Sunday, January 18, 2009

Plantinga Ch 3

The third chapter in this book is about the fall of man. Plantinga talks about many things involving predestination. The quote "sin has become a habit in man," seems to make it sound as if sin has been progressively getting worse over time, when really it has been just as bad all along. He states that sin interferes with the way that God wants things to be, almost as if sin was not expected by God? I believe in predestination and that God has all things in His plan even as they are today.

Everything that is going on today is in accordance with God's plan and there is nothing that surprises or happens out of plan. Plantinga also seems to deny the total depravity of man. Adam and Eve are our first parents and because of them being our great grandparents we are then responsible for the fall and are then totally depraved. "And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." (Gen 8:21)

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jared,

    Thanks for your comments! It is always refreshing to see sincere remarks on a topic.
    I agree with you that the fall of man is a ‘sticky’ issue, especially because it involves us… I do agree that the quote, "sin has become a habit in man" ‘seems to make it sound as if sin has been progressively getting worse over time, when really it has been just as bad all along’. Yes! However, it is also true that the more we sin, the more of a habit it becomes… and I agree that the statement ‘sin interferes with the way that God wants things to be’ sounds as if God missed the mark in creation. From human perspective, in our place and time, this ‘looks as if’.
    May I suggest that we, sometimes even theologians forget the ‘Eternity’ aspect of the ‘creation, fall and redemption’ triangle? Such as the comment ‘Evil is any deviation from the way God want things to be’ could have been “Evil is a deviation of what God wanted to be, but it was a choice that He made when He, our Creator, handed us the possibility of ‘Free Will’. He wanted us more than robots. However, God, in His Almighty, Omnipresent, and Omniscient Power already had an answer for the problem, much before He added that possibility: “Jesus death on the Cross for our sins for Eternal Redemption”… So, it is never ‘out of His control’. God sees things from Eternity; He is not bound to time and space… He is the Alpha and the Omega...

    Furthermore, I do believe that the problematic of Plantinga’s ‘common grace’ will only be solved when we are finally in front of God’s throne. I will quote Rev. Schalkwijk for this:
    "For although not each individual person will be saved, this does not mean that the blood of Christ would be partially lost, because the death of Lamb for the world affected indeed that whole world. Our world as a whole was rescued from the evil one and will be transformed into a New World, where justice and peace will reign (2Pet 3.13). The final restoration of creation may delay a little, and is waiting for the revelation of the sons of God (Rom 8.19-21); but its time will come, because God is faithful (1Cor 1.9). Meanwhile we are able to perceive that, praise God, that precious blood has also a broader meaning, as if it were a general application, as the basis for a “common grace”, by which He allows this world to continue and puts a control upon the outgrowths of evil (Col 1.20). ‘Common grace’ does not take away the guilt of sin, but contains and subdues its devastating results (Berkhof, Dogmatics, p435). Christ is the mediator of creation and of reconciliation, that is, of the universe and of the church (Rom 8.19; Col 1.16,20). The central ray of the “Light of the world” penetrates the blackness as a powerful beam (John 1.9), around which shines a diffuse light. If this were not so, how terrible would it be in this dark world!! It is still time for salvation."
    Furthermore, I (Adriana) believe that if a bandit was not able to feel love for anyone, and as such, would not be able to understand the concept, I could never be able to reach his heart. It also answers an age old question I always had on an Old Testament comment of Javeh "I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land (Exodus 23:27-30).
    Common Grace as such is a protection to us from 'too many wild animals' I.e. too much violence and disruption of peace... It is a protection and a outreach... What wisdom! What Grace!
    Adriana & Paulo