), when faith believes baptism ACTUALLY DOES (not just signifies) regenerates, rebirths, converts, forgives and gives the Holy Spirit. If these are denied reason has struck at and kills faith (this we live in daily, daily trial, daily afechtungen).

    Thus, what Mr. Carter says is already true, those that distil the existence of God through the creation in any form are not Christian (though we do know of God’s existence this way it merely damns us Paul Romans 1:18 – ff). What makes a Christian is his/her faith in the naked Word. As Luther said he that does not desire the sacrament, as the sacrament, cannot be in anyway assessed as Christian (assuming not out of innocent mistaught ignorance). Because ultimately what is behind this is reason against faith. In this way an atheist is no different than a deist or one who believes in God, even the demons, says James, do this but are at least terrified.

  • larry

    Of course this is an academic argument as far as “if it happened” goes, but they are getting at the crux of things (much like Luther to Erasmus we’d have to thank them for that much because here they do “have us by the jugular”).

    Luther goes to great length, and one sees it arising out of Scripture everywhere, that reason after the fall is the greatest enemy of faith, the devil’s mistress (to use a nicer term) and that one or the other can only stand (unless reason is subdued beneath Christ and thus faith). The bondage of the will, and thus true total depravity (not Calvin’s version) lie within the problem of reason. Luther’s theological thesis in the Heidelberg dissertation seem to be paralleling his philosophical thesis in the same (concerning reason). This is why Luther says that one must be thoroughly a fool in Christ before handling Aristotle to the danger of one’s soul.

    Luther does mention that reason, pre-fall and under Christ is the greatest gift of God but under Satan is the very enemy of Christ and faith. Therein lay the paradox. Reason is good, when subdued to Christ under faith, it can understand language and logical structure but it cannot arise or apprehend or ascend to things theological (Luther’s main point). When it does attempt to assess the theological, it always, without exception hones an idol of the God that is into a false god based on its reasonings (this is why the “proof of God” in nature will NEVER work, it must necessarily create an idol of God and deny the revealed God clothed in His Word, Christ every single time).

    An example of Luther’s regarding this is a syllogism he uses:

    All men are mortal
    Christ is a man
    Therefore Christ is mortal
    Luther points out that this is no true syllogism and actually has four, not three, terms. “Man” in the major premise is one thing (understood by reason, what it sees and senses) but that “man” in the middle term is something altogether different and perceived ONLY by faith in the naked Word, the incarnate God (reason cannot believe this nor see this, it is taken by naked faith alone to the offense of reason).

    Living by faith, by the Word and promising of God and not sight is the sine quo none of the Christian faith, and every single article of faith without exception offends reason most harshly. God hides himself to be found, alone, in His Words. As S. Becker points out it is reason that led Mohamed to deny the trinity, the Pope to deny justification by faith alone, and Calvin to deny the true real body and blood of Christ in the sacrament (and all the subtle variations therein). Reason battles with faith constantly in the Christian.
    The two, faith versus reason, operate entirely differently. Reason operates by making judgments according to its experience as assessed by our senses (including emotions). Faith on the other hand makes judgments according to the NAKED Word in the very opposition of things sensed (e.g. absolution, baptism, creation ex nihilo, the Trinity, the two natures, the incarnation, the Lord’s Supper, etc…this is why Luther said of Zwingli and Bucer they were of another spirit meaning Satan on the issue of the sacrament, one begins to understand why!). Reason also ascends after it senses, faith ascends before it has.

    Again, reason is necessarily offended by faith’s object, the Word and all articles of faith do this. Luther points out that every promising of God holds forth the Cross to us and offends reason most egregiously, it sleighs it, which is the first sacrifice, of faith pleasing to God (He, His Word is thus feared, loved and trusted above all things – e.g. Abraham leaving his homeland & going to sacrifice Isaac, Noah building the Ark – all against and offending reason). A cross is held out by every promising of God to reason and reason is offended on two counts (Luther), recall how reason operates by its experiences via the senses (and emotions). It is an stench of death to reason. But faith lives by these, an odor of life. Why is reason offended? Because it does not see nor sense the promise that is far of and sees it as nothing and second it sees the evil suffering at hand as endurably never ending unless it acts otherwise, thus it handed a cross and bid come and die. Faith on the other hand “sees” the promise (in the Word, not on “nothing” or Peter Pan faith) as not only true but MORE true than even the reality reason observes, that which is not yet but remains invisible is to faith visible and actually present (a key point regarding the eschatology of this) and simultaneously the evil at hand, the suffering, is ephemeral, fleeting and passing at worst.

    E.g. In approaching the Lord’s Supper our reason says, “just bread and wine Zwingli and Calvin et. Alli were right after all”. It wars directly with faith here, a true anfechtungen every time one approaches the altar (the enemy is within!!!), seeing what it only senses it judges, “just bread and wine, symbols and signs at best, the sign not the thing signified” (says the devil’s mistress to us). But faith must take the upper hand and kill said reason (one or the other must win the day says Luther) and faith says, “yes but Jesus (God’s Word) says, “this is My body/blood…” (clothed in the Word or “in, with and under” to use a Lutheran term.)
    Here we see a difference between “an abundance of evidence for God’s existence” (Joe Carter) and the Word of God. Reason produces a false faith based on “an abundance of evidence for God’s existence”, but it is not really Christian faith, but the devil’s faith, (even the demons believe there is one God but are terrified, James, a demon’s faith is all one has here, the bondage of the will ridden by Satan). For here reason still lives by sight and senses, not by the naked Word and promising of God but by “abundance of (tangible and measurable) evidence”. This if very different, for example, than water, bread and wine, the tangibles with the Word. Here faith arises and ascends not by the sensing and detecting of water, bread and wine but the Word given to them, in fact by the Word alone (nakedly). Bread and wine (things seen) do not in and of themselves PROVE the flesh and blood of Christ being there, the Word does (not seen). Here we see yet another difference in all theologians of glory, governed under reason, and the theologian of the Cross governed under faith alone (and what really is meant by scripture, grace, faith alone). In these things, water, bread and wine, God has GIVEN His Word to them and they are what He says they are in spite of appearances to the contrary. This is why for Luther theological signs, baptism and Lord’s Supper, are the reality of God present, not absent; yet for Zwingli and ultimately Calvin philosophical signs (fallen reason), of things absent per reason’s assessment (e.g. this is NOT the flesh and blood of Christ).

    In light of “proof of God” being the end of both atheism and Christianity, there is some truth to that (all though not a REAL end to Christianity sense it would only be “the end” as in unbelief). It is like Luther said there is a difference in God FOR YOU and God just in the creation. Where His Word and Promising is given, God’s backside, He is for you, here faith is. But detecting God in the things made, proof of His being, merely is damning and a demonic faith (James) distilled from fallen reason ridden by Satan. Satan attacks not the created things, per se, as proof of God, but the Word itself, “hath God really said…”.

    Reason, fallen, as the bondage of the will is like this (original sin and all attacks since, the sacraments, the Word are all the same); once Satan attacks the Word he puts faith on trial in that word. When reason rules, kills faith, reason has usurped the Word. Man is then of necessity, unhinged by faith to the naked Word, forced in to himself (e.g. how do I know God is for me? All fallen theologians, be it the pope, Mohamed, Zwingli, Calvin or others go towards “proofs of “faith”” for assurance.) and all he has left is his otherwise good gift of reason, now ridden by Satan who put faith on trial and killed it from the Word, to sense via his/her senses and emotions “where God is for them” (to know good and evil FOR ONE’s SELF – the essence of self righteousness without God). This is the bondage of the will and true total depravity ridden by Satan, utterly bound by Satan and its self, it has “no Word or promise of God, it has eschewed them”. Thus bound, it gropes around in the dark for God, even using some ideas it has retained of God in the creation, but it thus ultimately perverts them, because it assesses God per itself to itself and hones an idol “called the god”. Just like stock and stone, such rational idols are literally HONED by man himself and are ultimately deaf, blind and mute (there is no Word from them ultimately, just the self via reason).

