Monday, October 14, 2013

Sovereignty Theodicy/Defence & Culture (PhD Edit)

Sachseln, Switzerland-Facebook
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Triglav National Park,Slovenia-Facebook

Happy Thanksgiving

My questionnaire data does not demonstrate a complete rejection of Reformed, Calvinistic, sovereignty theodicy, which is not accepted on key points in contrast to the acceptance of free will theodicy.[1]   It can be reasoned that Reformed compatibilistic concepts have been primarily rejected.[2]  With the very important Question 22, if God does not cause evil according to the majority of respondents, the reasonable conclusion would be an acceptance of the idea from free will theodicy that human beings alone cause evil and corruption.[3]  A compatibilistic model, as noted within the work, views both God and humanity as the cause of evil[4] with God as the primary cause,[5] but with sinless motives.[6]  There is also the important non-support of the ideas of God causing human actions, and deciding who shall follow him in election,[7] which are essential within a compatibilistic framework for God to fulfill his purposes and turn certain sinful human beings into members of his everlasting Kingdom.[8]  Sovereignty theodicy is not as publicized as free will theodicy,[9] is not taught as much in post-secondary education, and is not as culturally relevant in Western society as free will concepts, which support libertarianism.[10] 

In order for Reformed concepts of compatibilism and theodicy to gain increased prominence within the Christian Church,[11] sovereignty theodicy needs to be correctly explained, but theoretical theodicy is not sufficient in itself as its practical ramifications must be explained.  A major reason why a sovereignty theodicy explains God wills all things, including evil and sin or the greater good,[12] is that with this and in particular, through the results of the atoning work and resurrection of Christ, God will ultimately rid his creation of the problem of evil.[13]

[1] It can reasoned from the results that Reformed theology in the context of theodicy is not dominating Christian theological thought. 
[2] This is significant enough to demonstrate that Reformed theology in regard to theodicy and free will and determinism has been overshadowed by the free will/incompatibilistic research and work of those such as Augustine and Plantinga.
[3] Augustine (421)(1998: Chapter 13: 8).  Plantinga (1982: 184-189).
[4] Erickson (1994: 361).  Calvin (1543)(1996: 37-40).
[5] Erickson (1994: 361).
[6] Calvin (1543)(1996: 37-40).
[7] Whale (1958: 63).  Calvin (1543)(1996: 136).
[8] Calvin mentions in his Acts Commentary that people who were strangers to the Kingdom of God, were purchased by Christ and flourished within.  Calvin (1552)(1995: 415).
[9] This is quite clear from several years of academic research.
[10] Blackburn (1996: 218). 
[11] In particular within Reformed churches.
[12] Cranfield (1992: 204).  Mounce (1995: 187).  Admittedly human beings often greatly struggle to see and understand this theoretical greater good.  Davis (1981: 23).  Roth reasons some evil willed by God is simply and only that and should be repented for by God. Roth (1981: 10). 
[13] Moltmann (1993: 256).  Calvin (1552)(1995: 415).  Feinberg (1994: 141).  Mounce (1990: 369-397).


AUGUSTINE (388-395)(1964) On Free Choice of the Will, Translated by Anna S.Benjamin and L.H. Hackstaff, Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall.

AUGUSTINE (398-399)(1992) Confessions, Translated by Henry Chadwick, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

AUGUSTINE (400-416)(1987)(2004) On the Trinity, Translated by Reverend Arthur West Haddan, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series One, Volume 3, Denver, The Catholic Encyclopedia. 

AUGUSTINE (421)(1998) Enchiridion, Translated by J.F. Shaw, Denver, The Catholic Encyclopedia.

AUGUSTINE (426)(1958) The City of God, Translated by Gerald G. Walsh, Garden City, New York, Image Books.

AUGUSTINE (427)(1997) On Christian Doctrine, Translated by D.W. Robertson Jr., Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall.

AUGUSTINE (427b)(1997) On Christian Teaching, Translated by R.P.H. Green, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

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

CALVIN, JOHN (1552)(1995) Acts, Translated by Watermark, Nottingham, Crossway Books.

