Saturday, February 07, 2009

Which God Requires faith?

From the CARM boards, an interaction with someone I think is an atheist:

Swan: In Luther’s theology, faith is a gift from God.

Atheist: Why is faith a gift from God? Faith is exactly what is required to propagate a religion based on a non-existence God. You could not build a false religion without it. Why would such a quality be a gift from God?

Swan: I will not debate fundamental presuppositions with you- intellectual honesty demands that at some level, every person has faith based presuppositions.What I will do though is give a look inside Luther's thought.For Luther, the God people construct in their heads is not the God that revealed Himself to the world. When people construct "god," they typically create an angry all consuming powerful omnipotence. For Luther, God appears where you would least likely find Him: hanging and dying on a cross in weakness, being punished as a criminal. "Reason" would never construct a god like this. This God requires faith to believe in, and that faith is a gift.

14 comments:

Lvka said...

When people construct "god," they typically create an angry all consuming powerful omnipotence

Which is precisely how the West views God [the Father]. Isn't Lutheranism, after all, based on exactly that: God's wrath? I mean, doesn't that concept play such an important and fundamental part Lutheranism? :-\ ``Ich kan so einen Gott nicht lieben", isn't this what Luther confessed to his spiritual father? Any thoughts anyone? :-\

HikoBills said...

Lvka, pretty much all reformed denominations have God's wrath (the Just anger of a righteous God) as the base for God's grace. Without God's wrath, God's grace would just make Him a polite old man, not the Holy Creator.

James, interesting. Thanks again.

Dozie said...

"From the CARM boards, an interaction with someone I think is an atheist:"

Just an advice: You may end up driving the atheist farther away from Christianity rather than offer any help. You do not yet have the philosophical sophistication to properly understand Christian theology so as to adequately engage an erudite atheist – just misquoting the bible will not do it. Unless you are engaging a “convenient atheist”, you should do Christians a favor and save “newspaper theology” for the right Fundamentalist.

James Swan said...

You do not yet have the philosophical sophistication to properly understand Christian theology so as to adequately engage an erudite atheist

LOL. I majored in philosophy in college (one of two majors), graduated the program with honors, and my teachers were primarily atheists.

In the last few years, I also have taken quite a few graduate level classes with Westminster Seminary, and have been quite well trained in both presuppositional and classical apologetics, my GPA is quite high, as I work toward my Masters degree.

Exactly what have YOU done to give me such advise? Are you a doctor of either theology or philosophy? Are you an offical in the Roman Catholic Church?

Or, are you simply looking for more opportunites to insult me, and provoke me to ban you finally from this blog, which I probably should've done already?

Dozie said...

"Exactly what have YOU done to give me such advise?"

As I write this message, I am also grading papers written by students in your grade - graduate students. I have three times the education you have so far. Do you want more?

James Swan said...

I have three times the education you have so far.

Are your degrees in theology or philosophy?

Based on your comments over the past few months, I would find it very hard to believe you have any training in these areas.

Oh, but wait, you're a mystery blogger with no profile, so you can be whoever you want to.

On the other hand, your "advice" was uncalled for- unless you can think of a reason why a person with a degree in philosophy and work in theology shouldn't converse with an atheist.

Perhaps maybe keep your "advice" to yourself if you don't know the person with whom you are writing to. That would be my advice to you.

Turretinfan said...

"As I write this message, I am also grading papers written by students in your grade - graduate students. I have three times the education you have so far. Do you want more?"

LOL

-TurretinFan

Rhology said...

Dozie has three times the education in evading arguments and saying bizarre things in comboxes than you, James. Admit it! S/he's got you beat bad. Run away in shame now.

James Swan said...

Run away in shame now.

I don't think I've ever responded to anyone as I did to Dozie before. I always figured it's not really all that important what education or training I have. If what I've written about Luther or some subject is accurate and helpfull, well, that's good enough for me. I'm not trying to sell books, or build an empire.

This comment was just too inane to pass up,

You do not yet have the philosophical sophistication to properly understand Christian theology so as to adequately engage an erudite atheist – just misquoting the bible will not do it. Unless you are engaging a “convenient atheist”, you should do Christians a favor and save “newspaper theology” for the right Fundamentalist

I dislike the 'ol argument from authority- I realize many RC's are fond of it because their entire worldview is founded on "Because our infallible Church says so." I realize certain people are authorities on subjects, and their opinions can be taken seriously.

Dozie, a mystery blogger with no profile is not in that category. Dozie falls in the "I'm here to insult you and make Roman Catholics look bad" category. I think from now on, Dozie's made it to the discard bin.

L P Cruz said...

Lvka,

Isn't Lutheranism, after all, based on exactly that: God's wrath?

It is based on the Son dying for our sins and taking the punishment due us, its tenet is forgiveness from God, the Good News.

However, there is no sense to Good News, if the Good News does not answer first the Bad News. The reason why there is Good News is because there was first the Bad News.

LPC

Ben said...

James,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Yp_OaPkGP4&feature=channel_page

Thought I would let you know.

God bless

James Swan said...

Thought I would let you know

I don't know if i should laugh or cry.

Thanks for the tip.

Ben said...

James,

I would say laugh.

God bless

Kepha said...

Just wanna say that I like the "recent comments" feature. Very helpful.