    If a Word and Promise does not come from God, bondage of the will unto true total depravity, of reason too and in particular, no man can believe, that is to say, trust, God is for me. It is when the Word comes nakedly in the general forgiveness of sin of all mankind and particular distribution of the actual fruits of the Cross, absolution, baptism, Lord’s Supper (all Words and Promisings of God that are not seen but REAL and EXISTENT to faith), that faith is created, strengthened and “is”. This faith must KILL reason, on this cross to the Word or else faith will be killed by its mortal enemy reason. In baptism, for example, reason is killed when faith slays it by the Word and faith believes (rises again), when faith believes baptism ACTUALLY DOES (not just signifies) regenerates, rebirths, converts, forgives and gives the Holy Spirit. If these are denied reason has struck at and kills faith (this we live in daily, daily trial, daily afechtungen).

    Thus, what Mr. Carter says is already true, those that distil the existence of God through the creation in any form are not Christian (though we do know of God’s existence this way it merely damns us Paul Romans 1:18 – ff). What makes a Christian is his/her faith in the naked Word. As Luther said he that does not desire the sacrament, as the sacrament, cannot be in anyway assessed as Christian (assuming not out of innocent mistaught ignorance). Because ultimately what is behind this is reason against faith. In this way an atheist is no different than a deist or one who believes in God, even the demons, says James, do this but are at least terrified.

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    i think that if anyone was able to demonstrate gods exist, they would become very wealthy. the idea of gods have been around for a long time, and so far no evidence of them exists, even though billions of dollars have been spent looking for them. anyone that could demonstrate that even one god exists would become astronomically wealthy. supernaturalism is big business.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    i think that if anyone was able to demonstrate gods exist, they would become very wealthy. the idea of gods have been around for a long time, and so far no evidence of them exists, even though billions of dollars have been spent looking for them. anyone that could demonstrate that even one god exists would become astronomically wealthy. supernaturalism is big business.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Worst article ever (not yours Dr. Veith). He completely ignores the basic tenet that people walked and talked with God. It didn’t destroy Christianity then, doubt it will now.

    I believe, Luther’s Bondage of the Will should be mandatory reading. Maybe we won’t have to put up with any more of this schlock.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Worst article ever (not yours Dr. Veith). He completely ignores the basic tenet that people walked and talked with God. It didn’t destroy Christianity then, doubt it will now.

    I believe, Luther’s Bondage of the Will should be mandatory reading. Maybe we won’t have to put up with any more of this schlock.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Would proof of God eliminate Christianity? Yes. But only if it were proof of the god that Rossano believes, which god is apparently almost completely unlike the Christian God.

    And maybe I’m thinking too much from the mathematical point of view, but I don’t think we should conflate the words “evidence” and “proof”. There is lots of evidence (which, yes, could also be called “proof”) for God and his existence. But I do not believe there is a proof for God’s existence. Nor do I believe there ever will be in this life. Just saying.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Would proof of God eliminate Christianity? Yes. But only if it were proof of the god that Rossano believes, which god is apparently almost completely unlike the Christian God.

    And maybe I’m thinking too much from the mathematical point of view, but I don’t think we should conflate the words “evidence” and “proof”. There is lots of evidence (which, yes, could also be called “proof”) for God and his existence. But I do not believe there is a proof for God’s existence. Nor do I believe there ever will be in this life. Just saying.

  • Gregory DeVore

    This will be our state in glory. There will be no ambiguity, no room for doubt. Yet trust will abide. God graciously has witheld from us this kind of proof. Thomas may have believed after seeing but Christ said blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Faith is especially blessed when it clings to God’s promises against reason and experience. This life under the cross has great value in itself. Glory will come and then the time for such faith will be past. Let us enjoy the blessedness of faith untill it is caught up in the blessedness of glory.

  • Gregory DeVore

    This will be our state in glory. There will be no ambiguity, no room for doubt. Yet trust will abide. God graciously has witheld from us this kind of proof. Thomas may have believed after seeing but Christ said blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Faith is especially blessed when it clings to God’s promises against reason and experience. This life under the cross has great value in itself. Glory will come and then the time for such faith will be past. Let us enjoy the blessedness of faith untill it is caught up in the blessedness of glory.

  • S Bauer

    Rossano’s argument is nothing new. As Douglas Adams relates in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the exisitence of the Babel Fish (a small yellowish fish that, when inserted into one’s ear, acts as an universal translator, enabling the person to understand any spoken language) suggested this line of reasoning long ago.

    “Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful [the Babel fish] could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
    The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
    “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”
    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.”

  • S Bauer

    Rossano’s argument is nothing new. As Douglas Adams relates in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the exisitence of the Babel Fish (a small yellowish fish that, when inserted into one’s ear, acts as an universal translator, enabling the person to understand any spoken language) suggested this line of reasoning long ago.

    “Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful [the Babel fish] could have evolved by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God.
    The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
    “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED”
    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.”

  • Kelly

    My first thoughts went to Douglas Adams’ Babel fish as well… and the guy going on to prove that black is white and getting killed at the next zebra crossing.

  • Kelly

    My first thoughts went to Douglas Adams’ Babel fish as well… and the guy going on to prove that black is white and getting killed at the next zebra crossing.

  • Larry

    It would not in reality destroy Christianity for in reality it cannot be destroyed for it is the true and actual reality, but it can destroy faith and thus destroy man in hell due to the way we operate as fallen post Adam sinners. In the later since it “can destroy” Christianity (but not CHRISTIANITY).

    Evidence and/or proof of God is everywhere, but man in depravity, total that is and that means particularly his faculties for reasoning, misuses this. Much like the Law which is good and salutary and good for life, not only does it NOT help man, it rather HINDERS him toward God (paraphrasing Luther’s first thesis in the HD). Reason, a good gift at creation now becomes Satan’s mistress and the very enemy of faith and THE faith. The problem is not with natural theology (as it is not with the Law) but in man’s way he NECESSARILY makes use of it, and that goes for Christians too. Even a Christian will fall away from God seeking God this way at length. This is why Luther prayed constantly, for example, during the Marburg Colloquy that they would remain in the Word, the revealed God, not natural theology.

    St. Paul’s point in Romans 1 (and Luther’s) is that men went astray with their natural knowledge of God found in nature. The fall of man, and hence original sin from whence all sin comes, did not deny the existence of God but rather His Word, “…hath God really SAID…”. With the natural knowledge of God men now, post fall, necessarily, via reason, go wrong with God and hone for themselves, even out of God’s attributes revealed in nature false gods, that are not God but idols and worship of demons – yet they will say, “here is THE God”. All idols ultimately have their roots in some natural realities about God. Man via nature can in no way come to God, as Christ said to Phillip who “show us the Father and that will be enough”, Luther comments that Jesus puts away this flighty idea immediately saying, “have I been with you so long, don’t you know Me. He who has seen Me has seen the Father. The Father and I are one.” And earlier, “No ONE can come to the Father except through Me.” Furthermore, Paul says in the same chapter of Romans, “the Gospel is the power” not natural theology, in fact 1:18-ff denies outright, post fall, the way of natural theology to God and says explicitly that “being wise they became fools…” and honed idols for themselves.

