In this series, I interact with the criticisms of the Trinity forwarded by Steve Zara in our recent debate, using them as a springboard to examine this important doctrine and demonstrate that it is not intrinsically self-contradictory.
This is part 1 of 4. It argues that contradictions cannot be believed, nor considered reasonable answers to any questions, and that if the Trinity is self-contradictory it invalidates Christianity as believable and reasonable.
Continuing the discussion of God and goodness, Victor extends a request to Calvinists for clarification: “in virtue of what is the “God” of Scripture, as understood by Calvinists, thought of as good”? As always, I invite you to read the full article; but let me summarize:
If we reject the view that things are good simply because God has the power to say that they are, then in virtue of what do we say that they are good? To appeal to Scripture is to beg the question, because God wrote Scripture; so if he is in fact an omniscient fiend, then his saying that he is good is no guarantee that he is. If we reject the notion that God is good merely on the basis of his own fiat; and that we can know it based only on our own moral intuitions; then how can we know it? Since Victor has posed this question as a request rather than a refutation, let me respond in kind.
Victor has posted a further response in our ongoing discussion regarding the nature of good as presented in the Bible, and how it compares to our moral intuitions. I invite you to read it in full; it is not very long. I will quote only pertinent segments here. The gist is that (I) Scripture only indirectly addresses the question in which we are interested (is predestination good?); (II) it is only authoritative once we already believe in an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God, so a preexisting conception of goodness is logically necessary to belief in the Christian God; and (III) it is unclear the extent to which we can get precise meaning out of Scripture via historical-grammatical analysis.
A couple of weeks ago, Victor Reppert posted an argument against compatibilism, and invited a general critique. This argument looks as follows (I’m paraphrasing since Victor’s original formulation had some typos):
1. If compatibilism is true, then God could have created the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
2. If God is omnipotent and perfectly good, then, were it possible, he would have created the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
3. But God did not create the world in such a way that everyone freely does what is right.
4. Therefore, compatiblism is false.
This article is the culmination of some discussion with hyper-Calvinist Ron Di Giacomo on the nature of God’s intentions towards the reprobate. In it, I argue that there is a sense in which God desires all people without exception to be saved, even though he has determined that he will only save his elect.
Continued from part 2 « Click here for Angels Depart’s third statement; below is my response— Erratum; August 2, 2007: thank you Jim for pointing out that I incorrectly cited the covenant conditions relating to Judges 1. These are not from Leviticus 7, but Deuteronomy 7. As with my previous statement, Angels, I am going [...]
Although I do not customarily engage in structured debates online, preferring to write proactively rather than reactively, I do occasionally post polemics, and replies to letters. It seems to me that a debate is only a hair removed from such things, inasmuch as it is effectively a polemic in which the opposing party is given [...]