An Exercise in Logic

Update to the update: It is as I originally suspected.  I attempted to find common ground on one fact of history: the fact that the disciples of Jesus all believed he had risen from the dead.  It is hard to find a person that is so illogical that they will refuse to acknowledge that fact.  For heaven’s sake, there is a large bunch of people running around calling themselves Christians, because those guys believed that so strongly.  This guy launched into histrionics and a fit.

Update: I got one surprise in that the blogger posted the entire comment, but I was not surprised by his response.  His response was another object lesson for my Got Logic post from last summer.  Honestly, I have read enough of these to know better, so unlike my younger days I will call it quits unless the guy decides to try actual logic or rational discussion.

I was looking at my blog dashboard after the super bowl and noticed an incoming link from an unusual place.  I was intrigued to find out what it was and how it happened (wordpress auto-generated apparently), and once I got there I couldn’t help myself.  I have more or less given up on arguing with folks who are not likely to listen as I noted in this post, which happened to be the source of the autolinkage as well.  In any case, I took the time to compose a reply to the misuses of logic and Scripture that I found in one of the arguments at the blog in question and it ended up being so long that I decided I should post it here in case the blogger didn’t want to clog up his comments or publish something that was damaging to his argument.  The post I was responding to is entitled “Scriptural Proof that God WILL save ALL Men.” Enjoy.

Again, I do not believe in this mythical God or any of the other mythical Gods that all followers claim are true. I only provide the scriptures to prove what is actually stated in Scripture.  Judge for yourself!

Notice something rather profound about the Scriptures I am about to post.  Notice the two post at the top of this blog regarding all evil being of God and that none have free will.  If man has no free will and ALL is OF God, to include Evil (if Evil has happened, have I (god) not done it?) then God couldn’t justly or righteously punish men for all those things for which HE has done. Therefore, those scriptures fit with the following and ALL men would be saved….if God is just and righteous.

I see what you are saying but I don’t believe you are being honest with yourself.  For a site that prides itself on logic, I am disappointed.  You are constructing arguments on Scripture, but not using the true meaning of any of them that I have seen so far.  Just to highlight the beginning of your argument that all will be saved.

First, Check This ONE out!!!!

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publish peace; that brings GOOD TIDINGS of GOOD [not like Bush and the Christian Party of Family Values that bring infinite acts of eternal terrorism and war], that publishes SALVATION … The LORD hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of ALL THE NATIONS, and ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF OUR GOD” (Isa. 52:7 & 10).  Wow, did you catch that one?  ALL!!!

If you spent more than a couple of minutes with the verse and looked at what the words actually mean you would find something interesting.  The point of this verse is not that all will be saved, it is that all see God’s salvation.  Seeing isn’t believing or possessing, but that is the claim that you are making here.

Now for more Scriptural PROOF that God will save ALL MEN:

“For THIS is GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have ALL men…(WHAT?  Did it say ALL)… ALL men to be saved…” (I Tim. 2:3-4).

Some will tell you the word “WILL” is improperly translated and what it should be is the word “Desires“.  With such a comment, they think the argument is over and therefore their God will NOT save ALL men.  HOWEVER, I have no problem with them wanting to change the translations because GOD also stated “my Desires WILL be done” and “my pleasures will be done” and of course “my will be done”.

This one is funny, because you actually acknowledge the weakness of the verses you have picked for this argument, but attempt to bolster them with more naked assertions.  If God’s desire or will is always done, why would He instruct people to pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven?  Apparently there is a difference between the two and God doesn’t see His desires carried out here on earth like He would want them to be.  You can claim that this means He is not all powerful if you want, but I would advise you that having the capacity to act doesn’t imply the necessity to act.  In fact, if God were required to exercise His power based on our opinions, he wouldn’t be the God of the Bible anymore.

Another Witness?

“For God has concluded them all [both the Israelites and the Gentiles—see verses 25-31] in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon ALL. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God? How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Or who has first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom. 11:32-36).

Again you are asserting that this passage says all will be saved and I can’t figure out how.  Verse 25, which you mention, talks about the “fullness” of the Gentiles, but that word in no way implies all of anything except the capacity or load limit of a vessel or a complete set.  The word for all in verse 32 typically denotes all of a set or group, which fits the rest of the context  but not your argument.  For instance, the same word is used in Matthew3:5, “Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him.”  Do you really think this means that every person in Jerusalem and Judea came out to see Jesus?  In some verses, this word isn’t even translated as all.  As a matter of fact, that same Greek word appears in the next verse you cite, John 12:32.  Then you have 1 Cor. 15:22 there are two sets of people identified.  There are all (pas) who are “in Adam,” which would be all of humanity and there are all (pas) who are “in Christ.”  It is the second set of all that will be vivified.  Just in case you are wondering, this term is common to the New Testament, particularly in Paul’s writings.  Note Romans 6:3-11 tells us who is in Christ, but I will just quote part of it here:

3Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?. . .11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Same thing shows up in Romans 8:1-2:

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

There is a defined set (pas) of all those who are in Christ Jesus that are properly referred to in 1 Cor. 15:22 that are separate from the set (pas) of all those who are in Adam which is indeed everyone.

I would go on with this, but I hope you are getting the gist and I hate to be a bore.  But I would like to extend the fun to your use of the phrase “the whole word” since it is along the same vein.  In 2 Cor. 5:19, the Greek word translated this way is kosmos, which is familiar enough to most anyone thanks to science.  But you have again missed the point of this verse, because it specifically points to this reconciliation occurring “in Christ,” which again specifies who the reconciliation applies to and how it is made.

Let me also shed some light on 1 John 2:2.  If you were given a gift, but you refused to take it, would you posses it or not?  1 John 2:2 isn’t the complete thought.  Look at what it really says:

2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Did you see the end of verse 5?  There is that idea of being “in Christ” again.  And John is even so bold as to tell us how to know if we are indeed “in Christ” or not.  Let me encourage you with some words from Christ that apply to this matter.

37And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:37-40)

If you would like for me to address the other verses you have mentioned in your post, I would be glad to do so, but this is getting awful long already.  I found that your argument is constructed wholly of this type of assertions, so this should be sufficient to demonstrate the problems in the logic.

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Categories: Agnostics, Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Christianity, False Teachers, theology, Truth | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “An Exercise in Logic

  1. Way to go. Could we get funding from somewhere just to stay on the net and preach the truth?
    Excellent job. People get in trouble when they do not use scripture to understand scripture.

  2. You tell me where to sign up for that job and I am there. I tell you what though. I hit a nerve with that guy. He is the most angry agnostic I have ever run across. I don’t know what some religious nut must have done to him, but I am praying for him.
    I don’t have much stomach for these type of discussions with atheists and agnostics because they simply refuse to behave or argue in a logical or reasoned manner. When you find one who will, it can be a worthwhile discussion.
    I truly found my faith in large part through looking at the facts and realizing that God was deliberate in His plan and unfolding it so that we didn’t have to have “blind faith” but reasoned faith. Paul appealed to witnesses that could have blown his case out of the water at any time. The Romans could have stopped the whole movement in its tracks by producing a corpse (but they couldn’t ). Our faith is placed on a firm foundation.

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