    Man in no way comes to God via natural theology, in fact such a pursuit is to run away from God and to NOT be seeking Him (clothed in His Words) for no one “seeks for God” (Rom.3), God shows Moses “His back side” not His face (post fall). Nor can one conflate that which is to come, we will see Him as He is, with “the now” that we cannot see now in our state of being of “sinner in reality saint by naked declaration” for we would deny God in this state of being this way, leave His Words and thus leave Christ and pursue our idol we “call God” as Paul so very clearly points out.

    Luther also points out that Thomas Aquinas was worse than Aristotle because at least Aristotle did not pretend to be a Christian. Luther recognized well, that in the church, Rome at the time, Aristotle was quoted more if not singularly than Christ was (or Scripture). He points out Thomas’s and hence much of the church there after great error in thinking that man could be brought near to Christ and Christianity via natural reasoning that “God is”. Luther clearly saw this in the light Romans 3 in which men are not seeking for God but fleeing Him, ironically thinking they seek after Him (they gave up the REVEALATION of God clothed in His Word, in Christ, “if you’ve seen ME”, God’s backside). Luther goes so far as to say that Scripture needs no proof outside or above itself and such is in reality blaspheme placing the words and wisdom of men above the Word and foolishness of God as the means of supposedly bringing men to God. In fact Luther says that we are under no obligation whatsoever to go above or beyond the Scriptures to “make the Scriptures” real, natural theology or otherwise.

    The very roots of so called “freedom of the will”, be it Erasmus or others humanist, lay in natural theology and man’s ability to ascend to find God this way. Luther states, “From this you can see how, ever since the scholastic theology — the deceiving theology (for that is the meaning of the word in Greek) — began, the theology of the cross has been abrogated, and everything has been completely turned upside down. A theologian of the cross (that is, one who speaks of the crucified and hidden God) teaches that punishments, crosses, and death are the most precious treasury of all and the most sacred relics which the Lord of this theology himself has consecrated and blessed, not alone by the touch of his most holy flesh, but also by the embrace of his exceedingly holy and divine will, and he has left these relics here to be kissed, sought after, and embraced. Indeed fortunate and blessed is he who is considered by God to be so worthy that these treasures of Christ should be given to him; rather, who understands that they are given to him. For to whom are they not offered? “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials” [Jas. 1:2]. For not all have this grace and glory to receive these treasures, but only the most elect of the children of God. [LW 31.225-6]

    A theologian of glory does not recognize, along with the Apostle, the crucified and hidden God alone [I Cor. 2:2]. He sees and speaks of God’s glorious manifestation among the heathen, how his invisible nature can be known from the things which are visible [Cf. Rom. 1:20] and how he is present and powerful in all things everywhere. This theologian of glory, however, learns from Aristotle that the object of the will is the good and the good is worthy to be loved, while the evil, on the other hand, is worthy of hate. He learns that God is the highest good and exceedingly lovable. Disagreeing with the theologian of the cross, he defines the treasury of Christ as the removing and remitting of punishments, things which are most evil and worthy of hate. In opposition to this the theologian of the cross defines the treasury of Christ as impositions and obligations of punishments, things which are best and worthy of love. Yet the theologian of glory still receives money for his treasury, while the theologian of the cross, on the other hand, offers the merits of Christ freely. Yet people do not consider the theologian of the cross worthy of consideration, but finally even persecute him.” [LW 31.227]

    Alister McGrath commenting on this writes, “The theologia cruces is a theology of revelation, which stands in sharp contrast to speculation. God has revealed himself, and it is the task of the theologian to concern himself with God as he has chosen to reveal himself, instead of constructing preconceived notions of God which ultimately must be destroyed…This revelation must be regarded as indirect and concealed. This is one of the most difficult aspects of the theologia cruces to grasp: how can one speak of a concealed revelation? Luther’s allusion to Exodus 33.23 in Thesis 20 is the key to understanding this fundamental point: Although it is indeed God who is revealed in the passion and the cross of Christ, he is not immediately recognizable as God. Those who expect a direct revelation of the face of God are unable to discern him in his revelation, precisely because it is the posteriora Dei which are made visible in this revelation. In that it is God who is made known in the passion and the cross of Christ, it is revelation; in that this revelation can only be discerned by the eye of faith, it is concealed. The ‘friends of the cross’ know that beneath the humility and shame of the cross lie concealed the power and the glory of God — but to others, this insight is denied.”

    What did Luther see in “God’s backside” relating that to Christ and the suffering Cross, this we look past all to quickly? From the backside for one recognition is not made, we do not recognize someone from their backside but have them turn around or circle around them to see who they are. It’s the unrecognizable side, the posterior, we wish to see them (and God) face to face. But no man can see God’s face and live (e.g. natural theology and his glory gloriously as opposed sufferingly). But oddly, perfectly, utterly and primarily against man’s fallen reason (part of, even primarily the flesh, the real ‘belly god’) God cloaks Himself in this backside, His posterior, to hide Himself and to reveal Himself – to faith alone in and on the Word alone/nakedly. Faith alone, in a limited way, might be compared for understand in this way – how it makes judgments in opposition to reason – to a kind of “sixth sense” (there are of course limits to this analogy, e.g., not of our own but GIFT from God). From the posterior where God is hidden and His glory is cloaked (especially to reason, flesh) by means of the Word to faith He is revealed and known.

    The same applies to the sacraments and why Zwingli and Calvin erred terribly, they follow their flesh, reason, the devil’s mistress. As Luther said, concerning the sacrament (often for Luther meaning in particular the Lord’s Supper) here God is most hidden just like at the Cross itself. Reason says, “just bread and wine”, hath God (Jesus) really said, “My body…My blood” really?” Yet faith clings nakedly to that raw Word, “Yes let it be done unto me as you SAY Lord” (the posterior revelation via the Word. Here, like all promisings of God, is held out to offend fallen fallen fleshy fleshly reason (on purpose in order to crucify it, kill it) a cross and it is bid “come and die”. It is mightily offended on two accounts as Luther says, (1) “it refuses to behold the promise so distant to it and undetectable (forgiveness of sins actually and truly given without action from man, not just signs, flesh LOVES signs because signs give it some WORK TO DO, something follow or reach for and call it “faith”). (2) It is offended because it beholds as evil the insufferable waiting for the reality as evil and does not want the Word that is a promise. It wishes NOT to SUFFER the cross and views it as INSUFFERABLE, like the evil thief, “If you are really God get us down off of these crosses (give us some works). It smells death, reason, but faith smells life! Both are true to each his own death to reason and flesh, life to faith. So it refuses the cross in the Lord’s Supper, refuses the real and true body of Christ, just like rejection of the incarnation, on these very grounds. Yet to faith, the invisible posterior of God here, in the Supper, its promise held out yet not seen it “sees” and “sees” as reality and truth more than the clear blue sky. Faith would rather reject the clear blue sky and all things than reject the flesh and blood of Christ, the Word of God. In opposition to reason in this posterior hidden-ness of God it sees the very glory of God (due to the naked Word) and thus (1) the promise of the Word is everything and ALL reality that it “sees”, and (2) the “evil” suffering, (i.e. passion, passive) it views as so ephemeral as to be less than passing vapor (entirely opposite of reason)!

  • Larry

    It would not in reality destroy Christianity for in reality it cannot be destroyed for it is the true and actual reality, but it can destroy faith and thus destroy man in hell due to the way we operate as fallen post Adam sinners. In the later since it “can destroy” Christianity (but not CHRISTIANITY).

    Evidence and/or proof of God is everywhere, but man in depravity, total that is and that means particularly his faculties for reasoning, misuses this. Much like the Law which is good and salutary and good for life, not only does it NOT help man, it rather HINDERS him toward God (paraphrasing Luther’s first thesis in the HD). Reason, a good gift at creation now becomes Satan’s mistress and the very enemy of faith and THE faith. The problem is not with natural theology (as it is not with the Law) but in man’s way he NECESSARILY makes use of it, and that goes for Christians too. Even a Christian will fall away from God seeking God this way at length. This is why Luther prayed constantly, for example, during the Marburg Colloquy that they would remain in the Word, the revealed God, not natural theology.