CRANFIELD, C.E.B. (1992) Romans: A Shorter Commentary, Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

DAVIS, STEPHEN T. (1981)(ed.), Encountering Evil, Atlanta, John Knox Press.

FEINBERG. JOHN S. (1986) Predestination and Free Will, David Basinger and Randall Basinger (eds.), Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity Press.

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

FEINBERG, JOHN S. (2001) No One Like Him, John S. Feinberg (gen.ed.), Wheaton, Illinois, Crossway Books.

MOLTMANN, JÜRGEN (1993) The Crucified God, Minneapolis, Fortress Press. 

MOUNCE, ROBERT H. (1995) The New American Commentary: Romans, Nashville, Broadman & Holman Publishers.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (1977)(2002) God, Freedom, and Evil, Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (1982) The Nature of Necessity, Oxford, Clarendon Press.

ROTH, JOHN K. (1981) Encountering Evil, Stephen T. Davis (ed.), Atlanta, John Knox Press. 

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

Question 22

Question 22: God does not cause evil

This free will theodicy based question deals with a crucial and original aspect of my PhD thesis and statistical data. I conclude within a sovereignty perspective that God does cause evil and I will explain this concept in this Chapter from both theological and philosophical perspectives from my theoretical research in the Theology and Application section. One hundred and seventy-nine respondents (84%) selected ‘AS/A’ for this question. Only 17 (8%) persons supported my notion by choosing ‘D/DS’.


Determinism meaning hard determinism and opposed to soft determinism/compatibilism. God is still the cause of all things, but I am acknowledging a limited free will by Adam and Eve. God does not 'cause' as in force or coerce but is the cause of all things as in first cause being infinite and omnipotent.

My backyard...
Autumn, when some trees wear alternate jerseys.

Plitvice Lake, Croatia-Facebook


Eva said...

Good morning, my dear friend Dr. Russ ... Congratulations for the work, is admirable. I liked the conclusion:
" God does not 'cause' as in force or coerce but is the cause of all things as in first cause being infinite and omnipotent." I agree.

The photos are beautiful and illustrate very well the post, I loved your backyard, spectacular. Big hug in friendship.

Russell Norman Murray said...

Yes, the conclusion is key.

Thank you and hug in return, Eva.

Blessings to the family.

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Russell Norman Murray said...

Via The Jeff & Facebook:

11-Year-Old Child Bride Debates Muslim Cleric Who Supports Child Rape


'We’ve seen debates between Muslim clerics and women’s rights advocates. But this is far more devastating. It doesn’t help that the cleric is sweating like a pig and couldn’t be creepier if he had come from central casting, especially once he begins talking about marrying his own daughter off when she reaches puberty.'

'And then we get to the genuinely creepy stuff as the cleric comes on.

Egyptian cleric Sheikh Abu Yahya: “There is a difference between contractual marriage and consummated marriage. A contractual marriage can take place from day one. From the moment the baby girl is born, takes her first breaths, and is given a name, her guardian, who is her father only – and there is consensus about this in the Muslim world – is allowed to marry her off. This is an accepted custom, and perhaps even my grandparents and your grandparents married this way. The boy is kept for the girl, and vice versa.

“This marriage – a contractual marriage or engagement – is permitted [at this age]. As for consummation of the marriage – it is not permitted until the woman is ready to bear it. A guardian who acts otherwise is harming the girl under his charge.”

Interviewer: “At what age is she ready for him?”

Sheikh Abu Yahya: “This varies from girl to girl. One girl may be ready at the age of nine, and another may not be ready even at 25.”'

End quotes

A philosophical and ethical problem with leaving the age of supposed consent to a young girl that has reached puberty is that under this Islamic system there will be undo, unfair pressure placed on a child's family and the young girl herself to allow contractual marriage to become consummated marriage.

Money is a clouding, philosophical factor as well.

