...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

February 8, 2005 FF moves out and back!

Not wanting to war with Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, 20th Century Fox have changed the release date of their blockbuster hopeful, Fantastic Four, from July 1 to July 8 ...

Brush your teeth to save your heart!

[Health India]: Washington, Feb 8 : Researchers have found that certain type of bacteria found in the mouth may have an association with heart disease.

Keeping up with the culture section

Did you miss the Super Bowl commercials like i did? You can check out the reviews here.

A mixture of often contradictory ideas frames the popular imagination and, to a great extent, the contours of the American mind. One of the most cherished of these ideas is of fairly recent vintage, though its philosophical roots go far back into the American experience. This idea can be called simply the "self-esteem myth"--the idea that an individual's self-esteem is central to success, happiness, performance, and behavior.

February 9, 2005 Ramblings of an itinerant disciple...

Disclaimer: If I am being unclear in my articulations, please advise- I’ll consider this course a success only if I am able to become more articulate in my voicings of the issues. That is my means of telling whether I own the material for my own.

Having read Bavinck on the Divine Council, as well as referring to Boettner, Hodge, and Warfield on the subject, I can see why some speak in terms of “tending toward” an infralapsarian view. The notion that supralapsarians have claimed to have tended that particular way “based on the scriptures” is a bit curious to me- it seems the scriptures are indeed the source of the indeterminacy.

It is true that the scriptures hold that God elects from all eternity:
(Ephesians 1:4) Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love…

I also see possible evidence for the supralapsarian view from the election of Christ in 1 Peter 2 where he is a chosen and precious cornerstone- it is not that he is a possible choice from among many. If our election is “In Christ” it follows that in that regard and in that sense our election must be from before the foundations of the world as well.

However, it is also to be noted that it is from “one lump” Romans 9:21 that God chooses the absolute destiny of his creatures. Bavinck says we are not correct to associate this passage with the “corrupt mass” of Augustinian thought, but I do not see a clear case being made for this assertion.

We are chosen “out of” the world according to John 15:19.
We were given to Christ “out of the world” John 17:6.

John 17:6 I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.

Apparently from this verse, we were considered to be the Father’s before we were the Son’s which might argue for both views according to how one argues.. but that requires making a distinction between being chosen in Christ and being given to Him as a possession. Oof!

For God to have determined in the divine council that Christ should come to redeem fallen man, implies two things- that man will fall and that the cross was not plan B-- indeed the cross the only plan. In the light of this fact the Eternal Covenanter was creating with this knowledge of the cost of creation. This says much about his choice to shed His mercy and grace abroad.

However: I see no problem with God decreeing and covenanting within the Godhead before creation that the plan should necessarily suffice, and then making it efficacious and implementing it at the time of the mitigation of the curse in Genesis 3:15-17, after the fall. It would seem that with God, a both/and approach to the question of when election occurred would be preferred. This schema would propose that election is caused once in eternity, declared once in time and then millions of times it is effected in salvation.

In moving ahead to hamartology and anthropology, I’d like to get your thinking on whether what follows is is a well reasoned argument.

In regard to the lapse itself, consider this logical speculation:
In the garden in a state of created innocency, man was capable of sin.
After the fall, man is not capable of not sinning.
Upon redemption, man is capable of not sinning
Simultaneously, upon justification, by Christ’s imputed righteousness we become the righteousness of God. Man is not bound to sin. We are free to obey.
After glorification, man cannot sin.

It would seem reasonable that the final estate is immeasurably more glorifying of God and beneficial to man than the state of Adam in the garden. So why would we ever want to “get back to the garden” as the old song said?

While it was possible for God’s presence to walk in the dew of the morning with Adam in the garden, I see no implication that eating of the tree of life would have given Adam the very righteousness of Christ that is required to live in the presence of God eternally. In fact eating of the tree might reasonably be construed as a work of man, a keeping of the primal law of the covenant of creation, and Paul tells us that righteousness does not consist therein. If this formulation is true, it would seem to imply that the fall was “both necessary and wonderful”, as Beza said. This has often brought charges of fatalism. Was Beza wrong, or wrong in his articulations of the problem? I cannot see how the fall can be construed as wonderful in any event. God often uses sin to effect a greater good but that does not make Him the author of that sin nor the sin any less sinful.

Grace and Peace,
Anthony Foster

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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/