    St. Paul’s point in Romans 1 (and Luther’s) is that men went astray with their natural knowledge of God found in nature. The fall of man, and hence original sin from whence all sin comes, did not deny the existence of God but rather His Word, “…hath God really SAID…”. With the natural knowledge of God men now, post fall, necessarily, via reason, go wrong with God and hone for themselves, even out of God’s attributes revealed in nature false gods, that are not God but idols and worship of demons – yet they will say, “here is THE God”. All idols ultimately have their roots in some natural realities about God. Man via nature can in no way come to God, as Christ said to Phillip who “show us the Father and that will be enough”, Luther comments that Jesus puts away this flighty idea immediately saying, “have I been with you so long, don’t you know Me. He who has seen Me has seen the Father. The Father and I are one.” And earlier, “No ONE can come to the Father except through Me.” Furthermore, Paul says in the same chapter of Romans, “the Gospel is the power” not natural theology, in fact 1:18-ff denies outright, post fall, the way of natural theology to God and says explicitly that “being wise they became fools…” and honed idols for themselves.

    Man in no way comes to God via natural theology, in fact such a pursuit is to run away from God and to NOT be seeking Him (clothed in His Words) for no one “seeks for God” (Rom.3), God shows Moses “His back side” not His face (post fall). Nor can one conflate that which is to come, we will see Him as He is, with “the now” that we cannot see now in our state of being of “sinner in reality saint by naked declaration” for we would deny God in this state of being this way, leave His Words and thus leave Christ and pursue our idol we “call God” as Paul so very clearly points out.

    Luther also points out that Thomas Aquinas was worse than Aristotle because at least Aristotle did not pretend to be a Christian. Luther recognized well, that in the church, Rome at the time, Aristotle was quoted more if not singularly than Christ was (or Scripture). He points out Thomas’s and hence much of the church there after great error in thinking that man could be brought near to Christ and Christianity via natural reasoning that “God is”. Luther clearly saw this in the light Romans 3 in which men are not seeking for God but fleeing Him, ironically thinking they seek after Him (they gave up the REVEALATION of God clothed in His Word, in Christ, “if you’ve seen ME”, God’s backside). Luther goes so far as to say that Scripture needs no proof outside or above itself and such is in reality blaspheme placing the words and wisdom of men above the Word and foolishness of God as the means of supposedly bringing men to God. In fact Luther says that we are under no obligation whatsoever to go above or beyond the Scriptures to “make the Scriptures” real, natural theology or otherwise.

    The very roots of so called “freedom of the will”, be it Erasmus or others humanist, lay in natural theology and man’s ability to ascend to find God this way. Luther states, “From this you can see how, ever since the scholastic theology — the deceiving theology (for that is the meaning of the word in Greek) — began, the theology of the cross has been abrogated, and everything has been completely turned upside down. A theologian of the cross (that is, one who speaks of the crucified and hidden God) teaches that punishments, crosses, and death are the most precious treasury of all and the most sacred relics which the Lord of this theology himself has consecrated and blessed, not alone by the touch of his most holy flesh, but also by the embrace of his exceedingly holy and divine will, and he has left these relics here to be kissed, sought after, and embraced. Indeed fortunate and blessed is he who is considered by God to be so worthy that these treasures of Christ should be given to him; rather, who understands that they are given to him. For to whom are they not offered? “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials” [Jas. 1:2]. For not all have this grace and glory to receive these treasures, but only the most elect of the children of God. [LW 31.225-6]

    A theologian of glory does not recognize, along with the Apostle, the crucified and hidden God alone [I Cor. 2:2]. He sees and speaks of God’s glorious manifestation among the heathen, how his invisible nature can be known from the things which are visible [Cf. Rom. 1:20] and how he is present and powerful in all things everywhere. This theologian of glory, however, learns from Aristotle that the object of the will is the good and the good is worthy to be loved, while the evil, on the other hand, is worthy of hate. He learns that God is the highest good and exceedingly lovable. Disagreeing with the theologian of the cross, he defines the treasury of Christ as the removing and remitting of punishments, things which are most evil and worthy of hate. In opposition to this the theologian of the cross defines the treasury of Christ as impositions and obligations of punishments, things which are best and worthy of love. Yet the theologian of glory still receives money for his treasury, while the theologian of the cross, on the other hand, offers the merits of Christ freely. Yet people do not consider the theologian of the cross worthy of consideration, but finally even persecute him.” [LW 31.227]

    Alister McGrath commenting on this writes, “The theologia cruces is a theology of revelation, which stands in sharp contrast to speculation. God has revealed himself, and it is the task of the theologian to concern himself with God as he has chosen to reveal himself, instead of constructing preconceived notions of God which ultimately must be destroyed…This revelation must be regarded as indirect and concealed. This is one of the most difficult aspects of the theologia cruces to grasp: how can one speak of a concealed revelation? Luther’s allusion to Exodus 33.23 in Thesis 20 is the key to understanding this fundamental point: Although it is indeed God who is revealed in the passion and the cross of Christ, he is not immediately recognizable as God. Those who expect a direct revelation of the face of God are unable to discern him in his revelation, precisely because it is the posteriora Dei which are made visible in this revelation. In that it is God who is made known in the passion and the cross of Christ, it is revelation; in that this revelation can only be discerned by the eye of faith, it is concealed. The ‘friends of the cross’ know that beneath the humility and shame of the cross lie concealed the power and the glory of God — but to others, this insight is denied.”

    What did Luther see in “God’s backside” relating that to Christ and the suffering Cross, this we look past all to quickly? From the backside for one recognition is not made, we do not recognize someone from their backside but have them turn around or circle around them to see who they are. It’s the unrecognizable side, the posterior, we wish to see them (and God) face to face. But no man can see God’s face and live (e.g. natural theology and his glory gloriously as opposed sufferingly). But oddly, perfectly, utterly and primarily against man’s fallen reason (part of, even primarily the flesh, the real ‘belly god’) God cloaks Himself in this backside, His posterior, to hide Himself and to reveal Himself – to faith alone in and on the Word alone/nakedly. Faith alone, in a limited way, might be compared for understand in this way – how it makes judgments in opposition to reason – to a kind of “sixth sense” (there are of course limits to this analogy, e.g., not of our own but GIFT from God). From the posterior where God is hidden and His glory is cloaked (especially to reason, flesh) by means of the Word to faith He is revealed and known.

    The same applies to the sacraments and why Zwingli and Calvin erred terribly, they follow their flesh, reason, the devil’s mistress. As Luther said, concerning the sacrament (often for Luther meaning in particular the Lord’s Supper) here God is most hidden just like at the Cross itself. Reason says, “just bread and wine”, hath God (Jesus) really said, “My body…My blood” really?” Yet faith clings nakedly to that raw Word, “Yes let it be done unto me as you SAY Lord” (the posterior revelation via the Word. Here, like all promisings of God, is held out to offend fallen fallen fleshy fleshly reason (on purpose in order to crucify it, kill it) a cross and it is bid “come and die”. It is mightily offended on two accounts as Luther says, (1) “it refuses to behold the promise so distant to it and undetectable (forgiveness of sins actually and truly given without action from man, not just signs, flesh LOVES signs because signs give it some WORK TO DO, something follow or reach for and call it “faith”). (2) It is offended because it beholds as evil the insufferable waiting for the reality as evil and does not want the Word that is a promise. It wishes NOT to SUFFER the cross and views it as INSUFFERABLE, like the evil thief, “If you are really God get us down off of these crosses (give us some works). It smells death, reason, but faith smells life! Both are true to each his own death to reason and flesh, life to faith. So it refuses the cross in the Lord’s Supper, refuses the real and true body of Christ, just like rejection of the incarnation, on these very grounds. Yet to faith, the invisible posterior of God here, in the Supper, its promise held out yet not seen it “sees” and “sees” as reality and truth more than the clear blue sky. Faith would rather reject the clear blue sky and all things than reject the flesh and blood of Christ, the Word of God. In opposition to reason in this posterior hidden-ness of God it sees the very glory of God (due to the naked Word) and thus (1) the promise of the Word is everything and ALL reality that it “sees”, and (2) the “evil” suffering, (i.e. passion, passive) it views as so ephemeral as to be less than passing vapor (entirely opposite of reason)!