As much as the (viewed it on Wikipedia and it is common knowledge) the age of consent in most countries is 18 and may be somewhat arbitrary, as some persons may mentally be adults prior to 18 and some still rather immature, is does provide an objective standard for adulthood and sexuality and further within a family and legal context does provide some protections for underage persons from those with less than the highest love intentions. By love I mean from a Christian perspective that of John 15, and the Great Commandments, not merely insufficient on its own, romantic love.

To merely in a society allow a child to become basically a married adult primarily based on physiology seems dangerous as in the case of young girls for example, they typically reach puberty in reality years before having an adult understanding. To list exceptions to this as if it the norm as the Cleric did is intellectually, philosophically misleading. And even for these exceptions, I reason there should be laws in place that require a standard age.

What is allowed in the Islamic countries under understandings of Islamic law is what the girl stated, an opportunity for men to make servants, against their will, of young girls. It is not the highest form of love required from a potential husband via a Christian worldview (Ephesians 5, 1 Timothy 3).

Russell Norman Murray said...

Missionaries Try to Convert Jerusalem Kashrut Supervisor – Lose Certification Oct 16

'Following an investigation by the anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim into ‘Cafe Porta’, located in the Clal building in Jerusalem, the organization reported to the Kashrut division of Jerusalem’s Religious Authority that the cafe appears to be a missionary center. Missionary activity is frowned upon in Israel, and illegal in certain circumstances.'

'But when the Kashrut division sent its own inspectors to check on the report, they were taken by surprise when the owners gave missionary material, including a New Testament, to the Kashrut supervisor, apparently in an attempt to begin the proselytization process on the Rabbi. Needless to say, the Kashrut certification for the cafe was immediately revoked.'

I can understand cultural defence from a State, to protect culture.

But this is anti-religion and anti-witness.

This is based in fear. When people and States do this it makes me think some are afraid their views cannot stand-up to intellectual scrutiny.

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Russell Norman Murray said...

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Russell Norman Murray said...

'Anonymous said...
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For you American, Euro, Australian and foreign readers, each Canadian is given the option of a pet Canada Goose or Canadian Beaver by the Canadian government...

And they taste good with 'Canadian Bacon' as Americans call it. Never called that here...

Russell Norman Murray said...

Bill Russell arrested at airport with loaded gun



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Anonymous said...

Murphy’s Toast !!!

Murphy drops some buttered toast on the kitchen floor. It lands butter-side-up.

He looks at what he has done in astonishment, for he knows it’s a law of nature that
buttered toast always falls butter-down.

He rushes round to the Presbytery to fetch the priest.

He tells the priest that he thinks a miracle has happened round at his flat. He won’t
say what it is but wants Fr. Flannagan to see it with his own eyes.

He brings Fr. Flannagan into the kitchen and asks him what he sees on the floor.

“Well,” says the priest, “it’s pretty obvious what we have here. Someone dropped
some buttered toast, and then for some reason flipped it over so that the butter was
on top.”

“No, Father, I dropped it and it landed like that.”

“Well,” Fr. Flannagan says, “it’s certainly a natural law of the universe that dropped
toast never falls butter side up. But it’s not for me to say it’s a miracle. I’ll report the
matter to the bishop, and have him send people round, to interview you, take photos, etc.”

An investigation of some rigour is conducted, not only by priests of the archdiocese, but
by scientists sent from the Curia in Rome.

The final ruling is a negative, however. it reads:-

"It was certainly an extraordinary event that occurred in Murphy’s room, quite outside
the normal run of the phenomena. Yet we have to be very cautious before ruling any
happening miraculous, ruling out all possible natural explanations. In this case we have
declared no miracle. For it possibly resulted from Murphy's having buttered the toast
on the wrong side."

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Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, 'THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.' So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
They moused.
They faxed.
They e-mailed.
They e-mailed with attachments.
They downloaded.
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports.
They created labels and cards.
They created charts and graphs.
They did some genealogy reports .
They did every job known to man.

Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off..

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in
The underworld. Jesus just sighed.

Finally the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their

Satan started searching frantically, screaming:
'It's gone! It's all GONE! 'I lost everything when the power went out!'

Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work. Satan observed this and became irate. 'Wait!' he screamed. 'That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?'

God just shrugged and said,


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