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear anonymous Larry,

    I think the problem you are overlooking is that now that we have tools to actually determine and test things, the older inferior tools of philosophy, and it’s subset theology are no longer of much value. They deal mearly in speculation. Today we have tools to actually determine facts. This is one reason that theology and philosophy are dead today.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear anonymous Larry,

    I think the problem you are overlooking is that now that we have tools to actually determine and test things, the older inferior tools of philosophy, and it’s subset theology are no longer of much value. They deal mearly in speculation. Today we have tools to actually determine facts. This is one reason that theology and philosophy are dead today.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    The Lutheran confessions say that faith is not a historical faith . That means that for the Lutheran confessions it doesnt matter whether one believes something that is visible and scientifically provable or not. that is not faith.

    whatsoever is not of faith is sin. so what is faith? According to the Lutheran Confessions it is fearing loving and trusting in God above all things. It is having no other Gods. It is a “new movement of the heart. ” It is not even a change. Our old adam cannot be changed. It is being implanted literally with the new will and person of christ himself. Faith is literally putting on christ as a new man in the new birth.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    The Lutheran confessions say that faith is not a historical faith . That means that for the Lutheran confessions it doesnt matter whether one believes something that is visible and scientifically provable or not. that is not faith.

    whatsoever is not of faith is sin. so what is faith? According to the Lutheran Confessions it is fearing loving and trusting in God above all things. It is having no other Gods. It is a “new movement of the heart. ” It is not even a change. Our old adam cannot be changed. It is being implanted literally with the new will and person of christ himself. Faith is literally putting on christ as a new man in the new birth.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry at 13 makes a good point.

    Jesus, even to the disciples was God hidden-in-plain-sight. A holy mystery is something hidden in plain sight.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    larry at 13 makes a good point.

    Jesus, even to the disciples was God hidden-in-plain-sight. A holy mystery is something hidden in plain sight.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    even among humans, i can know and believe that someone exists. it is an entirely different thing to fear love and trust in that person. have faith in that persons it is to say.

    so what are we arguing for or against here?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    even among humans, i can know and believe that someone exists. it is an entirely different thing to fear love and trust in that person. have faith in that persons it is to say.

    so what are we arguing for or against here?

  • larry

    In Webulite’s post we see the very principle Luther speaks of operating, real time, fallen reason usurping the Word of God, “hath God said”, ridden by the devil, the very bondage, self bondage of the will that wills to will as it wills. For it subsumes “theology” out of blind ignorance underneath philosophy (calls it subset for example) and science. It is the very essence of “hath God said…” (then) “to know good and evil FOR ONE’s SELF”. Such statements rather than disprove Scripture actually verify its veracity.

    Philosophy and science: Here Luther would call an obvious foul in saying that both science and philosophy, regardless of their time or tools goes infinitely beyond what they are capable of. These are our tools, limited tools that can in no way examine all things nor exhaust them, to claim so is first of all to claim to be godlike and secondly absurd immeasurable madness.

    Theology: Literally “God’s speaking or speech to us”, Theo and logos, is not a tool of man’s like philosophy and science. It extra outside of us divine and eternal speech of God. We do not “use” theology, like philosophy and science, to attempt to “reach, detect, measure for God” (a vain and profane thing). Rather theology comes down from the eternal and infinite to us. To borrow from Dr. Norman Nagel (my paraphrase from my ever increasing feeble memory) ‘The gap between God and man is so infinite it cannot be bridged by us (philosophy/science/speculation/reason/works/etc…)…we do not go up to Jesus and say, “He meets the bill” (as criteria for God). No, we hang out with Him in the Scriptures, listen, hear His Words spoken to us, hear true preaching and finally we realize, to our shock, “so this is God and what God is like” (nothing we could ever have come to on our own, such shear and pure grace, forgiveness of sin, love of the unlovable in the most infinite sense). Rather God comes ALL the way down to us clothed in His Words and promising.’ This is the ONLY way faith is born and it is this very thing that the will wills not to have, the true bondage of the will, the true total depravity of man (over against reason, the devil’s whore).

    Thus, philosophy and science are mere tools of fallen man that when they attempt to do what is within them to “find God” (or disprove Him), they do the fall all over again, usurp to be like God, to know good and evil for the self and commit the most mortal and damning sin and will not in any way, shape or form come to God where grace and forgiveness are (without the support of a single thing). This is the wisdom of the world the foolishness of God destroys so very easily and effortlessly.

    True theology, is God’s Word, uncreated. A “theology” labeled as a subset of philosophy or in principle, essence and use is really not true THEOLOGY (God’s speech/word/promising), but a false doppelganger calling itself “theology”. Labeling a pile of dung “a fine elaborate and extravagant feast” and handing someone a fork and spoon does not make it in essence and reality a fine elaborate and extravagant feast. Nor is calling that which is a subset of philosophy really theology.

    FWS is spot on when he says “a holy mystery is something hidden in plain sight”. I’m not advocating Greek Orthodoxy here but just a language barrier breaker. I like that term (mystery) sometimes more, given our day and age and the misuse and the less than obvious idea of “sacrament” in the English language and ear. “Mystery” in English today probably carries the real idea of the sacrament, at least more obviously and immediately than ‘sacrament’ immediately does. It does immediately remove that old Calvinistic and philosophical (man’s tool) “sign” “thing signified” division. A philosophical sign being a sign of a thing absent (that you have to WORK AFTER/FOR to have) as opposed to a theological sign being a sign of a thing present (that you are GIVEN), yet hidden in mystery.

    In short our fallen reason, speculation and the tools used by these, like philosophy and science, refuse (bondage of the will) to hear and believe the Word of God (true theology). And THAT, stepping back and looking at the forest, IS the very essence of the issue at hand. The very arguments themselves, let alone their content and form, against theology (true theology, the Word and promising of God), in and of themselves prove and exhibit the fall of man, original sin, the bondage of the will – their very recalcitrance, if you will, to not “HEAR” but speak against. It matter none whatsoever how elaborate, apparently erudite, or finely honed ANY of these arguments are they display the old Adam ridden by Satan. Be atheism’s denial of God, the Pope’s denial of justification by faith alone, Mohamed’s denial of the Trinity or Calvin/Zwingli’s denial of the true and real presence of the flesh and blood of Christ in the Supper – all have in common the use of reason/speculation to deny the Word and promising of God, to not “just hear them”.

  • larry

    In Webulite’s post we see the very principle Luther speaks of operating, real time, fallen reason usurping the Word of God, “hath God said”, ridden by the devil, the very bondage, self bondage of the will that wills to will as it wills. For it subsumes “theology” out of blind ignorance underneath philosophy (calls it subset for example) and science. It is the very essence of “hath God said…” (then) “to know good and evil FOR ONE’s SELF”. Such statements rather than disprove Scripture actually verify its veracity.

    Philosophy and science: Here Luther would call an obvious foul in saying that both science and philosophy, regardless of their time or tools goes infinitely beyond what they are capable of. These are our tools, limited tools that can in no way examine all things nor exhaust them, to claim so is first of all to claim to be godlike and secondly absurd immeasurable madness.

    Theology: Literally “God’s speaking or speech to us”, Theo and logos, is not a tool of man’s like philosophy and science. It extra outside of us divine and eternal speech of God. We do not “use” theology, like philosophy and science, to attempt to “reach, detect, measure for God” (a vain and profane thing). Rather theology comes down from the eternal and infinite to us. To borrow from Dr. Norman Nagel (my paraphrase from my ever increasing feeble memory) ‘The gap between God and man is so infinite it cannot be bridged by us (philosophy/science/speculation/reason/works/etc…)…we do not go up to Jesus and say, “He meets the bill” (as criteria for God). No, we hang out with Him in the Scriptures, listen, hear His Words spoken to us, hear true preaching and finally we realize, to our shock, “so this is God and what God is like” (nothing we could ever have come to on our own, such shear and pure grace, forgiveness of sin, love of the unlovable in the most infinite sense). Rather God comes ALL the way down to us clothed in His Words and promising.’ This is the ONLY way faith is born and it is this very thing that the will wills not to have, the true bondage of the will, the true total depravity of man (over against reason, the devil’s whore).

    Thus, philosophy and science are mere tools of fallen man that when they attempt to do what is within them to “find God” (or disprove Him), they do the fall all over again, usurp to be like God, to know good and evil for the self and commit the most mortal and damning sin and will not in any way, shape or form come to God where grace and forgiveness are (without the support of a single thing). This is the wisdom of the world the foolishness of God destroys so very easily and effortlessly.

    True theology, is God’s Word, uncreated. A “theology” labeled as a subset of philosophy or in principle, essence and use is really not true THEOLOGY (God’s speech/word/promising), but a false doppelganger calling itself “theology”. Labeling a pile of dung “a fine elaborate and extravagant feast” and handing someone a fork and spoon does not make it in essence and reality a fine elaborate and extravagant feast. Nor is calling that which is a subset of philosophy really theology.

    FWS is spot on when he says “a holy mystery is something hidden in plain sight”. I’m not advocating Greek Orthodoxy here but just a language barrier breaker. I like that term (mystery) sometimes more, given our day and age and the misuse and the less than obvious idea of “sacrament” in the English language and ear. “Mystery” in English today probably carries the real idea of the sacrament, at least more obviously and immediately than ‘sacrament’ immediately does. It does immediately remove that old Calvinistic and philosophical (man’s tool) “sign” “thing signified” division. A philosophical sign being a sign of a thing absent (that you have to WORK AFTER/FOR to have) as opposed to a theological sign being a sign of a thing present (that you are GIVEN), yet hidden in mystery.

    In short our fallen reason, speculation and the tools used by these, like philosophy and science, refuse (bondage of the will) to hear and believe the Word of God (true theology). And THAT, stepping back and looking at the forest, IS the very essence of the issue at hand. The very arguments themselves, let alone their content and form, against theology (true theology, the Word and promising of God), in and of themselves prove and exhibit the fall of man, original sin, the bondage of the will – their very recalcitrance, if you will, to not “HEAR” but speak against. It matter none whatsoever how elaborate, apparently erudite, or finely honed ANY of these arguments are they display the old Adam ridden by Satan. Be atheism’s denial of God, the Pope’s denial of justification by faith alone, Mohamed’s denial of the Trinity or Calvin/Zwingli’s denial of the true and real presence of the flesh and blood of Christ in the Supper – all have in common the use of reason/speculation to deny the Word and promising of God, to not “just hear them”.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite, @14,
    You demonstrate the problem and woeful state of the science community today. Thankfully not all scientists would come close to agreeing with you. Sure there have been great strides in science over the last century, and today it seems there are revolutionary scientific breakthroughs almost everyday, and facts multiply. But that doesn’t stop us from having to think about the facts, to process evidence and so on. And it is the fact that so many scientists these days have not taken more than an intro to philosophy, that probably filled them with nothing but Kant, that they don’t realize when they are employing philosophy to think about the facts presented. Often times they call their philosophy science, but it isn’t science, it is a very ill informed philosophical thinking.
    And so you demonstrate Karl Popper’s greatest frustration with the scientific community of the 20th century, great ability to measure and test, a PHD even on testing and measuring, but no ability to really think about the data and what it means. Thomas Nagel doesn’t express it the same way, but you can see that frustration in his writings also.
    You don’t escape having a philosophy to guide you in life. Your only option is to think about what your philosophy is and maybe even compare it to others to see if there may be better ones out there.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite, @14,
    You demonstrate the problem and woeful state of the science community today. Thankfully not all scientists would come close to agreeing with you. Sure there have been great strides in science over the last century, and today it seems there are revolutionary scientific breakthroughs almost everyday, and facts multiply. But that doesn’t stop us from having to think about the facts, to process evidence and so on. And it is the fact that so many scientists these days have not taken more than an intro to philosophy, that probably filled them with nothing but Kant, that they don’t realize when they are employing philosophy to think about the facts presented. Often times they call their philosophy science, but it isn’t science, it is a very ill informed philosophical thinking.
    And so you demonstrate Karl Popper’s greatest frustration with the scientific community of the 20th century, great ability to measure and test, a PHD even on testing and measuring, but no ability to really think about the data and what it means. Thomas Nagel doesn’t express it the same way, but you can see that frustration in his writings also.
    You don’t escape having a philosophy to guide you in life. Your only option is to think about what your philosophy is and maybe even compare it to others to see if there may be better ones out there.

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Dror Erickson from utah-lutheran.blogspot.com,

    You demonstrate the problem and woeful state of the science community today.

    I am not sure what problem you are specifically talking about.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Dror Erickson from utah-lutheran.blogspot.com,

    You demonstrate the problem and woeful state of the science community today.

    I am not sure what problem you are specifically talking about.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    webulite,
    Perhaps then you should read some Philosophy. Just to bring you up to date, maybe “The Last Word” by Thomas Nagel. Or you can read “Objective Knowledge” by Popper.
    The woeful state is the scientists often don’t know where the science has ended and where they are now in the realm of Philosphy. Because of that problem they do not philosophize well.
    By the way, Bror, not Dror.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    webulite,
    Perhaps then you should read some Philosophy. Just to bring you up to date, maybe “The Last Word” by Thomas Nagel. Or you can read “Objective Knowledge” by Popper.
    The woeful state is the scientists often don’t know where the science has ended and where they are now in the realm of Philosphy. Because of that problem they do not philosophize well.
    By the way, Bror, not Dror.

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dearr Bror Erickson from the site utah-lutheran.blogspot.com

    I actually have read a great deal of philosophy. I am a recently retired computer industry guy, but I have been reading philosophy works for about the last 15 years. I have concluded that there has been a evolution. At one time the word philosophy could be a substitute for scientific, or what we would today call scientific. See, back in the day it was all lumped under that term philosophy. Today, items that were once in the discipline of philosophy, have been broken out into specific scientific fields. So what was at one time in philosophy may now be included in psychology, or neuroscience.

    Philosophy today remains the speculative only items. It is sort of like the “brain storming” portion of human knowledge. But what remains in philosophy is only speculative. One day, an item in philoosphy may be “determined”, and then it will be broken out into a science discipline. But what it is still only speculative, it can remain in philosophy.

    We must remember that while things are in the philosophy field, they are merely speculative. If one wants to add to human knowledge they must demonstrate something that was brainstormed in philosophy, and actually demonstrate something, and then it will be added to a specific science field, and added to our human knowledge.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dearr Bror Erickson from the site utah-lutheran.blogspot.com

    I actually have read a great deal of philosophy. I am a recently retired computer industry guy, but I have been reading philosophy works for about the last 15 years. I have concluded that there has been a evolution. At one time the word philosophy could be a substitute for scientific, or what we would today call scientific. See, back in the day it was all lumped under that term philosophy. Today, items that were once in the discipline of philosophy, have been broken out into specific scientific fields. So what was at one time in philosophy may now be included in psychology, or neuroscience.

    Philosophy today remains the speculative only items. It is sort of like the “brain storming” portion of human knowledge. But what remains in philosophy is only speculative. One day, an item in philoosphy may be “determined”, and then it will be broken out into a science discipline. But what it is still only speculative, it can remain in philosophy.

    We must remember that while things are in the philosophy field, they are merely speculative. If one wants to add to human knowledge they must demonstrate something that was brainstormed in philosophy, and actually demonstrate something, and then it will be added to a specific science field, and added to our human knowledge.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite,
    interesting philosophy, or speculation you have there. You won’t hold it against me if I find it quite simplistic and not very intelligent, won’t you?
    Sorry. I think you might should have read better philosophers.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite,
    interesting philosophy, or speculation you have there. You won’t hold it against me if I find it quite simplistic and not very intelligent, won’t you?
    Sorry. I think you might should have read better philosophers.

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Bror Erickson from geneveith.com

    interesting philosophy, or speculation you have there. You won’t hold it against me if I find it quite simplistic and not very intelligent, won’t you? Sorry. I think you might should have read better philosophers.

    No problem, I understand your view. You were saying earlier that you are a committed supernaturalist. so I would not really expect you to “buy” my view. But the good thing about these forums is that people can read the various views, and get input from various people.

    You were saying I should have read better philosophers. I did not mention which ones I read, so how did you decide I should have read better ones. Did you decided that I could not have read proper philosophers BECAUSE I expressed a view that you did not like? I guess I cannot see how you would determine that I should have read better philosophers if I never gave you a list of the ones that I did read. It indicates to me, perhaps some poor reasoning. OR… concluding that because I expressed a view that you did not like, that I must not have read the right philosophers. I would examined that view if it is the case, cause I think it contains a flaw in it.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Bror Erickson from geneveith.com

    interesting philosophy, or speculation you have there. You won’t hold it against me if I find it quite simplistic and not very intelligent, won’t you? Sorry. I think you might should have read better philosophers.

    No problem, I understand your view. You were saying earlier that you are a committed supernaturalist. so I would not really expect you to “buy” my view. But the good thing about these forums is that people can read the various views, and get input from various people.

    You were saying I should have read better philosophers. I did not mention which ones I read, so how did you decide I should have read better ones. Did you decided that I could not have read proper philosophers BECAUSE I expressed a view that you did not like? I guess I cannot see how you would determine that I should have read better philosophers if I never gave you a list of the ones that I did read. It indicates to me, perhaps some poor reasoning. OR… concluding that because I expressed a view that you did not like, that I must not have read the right philosophers. I would examined that view if it is the case, cause I think it contains a flaw in it.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite,
    I guess I just figured that if you were a reasonably intelligent man and read some Philosophers worth their salt, than you would not keep uttering the gibberish you do concerning this.
    It has nothing to do with whether I like your statement or not. It has to do with the fact that it is untenable.
    And you find yourself running in circles. But even a child knows that science will not be able to answer all the questions of life. Sure there are wasy of testing things to see if they are real or not. But science is quite limited in what it can and can’t test, and even after it has tested something and verified it, it needs to rely on philosophy to interpret its findings.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite,
    I guess I just figured that if you were a reasonably intelligent man and read some Philosophers worth their salt, than you would not keep uttering the gibberish you do concerning this.
    It has nothing to do with whether I like your statement or not. It has to do with the fact that it is untenable.
    And you find yourself running in circles. But even a child knows that science will not be able to answer all the questions of life. Sure there are wasy of testing things to see if they are real or not. But science is quite limited in what it can and can’t test, and even after it has tested something and verified it, it needs to rely on philosophy to interpret its findings.

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Bror Erickson via geneveith.com

    I guess I just figured that if you were a reasonably intelligent man and read some Philosophers worth their salt, than you would not keep uttering the gibberish you do concerning this.

    You still have not determined which philosopher I have read, so you are making assumptions based completely on lack of knowledge and pure speculation. The interesting thing is that when I pointed this out, instead of moving towards trying to determine which philosophers I have read, you continued with your conclusions based on a lack of knowledge, and mere speculation. This is the kind of thing that people notice.

    So I will take the step that you missed. If you looked at this list of the 90 most influential philosophers of all time; http://worldohistory.blogspot.com/2009/01/90-most-influential-philosophers-of-all.html you would have to hit number 28 before you would hit a person I have not read. and then skip down to 38 for the next, and then finally 43 & 44. So what the facts reveal is of the most influential 50 philosophers of all time, I have read all but 5.

    So you can see what kind of problems you create for yourself when you make assumptions based on a lack of knowledge.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Bror Erickson via geneveith.com

    I guess I just figured that if you were a reasonably intelligent man and read some Philosophers worth their salt, than you would not keep uttering the gibberish you do concerning this.

    You still have not determined which philosopher I have read, so you are making assumptions based completely on lack of knowledge and pure speculation. The interesting thing is that when I pointed this out, instead of moving towards trying to determine which philosophers I have read, you continued with your conclusions based on a lack of knowledge, and mere speculation. This is the kind of thing that people notice.

    So I will take the step that you missed. If you looked at this list of the 90 most influential philosophers of all time; http://worldohistory.blogspot.com/2009/01/90-most-influential-philosophers-of-all.html you would have to hit number 28 before you would hit a person I have not read. and then skip down to 38 for the next, and then finally 43 & 44. So what the facts reveal is of the most influential 50 philosophers of all time, I have read all but 5.

    So you can see what kind of problems you create for yourself when you make assumptions based on a lack of knowledge.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yep, sure is.
    Listen I don’t care what philosophers you have read. Your statements are pure gibberish. I would rather blame it on the philosophers you read than on your lack of intelligence. And as long as the philosophers remain unnamed, I’m not slandering them.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yep, sure is.
    Listen I don’t care what philosophers you have read. Your statements are pure gibberish. I would rather blame it on the philosophers you read than on your lack of intelligence. And as long as the philosophers remain unnamed, I’m not slandering them.

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Bror Erickson via geneveith.com

    I understand. Calling an idea you don’t like gibberish is easier than actually addressing it.

    Philosophy is pure speculation. Nothing in philosophy has ever been demonstrated until it has been brought outside that field alone, and also entered into a field of science.

    But as you have said that you are a supernaturalist, and your world view relies on the speculation of philosophy, it is a natural position for you to take.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://webulite.com webulite

    Dear Bror Erickson via geneveith.com

    I understand. Calling an idea you don’t like gibberish is easier than actually addressing it.

    Philosophy is pure speculation. Nothing in philosophy has ever been demonstrated until it has been brought outside that field alone, and also entered into a field of science.

    But as you have said that you are a supernaturalist, and your world view relies on the speculation of philosophy, it is a natural position for you to take.

    Cheers! webulite.com

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite,
    No, actually my world view relies upon the investigation of an historical event, and the documents that record it, and then understanding the ramifications of such a resurrection.
    Your world view relies upon the speculation of philosophy, and a very poorly chosen philosophy it seems.
    If you would like to understand the difference I’ll recommend to you “faith founded on fact” by John Warrick Montgomery, or “History and Christianity” by the same author.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Webulite,
    No, actually my world view relies upon the investigation of an historical event, and the documents that record it, and then understanding the ramifications of such a resurrection.
    Your world view relies upon the speculation of philosophy, and a very poorly chosen philosophy it seems.
    If you would like to understand the difference I’ll recommend to you “faith founded on fact” by John Warrick Montgomery, or “History and Christianity” by the same author.

  • larry

    Unbelief which is bondage of the will operates like a fish who only knows the world of fish but denies he/she is a fish. When something comes extra nos to say, “see you are a fish”, the fish flips his tail, wiggles his gills and presents his scales saying, “see all this, I’m not a fish”. The challenge is how do you tell a corpse, “you know you are dead”, when he thinks his very deadness is nothing but pure life.
    We loose sight, even Christian circles, all too easily that it is not we that exegete scripture it exegete’s us. More often than not our “exegesis” is nothing more than our not listening to it exegete us.
    However, the more unbelief speaks the more it proves itself. No miracle is sufficient, it always asks for “just one more”. Be a Pharisee to Jesus or modern secular atheist. As an ex-atheist and career scientist no such argument ever converts, they can be compelling, and have a “hmmm” factor. But every philosophical argument or effort of reason can have a counter to it. Secondly, knowing that God is, itself is not Christian nor does save a single man from eternal damnation. Luther well understood that all philosophy if followed out necessarily leads men to atheism.
    Luther was well aware of the circular trap the philosophers would accuse one of in saying we need not nor are we suppose to go beyond the Scriptures to verify the veracity and the things of Scripture, that it is self attesting. E.g. many outside the church say of the all the various interpretations of it (the plethora of false teachings) are evidence that it is false (no one can agree), some within the church doors say of the same thing, “these optional valid interpretation”. Yet both are wrong! For Scripture itself from OT to NT, Jesus, Paul, and John, especially the eschatological statements and Revelation ALL constantly predict and warn and confirm that numerous false teachings will proliferate out of hell through false teachers outside of the church and within, the growth will continue innumerably (falsehood can constantly grow and change shaped, truth cannot). Thus, far from invalidating Scripture, the multiple interpretations (false teachings), they actually VERIFY its veracity (because it says it will happen, predicts this very thing, in time and space every where and every time). They think that if no multiple interpretations (false teachings) where around then that would at least point to its veracity. However, in fact, IF unity in interpretation were the case ubiquitously (no heterodoxy/denominations…etc…) and because Scripture predicts that there will be (e.g. the swarms of Locus), then that unity would actually be a case against the veracity of Scripture.
    Furthermore, concerning the apparent circular trap of the philosophers Luther believed what the Scriptures say, that the Law, ultimately is written on every heart and conscience and thus accuses – even if publically to save face and give a show of false fortitude one denies the evil conscience so accused by the Law. But all men know “at pillow time” they sin nothing but continually in thought, word and deed and God being God requires not just the action of the hand or of the mouth but of the heart, and furthermore that to NEED to be told what the Law requires is to ALREADY have fallen into mortal sin and thus damnation for the Law requires the spontaneous heart. The Law written on the heart does not speak thus, “you should do therefore do” rather it says, “you should do and you will not and you know it.” Luther understood the Word to be in this way self attesting, because ultimately the Law IS written on all hearts and all men feel its accusation when they are not attempting to save face, they HAVE to actively silence it (the purpose and reason for the existence of atheism and agnosticism is this) but it still accuses.

    Philosophical wrangling never arrives at verifying the Scriptures and is itself a form of attempting to silence the obvious witness of the Scripture says, that the Law is written on every heart.
    At the end of the day, the fish knows he’s a fish and guilty of it and though he denies the extra nos saying so, the extra nos cannot be silenced, its accusation is ceaseless and the concerted effort of the fish to continually deny it by various philosophical means is merely evidence that the extra nos word accusing it is in fact very real. It is like a man stopping his ears up for this accusing noise he hears, but is denying to save face that there is such a noise, yet he continues to stop up his ears.

  • larry

    Unbelief which is bondage of the will operates like a fish who only knows the world of fish but denies he/she is a fish. When something comes extra nos to say, “see you are a fish”, the fish flips his tail, wiggles his gills and presents his scales saying, “see all this, I’m not a fish”. The challenge is how do you tell a corpse, “you know you are dead”, when he thinks his very deadness is nothing but pure life.
    We loose sight, even Christian circles, all too easily that it is not we that exegete scripture it exegete’s us. More often than not our “exegesis” is nothing more than our not listening to it exegete us.
    However, the more unbelief speaks the more it proves itself. No miracle is sufficient, it always asks for “just one more”. Be a Pharisee to Jesus or modern secular atheist. As an ex-atheist and career scientist no such argument ever converts, they can be compelling, and have a “hmmm” factor. But every philosophical argument or effort of reason can have a counter to it. Secondly, knowing that God is, itself is not Christian nor does save a single man from eternal damnation. Luther well understood that all philosophy if followed out necessarily leads men to atheism.
    Luther was well aware of the circular trap the philosophers would accuse one of in saying we need not nor are we suppose to go beyond the Scriptures to verify the veracity and the things of Scripture, that it is self attesting. E.g. many outside the church say of the all the various interpretations of it (the plethora of false teachings) are evidence that it is false (no one can agree), some within the church doors say of the same thing, “these optional valid interpretation”. Yet both are wrong! For Scripture itself from OT to NT, Jesus, Paul, and John, especially the eschatological statements and Revelation ALL constantly predict and warn and confirm that numerous false teachings will proliferate out of hell through false teachers outside of the church and within, the growth will continue innumerably (falsehood can constantly grow and change shaped, truth cannot). Thus, far from invalidating Scripture, the multiple interpretations (false teachings), they actually VERIFY its veracity (because it says it will happen, predicts this very thing, in time and space every where and every time). They think that if no multiple interpretations (false teachings) where around then that would at least point to its veracity. However, in fact, IF unity in interpretation were the case ubiquitously (no heterodoxy/denominations…etc…) and because Scripture predicts that there will be (e.g. the swarms of Locus), then that unity would actually be a case against the veracity of Scripture.
    Furthermore, concerning the apparent circular trap of the philosophers Luther believed what the Scriptures say, that the Law, ultimately is written on every heart and conscience and thus accuses – even if publically to save face and give a show of false fortitude one denies the evil conscience so accused by the Law. But all men know “at pillow time” they sin nothing but continually in thought, word and deed and God being God requires not just the action of the hand or of the mouth but of the heart, and furthermore that to NEED to be told what the Law requires is to ALREADY have fallen into mortal sin and thus damnation for the Law requires the spontaneous heart. The Law written on the heart does not speak thus, “you should do therefore do” rather it says, “you should do and you will not and you know it.” Luther understood the Word to be in this way self attesting, because ultimately the Law IS written on all hearts and all men feel its accusation when they are not attempting to save face, they HAVE to actively silence it (the purpose and reason for the existence of atheism and agnosticism is this) but it still accuses.

    Philosophical wrangling never arrives at verifying the Scriptures and is itself a form of attempting to silence the obvious witness of the Scripture says, that the Law is written on every heart.
    At the end of the day, the fish knows he’s a fish and guilty of it and though he denies the extra nos saying so, the extra nos cannot be silenced, its accusation is ceaseless and the concerted effort of the fish to continually deny it by various philosophical means is merely evidence that the extra nos word accusing it is in fact very real. It is like a man stopping his ears up for this accusing noise he hears, but is denying to save face that there is such a noise, yet he continues to stop up his ears.

  • http://heatherhoyt.wordpress.com typewriter heather

    Things are never really proven without doubt. People deny stuff where there is proof all the time.

    Faith would still be required, even with proof.

  • http://heatherhoyt.wordpress.com typewriter heather

    Things are never really proven without doubt. People deny stuff where there is proof all the time.

    Faith would still be required, even with proof.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X